I don’t believe that the recent God of War would be anywhere near as well-regarded nor widely-recognized if it wasn’t prepared to disassemble its own foundations and leave reams of material on the floor in favor of what makes it really work.
One of the very quickest ways to kill my interest in a game is to railroad me into a tutorial. Conversely, the fastest way to get me on board is to display trust in the audience. But Pan-Pan just takes it to the next level on top of that.
Obviously, I love looking back at movies, games, shows – darn near anything under the umbrella term “media” – and celebrating what makes it so memorable. Heck, that’s effectively the mission statement of this blog. Awards shows seem custom-built to do that, so in theory I should be completely and totally on-board with them. Not so much.
Unfortunately, in the context of video games, it always feels like there’s some degree of separation between the fiction itself and the delivery method. which makes games that do bridge this gap well that much more notable. Games like Digital: A Love Story.
Bravely Second is seemingly unafraid to utterly bury you in options for possible party builds and accompanying tactics. But it never really feels like too much at any point, owed to its fantastic pacing.
As an up-front qualifier to the rest of what I'm about to say, I absolutely adore the Kingdom Hearts series and (most of) its associated games. But here's the rub: I have serious doubts that I would start playing the Kingdom Hearts series if I heard about it for the first time today.
One of those elements that instantly makes a setting feel fleshed-out and well-realized to me is the presence of conlang, or constructed languages. It's dead impressive that the invented "chaos language" in NieR: Automata is custom-made just to deepen the series' often-haunting and sometimes-thrilling soundtrack.