It seems that every time we get a new Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy or Persona release, we have the same old “we’re having a JRPG renaissance!” discussion.
Well, dear reader, with my coverage of Death End Re;Quest on the horizon at the time of writing and plenty more RPGs in our shared futures, I’m here to remind you that RPGs have been alive and well ever since what people think of as their “golden age” — the SNES and PS1 eras. This will not be a shock to some of you reading this, of course, but I’m sure there are quite a few people out there who have passed up some wonderful experiences for one reason or another.
So with that in mind, I thought I’d do a list of seven arbitrarily chosen things that you might have missed out on if you’ve been operating under the grossly mistaken assumption that the role-playing game genre has somehow been “dead” despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. Here we go!
Continue reading Seven Arbitrarily Chosen Things You’re Missing Out On If You’ve Been Operating Under the Mistaken Belief that JRPGs are “Dead”
Continuing Atelier’s proud tradition of having a number of characters with delightfully flamboyant, somewhat Germanic names, I give to you Mimi Houllier von Schwarzlang.
First introduced in Atelier Totori and subsequently explored further in Atelier Meruru, Mimi is a delightful character to be around. She’s also a great example of how the Arland trilogy as a whole makes good use of established character tropes as a basis, and develops those characters over time in various ways.
Let’s take a closer look at this little firecracker, then.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Mimi Houllier von Schwarzlang
Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland, the thirteenth mainline Atelier game and the third in the Arland series, first released in 2011.
It is a longstanding favourite of many enthusiasts of the series with good reason, and absolutely a suitable high point for the whole trilogy to wrap up on… that is, until Atelier Lulua comes along and confuses everyone by turning it into a quadrilogy! But more on that another time.
Providing some of the most refined mechanics in the Arland subseries along with a satisfying and enjoyable narrative to follow, Atelier Meruru combines elements of classic and more modern Atelier games. The result is a really great game featuring one of the series’ most appealing protagonists. So let’s dive in and take a look!
Continue reading Atelier Meruru: Arland Comes Together
One of the earliest “non-human” character types I feel like I developed a bit of a “thing” for was the humble ghost.
Aside from occasional arguments with my wife over whether or not they are technically “undead” (they absolutely are), I’ve always found the concept of life beyond death fascinating for a variety of reasons. The feeling of freedom that being an incorporeal spirit doubtless affords you — but simultaneously a feeling of being trapped and lonely; these are things I found fascinating, and often wanted to explore in my own creative writing as well as the media I consumed.
So of course a super-cute ghost girl with a fine line in traditional European dress (including a rather daring and formidable neckline) is going to be My Type. Yes indeed. Here’s Pamela from the Atelier series.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Pamela Ibis
There’s a lot of hoo-hah about “representation” in games right now from various sources, tending to lead to arguments between people who don’t think it matters and people who think it is more important than absolutely anything in the whole wide world.
For the most part, I tend to stay out of these discussions because I have no particularly strong feelings one way or the other and I’m not going to just sit here and hollowly say “the right thing” for Internet brownie points. For me, it’s always cool to see characters who are a bit “different from the norm” in various ways, yes, but it’s not something I specifically find myself seeking out. Unless you count generally favouring Japanese games with female protagonists or at least leading cast members, in which case… uh… well, look at the stuff I’ve covered on this site over the course of the last few years. Hmm, maybe I care about it more than I think.
Anyway, all that said, it’s nice when you feel some sort of connection to a character depicted in a piece of media. Even if it’s just in one small way…
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Esty