Strategy series have been rampant in the world of video games over the years, but none of them have ever had as much heart and cunning as Fire Emblem’s installments have. Then this one came along and blew everything else in the past thirteen installments out the water with the deepest and most in-depth mechanics and systems that the franchise has ever offered previously.
Females in gaming are somewhat of an epic, and even after sitting and thinking, two females jump out to me more than almost every other one in existence – Lara Croft and Sarah Kerrigan. It may be because of the games I played when I was younger, but even putting that aside, Sarah is, by far, the strongest female that I can think of. Known by several names, such as the Queen of Blades and Queen Bitch of the Universe, the second instalment in Starcraft II focuses entirely on her.
Alrightie, let’s give this a go. As a writer, there’s nobody I admire more than Ryukishi07, and i’d like to claim to be a religious fan of most of his work. However, shortly after finishing up Umineko No Naku Koro Ni, he decided to take a break from his main franchise to practice his writing technique. This…is the result of it. An odd series about a different take on history, of prostitutes, the mafia and a young girl named Rose.
Trauma Team is the third instalment of the relatively famous franchise on the Nintendo Wii, and also the final. With this one, you’re living room becomes an entire hospital, and not just an operating theatre.
It’s a very strange place to start, reviewing a Pokemon game. Everyone knows Pokemon, and everyone knows and understands that it’s by far the most in-depth JRPG that will ever make the market. With hundreds of little and big creatures for you to catch and train, and thousands of moves for you to teach your friends, this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what Pokemon really is. You can get incredibly in-depth with these little creatures, but this isn’t what i’m reviewing.
How’s this for something odd? Pokemon Colosseum debuted on the Nintendo Gamecube and received quite a large amount of hate when it was first released, with it’s sequel managing to get even more hate than ever before.
The Star Ocean franchise is something that’s actually become to be known as somewhat of a cult classic, and somewhat of an intergalactic space epic. Till The End of Time was the final game that I played, having played The Last Hope a very long time ago, and well…I was actually disappointing with this instalment into the franchise. Be it one thing or another, there was always something that was getting in the way of enjoyment and making me silently curse at the game, be it thinking “Won’t you SHUT UP?” or silently laughing myself to death inside.
Now, this is interesting. I played these games in the wrong order, but I didn’t actually expect what I got.
Star Ocean’s first two games have become to be regarded as a bit of what could be called a cult classic, being called the legendary JRPG’s of their time and all the other kind of praise that would go with that such title. I probably should have gone through them in the other order, but I finally had a chance to sit down and play the PSP remake of the Second Story, and boy, was it epic.
During the time I’ve been playing this game, I’ve been wondering if it’s really all that bad to be average. Why? Well, that’s because Tales of the Abyss, the only JRPG on the Nintendo 3DS, is average. When you get it on pen and paper, it’s a by-the-book JRPG, with everything you’d expect to see in one of these. However, I don’t exactly think that it makes it a bad game. Whilst the game itself is good, it’s nothing that haven’t seen before and nothing that we haven’t all experienced before.If I were to create a word for this game, it would be “good average”.
I mentioned that it has everything you’d expect to see, and you wouldn’t be wrong. It has amnesia, a tsundere, a young girl, a beautiful spell caster, a princess, a misguided religion…the list goes on and on. The writers probably couldn’t decide on what cliché’s that they wanted to use, so they randomly drew a bunch out the pot, and when they found out that those fitted into the story really well, they tipped the entire pot upside down and took them all. However, it doesn’t feel like it’s a mish-match of cliché’s or that it’s something ridiculous, because it’s written really well.
The writing is, to be frank, top notch. The dialogue in the games is consistently enjoyable, with some of the inter-character conversations actually being downright hilarious. Despite them being walking cliché-bags, they’re really well fleshed out and their stories are really well implemented, despite the fact that it drip-feeds you the backgrounds of them as you plod through the giant story. Everything which I’ve said for the characters can also be applied to the main story, with the only small problem being one which really bugged me. It never used the full impact of events where it should have, and it overused the events which it shouldn’t have…and regrettably, this leads to a plot hole or two here and there.
The gameplay is pretty generic nowadays, just like the story. However, in the fashion which appears to be emerging, that doesn’t mean that it’s bad. Whilst I may have needed to Google one or two things about how to do this and how that worked, it doesn’t mean that it’s exactly bad…just badly explained. Things like the Mystic Arts are hard to figure out, just like the way that they’ve implemented stealing. Heck, even after finishing the game, I don’t know if you can change the party member you control in-battle, or if you need to change it through the out of the battle menus. It’s niggling things like this which really do annoy me, and that’s a shame when you think of how close they were to getting this type of gameplay nailed.
When you put everything together, Tales of the Abyss should be a complete failure. However, it’s not. This is partly due to the brilliant writing, and partly due to how well everything ends up coming together. To use an analogy, it’s like throwing a book in the air and it opens on the page that you were reading. It’s not impossible to do, but it’s really difficult, and my hat goes off to the team for managing to accomplish this. However, as more and more JRPG’s come to the Nintendo 3DS, it’s only a matter of time before Tales of the Abyss gets overshadowed and eventually forgotten.