Video Game Tuesday: My Games of the Year 2017 Edition

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering my picks for my favorites of this year. It’s My Games of the Year 2017 Edition!

Best Gameplay: Tales of Berseria is by far my favorite JRPG of all time, it’s got an amazing combat system and an equally amazing story with a really kickass female lead who has tons of character depth. Berseria allowed even people with minor physical disabilities like myself to enjoy the hell out of the combat system while still feeling like you were growing in skill along with the characters growth in the game. By the time I was done playing this game I was at the hardest difficulty setting in the Post Game Dungeon beating the hell out of enemies with Mystic Artes Chains while doing tons of damage. Not many games allow for people to really grow into the combat system and still feel like it’s got depth enough to be interesting endlessly. Berseria captured that quality easily, and that’s why it’s getting my Best Gameplay award.

Best Story: This was a close one for me between Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood and Tales of Berseria. However as Berseria is it’s own complete game and FFXIV is somewhat episodic given it’s nature, I had to give the award to Berseria.  It was really close though.

Best Artwork: I might hate everything else about the game, but Destiny 2 was pretty freaking beautiful to look at. However that’s about the only good thing it had going for it. However tying this was Stormblood, it’s got a less realistic art style, but it’s no less beautiful and it had a hell of a lot more locations to explore.

Best Musical Score: Final Fantasy XIV has always impressed me with it’s amazing musical score done by the incredibly talented Masayoshi Soken. The only gripe I have is that the Stormblood OST hasn’t been released yet! I want to listen to the sounds of the Azim Steppes while I’m writing or enjoying the thrilling pace of Stormblood’s exquisite Primal fight themes while on a walk to the store. Needless to say that Stormblood impressed the hell out of me, and while the currently released music of Stormblood hasn’t exceeded the awesomeness that is the Sophia boss theme it’s equaled it many, many times.

Best Mobile Game: Fate/Grand Order wins this one. Sure it’s got some serious grinding going on, Christmas Stocking farming sucked, but the story and lack of any competitive mode made it the top Mobile Game for me. I don’t like PvP modes all that much, so the fact that F/GO doesn’t have one isn’t a bad thing.

Overall: This was a really close one for me, but Berseria beat out Stormblood based purely off the same fact that it’s not an MMO that has content patches. That enclosed experience was amazing, and while Stormblood is without doubt the most fun I’ve had playing a MMO including the days of Tarren Mill versus Southshore on a PvP server, it isn’t a fully enclosed experience. So Berseria wins this one again.

Runner up: Stormblood for reasons stated above.

A Distant Third: Fate/Grand Order, it’s at least upfront about what you’re getting into, unlike a certain space shooter…. even if you have shit luck at anything RNG like me.

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Anime Sunday: Winners of Winter 2017

Hey all! This Anime Sunday I’m back with my pick of winners for the previous season of Anime, and yes this post has been highly delayed. Sorry about that, but circumstances and my decision to post on an every other day schedule for a while have only let me do a few Anime Sunday columns since I started posting again. Anyways it’s my Winners of Winter 2017!

Youjo Senki: This was a great show to watch and I highly enjoyed watching a villainous protagonist. Sure it might have been a tad too gory for my tastes, but it was a fun show to watch nonetheless.

Dragon Maid: This was an absolutely hilarious show, and I enjoyed watching it thoroughly. If you enjoy some off beat comedy, Dragon Maid was the highlight of the season in my opinion.

ACCA-13: This was a surprisingly fun show to watch, with plenty of political intrigue and drama. It’s art style was also pretty neat.

Honorable Mentions:

Tales of Zestiria the X: The second half of the Tales of Zestiria adaptation, I never got to watch it, but I’m happy ufotable was able to create something that took the story of both Zestiria and Berseria and wove them together.

Naruto Shippuden: This had it’s final episode in this season, and while the “sequel” has started with Boruto, it still deserves a mention.

That’s it for this week’s Anime Sunday!

Video Game Tuesday: That Berseria Scene

Hey all I’m back, and I’ve got the promised discussion that I talked about in my Berseria review. It’s all about That Berseria Scene. Major Spoilers after the jump, so proceed at your own risk. It will ruin the game for you if you haven’t gotten significantly deep into the story.

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Retro Game Friday: Tales of Vesperia

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This week for Retro Game Friday, I’m covering a game I truly am surprised I haven’t covered already. It’s Tales of Vesperia!

Plot Synopsis: When the aque blastia core is stolen from Zaphias’s lower quarter, denying water to the lower class who live there, a young swordsman named Yuri Lowell attempts to chase down the thief…

Plot: The plot of Vesperia is definitely one of the best in the series. It’s darker than most of the other recent entries, but it’s definitely worth experiencing. That being said it’s a pity that the PS3 version of the game, which has a slightly expanded plot and cast of characters, has yet to be released in the west.

Characters: The entire cast of Vesperia is pretty awesome, although it’s a shame that western players don’t get to meet the entire cast as those in Japan do with the PS3 version.

