Basic stats: female, Canadian

Let see... I've been gaming since the NES era and my first RPG experience dates back to the days when Dragon Quest I was still known as Dragon Warrior I. I studied English literature at school and after obtaining a nice, shiny degree I now do wordprocessing work. Thrilling stuff.

I'm a fan of RPGs and of writing so this is a good chance to combine the two. When I'm not playing games (or writing about them) I can frequently be found reading, writing, wasting copious amounts of time on the internet, and taking beginner Japanese classes.

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More Multiplayer DLC for Mass Effect 3

Thursday, May 24th, 2012 by | Posted in Game News

Bioware has announced the release of the Rebellion Pack, a second free DLC for Mass Effect 3 multiplayer. The Rebellion Pack will give players new weapons, six unlockable characters including Vorcha and Ex-Cerberus agents, and two new maps: Firebase Jade, an abandoned Salarian reservoir on a jungle planet, and Firebase Goddess, an Asari stronghold on Thessia. Additionally, players will receive a gear slot that allows them to carry a gameplay bonus from match to match. A new in-mission objective will be added to the existing three that randomly occur during waves three, six, and ten.

The Rebellion Pack is due for release on May 29 for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 in North America. PS3 owners in Europe will see a release date of May 30. The pack is free for all those with an Online Pass.

Full details available on Bioware’s blog

Mass Effect 3 Patch Breaks Mass Effect 3

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012 by | Posted in Game News

It used to be that when a game was patched it ran better, but times have changed. Today, if players download the new Xbox 360 patch for Mass Effect 3, they’ll be rolling the dice. The game might resolve underlying issues… or it might cause the system to freeze on the initial menu screen, rendering both the single player and multiplayer campaigns unplayable.

Multiple threads have appeared on BioWare’s forums and other sites regarding the issue. At this time BioWare is aware of the problem, but there’s no word on when–or if–it will be fixed.

BioWare and its parent company EA have been awash in bad press of late. Controversy surrounded Mass Effect 3‘s ending, and voters at the Consumerist chose EA as the “worst company in America.”

Mass Effect Patches and Expands Next Week

Friday, April 6th, 2012 by | Posted in Game News

We have more news from BioWare. The first Mass Effect 3 patch will be coming out next week, on April 9 for the PC and April 10 for the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. It fixes a long list of issues including problems importing custom characters.

BioWare has also announced the Mass Effect 3 Resurgence Pack, a free DLC that expands multiplayer. The DLC will add two maps, Firebase Condor, situated on one of Palavin’s moons, and Firebase Hydra, an abandoned colony once belonging to the Quarians. Six new characters will now be playable, one for each character class: Asari Justicar (Adept), Krogan Battlemaster (Vanguard), Geth (Infiltrator and Engineer), and Batarian (Soldier and Sentinel). The DLC also adds three new collectible weapons and new consumables.

Players can check out the shiny DLC trailer.

Mass media 12/27/11

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011 by | Posted in Game Media

If you’re lucky enough to be on holidays then why not spend a little of your time off taking a look at this shiny new media. Today, for your viewing pleasure, we’ve got Ragnarok Odyssey, Code of Princess, Genso Suikoden Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki, and Labyrinth Tower: Legacista.

Mass Media 12/16/11

Saturday, December 17th, 2011 by | Posted in Game Media

It’s weird to be seeing DLC for a game that’s not even released here yet, but that’s what we’ve got with Final Fantasy XIII-2: Omega DLC media, not to mention some Frontier Gate, Dragon Quest X, Shining blade, and Lord of Apocalypse.


Harvest Moon: Tale of Two Towns — Staff Review

Sunday, December 11th, 2011 by | Posted in Blurring the Line, DS Reviews

The Harvest Moon franchise has been running for fifteen years and the key to its continuing popularity is its ability to tweak its formula with each new addition to the series. While Tale of Two Towns shares most of its game engine and graphics with last year’s DS iteration, Grand Bazaar, it adds a new twist to the series by forcing the player to choose to focus on either growing crops or raising animals.


