"Journey to the West" inspired artwork _ cover

The Journey to the West Narrative in Video Games

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Let me tell you a story, one that you are almost definitely familiar with in some fashion. It comes from 16th century China, and goes by the name of Journey to the West. The story tells the fictitiously augmented story of Xuanzang and his three companions with troubled pasts as they make their way across western China atop a white dragon to obtain sacred texts and return them home. These three companions may begin to ring a bell to you. (more…)

Bravely Default

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We pine for the old and pine for the new. Nostalgia often interferes with the innovative and sometimes innovation is plagued by the problems of classics. With the Final Fantasy series of late, Square Enix has been producing games that don’t resonate as much with old fans like XIII and its sequels. From the Square Enix ether has come what could have easily been called Final Fantasy Whatever with Bravely Default for the 3DS, a game that bravely has a terrible, two-adjective name but is actually a fresh face to the world of Japanese role-playing games. (more…)

Fire Emblem Awakening

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Tactical RPGs are not in my comfort zone and, save some mainstays like Disgaea, it is a rarely released genre. That considered, on top of my unfamiliarity with the genre, Fire Emblem Awakening was not a purchase I expected to make. It is best-known for its notorious penchant for killing off characters permanently once they have been thwarted on the battlefield. (more…)