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Name's Josh. I'm 25, play pretty much any kind of game, and have since I was old enough to hold a controller.
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Video games are unique as a medium. If you went to read a book you'd likely be looking for well written characters and a good story. If you go to see a movie you're probably looking for both of those things along with good cinematography. If you go to play a game though you could be looking for anything from visuals to story to characters to gameplay. Different people will weigh these factors differently and many will tell you that gameplay is the single most important thing in any game, but lets talk about that and the importance of other factors in comparison to gameplay.

The argument for gameplay as the most important factor in a game isn't a hard one to make. Gameplay is arguably what makes a game what it is. Without gameplay then what's the point of calling it a game and charging $60? You can also point to old games like Pac-Man or Super Mario Bros that manage to be great games that people still enjoy today even while those games lack any other standout features. I'm not really here to argue that gameplay isn't important, in fact depending on the game it may indeed be the most important, but many people fail to appreciate the fantastic amount of variation in our medium.

The first example I'd like to use is Thatgamecompany's Journey. Journey is an utterly fantastic game. It's reasonably priced, has great visuals, and is fun to play through. I have never played another game that exuded such raw emotion. This game was well received and is loved by many, but is its gameplay anything fantastic? Not particularly. You run around, don't really solve puzzles, don't fight anything, you do some basic platforming and run around a lot. Why then did I sit down at my PS3 the night that Journey came out, ready to disagree with the world because there was no way that a game could be that good in that short of a time frame, and then immediately become so fully immersed in that beautiful scenery that I was sad when I lost track of one of the other nameless people online who had wandered into my world?

How about a game that isn't trying to be the ideal example of video games as art? How about a game like Telltale's recent adaptation of Fables: The Wolf Among Us. This is another game that has been well received. It tells a good story, has interesting characters, and yet has very limited gameplay. You do control a character in The Wolf Among Us and you do walk around a world and interact with other characters and do things, but in the grand scheme of things, and in comparison to the large majority of video games, there is very little actual gameplay. You look for clues in the environments and make choices but there isn't really much of a way to fail. This isn't like an old Sierra point and click adventure game like King's Quest where you could leave a room and go the rest of the game without realizing that you missed something necessary to complete the game. Is this game worse off because of its lack of more compelling gameplay?

On the other hand, games like Crytek's Crysis series are paramounts of visual fidelity. They rely on your love of beautiful visuals and “run and gun” gameplay (and your sense of exploration if you're playing the first game) to carry you through relatively mediocre stories with no real interesting characters to speak of. It's fun to go full on Predator and sneak around cloaked, firing arrows from a bush to take battalions down one man at a time, and it's certainly nice to look at, but it's not gonna be for anyone who wants to hear a great story. And if you enjoy any of those games after the point where aliens show up then god bless you.

For the sake of fairness we could easily point out plenty of games that absolutely rely on gameplay to be successful. Look to just about anything that Platinum releases! Metal Gear Rising, Bayonetta, these games thrive on fast and fun gameplay. It's the reason they exist at all. The stories they tell and the writing for the characters is anything but fantastic, but that's not intended to be the draw of those games.

The ideal game, at least in my opinion, would be a balance of all these things. An interesting story, well written characters, fun gameplay, and beautiful visuals. Whether or not a game scratches those itches for you the way it scratches them for someone else is obviously subjective. Personally I find that Last of Us manages to balance these things well. It's a gorgeous game, I enjoy the gameplay, I find the characters interesting, and I like the story. It's set in a zombie-esque world (something that we can probably all agree is a bit overdone) but the game isn't about the “zombies”, it's about a man and his evolution from a cold and selfish guy who is just trying to survive and protect this girl because its his job to someone who is protecting her because she means something to him. That may be how I feel, but I know for a fact that plenty of others disagree with me, and that's okay.

Now I'm not here to try and tell you that you should start liking games for different reasons, I just want to show you the importance of variety. The way that you weigh the different factors that make a video game against each other is entirely up to you. No one can rightly tell you that you're wrong for liking a game for its graphics even though the gameplay is mediocre, and no one can tell you that you're wrong for liking a game for its gameplay even if the story is terrible. You should enjoy the games that you enjoy. Never let someone else's opinion of a game make you feel like you shouldn't enjoy it.

