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Posts Tagged ‘square enix’

New review: Lord of Arcana (PSP)

February 19, 2011 1 comment

Another review of mine up at Unknown Gamer. This one is Lord of Arcana, a game I was really looking forward to because it’s a spinoff of Lord of Vermilion, a game I wish I could play. Check out my review!

The Straight Line

January 24, 2011 7 comments

Linearity has become a curse word in the videogames industry over the past five years. Fewer words these days can sink a game’s reputation faster. Take the controversial Final Fantasy XIII: surrounded by malicious Internet mutterings of, “It’s just one straight line”, its reputation was damaged before its release and the stigma of linearity still surrounds it today. Strike up a conversation with a critic of Final Fantasy XIII and the first thing that will be brought up- I guarantee you this- is the linearity. Try it at home, you can make good money.

But are things as different as people think? I went back to Final Fantasy VII– that most treasured of titles- to find out. Upon leaving Midgar, I was instructed to go directly to the nearby town of Kalm. No detours. I decided to defy this order and see how much of this new frontier I could explore. Not much. There was a giant land snake that killed me if I went too far in one direction, and a Chocobo Stable that I couldn’t use. In-between all of that was not a land of unexplored wonder, but a big green blob of grassland filled with unusually-organised groups of monsters that wanted to hurt me. The game refused to allow me to advance, despite teasing me with a brave new world. I was, in fact, on a straight line.

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Review: Chaos Rings (iPhone)

August 1, 2010 Leave a comment

When Chaos Rings was released for the iPhone by Square Enix, the main question asked was, “Is it worth it?” At £7.49 (at time of this writing), this JRPG was priced far above what most iTunes customers were paying for other casual games. Would the storytelling pedigree and production values generally associated with Square Enix games be present, or was the inflated price simply brand-name exploitation at its most cynical?

Four male-female couples suddenly find themselves trapped in a mysterious, baroque mansion known as the Ark Arena. Their host, known only as The Agent, informs them that they have been entered into a competition where they must fight to the death. The victorious couple will be granted eternal life and youth, while the losers will be condemned to oblivion. With little alternative than to play by the Agent’s rules, each couple must struggle through the Ark Arena’s trials while trying to determine just why they have been paired together. For example, why has a lone, cocky mercenary been paired with a woman who has sworn to kill him? Why has a lowly stablehand been paired with the princess of his country, and why is he so adapt at swordplay despite never having held a sword before? And why is there a strange tension between a young prince and his royal bodyguard?

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