Let’s be honest… Tales of Zestiria was a huge let down. Bandai Namco (or Namco Bandai or whatever they’re calling themselves this week) had done a fantastic job on the series recently, making some of the best JRPGs I’d ever played and then Zestiria came out with its anticlimax of a finish, awkward combat, and disappointing core protagonists, reminding us all that what goes up must come down. Then I heard about Berseria, I saw trailers of it and it looked promising.
I kept hearing tidbits about the game that seemed good. It has a darker tone? Intriguing. The protagonist is female? Nice change of pace. But my hope wilted when I found out it took place in the distant past of Zestiria. I began to fear that we were in for another let-down. I still wanted to believe it would be good, that we would be going back to the greatness the last installments had featured… but I had my doubts. Now, the question then becomes: were my doubts realized?
In the world of Bloodivores, a sudden event caused people to start displaying vampiric tendencies. Fearing a potential disaster, The BST, an organization focused on the control and research of these ‘Bloodivores’, was formed. Before long, the BST had initiated measures to protect humanity from the Bloodivore threat, primarily placing sensory collars on anyone with the symptoms that would alert authorities if someone afflicted was a potential threat to humanity.
Alongside these measures, they also began researching the condition and, as one step towards understanding it and finding a cure, they began trying to breed a Bloodivore with a human. As a result, our protagonist Mi Liu was born. Our story begins with him as a rebellious teenager trying to help his friends get a little money to save their orphanage. Okay, maybe more than a little. To do this, they rob a bank but things don’t go quite as intended…
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!
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!
Early last year, I wrote a review for a digital card game who had just made their official ‘release’ called Hex. I rarely do these sorts of review updates… but sometimes it proves necessary. My initial review cautioned people to not get suckered in by their promises as the game’s non-standard elements were still very much lacking, while offering strong praise for the game’s competitive elements – the more traditional things that make a ‘TCG’ run.
Almost a year has passed since then, and Hex Entertainment has been busy. They have released a plethora of new cards, and are on the verge of releasing another set as we speak. They have revamped their tournament structure, taking strong advantage of the digital framework they’ve built to explore new territory. They have expanded their free to play offering, revamped the difficulty curve, and significantly enhanced the reward structure. So, given all of the above… how does the game look now?
This review will utilize some TCG jargon without explanation. If you’re unsure what the terminology means, I recommend looking here as the definitions are fairly good.