For those not familiar, P.T. was a playable demo released in 2014, purportedly for a new game in the Silent Hill franchise. The demo was created by Hideo Kojima, which was enough to gain the attention of a large swath of the gaming universe.
By the year 2000, the original Playstation had crowned itself the king of RPGs on the market. Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX, Xenogears, Chrono Cross, Vagrant Story, Star Ocean, Legend of Dragoon, Valkyrie Profile, and Persona 2 just to name a few. While many of these RPGs retained an insistence on “state of the art” three-dimensional graphics, a few RPGs made callbacks to the SNES era instead, utilizing a mix of three-dimensional maps and backgrounds with two-dimensional sprite work characters.
I go out of my way in a personal pursuit for cerebral games. I love story. I love games that are different. I love games that are challenging. As someone who has been playing video games for over twenty years, the tried-and-true often cannot scratch the itch. Despite my desire to find the next cool/absurd/innovative indie title, there are moments where I want to fall back into something that makes me feel like a kid again, the sort of game that taps into the well of enjoyment that was first dominated by Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
Bayonetta 2 is that…
I'm pretty sensitive about Final Fantasy VIII, as it's one of my favorite games of all time and my favorite Final Fantasy along with Tactics and XII, and just the way that Mike and Casen went over every tiny detail and talked about pros and cons was absolutely refreshing. I think we've become so used to reading and listening to "hot takes" on games that we've forgotten collectively how to talk about games with any sort of nuance, and I loved this format. They're planning on continuing this style with more games and they cover JRPGs pretty much exclusively.
Final Fantasy VIII has been, for as long as I can remember, one of the most despised games in the franchise.
It’s been criticized for virtually every feature I can think of: its teen-school setting, its stoic and rude main character, its confusing ability system, and its romance-forward plot. Final Fantasy VIII is the black sheep of the franchise and often is criticized not by its own merits, but how it stands against the rest of the Final Fantasy series. It rarely shows up on any favorites lists, and when it does enter the conversation, it’s often at a supreme…
Welcome, bröther. Mild spoilers ahead.
Have you ever played Dungeons & Dragons? The attraction to it is palpable. Endless exploration. No walls. You can be whoever you want. In the last few years, Dungeons & Dragons has surged in popularity with a deluge of podcasts, live game shows and additional tabletop RPGs jumping into the spotlight. Over the years, many video games have tried to emulate the feeling of endless possibility that exists within the traditional tabletop RPG. Video games, for all their imagination and creativity, have very real limits. A video game has to path things, has to create…
I was lost at the start of the pandemic. Who wasn’t? We were all floating and bodiless through the unknown. Things were scary and turbulent. We couldn’t find toilet paper, we couldn’t secure our jobs. The first few weeks of March 2020 were an awful time of unknowns.
By April, things changed.
Purple lightning flashes, occluded by foreboding clouds the color of ink. A somber melody plays, operatic and minor, each note resounding from the press on an organ key. As if presenting a horror masterpiece — and not an RPG — the title, Final Fantasy VI, rises in lettering of rust and burned paper, the score reaching a harrowing and haunting apex, a chilling exclamation of Phantom of the Opera-level audial gore.
Killing things is fun. Killing things with a sexy, half-dressed character is even more fun. Killing things with a sexy, half-dressed and sharp-mouthed character is the most fun. Despite years of campaigning against violence, lewdness, and gratuity in gaming, there’s one thing that is enormously apparent:
We like our games naughty.
Every hand-wringing, pearl-clutching politician and family group talking-head under the sun has attempted to malign video games over the last thirty years for everything from the cause of school shootings to “ethically unconscionable” depictions of sexiness, and the timeline of controversies is a long one. …
Author of the Kognition Cycle. Works featured in Moonchild Magazine, Twist in Time, Selene Quarterly, and other anthologies.