Just appreciate the fact that others play games for different reasons than you and have different tastes. I personally have never seen the huge draw that Uncharted has. I dislike the “fight off 15 guys, move 5 feet, fight off 15 more guys” type of gameplay in a game that's supposedly about a treasure hunter / explorer, and I really hate the “we don't believe in anything supernatural even though every game we fight off supernatural things” trope and the fact that they constantly break up the male and female leads so they can redo the same love story every game, but to each their own. The fact that there are so many different games for people of so many different tastes is one of the biggest strengths of the video game medium. If you take anything from this piece then take this: variety is indeed the spice of life, and that absolutely applies to video games.
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Shadow Tower: Abyss is a game you likely haven't heard of before, and no one could really hold that against you. This is a game made by From Software of Demon / Dark Souls fame. It is actually the sequel to PS1 game Shadow Tower which released in the US in 1999. Unfortunately, unlike its predecessor, Shadow Tower: Abyss was never released outside of Japan. Agetec Inc, the publisher who brought the original Shadow Tower to the US, was in the process of bringing the sequel over, but it was canceled by Sony before it could be finished. A fan translation was eventually created so that english speakers could give this hidden gem a try.

Shadow Tower: Abyss is without a doubt one of the strangest games I have ever played. This is an action/adventure/rpg that does not even attempt to hold your hand at any point. You're dropped in with a very brief bit of story from the intro cutscene, no real idea of the mechanics, and even less of an idea about what you should be doing. The only way you'll even know the controls is to open the menu and go to the controller layout section of the options.

There is very little story to experience in this game, but I'll do my best to give you the setup for it as well as I can. Long ago there was a ruler who obtained a powerful spear that granted him the power to bring peace to the land. You play as an explorer who seeks this powerful spear. Your character is led into the jungle by a strange old man and is then dropped into the abyss within which there is nothing but a tower reaching down. After the first level you'll learn from the strange creatures who live in the abyss that the only way to seek the spear is by proving your power, and the best way to do that is to take on the seven lords who reside in the tower.

The first thing you'll do once you have control over your character is walk over to a lit torch on the ground and read a stone tablet with some writing on it. The tablet informs you that as someone who has been sacrificed to the abyss you are now stuck here. Only the spear-bearer has power here and only he can leave. The torch goes out, leaving you in the darkness for a moment until your character's eyes readjust, and you begin your journey. And then immediately die and have to start over if you don't take your time and use caution while walking down the game's first hallway.

Gameplay is done entirely in first person and shares many similarities with From's previous series King's Field. There is no leveling system and there are no autosaves here. Your character's attributes are improved by finding gear in the environment or by having it drop from enemies. Any item you find in the environment will literally just be laying around somewhere and you have to actually be observant if you want to find things as none of it will glow or any such nonsense.

The types of gear you will find are actually a good bit of what make this game's approach interesting. The tower you're making your way down has been attempted by many people over many centuries, you are by no means the first explorer to come here. As such, the weapons and pieces of armor you will find on your journey will be made up of items from many different ages of history. This game has everything from swords to axes to bows to flintlock pistols to assault rifles. You can easily put a 9mm in one hand and a one handed sword in the other. You can also find rings that grant you magic, so while shooting your pistol or slashing with your axe you can hurl a fireball as well.

Combat is actually handled decently well considering it is a first person game. When using a melee weapon your number of attacks you can do at a time is dependent on the weapon you're using. If you're using a knife you may get four bubbles of stamina above your health bar, if you have a large axe you may only get two. Guns work off ammunition obviously and each gun has its own type of ammunition. Ammo is not always easy to come by however so you may find yourself swapping guns out to match what you actually have ammo for.

When fighting with a melee weapon you can swing said weapon in a few different ways, but this is actually a mechanic that matters rather than just being there for your amusement. There are three different types of physical damage you can do: slash, break, and pierce. Guns will usually do piercing as you'd expect but melee weapons can do any of the three. You'll want to swing your weapon in a way that fits the type of damage it does best. Your stats are actually cumulative for your gear, so if you have a pistol that does a particularly large amount of piercing damage then you may want to stick a good piercing weapon in your other hand and do the stabbing attack for a while. Different enemies will also be more susceptible to certain types of attacks. The first enemy type in the game may take quite a lot of stabs to kill but they can be dispatched quickly if you aim a sideways slash at their neck to decapitate them.

