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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Listen: Garmarna

GarmarnaSince the band’s founding in 1990, Garmarna have been one of the most prominent names in Swedish folk music. Their modern take on traditional Swedish folk tunes and ballads led them to moderate success in Sweden throughout the ’90s. However, they — and the Scandinavian folk scene as a whole — have remained relatively unknown elsewhere in the world. I discovered Garmarna completely by accident, during one of my frequent escapades down the YouTube rabbit-hole. I’ve become a pretty big fan of their music since, and today I thought I’d do a little spotlight on three of their albums: VittradGuds Spelemän, and Vedergällningen.
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Review: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Developer: CD Projekt Red | Year: 2015 | Price: $42.99 | Buy from Amazon

tw3coverWell, it’s finally over. After nearly four months of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt dominating my outside-of-army life, I’ve finally gotten to the end credits. I bought it right after I got my PS4 in May, but before I’d done my finals, so I actually wasn’t allowed to play it until a month later, when I moved to Singapore. In the six weeks I spent waiting for my enlistment into the army, I played Wild Hunt obsessively, often well into the small hours of the morning (although that was probably also a product of jet-lag!). Since enlistment I’ve had to slow down my progress, as I’m only allowed out of camp on weekends and have lots of other things to accomplish during that time. But last weekend I made a final 7-hour-long push to the finish and defeated the game’s final boss. And I can’t wait to tell you guys all about it, so cop a seat and enjoy the ride!
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Review: Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2

Developer: Nintendo EAD | Year: 2002 | List Price: ~$15 | Buy from Amazon

smwsma2I’m currently going through a Mario phase wherein I’ve been going through and playing all the Mario 2D platformers (roughly in order of difficulty). I enjoyed Nintendo’s side series like Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. but never played much in the way of Mario platformers as a kid, so it’s been really cool to actually try the mainline Mario games. Last weekend I finally beat the GBA port of the 1990 SNES game Super Mario World, a game that many consider to be the best Mario game and one of the best platformers of all time.
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Review: New Super Mario Bros.

Developer: Nintendo EAD | Year: 2006 | List Price: ~$25 | Buy from Amazon

nsmbUp until very recently, I’d never beaten a Mario game. Shocking, right? It’s not that I never played them; in fact, I have lots of the NES games on Virtual Console, as well as all of the Super Mario Advance games. It’s just that the NES Mario games are really hard, and I just don’t have the platforming prowess to best them just yet. New Super Mario Bros. is actually the first Mario game I ever owned, though I hadn’t played it for a while. I read that it was a lot easier than other Mario games, so I decided to give it a revisit and beat it in only two days!
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