So, my 20th birthday has come and gone! Wow, that feels kind of weird to say, but in hindsight I don't really feel all that different. It has been a while since my deluge of Bravely Default-related posts, so I thought I should share what I'm currently playing, as well as some foreshadowing of what might find its way onto the Deck of Many Things sometime in the near future.
Recently, I've finally started making significant progress in Xenoblade Chronicles, the first of the Operation Rainfall trio of Wii JRPGs. This the most recent game from Tetsuya Takahashi, head of Monolith Soft and creator of the cult classic Xenogears (one of my personal favorites) and the ill-fated Xenosaga series. Xenoblade carries elements of Takahashi's prior projects, such as the concept of Ether and some rather weighty thematic material, but also incorporates design elements from MMORPGs and open-world games, merging them with the more traditional trappings of a classic JRPG to craft a familiar, yet forward-thinking experience. The closest comparison I can think of (and many others have as well) is Final Fantasy XII. I have about twenty hours or so in Xenoblade as of this writing (having recently reached the Eryth Sea) and hope to have a review written by the end of the summer.
I've also been playing a birthday present given to me by a certain lady friend, which is Pokemon X. I was an enormous Pokemon fan back in the day (really, who wasn't?), but my interest in the series waned over the years. I was compelled to try the Generation 6 games due to the sheer amount of praise they were receiving from my friends, and I'm glad I did. Pokemon X makes several small improvements to the basic Pokemon formula that add up to greatly improve the experience (even compared to the most recent game in the series I tried, Pokemon Black), and the improved graphical presentation afforded by the 3DS hardware goes a long way towards bringing it's pocket monster denizens to life. I'm not sure if I will be reviewing or finishing Pokemon X at this time- Xenoblade is my focus at the moment.
Aside from those, I've been playing some Mario Kart 8 on the side and figuring out some potential countdown ideas. I'm thinking about doing a list of my favorite games of all time, with a more in-depth description of what makes these games so wonderful in my opinion, but since this is an ever-changing topic I don't have a concrete idea for this yet. It's been kind of a hectic summer thus far, what with work and freak illnesses eating up a lot of my free time, so I apologize for the dearth of updates to this blog. Hopefully I will have some new content in the near future!
Live long, and prosper, dear reader!