Each piece of your gear has its own durability and this is leads me into one of ST:A's most unique mechanics: the shrines. There is a lot of gear in this game so if something breaks you'll likely be better off simply replacing it with a different piece of gear. However, if you have a piece of gear you're particularly fond of, you can repair it at one of the game's four shrines. The repair shrine will allow you to repair a piece of gear's durability at the cost of your health. This may not sound like a huge deal but keeping yourself healthy can be a trial in this game. There are only three ways to get health back in ST:A: you can use a health potion, find a piece of gear that happens to have a health regen enchantment on it (which is rare), or by using the healing shrine which requires you to sacrifice a piece of gear to heal your character.

The other two shrines are more straightforward, there is a shop shrine where you can spend the “cune” currency on gear or items and there is a save shrine. This game also lacks a map, so if you want to know where you are at any point or what the layout of your surroundings are then you will have to stumble upon a place where a former adventurer has left a crude drawing on the wall. This will also be one of the very few ways you'll find anything out about the story.

Visually the game looks about how you'd expect considering the time frame it came out in. While the visuals are nothing spectacular, the game does manage to keep new and interesting environments coming your way. You'll travel through bug infested hives, poisonous temples, and icy caverns. The game has its share of puzzles but where the game really shines is in its desire for you to just explore everything. There is music in the game but it is only played very briefly upon entering an area, once you're in a new area you'll be listening to your footsteps and the sounds of the enemies around you.

Shadow Tower: Abyss is not some amazing diamond in the rough and it's not the best game you've never played, but it is a very interesting and unique first person action adventure rpg. The game is around 9-10 hours long and I'd certainly recommend giving it a try some time. If you're a fan of strange obscure games or just a big Souls fan then this is a really cool bit of history to experience. You can find the fan translation by way of a simple google search for “shadow tower abyss english.”

This would also be one of the incredibly rare times I'd actually recommend having access to a guide, but alas the only one I know of online seems to be unavailable now. One tip I can give you is that as soon as you start the game you'll want to go into the control layout options and change the controller layout to option 4 which will give the game your typical fps control scheme. If you have any trouble finding the game or setting it up feel free to contact me and I'll try and help out. Thanks for reading!
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2:44 PM on 07.24.2014

When you've been gaming as long as I have you start to accrue a ton of great memories from your experiences.  It's easy to build up fond memories of games from your past that keep it in a certain limelight for you, which is something I think we're all guilty of.  Memories like these can make retreading your gaming footsteps a scary notion. What if you go back to play a game you loved only to realize how poorly it has aged?  The past isn't just full of games you previously played though, there will always be experiences you missed out on. You can sit around wishing for the PS4 or Wii U to get some new games (and I'm right there with you) but there have been so many games that have been out for years that I've never gotten to experience.

These two facts have sent me on a bit of a journey through games passed recently. Seeing as how I'm currently on the hunt for a job I have plenty of extra free time at home and not a lot of money to tread into newer territory, so I've decided to combine my retread of history with my goal of keeping content flowing. It most recently started with my Top Ten list that I wrote up about a week ago. Of the games I listed I had only gone through 3 or 4 within the last year, so I was curious as to how accurate my memory was. The only game I pretty regularly revisit is Mega Man X, because it's one that I love and it doesn't take very much time to go back through. I made up my mind and went on a journey back to Chrono Trigger, one of my favorite games of all time. 

As a kid this was one of the first jrpg's that I actually managed to finish because I had an extreme lack of patience for grinding growing up; which often left me at the end of a jrpg with under-leveled characters. Luckily Chrono Trigger is a game that requires next to no additional grinding. It manages to capture perfectly my philosophy on games that if you fight every monster that gets in your way from point A to point B then you should be able to take on the boss sitting at point B without having to take an hour to run in circles farming experience. Chrono Trigger was also the first jrpg that I completely replayed thanks to its New Game + integration, something that was pretty new at the time. In fact if I remember correctly it was Chrono Trigger that coined the term.

