NEO The World Ends With You is an anomaly. As a game partly about believing in the power of possibility, it is itself a testament to long-held faith receiving a just reward. Despite middling sales and controversial ports of the original The World Ends With You, NEO finally releases as both a strong followup and a thoughtful reshaping of its themes; and no less than fourteen years later.

SPOLER WARNING: There are major, endgame spoilers in this post!

NEO returns players to its fictional depiction of Shibuya. Here, they once again participate in the deadly Reapers’ Game, where the recently…

Years ago I wrote about what I felt was the Witcher 3’s take on how are parents can influence us, even directly guide us, for better or for worse.

Video games have been trying to successfully convey narratives with paternity at their core for years now. They usually come in the form of a father/daughter relationship, and while some have had varying degrees of success, like Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us and Ninja Theory’s Enslaved: Odyssey to The West, most of them don’t do much beyond a surface level. They ultimately boil down to two characters forming a certain…

Kaine and Emil

Towards the finale of Nier: Replicant ver.1.22474487139… (published by Square Enix, developed by Toylogic), an automated voice emerges from a bird bath in a garden atop the Shadowlord’s castle.. It asks our protagonists several questions which must be answered correctly to gain access to the remainder of the villain’s lair. The most pertinent of which is: How can humanity survive in the midst of the Black Scrawl — a fatal disease wiping out the population on Nier’s fictional rendering of earth, some thousand years from now. The answer? By separating body from soul.

There is an explanation to this, and…

Clive Rosfield, the protagonist of Final Fantasy XVI

We are presumably only a few months away from our next substantial look at Final Fantasy XVI. Questions and theories have mounted in the months since the game’s reveal, but one thing is crystal clear: The game seems to have a decidedly action-based bent to its combat. It’s an exciting proposition for some, but the continuation of an oft-disliked trend for others; is it an evolution for the series? Or a compromise to maintain brand popularity?

The first instance of Square Enix moving (if ever so slightly) towards more action-based design for mainline FF games arguably comes in Final Fantasy…

Final Fantasy VIII is many things to many people.

A uniquely divisive entry in the franchise, it’s position is made harder by being the immediate followup to the seminal Final Fantasy VII. It’s some people’s favorite game, their passion for it rivaling that of many games more popularly considered masterpieces (FFVII included), but for others it’s a confounding teen drama lacking both narrative clarity and cohesive design.

I consider it to be one of the video game medium’s great romances and an in-depth character study and deconstruction of character tropes gaming remains too comfortable with and largely disinterested in examining.

Ron Taylor, Esq.

Love 💟 • Peace ☮️ • (He/Him) • "I can't believe you're not verified." - @Xzyliac, 2017

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