White Flag – Giving up on Saga Scarlet Grace and Monster Train

I recently came to the conclusion that only chumps play every game until completion. And so here is the first entry in what will likely be a long, if not entertaining, series of posts on games I gave up on. I got lucky in that both are very good games that just couldn’t hold my attention until the credits rolled.

Saga Scarlet Grace: Ambitions

Scarlet Grace is the best Saga game I have played, which is similar to being the smartest Qanon believer. The series has managed to improve in stature amongst people who care about long running JRPGs, no doubt assisted by Jeremy Parish’s constant Kawazu fawning. I am happy the games exist because having something weird and different is preferable to not having it, but the games do not really come together from what I have experienced. →  We have nothing to lose but our games.

Review – Dragon Quest IV

For many, the Dragon Warrior/Quest franchise has a great deal of meaning, nostalgia and history. I remember playing Dragon Warrior on the NES when I was a young whippersnapper. I also remember that when faced with a choice at the end of joining the last boss or killing him, I decided to join him. The screen acquired an orange glow and my Nintendo froze. Was that what was supposed to happen? After my orange experience, I never touched a Dragon Warrior game again.

Dragon Quest IV, a Square Enix port of the original to the DS, presented an opportunity to reacquaint myself with the franchise. Having just run through the remake of Final Fantasy IV, I had high hopes that Square Enix would have scrubbed through the original and done away with any lingering issues to create a superior RPG experience, as they had in FFIV. →  Four out of five dentists recommend reading more.

Dragon Questing

Before they even released their next iteration, Square Enix has announced that Dragon Quest 10 will see the light of day on the Wii. The announcement comes as a surprise to no one (which is different than the angry genre fans that bet and lost on the PS3 carrying the jRPG torch). The question still remains as to what this will actually mean for the console.

While it is true that Dragon Quest has always appeared on the most popular console of the time, the reasons for this have always varied. For DQ 1-6, Nintendo was so dominant that there was no question as to where to put the series. For 7 and 8, Enix took a “wait and see” approach before choosing Sony, and released them many years after either Playstation had established their own dominance. →  Sonic the Readhog

Review – Song Summoner

A game for the iPod? Don’t make me laugh! It’s one of those puzzle games, right? Maybe trivia? Rhythm-based? Well, “rhythm” is getting a bit closer. Of all the genres I thought I’d see on the iPod, a Strategy RPG would be last. Hence why, a mere day after hearing about Song Summoner, I bought it and gave it a try.

When you’re not expecting much, a game can amaze simply by being mediocre. This game cost me about the same as a fast-food meal, and I expected it to keep me entertained about as long. It exceeded my expectations – with decent style and good artwork and music – even though I can’t recommend it against many other strategy RPGs.

If you’re comfortable with the iPod track-circle controls, Song Summoner is pretty easy to get a hang of. →  While there is a lower class, I am in it, while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not gaming.

I fought the law and the law won – Tactics A2

I picked up Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift the other day and was initially very pleased to be playing it. I missed out on Tactics Advance on the GBA, but I am a longtime fan of the original. With about a hojillion classes, and the weapon-based learning system of FF9 (my personal favorite) I was immediately hooked.

But those details can wait for the full review. What I want to talk about is the law system. For those of you who haven’t yet played a portable Tactics, the law system is a mechanic that assigns a “law” to every battle. The laws aren’t your usual “no killing your neighbor” or “no raping your neighbor’s dog.” Instead they’re more Ivalice-relevant “no use of fire spells” or “no magic restoration items.” →  The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Read

Dreamcast Mania! – EA

In my development of articles for Dreamcast Mania!, one theme has come up quite a lot – the lack of support from major companies like EA, Square and Konami greatly injured the Dreamcast’s chances of success. I agree that it certainly wasn’t a good thing, and I certainly agree that missing support from companies like Square and Enix in Japan was very close to receiving a death note. But when it comes to good ol’ Electronic Arts, I’m not so certain.

Hear me out with this one – the Dreamcast was released here in 1999. It died in 2001. 2001 is also the first year of Madden on the Playstation 2. Maybe my memory is foggy, but I remember that during the years of the original Playstation, it was NFL Gameday that was the big football game in town, while Madden was fairly shoddy. →  Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Post

Playing catch up: Chrono Trigger

I finally finished Chrono Trigger, and only 12 years late. Not too bad. Much like Super Mario World, this is another classic that deserves the accolades it has received. I only hope Link to the Past and Final Fantasy 4 are Chrono Trigger good. Though because of the game’s quality characterization, I am now slightly depressed.

It has been pretty uncommon in my life, but now and then a game comes along that affects me like a great movie or novel does. Now that there is no more to see, what happens to the characters? Crono, whose name is a typo because of the apparent five character limit in the game, was the standard silent protagonist and I don’t give a damn about him. But Frog, Magus, Lucca and Robo I do care about. →  Sounds mildly entertaining, I guess.