Gameplay: This is one of the more solid entries in the series, especially in the item and battle systems. Battle isn’t as flawless as the most recent entries, but Vesperia is also the last entry in the series to have an overworld, so there is that.

Art: The art is a little dated, but it’s pretty damn good for a game that was released almost a decade ago.

Music: The music is pretty awesome, and even the opening theme is pretty catchy.

Overall: Like with other entries in the series, if you’ve never played it you are truly missing out.

For those who like: Tales of, JRPGs, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Excellent Plot, Great Cast of Characters, Good Art, Awesome Musical Score.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: Tales of Phantasia

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This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering the first entry in my favorite JRPG series. It’s Tales of Phantasia!

Plot Synopsis: A heroic battle between four unknown warriors against an evil sorcerer, Dhaos, the outcome of which changed the fate of the world. The warriors are victorious, but Dhaos escapes through time. However, four different heroes await him: they seal the weakened Dhaos away by using the power of two pendants, thus returning peace to the world. In the town of Toltus ten years after Dhaos was sealed away, there lives a young swordsman named Cress Albane and his best friend Chester Burklight…

Plot: The plot is pretty amazing, and it really is a classic. If you’ve never played it, you are truly missing out on a great story.

Characters: Cress and Chester are the first of the cast we meet really, but the entire cast is awesome. There are some amazing quotes that can be taken from the game including one that the game opens with (at least it did for the GBA version, which is what I played). “Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lurks in the hearts of man.” It’s a classic and probably one of my favorite quotes of the series. Right up there with “Prepare to die Eggbear!”…

Gameplay: The gameplay is dated and frustrating by today’s standards, but it was truly unique at the time. Instead of controlling all of the party, you only had control of one character, although you could order the other ones to use specific skills in battle. I enjoyed the gameplay, but it could get frustrating.

Art: The art is pretty great, and while it isn’t super amazing by today’s standards it’s stood the test of time much better than 3D games.

Music: The music is also amazing.

Overall: If you’ve never played Phantasia, you are truly missing out on one of the classics.

For those who like: The Tales of Series, JRPGs, Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Great Music, Awesome Art.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Anime Sunday: Winners of 2016

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This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering the best of last year’s Anime. It’s my Winners of 2016!

GATE: I’ve enjoyed watching GATE an episode at a time with my Aunt every few weeks and having ended in Winter 2016, it deserves this spot for the wonderful story it showed me and her.

Boku no Hero Academia: Boku no Hero was an awesome show to watch for all of us who at one point or another all wanted to be a superhero.

ReZero: ReZero wowed the world in 2016, and if you haven’t watched it yet you are truly missing out. This might just have been the best show this year.

Yuri on Ice: Yuri on Ice pushed the boundaries of animation and storytelling this year and stunned viewers with your beautiful choreography. YOI impressed even Olympic skaters. This is the big contender for best of the year with ReZero in my books.

3-gatsu: 3-gatsu shows the story of a boy who deals with depression in a way even the most dense person can understand. Just for that it deserves a spot on this list, the fact that it has an awesome story as well is icing on the cake.

Honorable Mentions:

Tales of Zestiria the X: Animated by my favorite studio ufotable, ToZX was an awesome show to watch, but it also included story and characters from the yet to be released in the west Tales of Berseria, so I can’t give it a formal spot because of that.

That’s it for this week’s Anime Sunday!

Video Game Tuesday: Dual Audio

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic that I, and many others, place a lot of value on. It’s all about Dual Audio!

What do you mean Dual Audio?: I mean the ability to switch between two different languages in a Video Games settings to allow for the main spoken word in the game to be one language instead of the localized version, if the player wishes to do so. Tales of Zestiria, still my all time favorite JRPG, had the ability to switch between English and Japanese at any time out of battle through the settings menu and it was wonderful. The emotions and feelings of the characters came through so much better with the original Japanese dub instead of the English dub. This option should be included in every game that gets localized into another language.

Why?: Because even if you don’t understand the words themselves the emotions are very clear in a person’s tone of voice. Plus what is the subtitle option, which you are going to turn on anyway, used for except for just such things? Now if you actually understand the language and the localization is done poorly, looking at you Digimon Cyber Sleuth and SAO: Lost Song, you can get confused by the conflicting messages of the voice and the text. However that is a problem that is becoming less and less prevalent in today’s games. Most games have excellent Localization. Tales of Zestiria for example was wonderfully done, and while there was maybe one or two points that the text didn’t quite match what the voice was actually saying, it was spot on.

What about (Insert language here) to (Insert your native language here)?: Well it doesn’t just have to be Japanese to English, The Ezio set of Assassin’s Creed games had options to allow you to set the language to French or Spanish or Italian. The last in particular was awesome because the game was set in Italy for the most part and you could just read the subtitles to get the specifics while hearing the emotions being spoken in the actual language that the character would use.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday, do you want more Dual Audio in games in the future? Leave a comment below!