Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep – Harboring a Dark Heart

Kingdom Hearts is an odd series. It started in 2002, and has now ballooned to seven games, five of which aren’t numbered games despite being fairly important to understanding the overarching plot, giving nerds yet another chance to whine about a series being too complex when they refuse to engage with most of it.

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Critical Switch Guest Episode: JRPGs and Simplicity [Transcript]

I had the pleasure of putting together what became a guest episode on Critical Switch, the audio games criticism series by Austin C. Howe (@AustinCHowe, who also writes at his blog) and Zolani Stewart (@Fengxii, who’s responsible for the Arcade Review).

You can listen to my guest episode here!

Under the cut is the full transcript of the episode, and at the end is the track listing of the background music! If you enjoy my episode and aren’t a regular listener of Critical Switch, please consider becoming one and/or supporting Zolani and Austin on Patreon!

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Silver Review: Xenoblade Chronicles

Over the past three weeks, I’ve been playing Xenoblade Chronicles as a favor to the guy who so graciously gave me his old Wii and 3DSXL. It’s not solely for that reason, though; I’ve been interested to see what I think of the game that the general public won’t seem to shut up about when JRPGs are brought up.

…Let’s just say that I’m sad that I don’t like it more. I wish I could find this trite game worth the literal hundred hours I ended up putting into it.

There are spoilers for the game below the cut.

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The Silver Grinding’s Tales Starter Guide

(or, A Tale of a Thousand Miles Begins With A Single Skit)

Greetings! You’re probably not wondering why I’m writing this, and I’m not wondering why you’re reading this. Both are for the same reason: you’re interested in learning more about the series of games known as the Tales (or Tales of) series, but don’t quite know what entries are recommended (or even available) to try!

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Set Difficulty to…

(Originally written on November 14th of 2014.) Archived and re-posted today because the January 2015 roundup of blogs from Critical Distance made me think of it.

Difficulty in games is a contentious subject sometimes. It’s a fair target of discussion, though, since the audience’s involvement is what sets games apart from other media. There are several axes to consider when discussing difficulty, and several precedents that have colored the scales differently; this isn’t going to be an opinion-heavy piece for the most part. I just want to lay out my perception of ways difficulty is created, influenced, and received.

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Objective: Impossible

(Originally written on October 31st of 2014.)

In my last bit of writing, I talked about valuing your time and respecting others’ appreciation of their time. I mentioned my status as an outlier in that way, with my free time being so consistently abundant that in both August and September of this year, a week transpired where I played the game that had captivated me at the time, on average, ten hours a day.

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