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Why Bioware Games Work

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What I've oddly found difficult is expressing why I feel the way I do about certain brands or developers. Whenever I try to translate my thoughts into coherent statements I usually lose my grip; the inexplicable adoration of mine always eludes my attempts of grasping it. Such was the case with my love of Bioware. After hours of Mass Effect and Dragon Age I neither had the desire nor ability to specify what it was about the Bioware template that clicked with me. However, I felt the need to tackle this challenge after completing KOTOR, yet another successful game in the developer's resume. After much musing and analyzing, I think I have found my answer in a simple yet potent recurring quality of Bioware's games: variety.

When we usually think of variety we recall minigames and diversions from core mechanics of a game, but Bioware's subtle use of variety is much less confined. In fact, one simply must look at the Bioware template as a whole. In each game, a hero is given a task that spans the main arc, which is often rather simplistic in order to make room for more minute differences. To complete the overarching objective of the storyline, the hero must perform minor tasks in any order they wish. In KOTOR, this comes in the form of finding the Star Maps on each world; in Mass Effect 2 it manifests in the recruitment missions. Oftentimes these mandatory minor missions have their own narrative arc that brings you into a more minute conflict. It is here where the variety is found. By letting you diverge from the main storyline while simultaneously adhering to it, Bioware creates an interesting dynamic: you are constantly being introduced to new stories, and are thus not fatigued by one central narrative. If you magnify these minor objectives, you will see that they too have their own distractions, such as sidequests in the setting of that mission, or the numerous NPCs you can interact with. In this way, Bioware's template-which can be likened to a path that splits into multiple roads but inevitably converges again- in and of itself makes the game incredibly fresh to the player.

It is surprising how much focus goes into this, and even more surprising that we care.

It is from our ability to explore the worlds of these minor and major tasks that we are given access to a key gratifying staple of Bioware games: lore. Through our constant interactions with local cultures, our involvement in political drama, and the mandatory storyline we are given copious amounts of exposition. This would not matter had the worlds crafted been bland or uninteresting. Bioware never fails in this aspect; it is from their attention to detail and successful world-building that we are wholly immersed in the world. This transforms what could be a simple backdrop into a keystone of the experience. I do not know many games in which I am able to and willing to read paragraphs upon paragraphs of sheer mythos and exposition, but in every Bioware game it is available, and appealing. More importantly, it diverts our attention from other mechanics and thus provides variety.

The other odd successful feature of Bioware's games is dialogue. Like the absorbing mythos, what seems so mundane at the surface Bioware effortlessly makes into an interesting balancing act. Not only do your responses to other characters have extreme significance in the way events play out, but the way you speak to people can form a legitimate impression. As such, your political involvement in local affairs are relegated mostly to dialogue, but the organic way conversations flow creates a real tension that makes you pick your responses carefully. Furthermore, the feature's capabilities can also help the player engage in interpersonal relationships with his/her party members; some may even become romantically involved with the hero. While most games simply rely on combat to derive enjoyment from, Bioware games are special in their inclusion of communicative challenges and satisfaction.

 

 

This is not to say Bioware doesn't utilize combat as a core mechanic. In fact, they always provide strategic systems that are substantial and functional enough to never get stale. Their games always involve party-based combat, in that the player-character and his/her companions must work together and use their individual strengths to achieve victory in battle. This type of battle system's allowance of switching party members in and out provides opportunities to tinker with new teams and strategies; this experimentation is exactly what keeps the gameplay fresher than a single unit type of combat.

The foundation upon which the combat is built is the building process. To properly prepare your party members for battle, you must equip them, micro-manage supplies for future battles, shop, attend to their attributes and skills that they gain with every new level, etc. These features are often criticized for their monotony; however they add a fundamental value to Bioware games that cannot be avoided: they give us the ability to build. Just as we find a sense of achievement in building a monument in Minecraft, the player derives a similar complacency from crafting their team of fighters. By controlling the set of skills, attributes, equipment and people that comprise our party we are hand-creating our own unique combat unit.

There are no hammers or stone to build; there are only skill points.

Variety on its own does not a good game make. It is Bioware's ability to not only competently create these individual facets of their games, but their effective interweaving of these aspects that accentuates each feature's strengths. Whereas a game like Skyrim has massive variety but segregates its different sources of entertainment, Bioware unites them to build upon each other. Romances escalate along with the story; mythology provides the groundwork for dialogue balancing acts; the characters are built up alongside the central story's rising action. Bioware, in managing to synchronize different human desires- social, violent, communicative, constructive, curious- with the ever-present feeling that the player is consequential, makes potent games that are wholly engrossing and gratifying.

What do you love about Bioware games? Tell me in the comments! :D

Defending the New: An Opinion

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"But there are times when critics truly risk something, and that is in the discovery and the defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends."

Such a reflection on art and time is rather timely, considering the recent Nintendo announcements. If one thing has been consistently revealed through these Nintendo Direct messages, it is that the company is deeply rooted in their past; perhaps to an unhealthy degree. They seem content with showcasing 20+ year old games as a selling feature for their new console, and also seem to believe that old franchises are key to their future success. I cannot say I blame them for this idea, since we are the ones who have legitimized such a strategy. While we continue to buy their franchises out of loving favoritism, we also hold their past up to the highest esteem. The gaming community has consistently listed their SNES and N64 games as the objectively greatest of all time, so their belief that they should continue building off of these ideas cannot be justifiably called deluded. This really is not a new thing, since the gaming community as a whole is overwhelming attached to its past.

Is this world, with its simplistic houses and town-design, really better than that of something like Skyrim?

For those of you that know my blogging history, I have consistently sided with the new by pointing out the objective qualities that have improved gaming as a whole. With the progression of the medium as an art form game developers have learned to develop story through unique techniques of the medium. To supplement this world-building, games have graphically improved to the point where a high level of detail can develop subtle visual hints that aesthetically provide exposition. The technological boundaries we have pushed are similarly significant, giving the player new ways to play in virtual space while simultaneously allowing for a more subtle mythos and setting. In essence, these advancements have given developers the ability to properly execute their vision and let their ambition go undeterred.

As a result, I think that games today, by virtue of these advancements, are far more inclined to elicit more from the player. It is undeniable that this progress can only be attributable to time, and that to criticize a game for not having these innovations before they were invented would be unfair. However, when judging a game by its quality alone (which is often done through terms like "best" or "better"), these dated aspects inevitably factor into the player's experience. For example, I have trouble understanding why Final Fantasy 6, a game with great potential but unfortunately marred by technical limitations, is often given more credit than a game like Xenoblade Chronicles, a game with a higher level of scope and artistic fulfillment than ever possible in the SNES era. This is not to say FF6 was poorly done, but it simply means that the final product is at a natural disadvantage towards being called the objective "best" of a genre.

A game clearly more evolved and accomplished than most of the "best games ever"

Despite my feelings about an old game's objective quality, I still respect their historical impact on the landscape of gaming as a whole. I can understand why it was popular at its time, what it did that drove the medium as a whole, and put it in chronological context. However, I must stress that there is a tremendous difference between a game's impact and its actual merits as a piece of art or entertainment. So while Super Mario Brothers may have saved the console, is it really as accomplished as the recently released Tomb Raider? You could certainly argue that SMB was a far more influential game, but if you would debate about the quality of the two titles, the latter would most likely come out on top.

I still lack the ability to understand why we consistently slight the new in exchange for our comfortable favorites. We are at the highest point gaming has yet to see: technological limitations have given way, the market has diversified, games have pushed forward the medium as an art form, and we enjoy the fruition of the developers' artistic ambition. Yet, despite these obvious improvements, we seem so keen to dominate our lists of superlatives with games of the past; ones that are rarely justified in their statuses.

What do you think about this? Are current releases being slighted in favor of old nostalgic games? Do the ideas of objective quality and historical impact intertwine? Would you generally say the games of this generation are better than those of the past generations? Tell me what you think in the comments :D

Studio Ghibli: An Alternative Perspective of American Foreign Policy

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It is no secret that America has utilized propaganda for its war efforts. The jingoistic political cartoons, mobilization ads, and the famous Rosie the Riveter have all done their part to form the American perspective of our military involvements. In a country with such a history of fervent nationalism, it is not only ideal, but necessary to look at our actions from other perspectives. The Japanese animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli can provide such a view.

This world-renowned company functions much like Disney does in America, and is exceedingly popular in its home country. Spirited Away, a masterpiece developed by said studio, is often referred to as the Titanic of Japan, since it quickly became the highest grossing film of its country. Thus, Studio Ghibli is not simply a small, inconsequential company, but one that is a staple of Japanese culture.

