Twitch is a place of dreams. It’s a place where playing video games transforms from an activity you do on your own into a communal activity where you can make friends, share interests, and even make money. It’s a place where anyone can get an audience of some sort, where anyone with a computer can create content for others to watch.
I am a nerd. I was bullied so hard as a kid that being in front of people, even in a semi-casual setting terrifies me. I suffer from stage-fright, so much so that I quit choral in high school as soon as they required a solo audition to enter the band… even though I loved singing. So what motivates people like me to tackle all of those obstacles and put ourselves on-screen for all to see?
Guerilla Games, known primarily for the Killzone series of fps games, decided they wanted to do something different for a change of pace. So they decided to make a third person open world shooter with rpg elements in a post-apocalyptic world full of robot dinosaurs. You know, the usual suspects.
Our protagonist Aloy is an orphaned child being raised by a man named Rost. The two both live within the boundaries of the Nora tribe’s ‘sacred lands’, but are branded as exiles and are forbidden from entering Nora settlements or communicating with those of the tribe. Horizon begins by showing Aloy’s discovery of a strange relic of the ancient world while still a child, a trinket that will shape her future.
When I saw Children of Zodiarcs on Kickstarter, I was intrigued. Their descriptions brought to mind classic RPGs like Final Fantasy Tactics and Ogre Battle, evoking memories of the Strategy RPGs that so many of us loved as kids. They then mixed that with promises of incorporating the dice and deck style mechanics that board game aficionados are so familiar with, bringing together two seemingly disparate playstyles to create a happy family.
An ambitious goal. Not only in taking two completely different genres and tying them together, but also breaking into an already-niche genre dominated by well-established heavy hitters like Final Fantasy, Disgaea, and Fire Emblem as an indy game. Could a small studio pull this off? Could they live up to the Kickstarter promises or would this be just another example of a Kickstarter promising more than they could deliver?
The Persona series’ Velvet Room has always defined each game. In Persona 3, the room appeared as an elevator representing one of the game’s core story themes. In Persona 4, it is a limousine shrouded in fog signifying our protagonist’s current transient state. Persona 5 ups the symbolism a notch by making the Velvet Room the prison that is meant to be a window into the lead character’s current peril.
Within the first hour of your time with Persona 5, you’ll come to the realization that the story here is not light-hearted. For all that the music is extremely up-beat, what we’re dealing with her is a story of misfits ground down by the world and trying to strike back – to reclaim some sense of life for their lives. In Persona 5, our protagonist – known by the code name Joker – forms a group of thieves known as the Phantom Thieves of Hearts and seeks to right the wrongs of the society that has failed him by stealing the twisted hearts of the wicked who are preying upon the innocent. Sounds simple, right?
Welcome to Fejite, the home of the Alzano Imperial Magic Academy – the most respected and prestigious institution of its type. Attending Alzano are Sistine Fibel and Rumia Tingel, two of the show’s protagonists. Their school life is happy and fulfilling until one of their teachers goes on an unexpected extended leave and is replaced by Glenn Radars who – at first glance – appears to be a lazy, good-for-nothing fool with no qualifications for the job.
Sistine, being the diligent student she is, quickly comes to hate the new teacher, and this escalate from there… but is he really as incompetent as he seems?