Obviously I have a lot of fond memories of Chrono Trigger. I decided to revisit it via the PS1 version on my Vita (unfortunately I don't own the DS port, which I have heard is the definitive version) and I had even more fun than I could have hoped. I went through a few days of sickness around the time I wrote the Top Ten so my sleeping habits got all out of whack and I was up most nights and sleeping during the day. I picked up my Vita one night, turned on Chrono Trigger, and honestly didn't stop for about 7 hours or so. I went from the beginning of the game to the Dark Ages section of the game in one  sitting. I forced myself to step away and ended up finishing the game up after two more slightly shorter sittings. The game was shorter than I remembered, clocking in around 16 hours for my playthrough, during which I did everything you can possibly do in one playthrough, and I was as satisfied with that journey as I could have possibly been. 

My replaying and fanboy levels of gushing over Chrono Trigger may not be terribly exciting to hear about but this is what set me out to go through a lot of other old games. I aim to try and visit both titles I have played as well as those that I missed out on. I don't expect to come away happy with every game I sit down to play, in fact after playing Chrono Trigger I revisited Chrono Cross and was actually a bit disappointed at how it didn't live up to my memory of it. Still a solid game with a great story, but plenty of issues that I either didn't notice previously or had forgotten about. I currently have a lot of PS1 era games lined up to revisit. I've already gone back through Mega Man Legends and am currently visiting Vagrant Story for the first time and my list to go through includes everything from Spyro to Grandia, to Valkyrie Profile.

Seeing a lot of people's top ten favorite games recently has really shown me just how many games that others have loved that I still haven't even tried out yet, as well as how many different things people look for or really appreciate in games. For me video games aren't just about the gameplay, they're not just about the story. Every game has a different goal and different priorities. I don't think that gameplay is always the most important aspect of a game just because “it's a video game and gameplay is what makes it a video game.” To me it's the experience as a whole that stays with me; the combination of all the things that come together make a video game. I've had so many great experiences and I have no doubt that many of them may not hold up when I go back and revisit them, but it's a risk I'm willing to take. As someone who never had a lot of friends growing up I probably have more great video game memories than I do “life” memories, and I'm always excited by the prospect of adding more. 

I'm really curious about how other people feel about revisiting their past when it comes to gaming. Do you enjoy going back and replaying games you loved as a kid to see if they still hold up? Or are you more of the type that wants to keep your memories as they are and not risk ruining them with your now more experienced and mature perspective? Is there a game that you enjoy so much that you feel inclined to constantly revisit it, the way I feel about Mega Man X? Feel free to let me know, and thanks for reading.

Bonus Question:

My aforementioned financial situation means that I likely won't be doing many timely reviews until I am able to remedy that, but I am dedicated to keeping weekly content flowing here so I'm going to have to start getting more creative. I've got a few ideas up on the old drawing board at the moment. I plan to do more “You Should Play” pieces so I can talk about games that I feel were overlooked such as God Hand and Shadow Tower: Abyss and I've also toyed with the idea of using my trip through the past to make a sort of nostalgia segment where I talk about older games and how well I think they've held up. 

My current idea is to maybe take two that I've played and two I've never tried and do a write up once a month about my findings with a different theme each time (maybe four PS1 games one month, four sidescrollers the next month, etc.). If four ends up being too many I may tone it down to one game I've played before and one I haven't, we'll see. If that's something that sounds interesting or if you think maybe a different format would work better then hey I'm all ears. Thanks again!
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10:22 PM on 07.16.2014

As per the request of fellow Dtoid community writer Solar Pony Django I have compiled a list of my personal 10 favorite games. Also per SPD's request I have assigned them numbers, but don't put too much stock in the numbers themselves. As this is only a list of 10 I had to leave out a lot of great games. Hope you enjoy reading!

10. Diddy Kong Racing

It's my understanding that, when it comes to kart racing, most people grew up on Mario Kart, and that's fine. I myself spent an awful lot of time on the original Super Mario Kart on SNES. For me though, the true pinnacle of the genre was with Rare's Diddy Kong Racing on the N64. This was a ridiculously fun and hectic party racing game that had fun mechanics, cool characters, and an awesome overworld to ride around in. It also allowed you to choose your own vehicle to race in from plane, kart, and hoverboat, each giving you unique ways through the variety of tracks. I spent A LOT of time on DKR as a kid, both alone and playing it with my Dad, so it has a special place for me.