The studios attitudes on American intervention have always been prevalent in their movies, especially in Grave of the Fireflies. This grim, touching movie chronicles the lives of two Japanese children in the face of World War II. These children, Seita (the teenage brother) and Setsuko (his younger sister), live with their mother. Unfortunately, in a bombing attack executed by American warplanes, their mother is horribly disfigured and burned, and suffers an excruciating death following this. As a result, Seita takes Setsuko to their aunts house, where they hope to stay. The nationalistic aunt becomes increasingly irritated with the children, and tells them to sell their deceased mothers mementos in order to make money. She believes they do not deserve the protection she provides them since they were not contributing to the war effort, and her continued chastising drives Seita and Setsuko to leave her house. They then take refuge in a bomb shelter. What follows is a devastating decline in which the children slowly die from malnutrition as Seita attempts to prevent their inevitable deaths by stealing food.

While many American movies show the war effort as an altruistic endeavor, Grave of the Fireflies criticizes the way in which the United States attacked Japan. The bombing is depicted as a terrifying rain of fire; one that could only be created by an inexplicable prejudice and hatred. This view of World War II is incredibly refreshing, because it reminds us that despite our countrys intentions, our actual military actions can never be excusable. What is most interesting about the film is that it doesnt simply idolize Japan, either. The nationalism instilled in the nation is just as responsible for the childrens demise as America is. While America is the cause of the mothers death, the aunts nationalism drives the children out and puts them in their terrible condition. This cultural perspective is unique and unexpected: perhaps Japan is more remorseful for their actions than even we are, and are just as willing to criticize their military actions as they are Americas.

 

 

The studios pacifism is also evident in perhaps their most important member: Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki is an internationally loved director, and is frequently compared to the likes of animation juggernauts like Walt Disney and Pixar. He is a passionate pacifist that is famous for adamantly opposing the United States decision to declare war on Iraq. When he won his Academy Award for Spirited Away, he refused to go to America because of how sickened he was in Americas military decisions. The countrys decision to declare war influenced him so much that he reworked the script for his next film, Howls Moving Castle, in order to integrate pacifist commentary. In a Beauty and the Beast-like story, the film follows a self-deprecating Sophie as she is turned into an old woman and encounters a wizard named Howl. What she soon finds is that Howl is secretly intervening in a global conflict, and is slowly turning into a literal monster as a result. At the end of the film, Sophie gives Howl back his literal heart from a demon of greed and saves him from his decline into animosity and disfiguration. In this way the Iraq War (and war as a whole) is shown to be morally corruptive and a product of materialism. Likewise, Miyazaki argues that the effects of war can be reversed by the kind of altruistic love that Sophie provides Howl. Just as the characters use their love for each other to absolve their sins and flaws, the film suggests that America adopt a foreign policy based on forgiveness and altruism rather than vanity and retribution.

Studio Ghiblis examinations of American foreign policy serve to remind the United States how influential we are in the international political sphere. Our actions always have consequences, and often these effects are often seen more in other countries than our own. In a country where we emphasize our successes and downplay our moral faults, their defiance of our war efforts can provide a new insight into our actions in both the past and present.

Thoughts on Ouya

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For those unaware of Ouya's sudden appearance, the console received donations of one million dollars on kickstarter within a day or so. Such a strong reception can only be traced from the Ouya's unique possibilities, such as a $99 retail price and how easy it is to hack (which was intentional). The goal of the Ouya is to become a shepherd for the developers that have migrated towards the hated app market, mainly because of how much easier it is to develop for that platform. Because of this, he console is based around an android to deliver its purpose. Now, the technical limitations of this could be daunting, but seeing the potential of (admittedly) creative developers move to this console with less restrictions in terms of hardware is very enticing to me.

The console, at least from my perspective, seems to cater to fans of xbla and psn more than the fans of AAA titles. This is not necessarily a bad thing, since we have seen plenty of interesting game concepts from developers of the like. Mojang (of Minecraft fame) and thatgamecompany have both responded enthusiastically to this system, and Minecraft has been confirmed to be coming to this. This console caters mainly to the small developers, attempting to entice developers with the promise of its ability as a console without the necessity of a developer kit. For a $99 fee, this console could attract plenty of less-abled, talented individuals that could potentially make fantastic games. All of this doesn't even touch its non-gaming capacities either, which I really didn't pay attention to tbh.

