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They Still Make Final Fantasy?

You may have seen some comments from a GameSpot interview by one of Final Fantasy XV‘s directors, Hajime Tabata:

“Speaking honestly, an all-male party feels almost more approachable for players. Even the presence of one female in the group will change their behavior, so that they’ll act differently. So to give the most natural feeling, to make them feel sincere and honest, having them all the same gender made sense in that way,” Tabata said. The game certainly doesn’t shy away from the theme of male intimacy, with the party sharing a tent, protecting each other in battles, and holding no qualms about showing open concern for one another.

For Tabata, the journey will have the cast adopting what he dubs a “boys will be boys” type demeanor. “It was the story we wanted to tell and what we wanted to show players,” he explained.

“The world might be ready to see the curtain lifted on what boys do when girls aren’t around, when they come out of the tent all prim and proper. That’s kind of the idea behind it… we think, male or female player, that everyone will feel a certain connection and bond with the four characters.”

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Physical versus Digital: Fight!

Digital versus Physical: it’s the debate that continues to define this generation of consoles. Starting with the game trade-in debacle of the Xbox One announcement, all the way through the reality of needing to install every game – disc or otherwise – the impact of the new reality of game distribution is significant. Don’t get me started on how boring my unboxing experiences were for both consoles…

So what have people done in this new era of game ownership? Did the masses remain resolute in their preference for physical media? Did everyone switch to the bold new future of digital “ownership”?

I’ll start with what I ended up doing. I’m a pretty big proponent of digital media; just take a look at my extensive (shameful?) Steam library. But now that we’re over a year into these new consoles, what did I end up really doing? Here’s a picture of the top shelf of my current DVD rack:


A decent selection, but you’ll see these titles fall into two different categories: launch window and gift.

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TRP 3/24/15: Mistakes Were Made

warsSo many multiplayer games, not enough time! This week, the Pack looks at its co-op backlog and shudders a bit as dozens of online-focused games go unplayed. Is there any hope? At least some single player gaming is getting done, as Neil confronts the horrors of This War of Mine, while Tony sets sail for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.

QuickReview: Ori and the Blind Forest

Sun_Mar_22_13-30-09_EDT_2015Few games are focused on executing basic mechanics as much as Ori and the Blind Forest. The attention to the fundamentals of a platformer result in an identity that is reminiscent of classics – Metroid, Castlevania and the like – but still uniquely, fiercely its own. Attacking enemies is automatic; the glowing spirit following you, Sein, lances out targeted attacks at the press of a button. The lack of precise aiming says everything you need to know about the game: Ori is about the platforming.

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Life is Strange: Episode 1

LifeisStrangeLife is Strange is a Telltale-style adventure game from the same studio that brought us the instant classic Remember Me. Remember that game? No?

I’ve completed the first episode and had a couple thoughts I wanted to write down before the second hits, mostly concerning the hits and misses of the game. The gameplay and controls are standard fare for modern adventure games. You walk around a three-dimensional world, talk to other characters, inspect items and make “difficult” decisions.

What makes Life is Strange unique is what I find so compelling and repulsive.

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