Muses: Atlus’ War On Free Publicity

I know guys, it’s hard to believe… two muses posts right in a row. By now we’ve all heard of Atlus’ archaic restrictions on Persona 5 content, but for those who haven’t, take a second and go visit the Atlus website to see them outline their restrictions and to read their subsequent threat to their fanbase.

Reactions have been seen all over the internet, from content creators both big and small. Forbes called it ‘Ludicrous and Absurd’, Jim Sterling released one of his best videos ever entitled ‘Oh Atlus, Honey, no…’ discussing the topic, and even Square Enix has released statements about how this type of thing hurts sales more than it helps (although it was in a Japanese interview so links are hard to find).

Now that I’ve had some time to think about it, and since it is a subject that touches fairly close to home as a streamer who mostly streams JRPGs, I wanted to take some time to actually go into detail about my thoughts on the subject.

Note: This article was written before the recent update, but I’m still going to post it because the basic content is still fitting. The update to the policy outlines that they’ve lightened the restriction to 11/19. I fully expect that in a few months we’ll hear that they’ve lifted it entirely. The video will touch a bit more on the lightened restrictions.

[Read more…]

Muses: Difficulty in Video Games or ‘Why I Hate Dark Souls’

Video Game Difficulty is a hot topic these days as a new barrage of games spotlighting difficulty as one of their core values continues to arrive. Whether we’re talking brutal platformers trying to emulate the success of ‘I Wanna Be the Boshy’ or the action adventure sub-genre known as ‘Soulsborne’… difficulty is being brought into the spotlight more than ever.

There are many different ways to make a difficult game. Both Souls and Boshy are among the first games mentioned if you ask people about challenging games, yet the two take a completely different approach to difficulty. What I want to do here is explain the way I look at a game’s difficulty, and touch on why I find some difficult games fun while others atrocious. So for those of you out there who keep asking me why I dislike Dark Souls… here’s your answer.


[Read more…]

Gallery Spotlight – Ai-Kon 2016 and Vancouver Galleries

Some of you know we have galleries here on Shadowedblade for my photography – mostly cosplay, although some from my various trips and vacations. For a long time, our gallery suffered from some coding problems that made some of the icons look a little awkward, and my wife (who is also my web designer and editor) has always wanted to revamp them to make them look and run just a little better.

Well, that day has come and we have some sleek, fancy new galleries for all of our pictures. To accompany the unveiling of the new gallery earlier this year, she also uploaded my Ai-Kon 2016 pictures and did some more of the Vancouver trip pictures. So today I’d like to point out a few of my favourites from among those two galleries and point you in their direction!

[Read more…]

Shadow’s Six – Best Games of 2016

It’s time to close the book on 2016’s gaming history. A big year for game releases is behind us, with several massive franchises popping up throughout the year… and a lot of pleasant little surprises too. We had some games that had been over a decade in waiting, and others that we only found out about weeks before their arrival. Games of all genres graced our consoles and computers, with sequels, expansions, reboots, and brand new titles all coming out this past year.

What amazed me this year was how few games were quite what I was expecting. Several games I expected to love I wasn’t terribly fond of, while others that I was concerned about I ended up being blown away by. Picking the games for this year’s list had a few obvious spots, but there are about 7 games fighting for those last couple slots, none of which are clear picks.

So without any further delay… let’s jump into the Best Games of 2016!

[Read more…]

Blade’s Edge Update – October 2016

August and September were… strange for me. I was dealing with exhaustion, stress, and motivation issues for a long time there. I’m still struggling with some of it a bit, but for the most part it’s all cleared up. I won’t bore you with the details but I am very pleased that a lot of it has been dealt with, and I’m back on track. I even managed to finish my spring reviews and do my winter and spring anime review roundup!

Last month we finally finished my year-long introspective on my life of gaming. For those who haven’t seen it, please check out my Shadow’s Sixty if you’d like to see the best games I’ve ever played. It’s been an amazing journey, and was a lot more difficult than I expected. If you take a look, I’d love to hear about your lists or if there were any big surprises on my list for you. There were also a few game reviews that made their way out, for Abzu, I Am Setsuna, and Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness.

[Read more…]