June 10, 2020. I received a reply to my application here at RPGFan. I was free to write my review article on just about anything as far as role-playing was concerned. So naturally I decided to ride around Xeno gearbox. That’s me, predictable and all.
Zach Wilkerson, our incredible feature manager and review editor, with the blessing of Editor-in-Chief Mike Salbato, decided to take a chance with me. I could not believe it. My twenties had flown past me, my dream unfulfilled. These people, these almost complete strangers, just gave me a chance to fix this. Games journalism! I was in!
It’s been a little over two years now, as anyone with some knowledge of the Gregorian calendar can see. A whirlwind tour, the last two years. I won’t go into detail where else I’ve been involved. The point is simply that none of this would have happened if Zach and Mike hadn’t decided that I was worth a shot as a news editor here – on one of the best sites gaming has ever seen.
I love this place, and I encourage anyone who shares a similar passion for ranting about RPGs to let the bosses know they’re interested. You will like it here too. But now, as our regular readers know thanks to last week’s column, I have to say goodbye to RPGFan – at least for the foreseeable future.
The list of this week, this last trip of mine, is short. Very short. As our news manager Gio Castillo noted, the universe wants my last day here to be chilled. As much as I’d enjoy gushing about my time spent with this incredible team for another five paragraphs and up, I should probably avoid letting the length of the intro defeat the stated purpose of RPGs Coming This Week, which actually is to totally overwhelm coverage for RPGs coming this week.
One last time, in the words of our man Cloud. “Let’s muck.”
South of the Circle – August 3 (PS4, PS5, Switch, XB1, XSX, Windows)
This game sounds fantastic. South of the circle follows Cambridge academics Peter and Clara on a scientific adventure that will test the limits of their relationship and themselves against the backdrop of Cold War Russia.
South of the circle can put players in the perspective of Peter haunted by his past and fraught with his future; To my own eyes, it feels like the real star of this choice-based narrative escapade is the continent of Antarctica. Every trailer I’ve watched, every screenshot I’ve maximized, everything seems to emphasize celebratory Antarctica as a reflection for the protagonists to reflect on (ideally without dying of hypothermia in the process).
The cast is convincing. Gwilym Lee, Olivia Vinall, Anton Lesser, Richard Goulding, Michael Fox and Adrian Rawlins all have impressive names; if BAFTA-winning developer State of Play can provide them all with a script worthy of their voice, South of the circle will be a winner.
Sword and Fairy: Together Forever – August 4th (PS4, PS5)
Sword and Fairy: Together Forever is a PlayStation port of what is being called the world of 2021 sword and fairy 7. That means the PS4/PS5 version gets its own fancy subtitle, and a cute one at that.
That Sword and Fairy Series has been running in China since 1995, but the strength of this brand’s name here in the West is weak enough to make it dragon quest seem to be as popular in Chicago as they are in Tokyo. Only the sixth game in the series is even translated into English at the moment, but if that’s not an obstacle for you, feel free to grab the Classic and Legendary collections with the older games.
I should note that in China Sword and Fairy is called Chinese paladin. I’m not sure why it was decided that this title wouldn’t fly overseas, though I think so Sword and Fairy makes me think The Legend of Zeldaand… I see an argument as to why that might be a good thing financially.
This game is pretty darn pretty so if you’re interested and have a PlayStation 5 I’d say go all the way and grab that particular port. I’m not sure about the translation quality yet; one of Together foreverThe main feature of , a deck of cards, is promoted by publisher Softstar, saying that “after an intense battle, a deck of cards may be a better choice for you”. While that’s true, it doesn’t exactly flow off the tongue very well. But hey, we’ll see.
Vanaris Tactics – August 4th (Windows)
Just a brief interlude here for Vanaris Tactics, a tactics game (wouldn’t you know?) coming out for Steam and GOG. The prologue can now be downloaded free of charge. We have something bigger in store for that, so keep your eyes peeled.
No, but seriously. That’s it. That’s all we cover this week.
And I’m done with that. Wow. It feels surreal to say that. I want to reiterate that this isn’t necessarily a goodbye forever. If time permits I would love to return at some point. But there is always a chance that time will not actually allow it. Life can sometimes be a step in at the deep end.
It was the game that changed my life. Not once, but twice. As a child, that surprised me. As an adult, I asked myself again, again; Writing about this question brought me here. And here I finally felt like I had found something to really dedicate my life to. And I did… and therein lies the irony; In search of that sacred thing, that mermaid’s tear, I must leave this emerald place behind.
How do I “finish” something that started my best two years and counts? What’s the last word in a book about the biggest decision I’ve ever made? Perhaps, as in Lacan’s forever unfinished portrait of Sophia, there is no dot at the end of a sentence to sustain such an enduring love.
I do not know. I don’t know much to be honest. But one thing I do know: there is something I must do, something that cannot go undone. Let me share with you the song I heard when I submitted my application here because I promise I’m listening to it right now.
Broken mirror, a million shades of light
The old echo dies away
But only you and me
Can find the answer and then
We can walk to the end of the world.