Tag Archives: exploration

The Zelda Diaries: Part 5 – Indoor Play

We’ve already seen numerous ways in which The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild distinguishes itself from its illustrious predecessors, but one of the more controversial changes for some was how it handled “dungeons”.

Rather than unfolding through a progression of discrete, large, self-contained dungeons that become more challenging as the game progresses, Breath of the Wild instead provides you with 120 shrines to discover and solve, with each taking just a few minutes at most to get through.

It’s a markedly different approach to classic Zelda — but it fits perfectly with the game’s non-linear, exploration-centric structure. Let’s take a closer look.

Continue reading The Zelda Diaries: Part 5 – Indoor Play

The Zelda Diaries: Part 3 – I Wonder What’s Over There

“I wonder what’s over there” has been an aspect of game design that creators of open world games have been grappling with for some time now.

Ideally, when playing an open world game, the player should be able to find a definitive answer to “I wonder what’s over there” simply by… well, going there. “You see those mountains in the distance? You can actually go there” and all that.

Not every open world game gets this quite right, but Breath of the Wild presents an excellent example of how to do it very well indeed.

Continue reading The Zelda Diaries: Part 3 – I Wonder What’s Over There

The MoeGamer Awards 2018: Game of the Year 2018

The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards that I’ve devised in collaboration with the community as an excuse to celebrate the games, experiences and fanbases that have left a particular impression on me in 2018. Find out more here, but you’re out of time to leave suggestions, I’m afraid!

Well, here we are once again on the last day of the old year, awaiting the arrival of the new. And, of course, that means one thing for anyone interested in games: the completely arbitrary declaration of “Game of the Year”.

Everyone has different criteria for selecting their own personal Game of the Year. For some, it’s simply the game they enjoyed the most or which took over their life to the greatest degree. For others, it’s to do with technical or artistic achievement. For others still, it’s all about sales figures.

For me, it’s quite simply the game I played this year that I feel was… “best”, across all its various aspects. A game that is a real showcase of just what is out there today, and which I feel is a shining example of what being interested in video games really “means”.

And the winner is…

Continue reading The MoeGamer Awards 2018: Game of the Year 2018

Evenicle: Fightin’ Waifus

We took a look at an overview of how Evenicle works as a game back when I shared my first impressions of the game, but it’s time to delve a bit deeper.

Much like AliceSoft’s other games, Evenicle is an RPG in which its narrative and mechanical elements are intertwined rather nicely, giving the whole experience a pleasant feeling of coherence. The party members you gather over the course of the game feel like people rather than collections of stats and abilities — but there’s some interesting mechanical depth there for those who care to explore such things.

Let’s dive in, then.

MILD NSFW WARNING

Continue reading Evenicle: Fightin’ Waifus

Delving Into Dragon Quest: Hand of the Heavenly Bride – #3

Exciting things have been happening in the world of Dragon Quest V, and I am thoroughly enraptured with this game.

I can’t remember the last RPG that managed to make one’s adventure feel so simultaneously personal and meaningful to the broader context in which the narrative unfolds. But Hand of the Heavenly Bride does a wonderful job at this — and now I’m into the game’s third (and, I believe, final) act, things are escalating considerably while still remaining tightly focused on the protagonist and his family.

Let’s take a closer look, then! Doubtless you’ve already figured out that spoilers likely abound in this series, but I’ll warn you once more just in case.

Continue reading Delving Into Dragon Quest: Hand of the Heavenly Bride – #3

Delving Into Dragon Quest: Chapters of the Chosen – #3

I’ve been making good progress through Dragon Quest: Chapters of the Chosen so far. I think I might be nearing the end of the game. Or at least the end of the main story.

So far I’ve been playing for about twenty hours or so, and the game has provided a pleasant amount of variety during that time. It hasn’t really got what I’d call especially complex at any point, but sometimes that can be refreshing; it allows you the freedom to enjoy what mechanics there are, and more importantly, the other aspects of the game such as its world design and characterisation.

Today I wanted to talk a little about Chapters of the Chosen’s more “traditional” aspects, and how they make it quite a refreshing experience when played from a modern perspective.

Continue reading Delving Into Dragon Quest: Chapters of the Chosen – #3

Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero – Beyond the Pixel

When I was growing up with computers and consoles in the early days of gaming, my dream of “what graphics will be like in the future” was not one of photorealism.

Okay, I’ll admit, attempts at photorealism — particularly in games that tackled this challenge early on, such as flight simulators — impressed me a great deal. But what I really, really wanted more than anything was that elusive thing: a game that truly looked like a cartoon; a true interactive animated movie.

Today, I have that. And it’s wonderful.

Continue reading Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero – Beyond the Pixel