Flash Reviews – January 2018 (Minecraft: Story Mode, Arizona Sunshine, Miitopia)

(Previous flash reviews: October 2017November 2017, December 2017)

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Replay Review – Xenoblade Chronicles

I started replaying Monolith Soft’s Xenoblade Chronicles at the same time I was playing Xenoblade Chronicles 2, in order to better understand the differences between the two games. Naturally, I had an itch to keep playing this fantastic game after beating its sequel. Xenoblade Chronicles is an RPG developed by Monolith Soft for Nintendo’s Wii system. It first caught my eye back in the day due to the fan outcry that finally brought it over to North America in 2012.

Xenoblade was a spectacular game for many reasons. As a JRPG that was developed for a system that was very underpowered by 2012 standards, Xenoblade shattered expectations by being a humongous and expansive experience. The world of the Xenoblade managed to be one of the most visually unique and beautiful settings I’ve ever seen in an RPG, despite the hardware limitations of the Wii.

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2017 in Video Game Music

Music is a big part of my life. I love listening to it, playing it and talking about it. Because of that, it’s not surprising that it’s one of the most important aspects of a game to me. Last year was filled with some fantastic game music, so let’s quickly go through some of my favorite musical moments and memories. This is not a ranked list–instead, it’s going chronologically through the games I played throughout the year.

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DLC Impressions – Breath of the Wild: The Champions’ Ballad

Throughout December, I was busy with a certain other massive game, so I had to put the second DLC pack for Breath of the Wild on hold. The first pack, The Master Trials, was a romp that included a mixed grab-bag of new features, including the fun Trial of the Sword. However, its limited scope made me wary of recommending it for the full $20 it costs for the DLC pass. Does The Champions’ Ballad change that?

This will include spoilers for the DLC pack and the rest of Breath of the Wild.

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Top 10 Games of 2017

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It’s that time of the year again! 2017 has been a fantastic year for games. Not only did Nintendo see one of their best years ever with the launch of the Nintendo Switch, the PS4 also had a really good year. I didn’t play enough games to make a proper list of my favorite games last year, but this year is different. I basically did nothing but play games!

This is a list of my top 10 games for the year. Without further ado, let’s get started!

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Review – Xenoblade Chronicles 2

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Welcome to the last major Switch game of 2017! Just when I thought we were out of the woods, we get yet another gargantuan experience to add to this year’s tally. This time, it’s Xenoblade Chronicles 2, the latest game from RPG developer Monolith Soft. While I unfortunately never got around to playing Xenoblade Chronicles X on the Wii U, I loved the hell out of the original Xenoblade Chronicles, and I was looking forward to this game.

Like the original, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a JRPG with a twist. It has all of the traditional narrative-driven progression the genre is known for, and throws in aspects more commonly found in MMORPGs and western RPGs. That includes large, open environments and lots of side quests to fulfill for gear and cash. The first game was excellent, thanks to its visually memorable and unique zones, as well as the well fantastic characters and mature, refined story. The sequel really wants to catch that lightning in a bottle a second time, and while it doesn’t quite reach the same level as the first game, it still managed to be well worth the time I put into it.

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