9. Pokemon Red/Blue

In all honesty I think that the recent Pokemon X/Y releases are probably the better games (despite their unfortunate lack of challenge), but those don't hold the same place in my heart as the original generation of Red and Blue. I got my first gameboy, a chunky and see-through beast of a system, as a hand-me-down from a friend of the family when the slimmer model came out. My parents got me Pokemon Blue to accompany it and it didn't take me long to fall in love. When I was a kid RPG's were my jam and I played them more than any other genre (as you may notice as the list continues.) These games probably mean a lot to a lot of people, but I will never forget my first foray into portable games, romping through Kanto with my Blastoise in this classic.

8. Super Smash Bros. 

Oh man, this was the first competitive game that I ever truly ruled at. I remember it well; my mom won a bit of money off of a lottery ticket and as I was with her she offered to buy me one game, so off to Wal-Mart we went. I had my sights set on the original Mario Party because I had rented it a few times and my few friends and I always had fun with it, but a different game caught my eye when I stepped up to the glass case. I had no clue what Super Smash Bros. was or how long it had been out, but all it took was seeing some of my favorite characters ever displayed on the box art and I was sold. I got to introduce my friends to what would be come one of the best fighting/party game series ever and I played it til I had uncovered every single detail about it. Ness quickly became my favorite fighter and I would reign supreme over my friends with him to the point that they would get me to unlock him on their cartridges so they could try to match me. Another great childhood memory.

7. Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

This may not be the popular choice, and even I will admit that it isn't technically the best Zelda game ever released, but it remains my favorite nonetheless. The dark atmosphere, depressing characters, and unique take on a classic formula had me in love with Majora's Mask for a long time. In fact, it was probably one of, if not THE first, single player games that I ever 100% completed alone. Every temple, every heart, every mask. I really hope this game gets the same treatment as Ocarina of Time 3D pretty soon.

6. Silent Hill 2

Silent Hill 2 is, in my opinion, the highlight of the series. The change in focus from survival horror to psychological horror really helped this team of devs show that they could make something not only unique, but brilliant. The story of Silent Hill 2 and how it is told is a masterpiece. Every thing you see or fight or hear has meaning, down to the way the camera is facing in a cutscene. This is a game that people could literally write essays about, in fact I have! It may not have the most riveting gameplay ever, but that does little to hold back this phenomenal experience.

5. Persona 4

I mentioned this in my piece on video game music, but I didn't get to play this game when it was first relevant. The vita release of P4: Golden allowed me to finally play this gem of a game. At first I wasn't sure I'd be as into it as I was with Persona 3 due to its seemingly more happy go lucky mood early on, not to mention the removal of the awesome P3 way of summoning your persona! I'm so happy I was proven wrong, this game is beyond amazing. It has such a great cast of characters, an intriguing story, and an interesting combat system. The actual dungeon crawling does leave a bit to be desired, but every time it cropped up I simply went through the entire dungeon at once and then went back to the social aspect. I went through the entirety of this 70 hour rpg in the course of 5 or 6 days while on break from college, and having to leave behind the characters I had spent my waking hours with for that week left me emotionally broken. If you have somehow not played Persona 4 at this point then you are doing yourself a disservice. You're not likely to find a better Dungeon Crawling Time Management Role Playing Social Sim anywhere.

4. Dark Souls

I always love challenging myself in video games, particularly ones that I am already having a great time with. Dark Souls is a game that I wasn't entirely sure of originally. I found it suitably challenging on my first time through, but the story, or lack thereof I felt at the time, left me wanting more. It wasn't until a friend of mine began regaling with the inner workings of the Dark Souls story and how it is told that I began to move from disappointment to love. Many people play the Souls games for the challenge, but not enough play it for the incredible story. It was difficult choosing between Dark Souls 1 and 2 for this spot, because I feel that while 1 had a better challenge and a wrap around world, 2 in my opinion had better mechanics and a slightly more intriguing world. Ultimately I've gone with 1 obviously but both are worth your time.

