Tag Archives: progression

Pokémon Sword and Shield: Living a Trainer’s Life

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When the original Pokémon games were announced, I didn’t initially realise that they were RPGs — at least partly because I wasn’t overly familiar with how RPGs worked myself at the time.

Nowadays, of course, I know much better. But “RPG” is such a broad term, particularly when you throw its tabletop counterpart into the mix. There are lots of different ways you can approach the idea of an “RPG” from a mechanical perspective, and lots of different games over the years — including Pokémon — have experimented with the formula.

Pokémon Sword and Shield are, of course, no exception. Let’s take a closer look at the game’s mechanical components and contemplate how these games approach the idea of you “role-playing” as a Pokémon Trainer.

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Final Fantasy Marathon: The Party Leader Has Registered You for Duty – Final Fantasy I #19

At this point, we’re ready to go and beat Final Fantasy I! But we’re not going to do that just yet… not when there are endgame dungeons to challenge!

Today we begin with a return to the Earthgift Shrine, which we paid a somewhat premature visit to back in episode 9, and manage to squeeze in two whole runs to take down both Cerberus and Echidna.

This is just the beginning of endgame Final Fantasy… so strap in for a bit of an endurance run!

Bullet Girls Phantasia: Enlisting for Duty

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When I started this Cover Game feature, I figured that these two games by Shade would be fairly similar to one another.

After all, they’re both third-person shooters featuring cute girls and a certain amount of fanservice to enjoy. Taking games with what I assumed to be a similar “feel” to them as a guideline, I estimated that they’d both be reasonably short affairs that I could romp through quickly.

After 45 hours of pursuing all of Gun Gun Pixies’ endings, I realised that I might have been wrong. After starting the rather more mechanics-centric Bullet Girls Phantasia, I confirmed that yes, indeed, I was very wrong. And, as such, because I want to do a proper job of this… it’s going to take a few articles to do the latter justice. So let’s begin today with a look at how it plays.

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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.

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Lapis x Labyrinth: Dango, Dango, Dango, Dango, Dango Daikazoku

Genre blends can make for some interesting experiences, and over the years developers have tried all sorts of things.

We’ve had racing games with RPG elements, dating sims with strategy games attached, first-person shooters combined with adventure games… at this point most things have been tried, you might think.

What about dungeon crawler, platform game, action RPG, shoot ’em up and pachinko? I bet I have your attention now, hmm? Let’s look at Lapis x Labyrinth from Nippon Ichi Software — one of the company’s best games for a long time, and a title which looks distressingly set to pass by an awful lot of people unnoticed.

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Warriors Wednesday: Overly Ambitious – Warriors Orochi #47

There I was, thinking that things were going a bit too well and things felt a bit “easy” as I started the Wei campaign on Normal difficulty. “Why not try Hard?” I thought.

This, it turns out, was a bit of a mistake. It appears that at the start of this campaign I’m in a bit of a limbo, where having acquired over a hundred levels’ worth of passive abilities in the previous storylines, my characters are now a bit too tough to have any real challenges placed before them on Normal, but not quite tough enough to stand up to the challenges Hard presents them with.

Oh well. At least now we know, eh?

Delving Into Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition – #6

After a little time away from the game, I’ve been spending my lunchtimes at work hacking and slashing my way through Ambition Mode in Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends Definitive Edition on Nintendo Switch.

I’m nowhere near finished with this sprawling, grindy mode, but I have picked up a few interesting tips and observations along the way, so I thought we could spend today talking a bit about those things. They may well help you on your own journey to build a big ol’ Emperor-impressing temple.

Let’s dive in!

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Death end re;Quest: The Art of Fighting

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One of the things Compile Heart’s Galapagos RPG project has been keen to do ever since its inception is experiment with mechanics, particularly when it comes to combat.

Death end re;Quest is an excellent example of this, featuring several layers of mechanics that keep things consistently interesting as you play through the main story and the optional side content. It’s also one of Compile Heart’s better balanced games to date, featuring a smooth incline in challenge factor rather than sudden, unexpected spikes.

Let’s take a closer look at how it all works.

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SNK Essentials: Alpha Mission

SNK is primarily known for its fighting games these days, but in its earlier years it was known for a number of solid (and influential) shoot ’em ups.

While Alpha Mission (also known as ASO: Armored Scrum Object in Japan) isn’t the company’s first shoot ’em up by any means, it is an important one and forms the first in a loose “trilogy” of titles that we’ll explore over the course of the next few articles.

Drawing inspiration from Western RPGs, of all things, this is a fun but challenging vertically scrolling shoot ’em up that any fan of the genre owes it to themselves to become intimately acquainted with.

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New Game Plus: Replicating Ancient Tool – Atelier Rorona DX #5

Get out your ancient tool, boys and girls, because Rorolina Frixell is most certainly going to replicate it good and proper!

Yes, in today’s episode of New Game Plus, in which we are presently enjoying a second playthrough of Atelier Rorona DX on Nintendo Switch, we take on the poor overworked girl’s third assignment, which is somewhat vague on the specifics but nonetheless proves not to be too much of a problem for her.

Hit the jump to see how we got on today!

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