Amazing VGM: The Path is Open (Persona 3)

Persona 3 | Thou art I and I am thou

This week’s VGM is a special track. This track has an especially notable significance to me in not only how it sounds, but also what it represents. In the past I have often made Amazing VGM pieces that connect to me personally in regards to my very own struggles in life, I believe that games have a very significant personal element to them that many are often discouraged from sharing for not being “objective,” and I feel this greatly undermines the medium as a whole.

Anyway this week’s track is from Persona 3, a flawed game in many ways but nonetheless one of my all time favorites. I have been replaying this game and I’ve just about reached the end of The Journey portion of the game. While I find the overall musical output of Persona 3 rather average, there are some standout tracks that have a very deep and meaningful impact when you hear them. This track is one of those.

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Amazing VGM: Buccaneer Beach (Pac-Man World)

Pac-Man World | Buccanear Beach

Yep, another “VGM from a game I just reviewed” piece here today. There isn’t really a set plan more so than reviewing a game just makes me remember its music so I have it stuck in my head later. I may not have enjoyed Pac-Man World 1, but there was definitely some finer points to it. I only briefly mentioned the music because most of the music didn’t stick out but I remember it being good. The obvious exception to this is the first level theme, “Buccaneer Beach.” Read more

Standard Review: Pac-Man World (PS1/GBA)

Pac-Man World | Box art

Few gaming icons have had quite a fall from grace as much as Pac-Man. One of the most iconic video games of all time that even your grandparents recognize has not been relevant in how many years? Aside from the arcade games, the only games I have seen that are remotely well received have been the Pac-Man World trilogy of 3D platformers. I am quite fond of 3D platformers contrary to what those who think I only play RPGs and visual novels believe, so I thought I may enjoy this game.

I initially bought it during a PSN sale in 2016 along with Heavenly Guardian, but I barely played it. It seemed alright enough but didn’t interest me enough to keep me playing. Within the last few months I started it up again for no real reason other than that my PS3 happened to be set up and I had it there, and I figured I likely wouldn’t play it any other time so I should do so now. Read more

Standard Review: Heavenly Guardian (PS2/Wii)

Heavenly Guardian | Box Art

Heavenly Guardian seems to have been a game that was a victim to some pretty poor reception if its metacritic page is any indication. Ultimately I would have to say that, while criticism towards this game is not entirely undeserved, it is a bit much to claim it is a bad game because of it. A lot of these reviews simply made claims that the game was “dated” and touched on production values rather than talking about important gameplay elements that can make or break the game as a whole. Read more

Standard Review: The Legend of Dragoon (PS1)

The Legend of Dragoon | Logo

This review was certainly put off for quite some time. I should let it be known that I am reviewing this two years after I beat it, but my memory is pretty good in regards to these things. I don’t quite remember why it was that I didn’t write a review at the time but I’m finally going to write it now. The Legend of Dragoon is a fantastic game and quite simply put, it deserves the praise it gets.

The Legend of Dragoon is far from the most original JRPG out there and if you are looking for something unique to the genre then this likely won’t satisfy you. In fact, the game actually had mixed reception at launch. Former IGN reviewer David Smith once said “Games like Legend of Dragoon and Shadow Madness rank among the worst of the previous generation, regardless of genre” only a year after he reviewed it and gave it a 7 out of 10. Yeah, IGN reviewers being incompetent bought out morons is hardly a recent phenomenon. Read more

Standard Review: Demon’s Souls (PS3)

Demon's Souls | Box art

Demon’s Souls has a reputation as one of the hardest games in the current generation; a reputation that comes fairly. It terms of difficulty, it can in fact go toe to toe with a lot of the hardest games from the 8 and 16 bit era of gaming. However, it is important to consider whether or not Demon’s Souls is a good game rather than being a hard one; IE whether it is good for the right reasons. The answer to that is yes, or at least mostly. There are a couple of flaws to be had with Demon’s Souls that are not often mentioned, but the game overall is a satisfying experience that does far more right than wrong.

