I’m led to believe that hating on Japanese RPGs is the “in” thing right now. Yes, they were pioneering and revolutionary back in their heyday, that magical time around the fourth and fifth console generations (and specifically the SNES and PS1) when cartoony, sprite-based graphics were the norm and any semblance of an intricate plot was head and shoulders above the competition.
That said, Arc Rise Fantasia is a fairly standard JRPG. Brooding protagonist with oversized sword, quiet, sheltered healer girl, semi-fantasy setting, colorful character designs, it’s all there. And it’s better than the haters would lead you to believe. Continue reading ‘Arc Rise Fantasia – Staff Review’ »
Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love exists in a strange realm of intersections. It lies between dating sim and tactical mecha combat sim, between long-established Japanese tradition and familiar New York iconography, between the storytelling constructs we know as “video games” and “anime.” Like the Zen master, or the pathetic fanboy trying to get the “harem” ending, it strives to achieve balance in all things.
No discipline is flawless. At one level or another, we are all human, defective, stained with the deepest seeds of doubt and regret, shame and anger. But we can try, dammit. We can try. And this game, despite some technical flaws, tries. Dammit.
Continue reading ‘Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love (Wii) – Staff Review’ »