Fable II – Staff Review #2

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011 by | Posted in Action RPG Reviews, Reviews, X360 Reviews

Read the back of the Fable II box and it’ll promise you adventure and the chance to “experience how [your] choices change you and the world forever.” While the game does provide players with a decent adventure, it fails utterly to show the effect of any choices you make in the world. Fable II offers a big, beautiful world to romp around in. Unfortunately, it’s coupled with weak story-telling, and choices that have only the most superficial effects on the world. It’s a fun game, but it suffers when compared to others offerings in the genre. (more…)

Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar – Staff Review

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011 by | Posted in Blurring the Line, DS Reviews, Reviews

The Harvest Moon series boasts of a long history that hardly requires introduction. While detractors will likely only groan at yet another DS iteration, fans of the series will be tickled by the tweaks to the Harvest Moon formula that make Grand Bazaar a fresh experience.

E3 Media 06/17/10

Thursday, June 17th, 2010 by | Posted in E3, Game Media

More new screens out of E3, featuring, Atelier Rorona, Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll, Fable III, and Trinity Universe.
Oh and don’t worry, Slayer’s not dead. I promise I didn’t kill him with an overload of Nintendo E3 media yesterday or anything like that.


Game Changers: Volume 26 – Disgaea: Hour of Darkness

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 by | Posted in Editorials, Game Changers

Two hundred and fifty-five; deux cents cinquante-cinq; nihyaku goju go; 255. This number will be familiar to most gamers. It seems to crop up quite a lot. In the original Zelda, it’s the maximum number of Rupees you could carry; it’s the max number for many of your stats in most Final Fantasy games; it’s the highest number of Effort Points in Pokemon. There’s a technical reason for this. You’ve heard of bytes, right? A byte is made up of eight smaller units called bits. The result is that the maximum number of values it can represent with these eight-digit units is 256 (255 numbers plus zero, I assume). Let me quote Wikipedia for a moment: 225 is “the maximum value representable by an eight-digit binary number, and therefore the maximum representable by an unsigned 8-bit byte.” (more…)

Game Changers: Volume 25 – Super Smash Bros. Melee

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009 by | Posted in Editorials, Game Changers

Super Smash Bros. Melee is not an RPG in any way, shape, or form. So why, you might ask, is it the subject of this week’s column? The answer can be summed up in one word: Marth. (more…)

Game Changers: Volume 24: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009 by | Posted in Editorials, Game Changers

I’m sure I’m not the only relic of the NES era, so let’s go down memory lane together for a few moments. Since it was bundled with the NES system (because back then a bundle inlcuding a game and two controllers was the norm — ah how times have changed!), just about everyone got to play Super Mario Bros. And for many of us, it was the game that first lead us down the path of gaming addiction, which in those days meant we all had very sore left thumbs until we grew a nice callus. This was not, however, Mario’s first appearance. In fact he’d been around for a few years prior, first appearing as “Jumpman” in Donkey Kong back in 1981 and then in the 1983 arcade game Mario Bros. as Mario, the American-Italian plumber with his brother Luigi. Super Mario Bros. for the NES is what made him a star, though, and he was soon to ascend to the rank of Nintendo’s mascot. (more…)

Game Changers: Volume 23 – Final Fantasy Tactics

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 by | Posted in Editorials, Game Changers

The RPG world as we know it is composed of several sub-genres, mostly focused on the difference in battle systems: menu-driven or traditional, action, tactical, hack and slash, roguelikes. The first three are, by far the broadest and most common categories with action RPGs being the ones most en vogue at present, and menu-driven RPGs being the oldest. But what about tactical RPGs? Perhaps not everyone knows this, but they do indeed have a long lineage and an impressive pedigree, one dating back to the NES era. (more…)

Game Changers: Volume 22 – Dragon Quest IX

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009 by | Posted in Editorials, Game Changers

There are only a few things in life that you can really count on. Mario will always trump Luigi; there is never anything “final” about Final Fantasy; and Dragon Quest will alway be a bastion of tradition in the RPG world. But in December 2006, Square Enix shook the very foundations of our RPG beliefs: they announced that Dragon Quest IX would slough off the shackles of menu-based fighting and embrace modernity by becoming… an action RPG. (more…)

Game Changers: Volume 21 – Seiken Densetsu 2 (Secret of Mana)

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 by | Posted in Editorials, Game Changers

