If you’re the type of fantasy role-playing gamer more accustomed to orcs and fearless paladins, sliding into the role of an anthropomorphic panda bear is admittedly difficult. But Blizzard has done a fantastic job of creating an engaging story around World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria's Pandaren race. And its new, Asian-inspired continent, with its detailed shrines and stoic monks, may be some of Blizzard’s best work.
Depending on whom you ask, there's a sentiment in some circles that the Japanese games industry is struggling to maintain relevance. While traditional Japanese role-playing games don't clinch the Western market quite as tightly as they once did, The World Ends With You stands as a prime example of the genre's staying power. Actually, it's one of the best role-playing games – regardless of region – we've played in years.
Originally released in 2008 on the PC, The Witcher: Enhanced Edition offers a complex solo role-playing experience, made all the more engrossing by the rich, dangerous world it takes place in. It tells the story of Geralt of Rivia, a gifted warrior who belongs to an order of magic and alchemy-aided monster-hunting mercenaries known as Witchers. While on a mission, Geralt is seriously wounded. He wakes years later in the Witchers’ fortress, with no memory of who he is or how he got there. Before his compatriots have time to give him the most basic of information, the fortress is attacked by a group of bandits who steal the secrets to the Witchers’ inhuman powers.
Even if you’re suffering from Second World War fatigue after all the Medal of Honor and Call of Duty games of the last decade, Company of Heroes can put a fresh slant on the proceedings. It’s not only the most friendly, accessible, and involving of any strategy game we’ve played, but also the closest you can get to taking part in World War II without straying into first-person shooter territory and thus losing the depth that a strategy game can deliver.
As one of Square-Enix’s non-Final Fantasy masterpieces, Chrono Trigger’s reputation precedes itself. And while it may be hard to deny the nostalgia of seeing that swinging clock pendulum, you might want to temper your excitement over this inexplicably finicky iOS port.
It's been almost a dozen years since the last official Diablo release, and for those of you hankering for a killer role-playing experience in 2012, you won't be disappointed.
The Diablo III beta has hit, muchos hours have been sunk into playing it, and the Diablo franchise has returned in fine style with beautiful graphics and a familiar play style. Plus, improved mechanics simplify routine tasks like maintaining an inventory, upgrading equipment, and converting additional items to cash or material components on the fly -- something you used to have to return to town or a vendor for.
Odds are you're a good person. You go to work, pay your bills, assist the elderly across the street, and get to bed at a reasonable time. So why would you want to be an amazing Renaissance-era assassin, leaping from a nearby rooftop to quickly dispatch your target with concealed wrist blades (or any other weapon), quickly looting the body and escaping without a trace?
Because it would be about the most fun you could have on your Mac.
And if you were alive during medieval times, your parents would encourage you to form a heavily armed party, go out into the world, use weapons and magic to achieve your goals and to rise to the loftiest heights of society.
Which is essentially the core premise of Dragon Age II, BioWare's epic role-playing title in which you take on the role of Hawke, an escapee from the land of Ferelden, to resettle in the city-state of Kirkwall as a refugee and freelance mercenary. Over the next decade, your character rises to power and influence, becoming the city's hero as well as directly involved with political and social tensions throughout the city.
Late last week, some rumors began to circulate that Final Fantasy III would soon be getting an iPhone port. However, that's where the news stopped. Two problems arose: A) the news was based off of a scan of a japanese magazine that nobody could read to confirm the news, and B) nobody knew whether the game (if it existed at all) was coming to territories outside of Japan. Today Square Enix offered an official word on the matter, and we can all rejoice in the knowledge that one of the lost Final Fantasy games will find its way to North America on the iPhone.
One of the zillion or so great things about the iPhone is how it's bringing beloved Asian role-playing titles to a new audience. One of these is Wild Frontier, the story of a young hero who must venture across an unknown new continent and prevent an army of demons from crossing over into the world.