Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty - Before You Buy

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Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty - Before You BuyWo Long: Fallen Dynasty (PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S/One) is a souls-like RPG with some great twists on the formula. Let's talk about it! Subscribe for more: http://youtube.com/gameranxtv ▼ Video by Jake Baldino Buy Wo Long: https://amzn.to/3EQIl88 Watch more 'Before You Buy': https://bit.ly/2kfdxI6 #wolongfallendynasty

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Review - Souls-Like Of The Three Kingdoms

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The first boss fight in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is right up there with the toughest first bosses in video game history. This opening battle pits you against Zhang Liang of the Yellow Turbans, as you clash in a kinetic two-phase fight to the death. It's an intense skill check that challenges your prowess of Wo Long's mechanics almost immediately. In many ways, it feels like a rite of passage for the rest of the game and a bold statement of intent from developer Team Ninja. I initially loved how it forced me to adapt to the demands of the game's particular brand of Souls-like combat, yet the further I progressed, the more this feeling dissipated as I realized that this introductory struggle was little more than an unbalanced outlier, providing a much sterner test than the bosses following it.

For many, this sudden difficulty spike will be a barrier to entry, halting progress a mere 10 minutes into the game. It's a shame Wo Long begins with such a sturdy roadblock, not least because this initial undertaking isn't indicative of the rest of the game moving forward. In fact, outside of this first boss, Team Ninja has crafted one of the more approachable Souls-likes in what is a traditionally challenging genre.

I didn't encounter another boss fight on par with Zhang Liang's difficulty until roughly 15 hours into Wo Long's campaign. Most of the bosses in between were a relative cakewalk, to the point where I was able to cut down each one on my first attempt--usually in under a minute. I still had fun dispatching every single one, but the ease with which I was able to do so makes them lose some of their luster and reinforces the notion that the first boss is at odds with the rest of the game. The battle with Zhang Liang sets up expectations that never come to fruition, particularly when other fights allow you to summon help from either AI or human teammates.

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Tales Of Symphonia Remastered Review - A Classic Regenerated

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Tales of Symphonia was a formative experience for me. For my young 11-year-old brain, it redefined my understanding of the JRPG genre. The vibrant presentation, action-focused combat, and mature story took me by surprise. Weekend after weekend, a friend and I would explore the world of Sylvarant together, making incremental progress in each play session. While I had played a few JRPGs before, none had hooked me the way Tales of Symphonia had.

Despite my deep reverence for Tales of Symphonia, I haven't touched it since 2004. I don't really know why. I bought it on PC a few years back, but it just felt wrong to play that game sitting at my desk one random evening after work--almost as if it would tarnish the magic of that experience and the memories tied to it. However, with the release of Tales of Symphonia Remastered, I decided it was finally time to return to this world to see if it was as good as I remember. The result was a bit mixed.

Tales of Symphonia follows a kid named Lloyd Irving as he accompanies the Chosen One on a globetrotting adventure. The Chosen One, Colette, instructed by divine prophecy, must "regenerate" the world in order to end war, famine, and hatred. It seems like standard JRPG fare, but the story is darker and far more complex than it initially lets on. Despite trying to do the right thing, Lloyd and his companions are confronted with moral quandaries that often leave a trail of destruction behind them. What makes the story so effective is how it rarely shies away from the consequences of our heroes' actions. Conflicts are rarely resolved neatly, and the story is better for it.

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