Bio: Jordan Jackson

Jordan "J_Sensei" Jackson
Ever since I was a little kid, I've always played games. I started on an Atari, and now I'm playing games on the current generation of hardware. I played most of the first generation Nintendo games, but when I started Dragon Warrior, I discovered my love for the RPG genre.

When I'm not playing games, I'm usually spending time with my lovely wife Caroline. We spend most evenings snuggled on the couch while we watch TV or play games together.

My other hobby, though I admit I don't give it nearly as much time as I used to, is Gundam. I love a good mecha anime, and nothing does it quite like a Gundam show. I've seen nearly every series out there, and I have built five perfect grade models.

I guess from all this, one can easily surmise that I am 27 going on 13. I don't mind that one bit, and I'd be disappointed if that changed. I've always been young at heart, and I intend to stay that way.

Posts by Jordan Jackson

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KH 3D Gets New World, Surprise Cameo

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 by | Posted in Game News

A new trailer for Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance from TGS was chock full of new details. First and foremost, a new world for the Kingdom Hearts universe has been announced: Notre Dame. The trailer shows Riku with Quasimodo telling him he also wants to fight.

The trailer also had another unexpected twist; it shows Sora meeting Neku Sakaraba, the protagonist of The World Ends With You, in Twilight Town. Previously, characters in Kingdom Hearts have come in one of three origins: Kingdom Hearts itself, Disney, and various Final Fantasy games. This marks the first time someone from another Square Enix game has made an appearance. Hit the jump to see the trailer for yourself.


The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D – Staff Review

Sunday, June 26th, 2011 by | Posted in Uncategorized

The Legend of Zelda is known for many things: dungeons that center around a new item to solve its puzzles; a mythology wherein there is always a Princess Zelda, a Link, and a Ganondorf; and a timeline or two that ties together each game in the series. Beyond gameplay and story elements, there is another thing that distinguishes Zelda: a rabid and zealous fan. Few series can boast such fervent followers, and out of all of the Zelda games, Ocarina of Time is the one held in the highest esteem. Ocarina is now nearly fourteen years old; does a fresh coat of 3D paint make it worth going through Hyrule again? (more…)

Ys Seven – Staff Review

Sunday, June 19th, 2011 by | Posted in Action RPG Reviews, Features, PSP Reviews, Reviews

Ys is a series that gets far less attention than it deserves. There are many reasons for this, but the main one is that Americans have not really gotten to experience as many of the adventures of Adol the Red as their Japanese counterparts. There are also some people that are probably turned away simply by its title; it’s not exactly intuitive to pronounce it as ‘ease.’ Regardless, Nihon Falcom and XSeeD are determined to rectify the first issue by releasing more games stateside, hoping to give Americans more time with the top-down action RPG series. That’s where Ys Seven comes in, and as it takes the series in many new directions, there’s a lot to like. (more…)

Microsoft Shows Off Fable: The Journey

Monday, June 6th, 2011 by | Posted in E3, Game News

Lionhead Studios gave gamers a glimpse of Fable:The Journey, starting off with an impressive video showing how the new game begins. Of course, the game runs using Kinect. The controls appear smoother than some of the other games featuring motion controls, but it will be up to gamers to decide if they prefer standard or motion controls. The short demo showed off a little of the combat before ending with a release date of 2012.

Mass Effect 3 to Feature Kinect Support

Monday, June 6th, 2011 by | Posted in E3

At Microsoft’s press conference today, it was announced that Mass Effect 3 will have voice recognition support via Kinect. Players will be able to call out strategic moves to teammates, such as directing movement and telling them to use skills.

Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection — Staff Review

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 by | Posted in Features, PSP Reviews, Reviews, Traditional RPG Reviews

Final Fantasy is a series well known for its ports and remakes, but out of the series, one game stands above them all as one of the most frequently remade games of all time.  Final Fantasy IV has seen six iterations over the years appearing on the SNES, PlayStation, WonderSwan Color, GameBoy Advance, the Nintendo DS, and finally the PSP as Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection.  Along with an updated Final Fantasy IV, players will also get Final Fantasy IV: The After Years and a new mini-story titled Final Fantasy IV: Interlude which helps slightly to tie the two main games together.  It’s a lot of game in a very small package, so the question becomes is there still life in Final Fantasy IV? (more…)

Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy – Staff Review

Sunday, April 10th, 2011 by | Posted in Action RPG Reviews, Blurring the Line, PSP Reviews, Reviews

Dissidia: Final Fantasy was a game that kind of took players by surprise.  On the one hand, it’s hard to believe that it took this long to make a fighting game out of Final Fantasy, and on the other hand, it’s hard to believe that you could honestly make it work.  The result was one of the best games on the PSP to date, so when a prequel was announced, it had some big shoes to fill.  Ultimately, Dissidia 012 is a fantastic, yet oddly named game that needs to be in your library. (more…)

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation – Staff Review

Sunday, March 27th, 2011 by | Posted in DS Reviews, Features, Reviews, Traditional RPG Reviews

Dragon Quest is one of the biggest franchises in Japan, but it took much longer to catch on in North America. Americans did get access to the first four games, but after that, the series went into relative obscurity. We completely missed Dragon Quest V and VI. Were Dragon Quest games like largely unconnected Final Fantasy series, this would not be as big of a deal, but the Dragon Quest series is known for trilogies. The middle three games form what is known as the Zenithian trilogy, all telling a loosely connected tale about sacred equipment and the heroes that can use it. Despite coming third, Dragon Quest VI actually predates the others in the timeline and helps explain the origin of the myths that play such a central role in the set.


Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded — Staff Review

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 by | Posted in Action RPG Reviews, DS Reviews, Features, Reviews

Unlike North America, Japan has had a booming market for cell phone games for several years, and many popular RPG series have had mobile installments on Japanese phones. Kingdom Hearts: Coded was one such game, originally downloaded to phones in monthly installments. Fortunately, there is a trend to release some of these games on mobile gaming platforms like the DS and PSP with improvements in graphics and pre-rendered videos. This, in turn, brings us to Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded, a prime example of how to use a handheld’s accessibility while maintaining the feel of the original game (more…)

Kingdom Hearts 3DS Details Drop In

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 by | Posted in Game News

Square Enix has had a ton of news recently, and with the deluge of Final Fantasy tidbits comes some new Kingdom Hearts 3DS, now dubbed Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance. Not so clever titles aside, the game takes place after the events of Kingdom Hearts II. Players will control both Sora and Riku, and both characters will get some fancy new moves. A press-only trailer shows the pair zooming through the bell tower in Traverse Town’s second district. It also shows Riku facing Ansem’s Heartless and Sora opposite Xemnas.

Translator: Jordan Jackson

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Staff Review

Friday, October 29th, 2010 by | Posted in Action RPG Reviews, Features, PS3 Reviews, Reviews, X360 Reviews

Castlevania is one of today’s oldest and most iconic gaming series, with its roots tracing all the way back to the NES. Back in those days, it was a platformer famous for its tricky jumps fraught with traps that usually resulted in an untimely death. With the PlayStation came Symphony of the Night, a game that expanded upon the basic gameplay of Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest and incorporated the exploration of the Metroid series to create a very long running and well-liked RPG series. With the Nintendo 64 and the PlayStation 2, the series went 3D, and those games are largely considered disastrous by all but the most hardcore fans. With Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, the series tries to merge all three styles of gameplay into a cohesive game, and it largely succeeds, albeit not without copying a few other games along the way. (more…)

Prinny Goes Portable Again, Searches for Etna’s Panties

Saturday, October 9th, 2010 by | Posted in Game News

NISA is releasing a followup to the button-mashing Disgaea spinoff Prinny: Can I really be the Hero?! In Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, 1000 Prinnies are tasked with finding Demon Lord Etna’s missing panties.  The Prinny Squad has 24 hours to complete the job lest they themselves be turned into Etna’s underwear.

