Investigate, the theme of May’s Board Game Bento, is not unknown to tabletop gamers, whether the classic mansion setting of Clue, or the psychic detectives in the seance simulator, Mysterium, or the more direct dungeon delving and looting of Dungeons & Dragons. In a way, every subscription box promises a mystery, so the Investigate themed Board Game Bento is the most sincere subscription box of them all, admitting to the opener that it is, indeed, a Schrodinger’s Cat of unknown contents—unless, of course, the user has sought spoilers on Google or unboxing videos on YouTube prior to its arrival. On that note, if you’re a subscriber and you haven’t received your Board Game Bento this month, be aware that spoilers lie below, and proceeding would be like peeking in the Clue envelope.
In 2009, Final Fantasy XIII was released in Japan, and in North America and Europe the following year, for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It is the flagship installment of the Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy series and became the first mainline game to spawn two direct sequels (XIII-2 and Lightning Returns). It was also the first game released in Chinese & High Definition along with being released on two consoles at once. Final Fantasy XIV, a MMORPG, was released worldwide on Microsoft Windows in 2010, but it received heavy criticism when it was launched, prompting Square Enix to rerelease the game as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, this time to the PlayStation 3 as well, in 2013. Final Fantasy XV is an action role-playing game that was released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2016. Originally a XIII spin-off titled Versus XIII, XV uses the mythos of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series, although in many other respects the game stands on its own and has since been distanced from the series by its developers.
Final Fantasy has spawned numerous spin-offs and metaseries. Several are, in fact, not Final Fantasy games, but were rebranded for North American release. Examples include the SaGa series, rebranded The Final Fantasy Legend, and its two sequels, Final Fantasy Legend II and Final Fantasy Legend III. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was specifically developed for a United States audience, and Final Fantasy Tactics is a tactical RPG that features many references and themes found in the series. The spin-off Chocobo series, Crystal Chronicles series, and Kingdom Hearts series also include multiple Final Fantasy elements. In 2003, the Final Fantasy series' first direct sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, was released. Final Fantasy XIII was originally intended to stand on its own, but the team wanted to explore the world, characters and mythos more, resulting in the development and release of two sequels in 2011 and 2013 respectively, creating the series' first official trilogy. Dissidia Final Fantasy was released in 2009, a fighting game that features heroes and villains from the first ten games of the main series. It was followed by a prequel in 2011. Other spin-offs have taken the form of subseries—Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, Ivalice Alliance, and Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy.
Taking a temporary divergence, Final Fantasy XI used the PlayStation 2's online capabilities as an MMORPG. Initially released for the PlayStation 2 with a PC port arriving six months later, Final Fantasy XI was also released on the Xbox 360 nearly four years after its original release in Japan. This was the first Final Fantasy game to use a free rotating camera. Final Fantasy XII was released in 2006 for the PlayStation 2 and uses only half as many polygons as Final Fantasy X, in exchange for more advanced textures and lighting. It also retains the freely rotating camera from Final Fantasy XI. Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIV both make use of Crystal Tools, a middleware engine developed by Square Enix.
Planet Surprise by Notre Game is a scratch and play, disposable game, much like scratch-off lottery tickets. I love playing scratch-off tickets, so I was intrigued, however, this one fell flat for me. Gianna and I tried this one and we both felt the same - it’s an interesting concept, but we didn’t feel it had any strategy involved or any real benefit to playing it against other people.
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We came in around 9pm on a Saturday night and sat at the sushi bar. The sushi chef's and waiters were friendly. Husband had the calamari, as he is not much of a sushi fan. It was ok...too greasy and was too chewy. Sauce was good though. I had the miso scallop sushi and green mile roll. Both were great and I would get them again. Everything else I saw the chef make looked delicious. A lot of the rolls are tempura shrimp based, while I would have liked to see more of a raw selection.
The biggest game in the box belongs to Heroes Wanted by Action Phase Games. The game, for one to five players, has players making their heroes using a pair of cards, with strengths and weaknesses, as well as a unique quirk. Players then take on villains, minions and each other to become the hero with the most fame at the end of the game. The game features quite a few scenarios to try as well. Between the scenarios and the variety of heroes you can become, Heroes Wanted will offer quite a bit of replay.
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The real deal breaker for me was finding several mistakes with the rule book so quickly. While reading the rules out loud to explain the game, my opponent was following along on their player screen. We found that the Push and Copy cards are illustrated incorrectly in the book as well as the rule book saying that you may pass a flag to a runner OR a defender but the player screen saying only a runner may pass or receive a flag. This put me off from the game and will likely prevent me from trying any of the variants.
I’m looking forward to playing #Matryoshka this weekend!! @letimangames Coming to Kickstarter May 8th! . . . . . . . . #boardgames #tabletop #familygames #familygamenight #boardgame #gamenight #boardgameaddict #fridaygamenight #uninvitedgamers #boardgamesofinstagram #tabletopgames #games #brettspiele #bgg #boardgamegeek #geek #geekculture #gloryhounddpresents #kickstarter #reviews #previews #crowdfunding #cardgame
Several video games have either been adapted into or have had spin-offs in the form of manga and novels. The first was the novelization of Final Fantasy II in 1989, and was followed by a manga adaptation of Final Fantasy III in 1992. The past decade has seen an increase in the number of non-video game adaptations and spin-offs. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within has been adapted into a novel, the spin-off game Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles has been adapted into a manga, and Final Fantasy XI has had a novel and manga set in its continuity. Seven novellas based on the Final Fantasy VII universe have also been released. The Final Fantasy: Unlimited story was partially continued in novels and a manga after the anime series ended. The Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII series have also had novellas and audio dramas released. Two games, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy: Unlimited, have been adapted into radio dramas.
The first installment of the series was released in Japan on December 18, 1987. Subsequent games are numbered and given a story unrelated to previous games, so the numbers refer to volumes rather than to sequels. Many Final Fantasy games have been localized for markets in North America, Europe, and Australia on numerous video game consoles, personal computers (PC), and mobile phones. Future installments will appear on seventh and eighth generation consoles. As of November 2016, the series includes the main installments from Final Fantasy to Final Fantasy XV, as well as direct sequels and spin-offs, both released and confirmed as being in development. Most of the older games have been remade or re-released on multiple platforms.
Magic is another common RPG element in the series. The method by which characters gain magic varies between installments, but is generally divided into classes organized by color: "White magic", which focuses on spells that assist teammates; "Black magic", which focuses on harming enemies; "Red magic", which is a combination of white and black magic, "Blue magic", which mimics enemy attacks; and "Green magic" which focuses on applying status effects to either allies or enemies. Other types of magic frequently appear such as "Time magic", focusing on the themes of time, space, and gravity; and "Summoning magic", which evokes legendary creatures to aid in battle and is a feature that has persisted since Final Fantasy III. Summoned creatures are often referred to by names like "Espers" or "Eidolons" and have been inspired by mythologies from Arabic, Hindu, Norse, and Greek cultures.
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