Good morning. I feel like I’ve been asleep for the last 10 years. I had convinced myself this was a game, but the intricate detail of the shadows convinced me this place was real after all. The rest of my life was a dream. The world wasn’t round or flat, we lived on the organic ecosystem of a defeated titan. My memories of wielding the Monado still lingered in black and white, but now it was time to fill them back up like an old colouring book. Just being back in Colony 9 was enough to feel energised with purpose.
Xenoblade Chronicles has been out for a few years now (depending on your region) and I still listen to the soundtrack almost daily. With almost one hundred well-composed songs brimming with heart and energy, it’s incomparable to anything else in music let alone videogames. Many RPG’s have large impressive soundtracks and it’s a huge strength of the genre, but Xenoblade pushes creativity to new heights with the variety and consistent quality throughout. There’s enough here to find something different to listen to every day and for every mood. I think music in videogames is very important, and while not every development team can form a super band of composers like Xenoblade, they should at least try. There’s no reason to let the powerful magic of music go to waste and I’m going to outline some things Xenoblade does right and why it’s the absolute pinnacle of videogame soundtracks.
Whelp, it’s already here. On November 18th, the Wii U ushered in a new generation of Nintendo hardware, and I’m very excited. Once again, we have a new controller that will deliver different experiences – but as we all know only niche developers and Nintendo will do something about it. Third parties? Haha don’t make me laugh, seriously.
In an alternate dimension where Final Fantasy XIII was a well received videogame, Square-Enix thought it was a fantastic idea to make Final Fantasy XIII-2. Final Fantasy XIII is rubbish but I soldiered through the entire game riding the strength of the battle system. It’s quite fun when it opens up (40 hours into the game), and I’m excited about the idea of it opening up further in this sequel.
It wouldn’t be unfair to say that Metroid: Other M got a mixed reception, tilted heavy in favor of it being a good game. Which is to say, that people can agree that the game is solidly built, a great throwback to the 2D games, and stylistically presented. In fact the only real “weakness” noted by reviewers and angry internet users alike is the story, and more particularly, its depiction of Samus as “sexist.”
The reason I put “sexist” in quotes is not because I deny sexism exists, but because I heavily question the source of the accusations’ sincerity. Most of the comments center on the developing studio, Team Ninja, the director from Nintendo, Yoshio Sakamoto, and their country of origin, Japan for being “misogynist” when it came to designing Samus and the storyline of the game. Whether it’s sexist or not is up for debate, but why the inclusion of Japan as a factor?
Here we have a lovely piece about one of the greatest games of the last decade, Xenoblade Chronicles. It’s an “amazing game” says the author, Chris Warcraft of GameInformer. It features an “epic storyline” with “engaging characters” and “fresh combat”.
Hi everyone! What’s the next activity on the schedule? Schedule? Screw that! There is none, we’re on HOLIDAY! I just don’t feel like doing anything. So far we’ve already wet ourselves, gone skateboarding and sniffed some petrol. It’s time for a break. In this article, I’m going to introduce you to the game outside the games, in the game system. Go Vacation features 4 different resorts to roam around in: Marine, City, Mountain, and Snow, all with their own style and appropriately themed activities. The resorts are how you find each mini-game – walk around and you’ll see icons above peoples heads, inviting you to activities. However, there’s much more here than a simple hub for the games: the resorts are vast and contain many nice views and secrets.
Your character controls like any standard third person adventure game: simple analog stick movements to walk around and B to jump. It’s not exactly Mario levels of interaction, but movement is smooth and polished and the animation is consistent. Running is pretty slow however, and if you tried to run around an entire resort on foot it would take forever, so thankfully there’s different forms of transport lying around. If there’s water, you can bet there’s either a kayak or jet-ski nearby. On land, there’s either a motor vehicle, skateboard, or snowboard to speed things up, or even a horse. The game does well to make the transport always accessible; you can teleport to key areas of the map (Xenoblade style) and pick any vehicle you want from a quick menu. Namco has made sure there will be NO discomfort on this vacation!
I dragged out some of the more preoccupied Pietriots for comments. Got them to share their thoughts on why MONADO WAS SUDDENLY, MALICIOUSLY CANCELLED and how well they think this new Xenoblade thing is being handled in North Amerika – why did things turn out the way they did?
Lately (well, the past few years) there’s been talk (viral propaganda, speculation) about handheld gaming systems becoming a thing of the past as iPhones and Androids threaten to take over the multibillion dollar industry inside your pocket. The logic behind it is that people want one machine that does everything. I understand this logic and I completely agree with it. It would make life a lot easier, more comfortable, and thus more enjoyable to only carry around one “device” and still be able to do everything. I’m perfectly happy carrying my 3DS and my phone in the rare instance I might need them together, but there are certainly benefits to this “idea” for different types of people. So how is this going to happen? Is the best approach really adding games to phones? I don’t believe so.
Currently we have two different mainstream devices competing for our pocket with their bulky presence: smartphones and gaming systems. I miss the days when we could just call everything a Game Boy, but we have Sony involved now, and Nintendo has 3D graphics and multiple screens. Anyway, smartphones are apparently “threatening” the purpose of owning a gaming handheld, as they start to accumulate game libraries of their own. Meanwhile, game machines are expanding too, but they aren’t becoming phones. We’re getting new 3D graphics and new gameplay concepts, and game experiences are expanding as we get incredible new stories like 999, and wonderful massive adventures like Dragon Quest IX. Gaming handhelds have also started to add features like internet browsing and direct downloads. It would seem that both smartphones and gaming machines are starting to become like each other in their own ways, but where is this heading?
Short answer: because it’s absolutely incredible, and being a part of such a masterpiece in game design and passion will enhance your overall quality of life. Let me clarify one thing first: you shouldn’t buy Xenoblade. You should already fucking have it. Nobody’s perfect, however, and I’m here to help shed a bit of light and improve everyone’s mood. Xenoblade Chronicles has been out in Europe and Australia for a few weeks now; I’ve been playing it since release, and I can confirm it’s the best RPG ever made. Here’s the long answer to why it should be a part of your life…
It’s not from Nintendo. It’s not language barriers or translation issues. It’s not some greedy CEO who gets a hard-on from punishing people. It’s the gaming media, and so called “fans” who are threatening boycotts and trolling Wii just like they’ve been doing since 2006.