I Am Setsuna – A Wintry Journey

SquareEnix unveiled ‘Project Setsuna’ at E3 2015 under development studio ‘Tokyo RPG Factory’. They stated that they’d formed this studio to focus on producing games that would bring back the glory days of the JRPG. They brought together a team of people passionate about the genre and worked to bring this dream to a reality. I Am Setsuna was the result of that.

In I Am Setsuna, you play as a member of a reclusive masked tribe of wandering mercenaries named Endir. After completing his training (the game’s tutorial mission), he’s approached by a mysterious young man who hires him for a peculiar task. Every decade or so, monsters begin to become more and more ferocious and a young lady from a remote village is chosen to sacrifice herself to placate the monsters and keep the lands safe again. It is that time again, and Endir’s job? Kill the sacrifice before she departs from her home village on the pilgrimage.

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The Shadow’s Sixty Countdown – Rank 12 to 7

The anticipation is building… we’re on the second last entry of the Shadow’s Sixty! This time we’ll cover rank 12 through 7. With this list we are finally entering into the true best games I’ve ever played. What genres will we see here? What games? Will your favourite make the cut for this list? If you’ve been following along, will your guesses match the reality?

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These are all games that have left a lasting impression on me… some new, some not so new. Some of these games shaped my love of gaming, others made me lifetime fans of certain worlds. These games set the bar by which all others are judged, and it is my pleasure to give you your first glimpse into the top 10 today. I know some of you have been (im)patiently waiting for this day, so I won’t make you wait any longer.

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Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness – Flawed Ambition

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is the fifth full entry in the venerable Star Ocean series, which has taken gamers across the galaxy, even through time itself, as you explore the series’ epic storyline. In Star Ocean 5, you play as Fidel Camuze and his childhood friend Miki Sauvester, who come from a remote town on the planet of Faykreed.

Fidel is the son of the kingdom’s military leader and a reputable swordsman in his own right. His town is attacked by bandits, and he has to organize the townspeople to repel their assault. Afterwards, while going to request military aid from the capital, he and Miki stumble upon a strange little girl named Relia, who has no memory of her past. They immediately decide to take care of the lost child, and this decision ripples out, changing their lives and the course of their kingdom – and even their planet – forever.

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Shadow’s Six – The Best Anime of Spring and Winter 2016

I know, I know… it’s September, we shouldn’t be talking about Spring anymore… but here we are. I’ve finally finished the last of my Spring and Winter anime reviews, so it’s time for us to do our semi-annual anime wrap-up!

Winter and Spring gave us a plethora of unremarkable anime, which has made it easy – for the most part – to recognize the gems among them. It’s easy to tell an amazing show when all you see is mediocrity, afterall. So what we have here are those standout shows. The ones that rose above the rest, cast off the cloak of mediocrity, and did something special.

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High School Fleet – Pleasure Cruise

As a result of tectonic shifting, most of Japan sunk into the ocean. Over the century since then, cities along the coast and even on floating platforms have begun to emerge. As Japan became more and more oceanic, an all-female group of – effectively – coastguards was established known as the Blue Mermaids. The Blue Mermaids protect Japan’s watery territory, and as a result of their prosperity, most young women aspire to one day be a member of their elite ranks.

Included in such are our protagonist Akeno Misaki and her dearest friend Moeka China. They enroll in Yokosuka Girls’ Marine High School to join the Blue Mermaids. To their surprise, Akeno and Moeka are both made captains of their own respective vessels in the training fleet. What starts off as a routine marine training trip for the school fleet quickly goes awry as the Harekaze, Akeno’s ship, is late getting to the rendezvous point and suddenly her teacher’s ship fires upon her…

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