A Paler Shade of Blue – Playstation 4 – Blue Reflection – 2017

BLUE REFLECTION_20180226111153
Blue Reflection

Playstation 4
Gust, Co Inc. / Koei Tecmo
Genre: Role-Playing
2017

As a fan of a few magical girl series- Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Yuki Yuna is a Hero, and of course, Sailor Moon, come to mind- I’ve come to appreciate a number of tropes that they rely on to propel themselves forward.  Frequently, you’ll see themes of friendship, self-empowerment, and drawing upon personal wellsprings of strength both physical and emotional to succeed. This has been a draw to them for me for some time and finding games that also rely on those themes usually means that they will be automatic successes for me.

Happening on Blue Reflection in a magazine review, it seemed to have all of the trappings that would bring me running: magical girls, modern day settings, and Gust (developers of the Atelier series, among others) at the helm.  After receiving the game in my latest Christmas haul, I finally got to sit down and play it.

Did it live up the hype I created for it?  Did the power of friendship win the day?

Find out on this episode of 3PStart!
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March in Review

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Another month gone by, another reflection to be inscribed into the tapestry that is 3PStart.

Honestly, I didn’t write nearly as much as I would have liked this month, though I’m definitely not beating myself up over it.  On the life front, I’m moving into a new job soon and I’ve been taking the time to reconnect with family and friends.  I’ve also been trying to become more involved and active on Twitter and other mediums regarding gaming discussions and other blogs.  I’ve also been gaming quite a bit (as those of us who blog about gaming occasionally do) and while I have a few things in the works, I haven’t quite finished them up.

But we’ll get to that, of course!

The only review I managed to get up was finishing up 3PStart’s coverage of the main Phantasy Star games for the Sega Genesis, covering the oft-neglected Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom.

Review – Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom

I did, however, also manage to add to the surely ever-growing Fire Emblem overview I’ve been working on.  Overall, the overview is meant to give a peek at each game, including features and improvements or steps back that the series has taken.  In the latest edition, I went over the Fates trilogy consisting of Conquest, Birthright, and the definitively canon Revelation.  I also got to go over my favorite entry in a long time, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, which is well worth a check out for any Fire Emblem fan.  If you’re interested in the history of the series or just looking for a good place to start playing from out of curiosity, I’d love to suggest checking out the entire overview!

Fire Emblem – An Overview – Part 5

Also, thanks to Red Metal over at Extra Life tagged me for a Sunshine Blogger Award- and another wholehearted thanks for that!  If you’re interested in seeing my feelings on negativity in the gaming critique, my favorite critically acclaimed movie, or want to know whether I prefer 2D or 3D games (the answer may shock you!), that would be the place to do it!

Responding to My Sunshine Blogger Award Nod

Fire Emblem Fates

What to Look Forward To

Just recently, I finished up a replay of Shining Force II: Ancient Sealing, so I’ll have some words on that soon enough.  I’ve also been continuing on my voyage through the Atelier games and have wrapped up the Arland Trilogy (made of of Atelier Rorona, Totori, and Meruru).  Much like the Fire Emblem overview, I feel that doing an overview for at least the PS3 and more current games in the series would be best, so I’m working on an introduction to the series as a whole and an overview on those three games.

I’d like to get some words out about Blue Reflection, as I mentioned last month, and I started writing a bit on Until Dawn but that may turn into a whole piece on horror gaming in general so- there are a few concepts up in the air that need a bit more refining or motivation to get out.

Other Blogs and Posts to Check Out

Athena over at AmbiGaming put together an awesome piece about Tolerance vs. Acceptance that managed to talk about a lot of concepts- both in games and in gaming- that really hit on a lot of points that sparked the flame for my wanting 3PStart to come to fruition in the first place.

After posting a bit about how positively video games have impacted my life, reading a post from The Gaming Diaries regarding things overheard in a game shop gave me some warm fuzzy feelings- which I’m always happy to promote!

I don’t know about you, but when I hear a title like Tesla vs. Lovecraft, I get a little tingle in my nerd centers.  CheapBossAttack nearly always seems to have the same interests as I do, and this review of the upcoming Switch game proves yet again that his excitement is transferable, as I am now itching to try this game as soon as possible.

As usual, there is so much fantastic passion and writing out there that I can’t fathom covering it all, so hopefully keeping these shout outs to three a month won’t seem like I’m selling those that I follow short!  Thank you all for following along with me and if you ever want to reach out, feel free to shoot me a line on Twitter (@the3rdplayer) or through gMail (3pstartgaming@gmail.com)!

– Matt a.k.a. “The3rdPlayer”

Responding to My Sunshine Blogger Award Nod

In a flattering gesture by Red Metal over at Extra Life, I’ve been nominated this month for a Sunshine Blogger Award.  According to the description that was posted:

The Sunshine Blogger Award is a peer recognition for bloggers that inspire positivity, joy, warmth, and any other emotions you feel when you think about the sun.”

I know it may sound cheesy, but as someone who very much wants to promote positivity and a feeling of connection in the community, it means a lot to be brought up in relation to an award like this by one of my peers.  A big thank you for the nomination!
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Fire Emblem – An Overview – Part 5

Shield of Seals

It’s been a while since I added to this overview, but Nintendo keeps adding to the Fire Emblem franchise- so eventually I knew I would have to expand on the original overview series I had started!

In this fifth entry to the Fire Emblem overview, I cover four games.

Okay, technically.  Three of the games are part of one narrative, covering the Fates trilogy with Conquest, Birthright, and Revelation.  The second entry  after the jump elucidates on Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, which was not only a remake of one of my personal favorites in the series but was also my pick for top game of 2017.

With the Fire Emblem series growing in popularity outside of Japan (and a slew of spiritual sequels, spinoffs, and other iterations appearing in every corner of the gaming world), this overview will probably be perpetually growing as times allows- which works because I honestly adore the series and researching it has been immensely interesting.
If you’d like to go back to the beginning of the series overview and Famicom days, feel free to look into the first part of the overview here.  Otherwise, kick back and check out my bird’s eye view into the gears of the remaining 3DS entries of the Fire Emblem series!

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Back and Forth, The Dance Goes On – Sega Genesis – Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom – 1991

Phantasy Star III Title

Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
Sega Genesis
Sega
Genre: Sci-Fi Role-Playing
1991

There are elements that a series needs to hold its own after a number of iterations.  Looking at franchises like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Breath of Fire– and yes, Phantasy Star- there is always a need for new mechanics, more engaging stories, and overall higher quality content to justify to the fans that they should return to your series.  The first entry is an introduction; a work that needs to be pushed through its outward presentation before gamers will give it a whirl.  The second entry is a proving ground, where a series shows that it can deliver lightning in the same place again with a few upgrades here and there.

The third entry is the experiment.  With Final Fantasy, we got interchangeable classes.  With Dragon Quest, the ability to create your own party with their own quirks.  With Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom, there was a solid jumping off point with the improvements that the second game offered over the first, but there were still some mechanics that could use a little work for one reason or another.  Given the success of the series thus far and being the first RPG series on the Sega system, it was imperative for the third Phantasy Star to dig in its heels and stake its claim to continue on successfully.  

While we know that Phantasy Star IV released, leading one to believe that part three can’t have done too poorly, how exactly does Phantasy Star III stand up to the rest of the series?  Given how fondly people usually speak about the second and fourth pieces of the mainline series, it’s interesting to see the evolution into the third and where it hits and misses the targets set up by prior entries.

If you’d like, feel free to check out my prior analysis of Phantasy Star and Phantasy Star II before reading up on this entry!

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