Oh, but there's a catch, every game on the system will be free. Don't celebrate yet, my friend, for they have to make money some other way. Sure, there is the option of having a full-game upgrade, which I am completely okay with. However, the much more dangerous route I'm afraid will be exploited is the route of forced buying of items and areas on an individual scale. This eerily reminds me of dlc, and could be abused to cash in on the consumer. While this is a frightening aspect of the Ouya's free-to-play system, the ability to play any game for free (although in a limited capacity) effectively offers a demo for each game on the system.

Will the Ouya be in your living room? Do you see this becoming a huge success for the independent developers? Will the other consoles suffer? Will gaming go back to its roots, even if it's much cheaper?

Sonic Colors Review

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Okay, bear with me, this is my first review. I'm just trying something new and seeing if it works out. I decided to start with Sonic Colors because it's very different from other games and I want to develop a rubric for certain genres and/or series.

I didn't want to put techno in cuz I want you to listen to some sonic colors music

For each review I will have a rubric to follow to grade the overall performance of the game. I might be a harsh reviewer so don't get mad!

Sonic Colors Rubric

  • Fun Factor-40 points
  • Platforming-20 points
  • Replayability-20 points
  • Length/Content/Pacing of Action-10 points
  • Speed-5 points
  • Music-5 points

NOW FOR THE REVIEWMusic-As you can see from the planet wisp music, this soundtrack is just what Sonic music should be like. It's fast, gets your adrenaline going, and always fits the mood. There was never a time that the music bothered me, and it always complemented the gorgeous amusement park. Whoever did this music, they are a keeper sega!5 points for Music

Speed-Sonic is famous for his speed, and rightfully so. This is the fastest sonic game yet, perfecting the daytime levels that sonic unleashed actually did right. There's a boost button to boost your speed to unheard levels in this series. There are less points in this game where sonic comes to a complete stop compared to the other games, so I feel like I enjoyed more because of it. Sure, there are 2d places where you're standing still, but for most of the adventure you'll be flying through the level in a way you've always dreamed of. The thing is, the speed can seriously stop in an instant if you mess up, which gives it a choppy feel sometimes.4points for Speed.

Length/Pacing of Action/Content-Really my biggest gripe with this game, Sonic Colors only took me about 4 hours to complete. I'm not a huge platformer fan, but I still think that's a little short. While sonic fans can find a lot to do in this one, a normal player would be disappointed in the short playthrough. Despite this small amount, the map must be applauded for its easy accessibility and ability to easily pick a level. Don't expect anything other than gameplay in this game, but I think that's the way it should be. There's no more pointless exploring elements, it's just what you want, and nothing else. It's a good game to play when you have like 30 minutes. The bosses are recycles, sadly, and there are few times where you feel challenged by a boss. It'd easy to start and stop and doesn't require a time commitment. Although it's short, it succeeds in everything it does while not trying to take up more useless things like the werehog stages.6.5points

Platforming-Sonic in no way is a traditional platformer. He has superspeed and isn't afraid of using it. You'll be jumping off walls, sliding under cracks (thts what she said), and jumping over ledges. The thing is, there's not many obstacles in the levels, except for the 2d platforming sections. Many people enjoyed the 2d parts, but I thought they were very unfitting to the game. They broke up the action and I didn't think the controls were suited to that type of platforming. The little platforming in the 3d portions complemented the game just perfectly however, and it feels really good. Sometimes these obstacles are literally impossible to see coming, and you end up stopping, which makes for awkward times.16 points

Replayability-I don't know about you guys, but I could see myself playing this again. The levels are very fun to play again, and when you unlock new colors you get more ways to play the levels. This is why I'm glad I'm keeping it, because it's a perfect game to just dig up.20 points

Fun Factor/Gameplay-Sonic Colors is simply a blast to play, and there is no wonder that it is being acclaimed by all sonic fans. The different settings are simply a joy to play in, and the presentation makes it all the better. Although you wouldn't find the variety of smg2 in this game, the colors make for interesting gameplay and for some good variation and shortcuts. Although it's never really challenging, it feels really good to simply run with sonic. Sometimes though, the challenge can result in some cheap deaths and boring gameplay. The bosses are also uninteresting, considering there's basically 3 models they copy and paste. The final boss is good though, and it took me a few tries. Getting really good at this game and speeding through a level is just priceless though, and trying for a better rank is actually fun. This is something rarely achieved in games and it is a wonderful quality. After many years of awful sonic, I can finally say that sega has found their groove and is in the right direction. I really like this direction and hope they can perfect it.35 points

Just watch the gameplay.

