Operation Backlog Completion 2017
Jul 312017
 

Last week, I read Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, which took over my thoughts so completely I realized the next book I read would suffer in comparison. So, I decided to read something where I already knew the story: the novelization of Chain of Memories.

Like the first Kingdom Hearts novelization, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories is largely just a retelling of the game’s events.

(I believe it follows the original, not Re: Chain of Memories, because of certain scenes that are different between the two.)

It’s a nice way to re-live the story, and without the frustrating card battles, I was able to focus on the story itself. Chain of Memories doesn’t get enough credit for its story. It introduces Organization XIII, sets into motion important events for later games, and puts Sora in a pretty dire situation.

Click for Chain of Memories and Dream Drop Distance spoilers

The novelization also includes Reverse/Rebirth, Riku’s story. I was curious about how it would work as a novel, since the game lacks content for Riku’s story. There are new Organization XIII scenes, but the worlds are largely empty.

Well, the novelization handles it by showing events not only from Riku’s point of view, but also from the Replica’s point of view! That’s the most interesting part of the novel, with its only flaw being that it reuses some of the scenes from Sora’s story, which is repetitive even though it’s coming from a new viewpoint.

Yes, Repliku fans, this one’s for you.

In short, the Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories novel is a light, enjoyable retelling of the game’s events, perfect if you want to experience it without the battle system or want new insight into the Riku Replica.

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Jul 282017
 

The Japanese release of Dragon Quest XI is imminent, and many JRPG fans like me have been waiting patiently in the hopes of localization news.

Well, it’s finally happening!

Dragon Quest XI will be brought to the West as Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, as revealed in a special announcement. It’s due out in 2018, with more details to follow this Fall.

So far, they haven’t said which versions will be localized, but I’m hoping for both. While both the PS4 and 3DS versions of Dragon Quest XI are turn-based JRPGs, they have several differences. One of the most noticeable differences is the art style, because the 3DS version actually lets you switch to a retro 2D-style appearance.

Then there’s the mysterious Switch version, which we know nothing about… will that finally be shown this fall, when we learn more about the English release?

I’m pretty excited about this news, although I really should play more Dragon Quest games. Are you excited for Dragon Quest XI? Which version(s) do you think will be localized?

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Jul 262017
 

After pre-orders opened up last week, my horror novelette It Came Back is now available!

You can read it for free at The Book Smugglers or buy an ebook copy from Amazon, Smashwords, or directly from the publisher (available at the bottom of the page).

And of course, you can add it on Goodreads.

The Book Smugglers also has a short post from me about the inspirations and influences that led to It Came Back. This is also included with the ebook copies.

Inspiration can come from anywhere, and mine aren’t often what you’d expect. The video game I mention in that post was from one of my favorite series. Silent Hill? Nope. Resident Evil? Nope. Ace Attorney!

And it led to a horror story.

Yep, that’s how inspiration works sometimes.

I hope you enjoy It Came Back and consider getting the ebook version. If you read it, be sure to leave a review and let me know your thoughts!

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