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Month: September 2011

Bastion review: A proper story

The Bastion

When I first tried playing Bastion, I wasn’t quite sure what all the fuss was about.  In fact, after I played the demo, I sort of shrugged a little, deleted it, and went about my day.  All I had really known about the game prior to its release was that it had a hand-painted look and that it was dynamically narrated.  While the demo indeed confirmed that the game featured both of these elements, the relatively brief slice of the game on display didn’t exactly leave me clamoring for more.  I enjoyed it, but I couldn’t help but feel slightly underwhelmed by what was supposed to be one of the marquee titles of Microsoft’s “Summer of Arcade” promotion.  I ultimately ended up purchasing the full game after seeing and hearing the overwhelmingly positive reception it had been receiving.  Once I began to really dig into it, I found my initial lukewarm feelings were completely turned around.  What I had initially thought was just a mediocre hack-and-slash affair turned out to be so excellent that it might just be the best downloadable title of 2011.

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution – What a game.

It’s difficult for me to write a review of Human Revolution without calling back to the original Deus Ex and its sequel. Deus Ex is still widely regarded as nothing short of a masterpiece for its execution of a groundbreaking mix of various game play and storytelling elements. In fact, 11 years later, I have a hard time thinking of many games that have matched Deus Ex in that particular regard. It isn’t easy to make a sequel to a game of such outstanding pedigree as the luke warm reception to Invisible War will show you. What Eidos Montreal has pulled off with Human Revolution is a pretty rare feat in this industry. They’ve not only paid homage to an incredible game, but they have eclipsed the original title in many ways.

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BGM Mode: Overworld Themes

Zelda~

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of RPGs. Right now I’ve been playing a metric ass ton of Xenoblade Chronicles and the absolutely gorgeous soundtrack got me thinking of some of my favourite Overworld themes from games of yesteryear. Near the end of Episode #20 of VGH Randy asked me what an Overworld theme was, and of course I didn’t answer him because I’m a jerk! But seriously, an Overworld theme is just the music plays while your adventurers (usually in an rpg) traverse the world (map)!

(Note for Randy, the song that plays in DQ9 when you’re running around between cities would fit this criteria)

Xenoblade doesn’t really have a traditional rpg “Overworld” per se but the music is simply incredible and inspired this weeks BGM Mode. So it may or may not get two slots this week. Plus it doesn’t hurt that the game currently has my soul in its grasp.

But lets kick things off with what I consider to be the greatest/quintessential Overworld theme of all time, and it doesn’t even come from a traditional RPG!

The Legend of Zelda – Overworld Theme – Koji Kondo

You may have heard this song before. Over 20 years later and Koji Kondo’s masterpiece still resonates with gamers. Nothing more needs to be said.

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