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  • Blog Post: Where RPGs Can Improve

    We just entered a new console generation and are anxiously awaiting new games from our favorite genres. All genres have places they can improve and RPGs are no different. These are some areas where RPGs could use some refining and take bigger leaps in innovation. Eliminate Random Encounters Random encounters... More
  • Blog Post: Top 50 Challenge – Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch

    As a fan of both JRPGs like the Final Fantasy series and Studio Ghibli’s work, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch seemed like a no brainer for me. Yet when the game came out earlier this year it continued to slip off my must-play list. After setting aside my shiny new PlayStation 4, I finally... More
  • Blog Post: Perfecting Persona: How Atlus USA Bloomed

    Atlus USA has become a go-to publisher for niche Japanese role-playing games, with Persona earning the company its reputation. The mature RPG franchise deals with heavy issues, centering on self-acceptance, and forces characters to confront their deepest fears. The true-to-life writing has earned high... More
  • Blog Post: Places: Dark Souls' Blighttown

    When people bail on Dark Souls and its enthralling world, Lordran, they’re typically in one of two places: Anor Londo, the city of gods; or Blighttown, a deep, hostile cavern. The latter is commonly strung up on forums and message boards as a sacrificial lamb for all to point at and punish. The... More
  • Blog Post: Moments: Persona 3’s Junpei and Chidori

    We often meet people who change our lives in some profound way. Perhaps they teach us something we didn't know about ourselves, force us to become a better version of ourselves, or maybe they show us what it means to put someone else first. Either way, once these people enter our lives, we're... More
  • Blog Post: Games Where Traditional JRPG Battle Systems Thrive

    Turn-based battle systems are like cherished childhood toys. We had a blast together in games like Dragon Quest and Phantasy Star, creating unforgettable memories. Then something happened: New toys entered the picture, flashier and more advanced. I couldn’t ignore them even if I tried – the... More
  • Blog Post: Moments: Banished from Potos Village in Secret of Mana

    Since I’ve been writing a lot about what games made RPGs my genre of choice, I’ve had Secret of Mana on my mind. I never think about Secret of Mana without reminiscing about the heartbreaking moment where the main character gets banished from Potos Village. The scene hits you right in the... More
  • Blog Post: Return Of The Pixel: The Call For An Old-Fashioned Final Fantasy

    No game in my must-play backlog can beat the gravitas and hype of Final Fantasy VI. A few weeks ago, I finally downloaded the RPG onto my Wii and started playing. My Final Fantasy-loving friends were ecstatic when I revealed I was playing it for the first time. I’ve invested many hours into my... More
  • Blog Post: This Generation's Must-Play JRPGs

    It’s no secret that this generation of video games hasn’t been particularly kind to Japanese games in general, and Japanese RPGs in particular have fallen out of favor. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing in this once-beloved genre worth playing from the past five years. With this... More
  • Blog Post: Editorial: The Incredible Shrinking RPG

    As a longtime fan of role-playing games, most of my decisions regarding new console purchases were decided by which system had the best RPGs. Though I loved my SNES, I didn’t think twice about abandoning Nintendo and buying a PlayStation instead of an N64. In retrospect, I absolutely made the right... More
  • Blog Post: Take A Walk Through Square Enix's Japan Office

    If you were to take a stroll down the streets of downtown Shinjuku, Japan, you'd be hard-pressed to identify which inconspicuous office tower was home to Final Fantasy. There are not gigantic bahamut statues or neon signs indicating that the uncontested king of JRPGs sits within the nondescript building... More
  • Blog Post: Where Did All The JRPGs Go?

    As a longtime fan of JRPGs, I often find myself wondering what ever happened to all of the Japan-developed RPGs that I grew up playing on the SNES and PlayStation. Triple-A million-dollar-budget behemoths like Final Fantasy XIII (pictured above) are very much the exception these days. Obviously much... More
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