Games I Play: Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- Reunion

With Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth around the corner I finally mustered up the courage to play Crisis Core. I’ve owned on PSP forever but never got around to playing it, partially due to fear that it’d soil my pristine memory of Final Fantasy VII as a perfect game in its own right. But now that the remakes are flipping everything on its head anyway and Crisis Core got its own fancy remake treatment, it was finally time.

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Games I Play: The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky

I finally got around to starting the Trails series. A sub-series of Falcom’s The Legend of Heroes, it’s epic Japanese role-playing games with an overarching narrative. In other words, you basically have to play all 10+ games in order to get the best experience—or so the fans say. The first game, Trails in the Sky, establishes the world and starts off what’s called the Liberl arc of the story.

So was it worth beginning this daunting task? This humongous video game undertaking? This “most ambitious story in video games”, as the developer calls it? After just one game I’m inclined to say: yes.

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Games I Play: Baldur’s Gate III

Like most of the people who like RPGs, I’ve been playing Baldur’s Gate III. It’s a sequel to the genre-defining Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II but I don’t particularly care about that since I’ve not played either of those games. It’s also by Larian Studios who made Divinity: Original Sin and Divinity: Original Sin 2, and this is huge because I loved those games. So did it live up to the hype?

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Games I play: Zaccaria Pinball

I really like pinball video games. In fact, I have probably liked pinball video games ever since my family inherited a shitty Toshiba laptop from my cousin. It had a monochrome orange screen that weighed a metric fuckton. It also had the MS-DOS version of Pinball Fantasies on it, and that game was fantastic.

Fast-forward to present day and I’m still playing pinball video games. One of those is Zaccaria Pinball, a game that started with simulations of machines from the now lesser known Italian manufacturer Zaccaria.

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Games I play: Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout

Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is the umpteenth game in the Atelier-series by Gust. An often cozy, slice-of-life RPG with focus on alchemy—a robust crafting system that’s at the core of its gameplay. I first came in contact with the series on PlayStation 2 with Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana and its sequels during my first “buy all Japanese RPGs” period. With Ryza on Switch getting glowing reviews, I thought I’d try jumping back in.

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Games I play: Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk

Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk is a game by Nippon Ichi Software in one of my favorite genres. A genre that’s notoriously niche and hard to search for online. It’s a “turn-based first-person party-based dungeon crawler”—try saying that three times fast. Also known as a D(ungeon)RPG or blobber on account of moving all your units as one big blob.

You take on the role as the book Tractatus de Monstrum, Tractie for short, and explore the labyrinth beneath the town of Refrain at the orders of Madame Dronya and her adorable assistant Luca. In classic NIS fashion you create your own party of characters—puppets in this case. With a staggering amount of gameplay systems and customization, the game invites you to spend time grinding and navigating menus, rewarding you with plenty of power if you do.

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