Tag Archives: RPG

Final Fantasy Marathon: Levigrass Shoes – Final Fantasy III #10

We rejoin the four Warriors of Light as they find their title contested: it seems that four eccentric old men also claim they are the warriors of legend!

As you might expect, it doesn’t take long for the real Warriors of the Light to prove themselves — but being thoroughly all-round decent people, they don’t hold it against the silly old buggers.

From here, it’s onward to track down the next of the crystals, but there’s a frustratingly inconvenient swamp in the way. Only one thing for it, clearly: Levigrass shoes!

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Final Fantasy Marathon: Aria of Sorrow – Final Fantasy III #9

After making it to “the surface world”, only to discover the whole thing appears to be a seething miasma of darkness, the Warriors of Light set out to figure out what’s really going on.

Before long, they encounter the mysterious Aria, who seems to understand the situation, and she agrees to help them. The crystal’s light, it seems, can purify the land of darkness… but there are those who seek to oppose the light at all costs!

Enjoy the latest episode in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Waifu Wednesday: Whim

Who doesn’t love a good maid? Everyone loves a good maid. And the only thing that can make a good maid even better is if she’s 1) a bit cheeky and 2) a manifestation of spiritual, elemental energy in service of the resident ojou-sama.

Well, okay, there are other things that can make a good maid even better, but if we get into that we’ll be here all day. So for the sake of today’s celebration of awesome female characters in gaming, let’s assume all of the above is true, and let me introduce you to Whim.

Whim is an water-attuned Mana who serves Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy’s resident lovestruck princess, Lilianne “Lily” Valendorf, and forms part of the main cast of playable characters in male protagonist Raze’s route. Let’s take a closer look!

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Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy – Doing New Game Plus Right

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Once you beat Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy once, you could quite feasibly leave it behind and feel like you’ve had a good experience. You’ll have enjoyed a 40-50 hour RPG, and you’ll have seen the story wrap up in a satisfactory manner.

It doesn’t have to end there, though. There’s a second protagonist to play through as, and while that protagonist passes through the same dungeons as the first over the course of the game, their core narrative is completely different and they have a whole other supporting cast — and, this being an Atelier game, they have their own unique items to craft, too.

For some people, being asked to play through a whole RPG again is a hard sell, though — even if said replay offers mostly new experiences. How can you convince people to keep playing after the credits have rolled for the first time? Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy provides a great example of how a good New Game Plus mode can keep players engaged in the long term without feeling like you’re retreading old ground.

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Atari ST A to Z: Rana Rama

Rana Rama is one of those games that most ST owners probably played at some point, since it was distributed as part of the “Super Pack” bundle of software with new STs in 1988. And from there, the rampant piracy of the period meant that the disks of the Super Pack tended to find their way into other people’s hands, too!

It’s an interesting game, though, and had quite an influence on a number of subsequent developers. Notably, its use of “fog of war” to gradually reveal rooms as you enter them inspired Simon Phipps to adopt a similar approach when developing his exploration-centric platformer Switchblade for Core Design.

There’s also some very interesting mechanics going on under the hood. Watch me try and figure things out in the video below — and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy – Special Measures in the Darkness

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Unlike the previous Atelier games that we’ve explored so far, Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy features two discrete narrative paths to follow, plus an “Extra” path once you’ve cleared them both that provides a “true” ending.

Your first playthrough of the game will likely take about 40 hours or so, but your second run with the other of the two protagonists will go by a little more quickly, since you can carry over almost everything from your first playthrough — including the recipes you’ve previously synthesised to unlock cards in the characters’ Grow Books. Expect to still spend another 20-30 hours though.

The two paths cover similar “macro” events and converge at the very end, but they are presented from very different perspectives, with a completely different set of characters at the forefront of the action and a unique series of events on the more “micro” scale. With that in mind, today we’re going to focus on the route fronted by female protagonist Ulrika, and follow up with male protagonist Raze’s narrative path — and the true ending — in a subsequent part. So grab your books and warm up your cauldron; it’s time to enrol in the Alchemy class.

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Final Fantasy Marathon: The Power of Fire – Final Fantasy III #7

We’re making good progress in our journey through Final Fantasy III, though it hasn’t been an easy ride for our heroes!

No sooner did they think they had successfully taken care of Gutsco the thief, they discover that he wasn’t all that “dealt with” after all, and now it’s down to them to recover the dwarves’ priceless treasure. And perhaps discover the power of fire in the process.

Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy – Making the Grade

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For most people, a “good” RPG consists of some combination of a compelling story, solid combat mechanics and satisfying progression.

Many RPGs have stuck with the conventional “experience and levels” system over the years, simply because that is a proven progression mechanic that works well, offers continual rewards for continued play and tangible improvements in your characters over time.

Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis did something a little different, where character combat effectiveness was directly tied to your engagement with the game’s core alchemy system. And its sequel Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy follows suit — but rather than simply rehashing the previous game’s mechanics, it adds an interesting new twist. Let’s take a closer look!

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Final Fantasy Marathon: Desch’s Destiny – Final Fantasy III #6

After last week’s wandering around not being quite sure what we were supposed to be doing next, this week we get back on track and get quite a bit done!

We climb the Tower of Owen, fight Medusa, admire Desch’s selfless commitment to his destiny and take on Gutsco the Thief. But disaster strikes! Will our heroes be able to recover from this? You’ll have to wait until the next episode…

Enjoy the video below and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

short;Play: Demon’s Souls

I’ve held off on exploring the Souls series for quite some time, because I know you need to invest a bit of time and effort to “git gud”, as the kids say.

Well, just recently I started to make that effort. And wouldn’t you know it — I’m having a good time! So much so that, having been enjoying Demon’s Souls on PS3, I went and picked up the whole Dark Souls trilogy for PS4 in a nice box set ready for some indeterminate point in the near future.

In the meantime, enjoy my experiences as a relative newcomer to the Souls series in the video below — and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!