Many longtime fans of the Final Fantasy series have lamented the direction Square has taken with their beloved franchise, forgoing the classic turn-based battle system (or rather the active-time battle system) in favor of a more action-oriented approach featuring real-time combat. While this rapid evolution of the series is no doubt an attempt by Square to garner new fans and compete with other AAA titles currently on the market, it has left some diehard fans feeling alienated and disinterested with the series. Enter World of Final Fantasy, a new title in the Final Fantasy series that harkens back to the games of old, featuring a slew of familiar characters and mechanics that should make any old-school fan of the series feel right at home.
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Most people know that I am a huge fan of the survival-horror genre, particularly the Resident Evil series, so I was immediately intrigued when The Evil Within was announced back in 2013. This was a brand new survival-horror IP directed by Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, and it promised to bring the genre back to its survival roots rather than the action-oriented approach of more recent horror games. While I still enjoyed more recent horror titles that have been given the label of 'action-horror,' the prospect of a modern title that recaptures what made the old-school games so unique and interesting was exactly what survival-horror fans had been hoping for.
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Alundra is a game that I think I would have really liked as a kid. Unfortunately, I don't recall ever hearing about this game at the time, so I must have never crossed paths with it through friends, magazines, or rental stores. It is usually labeled as either an action-RPG and/or a Zelda clone, and, being a huge fan of both of these types of games, this seems like a title that would have been right up my alley. I have owned a copy for a few years, and it has been on my mind for a while as something I should really get around to playing, so I've finally decided to pop the disc in and see how it holds up.
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The Ys name, while notorious for its confusing pronunciation, carries a lot of weight in the JRPG world. Ys has been around since the 8-bit era, and new iterations are still being made today. Most games in the series are critically well-received, and the series as a whole has a large cult following. Despite all of this, I had never played a Ys game until very recently.
My first exposure to the series was the original Ys Books I & II. There are many different versions of the original Ys, sporting many ports and remakes across almost every console, but I played the TurboCD version, which is often considered the definitive release of the game. What I found was a unique "old-school" RPG adventure that I highly enjoyed despite being somewhat primitive and its sometimes awkward combat system. Ever since completing Ys Books I & II, I have wanted to dive into the rest of the series but have been confused about where to start next. Cue Ys: The Oath in Felghana.
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