We all have our favorites when it comes to video games. Be it for the artwork, the soundtrack, the mechanics, plot, character development, or style–we have our reasons. To be sure, there is the occasional nerdgasm over a franchise as well. These are the games that stick with us, and usually with good reason. They have components that are done so well that it is something we then go looking for in other games.
When talking to my gamer friends, I am learning that quite a few of my favorites are lost gems; games that don’t have nearly the popularity or following, but are beautifully executed in their own rights.
Kartia: The World of Fate came out in 1998 for the PlayStation in North America, published by Atlas. It was originally released as “Rebus” in Japan. One could go so far as to consider it a “retro” game, by modern standards. Kartia is an isometric tactical roleplaying game, with a very high level of customization within battle. It is a beautiful game, with stunning character art by Yoshitaka Amano and haunting soundtrack by Kenichi Tsuchia and Masaki Kurokawa.
In this day and age, it is very, very hard to go into a game completely blind. Even if a person doesn’t read reviews or anything, just the act of looking up a game online for purchase will expose you to some kind of rating or opinion on the game. Personally, I’m mostly okay with that. I do my research, and, I mean, I write these articles to let other people know whether I think a game is worth their time, as well.
It really surprised me, then, that there was a game that I hadn’t heard any buzz about before it was released. Even more so because it was from the fairly high-profile team that had created Bastion, which was itself something of a sleeper hit a couple of years ago. As it was also one of the first fairly high-profile indie games to hit the latest generation of consoles, I figured I would check it out and see what it was all about.
I’m sure that anyone who reads this site, other sites, or has been on the internet at all in the past few days knows that there have been some pretty negative things that have been happening in the video game industry. I feel like there have been a great many other people who have been a great deal more personally affected by these things than I have been, and those people do a much better job of addressing the situation than I ever could.
So, I’m going to do the only thing I feel that I can do. I would like to list, briefly and in no particular order, the things related to video games that have made me and others happy, and which I think are positive things happening in the industry right now. Some of these things involve games I intend on reviewing at some point, and some of them are just observations I’ve made in the past month-ish.