Tag Archives: JRPG

Blue Reflection: Everyday Life with Magical Girls

Blue Reflection is an unusual game in terms of its overall tone and how it “feels” to play, and a big part of this is due to its mechanics and structure.

If you had to pigeon-hole it into a specific mechanical genre, most people would describe it as a “JRPG”. But in many ways this isn’t a particularly accurate description, since although it features a number of common elements of the genre, it draws just as many influences from other types of game such as adventures and visual novels.

Whatever you want to call it, it’s certainly a pretty intriguing game from a mechanical and structural perspective. So that’s what we’ll be focusing on today.

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Re;Lord 1: It’s All a Matter of Perspective

It’s always a pleasure when a game comes along out of nowhere and gives you a delightful surprise by being “good” in some way.

Re;Lord 1 ~The witch of Herfort and stuffed animals ~ (just Re;Lord hereafter for the sake of everyone’s sanity), a game developed by Escu:de and recently released in both all-ages and 18+ English versions by Sekai Project and Denpasoft, is the most recent example of this happening to me.

Not only is it an interesting, unusual and enjoyable game from a mechanical perspective, but it’s also pretty fascinating to contemplate from a narrative perspective, too. And it has some lovely art! So let’s take a closer look.

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Waifu Wednesday: Mòrag and Brighid

Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s main cast runs the gamut from spunky, optimistic youths to a few rather more reserved characters.

Mòrag and her Blade Brighid (Meleph and Kagutsuchi in the Japanese original) fall into this latter category, both offering their own distinctive take on being the “detached voice of reason” in most situations.

Both of them are interesting characters in their own right, so let’s take a closer look at both today.

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2: A Titanic World

While the Xeno series has, from its outset, always been about imaginative takes on worldbuilding, the Xenoblade subseries in particular has placed a strong emphasis on this.

Indeed, as we’ve already explored, the very reason the first Xenoblade Chronicles exists at all is because series creator Tetsuya Takahashi thought it would be cool to have a game set atop the bodies of two gigantic, frozen gods. The concept was subsequently fleshed out into the divide between the Bionis and the Mechonis, and the rest is history.

Xenoblade Chronicles X subsequently provided a somewhat different take on worldbuilding, providing us with a huge, seamless and geographically diverse planet to explore at our own pace. But Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is closer in concept to the first in the series, albeit with a few twists of its own.

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Chaos Dunk Advisory: 10 Year Warning

A very important game in the cross-cultural canon turns 10 years old today: Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, or, to give it its full title, Tales of Game’s Presents Chef Boyardee’s Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden – Chapter One of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa.

One of the most interesting, unusual and genuinely good freeware projects out there in the wild, Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, as we shall refer to it hereafter, is a JRPG-inspired game that every fan of the genre owes it to themselves to spend some time with… and that even people who don’t find themselves typically into JRPGs can also have a great deal of fun with, too.

Positioned as a sequel to both the 1993 Mega Drive sports game Barkley, Shut Up and Jam and the 1996 live action/Looney Tunes hybrid movie Space JamBarkley, Shut Up and Jam Gaiden is a highly creative sci-fi parody that pokes fun at a whole ton of things over its relatively short runtime, but manages to do so without ever feeling mean-spirited or like it’s “trying too hard”. And that, if nothing else, is reason for celebration.

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Can Post-Launch Support Go Too Far?

The hot news today has been the announcement of the Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition, which not only features the base game and all of the Season Pass content, but also adds a number of additional elements to the mix that some may argue should have been in the game in the first place.

This is not, however, where the ongoing saga of Final Fantasy XV ends. Square Enix is planning a second round of premium downloadable content for the game, including standalone “Episodes” themed around antagonist Ardyn and fan favourite Aranea — and who knows what else?

There’s no denying that despite its immensely troubled development history, Final Fantasy XV has had more post-launch support than any big-budget triple-A game in recent memory — and by this point is starting to approach MMO levels of updates and patches. But is this actually a good thing?

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Cyberdimension Neptunia: Action Neptunia’s Latest Evolution

While the Neptunia series is primarily known for being RPGs, developer Compile Heart’s frequent collaborator Tamsoft has had a number of shots at bringing the franchise into the real-time action realm.

Over time, the scale and ambition of these “action Neptunia” games has expanded considerably, with Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online marking the most convincing realisation of the formula to date at the time of writing, blending elements of the mainline Neptunia games with an appealing and enjoyable real-time combat system.

Let’s look at how “action Neptunia” has evolved over time, and how Cyberdimension Neptunia refines the formula.

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