When the mammoth project known collectively as Xenosaga was first announced in 2001, it sounded like a dream come true for RPG fans, at least on paper. Developer Monolith Soft promised a six episode epic that would redefine video game storytelling and wildly reinvent the genre. Unfortunately for the team, the first title in the series debuted to more modest sales than initially expected, and not without it’s fair share of criticisms.
Generally when a sequel is in the planning stages, things are fairly vague. The themes are uncertain, the setting is unclear, and many of the narrative hooks have yet to be worked out. One thing that’s always a given, though, is the characters. As the driving force of the original story, the characters are always the first thing that people will think of when they hear about a sequel. So what happens when a so-called ‘sequel’ jettisons the original cast almost completely? Well, to this day, Chrono Cross remains an intriguing answer to that question.
Anyone old enough to remember gaming in the 90s would, of course, remember the huge splash that Final Fantasy VII made when it first arrived back in the autumn of 1997. Preceded by a mountain of hype, a massive advertising campaign, and a price tag that signified it as the most expensive game ever produced, FFVII had a heady and hefty weight on its shoulders before it even stepped out of the gate.
From the very first trepidatious steps of the new Dark Souls II DLC, the notoriously tough series once again reminds players where they are, and what they can expect from such a terrible place. Crown of the Sunken King, the first of three planned expansions to be released this summer, begins in an area filled with gaping chasms, a dozen different paths, and a waiting cavalry of brutally clustered enemies (many of which are playing dead). Talk about a welcome mat!
There is a certain nostalgic thrill at being able to finally play new games in what has long been thought to be a dead genre. Quest for Infamy aims to tap into that nostalgia right from the get-go, and is, for the most part, fairly successful.
It’s sometimes mind-blowing to look back at the past and consider the versions of you which have existed thus far. One such example is a 15 year old boy who once thought RPG’s were totally lame. I mean, who wants to just tell characters what to do and watch them attack? Not me! And managing stats? Boring!
RPGs stand as arguably the most punishing, demanding, and time consuming of all video game genres. An RPG (or role-playing game) is essentially a command-based adventure which takes place under a fantastical pretense, generally fantasy, sci-fi or a combination of the two. As such, since its general inception in the 8o’s (inspired by D&D, and other pen and paper games), RPGs have come with a set of rules that were very rarely deviated from, and almost never broken.
Few games in this era have had the cojones to challenge gamers in the manner that the Souls series has dared to, and fewer still have allowed players to have so much freedom to build and define a narrative. Who is your character? You decide. What are his/her goals? That’s up to you. Who will live, and who will die among the supporting characters? The choice is yours.
Microsoft recently held a closed-door meeting called Xbox 101 (Xbox One-0-1, if you will) where they demonstrated the computing power of the Xbox One, which they claim exceeds the computational power of more than ten Xbox 360 consoles. However, the hardware inside Microsoft’s new black box is not solely responsible for this. Its ability to …