The Zelda series timeline is… complicated. Whether or not it was originally intended to be that way is a matter of opinion, but the fact remains: Zelda is complicated.
Hyrule Warriors is regarded as a non-canonical installment in the series as a whole. But to be honest, with the way it’s set up, it actually slots quite nicely into the convoluted timeline, albeit mostly unfolding in its own separate little corner, largely (but not completely) divorced from the main paths down which the series’ narratives progress.
Let’s take a look at how Hyrule Warriors fits in with Zelda lore as a whole… as well as how the series got to the state it’s in today.
Continue reading Hyrule Warriors: Fun with Timelines
Much like its predecessor, Gal*Gun 2 has a surprising amount going on its story — much more so than its seemingly fanservice-laden premise might lead you to believe.
While the previous game Gal*Gun Double Peace explored the idea of fallibility, and the fact that no two people cope with the knowledge that they are not and can never be “perfect” in quite the same way, Gal*Gun 2 takes something of a sidestep into a related, but slightly different theme: the idea of understanding oneself, and being honest about that “self” with others.
The various characters involved in the narrative all embody this theme in one form or another. So let’s go ahead and take a look at what’s going on in more detail!
Continue reading Gal*Gun 2: Narrative, Themes and Characterisation
One of the things that sets us apart as humans is our ability to connect with others — to empathise with them, to understand what they are feeling and to support them if they need it.
That’s the concept at the core of Blue Reflection’s narrative, and it’s explored in a number of different ways over the story’s entirety — both literally and metaphorically.
While the story primarily concerns protagonist Hinako and her struggles to come to terms with a life-changing injury, everyone involved in the story has something to say that is very much worth listening to. So let’s take a closer look at Hinako’s journey through human emotions, and maybe we can learn something along the way, too…
Continue reading Blue Reflection: Narrative, Themes and Characterisation
One of the interesting things about the Neptunia series as a whole is that it doesn’t really have an overarching “big plot” as such, but nonetheless sees each of its characters getting plenty of development.
Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online is an especially intriguing case in that, although it is a spinoff title from the main series, previous examples of which have been regarded as non-canonical, it feels like one of the most significant instances of each member of its main cast “advancing” in their overall development and growth.
In fact, in many ways, the fact Cyberdimension Neptunia does not feature a prominent note that it is a non-canonical installment can lead us to believe that it is a quasi-sequel to Megadimension Neptunia V-II and its predecessor Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory/Re;Birth3, particularly given the presence of characters who were introduced in those games, such as Plutia and Peashy (Victory/Re;Birth3) and Uzume (V-II). And in that context it’s actually a very significant installment in the series from a narrative perspective.
Continue reading Cyberdimension Neptunia: Narrative, Themes and Characterisation
Final Fantasy XIV and its long-running spiritual predecessor Final Fantasy XI are in an interesting and slightly awkward position.
They’re numbered mainline installments of the long-running Final Fantasy series, which, in theory, should attract series veterans, but they’re also massively multiplayer online role-playing games. The latter is a genre typically (and not necessarily correctly or fairly) associated with being time-consuming, challenging and dependent on playing alongside other people — and thus not especially attractive to those who prefer to play games solo, concentrate on story or take things at their own pace.
What we’re going to talk about today is how Final Fantasy XIV is as much a good Final Fantasy as it is a good MMO — and why you shouldn’t sleep on it if you’re a Final Fantasy fan who doesn’t typically go in for online games.
Continue reading Stormblood: Yes, It’s a Great Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy is probably one of the best-known names in the JRPG genre. And yet even within this long-running series there are titles which have had more attention than others.
Everyone can vouch for the quality (or at least impact) of Final Fantasy VI and VII, but what about the ones people don’t talk about in quite such reverential tones?
Today I’d like to talk about one of the less fondly-regarded entries in the franchise and explain why you should give it another look.
This article was originally published on Games Are Evil in 2013 as part of the site’s regular Swords and Zippers column on JRPGs. It has been edited and republished here due to Games Are Evil no longer existing in its original form.
Continue reading From the Archives: A Square Sequel
In making the jump from the handheld PlayStation Vita to the much more powerful PlayStation 4, Gravity Rush 2 ups the ante from the original considerably in terms of scale, scope and ambition.
While the first game, in some ways, felt somewhat like a proof of concept — admittedly an enormously enjoyable, playable and compelling proof of concept — it’s Gravity Rush 2 where it truly feels like the series has truly hit its stride, both in terms of mechanics and narrative.
What’s rather impressive about it more than anything else, though, is that despite releasing five years after its predecessor, it’s clear that there has been a solid plan in place from the very beginning, making this sequel not only an excellent game in its own right, but a fantastic follow-up that is immensely satisfying for fans of the original who wanted answers to its unresolved questions.
Continue reading Gravity Rush 2: Bigger, Better, Bolder