The storyline of Demon’s Souls takes place in the kingdom of Boletaria, a kingdom that is isolated from the rest of the world by a strange fog filled with demons. As time passed, people began seeking out this kingdom in order to either save Boletaria or for their own personal gain. Unfortunately, all of whom have done so end up trapped with their soul bound to the nexus and unable to escape even if they died. Your character is one of these adventurers. Read more

Standard Review: Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast/Gamecube/PC/PS3/360)

Sonic Adventure | Box Art

Sonic Adventure was a game that I grew up with, and recently took the opportunity to replay through its steam port that I got on sale. Looking back on it, I always noticed that there were some flaws with it but still felt nostalgia for it anyway. After replaying it, my opinion is mostly reaffirmed except that I found them more emphasized. The flaws were more grating, but the good parts of it were more apparent and I still had quite a bit of fun with it.

The story in Sonic Adventure is mostly a mixed bag. The writing is very stiff and basic, oftentimes to the point of being laughable. Even as a kid I was able to understand the problems with the game’s writing and easily understood what others criticized it for. Despite this, the game held a unique charm to it that drew me to it. Read more

Top 5 Games Reviewed on Guardian Acorn in its First Year

Holy shit folks. I was too busy wallowing in guilt and depression that I didn’t notice that this dumb blog of mine has been going for over a year now. I have been thinking about how I would commemorate this and considered focusing on my favorite articles posted here… but that would be mostly political pieces and I want to have fun here. So I decided I will instead focus on the best & worst games reviewed on this site this year.

I’ve been a game reviewer longer than a political commentator anyway. I’ve been reviewing since early 2013 but it only occurred to me this year that I could actually make a name for myself with my writing talents… okay maybe not but I’ll have a better chance of doing so and not needing a real job if I just create my own blog. As a note though, I’m only counting games I reviewed between the start of 2017 and May 6th of 2018 so that I can count my Brash Games reviews. So this means no reviews that were written prior but re-edited and posted here, as I’d like to talk about stuff I actually played recently.

So, out of the 30 + titles reviewed in this time period, which ones did I enjoy the most? Read on to find out. Links to where the titles can be purchases are embedded in the parenthesis over their respective consoles. Read more

Amazing VGM: Believe in Myself (Sonic Adventure)

Sonic Adventure | Tornado

I’ve never been one to avoid connecting my personal life into my game related articles. After all, if someone is reading this blog then it’s because I have a unique style that no one else can replicate. I may as well not hide the fact that I am an individual person with her own experiences and feelings. It is those experiences that make me who I am and it is who I am that allows me to do what I do.

Fittingly enough, this week’s song is about learning to take care of and believe in yourself, and given what just happened I cannot think of a more appropriate time to cover it. The song is titled, appropriately enough, “Believe in Myself” and is the character theme of Tails from Sonic Adventure. Read more

Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory (PS3): Sweet Victory (Detailed Review)

Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory | logo

Note: This was the first review I ever wrote and was put up on GameFAQs on March 21st 2013. It has been edited and enhanced in presentation.

TW: Mentions of sexual assault.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory does not have nearly as high of a budget as most of the best JRPGs of this generation, nor does it have the best design. It does not have the best presentation or universal appeal of such games. Yet despite this, I found myself enjoying this game just as much as said games, and in some ways even more.

I did play and enjoy the first two games in the series. The first game, Hyperdimension Neptunia, was a game that had some really unique ideas going for it, and established what the series would become known for. Unfortunately it was executed in a way that has only a very specific appeal, and suffered from a story that was poorly paced and saved only by its hilarious script. Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 was a lot more accessible than the first game. It had the distinction of being one of the few console JRPGs to focus on simple mechanics, as opposed to nearly every other console JRPG that tried to be as complex as possible. That same simplicity was also its disadvantage as it made the game a bit too easy, and pretty much every non boss battle in the game could be beaten in seconds. Also the plot, while much better told than the first, suffered from pacing issues of its own. Read more