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Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled

Full Review

Black Sigil CoverDuring the Super Nintendo era, Squaresoft was peaking with Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy VI, and Chrono Trigger. The developer defined the Japanese RPG genre with those titles and also completely owned the marketplace for years to come. It’s easily arguable that Square has since lost the JRPG title to other developers such as Atlus (with its recent bit of awesomeness titled Radiant Historia in particular), but they’ll never have their triumphant 16-bit period taken away from them.

Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled is a love letter to that era. With sprites and animations seemingly ripped straight out of Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI, and a story that sounds by-the-formula familiar to fans of the genre, this 2009 Nintendo DS release appears to be just another Japanese RPG title. But surprisingly, Black Sigil was developed in Montreal, so yes, this is one of those rare Canadian Japanese RPGs.

Developed by Studio Archcraft and published by Graffiti Entertainment, Black Sigil is also a bit of an indie title. The credits listed the same eight names over and over while the title was so long in development that it was originally targeted for the Game Boy Advance.

Unfortunately, the team had their goals so loftily set that I believe they lost sight of what made Squaresoft’s games so great: they were fun. Black Sigil is plagued by some major issues that most people will find the game unplayable beyond a few hours. I stuck it out though, and here’s my review.

Hotel Dusk: Room 215

Full Review

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 CoverHotel Dusk: Room 215 is a point and click adventure game for the Nintendo DS. I reviewed the first hour of the game a few months ago and awarded the game a 4 out of 10 for its never-ending dialogue and slow gameplay. But that's just one hour of 30, how will the complete package turn out? Note the scores are out of 10.

For my review on just the first hour, please see my Hotel Dusk: Room 215 review at The First Hour.

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