DQ9 - It has me

Having recieved a New 3DS during the latest yuletime period, I have been gripped by what can only be described as RPG-lust fever.  By perusing the new and used options on Amazon I have managed to amass quite the collection already; Bravely Default, Xenoblade Chronicles, Monster Hunter and Fire Emblem to name but a few.  

Er.. Heh.. *Ahem*
However, none of these games have recieved quite the attention I am sure they deserve.  This is almost entirely due to the 60-something hours I have put into Dragon Quest 9.  This game has a tight grip on me and does not want to let go.

Essentially, this game gives you a Dragon Quest universe, points roughly in the direction of the plot, then slinks off for a vacation whilst you figure the rest out.  Now this can be an issue - some games do not hold your hand at all, and it can be arrestingly daunting.  The first time I picked up Black Flag I played the intro and got to the first port, at which point the game presented me with about eleventy-billion thi…

Why you should be watching AGDQ this week.

- You might see a world record broken.

These guys study their hobby harder than most people do their jobs.  Hell to some of them, this is their job, subsidized by streaming revenue.  If there is a way tocomplete a game faster, they will find it.  Often times, by sheer force of will.

24 Hours, 2 Buttons
- The people are entertainers.

Let's be honest, we've seen some old speedruns that were dull as dishwater.  People sitting on a couch watching one dude violently rub his character against a wall until he clips through it cannot keep us happy for hours.  Fear not, however, since some of the runners and their friends are incredibly entertaining.  There are some great runs out there with very funny couch accoutrements.  The following Link to the Past run sticks out in my mind as one I frequently watch, and whilst the skills are impressive, I stay for the commentary.

Them translation skills
- They often race, with explosive results.

I cannot personally think of many tasks you could set 2 s…

Xenoblade Chronicles Revisited

With an impending sequel now imminent, and the original available in handheld form, it is time to revisit this hidden gem and take a look into how it captured our hearts.  

Pictured:  Half of the world map...Plus some grass at the bottom there.
So what is Xenoblade Chronicles all about?  Well, it can be hard to describe.  It starts out with a playable introduction of Man vs Machines, of one confident man and an inexplicably powerful weapon. Through the use of this weapon he is able to defeat them, though he struggles to control it's power.  Of course, this is just to set the scene, an image of times gone by depicting a hero bravely fighting off an advancing robotic horde.  Well, that is one of the images shown, however the game soon revolves around the ability to control the aforementioned weapon - the Monado.

Get used to hearing that name.  After discovering the protagonist, Shulk, can wield this, the story arcs in the sword's direction.  After peeling away at some obvious layer…

Retro Archive I - Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

Here at IN we're hoping to make this a bit of a regular occurrence, so first on the chopping block we have a favorite of many - Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.  A classic GBA gem.

For me, at least, this game really opened my eyes to one of the best periods in gaming.  The GBA had a period in time where we saw multiple killer, must have releases. FFTA, Advance Wars, Metroid Fusion, multiple Castlevania titles, Golden Sun, multiple Pokemon titles.  A link to the past saw a release alongside four swords.  Alongside the backlit SP, this was an incredible time to be a gamer.  Somehow, though, FFTA managed to stand out against all of these releases.
We had seen FFT go before on the PS1, which sadly did not see a full release here in the UK, and whilst it had good reviews, in the FF community it was considered gold.  This game had incredible depth, even more so than desired considering people's ability to break the game with one Mathematician.  Now though, there was a GBA released on it…

FF7 Canvas Art !

Check out the new canvas decorating the wall of the IN offices!

Guardians of Middle Earth - Doing it wrong

I can only assume the sales meeting was a singular occasion?  Filled with lines such as "They struck gold, but their market is saturated, we know people will pay for a triple A".  Scratch that, the meeting probably ended on a melancholy note after the decision had been made upstairs, and ended up with a bunch of genuinely talented guys feeling worried for their jobs.

Let me give a little more info.  Heading over to Steam for my bi-hourly check on titles and deals I couldn't help but notice a game in the 'Coming Soon' section.  Guardians of Middle Earth.  Now, I will be the first to admit I am not a huge LOTR fan.  I did enjoy the films, but the franchise holds no great water with me and as such, neither have the games.  People were reading the books at around about the same time I was sitting at home mashing as much JRPG into my face as possible. 

However, something about this game struck me.  It was a number - 85.43 - more precisely it had a pound sign in front of…

Indie Awareness - Terraria

Hoping to make this a bit of a regular thing, I thought I would take some time out to write about one of the games that has recently grabbed me once again.  Let me give a little history:

Last year my friends and I picked up this small game on Steam, +Terraria, very much riding on the coat tails of Minecraft, and figured we would give it a shot.  Little did we know it would consume our evenings and weekends for a good month.  Each night logging onto our own server to run around mining, creating, falling, getting up again, mining some more... We even discovered a 'hard' world, which came as a surprise considering the difficulty of a certain wall of flesh boss that we, in our pitiful gear and bow and arrow pings, had battled to the death many a time.  Our deaths, mostly.

We even built our own castle.  
Then shopkeeper's moved in, a jungle was discovered, and even a dungeon at the far end of the map.  We discovered new metals to mine, new weapons to make, new accessories and ene…