My VG Music Picks #86 – Bully (River City Girls)

I may have mentioned this before, but if a videogame has actual lyrical songs in it, I’m much more likely to buy it. It’s weird since videogames featuring songs isn’t new or special anymore, but I can’t help but be impressed/excited whenever it happens. I very nearly bought River City Girls just because it had an opening song that was only four lines long, and I was somewhat surprised that it had more songs like it. Continue reading

My VG Music Picks #83 – Mafia Boss’ big Showdown (A Hat in Time)

No, I don’t know why the ‘b’ in ‘big’ isn’t capitalised either. It drives me up the wall, honestly, but that’s not what I’m here to write about today. What I AM writing about is this awesome boss track from A Hat in Time. Continue reading

My VG Music Picks #81 – Re-awake (Steins;Gate 0)

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Steins;Gate 0

When it comes to the two Steins;Gate titles, I don’t find either of their soundtracks to be particularly amazing. They’re perfectly fine and atmospheric but not the kind that I could find myself listening to over and over again, with the exception of a few tracks. I’ve written about my favourite music piece from the first game before, so it’s only fitting that I do the same for my favourite piece from Steins;Gate 0. Continue reading

Steins;Gate 0 – No, Seriously, Don’t Invent Time Travel

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Steins;Gate

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When I finished playing Steins;Gate back in 2015, I found myself in that state of mind where, even though everything was neatly wrapped up, I was hungry for more from its world and characters. Even if it was an entire story just about the characters living their lives, I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye yet. Fortunately, there was an anime adaptation to throw myself into and a movie that acted as an epilogue of sorts (both of which I loved). But then I found out that a full-on sequel was coming to Japan very soon and would be out in the West the following year… and I had no interest in playing it.

“But you just said you wanted more Steins;Gate!” you cry. True, but Steins;Gate 0 isn’t a sequel in the traditional sense, instead continuing the story in an alternate “bad” timeline. Considering how much I loved the first game’s ending, I was worried that the sequel could potentially undo how perfect it was. Plus, I didn’t want to see more bad things happen to the characters after they got their happy endings, so I skipped it.

Cut to 2018 and the anime adaptation began to air on Crunchyroll. I had an account at the time and when the first episode went up, I thought “Eh, why not? I’ll give it a shot.” And sure enough, I got completely sucked in. I’m not sure what it was but it did enough to make me see it through to the end, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But even I could tell that certain elements had been changed or removed in order to fit the narrative in an anime format (I even saw some comments complaining about how certain scenes were cut). Curious, I decided to play the game myself and go through the full unaltered experience of Steins;Gate 0 myself. Continue reading

My VG Music Picks #80 – Haunted Castle: Lap Music (Team Sonic Racing)

When it comes to music for spooky or haunted areas, you usually get something slow and ominous. Something atmospheric; not the sort of thing you’d blast out of your radio whilst cruising down a highway. But you can’t have something like that for a racing game, especially one starring Sonic the Hedgehog – a character who’s whole thing is going really fast. Well, that’s where musician Tee Lopes steps in. Continue reading

Team Sonic Racing – Does Teamwork Make the Dream Work?

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Back when Team Sonic Racing was first teased with an incredibly vague and short trailer, I wasn’t exactly impressed or excited. At the time, Sonic Forces had left me rather bitter about how Sega was handling the series, and I didn’t think they had earned enough goodwill to only hint at a new title and expect me to be invested. However, as time passed and more info was revealed, I was eventually coaxed back like a badger out of its sett. The fact that Sega had brought Sumo Digital on board to develop it was the primary reason since I really enjoyed their last two Sega-themed racing games, especially Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.

But there was still some scepticism, and I wasn’t the only one. The focus was entirely on Sonic and friends this time and, rather than do what every other mascot kart racer did and just copy and paste Mario Kart, Sumo Digital were doing something very different and making a racing game where players would race in teams and have to work together in order to win. It was certainly a unique premise, but after being consistently disappointed by so many Sonic games over the last few years, there was this constant fear that I was setting myself up to be let down again.

So is Team Sonic Racing a worthy Mario Kart alternative? Is it even as good as Sumo Digital’s previous work? Or is it just a gimmicky failure? Continue reading

Favourite Moments in Fiction #20 – The End of YoRHa (Nier: Automata)

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Nier: Automata

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No, seriously, this one is a massive spoiler as I’m writing about a good chunk of Nier: Automata‘s ending here. So, please, if you have any intention of playing this game, stop reading and go do that now because this is an ending that I feel nearly everyone should experience for themselves. I daresay that it’s unequivocally one of the best videogame endings ever. If you have already played it, then you already know why and don’t need me to tell you, but I’m gonna write about it anyway just because I can. Continue reading

My VG Music Picks #78 – Dependent Weakling (Nier: Automata)

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Nier: Automata

In retrospect, it’d kind of funny how despite being bigged up as the main antagonists of the game, Adam and Eve are defeated rather early on and don’t really come back until the very end. And even then, their return is minimal. Regardless, they made the most of their little screen-time and both got pretty awesome boss fights that make sure the player remembers them. Today, though, I want to specifically write about the fight with Eve – the climax of the first half of the game – and it’s accompanying music. Continue reading

Nier: Automata – My First Yoko Taro Game

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“Everything that lives is designed to end. We are perpetually trapped in a never-ending spiral of life and death. Is this a curse? Or some kind of punishment? I often think about the god who blessed us with this cryptic puzzle…and wonder if we’ll ever get the chance to kill him.”

These are the first lines of dialogue you hear in Nier: Automata, and if this doesn’t immediately tell you what kind of game you’re about to experience, then you are in for one hell of a trip; one that could only have come from a director like Yoko Taro. Anyone familiar with his work kind of had an idea for what to expect but for a newcomer like myself, no amount of research into his previous games could prepare me for what this one had in store. I thought I knew after listening to those opening lines, but that was, appropriately and obviously, only the beginning. First, though, let’s get some backstory out of the way. Continue reading

Favourite Moments in Fiction #19 – Nero VS Dante, Round One (Devil May Cry 4)

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Devil May Cry 4

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I don’t know how Devil May Cry fans felt when playing Devil May Cry 4 for the first time, but I imagine that they’d at least be rather confused. In retrospect, DMC 4‘s opening was kind of ballsy on Capcom’s part. It’s a brand new game but, instead of the beloved Dante, players are put in control of the seemingly less cool Nero who, while still kick-ass when it comes to fighting demons, is first seen running to a church so he can see his girlfriend sing – very different to how Dante is usually introduced. And then when Dante does appear, it’s by crashing through the ceiling and murdering a harmless, old priest. Continue reading