It’s Time for a Grown Up JRPG
I sure do love me some turn-based Japanese RPG’s. I’ve spent more time with the Final Fantasy and Persona games than I care to think about. There’s just something thrilling about the process of assessing an enemy, checking the condition of your party, issuing orders, and then watching how the next round plays out. Maybe it’s the suspense of waiting to see if your next attack is going to be effective. Maybe it’s the fear of getting caught by some huge counter-assault that leaves your party beaten and bloodied. Maybe it’s the simplicity of it all, given that such systems typically provide the player with ample time to plan his next few moves or to drink a beer without having to push pause. Whatever the attraction, the turn-based battle system is a tried-and-true mechanic that’s survived since the very beginning of gaming… Read more

It’s Time for a Grown Up JRPG

I sure do love me some turn-based Japanese RPG’s. I’ve spent more time with the Final Fantasy and Persona games than I care to think about. There’s just something thrilling about the process of assessing an enemy, checking the condition of your party, issuing orders, and then watching how the next round plays out. Maybe it’s the suspense of waiting to see if your next attack is going to be effective. Maybe it’s the fear of getting caught by some huge counter-assault that leaves your party beaten and bloodied. Maybe it’s the simplicity of it all, given that such systems typically provide the player with ample time to plan his next few moves or to drink a beer without having to push pause. Whatever the attraction, the turn-based battle system is a tried-and-true mechanic that’s survived since the very beginning of gaming… Read more

Although it took two tries, I really enjoyed Final Fantasy XIII. The battle system–built on groups of characters configured with strictly defined roles–was a fantastic, frenetic storm of constantly changing actions and alignments. Failing to heal, debuff, or switch between offense and defense at the correct time could end a battle in an enemy’s favor quicker than you can say “chocobo.” Despite the game’s so-so storytelling and reputation as a hallway simulator, the Paradigm system saved the day…. Read more

Although it took two tries, I really enjoyed Final Fantasy XIII. The battle system–built on groups of characters configured with strictly defined roles–was a fantastic, frenetic storm of constantly changing actions and alignments. Failing to heal, debuff, or switch between offense and defense at the correct time could end a battle in an enemy’s favor quicker than you can say “chocobo.” Despite the game’s so-so storytelling and reputation as a hallway simulator, the Paradigm system saved the day…. Read more

Five Video Game Characters With Whom I’d Like to Have a Drink

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canderous ordo, knights of the old republic

1. Canderous Ordo, Knights of the Old Republic - Canderous is a bad ass man with a bad ass history. I could listen to him tell stories of dropping from orbit in a basilisk for hours. During my time with KOTOR, I probably did. His no-nonsense demeanor makes him seem like a man you can really learn something from–kind of like Red Foreman with a heavy repeating blaster. Likely drink of choice: Jaegermeister. Canderous does not fuck around. gordon freeman, half-life 2. Gordon Freeman, Half-Life series - I bet a few adult beverages will loosen the One Free Man’s famously silent tongue. I’d like to ask him where he was between Black Mesa and City 17. And what Alyx Vance smells like (my guess: the pungent aroma of engine oil with a gentle undertone of lilac). And if there’s anything in particular he’d like to launch with the gravity gun. And if he has any tips for keeping a crow bar in tip-top shape. Likely drink of choice: Malibu and Coke. Gordon doesn’t strike me as much of a drinker–he’s a fucking scientist, after all. One or two of these babies and he’s probably done for the night, especially if he leaves the HEV suit at home. sazh katzroy, final fantasy xiii 3. Sazh Katzroy, Final Fantasy XIII - The only character in XIII that didn’t make me want to punch my TV seems like he’d be a pretty cool dude to grab a beer with. He’s a devoted father, a crack shot, and it doesn’t matter how drunk he gets because he can summon his eidolon to give him a ride home. Likely drink of choice: Miller High Life. The Champagne of Beers! A good, honest beer for good, honest folk. Pey'j, Beyond Good and Evil 4. Pey’j, Beyond Good and Evil - This guy looks like he knows how to party it up–that’s a bodacious beer gut if ever I’ve seen one. He’s got a sweet hovercraft, awesome jumpy shoes, and an available niece with whom I’d like to expose a government conspiracy, if you know what I mean. Pey’j is that loud, drunk dude who’s so infectiously happy to be there that you laugh right along with whatever dumb shit comes out of his mouth regardless of how stupid it is. Likely drink of choice: Butternuts Porkslap. Duh. Ludwig Von Koopa, Super Mario Bros. 3 5. Ludwig von Koopa, Super Mario Bros. 3 - Eldest of the Koopa kids, this is the dude I think about whenever I ponder the qualities that make a perfect wingman. A mysterious, foreign-sounding name. A world-famous father. His own airship. Plus, he’s short and fat so you know he’ll have to jump on any grenades that might try to make getting with a hot girl difficult. Likely drink of choice: Bud Light Lime. Despite that name, you know Ludwig’s a bro at heart.

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