Friday 28 September 2018

Review: Dragon Quest XI (Played on PS4, also on PC)

Dragon Quest XI has a lot of what makes a JRPG a great one. It has a big story journey with captivating moments of accomplishment and struggle, a refined battle system that takes the best part of classic JRPG ones, great character designs in both art style and personality, and a meaty playtime that can easily go beyond 100 hours if allowed to. All of these things are placed in an unfolding world full of plenty of things to find and discover in its journey that create a big difference between everything you can do at the start and end it, and with noticeable story arcs reflected in the world mixed with the humour and charm the series is known for, it really did feel like I’d been on an epic quest by the end of it. As my first step into the Dragon Quest series, I’m pleased to say I was charmed by its story and characters as I had hoped to be and I was also pleasantly surprised how its unfolding mechanics and story made each hour in its world feel meaningful and fun with how well it showed off its polished traditional JRPG mechanics in a modern JRPG world.

Friday 21 September 2018

The Interesting Subtle Details of Dragon Quest XI (Erik is Left-Handed?!)

On a Monday morning, I was playing Dragon Quest XI and scrolling through Erik’s weapons to switch from Boomerang to Sword when something finally dawned on me after 26 hours of playing. You see, usually when I do this weapon switch with a character like Sylvando it also involves putting a shield back after using a two handed weapon, so I’m in the habit of checking the other non-dominant hand is equipped with what it needs to be regardless of what kind of weapon I’m switching. For Erik, this usually involves me being told I don’t have anything to put in his right hand even though I have a few spare shields, which made me realise something. His character holds his dagger on the left and he can’t hold the shields that the other right handed characters can hold in their left. It was then I had the realisation that the Dragon Quest team probably make a conscious decision to impact gameplay with Erik because he is left-handed, a tidbit I found pretty amusing.

Friday 14 September 2018

The Crazy Concepts of Zanki Zero

If you’re like me and have played the killing game visual novel that is Danganronpa, you could be forgiven for expecting the same kind of death-filled thriller from Zanki Zero. While Zanki Zero does carries similar ideas in its own way, it also brings in its own set of outlandish ideas that set itself apart from the Danganronpa team’s previous work as a unique game of its own. In a post-apocalyptic world that touches on immortality and cloning tied together with characters representing the seven deadly sins and a new duo of quirky mascots, the concepts introduced in its Japanese demo got me very excited for when it comes out thanks to how it took the concepts I loved from Danganronpa and turned them upside-down to make what looks like a new story like nothing I’ve played before.

Friday 7 September 2018

JRPGs I Played in August 2018

As expected, August was a pretty free month for JRPGs. I didn’t pick up any new releases, although I did manage to find the time to try newer experiences in demo form and left each one feeling fairly positive. I also kept true on my promise of playing Persona 2, found a new IP I’m super excited to learn more about and rearranged my gaming time a little to help me enjoy JRPGs even more and as much as possible going forward. While August wasn’t full of releases, I had no shortage of things to play in my JRPG time, so here are all the JRPGs I played in August.