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Showing posts from July, 2018

Review - "Dead or Alive 5: Last Round" (2015)

Dead or Alive 2 is one of my earliest fighting game memories. In fact, it's the first fighter I ever actually owned - personal favorite Soul Caliber II would come later, when I held onto a Blockbuster copy and just never returned it. Back in the day, I played the hell out of it - learned the ins and outs of my favorite characters, unlocked all the smutty pictures in the character gallery, constantly wondered what kind of name Bayman was, anyway. Ditto for Dead or Alive 4, one of the first games I got for the Xbox 360, and even the ill-advised Dead or Alive Dimensions. I've sunk a lot of time into these games.

In terms of fighters, this is a series I've historically preferred over many of its contemporaries - yes, even Tekken and Virtua Fighter, two series I also hold near and dear that ultimately failed to capture what makes the Dead or Alive franchise feel so special to me. More than any other franchise, Team Ninja's flagship series feels built on the idea of bombast …

Review - "Octopath Traveler" (2018)

I was pretty down on Octopath Traveler when it was announced. It looked pretentious as all get-out - a blatant cashgrab at people's nostalgia and at people who get misty-eyed at the same boring JRPG tropes we've seen played out five billion times at this point. The initial demo didn't really do it any favors, either. From a narrative standpoint, it seemed like trope-ridden and borderline sexist garbage. Stylistically, its 2.5 look was rough in the early stages that got shone off. Mechanically, it... certainly seemed like a turn-based RPG. Mentally, I wrote it off as another lame attempt from Square Enix to hearken back to the SNES era, all of which have been pretty bogus from where I stand.

Turns out, I was wrong. Really, really wrong. Well, alright, maybe not that wrong - it still is a pretty trope-y and occasionally sexist affair. Yet despite those complaints, I've enjoyed my time with Octopath Traveler a whole lot. More than I have with a JRPG in quite a while, ac…