ESH | Atelier Firis Review

Alchemy has always seemed like one of those con­cepts that trans­fers into the world of RPGs per­fectly. Gath­er­ing resources and turn­ing them into equip­ment, med­i­cine and other use­ful items is a per­fect fit for both the game­play and fan­tas­ti­cal set­tings of these games. The Ate­lier series has been around for quite a while prov­ing this con­cept with some fun and cre­ative JRPGs. I per­son­ally hadn’t played any of the pre­vi­ous entries in the series before, but as a player who has par­taken in many through the years, I was excited to give this series a try. Ate­lier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mys­te­ri­ous Jour­ney cer­tainly has a lot going on, with sev­eral very inter­est­ing qual­i­ties I haven’t seen else­where, but isn’t par­tic­u­larly friendly to new players.

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Wednesday Night Stream | Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey

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Join me for some cutesy-alchemy action at 9pm EST! Feel free to com­ment on this post directly or head off to my Twitch Page to chat with me as I play!

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GOTY 2016 | Number 9 — Zero Time Dilemma

One of the most impres­sive things about my num­ber nine game of the year is that it almost didn’t hap­pen at all. One of my per­sonal favorite visual novel series, the Zero Escape series to be exact, left at a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of its sec­ond entry. Fran­ti­cally won­der­ing when I would get to know the con­clu­sion, I searched only to find that they may not have the fund­ing to release the finale. Thank­fully, with a com­bined effort from Aksys Games and Spike Chun­soft, Zero Time Dilemma was released this year and it was fan­tas­tic. Dou­bling down on the nar­ra­tive hooks that made Virtue’s Last Reward so inter­est­ing, this game had me hooked from start to finish.

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ESH | Omnidirectional Fun in ‘Attack on Titan’

Turn­ing any kind of licensed series into a video game always seems like a ver­i­ta­ble mine­field of expec­ta­tions from both fans and license hold­ers. Land­ing that per­fect bal­ance isn’t impos­si­ble, but it’s usu­ally the excep­tion and not the rule. Since it first hit my radar, Attack on Titan has always seemed like it would be a per­fect fit for the trans­la­tion into a video game. The Omni­di­rec­tional Gear of the the show looked like a ton of fun to blast around a world and slice the napes of some giant’s necks. There have been some unsuc­cess­ful attempts prior to Koei Tecmo’s Attack on Titan game, but finally the series has been done jus­tice and there is a fun game set in the uni­verse of the acclaimed anime series.

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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 | Attack on Titan

Admit­tedly being a fairly casual fan of anime, Attack on Titan man­aged to be big enough to cap­ture even my atten­tion when it came over here. The way the char­ac­ters move when they bat­tle and the mys­te­ri­ous­ness of the giant naked titans dom­i­nat­ing the world is an intrigu­ing premise in itself. It’s one of those shows that just seems ripe for a video game adap­ta­tion, so you can put your­self in the shoes of the Sur­vey Corps as they fight against the ter­ri­fy­ing giants, slash­ing their necks as they swoop by using their Ver­ti­cal Maneu­ver­ing Equip­ment. There have been many false starts on get­ting a good game, but it looks like Koei Tecmo may finally be giv­ing us the game that will do the series justice.

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E3 2016 | Severed on iOS and Nintendo

One of the best devel­op­ers out there build­ing games for the PS Vita, Drinkbox Stu­dios has yet to release a game that has not been a slam dunk for me. This year’s release, enti­tled Sev­ered, keeps to this trend and proves that when done smartly, great PS Vita games can cer­tainly be made. For those who are not insane enough to con­tinue back­ing the Vita like I have, Drinkbox Stu­dios has got you cov­ered. They are releas­ing Sev­ered to both iOS and Nin­tendo con­soles this summer.

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E3 2016 | Gravity Rush 2

Play­ing a game more than one time really shows that you like it. Doing lit­er­ally every­thing in a game mul­ti­ple times proves an obses­sion. The orig­i­nal Grav­ity Rush hooked me in a way I wasn’t expect­ing on both of the plat­forms it was released. As such, when I saw the demo for Grav­ity Rush 2, there was sim­ply no way I could stay away and I’m glad to report that the updates they’ve made seem very impressive.

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