Dragon Quest II: Luminaries of the Legendary Line (NES/MSX/SNES/GBC/Mobile/3DS/PS4): A JRPG Codifier (Detailed Review)

Dragon Quest II | jp box art

Dragon Quest II is often glossed over when discussing the legacy of the series. While Dragon Quest I is noteworthy for being the first game in the series and Dragon Quest III is noteworthy for being motherfucking Dragon Quest III, Dragon Quest II just seems to be known as “that one that’s really really hard and comes between Dragon Quest I and III.” I often see people act as if Dragon Quest II is completely unremarkable and that is just not the case.

Dragon Quest II is a pretty badass game when you get right down to it. I should note that I have not played the NES original this time around and am thus only familiar with it from a lets play I saw years ago and from what I’ve looked up about it. From what I can gather the later versions definitely seem more polished and well structured, that is unless you are playing and English fan translation of the super famicom version that is. Read more

Quick Review: LOVE (PC/Switch/Ouya)

LOVE | header

 

LOVE is certainly a unique game to say the least, but unique does not necessarily mean creative in this sense. In actuality, LOVE is an incredibly minimalist platformer that is manages to make a fun game out of incredibly simplistic mechanics and uses everything they can get out of them. Unfortunately LOVE is also a game that is way too brief to really recommend considering how little content it has. LOVE was originally an Ouya exclusive until the beginning of 2014 when it got ported to Steam. So far it is the first and only game to be designed by Fred Wood whose name sounds uncannily similar to Ed Wood. Also it has a very strange choice for a title seeing as how it has nothing to do with the game.

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Site Progress & Personal Update: February 2019

I would like to apologize for the lack of activity last month as I have not only been busy with “activist work” (yes I am being intentionally vague about that for a reason) but my depression has been also relapsing throughout last month. I’ve come to realize that I may have put my ambitions too high in regards to activist work. I put together a writing piece longer than some books in regards to the midterms election and maybe I just was expecting a larger view count. Don’t get me wrong, this piece is among my top 10 most viewed articles but I had my hopes up too high that it would go viral.

The issue is that I have a secret project in motion that is likely going to stay secret for a lot of people unless I let them in on it. This has resulted in me putting more time into my secret project than my writing and I have thus fallen behind in article turnout and the daily view count. As such I’m going to make an effort to better balance the two and make sure I still have a fair amount of gaming AND political content for the future. Also I have abandoned the idea of emailing every US congressperson because I already have my hands full as it is. Anyway here is the article recap of last month. Read more

Hip Hop Album Review: Kamikaze (Eminem)

Kamikaze | album cover

I must say, I did not expect to be reviewing another Eminem album this soon after covering Revival. There was a four year gap between Revival and The Marshall Mathers LP 2, and there was a three year gap between The Marshall Mathers LP 2 and Recovery. Yet not even a full year has passed between the release of Revival and Kamikaze.

I had very high praises for Revival and I considered it to be one of his best albums if not THE best, but as usual for me this opinion turned out to be in the minority. Revival was among Eminem’s most panned albums since Relapse and a lot of people seemed to have hated it, and it was clear Em didn’t take it very well.

I don’t blame Em for his reaction given that Revival was meant to show him at his most vulnerable and human in a medium that is known for expecting its participants to be tough and stable. The very first track on Revival was about his fading relevance and his fears that he can’t own up to his prior legacy, and the poor reception of Revival likely didn’t alleviate those fears.

Kamikaze was clearly made in response to the poor reception of Revival and is meant to be a representation of Em going back on every bit of growth he had in the last decade or so and is instead a return to his roots. Instead of taking the high road, he decides he’s going to fire back at everyone who dissed him or talked shit about him regardless of the risks present. The title “Kamikaze” is a highly fitting title considering that this could be just as harmful to himself as it is to everyone else. He’s fully aware of just what could go wrong but has decided to go for it anyway. We will take a look at this track by track. Read more

Standard Review: You Have to Win the Game (PC)

You Have to Win the Gam | logo

One may have noticed that a lot of indie platformers tend to go with a retro aesthetic as of late. On one hand, one could see this as a way to capture the feelings of platformers of the time and are missing in games today. On the other hand, one could see them as a way of cashing on nostalgia from older gamers while simultaneously avoiding innovation and saving on the graphics budget. You Have to Win the Game is somewhere in between those two. One obviously cannot claim it is a cash in due to it being free to play and I don’t doubt there was a legitimate vision set for this title. However it is clear that this vision was a rather bland one.

Right from when you start up you can tell this game is trying way too hard to be a 1980s PC title. The first thing you hear is loud typing noises as the title is typed out automatically. You are given absolutely zero plot or back story in this game and your only motivation is, as the title says, “to win the game.” As far as I know, there isn’t even a story given for the game on its Steam page, just play it because they say so. I admit it is rather petty to really complain about this and I don’t even consider it a flaw; just more of an indication. Read more

Dragon Quest (NES/MSX/SNES/GBC/Mobile/3DS/PS4): A JRPG Pioneer (Detailed Review)

Dragon Quest | jp box art

Given the niche of people who read my stuff, I am sure most of you are aware of the impact the Dragon Quest series has on JRPGs as a whole. There is a strange sense of disconnect when thinking about how popular the series is in Japan when comparing its overseas releases. While the series is moderately popular in the west, the Dragon Quest series is pretty much mainstream in Japan. Today I am going to look at the game that started it all.

