Review – Fragile Dreams

I had high hopes for Fragile Dreams. It seemed to have an unusual story, focused on post-apocalyptic loneliness and exploring a more or less empty, shattered world. And, even after moderately bad reviews, I looked forward to trying out what I still hoped would be a good game. After all, Opoona and Baroque both got worse reviews, and in my opinion they are a couple of the best third-party titles on the system.

Then I started the game. And therein lies the problem. Fragile Dreams, despite its nifty artwork, decent plot, and great music, purports first and foremost to be a game.… Read the rest

Top 10 things wrong with video game reviews

I know most of you came here for one thing, so I’ll just leave these here:

Replayability: 1/10
Challenge: 2/10
Controls: 6/10
Content: 2/10
Overall: 4/10

Feel free to check Metacritic to figure out how other people rated Video Game Reviews!

For the rest of you, I’ll go ahead and add a few more lines so you can tell all your friends about this great review of Video Game Reviews. This is a pretty awful game. I’m not going to tell you specifically how awful for a while because that might challenge you to decide what you like before I’ve told you.… Read the rest

Review – Infinite Space

As a fan of the occasional science fiction novel, I’ve wanted to see a real sci-fi JRPG for a long time. The Star Ocean series occasionally tantalizes – then I’m reminded once again that the vast majority of each Star Ocean game ends up being the standard medieval fantasy-themed magic-filled claptrap anyway (or super-science with no explanation, which as we know is indistinguishable from the former). The Phantasy Star games have a science-y atmosphere, but they’re more post-apocalyptic in nature and there are only bits and pieces of the sci-fi around. Xenogears and Xenosaga probably come closest, but the former was more fantasy themed and the latter was too focused on inappropriate religious references to bother with much science, despite all the spaceships flying around and weapons research going on.… Read the rest

Review – SaGa 2 DS

Akitoshi Kawazu has sort of a shaky reputation among RPG fanatics.  He gets the occasional hit – if you can indeed call them that – with games like Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles.  More often he makes games that have only a niche following at best.  He’s best known for his work on the SaGa series, which hasn’t had a great game in a long time.  I suppose you might be able to find a few people who liked SaGa Frontier or Unlimited SaGa, but then some people like pain and insurmountable learning curves.

There’s one game, however, for which I have to really give him credit. … Read the rest

Review – Sands of Destruction

How is it that nobody can make a good JRPG for the DS? Some remakes have been all right, and a strategy RPG or two have been good. But every original RPG for the system seems somehow tainted by the platform. Black Sigil, Nostalgia, Beyond the Yellow Brick Road – hell, even a Suikoden spin-off was barely up to par on the system. Sands of Destruction is sadly no exception.

This isn’t to say it’s a bad game. Sands of Destruction’s problem isn’t that it’s actually bad – it’s just that it’s never good. It manages to be almost entirely middle-of-the-road throughout, with no particularly exciting moments and only a few terribly boring ones.… Read the rest

Review – Vandal Hearts: Flame of Judgment

Watching a beloved series re-emerge after years of lying dormant is always disconcerting. On the one hand, it’s nice to see developers expand on a world already well-fleshed out and attempt to recapture something that was thought lost forever. On the other hand, it may be worse to have a crappy sequel than to have no sequel at all. Worst of all would be a sequel that’s good enough to look promising and manages to recreate many of the best elements of the series, but ends up being mediocre and only dulls the series in the fans’ eyes. The last, unfortunately, is the case with Vandal Hearts: Flame of Judgment, a western-developed entry in Konami’s strategy RPG series.… Read the rest

Review – Shadow Hearts

Continuing my trend of catching up on PS2 RPGs, I picked up the Shadow Hearts series a few months ago. Since a recent spate of games (including Demon’s Souls, which seems to be a videolamer favorite) has kept me busy, I’m just now making my way through the series. The PS2 may have an impressive spread of RPGs – as I’ve discovered, still playing games I had barely heard about – but Shadow Hearts really stands apart, despite being an early game on the system that hasn’t really aged well.

By far the most impressive part of Shadow Hearts is the atmosphere.… Read the rest

Review – Persona

Nothing but Playstation remakes. The PSP seems to be relegated to the unusual role of a “Remake system”. Nearly all the RPGs (which are, of course, the only real games out there) on the system are remakes, or generally reputed to be bad. And Persona is falls neatly in the first category, as you might expect.

But as I’ve written before – the Persona we received back when it was among the first in its genre for the Playstation wasn’t quite the same game they saw in Japan. Set in the sleepy US town of Lunarvale (which still managed to house a several-storied corporate office), the American students (who all wear school uniforms and are taught in a traditional Japanese concrete-block school) face an invasion of demons from an unknown source.… Read the rest

Review – Digital Devil Saga 2

I have heard it said that the second Digital Devil Saga was rushed. The four hour long final dungeon might be evidence of this, given that the whole game is still only about 25 hours long total. This makes DDS2 only a bit longer than the first one. While DDS2 maintains the solid Press combat system of the first game, in terms of scope and story, it is leaps and bounds more engrossing.

In Digital Devil Saga 1, the player would often find himself wondering what in the blazes could be going on. Each new answer brought with it two or three new questions, making for a veritable hydra of a storyline.… Read the rest

Review – Digital Devil Saga

Atlus has a reputation for releasing games that appreciate in value. They print a bunch of copies, but they sell slowly at first but eventually you’ll need to trade in a console or two to have enough credit to pick them up.

Recently, they have been trying to curb that reputation – partly by printing more copies of new titles, but also by reprinting old games. Shortly before the ultimate demise of the PS1, they reprinted Persona 2, for example. More recently, they reprinted three Shin Megami Tensei PS2 games: Nocturne and the two Digital Devil Saga games, each of which had been selling for more than $60 for a good while.… Read the rest