Friday, 28 December 2018

My 5 Favourite JRPGs of 2018


There was a big variety of JRPGs in 2018. From retro-inspired games set on making old ideas even better, to great modern narratives set in worlds full of futuristic tech, there’s something to satisfy most players when looking at all the releases this year as a whole. I managed to finish a fair few JRPGs from this year and there were a lot of enjoyable ones, but the JRPGs that were my favourite this year were the special gems scattered throughout that brought something unique to the genre. So as we look back on another year of JRPG fun, these are my five favourite JRPGs from this year.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

JRPG Jungle The Blog! - Updates/Changes Going Forward

Hi there!

First of all, if you’re reading this, thank you! As a lot of you probably know I’m much more active on YouTube these days and that has a much more vocal audience, so I always wonder how many people come around to my little writing area on the internet. I’m 90% sure my analytics on Blogger are full of weird bots as there’s a huge discrepancy between those stats and Google Analytics, so I pretty much have no idea how many people do or don’t come to the blog at any given time. So if you do visit here, thanks!

Being more active on YouTube is basically what leads me into making this post. For almost two years now, I’ve been crossposting my content both on YouTube and on here, with YouTube as a video version and the written version here. The idea was always that people could consume my content however they wanted - if you forgot your headphones you could come here and if you wanted some gameplay to watch along with what I’m saying you could go to the channel. It was a very simple idea I didn’t think about much, but I noticed things tilting after my first year on YouTube.

I’ve learnt over the past two years that making video content takes time, significantly more than when I was just blogging. I also work full time which takes time too and I’m grateful every week I find the time to do both. But when I’m doing descriptions, thumbnails etc for the video, it then gets to the point where I put what is nowadays my “script” for when I’m recording my videos onto this blog and unfortunately, I’ve found myself rushing and not making things the best they could be on here. Typos slip in, paragraphs aren’t properly spaced, things I’ve made better while improvising when recording don’t make it in, etc. They’re small things, but when you spend so much time on making a video just to put it on here in a rushed form, it feels a bit odd. I could take the time to read over things better and make them the best they could be, but the effort I put into the videos I think is ultimately the better version of my content - I just put more work into it and therefore it turns out better. (and I don't mean my content is great by the way, I just mean better between the two versions!)

Because of that, I’ve made the decision to stop crossposting my content here on the blog in 2019. I was going to ask you guys if there’d be any objections, but I think for myself I want to present my content in its best form and right now I think that is the video version.

IN SAYING THAT - I’m still keeping this blog! I’m about to pay for the domain for another year (which I can only do because of YouTube and I’m grateful for that too) and still have ideas for the blog going forward.

Basically, I want to bring blog exclusive content back whenever I can. It won’t be as regular as videos, but I’ve had a few ideas I think would go better as blog posts, so I’d like to keep this as a more casual and fun place I can post content for fun. Videos end up being a bit of work and feel a little more serious even though I genuinely enjoy making them, so I'd like to use this space much more like a blog and just post what more random JRPG-related things I find interesting or fun, without much pressure.

As for the channel, things will keep going as normal and this may give me a small fraction of time to get ahead on content there. Or it will make now difference, but either way nothing will change there! I have more ideas than I have time right now, but I’m always trying to make more and more as I really enjoy making videos now.

Thank you to anyone who reads this blog, watches my videos or consumes my content in any way. I feel really lucky with every comment and interaction I have with you all, so I hope you’ll stick around in the New Year too. Happy Holidays and thank you always :)

-Tara

Friday, 21 December 2018

Persona 3 and 5 Dancing - Some Tips For Unlocking Things Efficiently


As much as I love the Persona Dance games, I understand when people find it an odd crossover since Persona is a JRPG series. It seems these dance games sometimes present a new challenge to JRPG fans since the gameplay is not what they’re used to, which is fair enough when you consider how different this rhythm game is to the turn-based JRPG combat the Persona series usually features. When I reviewed the Japanese versions of the Dance games months ago, there were a few comments expressing concern about completing everything and unlocking all of the story content for people that are more Persona fans than rhythm game fans but wanna get the most out of everything. After playing these games a bunch over the last few months, I think the story moments and unlockables are achievable for players of all levels of rhythm game skill at a fairly quick pace as long as you play it smarter rather than harder, so here are some tips to help you experience the narrative of the Persona Dance games as efficiently as possible and unlock a fair few costumes and extras along the way.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Review: Persona 4 Dancing All Night (Reviewed on PS4 via the Endless Night bundle, also on PS Vita)


