Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Review: A Fine Return to Form

Hey! Game reviews are a thing I do sometimes, when the stars align just right.

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So, after many years of development, another big Kickstarter success has finally been released. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is directed by Koji Igarashi, affectionately referred to by fans as IGA. It is, essentially, a new Castlevania game, in the style of those that were directed by IGA back at Konami, when they were interested in making video games. Continue reading “Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Review: A Fine Return to Form”

Towards a Better Roguelike: How to Tell a Story

The vast majority of roguelikes don’t have any sort of plot at all. Or, at least, only the most basic bare bones of one. More of a framing story, something to explain what’s going on on only the most surface level. Going all the way back to the original Rogue, where you are simply trying to retrieve the Amulet of Yendor. Often, they run along those lines, get to the end of this dungeon and either retrieve this artifact or kill this evil wizard or whatever.

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Continue reading “Towards a Better Roguelike: How to Tell a Story”

Yakuza Kiwami: A Strong Foundation

I have kind of a strange history with the Yakuza series.

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Back in the PS2 days, it was just sort of another game on the shelves among hundreds. I had no idea what it was about, other than Japanese organize crime, or even what kind of game it was. As a Nintendo fan going way back, the fact that it was made by SEGA was meaningless to me, and if anything made me less inclined to give it a shot. Continue reading “Yakuza Kiwami: A Strong Foundation”

Towards a Better Roguelike: Getting Started

I’ve been working on developing a video game for the past year or so.

It’s something that’s very important to me, a passionate pursuit that saved me from the depths of despair, way back when. But, progress has come in fits and starts. I learned to use Unity, found that I absolutely hated it, switched to Godot, and have been messing around with that for a while now.

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Most of the work I do, though, is actually just writing. Brainstorming ideas for the setting, gameplay, various sorts of intricate systems. In physical notebooks and in dozens of different documents on my computer. Writing away, planning and planning for all sorts of different things.

So, as long as I’m doing this, I thought I’d write a bit of my thoughts about game design here, on my blog. Let’s get into it! Continue reading “Towards a Better Roguelike: Getting Started”

NIOH: Brought Down by Minutia

It’s been a while, but I feel like writing another game review.

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I’m a big fan of the Souls series of video games, from From Software, going way back. Not quite back to the beginning, I played Demon’s Souls when it was released by Atlus and not the Asian version that was available in English before then. And, I must admit, I have never dared to try the old, impossibly archaic King’s Field series on the Playstation 1 and 2. But, going back reasonably far, shall we say. Continue reading “NIOH: Brought Down by Minutia”

Octopath Traveler: An Odd Duck

I’m gonna try writing some reviews!

So, Octopath Traveler is basically the reason I got a switch. The very first previews of it instantly captured my attention. It was such an amazing combination of SNES-style 16 bit sprite work and modern graphical effects. Finally, Square was going to pay tribute to their legacy of classic JRPGs without some sort of awful compromise on the art style. Continue reading “Octopath Traveler: An Odd Duck”

Assassin’s Creed Origins: It’s Fine

Hey! Another sorta game review-ish thing.

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Assassin’s Creed Origins is a perfectly fine game. It’s got some incredible scenery, some decent writing here and there, but the core gameplay is a bit lacking. It’s a problem with AAA games in general, and more specifically the type of open-world games that Ubisoft develops. Continue reading “Assassin’s Creed Origins: It’s Fine”