Final Fantasy III Pixel Remaster: Back in the Right Direction

Given my thoughts on Final Fantasy 2, you’re probably wondering where things went from there. Well, thankfully I can say the last of the Famicom Final Fantasy titles brought the series back into greatness, and would lay the foundation for my favorite FF a couple games down the line. So let’s talk about the Final Fantasy that introduced the Job System and redefined how making a party in an RPG worked.

GENRE: Job System JRPG Pioneer

GET IT HERE: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1173790/FINAL_FANTASY_III/

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Final Fantasy IV Pixel Remaster- A Bold New Direction

First off, I know this is overdue! So I apologize, and hopefully things should be getting back to normal from here on out.

Final Fantasy IV is a very special Final Fantasy to me. Because back in the glory days of their titles being changed to hide the fact we didn’t get several of them, this game was called Final Fantasy II in the states. It was also my first Final Fantasy game, and while I had enjoyed the Dragon Quest games on the NES, this was the game that showed me just what a JRPG could be at the time.

GET IT HERE: Final Fantasy IV on Steam

GENRE: JRPG that defined the genre…Again!

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Pikmin Bloom: All the Flowers With None of the Hay Fever

Pikmin Bloom is great, which is saying something because the entire mobile game industry is horrible.

Mobile games are treated as commodities instead of creative products, like how Atari viewed their games in the 1980’s. The billions of dollars mobile games bring in are dirty money, worsening corporate greed and encouraging exploitation of the poor and downtrodden, especially those that struggle with addictive behaviors. Arguably, mobile games never even had much potential in the first place. Before Candy Crush Saga ruined everything, they tried to mimic PC and console games, with anemic results. There’s just not much you can do with just a touch screen, no buttons, and not even a Nintendo DS stylus to get around how fat and imprecise fingers are. Putting a virtual d-pad and buttons on the screen just means your fingers are always covering the action, while packing a bluetooth controller just causes a smartphone to take a good hit to its portability, its main selling point. Even the best of mobile Sonic the Hedgehog remasters is vastly improved with an actual controller or a port to Steam. To this day, mobile games are defined solely by their limitations, like FMV games were back in the 16-bit era. The mobile industry is basically a dumping ground for the kind of trash that used to infest the Playstation and Game Boy Advance, and what’s worse, its toxins have been trying to seep into handheld and console games to make them worse with glitchy patch-it-out-later launches, microtransactions, and always-online live service business models.

If you want to make worthwhile mobile games, you need to stop thinking of them as games. Chances are you’ll only get something as shallow as your average Atari 2600 game that way. It’s better to step outside the box and think of them as toys. And that is why I love Pikmin Bloom. It’s not a game; it’s a digital toy that encourages you to get outside and brighten up your life.

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Final Fantasy II Pixel Remaster: The One I Kinda Don’t Like

It seems like every series has its black sheep. Doom has Doom 3. Serious Sam has Serious Sam 2. Devil May Cry has Devil May Cry 2. Final Fantasy has Final Fantasy 2, a game so radically different from the others a good chunk of its gameplay elements got used in another series by designer Akitoshi Kawazu, that series being SaGa. Anyway, read on to see while this is considered by many to be FF’s black sheep entry.

GET IT HERE: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1173780/FINAL_FANTASY_II/

GENRE: Flawed Sequel to a Classic RPG

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Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Series: The Beginnings

Final Fantasy is easily Square Enix’s most popular franchise, with 15 mainline games and number 16 currently in development. Every series has its beginning though, and we’re going to talk about Final Fantasy’s with the remake of the original game that’s now available on Steam. Get ready for a big history lesson in this review, because we are talking about what might be one of the most important RPGs ever made. More after the jump.

GENRE: Classic JRPG (REALLY classic…)

GET IT HERE: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1173770/FINAL_FANTASY/

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Retro Curation: SNES Shmups!

Super Nintendo Entertainment System Controller for Switch - Gray for sale  online | eBay

Shmups on the Super Nintendo are…An interesting thing. I say interesting because while there’s quite a few available, the number of them that are worth playing is another story. That said, there are some absolute diamonds in the rough that is the SNES shmup library, and I’m going to list off a few of them here so you can get your blasting on if you so desire!

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Hyper Light Drifter: Neon Souls…But Not Really

Hyper Light Drifter is a good game, but it is one that I think has a slight mis-labelling. Many call it a Souls/Souls-like, but honestly I think this label is one that should be used very loosely. While it has a few elements in common with Souls-like games, it has more to it that’s NOT common to that genre. What it is, however, is a fantastic action adventure game with a bit of Zelda influence and absolutely solid combat. Read on for more!

GENRE: Neon Synthwave Zelda with a *VERY SMALL HINT* of Souls-like

GET IT HERE: https://store.steampowered.com/app/257850/Hyper_Light_Drifter/

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Retro Curation: Earthbound

Man oh man. Earthbound. This game has a very special place in my childhood, and it still has a very special place in my heart today. There were plenty of JRPGs at this point in history on the various consoles of the time, you had Dragon Warrior on the NES, you had Final Fantasy on the NES and SNES, the Genesis had Phantasy Star…But Earthbound was in a league of its own for so many reasons. If you want to take a trip down a very wacky memory lane? It’s time to read on after the jump.

GENRE: JRPG set in the 90s

AVAILABLE ON: Nintendo Switch via Switch Online

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Where I’ve Been, What’s in the Pipe

So, I’m gonna start off mentioning this is going to be a bit more of a personal post than usual, but with nearly a month (if it’s not been a month or more) of no reviews or articles, I felt readers deserved an explanation of what’s going on. Read on for that:

Things have been…Interesting in my life. That’s all I’ll say.
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