Nobody wants to hear about someone else’s dream unless 1) they’re in it, 2) sex is involved or 3) both. In that respect, this dream has an audience of two, Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima and actor Mads Mikkelsen…and sorry, no sex to be found in this one. But on the off chance this surreal experience might appeal to you, here is the dream in its entirety (and if this ends up mirroring anything in Death Stranding, let this stand as a monument to my psychic prowess.)
2017 has been a special year in gaming. This year we decided to focus on not only our top ten games of the year, but also a range of categories we feel capture our feelings on the games we played!
I came late to the Fire Emblem franchise, intrigued by who these sword-wielding characters Marth and Roy were from Super Smash Bros Melee. This led to me picking up Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon for the DS, an international remake of the Japan-only original game. And while I enjoyed my time with it, it didn’t leave a lasting impression on me. It wasn’t until the 3DS Fire Emblem Awakening that I realized Fire Emblem was extremely my jam.
It’s the worst thing someone can say when recommending a game: “If you can get past the first ‘X’ hours, it’s awesome.” It’s been said about a number of games, RPGs especially.
I love Golden Sun. The three games in the series rank #3, #10 and #19 in my list of favorite Japanese RPGs ever (those aren’t numbers I just pulled from out of nowhere. I use favlist.com to keep track of things like this. Comes in really handy.) But on the surface, it can be hard to understand what makes this series special. Because, well, it just seems so generic.
A large part of the impetus behind this 12 in12 feature (an RPG-focused writing project I’m doing this year which you can read more about here) is to try new things. As much as I love RPGs, I haven’t come close to scratching the surface of their rich history. Growing up a Nintendo kid meant a swift downturn in my RPG consumption come the Nintendo 64 era. I still had the Pokemon series for my handhelds, but on the N64, my options were the excellent Paper Mario, the not excellent Quest 64 and…and…well…yeah, that’s about it. There were others (especially if you’re one of those crazy people who lists Zelda games as RPGs. Get out of here with that nonsense!) but the point remained: The N64 was not a haven for games of the role-playing variety. For that, you’d need a PlayStation.
If asked which developer makes the best Western RPGs in all the land, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear overwhelming support for the likes of BioWare, Blizzard, CD Projekt Red or Bethesda Softworks bandied about. And while I can’t fault any of those answers (well, except for Bethesda, a developer who seems to struggle to understand what makes a game good rather than making big, yet shallow sandboxes, and of course, who also holds some really consumer-unfriendly business practices), none of them are really the correct answer. The correct answer is Obsidian Entertainment.
One of the central selling points to role-playing games is persistence in progression. In Super Mario Bros., you definitely progress, moving from World 1-1 to 1-2 and so on, but whether you finish 8-4 and save the princess, lose all of your lives or just turn the console off because your dad needs the TV for the baseball game that’s about to come on, you’ll always come back to the very beginning as tiny Mario with three lives in tow. There’s no tangible growth. Mario never runs faster or jumps higher. The levels don’t change in any way. By design, each session is the exactly the same.
It’s no secret my favorite genre is the RPG. In our 10th episode of the Casual Hour, where we talked about each of our 10 favorite games of all time, over half of my selections were RPGs (or featured RPG elements). And in our Game of the Year episode for 2016, three of my top five games were also of the role-playing game variety.
Hey gang. This is a brand new segment we are calling “Casual Thoughts”. I wanted people to have something to listen to (even if the quality is suspect) since we are recording the normal episode later in the week so we can discuss the Sony event.
This “very special” segment is all about getting outside your comfort zone, and the places it can lead you. There are things we want to discuss sometimes that wouldn’t fit in with the normal show, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it out.