When Persona 4 Dancing All Night was announced back in 2015, I was so excited. That excitement led me to buy it in Japanese right when it came out because I was worried if we’d see a localisation announcement and while I couldn’t understand the story parts much as I was a total beginner at Japanese at the time, I played all of the songs and unlocked everything enough to get the Platinum trophy, despite pretty much not knowing any of its story and just enjoy its dancing fun in the Vita version.

With the recent Endless Night collection including the Persona Dance games for Persona 3, 4 and 5, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get to know the wonderful remixes of the songs I loved from Persona 4 and the Vita version all over again while finally getting to know its story too and after spending almost 15 hours with it, I’m glad I did. The twist on Persona 4’s world and story with an Idol mystery was a great way to see the charming characters from the original paired with some new favourites, and seeing the high quality visuals on PS4 with snappy load times and sharp visuals in its rhythm game moments made the quality of this Persona Dance game feel not far behind the newer releases. If you’re looking to experience a different mystery with the Investigation Team alongside fun new characters and involved dance mechanics that feel just as good as its more recent editions, Persona 4 Dancing All Night is well worth it for fans of Persona 4 and rhythm games, and with it being such good value in the Endless Night collection on PS4, it’s an experience that Persona fans who like more story mixed in with their rhythm mechanics can enjoy experiencing in its best form yet.

Friday, 7 December 2018

JRPGs I Played in November 2018


November was a month of monster hunting JRPGs for me. With the main two releases I was interested in having heavy themes of catching them all in distinct ways, my month of November nostalgically brought me back to this type of JRPG I loved as a kid and the story heavy games I love now with a monster collecting twist, alongside solid turn-based combat systems. While I didn’t play a heap of games in November, but monster collecting games are big so there was still plenty to play, so here are the JRPGs I Played in November.

Friday, 30 November 2018

Review: Pokemon Let's Go (Nintendo Switch)


If you like video games, chances are that at some point you’ve played one of the many Pokemon games that exist on older consoles, ranging from the Gameboy to the Nintendo 3DS and now the Nintendo Switch. The newest Pokemon game Pokemon Let’s Go manages to keep the nostalgic feeling of games like Pokemon Yellow by using similar layouts and the original 151 Pokemon, but updates visuals and everything else to make it feel much better on a modern console. With a mix of streamlined Pokemon catching mechanics from Pokemon Go, clever dungeon puzzles, all those trainer battles and a personalized-feeling gaming experience thanks to the choice of a partner Pokemon, Pokemon Let’s Go combines old and new concepts well to make Let’s Go echo the greatness of its source material while being simple enough to make it enjoyable now, and this easy-to-pick experience in my first return to the world of console Pokemon games is one I’m glad that Let’s Go made me come back to.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Review: World of Final Fantasy Maxima (Played on Switch, also on Xbox One, and PS4 and PC as DLC)


World of Final Fantasy was and still is a great journey. With its light-hearted monster collecting that evolves into an emotional big story that made me both laugh and cry, its story and gameplay is just as captivating to play years after its initial release. The game is full of many nods to the main Final Fantasy series games with its roster of familiar characters that you can now battle as in the new Maxima edition, on top of its interesting original mechanics like its size and stacking ones that are fun to play with all together, even if the frame rate wasn’t always perfect outside of docked mode. Years later, World of Final Fantasy in its updated Maxima form is still a story worth experiencing for fans of Final Fantasy who don’t mind a light-hearted story and for those who like the idea of exploring its unique, fun take on the Final Fantasy universe that now has even more to offer.