3. Final Fantasy 6

I love Final Fantasy. I've loved it since Final Fantasy 2 on the SNES (Final Fantasy 4 in reality) and I still love it today, despite the changes it has undergone. Final Fantasy 6 is the pinnacle of these great games in my humble opinion. Everyone seems to have a different favorite, from 7 (which I thought was very good but not as amazing as many seem to think) to 9 (one of my favorites) to 12 (which is an awesomely unique entry in the series.) FF6 had such a fantastic cast of characters, both obvious and hidden, and one of the best stories in rpg history. How many games let you try to save the world, FAIL, and then have to play through the second half of the game in the ruined world left over after the villain has won?

2. Mega Man X

Mega Man X is such a brilliant concept to me. Capcom took a cool and loved series and gave it a makeover in such a way that it retains its original appeal and formula while giving it a modern touch and more interesting mechanics. X blurs the line between sequel and reboot and it does so fabulously. I have probably played through Mega Man X more times than any other game ever. In fact just night before last I began playing through the X games again for nostalgia's sake. X and X4 are my personal favorites of this series, but the original will always stand on top in my eyes.

1. Chrono Trigger

There is no way that I could fully explain to you the majesty of Chrono Trigger in a paragraph, but I will damn sure try. Chrono Trigger goes for quality over quantity in terms of its characters in the best way possible. Featuring only 7 playable characters, one of which is optional, each of them has so much depth and great story behind them that it's difficult to pick a favorite...but I will and that favorite is Magus. The combat system is one of the best of the genre. It features a new take on the ATB system, with techniques that can be combined with other characters to perform double or even triple combo techniques. The side quests in Chrono Trigger have meaning and some even change the landscape of the world. There are a slew of different endings and the story is just phenomenal. It even spawned an excellent (if divisive) sequel with one of the largest casts of characters I've ever seen in a jrpg. I can't recommend this amazing game enough. Get it on DS, get the ps1 version on PSN, get an old SNES cartridge, hell download an emulator if you have to, just play this game.
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Video games are great. Music is great. Therefore video game music is great. It's simple math folks. I've played a lot of games in my time, but it wasn't until later in life that I really started appreciating the music that accompanied what I was playing. I've been listening to a lot of video game music lately and so I've decided to share some of my personal favorite tracks, along with fan remixes of most of them. I've tried to pick tracks from different eras of gaming so as not to just have a full list of SNES tracks, which would be easy enough to do on its own. Here we go!

Mega Man X - Armored Armadillo's Theme

Mega Man X is one of my favorite games. Growing up it was probably the game that I played through the most. It's full of great tracks to compliment its excellent gameplay and visuals. Armored Armadillo's stage is home to probably my favorite track from this entry and when you hear it I'm sure you'll understand why. If that alone isn't enough for you then have a listen to an awesome OCRemix of this track by clicking HERE.

Dark Souls - Gwyn, Lord of Cinder

Dark Souls is a pretty fantastic game, as I'm sure most of you already know. A game with such a dark and lonely atmosphere needs an equally mood setting soundtrack. The most amazing placement of a piece of music in this game, in my opinion, is that of Gwyn's theme while fighting him. The context of this track is what really makes it shine. Making your entire way through the game to finally meet with Gwyn and have your climactic final battle with this wonderful track playing in the background is perfectly haunting. As before, you can listen to a fan remix by clicking HERE.

Sonic Adventure 2/Sonic Generations - Escape from the City

The Sonic series is full of great tracks but this ridiculously fun song is by far my favorite. It's used in both Sonic Adventure 2 and its equivalent stage in Sonic Generations and it is a blast to have going while you're "rolling around at the speed of sound." This song hypes me up so much that I listen to it at the gym from time to time.

Transistor - We All Become

Really this spot could be pretty much any track that has been in either game from Supergiant Games. Darren Korb is absolutely brilliant with his music in both Bastion and Transistor and Ashley Barrett's vocals are always beautiful. The music in each game is so unique and Transistor really nailed it with these amazing tracks that fit both as a piece of a video game soundtrack as well as fitting into the canon of the game through the protagonist, Red, being a singer herself.

