Friday 27 October 2017

First Impressions: Lost Sphear (Nintendo Switch/PS4 JP Demo, also coming to PC)

There’s a certain nostalgia to old school JRPGs, but Lost Sphear is thoughtful enough to remember to make it special. With its emotive premise of watching all that you hold dear disappear, this literal take on loss somehow manages to keep things from getting too heavy, with the introduction to the cast being fairly light-hearted most of the time in this demo. This first look at Lost Sphear showed me a peek at the main objective of recovering the lost parts of the world and a new take on the active time battle system, and both seem interesting enough to make me think Lost Sphear is more than just its emotional premise.

Friday 20 October 2017

Review: Blue Reflection (PS4, also on PS Vita and PC)

Blue Reflection promises a lot at first glance by seemingly drawing inspiration from popular series like Persona, along with taking the wonderful high school magical girl trope into JRPG land. As a magical girl JRPG, it succeeds in a lot of ways with its enjoyable combination of a traditional turn-based battle system combined with active elements and a unique overdrive mechanic. In school life, it's an enjoyable social sim with clear progression that encourages exploration, even if it can feel a little repetitive sometimes. But this didn’t bother me much as between school and magical girl life, Blue Reflection’s enchanting story about emotions and wishes kept me fully engrossed and although it is not without imperfections, there’s a lot to love in this story heavy, magical girl JRPG.

Friday 13 October 2017

First Impressions: Project Octopath Traveler (Demo, Nintendo Switch)

As someone who tends to prefer modern graphics over the old-school JRPG kind, you can imagine my surprise when I found Project Octopath Traveler’s demo impressing me. Don't be fooled by its 16-bit art style; Project Octopath Traveler boasts the polish of a current gen title in every way it should, from its well-written engaging preview at its story to a fun battle system that makes simple strategic additions to the turn-based system I already loved. As a game that was nowhere to be seen on my radar prior to this demo, this introduction to Project Octopath Traveler puts its best foot forward and shows an intriguing concept with a well done delivery so far.

Friday 6 October 2017

JRPGs I Played in September 2017

During September, apart from playing some of the usual suspects and small bits of other games, I felt like I was playing the waiting game. The first new release I was picking up since God Wars: Future Past was coming out at the end of September and since I missed playing new stuff, I was really excited and spent most of the month anticipating that fateful day. But I couldn’t just play nothing until then, so I did my best to get into the games I’ve been trying to complete throughout the year, along with some DLC and demos to satisfy the need to play something new. With a mix of various series I love and new ones I hope will keep me interested, here are the JRPGs I played in September.

Monday 2 October 2017

A Definitive Ranking of the Square Enix Cafe Tokyo's Takeout Drink Menu

If you’re coming to Japan, forget maid cafes. Seriously. They’re overpriced and you can just look at the maids on the streets like everyone else does for free. You can also do this with a Tapioca drink in hand that you damn well know Ifrit spit a fireball into for about 600 yen if you take a detour and go to the Square Enix Cafe first.

Regardless of whether or not fireballs are actually in your drink*, if you’re a fan of Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, NieR or other big Square Enix titles, the Square Enix Cafe in Akihabara is worth a visit if you’re looking for exclusive merch that you won’t always find in other stores. It even is a restaurant with regularly changing themes and corresponding foods based on their games, such as Ignis’ recipes from Final Fantasy XV or the fish caught in NieR Automata. But these are more expensive and require a booking and well, do you really want to spend your money on a delectable dish that's price is the same cost as a Moogle plushie? Of course not! Thanks to the takeout menu, you can have a little Square Enix Cafe and your Moogle too.