I've been playing two games that both got lukewarm reviews, and both have surprised me based on said reviews.
Magna Carta 2 reminds me of Secret of Mana a little bit. And while the story is kind of hackneyed and obviously geared towards 15 year-olds, the gameplay is much more satisfying than I thought it would be. The JRPG aspects of it are tangible, and just leveling up feels fulfilling in a way that many RPGs fail to achieve.
Nier actually blew me away. The story is amazing and deep, the gameplay is frantic, and I'm convinced that all of the reviews saying the controls are awkward and inneffectual were written by people who didn't play the game long enough to actually get a hang of it. It takes time and effort to put enough work into the game for it to feel natural to play (the fishing minigame, particularly), but it's a solid game, and hearkens back to the older JRPGs.
And both games just look amazing. Maybe I'm not up to date with the common idea of what graphics should be, though. I love any stylized, professional-looking 3d graphics. Especially anime-inspired.
Second (about a week later):
I've played through most of Magna Carta 2 (I'm stuck at the end farming, because I'm always obsessed with game completion, and the exp system scales based on your level, which makes earning level 99 a real bitch).
But the game mechanics are really enjoyable, and even though the story is really immaturish and hackneyed (as I said earlier), the visuals and artistic themes of the game are superb and satisfying. The combat is also pretty satisfying, even when farming for hours on end just for the sake of levelling.
I put Nier on the backburner so I could get through Magna Carta 2 first, but now that I'm at the endgame and a little bored, I am starting Final Fantasy XIII. The old Final Fantasy games are what defined my youth, and while the system is very odd from an RPG standpoint, it seems pretty satisfying, so far. What really got me playing beyond the first few minutes is the story. While I heard from a lot of people that the story was kind of gay and childish, so far it seems very realistic in a theatrical sense. But I'm barely a few hours in, so I guess I could be hugely disappointed the further I get.
These are two posts I wrote, but never posted. My writing was supposed to increase in both effectiveness and quantity. I got a new app that was supposed to be the bee’s middle leg-joints; this was untrue. Nothing spurs me to write like a barebones app like KeyNote (which is like 10 years old, and the company went under, I believe? Some random guy picked up the code for it). Although, I do have to say that Windows Live Writer has helped a lot with my blogging.