For many gamers, their first experience of multiplayer gaming came in the form of Super Mario Bros. where one lucky player got to be Mario and whoever lost the coin toss got to be his green and white clone, Luigi. When Mario bit the dust at the hands of a hammer-tossing Hammer Brother or got knocked out by a rogue Koopa shell, player two got his chance to do the same thing while payer one got to watch. Thrilling stuff. (more…)

Game Changers: Volume 18 – Dragon Quest VIII

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 by | Posted in Editorials, Game Changers

Those of us who remember the 1980s and the early days of console gaming can probably recall at one point or another being puzzled by the text we saw appearing in white block letters on the screen before us. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link had one of these classic moments. You, the hapless player, send Link into a house to gather information, and the NPC, with perfect aplomb, announces that, “I AM ERROR.” To which most players responded, “I am confused.” If you never got to experience this, one of the high points in the history of gaming localizations, I have procured for you a shiny screenshot. Behold! The fellow’s name would better have been romanized as “Errol.” But you see, the Japanese language doesn’t distinguish between “r” and “l” as we do and you can see for yourself the results of a poor translation. (more…)

Game Changers: Volume 17 – Harvest Moon

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 by | Posted in Editorials, Game Changers

These days it’s not altogether uncommon to see strange genre mashups. In 2007 Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords managed to successfully combine RPG elements and puzzle games in what is perhaps the most unusual combination out there. However, it was by no means the first. As early as the SNES era you could find games that defied genre boundaries, with Harvest Moon being not the earliest, but the most successful example. (more…)

Game Changers: Volume 16 – Super Columbine Massacre RPG!

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 by | Posted in Editorials, Game Changers

Controversy, while usually reserved for more mainstream titles such as Grand Theft Auto, isn’t completely unknown to the RPG world. Recently Fallout 3 garnered some attention, of the negative sort of course, for in-game drug use, as did Mass Effect for its “sex scene.” However, by far the most controversial RPG out there is one most of us have probably never played, one created not by a big game company for profit but by an aspiring filmmaker using an RPG maker software for the sake of social commentary.

In 2005 an indie game with the controversial (and to many, offensive) title of Super Columbine Massacre RPG! caused a media frenzy. It was condemned by some as a sick joke and money-making scheme, and by others, lauded as a serious attempt to use the video game medium to engange with social issues. It also resurrected the debate about whether violent video games and music can cause real-world violence, a debate which had been at the centre of the aftermath of the Columbine shootings six years earlier. (more…)

Game Changers: Volume 15 – .hack

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009 by | Posted in Editorials, Game Changers

Final Fantasy is the biggest-selling RPG franchise so it’s a foregone conclusion that when it branched out into other mediums it would be a huge success, right? Well I think we all remember one of its first attempts, the computer animated movie Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within in 2001. It bombed at the box office, leaving Square (at the time) with a net loss of some 94 million dollars. Yeah… oops. It wasn’t that it was a terrible movie. I wouldn’t say that it was great either, but it wasn’t horrible; however Square failed spectacularly in two ways: a) they didn’t realize the limited appeal of the movie to the general population, and b) they made the movie different enough from the Final Fantasy games that it also had limited appeal to the core audience of the games. It might be fair to say that it tried to be all things to all people and in doing so managed to satisfy none. But what Square failed to do with The Sprits Within, .hack would manage one year later and thus become king of financially viable tie-ins. (more…)

Game Changers: Volume 14 – Final Fantasy I

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009 by | Posted in Editorials, Game Changers

Did you ever have the chance to play Dragon Quest I (aka Dragon Warrior) for the NES? We’re talking back in 1989 for us North Americans. If not, or in case you need a refresher, I’ll give you a little run down of the plot. You are the descendant of the hero Erdrick who, in times past, defeated the Dragon Lord. Now that the Dragon Lord has returned, you must track down  the scattered pieces of Erdrick’s arms and armour and defeat the Dragon Lord anew. That’s it. No really, that’s the whole thing. Well okay, you do rescue a princess along the way and you do have to collect some relics that will allow you to reach the Dragon Lord’s isle, but basically I’ve spoiled the entire plot for you. As you may have noticed, it’s a bit sparse.

Then came Final Fantasy I. (more…)