Review: Final Fantasy XV

Developer: Square Enix | Year: 2016 | List Price: $34.99 | Buy from Amazon

Final Fantasy XV, the latest instalment in the long-running Final Fantasy series of role-playing games, is a game that has been in development in some form or another since 2006, a whopping ten years before its final release in 2016. I’m a huge fan of Final Fantasy, having played most of the other mainline titles in the franchise, so I was excited to see the newest developments in the series, but I had definite reservations about the direction Square Enix decided to take in this instalment. Having now finished the main story, I can tell you that Final Fantasy XV is, at once, one of the most wonderful and one of the most frustrating experiences in recent memory.
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Review: SNES Classic Mini (EU Version)

Nintendo’s second throwback console features the best of the 16-bit era while improving on some of its predecessor’s shortcomings.

Manufacturer: Nintendo | Year: 2017 | Price: $79.99 | Buy from Amazon

I got the NES Classic earlier this year and thoroughly enjoyed discovering classic games I’d never got a chance to try. But all but a couple of those games haven’t aged so well, and it was more of a historical time-capsule than a legitimate console you’d recommend to you friends. The Super Nintendo era is different. There’s a reason many modern indie games like Stardew Valley and Undertale find widespread success emulating the 16-bit style. The early nineties were a time when home video games started to distance itself from the arcade as a separate, valid entity, and as a result many of these games are lengthy, rich experiences.
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Review: Persona 5

Developer: Atlus | Year: 2017 | Price: $59.99 | Buy from Amazon

The Persona series of Japanese role-playing games started in 1996 when Revelations: Persona was released for the PlayStation. Persona is a spin-off of the larger Megami Tensei series, whose games are often set in the present-day and feature darker themes. Persona was a pretty standard dungeon-crawler, and the well-loved Persona 2 duology was pretty similar gameplay-wise, but starting with Persona 3, released in 2006 for the PlayStation 2, the series started to incorporate certain visual novel elements, allowing the player to alternate between a high-school life simulator by day and dungeon crawler to monsters at night.

Note: This review contains early-game story spoilers as well as details of various gameplay mechanics. 
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A Year in Reflection (GOTY 2016)

It’s that time of the year again, the season of exchanging presents and spending time with family. With school out, it’s a wonderful time to catch up on some of the best games of the year. You might notice that I haven’t really been keeping up with updating the site in recent months. I’ve been pretty busy with training (I’m still serving in the Singapore Armed Forces) so I haven’t gotten much time to play. In 2015 I beat a whopping 34 games whereas in 2016 I only beat six: Three Fourths Home, Her Story, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, Valkyria Chronicles Remastered, Dark Souls III, and Life Is Strange. Before I talk about Kantaloupe’s Game of the Year 2016, I want to give a couple honourable mentions.
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GOTY 2015: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Well, if you saw our post from a couple of weeks ago, you’ll know that The Witcher 3 was one of the five contenders for Kantaloupe’s Game of the Year 2015 award. It was a tough decision between The Witcher and Bloodborne, but ultimately the sheer scope of CD Projekt Red’s take on the Western RPG trumped the focused tightness of From Software’s Japanese one. I spent more time in The Witcher 3 than I have in probably any other single playthrough of a game, and though there were some slumps in the action, there was a certain satisfaction I got from the gameplay that kept me going. The world of The Witcher is so fleshed-out that it’s never a chore to poke your nose around corners and sniff out some lore. And though the main quest in interesting enough, it’s really the sidequests that make you feel like a part of that world. There’s just an abundance of things to do in The Witcher 3, and if you’re at all interested in fantasy or action RPGs, The Witcher 3 should be at the top of your to-play list.

I haven’t gotten to playing much recently, what with army training (I’m currently in NCO school) and Netflix, which just came to Singapore two weeks ago. But I just got the Banner Saga, Bastion, and Three Fourths Home, so I might review one of those if/when I finish them.

In the meantime, check out the rest of our videogame-related stuff right here!