Tag Archives: RPG

Fairy Fencer F ADF: Narrative, Themes and Characterisation

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Compile Heart games, as we’ve previously discussed, don’t exactly follow the mould of the stereotypical JRPG. However, this doesn’t stop them from having a strong sense of worldbuilding.

You may not be able to freely wander the whole world in a Compile Heart game as you can do in a more open-world adventure, but physically representing something isn’t the only way to give the player a feeling of time and place. You can also do it through the writing.

And this is exactly how Compile Heart builds its worlds, both in its popular Neptunia series and in its outlier titles such as Omega Quintet and Fairy Fencer F. The latter, in particular, demonstrates that the company is more than capable of building a convincing world with an interesting mythology using relatively minimal resources.

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One Way Heroics: Which Version to Play?

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Given that there are now three different versions of One Way Heroics in the wild, the question on your lips will doubtless be “which one is best”?

It’s not an easy question to answer definitively, so what I’ll do in this piece is outline what each version offers along with the benefits and drawbacks (if any) that come with each incarnation of this peculiar and enjoyable game.

Make no mistake, One Way Heroics is well worth your time in one form or another, but read on for some information that might help you make a decision as to which one to try… or which one to try first!

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Ys: Sights and Sounds

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Much like its gameplay, the overall aesthetic of the Ys series has evolved considerably over time.

As technology has improved with each new generation of games consoles and computer hardware, the Ys series has adapted and changed. And with its longstanding nature — not to mention its numerous remakes over the years — it’s fascinating not only from the perspective of examining how Falcom has improved the series over time, but as a means of showing how games in general have grown and changed.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the sights and sounds of the series have changed over time, and their relevance to gaming’s evolution as a whole.

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Ys: Evolution of an Action RPG

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Alongside Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda series, Falcom’s Ys was instrumental in helping to establish and refine the Japanese take on the action RPG genre.

Both were designed with accessibility and ease of understanding in mind — Zelda through stripping out complicated RPG mechanics like statistics, experience levels and dice-based mechanics, and Ys through simple, straightforward implementation of these mechanics — but both very quickly diverged in their own distinctive directions.

Let’s take a closer look at how the mechanics of the Ys series have evolved and changed over the years.

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Ys: Introduction and History

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The Ys series is one of the longest running franchises in gaming — yet it’s not nearly as well known as the Final Fantasies and Zeldas of this world.

This is a shame, because not only does Ys represent developer Falcom arguably at its finest, the series as a whole has also been key in the development of the action RPG as a subgenre.

It also holds the dubious honour of being one of the most remade series of all time, refreshing and rewriting its various installments long before the concept of the HD remake ever reared its head.

Let’s take a look at the main series’ various releases in chronological order and see how it’s developed.

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Dungeon Travelers 2: Sights and Sounds

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A big draw of Dungeon Travelers 2 is its gorgeous presentation. This shouldn’t be surprising, given its heritage, but it really does have a distinctive look and feel to it.

Its visual aesthetic also proved to be the most controversial aspect of the game, with commentators such as Polygon’s Phil Kollar refusing to take the game seriously due to its appearance. This is particularly sad, as the game has some lovely art, some distinctive character designs and a very strong sense of style to it.

Let’s take a look at the art and sound of Dungeon Travelers 2, then.

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Dungeon Travelers 2: Narrative, Themes and Characterisation

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The dungeon crawler genre isn’t particularly renowned for its storytelling, though this isn’t necessarily a criticism.

The genre grew out of tabletop adventures where the players just wanted to hack and slash their way through some monsters and take their treasure, after all, so it’s understandable that a computerised version of this type of adventure would emphasise mechanics — particularly combat — over narrative.

That doesn’t mean that your average dungeon crawler is completely devoid of plot, however, and in recent years Japanese developers in particular have shown how to strike a good balance between narrative, characterisation and satisfying mechanics. Dungeon Travelers 2 is a prime example.

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Dungeon Travelers 2: Introduction

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You’ve probably heard of Vita RPG Dungeon Travelers 2, even if you haven’t played it — but for all the wrong reasons.

You may well recall that around May of 2015, Polygon’s Phil Kollar incited the wrath of Western Japanese game fans by reporting on the impending localisation of Dungeon Travelers 2 with the provocative headline “Atlus can do better than this creepy, porn-lite dungeon crawler”.

Kollar’s impressions of the game were primarily based on the trailer that Atlus released after announcing the localisation of the game, and on the preorder incentives, which included a calendar featuring various illustrations of the game’s characters. The game was not available in English at that point — though it had been out in Japan for a while — but it was pretty apparent Kollar hadn’t played it, nor did he have any intention to.

Which is unfortunate for him, really, because Dungeon Travelers 2 is probably one of the finest dungeon crawlers ever created. Your loss, Kollar.

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