2013: A Year Reborn

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2013 has been a bit of a strange year for me. It's the second year in a row that a particular set of personal issues have come to light, but it's also been a year of fairly great and interesting discoveries in the gaming world. I haven't played enough games that actually came out this year to make this into your typical "personal game of the year" post. As anyone who has read even a little bit of this site can probably guess, I'm constantly struggling to balance my gaming time between retro and modern games. That makes keeping up with the hot games of the year not always an easy thing to do. However I do want to briefly touch on the few games I did play that qualify. Continue Reading

MonHan-scoveries

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I have been playing Monster Hunter 4 since the Japanese release date. If this were a past iteration of Monster Hunter (let's say, for example, Portable 3rd) my game clock would easily be over the 100 hour mark by now. My game clock in Monster Hunter 4 is just over 50 hours. As I'd mentioned in a previous article about my history with the Monster Hunter series, I'd gone through a bout of decreased interest with the series as of 3G/3 Ultimate on the 3DS/Wii U. However, I was really hoping that the changes brought about in 4 would spark my long held interest again. Well have they? I guess I can't answer "yes" completely given what I just said, so the answer is more like "Sort of". But I've begun to realize that it's because of an aspect of Monster Hunter that I somehow managed to forget about over time and a changing life situation. Continue Reading

El Shaddai/Forgetfulness

Back in July of this year I started playing El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron. I'd heard nothing but fantastic things about it from plenty of sources that I trusted, and figured that I'd forgotten about it long enough. I'm happy to say that every bit of praise that had been heaped upon it was true: The game was fantastic. My understanding of it coming in was that it was sort of an arty 3D beat-em-up, which was completely fine with me. What I wasn't expecting was all of the other elements from other game genres that were thrown in, and for the most part, very well executed. The 3D platform could be a bit frustrating at times (perhaps that's due to me not being so great at 3D platforming sometimes), but I was thrilled with the 2D platforming and motorcycle stages. I would not hesitate to recommend this game to anyone. Continue Reading

Mobile Suit Z Gundam – Hot Scramble

Reviews
Famicom/NES
08/28/1986 (Japan)
機動戦士Ζガンダム・ホットスクランブル
Mobile Suit Z Gundam - Hot Scramble
In February of 1986 the Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam TV anime had just finished its fifty episode run of nearly one year in length. It received critical acclaim all around, garnered the highest ratings of any televised Gundam anime thus far and is widely regarded as one of Yoshiyuki Tomino's (the creator of the Gundam franchise) best works. With Gundam fever spreading across Japan, it only made sense that the franchise should have a game on the Famicom. Continue Reading

My History With Monster Hunter and “Freshness”

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With a copy of Monster Hunter 4 arriving at my doorstep soon, I suspect I'll be writing quite a bit about it in the coming months. In preparation for this, I thought it might be a good idea to briefly discuss my personal history with the Monster Hunter series as a whole. I'd like to do this completely independently of the individual series entry reviews that I've been working on, focusing more just on my personal experiences with them instead of analyses. I will also discuss why I'm so excited for a new Monster Hunter game when the series itself is so well known for not differentiating itself with each iteration. Continue Reading