Prior to about a month ago, I have never played the first three Dragon Quest games (and still have not played the third as I am writing this). I beat the first Dragon Quest a few weeks ago and am very close to completing Dragon Quest 2. For the sake of context, the version I played through was the SNES version but I played a bit of the NES version until my emulator went kaput and made me lose all my progress. I plan to briefly talk about each version though and this piece is meant as a critique of the game overall. Read more

Site progress and Personal Update: January 2019 (New Years Edition)

When I started this blog, I intended it as being for little more other than myself. That much has changed as of late given my recent focus on politics. A lot of what I talk about will likely pertain to my 2018 Midterm piece considering just how much of my time spent in the last few weeks was directed towards this piece. It is because of this that the piece you are reading right now did not come out until later; because I needed to take a break.

Admittedly there are a few complications in regards to proceeding with #PinkTsunami. When I finished with that piece I was VERY fired up and ready to take on the world practically. It’s tough to keep channeling pure passion after a rather intense session of burnout but as I’ve said, I do in fact plan to be much more involved in politics. I’m not going to quite writing about games of course but I do plan for there to be a more even split as opposed to one political piece every few months while everything is game reviews.

I should note that I have not started having my midterm piece advertised yet but I likely will soon. Anyway here is last month’s article recap. Read more

US 2018 Midterm Rundown: How Does Our Congress Stand on LGBT & Minority Rights? #PinkTsunami

US Flag Trans Colors

I talked before about how the “Blue Wave” on its own will not be enough for us. The results went fairly well with Democrats getting control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 2010. Unfortunately the Democrats did not gain nearly as many seats as the Republicans gained in 2010 but that is likely because more Democratic senate seats were up for election.

My plan here is to do a run down of all the elections of each state from a civil rights perspective. It may take some time because I am looking up most of these people for the first time. If anyone lives in any of these states and has anything to add in regards to their current representatives I would greatly appreciate the additional insight. This is largely meant to observe patterns so I may not touch on everything that’s important.

Before I begin I would like address a few things in advance that I know will be brought up if this piece gets any significant viewership. The first is that yes, there is a strong left wing bias in this piece. I have tried my best to be impartial by sticking strictly to civil rights issues but when one looks at the basic facts, the Republican party is far more often to blame for a lot of the most heinous shit when it comes to bigotry and cruelty. While the left has its fair share of shitheads, and I have done my best to call them all out and draw attention to them as well, It’s only naturally that my interests will be more closely aligned with the left when there is not only less bigoted shitheads, but also that the bigoted shitheads are less bigoted and less shit headed.

If you are a moderate Republican who is in favor of equal rights for LGBT people, women, and people of color then I would highly recommend reading through this entire 27,000+ word piece. I have heard more than one moderate claim that both parties are just as bad, but while I have plenty of criticisms towards the American left as of late, I just find that the right is just so much more hateful and ignorant than the left is. Even if the left only cares about lining their own pockets it does not change the fact that is it only logical to do what will help give us our rights. If you read this piece all the way through then you will likely have a much greater understanding of why LGBT activists hold so much more disdain towards the right.

Even if one does believe that one can merely “disagree” with LGBT rights (which as a heads up, you can’t expect to advocate for LGBT people being deprived of the same basic rights as everyone else and expect them to be okay with it), you will see that a large number of people who are still serving in the united states congress have some outright cruel and hateful views towards LGBT people that a lot of you may have thought died out.

I also ask that you show this piece to anyone who states that the Republican party isn’t homophobic. Hell even if you are a passionate leftist and LGBT rights supporter I think it would behoove you to read this entire piece because it allows you to see the scope of this anti LGBT prejudice, as well as a fair bit of stuff relating to women’s rights and rights for people of color. If you just want to know whose been a piece of shit in your state, I recommend you just skip to the section on your specific state than read the “conclusion” section. The states are covered in alphabetical order.

Lastly I recommend that you read this, and then remember to get out and vote these pricks out of office. This type of abhorrent ignorance and bigotry should have never been tolerated, and it’s up to us all to right this age old wrong that we as a society have allowed. Starting with…

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Quick Review: Mad Father (PC)

I’ve talked about Misao: Definitive Edition a couple weeks ago. I did find that there was at least a marginal amount of appeal to that game, but it fell apart under close scrutiny and it becomes hard to recommend. Mad Father was originally released in 2012 as a freeware title and was the second game developed by Sen after the original version of Misao. Despite this, Mad Father received a remake for Steam before Misao did. After having played both games it is quite obvious as to why; Mad Father is an immensely superior title.

The reason that Mad Father is so much better than Misao can be chalked up to a much more consistent story with much stronger writing. I do not consider Mad Father a perfect game by any stretch and it certainly has its fair share of issues, but I will say that I found this one have much stronger substance in its content and there were at least a few genuinely scary moments. Read more

Has it Held up? – Metroid (NES) (Standard Review)

Metroid | metroids

Recently I decided to play through the original Metroid on a whim. I have a specific set of games I want to play through but I always tend to deviate from that schedule eventually. The reason why I decided to was because I have actually never played the first Metroid before this. I have played through Super Metroid, Metroid Prime, and Metroid Fusion before but not the original. Granted I could have just played the remake Metroid: Zero Mission for the GBA but I wanted to see how the series started. I wanted to play through the first Metroid just so I can ask, has it held up?

The answer to that the original Metroid does in fact pass the test of time, but it does so with a C minus. I did have fun with Metroid but there was a lot of shit that really interfered with that and will be difficult to go back to. Nonetheless there is still quite a bit that puts this game ahead of mediocre clones like Legends of the Universe – Starcore even with the game’s age. Read more