Hex: Shards of Fate is a game trying to combine two genres that really couldn’t be further apart: the MMORPG and a truly digital TCG. This is a tall order, and with them having recently soft-launched the game, removing the beta tag and adding the game’s first true PvE component and the first segment of the story, it’s time to see how the game’s coming along.
From a TCG standpoint, this is the first time I’ve seen a game truly embrace the concept of ‘digital’. Digital TCGs have, in the past, typically just been a paper-based TCG translated to be played on a computer. Not to say there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s not exactly the same as what a ‘true’ digital TCG can be. Cryptozoic Entertainment has taken up the challenge and is exploring what this concept can offer to a genre that has been around for a very long time.
From a story standpoint, Hex is trying to make a TCG come to life. Many TCGs in the past have had deep worlds beyond the cards: Magic, World of Warcraft, etc… but none of them have ever succeeded in really making these worlds feel like they were truly connected to the card game. Hex is trying to accomplish this via a story driven campaign that should, eventually, lead into a cooperative end game. This component is not yet here, but the seeds of it are present in the form of what is essentially a starting zone for the campaign.
Note: This review is written assuming at least a passing familiarity with the TCG genre, and as such there may be some terminology that may not make sense without it.
World of Warcraft has been out for over a decade, roughly a third of my entire life, and it has had a huge impact on me over the years. I played it for nearly 9 years straight, and intermittently following that. I have gone back a few times, and I have always kept an eye on it. Even when I say that I’m done with it, I keep going back and at least checking to see what has changed… and I don’t see that changing.
I’m not going to try to conjure some sob story, because in reality I had a pretty comfy home life. But I did suffer from bullying and social anxiety and I was ostracized a lot in school, so I never really learned how to socialize, how to value people, or how to treat people. Looking back, it is kind of hard to believe I found someone who was able to tolerate the person I was enough to stay with me to become the person I am now… but that’s neither here nor there. The point of this is that when I started playing WoW I was your typical socially awkward, angsty, angry nerd. And while some of that still holds true, I like who I am now. And a lot of that I owe to the experiences I’ve found through gaming, especially WoW. The rest I owe to the one I mentioned a second ago.
This post is going to be a combination of reliving some of the great memories and appreciating the impact this game has had on my life. I spent around 9 years with this game. It’s kind of crazy to think that I played the same game for around 1/3 of my entire life, especially thinking about how much has changed in that time. I got married, moved out from my parent’s place, bought a house, got my first full-time job, started a stuffed animal collection, started this website and so much more.
Last summer the second season of Sword Art Online aired. Having loved the first season, although the Fairy Dance arc didn’t quite live up to the quality of SAO’s first arc, I was extremely excited for the second season. The sheer volume of summer and fall reviews kept me from revisiting this for you guys prior to now, but #JRPGMonth seemed like a perfect opportunity to tackle this RPG oriented anime… so how did it compare to the first season?
Like SAO’s first season, SAO2 was split into two separate arcs. Unlike the first season, they took a bit of a break between the two arcs this time by offering a short story to wrap matters up. The first half of SAO2 was the Phantom Bullet arc, which then lead into the Calibur short story and closed matters out with the Mother’s Rosario arc. For the purposes of this review I’ll tackle the two arcs separately, since they differed so greatly.
Blizzard has recently announced that they’ve cancelled another much-anticipated title – this time the secretive Project Titan, which was supposed to be Blizzard’s next attempt at a Massively Multiplayer Online RPG. In order to mourn its loss, along with the finally confirmed to be cancelled StarCraft: Ghost, I’d like to celebrate the greatest of Blizzard’s works. This is not an easy list to narrow down, because while Blizzard hasn’t released a lot of games, they’ve (nearly) all been well made and they also have a vast array of books set in their game worlds. Here we’ll highlight the best among all of those… so let’s take a trip down Blizzard’s history.
Gamers all know the ‘summer lull’ – that time between June and September when games simply do not come out… or well…. mostly don’t come out. There are still a few games that defy all standard accepted practices and release during the summer… and we also have the summer anime season each year. Today, I’d like to spotlight some of those brave games, as well as some of my favourite summer-released anime.