GearsChronowall

Chrono Trigger Book Club #2 – TG Sessions

We FINALLY get a second one of these out! Spoilers up to Magus’ Castle, so fair warning on that. Justin Fox join Zach and Bryan for the Chrono Trigger stuff!

TG Sessions Chrono 1024x418 Chrono Trigger Book Club #2 – TG Sessions

Topics include Chrono Trigger (duh), GameChurch’s recent series of articles, projection, games being like movies, Tomb Raider (reboot), exploration, observation, wonder, Crono being an explosive ginger, Akira Toriyama palette-swaps, how to max level, pacing, MMOs, Cyrus and Frog, the cutscenes in newer versions, Yasunori Mitsuda, daddy issues, Breath of Fire 2, Marle is Jasmine from Aladdin or Bulma?, anime tropes, authority issues, Masato Kato, Jim Sterling, forced choices, does Ayla have a tail? And what your favorite JRPG?

CT Book Club 2

Music

Yasunori Mitsuda – Zeal Palace

Yasunori Mitsuda – Warlock Battle

Chris Botti – Worlds Outside

John Pizzarelli - Aquelas Coisas Todas (All Those Things)

Wynton Marsalis – Django

Sonny Stitt - Ballad Medley

Art Pepper – Imagination

Chet Baker – Alone Together

GALAK-Z

PAXtravaganza 2014!: Galak-Z – The Dimensional

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Philippians 4:6

I’ve got a penchant for shooters. No, not “first person shooters”, just shooters in the traditional arcade sense. They’re not my favorite genre due to lack of time investment and possibly difficulty, but I enjoy them thoroughly nonetheless. In that sense, I know what works and what doesn’t work in a style that become so insanely specialized, so wonderfully full of depth, that many of its developer stalwarts simply up and vanished from their specificity.

Western studios, of course, don’t often take cues from their Japanese forebears except in the most vague of nostalgia-induced senses. Galak-Z: The Dimensional follows more in the tradition of Asteroids than it does in CAVE’s bullet-hell wheelhouse. With a visual style (cel-shaded, if I had to take a guess) cribbed directly from 1970s anime such as Gundam and Macross, it tries to revive a certain generation of animated cartoons while also providing a unique two-dimensional shooting experience. The game seems structured enough, with missions akin to “episodes” and plenty of wonderful nostalgia-bait. A beautiful game deserves some beautiful systems, we hope!

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Ember Strike Battle for Willow Lane

PAXtravaganza 2014!: Ember Strikes – The Battle for Willow Lane

Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days. Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the counsel of the Lord will stand.

Proverbs 19:20-21

Since Candy Crush Saga basically conquered the “match three” game market, you can imagine just about everyone and their mother wants a piece of that multi-billion dollar pie. Most of these imitators and originators (I think of Bejeweled first, quite honestly) arose straight from the genre we used to know as the “puzzle” game. Remember Tetris? Everything after that just takes a variation off the original tile-matching puzzle game. It’s not hard to make one, of course, but it’s certainly hard to make a good one – and by good, I mean “not derivative”.

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echoes-of-eridu

PAXtravaganza 2014!: Echoes of Eridu

Indie developers, I’ve found, have started to throw themselves into predictable patterns a lot of the time. They take a nostalgic concept, throw in a few tweaks, add another traditional genre to the mix, and a game concept suddenly emerges. Even so, they tend to work within already existing categories, adding bits and pieces of traditional approaches that already work. Like mixing chocolate and peanut butter, or building your house on a rock rather than sand, it tends to work out better than the alternative.

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Mixing video games, the Bible, and Christianity together.