Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Jun 292018

When The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit was announced during E3 at Microsoft’s press conference, I commented that even though it looked lighthearted, I didn’t trust it since it’s a game from Dontnod (and set in the Life is Strange universe, no less).

My suspicions were well-placed.

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is free, takes about 2 hours or so to complete, and alternates between being cute and sad.

Gameplay is pretty much like it is in Life is Strange, except you can use Chris’s “superpowers” in various situations. Chris is a little boy who pretends to be a superhero called Captain Spirit, and most of the game follows the adventures he plays out around the house.

He’s also struggling to cope with the death of his mother, as well as his father’s newfound alcoholism and bouts of anger.


There were times when Captain Spirit felt like a lighthearted nostalgia trip, but the underlying darkness always lurked nearby. If you enjoyed the parts of Life is Strange that discussed what Max and Chloe were like as kids, or the “Farewell” bonus episode to Before the Storm, you’ll probably enjoy The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit as well.

The very end teases two additional characters who will probably play a role in Life is Strange 2. The ending screen confirms that Chris will return in Life is Strange 2, but it’s unclear if he’ll be the protagonist or not. I think one of the two brothers will be the main character, especially with how they’re introduced.

Click for Captain Spirit spoiler
That scene looked to me like one of them has actual powers and saved Chris from falling.

Many parts of The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit made me smile, but it ultimately left me feeling sad. Still, we all know I’m going to play Life is Strange 2 no matter how depressing it is.

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Jun 272018

Omega Labyrinth Z is one of those games that when I saw it announced, I said something along the lines of “Oh Japan” followed by “That’ll never be localized.”

Then they proved me wrong and announced the western release of this very fanservice-centric dungeon RPG.

Omega Labyrinth Z hit the news a few months ago when countries starting banning its release, largely due to its fanservice together with the age of its high school characters. I’m not sure why they didn’t go the “they’re actually 18” localization strategy, but it might be because the developer/publisher didn’t want to go with any form of censorship.

During these bans, everything seemed set for its western release outside of those countries.

Until this week, when PQube announced that the North American and European release had been cancelled due to “the wishes of the platform holder.”

What makes this particularly odd is that the ESRB isn’t to blame. Usually when these things come up, it’s because of the ESRB rating (or the company opting for censorship in order to avoid a higher rating), but in this case, the ESRB gave Omega Labyrinth Z an M rating. This seems to have been specifically from Sony in America and Europe.

PQube did indicate that they won’t rule out a Steam release, but that the cost of porting it is an issue.

(If Nintendo picks it up, we’ll know we’ve entered an alternate universe.)

Now, I’m obviously not the target audience for Omega Labyrinth Z, but I found it interesting to follow the situation as it unfolded. Some people are concerned about the precedent this sets, that Sony could refuse a game already rated by the ESRB (and PEGI), while others feel that given the game’s *ahem* questionable content, their decision was merited.

What do you think? How do you feel about the cancellation of Omega Labyrinth Z’s western version?

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Jun 222018

After I covered the release of Legrand Legacy: Tale of the Fatebounds, the developers sent me a PC code so I could review it.

Legrand Legacy is a turn-based RPG styled after classic JRPGs, particularly from the PS1 and PS2 era. Aesthetically, it definitely reminded me of that era (particularly through the occasional silent CGI cutscenes).

It has turn-based combat, but with timed button presses to determine the effectiveness of your move. Your skill with this really determines the difficulty. Battles can be brutal if you’re struggling to get the timing right, but using the system effectively together with exploiting enemy weaknesses makes battles go much better.

(Combat also got easier for me when I realized the healer, Eris, actually has exceptionally powerful magic attacks once her stats are high enough.)

Technically, there is a world map, but since most locations are separated from one another by oceans or dungeons and you can’t enter locations until the plot mentions them, the world map felt more like a nod to the idea than anything else.

Towns present you with a menu from which you can access different areas you’ve already visited, which seems particularly strange since you have to go to each area’s exit to reach the menu and dungeons use the normal structure of interconnected areas. It make it easy to get to specific parts of town, but it always felt a little odd.

The dungeons were hit or miss. Some were all right, while others used gameplay mechanics that felt designed to make them as annoying as possible, such as one dungeon that has high water so you’re forced to walk at a much slower pace. The biggest exception was the final dungeon, which had a clever design and felt satisfying to get past.

Now, for me, the most important parts of an RPG are its story and characters. Legrand Legacy started out strong, and its plot had several interesting parts. One lengthy CG scene was especially exciting… and left me wishing the rest of the story measured up.

Click for major Legrand Legacy spoiler
I also have to give it credit for permanently killing off a character. It was a shock (especially since I relied on her often in combat), but a lot of developers seem unwilling to take a character away like that without replacing them. Being reduced to a 5-person party for the rest of the game made it feel more impactful.

Unfortunately, the party members pull the overall experience down. Some of them are okay and the main character is tolerable, but a few of them (especially Aria and Kael) are downright annoying.

Conflict between the characters generally goes like this: a secret is revealed about one character. Another character becomes furious. The first character swears they had a good reason for not telling. The second character yells about how they can never trust that person again. Other characters suggest that is unreasonable. The second character refuses to listen.

The first time this happened, it was okay. The second time, it felt like maybe an intentional parallel between the two scenes. But after a while, it just started to feel ridiculous. Do none of these people trust each other?

Everything culminated in an ending that, while cool, raised several questions.

Legrand Legacy: Tale of the Fatebounds pays homage to old PlayStation JRPGs and it definitely has some fun moments and cool scenes if you’re a fan of that style of game. Unfortunately, its execution–especially where its characters are concerned–falls short of its potential.

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