Yeah, it’s been awhile since my last game review, huh? Sorry about that. At least I managed to talk about the first game in a series I’ve been meaning to tackle for awhile.
Films watched in February of 2021:
- The Tree of Life (Terrance Malick, 2011)
- Paprika (Satoshi Kon, 2006)
- The Bridge on the River Kwai (David Lean, 1957)
- Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean, 1962)
- Being John Malkovich (Spike Jonze, 1999)
- Synchronic (Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead, 2019)
- The Maltese Falcon (John Huston, 1941)
- Adaptation. (Spike Jonze, 2002)
Games reviewed in February of 2021:
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light
Personally, I think it’s fascinating whenever a series has lasted long enough that when you revisit its oldest installments, you realize they used that legendary, classic arcade font even non-gamers know about. Fun Fact: It is said that the font first appeared in 1976 for the arcade game Quiz Show, which was made by Kee Games – a group consisting of former Atari employees (here’s a video demonstrating the game in action).
Also, this is review #9 to exceed 10,000 words! I didn’t think it was going to be that difficult, but as the first installment of Intelligent Systems’s long-running strategy RPG series, it gave me a surprising amount to talk about.
Back in 2014, I ended up the reviewing fourth game in the Fire Emblem series, Genealogy of the Holy War. It was the first 8/10 I awarded, but because it was one of my earliest reviews, it was definitely not up to my current standards. I have therefore removed it. I intend to rereview it after discussing the three games leading up to it. For that matter, I’ve been marathoning the series lately, attempting to complete the installments I hadn’t before. In fact, as of this writing, I have actually completed almost every game in the main series; the only ones left are Fire Emblem Gaiden and Three Houses.
Anyway, as strange as it may sound, playing Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light reminded me of when I revisited Pokémon Red and Blue back in 2017 in that doing so felt very nostalgic. It’s interesting because unlike Pokémon Red and Blue, I obviously didn’t grow up with the original Fire Emblem. Though I had always been interested in the series ever since I picked up The Blazing Blade back in 2004, I find it a bit strange that I would have those nostalgic feelings playing Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light. Has anyone else ever had those kinds of feelings towards a work they didn’t grow up with?
While the game itself hasn’t exactly aged well, I had a lot of fun playing it, and I can at least see fans of the series getting kick out of revisiting it. Otherwise, it definitely falls in that strange category of innovative games from the 1980s/early 1990s in that was doubtlessly daring and brave, yet unavoidably suffered from a cavalcade of growing pains in the process.
For that matter, Fire Emblem is actually a lot like Pokémon (or Metal Gear, for that matter) in that it was a series that started off with what would become its weakest installment in the grand scheme of things. I find that tends not to be true of most series – especially ones that debuted after 1994 or so. Usually, you want to make a good first impression. If you don’t, there is practically no chance of getting a sequel greenlit – especially in today’s AAA climate. With older series, the developers thereof could afford to get a little experimental, meaning the games didn’t necessarily have to stand the test of time, but rather pitch enough interesting ideas so they could resonate with a large audience.
The three franchises are also similar insofar that the developers had great ideas that greatly outpaced the technology available to them at the time. This is why I don’t think it’s a coincidence that, as those series went on, things only got better from there. The teams always had talented members; they just needed the technology to catch up with them.
A Hard Day’s Night: The Beatles’ First Film Thing – I assumed A Hard Day’s Night was a concert film before I saw it; I certainly wasn’t expecting a slapstick/French New Wave kind of thing. Mr. Wapojif’s take on the film was fun to read.
Ranking all The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Dungeons – I would say of any top-down Zelda installment, A Link to the Past had the best set of dungeons. Nepiki goes a step further by ranking them in tiers, and the results are certainly interesting.
Revisiting Control in 2021 – Control is one of those games I’ve heard a lot of great things about, yet never got around to playing. I should really give it a shot – especially after reading Honest Gamer’s take on it.
A review of Shirobako – I find works about the creative process fascinating. This month, AK takes a look at Shirobako, which is about the anime industry. I find this show interesting because it seems to capture the creative process in a way that live-action couldn’t as easily. It definitely seems worth looking into.
Zen Arcade – Hüsker Dü was one of the greatest indie rock/punk bands of the 1980s. Matt of Hi-Fi Adventures takes a look at Zen Arcade, which is often considered their crowning achievement, although in terms of quality, they were amazingly consistent.
Pokémon Stadium – Gaming Omnivore takes a look at the N64 release Pokémon Stadium. It’s definitely one of those “you had to be there” kinds of games because while it’s not impressive now, being able to have your Pokémon battle in 3D was quite a treat back in 2000.
Pokémon 25: Ranking the Generations of Pokémon Games – With eight generations thus far, The Brink of Gaming takes it upon himself to rank each set of games in the mainline Pokémon series from worst to best. The results may be a surprising for longtime fans of the franchise.
Fallout 4 Review: The Confusing One – Fallout is a franchise that has had its ups and downs over the years. The general consensus is that Fallout 4 is where things started really going off the rails, as Alex of Alex’s Review Corner points out.
Just Mercy (2019) – It’s a bit of a shame Just Mercy didn’t get more attention when it came out because it was really good. Mariah of Bizarre Brunette’s take on the film is definitely worth looking into.
Snap Judgements: Year On Edition – A year after entering quarantine, Aether takes a quick look at the various games he’s played. Between stuff like Chroma Squad and the VR edition of Superhot, it certainly seems like an interesting journey he’s had.
Links to my articles: