Yes I know, I missed the last 2 months for JRPG Update Pro since I had a lot of stuff going on, and I do still have stuff going on now but hopefully I can get out this month’s JRPG Update Pro AND JRPG Update Indie this time. Anyway, that means this update will include anything that happened between December 20th and now, so there’s going to be a lot of stuff. Once again for the sake of clarity, titles covered on JRPG Update pro are professionally made games made by experienced teams and with the backing of a major publisher, while games made by inexperienced teams that are self published are covered in JRPG Update Indie, with the exception of notably popular indie titles like Undertale. Anyway, let’s start with the JRPG and JRPG Influenced games released since then. We have…
So, some may have noticed I missed last week’s Amazing VGM entry AND that this week’s is late. The reason is because I want this to be the final article of the year for me. One of the key features of this blog is that it’s not just a game review blog, but it is also an outlet I put a lot of myself into. Ever since birth, I had strong handicaps in the social area and with communication that still impact me to this day. It just never felt safe to tell anyone about my passions or my experiences with games because I always felt like others didn’t understand them. Yes, other people my age played games to but they were all normies and you know how they are.
I use this blog as a why of not only expressing just how much these games mean to me and how much I think about them, but I also like to talk about how they made me who I was. The biggest irony I have seen is that there was a time where I was insecure about being a gamer and felt judged for my hobby, and now I continually take shots at the gamerbro crowd, despite the fact that gaming likely means more to me than it does them
TW: Strong violence and gore.
So, this review has been in the works for quite some time. I actually played this game before any of the other Splatterhouse titles, but I finished it after I beat the original 4. I will just say, this game was an absolute blast to play. Yes, captain contrarian strikes one last time before the end of the year, and that this game is what I consider the best game in the series.
Yes, the first two games may be more refined gameplay and design wise, and are thus “objectively” better at succeeding at what they set out to do, but the simple truth of the matter is that Splatterhouse 2010 attempts A LOT more. Even if it doesn’t succeed at everything, the sum of its parts still offers much more than the original games. Read more
It has been a while hasn’t it? Well, here it is, the return of JRPG Update. As I have stated in my Update of JRPG Update, updates will new be split into two separate subseries focused on professional releases and indie titles respectively. They are also going to be monthly instead of weekly, as it was way too taxing to do so weekly and it got in the way of my regular content. Additionally, I am only embedding trailers that are in English now as to reduce the lag that greatly obstructs progress during editing. If you want to see the Japanese trailers then click the links provided.
Anyway, starting the JRPG releases since last update, we have seen the release of Xenoblade Chronciles 2 (Switch), Tokyo Xanadu eX (PS4/PC), Star Ocean 4: The Last Hope – 4K & Full HD Remaster (PS4/PC), Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ignis (PS4/XBox One), Romancing SaGa 2 (PS4/Vita/Xbox One/Switch/PC), World of Final Fantasy (PC), Omega Quintet (PC), Elminage Original: Priestess of Darkness and The Ring of the Gods (PC), and Yodanji (Switch/PC)
Anyway, now for the news.
NieR is always going to have a special place in my heart. The original and its sequel Automata were the first two games to be reviewed on this site. Granted, neither of them were originally written with this site in mind and this was mainly because I had just put out the review of Automata at the time so I wanted the original up for context, but regardless, both games are special to me, if one couldn’t tell based on how often I reference them. I also consider both titles to have some of the strongest soundtracks in gaming. I decided that, while I am in the habit of re-writing old entries that I will revamp mine on “Emil’s Theme.” Yes, I know that is not the official name of the song, but the official name has a spoiler involved so that’s what I’m going to call it.
JRPG Update is back folks… sorta. In order to make things easier on myself, I decided that some revisions needed to be made to how I would handle things, simply because I was overloaded the way that JRPG Update worked before. I tried to post weekly updates by covering as much JRPG related information as I could, even things that seemed insignificant. As such, I am deciding to do some vetting for the content that I cover and will try to avoid posting redundant news such as “such and such has new screen shots” or “details have been given about the shape of the hair of the NPC off to the top right corner in the second house in the games 13th town.” Also, updates will be posted monthly as opposed to weekly so I have time to actually work on other content.
Trigger Warning: This review contains references to racism, anti-semitism, and forced cross dressing. The game itself contains depictions of the above in addition to gore, nudity, scatology, sodomy, abortions (performed on a man), miscarriages, and Nazis (of the zombie variety).
Just looking at the creation process of South Park: The Stick of Truth, it is easy to see practically endless ways how this game could have been a colossal disappointment. First of all, there is the fact that it is indeed a licensed game, which sets the bar low seeing as how most licensed games tend to be average at best even when they have a significant amount of potential and hype. Even ignoring that this is a licensed game, this was the first time that Matt Stone and Trey Parker had any involvement in a game based off their license (they have admitted in the past to being displeased with previous South Park
games, which is why they made sure to be more closely involved with this game). To add to this, the game went through development hell due to THQ going out of business and the publishing being transferred to Ubisoft. There were practically thousands of reasons to be skeptical that this game would turn out well, whether they be concerns about how South Park’s heavy emphasis on political and pop culture based writing would not transfer over well into a video game, or even looking at Obsidian Entertainment’s track record of having their games released plagued with bugs and glitches that would out due even Bethesda’s games.
Welcome to this week’s VGM. I have decided that I would go with something that is from a game especially nostalgic to me, Final Fantasy VII. Of course, I’m never one to go with the predictable tracks like “One Winged Angel” or “Aerith’s Theme” or even slightly less common but still talked about tracks like “Still More Fighting” and “The Great Warrior.” The first track that comes to mind when I think of Final Fantasy VII is either “Interrupted by Fireworks” (which I honestly find more beautiful and emotionally moving than “Aerith’s Theme”) or “Holding My Thoughts in My Heart.”
Music has always been a very integral part of almost any media. The idea of musical accompaniment to plays dates back thousands of years. In video games, the interactivity means players will precede at their own pace, so the music is often more “full” than in movies. Tracks are often used to signify places, events, or characters in games to set certain tones.
Naturally, one of these tones set is the element of fear. Most of the time, we don’t stop to think about the music used for these sequences. There are some tracks that people will listen to in their spare time for their own enjoyment; these are not those tracks. These are instead songs that, upon hearing them, will leave the listener uneasy and jarred through both their sound and their in game use.
I always remember both Sonic Adventure titles being among the first games I played that I got emotionally attached to. Yes they were corny as hell and even when I was a kid I cringed at some of the stupider moments (that’s code for “anything involving Amy Rose”) but both games exuded a type of emotion and passion that we rarely see anymore, and as I said when I reviewed it, I’m almost willing to say that it would have been a worse game if it had better writing.
Kids don’t usually notice flaws in writing, but they can sense emotion and passion, and Sonic Adventure was a game that exuded serious passion with its story. Unlike Mario whose 3D entries had little story involved, the 3D Sonic games did involve stories. While the writing and voice acting was corny as hell, it also had such charm and sincerity that I looked past it as a child and still can today. Partially I say this because there still has not been any game that made me feel quite the same as the Sonic Adventure titles, and I actually had trouble getting into Sonic Colors because of it (and because I actually didn’t dislike any of the 3D titles at that point except for Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic and the Black Knight, no I haven’t played Sonic 06 btw) and it’s partially why I have yet to play Generations or Lost World.