Sonic Colors is a game many can appreciate. Sega has nailed the gameplay and I really hope to see more of this outstanding modern sonic. Although it doesn't have as much content as smg2, it is still a ****c that you will come back to. I'd say it deserves a rental to see if you enjoy it, and then if you like it, buy it. You'll be playing this for a long time if you find it entertaining. Sega deserves to get money for this one, but I'd get it under 60 dollars. Don't get it used, but get it for $20-$40.

Final Score- 86.5/100

So guys, should I keep reviewing games? Did you agree with my judgment? Tell me in the comments.

Lost Odyssey Review

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Lost Odyssey ReviewOctober 28, 2011 byRegal4.1-Edit

Hey kiddies! It's ma second review! Tales of Vesperia was one vote away from being reviewed, but in the end you guys chose Lost Odyssey. Sorry I haven't been blogging during the week, I was really busy. The week kind of sucked, so this weekend has been paradise so far.

Introduction and Rubric

I'm sure all of you have heard of the legendary Sakaguchi, so I won't go into much detail. All you really need to know is that the creator of Final Fantasy opened up a new studio called Mistwalker.For some reason they wanted to make games for the Xbox, andnow we've got Lost Odyssey. From playing the game I can see this being a FinalFantasy game (althoughnot as pretty), and a homage like ffix was.This game has a huge following and a lot of fans, all praising it for being a return to traditional jrpg gameplay. So, let's look over my thoughts about this game, but first let's look at how I'm grading this game.

25- RPG Elements

20-Gameplay

20-Story

10- Music

10-Content

15- Blending

The Review

Music-Lost Odyssey's music is simply spectacular. Nobuo Uematsu makes a return to create some really great pieces. There is one song in particular that makes me tear up everytime it plays. Something about this music draws raw emotion from the player and I really think any rpg player will enjoy the music. Overall, the music perfectly compliments the story while bringing new emotions that previously didn't exist. Many people found that they wanted the dream sequences to be live action instead of a scrolling text. However, the only thing playing while the text is being shown is music. This approach really makes things much more touching and moving. Here, I'll show you one dream, and listen to how the music affects it for the better.

However there are a few pieces that pissed me off. Maybe it was because I had bad experiences with the music playing (ie: boss fight), or maybe it's just they might've been played too much.The main battle theme was awesome at first, but it started to feel so ridicoulouslyannoying, mainly because of how long battles can get. I simply do not think it was that great for a turn based game.

I know it's awesomenow, but imagine after a millionlong, hardcore,slow, turn based battle system.

Now I don't want to end on a negative note so I really wanted to show you guys my highlight of the soundtrack.

Lost Odyssey's music is a perfect example of how music can impact games and movies in a certain way. Although many games have music that adds to the experience and are a great addition, Lost Odyssey's music can evoke feelings far beyond happy and sad. For this reason the music really should be praised among jrpgs, despite some irritating songs.8.5 points

Content-The game packs 4 discs into the case, probably the most I've seen ever for a single game. It is a very time consuming game, taking about 40-60 hours. However there are many other sidequests and stuff of the like. Although I wouldn't really recommend them, it's okay if you want to do them. This isn't fallout or skyrim, mind you, but it has a map like dragon age's. Many will find a reason to replay the game, depending on how much of a turn based fan they are. I personally think there were many things that simply got old in the game that would keep me from replaying it. For example, the slowness of the battles can get really irritating, especially when you have no control over when you fight (yes there's random battles). I swear it takes 3x more time to attack than in other final fantasys and they pan the camera around everytime a battle starts. Here I'll show you. Again I know it's not bad now, but you must consider how many times you're going to do this. For these reasons I don't think this game is that replayable, although many people might.6.5 points

Story-I'm just gonna say it. This is one of the best jrpg stories I've seen. It follows an immortal who has lost his memory. It sounds stupid at first, but the execution is wonderful. It does indeed feel epic on multiple occasions, especially a certain part in disc 3. While the immortal goes on his journey, he encounters others who have similar goals to him and have been victimized in the same way he has. It does indeed become emotional, and the way it does is exceptionally well done. I will say that there are numerous annoying characters, especially Jansen, who sometimes even ruins emotional scenes. The conflict of the plot is very interesting, because they're not only fighting for the world, but their pasts and mental well-being.The villain is good, manipulating them and using their personal lives to make them live a miserable life. He very well knows they're immortal, and because of it tries to make their lives a living hell. I really don't like his design though, because there is no way you will think that he is the major antagonist. I was simply waiting for another antagonist to come out, but one never did. His appearance aside though, he is still a **** Still, the story is a thought-provoking, emotional journey that will grip you. This is easily the game's best feature.If you liked ff9's story, you'll probably like this one's.17 points

