I started playing Lost Odyssey (360) a few days ago. This selection may surprise to some people since it's rare that I'll play a Japanese RPG that doesn't have Shin Megami Tensei in the title, and there are a few reasons for that…
(Insert long-winded rant about the stagnant, redundant and creatively bankrupt state of JRPGs here)
…Anyway, finding a JRPG that has something new to offer is difficult. However, a fair number of people whose opinions I value (including SINAN KUBBA) recommended Lost Odyssey, and for whatever reason, I was in the mood for a JRPG. Apparently the stars were in alignment because not only was my head was in the right place, but Lost Odyssey (8hrs in) has been a great experience so far.
While the nuts and bolts of play are fairly standard for the genre, I've been consistently impressed with the writing, and more specifically, the characterization of the cast. The game's protagonist is an immortal man who's been alive for over a thousand years. The writers really dig deep into how that would affect the mindset of such a long-lived person, and it's fascinating to see the way they cover it without beating it to death with obvious tropes.
The supporting characters so far have been quite good as well (Wise-cracking Jansen is impossible not to like) and I've been very impressed with the subtlety and depth on display during the cutscenes. The camera will frequently take cinematic angles or cut away to another character, and the animators have done a great job incorporating small motions and body language that most games completely overlook.
I'm still quite early in the adventure but Lost Odyssey has certainly been a rare treat so far.
Speaking of SINAN KUBBA, the latest episode of Big Red Potion is now up and ready for download. Guest-starring myself, @ChrisGreen87, @EddieInzauto, and the always-smartly-groomed @MrDurandPierre, the topic on hand is an in-depth examination of the under-rated critical fave Nier (PS3/360).
…Wait, did somebody say Nier?!?
::laugh track plays::
File this under OMFG (maybe) Good News, Sony has announced a new initiative to "remaster" select PSP titles and make them playable on the PS3. The first? An HD version of Monster Hunter Portable 3rd. Check out the direct comparison, and start imagining how awesome it would be to play this game on a big TV with a real controller.
So why do I file this under "maybe" good news? It hasn't yet been announced for release in the USA… Come on, Capcom. Do the right thing.
I know I'm insanely late to the party on this one, but the wife and I just started watching the long-defunct Firefly thanks to NetFlix on-demand. I've heard about it for years and I know that it has a pretty rabid fan base, but for whatever reason I've never sat down to see what it's all about. Until now.
At this point we are about five episodes in and (so far) I think it's pretty good.
I'm definitely a fan of mixing genres, so Western with Science Fiction is right up my alley. I can certainly see why it got killed off so quickly, though. It's not hard to imagine all of the puzzled looks from people who didn't know what to make of it before quickly flipping channels to the nearest sitcom or reality show. It's certainly a shame, but I think history has proven time and again that smart, quirky shows tend to fly over the heads of the general viewing audience to end up on the chopping block sooner rather than later.
Side note: Whoever designed the show's spaceship should be ashamed of themselves. It's one of the ugliest crafts I've ever seen, looking awkward, ungainly, and generally like it should have spent another week or two on the drawing board. Every time I see it flying, I physically cringe. Someone really thought that ship looked cool enough to put into production? REALLY?
Also, SINAN KUBBA.
Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody's looking, and his favorite game of all time is a toss-up between the first Mass Effect and The Witcher 3. You can catch his written work here at GameCritics and you can hear him weekly on the @SoVideogames Podcast. Follow Brad on Twitter and Instagram at @BradGallaway, or contact him via email:
bradgallaway a t gmail dot com