Middle-earth: Shadow of War

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Before E3 2017, I had no idea that Monolith was developing a sequel to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. But from the moment the trailer slid into the E3 live-stream, I was hyped. I was determined to have an equally absurd amount of fun with Middle-earth: Shadow of War as I had with its predecessor. Then the game was released to a chorus of bad reviews.
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Top 10 Albums of 2017

A bit of behind the scenes for you. I started the process by making a list of the albums that I spent any significant amount of time listening to. Some of these will end likely end up on notable album-of-the-year lists, and others are waaaay off the beaten path. They are as follows (ordered by release date, of course): Continue reading “Top 10 Albums of 2017”

Persona 5

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When I played Persona 3 in the summer of 2013, I felt like I had experienced something altogether unique in the RPG genre. The game was both familiar and fresh. Its gameplay elements and narrative expression had me fully engaged for nearly 140 hours. I played Persona 4 the following summer, only to discover a game that was just as good—if not better—than its predecessor.

Usually, I would hesitate to refer to any game as perfect, but Persona 3 and 4 are as close to flawless as any game of their time.

But does Persona 5 approach the near-perfection of previous games in the series?

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Final Fantasy XV

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Dragon Quest has been my favorite JRPG franchise for years, mostly because of its unwavering consistency. I know just what to expect from any entry in the series, and I appreciate that. That’s why I often refer to Dragon Quest as gaming comfort food.

Final Fantasy is a much different story. As much as I count on Dragon Quest to remain blissfully familiar, I look to Final Fantasy to be fresh and iconoclastic. However, striving to constantly innovate is risky, and not every risk results in success. I picked up Final Fantasy XV with a certainty that it would continue the tradition of breaking tradition.

But did the risks that Square Enix took on this game pay off?

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Dragon Quest Heroes

Dragon Quest Heroes 00

Dragon Quest has been my favorite JRPG franchises ever since I stumbled across Dragon Quest VIII almost 12 years ago (I wrote about revisiting that game here). In the years that followed, I’ve managed to play nearly every main line Dragon Quest game, excluding the Japan-only MMO Dragon Quest X. Then along came Dragon Quest Heroes, a game that promised to be a delightful romp through fields of classic Akira Toriyama-designed enemies, featuring a host of your favorite heroes from previous Dragon Quest games.

But does Heroes live up to the legacy of this storied video game franchise?

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Limbo was the critical darling of the video game community in 2010. But as per usual, it took nearly 7 years to float to the top of my pile of unplayed games. But as much as I poke fun at myself for being so far behind the zeitgeist, I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to let a game age. The hardcore gamers have been carried off by an ever-rolling tide of new, and I’m enjoying things in my own time.

So as I leisurely stroll through the games I neglected to play half a decade ago, I continue to ask myself what makes a game interesting. Is Limbo still interesting enough to talk about?

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