Yesterday, Square Enix held a special “Uncovered” event for Final Fantasy XV, their Duke Nukem Forever. Among a variety of puzzling announcements, they dropped a previously confirmed demo, called the Platinum Demo. In it, you traverse through the dreamscape of Noctis, the game’s protagonist, as a child. I’ve been vocal in my negative opinions of Final Fantasy XV in the past, but with the tempting price tag of $Free.99 and nothing to do tonight, it seemed time to put hostility aside and give the game a chance. (more…)
I have been a fan of the Kingdom Hearts series since before it was a series at all; enticed by the appearance of Disney characters, my sisters and I broke in our PlayStation 2 with the original Kingdom Hearts not long after its 2002 release. Between me, at 8 years of age, and my sisters at 10, we were rather pitiful at the game, and it’d take me another two years to finally complete it (and subsequently, become obsessed). I’ve spent the ten years since consuming every piece of Kingdom Hearts news and media available. My adolescent years have become inextricably tied to these games. I’ve gone through the ringer with the series, followed its many plot twists, turns, and holes, waited — patiently and impatiently — for each new title. I’ve attempted, with varying levels of success, to decipher the wayward and needlessly complicated plot. I do a weekly podcast that is (theoretically) focused on the series.
Having thus established my cred as a Kingdom Hearts fan, I’ve got beef. I’m routinely surprised to find many within the fandom claim that the English lyrics to the first game’s iconic theme song are, like the plot of the series as of Dream Drop Distance, complete nonsense. Therefore I’d like to take another stab at dissecting the lyrics and larger meaning behind Utada Hikaru’s “Simple & Clean.”
Set in the fictional town of Arcadia Bay, Life is Strange follows Max, the recently minted 18-year-old photography nerd, attending the elite Blackwall Academy. In the trend of episodic games, Life is Strange centers around player choice, the butterfly effect being both a literal and figurative force in the game. It manages, however, to distinguish itself from not only Telltale Games — with its unique center and focus on two teenage girls, as well as its gorgeous, indie-film presentation — but also from just about everything else we’re seeing in gaming today.