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Review for the F2P online Flash based RPG Fantasy Online by Pixelated Games. The game can also be played through Facebook. This is more of a casual MMO like Farmville or Frontierville.
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Ragnarok Online Renewal Guide!

I've been working on a review for Ragnarok Online and in the process decided to create a summarized guide to the Renewal changes. I also included a leveling guide.

You can find the guide here: Ragnarok Online Renewal FAQ and
Solo Leveling Guide


I've also added the guide to my Game Guides and FAQs section of the website, which can now be found listed under 'Reviews' for easier access.
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New RPG Video Reviews!

Over the past week I've released three new reviews!

Dungeons and Dragons Online MMORPG


Atlantica Online MMORPG


Arcuz: Behind the Dark Online Flash Game


I've got a working laptop and while it's not a souped up gaming PC like I usually play on, I've still been able to get fraps running on it to make some PC title reviews.

You may notice these new reviews lack the usual sketch comedy segments and intro. Some users have expressed dislike of those segments, so I'm trying a more direct format for the videos until I create a better set to film them in. Let me know what you guys think!
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Arrogance?

It's funny how even two weeks later people are still trolling my videos and my website, trying to pick a fight with me. I wonder what kind of tears they cry when they realize those long, hateful posts peppered with profanity and sensationalism took me half a second to erase?

I also find it very interesting that the people who accuse me of being arrogant are the same people who generalize "JRPGs" and "WRPGs".

I feel I should point out they are using the word 'arrogance' incorrectly.

Next time you want to insult me, pick up a dictionary and find one that actually fits.

Here, I'll make it easy for you.

In order to be arrogant one must be presumptuous. That means you are acting on a belief that isn't definitely true.

So really, who is being arrogant?

Am I, the person who has been researching computer RPGs for most of his life, arrogant for insisting I am correct about issues of publication history, use of genre terms and the diverse range of RPG game mechanics and graphics used by both Japanese and "Western" developers? Things that can be quite easily verified as being true by spending an hour on Google?

Or...

Are the people who insist "JRPGs" and "WRPGs" are unique "styles" of games being arrogant?

Are those who insist JRPGs are "mostly turn based" while WRPGs are "mostly real time" being arrogant?

Are those who insist JRPGs are "mostly linear" while WRPGs are "mostly non-linear" being arrogant?

Are those who insist JRPGs use "anime graphics" and WRPGs use "realistic graphics" being arrogant?

Are those who insist it is perfectly okay to make broad assumptions and stereotype thousands of games they have not played being arrogant?

All things considered, I'd rather be arrogant than be foolishly mistaken because I didn't bother to check the facts before I wrote an essay about how someone else was wrong.

Here's another definition for you: stupid."Lacking intelligence or common sense."

I think it's pretty common sense to actually do some research into a topic before you make a rebuttal video or blog. Not doing so and instead relying only on your personal feelings and limited knowledge about the topic is pretty damn stupid.

Edit: I do not have time for every wannabe Asalieri who wants to argue this issue with me. Unless you are able demonstrate you have actually researched this topic beyond what RPGs are for sale right now at GameStop I am not going to respond to you. I have a bunch of other videos I'm working on, none of which are about the "JRPG vs WRPG" debate. This is the last blog post I intend to make on the matter for the foreseeable future.
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Game Reviews Matter

I've said before that one of the reasons I'm passionate about game journalists giving games honest and insightful reviews is because game reviews impact the sales of games.

Not everyone agrees with this assertion. A lot of people (myself included) do not rely on game reviews to determine our buying habits.

However, the average consumer does rely on game reviews to determine which games are worth renting / buying and which should be ignored. And when we're talking about games that took thousands to millions of dollars to create, the average consumer is the one who needs to buy the game for the developer to stay in business.


There is some research to support the argument videogame reviews matter, but you shouldn't need a study to believe the obvious; if game reviews didn't matter then nobody would watch game review videos or read game review magazines / websites.

I will not shy away from issues where I disagree with the popular but incorrect opinions expressed by other game reviewers and journalists. I will not be intimidated into being silenced either.

Game reviews are not simply entertainment; they are meant to educate.

If I catch other reviewers misinforming the public about a game I will call them out so at least some people know they are wrong and shouldn't make purchasing habits based on flawed reasoning and poor fact checking.
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Non-linear JRPGs Vs Non-linear WRPGs

It has come to this. The only way to fight overwhelming ignorance is to show them the truth.

I have spent the past few hours listing every non-linear Japanese computer RPG I can think of. You can find the list here.

I have also started a list of non-linear "Western" computer RPGs but it is hardly complete and my gut tells me I'm missing a bunch. You can find that list here.

The lists are both incomplete (I know about a lot of games but I can't always recall every single one of them and I surely don't know about every CRPG that has ever been made) but already people who have been negatively commenting on my video should be able to see how absolutely wrong they are about "JRPGs" being games that have 100% linear narratives.

What they appear to be missing from my argument is that I'm correct because I know what I'm talking about.

I do not spam the internet with opinions I haven't verified against the facts like many other people are doing.


"What is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular."

I was able to list over 80 Japanese made computer RPGs that have non-linear narratives and that's just those games I was able to recall tonight. I am willing to bet dollars to donuts this small portion of games is way more than my detractors thought existed at all.

Please note that I defined what non-linear computer RPGs are in a previous blog, so if you're wondering how I'm determining whether a game is linear or non-linear, check that blog post out.

A summary;

Dynamic non-linear: The rarest type of non-linear narrative model. The player makes choices during gameplay that shape the game's narrative in a meaningful and critical ways so as to substantially change the direction of the game's narrative. There are either no or very few milestone events that the player "must" clear in order for the narrative to advance. The game offers a large number of narrative routes the player can choose to bypass and that will not prevent the narrative from moving forward (an example: Romancing SaGa: MS)


Static non-linear: The most common type of non-linear model. The choices made by the player do not alter the narrative in significant ways and the narrative generally travels in a single direction with few deviations. This kind of non-linear narrative is built around "milestone" events which HAVE to be passed through regardless of what "route" the player takes. The game's narrative cannot move forward if these milestones are not cleared. (an example: Persona 4)


But read the blog post I made on the topic, I've included images to better express the narrative model these games use.

I'll continue to update this list. If you know of a game that ought to be in the list let me know via Youtube or by commenting on this blog. I will check the game out and if it deserves to be listed I will update the page.
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