Maybe it's the moustache

Gameplay-Probably the slowest rpg gameplay I have seen in a hella long time. If that's your thing, cool. For me, though, I found the battle system to be the most flawed feature in the game. It's as traditional as you get, really, and has a really good formation system and composite magic feature. A lot of people mention the rings, but these really are completely irrelevant. The problem with the rings is you have to do a standard attack to use the rings, while easily the better option is to use a physical attack like combo to attack with. For some odd reason, the game got into this vibe of wasting mp, and then replenishing it, and repeat. I found this to be redundant and for most of the game the elements in the battlesystem are really unbalanced. I founda huge portion of the game made you rely on magic attacks. The battle system is very strategic however, and makes you explore all of the elements in the game. This strong connection between the gameplay and the preparation is very important in a rpg, and it's a good thing it works well here. It does get slow, and I found that the gameplay does drag. I found myself hating the battles, especially when you're trying to solve a puzzle or something of the like. The gameplay is great for a turn based game, but it gets so slow that it really brings it down. Now I have nothing against turn based as you might be thinking right now, since I love other turn based games. However there is a point where you need it to be faster, especially with random battles. You might like it, I just found it became really stale.10 points

RPG Elements-I am soooo conflicted by how I feel about this portion, so please comment about this if I totally just don't understand it. Okay first, I'm going to talk about the one bad. THE LEVELING. I may just not understand the leveling system, but this is how it's worked for me. Okay, so for each little dungeon or section of the game there's this level cap. You will probably level each time you play a battle until this cap, but then after that. You get little experience. Probably about 3% of a level. This might not seem that little, but in context to the pace of the battles, this system is ridiculous. This makes grinding almost nonexistent. The thing is, when you have a turn based battle system, it must rely on rpg elements like this to make the battles meaningful. With this leveling system, however, it really brought down the game for me. This is a huge turn off, and this is something you really should be aware of. Despite that unnecessary feature, there are some great rpg elements that will keep you busy. You get two types of party members, mortal and immortal. The immortals can learn any type of skill/spell, while the mortals get them normally. The mortals then teach teh immortals their skills through "skill link". I really liked this feature, and thought it gave a lot option to how you craft your party.You'll be going through menus constantly to keep your immortals get up to date with the mortal's new skills, and I found it really satisfying and enjoyable.15 points

Blending-I do have to say that I was fully enthralled in the experience, and despite its flaws, kept playing the game. Storywise, everything is blended soundly with gameplay and it worked really well. The loading got pretty bad, but the elements did go well together in a very captivating way. Only now I have realized I have butchered this game and maybe it's because I never thought about it while playing. There were numerous times though where I really didn't want to keep playing anymore, despite how much I wanted to progress. Some serious points of this type of annoyance were boss battles you couldn't grind for, and dungeons. Dungeons, you say? Yes dungeons. You know, I love me some puzzles and stuff. But considering the random battles, and the pace of the battles, I find the puzzles to be hell. I'm really fine with random battles, but only if there's a straightforward approach in the level design. My gripes with gameplay and such still held me back from playing sometimes though, despite the good blending.10 points

Conclusion

I really did butcher that game didn't I. This game really isn't for everyone, as it obviously wasn't for me. Lost Odyssey tries to be very traditional, while sacrificing things that made turn based worth it. It may tell a wonderful story, and if you're starved for a good story in a video game and can deal with my gripes, go for it. Get it cheap though, because you might not like it. The story cannot make up for all of its flaws, and I wouldn't say it's a great complete package. If you really want sakaguchi at his best, get ffix (obviously the game this tried to be, just think about it). I actually found this game to have more flaws then ff13! Well now you guys know how harsh of a reviewer I am, so get whatever I praise:)

Final Score- 67/100

So guys, disagree, agree? Was I a hardass? What game should I review next? Leave me comments!

PS: Remember to follow my guidelines on how to read a review when you read this.http://www.ign.com/blogs/regal4.1/2011/10/25/how-people-need-to-read-reviews