Review – Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World

Tales of Symphonia is one of the Gamecube’s greatest RPGs. I only got around to finishing it a couple of months ago at the urging of several friends. I was further encouraged to play through it by the impending release of its sequel, Dawn of the New World. Unfortunately, DotNW does not live up to its predecessor’s legacy and instead spends much of the time in its shadow.

Some of this is inevitable. Tales of Symphonia ends with the merger of two worlds, and much of the sequel deals with what happens afterward. The two lands of Sylvarant and Tethe’alla do not really get along, and bizarre weather events trouble the entire world. A lot of blame is naturally cast at the heroes of the first game. Lloyd, in particular, seems to have gone off the deep end as he instigates a massacre of a town during the game’s beginning. →  Read the rest

Review – King of Fighters 2006

Beat King of Fighters 2006 on story mode, and you will see the name Falcoon pop up several times, in many important positions. If you are at all familiar with SNK, you might have heard it pop up in discussions from time to time. Is he a gaming auteur, like Kojima or Miyamoto? Is it SNK’s bold new leader?

Not quite. The truth is that the man is just a fan artist that was hired by SNK a few years back, and was somehow given the reigns to the KOF: Maximum Impact series, arguably the most important thing they have going for them right now. KOF 2006 (which is really Maximum Impact 2 with a new name) actually answers the question of “if you put a fan in charge of their favorite game, what will you get?” →  Read the rest