Final Fantasy 6 - Decisive Battle

Final Fantasy is another series that is full the brim with great tracks, from battle music to character themes, but Final Fantasy 6 has always stood out as my favorite and this particular track has always stayed in my memory. This really does nail down the fantastic boss fights you'll get to experience through the game and the track manages to both make the threat known to you as well as get you pumped to put an end to your adversary. In lieu of a fan remix for this one, how about a Smooth McGroove rendition? It can be found HERE.

Persona 4 - Heartbeat, Heartbreak

I went far too long in my life before playing Persona 4. I played Persona 3 when the Vita came out thanks to the PSP backwards compatibility, but it wasn't until P4 Golden that I finally got to play this amazing game. I enjoyed P4 so much that I played through it in its entirety over the course of 5 or 6 days, and that's about a 70 hour game. I practically lived the life of the protagonist for that week. Both 3 and 4 have some great tracks but this one really has me chilling out when walking around Inaba. For a great rendition of this track, you can listen to Destructoid's own Dale North perform it HERE.

Chrono Trigger - Corridors of Time

Ah, Chrono Trigger. It wouldn't be an overstatement to say that this is probably my favorite game of all time. I've even been considering doing an in depth write up about exactly why that is. I'll try not to gush too much over it here, but the music, along with everything else in Chrono Trigger, is amazing. This track has stuck with me through the years without fail; a mysterious and magical track for the equally mysterious and magical kingdom of Zeal. For an incredible fan rendition of this track click HERE.

[Honorable Mention] Dragon's Dogma - Into Free

You can say you hate it, but deep down I know you love it.

Well that's all for now folks, I hope you've enjoyed listening!

10:07 AM on 07.11.2014


This is the first entry in what I hope will be a regular series in which I shed light on games many may not have heard of. This first piece will be a relatively short one as it is on a similarly short game. Hopefully these will get meatier as I make my way through more obscure games. If you know of any great, not particularly well known titles, from any era of gaming, then by all means let me know.

Titan Souls is the name of two projects that occupy a single idea. Currently it is being developed as a full game by developer Acid Nerve to be published by Devolver Digital. In its original form, however, Titan Souls is a brief yet brilliant result of last year's Ludum Dare game jam. It was developed by three guys over the course of three days, led only by the theme: “You only get one.”

The concept of Titan Souls is that you are an unnamed protagonist who must kill four dangerous bosses. The first three of these “titans” can be killed in any order, but the final will be locked off until you've dealt with the original three. The theme of only getting one applies to more than one facet of this experience, it applies in three ways in fact. You only get one arrow as a weapon, you only get one “health point”, and bosses only require one hit to their weak spot to be defeated.

This is a game that is elegant in its simplicity. You only have two action buttons to make use of while using the arrow keys to move your character around. Your first button allows you to roll, obviously something that will be important to your titan slaying career. The second button is held down and released to draw and fire your single arrow that you'll be using to take down the bosses. After firing your single arrow, it slows to a stop and upon holding the arrow button down again it will slowly begin to return to you.

This will not be a long experience, even if you struggle to get the hang of the game at first. As it was made in such a short time you can hardly hold it against them. I am hesitant to say that the game doesn't have a story, because a game with such an excellent atmosphere and an especially good ending surely has at least a basic story behind it, even if that story exists only in its creator's head. Its visual style is not complex but the pixel art is very well done and its music is excellent at setting the mood.

As I mentioned earlier, Titan Souls is currently being developed as a fully fleshed game (by the original three creators no less) to be released on at least the PS4 and PS Vita, I'm not entirely sure about their plans for other platforms. The full release will have more bosses, a better engine running it, and an overall level of polish that comes with having a reasonable amount of time to create a game. The creators are obviously very passionate about this project and I can't help but be excited about getting my hands on the final product when it comes out early 2015.

If you'd like to check out the original game jam version of Titan Souls you can go to the Ludum Dare page by clicking HERE. It can be downloaded or played in your browser. If you'd like to learn more about Acid Nerve then you can check them out HERE where you can get links to their twitters, facebook, etc. You can also get a sneak peak at a couple of early screenshots and audio tracks from the upcoming release there. Give the game jam version a shot and I'm sure you'll be as interested in the full release as I am. If this is what these guys are capable of with only 72 hours of development time, then I can't wait to see what they can do with all the time they need.
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