GOTY 2017 | Number 6 — Nier: Automata

Not often enough does a story in a video game leave you as speech­less as Nier: Automata left me when I played it this past year. Start­ing off as a fairly com­mon “how human are robots” type of tale, it esca­lates with each end­ing. Even­tu­ally, the places it goes will leave you a quiv­er­ing pile of per­son­i­fied exis­ten­tial dread that few nar­ra­tive media forms have been able to match up to this point. Nier: Automata also sports some of the best char­ac­ters of the year and man­ages to make good on their arcs more often than not. In a play of classi­ness, not often seen in huge games like this one, it will even let you buy any of the game’s tro­phies after you com­plete the game so you can enjoy it with­out wor­ry­ing about com­plet­ing every last thing. Many of the mechan­ics in the game can be used in sur­pris­ingly cre­ative ways and there are a few side-quests that are just as good as the main story. Nier: Automata def­i­nitely deserves the spot as the 6th best game of 2017.

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ESH | Hand of Fate 2 Review

Table­top gam­ing has been some­thing I’ve only got­ten deeper into with the last few years, while my video game hobby has been around since I could hold a con­troller. Since I started get­ting more into play­ing board games, I’ve been excited to see the two types of games blend together. There has been no bet­ter exam­ple of this con­cept than Hand of Fate. Tak­ing some core con­cepts of table­top gam­ing, like draw­ing cards for ran­dom chance encoun­ters, and mix­ing them with video game con­cepts like real-time com­bat encoun­ters, it worked sur­pris­ingly well. Hand of Fate 2 takes all of this and expands upon every­thing adding more ele­ments and improv­ing the over­all struc­ture of how the game is played to make for an even bet­ter blend.

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Wednesday Night Stream | Hand of Fate 2

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Join me for some digital-tabletop action at 10pm EST! Feel free to com­ment on this post directly or head off to my Twitch Page to chat with me as I play! Review code pro­vided by Stride PR.

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ESH | ‘Odin Sphere’ Returns from Valhalla

Port­ing clas­sic games has become some­thing of an epi­demic dur­ing this con­sole gen­er­a­tion. What’s worse is that, more often than not, these ports act as a reminder of just how far graph­ics in video games have come across the years. Rare excep­tions to this rule do occur and when treated with the proper care, some games shine on the newer plat­forms. If I hadn’t played it back on PS2, and you told me that Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir was a brand new game I would likely believe you. The upgrades they’ve made to this clas­sic action RPG were smart and the gor­geous graph­ics, a trade­mark of Vanillaware, looks as good today as they did back in 2007.

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E3 2016 | Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor — Martyr

Enter­ing fresh into a well-established fran­chise can be a pretty intim­i­dat­ing prospect. Warham­mer 40,000 has a sto­ried his­tory in numer­ous media types includ­ing table­top, video games and even a movie. Thus, com­ing in blind would be kind of like going to see Cap­tain Amer­ica: Civil War with­out see­ing any of the pre­vi­ous movies. It’s cer­tainly enter­tain­ing, but a lit­tle hard to fol­low in terms of char­ac­ter moti­va­tions and the estab­lished uni­verse. Still, as I have found in the past, some­times div­ing into this prover­bial deep end is the per­fect way to shoul­der your way into some­thing new and find the per­fect jump­ing off point to becom­ing a fan. This is the approach I took in check­ing out Warham­mer 40,000: Inquisi­tor — Mar­tyr at E3 this year and from what I saw, it looks to be the per­fect on-ramp for me to get into the series.

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