Rise of the Tomb Raider – Creating a Legacy

When Crystal Dynamics rebooted Tomb Raider a few years back, there was some fear and skepticism on whether this new origin story for such an iconic character would possibly work. And while I absolutely loved the game, there was some fear in my mind about how they could follow it up.

After all, a lot of the success of the 2013 Tomb Raider rode on the character development of the ‘new’ Lara Croft. A sequel would surely build on that, but you can’t recapture that ‘new’ feeling you get in an origin story. So I stepped into Rise of the Tomb Raider excited, but with a bit of worry about whether it would live up to the very high expectations set by 2013’s Tomb Raider.

Tomb Raider’s story picks up a year after the end of the first, with Lara trying to understand what she saw in her first encounter with the supernatural. She is drawn to her father’s research – the research that led to him being ridiculed and his subsequent death – about an ancient Prophet who managed to overcome death. This research leads her to Syria, which is where the game’s story begins.

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Final Fantasy XV – A New King

A Final Fantasy for Fans and First-timers

This is the line you’re greeted with immediately upon starting Final Fantasy 15. It’s a good line, and it says a lot. It tells you, right as you start, that you don’t need any previous experience to appreciate this. It tells you that the game wasn’t just designed as a love letter to past fans, like some recent SquareEnix ventures have been.

And it tells you that long time fans are going to be in for a surprise, since they are not this game’s primary audience. The question, of course, becomes: Will this be a pleasant surprise?

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World of Final Fantasy – Stacked

Square Enix has decided to release another nostalgia trip. World of Final Fantasy is a strange JRPG focused around a pair of partially amnesiac siblings, Lann and Reynn. The two of them wake up one day and go about their normal business, but are surprised to find that there’s nobody else in their town. No one except a strange silver haired woman who calls herself Enna Kros.

Enna tells them that they were once great ‘Mirage Keepers’ who commanded an army of monsters known as mirages. She then sends them to a world called Grymoire and tells them that, if they wish to remember their family, they must reclaim their lost mirages. Finally, she points out that Lann has a creepy fox thing on his head that he has somehow completely failed to notice all day, who turns out to be their first mirage, Tama.

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I Am Setsuna – A Wintry Journey

SquareEnix unveiled ‘Project Setsuna’ at E3 2015 under development studio ‘Tokyo RPG Factory’. They stated that they’d formed this studio to focus on producing games that would bring back the glory days of the JRPG. They brought together a team of people passionate about the genre and worked to bring this dream to a reality. I Am Setsuna was the result of that.

In I Am Setsuna, you play as a member of a reclusive masked tribe of wandering mercenaries named Endir. After completing his training (the game’s tutorial mission), he’s approached by a mysterious young man who hires him for a peculiar task. Every decade or so, monsters begin to become more and more ferocious and a young lady from a remote village is chosen to sacrifice herself to placate the monsters and keep the lands safe again. It is that time again, and Endir’s job? Kill the sacrifice before she departs from her home village on the pilgrimage.

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The Shadow’s Sixty Countdown – Rank 12 to 7

The anticipation is building… we’re on the second last entry of the Shadow’s Sixty! This time we’ll cover rank 12 through 7. With this list we are finally entering into the true best games I’ve ever played. What genres will we see here? What games? Will your favourite make the cut for this list? If you’ve been following along, will your guesses match the reality?

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These are all games that have left a lasting impression on me… some new, some not so new. Some of these games shaped my love of gaming, others made me lifetime fans of certain worlds. These games set the bar by which all others are judged, and it is my pleasure to give you your first glimpse into the top 10 today. I know some of you have been (im)patiently waiting for this day, so I won’t make you wait any longer.

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