The game is slated for release on PSP and PSN this winter.  For more information, check out the game’s official website.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep – Staff Review

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 by | Posted in Action RPG Reviews, Features, PSP Reviews

If you had told me ten years ago that one of my most anticipated games of the year would be a Kingdom Hearts game, I’d say you were crazy.  This world is full of many ridiculous things, but a collaboration between Squaresoft and Disney?!  That was possibly the silliest thing I’d ever heard of.  And my wife wanted it.  After watching her play for a bit, I saw that the game had an intriguing story, and I quickly became immersed in the world of keyblades and Heartless.  Like so many other people, I was amazed at the complexity of the story, and I have eagerly waited for each subsequent game to mete out a little bit more of the lore that gets expanded upon with each new game.  Birth by Sleep takes us ten years before the original Kingdom Hearts, and it might just be the best game in the series yet. (more…)

Disgaea 4 Announced

Friday, September 17th, 2010 by | Posted in Game News

NISA announced Disgaea 4 for the PS3 today.  The game is the fourth numbered installment in the popular TRPG series, and it will feature a new graphical engine that focuses more on anime-style graphics.  As of this time, few details other than the slated release window of Summer 2011.

Fallout New Vegas – Developer Interview

Friday, June 18th, 2010 by | Posted in E3, Features, Interviews

I sat down with Jason Fader, technical producer for Fallout New Vegas to ask him some questions about the upcoming game. (more…)

Kingdom Hearts Interview with Nomura

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 by | Posted in E3, Features, Interviews

John Boske and I had the pleasure of being invited to a round table interview with Tetsuya Nomura about the upcoming Kingdom Hearts games. (more…)

3D Dot Game Heroes – Staff Review

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 by | Posted in Action RPG Reviews, Features, PS3 Reviews, Reviews

When I was a young boy in kindergarten, my parents bought me a brand new Nintendo Entertainment System. I used to sit in bed thinking about what games would look like in the future. I imagined that games would take your picture, and instead of Mario’s head, you’d see your own. With games like the arcade version of Mario Kart, that became a reality. I also thought that games would be in 3D, but at the time, I couldn’t even imagine that today’s graphics would be such detailed models with hundreds or thousands of polygons. I envisioned pixels, stacked on top of one another building a world. As the years went by, I chalked that fantasy up to boyhood dreaming and to the silly thoughts of a five-year-old. Now with 3D Dot Game Heroes, I’ve found that I wasn’t the only one to have this idea.

Final Fantasy XIII – Staff Review

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010 by | Posted in Features, PS3 Reviews, Reviews, Traditional RPG Reviews, X360 Reviews

Since its announcement in 2006, fans of the series have eagerly anticipated Final Fantasy XIII. It was arguably one of the biggest stories to come out of E3 that year, and considering all of the announcements that year, that’s saying something.  And then in 2008, Microsoft finally dropped the bombshell that people had been expecting for years; Final Fantasy XIII was coming to PS3 and 360.  The net result has been four years of almost nonstop hype, which made the wait for the game all the longer.  So now, the question remains; was it worth the wait?  I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that it was. (more…)

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks – Staff Review

Monday, December 28th, 2009 by | Posted in Action RPG Reviews, DS Reviews, Features, Reviews

The Legend of Zelda franchise is one of the oldest action RPG series out there, and it is unique in that it has consistently offered a similar experience, whether it is played on a console or a handheld.  Zelda is and always will be all about exploring dungeons, finding hidden items, and then using them to solve the puzzles within.  It is this core experience that brings players back again and again, some in spite of the similarities from game to game and some because of them. When the franchise made the move to the DS, many questioned whether it could work with its all-stylus control scheme.  Phantom Hourglass silenced many a naysayer, but sadly, Spirit Tracks does not have the same punch that its predecessor had. (more…)

Dissidia: Final Fantasy – Staff Review

Sunday, September 20th, 2009 by | Posted in Action RPG Reviews, Features, PSP Reviews, Reviews

When it was announced, Dissidia: Final Fantasy sounded like an interesting concept: a fighting game starring Final Fantasy characters.  At first glance, you might think it is the spiritual successor to Ehrgeiz. You’d be wrong. The only thing this game has in common with that PS1 brawler is the inclusion of Cloud and Sephiroth among the cast. Make no mistakes about it. This is an action RPG at its finest, and for fans that have dutifully played the first ten Final Fantasy games, it’s chock full of nostalgia and gameplay that will keep you coming back. (more…)