Battle Chasers: Nightwar tackles the tedium of traditional JRPG turn-based combat by turning every fight into a tense interplay of meaningful tactics. Despite some frustrating elements and balancing issues, Nightwar provides some of the most satisfying RPG battles I’ve experienced all year—and looks nice doing it.
THQ’s demise in 2013 left a number of game developers displaced, including Vigil Games, creators of the Darksiders series. Two studios spun out of the ashes of Vigil Games: Gunfire Games, who are making Darksiders 3, and Airship Syndicate, whose first game, Battle Chasers: Nightwar, launched last week. It’s a combination dungeon crawler and JRPG, featuring turn-based combat, randomized dungeons, and a striking art style based on a late ’90s comic series.
Over Skype I spoke with Joe Madureira, Airship Syndicate’s creative director and CEO (as well as writer and penciller of the Battle Chasers comic), and Steve Madureira, the lead designer and animator for Battle Chasers: Nightwar—two brothers who have been making comics and games since they were teenagers.
Many of my favorite games stick with me over the years not because of finely-honed combat systems or impressive visual effects. Often it’s the story and characters that remain the most memorable aspects of the those cherished gaming experiences.
Masquerada: Songs and Shadows has one of the best stories I’ve experienced in years. It’s an epic tale about heroic sacrifice, forbidden love, political betrayal, and self discovery set within a richly realized world of urban renaissance and ancient mystery. Masquerada’s tactical combat is serviceable, but it’s the story and characters that demand you experience this unique RPG.
We wade into the hostile sewers beneath Yartar to confront an evil threat.
Streamed, recorded and uploaded every week. Subscribe for our weekly adventures. Join us live on Fridays at 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern!
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Next week’s session has been moved to Sunday, September 24. Same start time.
We carefully descended down the ladder deeper into the sewers, my head still ringing from the thunderous blast that erupted from the grate.
A deep pool of foreboding water lie before us. Across the large room a monstrous merfolk stood rigid, its eye glazed over. Before we could utter a remark, an inhuman voice invaded our minds.
“Welcome, guests. Welcome to my home. I’m glad you were able to join us this evening.”
Everyone looked startled, and I saw a few eyes glance my way. “That… wasn’t me,” I replied telepathically, fear plain in my thoughts.
“Your party has come a long way to find me,” the voice continued. “Atalia* called me ‘Oosith,’ but that was simply a construct.” Even with its mind-speak its voice felt harsh and clipped, causing us to creep backwards from the pool.
My anger overrode my fear. “It was you who went to the monastery after I left. You enslaved them!”
The creature’s mind never wavered. It mentioned that it was doing the bidding of its own master – as Atalia did. I used that against it. “So, you’re another slave?”
“I am no slave!” For a moment we felt the creature’s calm demeanor slip, then it was right back. It beckoned us forward into the murky waters.
I had no intention of jumping in. We kept it talking and learned about its plans: to turn the nobles of Yartar into its master’s servants.
Bryseis conjured a dancing light, and sent it down into the water. A writhing mass of tentacles curled around it. “You spit in the face of my generosity? Perhaps I should just enslave you as well.”
An ancient creature of the deep rose up out of the water, unfurling three large tentacles. Its white slimy body locked onto us with rows of eyes and a gaping maw.
*I verified the correct spelling of names with the DM this time! Continue reading “D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 21 Recap”
A press copy of the Starfinder Core Rulebook was provided for the purposes of this review.
Over the years Paizo Publishing has carved a successful name among tabletop roleplaying fans, releasing dozens of Pathfinder rulebooks, supplements, full campaigns, and modules.
Starfinder represents Paizo’s first entirely new roleplaying system since Pathfinder’s release in 2009. In many ways it’s a science-fiction version of Pathfinder, expanding on those rules (which is itself largely based on D&D 3.5e) while adding a few unique twists of its own.
Starfinder draws upon the best sci-fi archetypes, stories, and concepts from across media to create a full-fledged, detailed universe rife for adventure. Continue reading “Tabletop Review: Starfinder Roleplaying Game”
We’re supposed to “reach for the moon” in our goals. That way if we fall short we’ll still land among the stars. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense given that the nearest star is several light-years farther away than our moon. But the point is sound.
Zeboyd Games’ moon is represented by classic, beloved 90s Japanese RPGs such as Chrono Trigger, Suikoden, and Phantasy Star. It’s a big reason I backed the game on Kickstarter several years ago. To take on some of the best RPGs in gaming with an indie budget and two-person development team is a daunting challenge. While Cosmic Star Heroine falls short in some ways, it still lands among the stars as one of the best games I’ve played this year.
It’s been five years since the release of Mass Effect 3, and a controversy surrounding the ending that proved the passionate fanbase could turn on a dime. BioWare would infamously take this vitriolic feedback to heart, eventually releasing post-launch patches to update and tweak the ending. The ending of the trilogy is still one of the most divisive and sour notes in gaming, brought on because the Mass Effect series has become such an important cultural phenomenon for gamers.
So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the fangs came out for Mass Effect: Andromeda.