Highland Arrow


Nostalgia Train Review: Final Fantasy 2

Written by Trever Bierschbach and published on May 12, 2020.

Recommended:  Final Fantasy II is a faithful continuation of the beloved series. While it still has elements that I do not enjoy, like the random encounter mechanic that always seems to pop off when you are in a hurry, the game is still fun. These early FF games remain my most cherished gaming experiences as a young gamer, and still hold up today against the backdrop of countless other RPGs on the market. This game is fun, has beautiful 8-bit art and music in its original form and the PSP remaster I played was done very well. It's one of the more difficult ones to get outside of an emulator, but worth it.

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Review: Final Fantasy VII Remake

Written by Tabitha Dickerson and published on May 5, 2020.

Recommended:  There is a lot to like about the Remake of Final Fantasy VII, and some true moments of brilliance within the boss fights. Some great lines were removed, and some cringe inducing ones as well. The writing is a mixed bag. When it's really good, it's really good, but when it's bad... The combat is a blast and puts a new spin on an old system, adding a surprising amount of depth to the game. I don't think I'm a fan of most of the story changes they're making this time round, and it doesn't feel like much of a remake, so much as a complete reboot of the events of the franchise. Is it bad? By no means, but I can't guarantee that stalwart fans of the original are going to enjoy this one. If you can get past that though ... its pretty good.

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Review: Bloodstained

Written by Tabitha Dickerson and published on May 3, 2020.

Recommended:  Bloodstained lives up to its claims. While feeding off the lifeblood of previous titles from the same developers, it manages to almost stand on its own. The story is a little generic, with some obvious twists and turns. The art direction is sensational, and some of the bosses look so much better in 3D than they did in the 8 bit prequel game. The music while not memorable is still enjoyable and fits every section of the castle. Worth a look.

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Nostalgia Train Review: Xenogears

Written by Tabitha Dickerson and published on May 16, 2016.

Recommended:  It's clear that Takahashi planned some great things for this series back then, that never came to fruition. Nevertheless, Xenogears is an epic sci-fi saga that will delight any fans of stories that are just a little bit more intelligent than those posed by games these days. Despite its age, the game holds up surprisingly well, and will be a welcome addition for anyone who isn't easily offended by alternate religious beliefs.

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Review: Dark Souls 3

Written by Tabitha Dickerson and published on Apr 30, 2016.

Recommended:  Dark Souls 3 doesn't really bring much of anything new to the playing field. Many areas feel too familiar, while some have heavily re-used assets and gameplay elements from previous games. it leaves the entire exercise feeling a bit egregious, relying a bit too much on nostalgia and leaving the game feeling slightly empty, without an identity to call it's own. It's just more "Souls". It's not a bad thing, but at this point it feels a bit old-hat. Despite the fact that you can pretty much see everything the game has to offer in one play-through, it's still an entertaining romp.

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Nostalgia Train: Final Fantasy I

Written by Trever Bierschbach and published on Sep 15, 2015.

Recommended:  Overall, the story, the game itself, and the art of Final Fantasy I are great for their time.  Of course it doesn't hold up to a lot of modern RPGs, but there are a few that it still puts to shame, even some recent ones.  I would say pick it up and play it if you haven't, and even if you have, give it a run through again, you might be surprised after years of RPGs that have followed since its release.  I had a lot of fun playing it, probably more fun than I expected when jumping into an old game.  I was afraid all the nostalgia would wash away as my adult eyes took in what my mind recalled as one of my favorite childhood games.  I can say with certainty, it is still one of the best RPGs I've ever played, and holds a special place in my gaming history, even now.

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Review: Nier

Written by Tabitha Dickerson and published on Jul 10, 2015.

Recommended:  Nier rewards those who aren't just willing to take everything at face value. It requires investment in the world, the people and the lore. Subsequent play-throughs are required to get the whole story and those going for the true ending should keep a spare endgame save on a completely separate flash drive before attempting the final ending. You'll thank me later.

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Review: Never Alone

Written by Tabitha Dickerson and published on Apr 15, 2015.

Neutral:  Never Alone is a something of a missed opportunity more than anything, with simple mechanics and uninspired design.  The game requires a lot of trial and error, with frustrating pointless death and truth be told there are far better games out there in this vein. Unless it's on sale or you find the culture fascinating, your money would be better spent on Abe's Odyssey New 'N' Tasty.

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Review: Bayonetta

Written by Tabitha Dickerson and published on Feb 26, 2015.

Recommended:  The story is daunting at first, but Bayonetta offers a brilliant and varied spectacle fighter.  The depth of combat options and great flourishes in art design have a lot to offer, as does how the protagonist absolutely exudes character.  It can be a bit difficult, relies on some pretty bullshit QTEs in part, and has some rough edges, but it is nonetheless a quite fun game.

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Review: Shadows of the Damned

Written by Tabitha Dickerson and published on Jan 17, 2015.

Recommended:  Shadows of the Damned is a game that may turn people off of it, with its incredibly violent, incredibly loud, and incredibly unorthodox style, there are some people who won't be a fan. There's plenty of innuendo that isn't subtle in the slightest, while the dialogue is rude, crude and at times slightly grating in its masterfully incompetent execution. There is a fair bit of nudity and insane amounts of gore as you watch Paula die consistently. While it is a stylistic choice, rude and obnoxious is still rude and obnoxious. The gameplay is for the most part, pretty damn solid, with minor issues regarding aiming cropping up here and there. While not everyone is going to enjoy this title, I certainly had a tonne of fun with it.

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