February in Review


February is a month known for a lot of things- Valentine’s Day, Black History Month, adding on a day every few years.  Despite being the shortest month of the year, it felt like there was plenty of content to fill out any other month from the gaming world and from the community’s efforts.

So far as reviews I got to in February, I managed to start back into checking out the Phantasy Star series, grinding through the first two games in the series- no easy feat.  Getting a look back into the origins of the series, it became clear that the ambition of the series and a number of the mechanics and plot points they used were ahead of their time.

Review – Phantasy Star
Review – Phantasy Star II

I also finally got to some of my modern systems, finally getting to White Day: A Labyrinth Called School, which I had been looking forward to for some time.  While I wasn’t as impressed as I had hoped to be, it was a pretty decent offering and well worth looking into for fans of the horror genre from the Playstation 2 era.

Review – White Day: A Labyrinth Called School

Throughout the month, I also had a few things to say regarding games I’m looking forward to in the year of 2018- and there are still more that are being announced that are making it harder and harder to budget with all of the fantastic sounding work coming out.  Recently, I also put together a piece on how video games have had a positive effect on me throughout the years.  Given the negative news and connotations that video games have been getting recently, I felt that putting some positivity out would be a nice reminder that gaming is meant to be enjoyed and can have some pretty amazing influence on people who play them.

Looking Forward to the Games of 2018
Let’s Think Positive! – A Retrospective on My Time with Gaming

Oh yeah!  I was also nominated for a Mystery Blogger Award by NostalgiaTrigger, which was a kind gesture and made for some fun question and answer time.

Responding to My Mystery Blogger Award Nomination

White Day:a labyrinth named school_20180203143229

What to Look Forward To

Already having dug into the first and second games of the Phantasy Star series and having had a review of the fourth and most famous entry from occasional contributor ShoggothOnTheRoof, I’ve already finished playing the third entry to fill in the gap.  The review is almost ready for publishing, so you can expect that soon- and probably a bit of an overview to go along with it sometime this month.

I also just finished Gust’s Blue Reflection, an fun take on a modern RPG with heavy influence from the magical girl tropes illustrated in anime like Sailor Moon and Puella Magi Madoka Magica.  Gust’s offerings, in general, veer toward certain tastes, and for better or worse, Blue Reflection is definitely standard for a Gust release (and it was published by Koei-Tecmo, which is another bonus).

I’ve also been working my way through and into a few other games.  Romancing SaGa 2has reminded me that I didn’t write a review on Romancing SaGa 3– so it may be a SaGa filled month.  In moving onto some Playstation 3 games, I’ve also been working on getting back to the Atelier series, namely Atelier Rorona and the others in the Arland trilogy.  Keeping with the theme of Sega RPGs, especially since Super Nintendo seems to have all of the big hitters so far as anyone can remember, I’ve been working on Crusader of Centy, a Zelda-esque action RPG, and the Shining Force games, which I’ve been looking for any reason to play again.

So I guess I’ve got my work cut out for me, but no shortage of options!

Other Blogs and Posts to Check Out

Hosted on The Well-Red Mage’s page, a whole group of folks put up an immense project called ‘The Crystal Compendium’, sharing experiences and overviews of just about every entry in the Final Fantasy series and offshoots.  While I’m not even a third of the way through reading them yet, I’ve gotten to check out some of the work folks put into these entries and honestly, they’ve been nostalgic, heart-warming, and even hilarious (I’m amazed that iplayedthegame reviewed All the Bravest but glad that there this compendium is thorough!).  You can check out the hub page here, and I definitely recommend doing so.  Kudos to all of the contributors!

Red Metal over at Extra Life has always impressed me with the depth of their reviews.  A special mention this month goes out to their coverage of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, an entry I’ve always wanted to play through but had a hard time pushing forward in.  Reading up on this review and analysis, though, I might finally have the nerve to forge ahead once I get a copy up and running again.  I also kind of nicked (adapted?) this month review format from them, so- definitely worth checking into Extra Life in general!

Over at Dragon’s Tea Party, one ambitious blogger is taking their first Pokemon Nuzlocke Challenge– something I’ve heard about but never really knew how it worked.  I’ve been following the trials and tribulations of this challenge and through the laughter, the tears, and amazingly entertaining narrative, I’ve been looking forward to new updates whenever they pop up to see how it unfolds.

Honestly, if I sat here and listen every fantastic blog and piece I read this past month, I’d never end this post- but I’m definitely looking for a way to promote my fellow blogging buddies- because there really is a *lot* out there to check out and some quality work going on that I feel needs to be recognized.  

Here’s to a fantastic March to you all, and thank you for checking into my little corner of the internet every so often!

– Matt a.k.a. “The3rdPlayer”