Saturday, February 27, 2016

Bravely Default: The Good Stuff

As video games continue to grow in popularity every year, it becomes increasingly difficult to see the medium as a whole. The recent surge of indie titles, crowdfunded titles, and re-released classics ensures that people never lack games to play, even purely inside their favorite genres. That’s absolutely fantastic, but it makes it much harder to keep up with every major release, and I was crap at doing that to begin with. So despite the fact that Bravely Default fits my turn-based RPG tastes and was released on 3DS back in 2012, I only got my hands on it a few months ago.

It’s convenient timing, as I’m late to the party just in time to be early for another. The game’s sequel, Bravely Second, is releasing today in Europe and within a couple months in the US. I recently finished the original game, and have a lot to say on it. Like most interesting games to discuss, Bravely Default isn’t all good, bad, or mediocre. Rather, it has some parts I really enjoy and others that really frustrate me. So over the coming weeks I’m going to run a multi-part series on the game. The later posts will focus on the writing, where most of my issues lie. This first one is spoiler free and mostly positive. So let’s examine the large amount of things that worked in Bravely Default, starting with its combat.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Oblivion Adventures Part 17: Expected Surprises

Last time on Oblivion Adventures, orcish adventurer Shush’Ogar obtained a new job typical of his profession: recovering an ancient artifact. But not-so-shadowy forces are conspiring against him. Can our hero possibly survive this ordeal?! Are you kidding me? Are you not familiar with video games? Or serialized stories? Have you been paying ANY attention? Why even ask that question?! Sheesh, I swear, you readers. I’m not saying you’re stupid.

But you’re stupid.

S’razirr was scoping out the perimeter of his latest job. He was the first to arrive at the dilapidated ruins apparently named Malada. The set-up seemed simple enough. The door to the underground complex was surrounded by half-collapsed structures, in a clearing atop a steep hill. Plenty of cover, easy to box someone in, good place for an ambush. The khajiit grunted his approval and then hopped up the lower branches of a nearby tree overlooking the entrance. He nestled himself in the crook where the branch met the trunk and propped up his feet. S’razirr pulled a knife and a lump of bark out of his pocket and lazily started carving while he waited for the others.

For a while there was nothing but the early morning sounds of chirping birds and the gentle swaying of branches. S’razirr yawned and looked down at his idle carving. It was starting to look a bit like the face of his boss. The khajiit scowled and nailed the bark to the tree behind him. He sighed,  extracted the knife and pocketed it. Squinting up at the sun, it looked like he still had a while. His compatriots did not live close. He sat dozing in the tree, half-awake until he suddenly heard a sound.


Friday, February 12, 2016

Undertale and Completionism

I’m sure plenty of people are sick of Undertale, and even sicker of people saying that they can’t talk about Undertale. For what it’s worth, everyone is entitled to their opinion and the game won’t appeal to everyone. It does a lot of clever things that are better experienced yourself, so it reaches this weird middle area where many love it but can’t express why. It’s entirely possible that even without hype or spoilers you could play the game, not care, and wonder why everyone wouldn’t shut up about it. That being said, I’ve finally decided to say something related to this game I enjoyed so much, and am giving the proper warning:





...okay, are they gone?


I don’t believe you.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Oblivion Adventures Part 16: Friendly Conversations

Last time on Oblivion Adventures, our hero charged into the Arcane University and broke both people’s patience and game mechanics. This time...

Bothiel the elven wizard was having trouble keeping up with her colleague, Raminus Polus. While she had been having her upper-middle-afternoon nap, a new recruit had apparently made quite an impression on the master-wizard.

“So he just left?” she said, yawning slightly and rubbing her half-lidded eyes.

“He just left!” said Raminus, limply throwing his hands in the air. “I told him there was more he needed to know but he just barreled through the university exit. I don’t even think HE knows where he’s going, he just shouted something about ‘testin out his new magicky tings’.” Raminus dropped onto the bench beneath him and folded his arms.

“Well hey, at least he shows enthusiasm.”