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Sam "Nyx" Marchello's 2010 Halftime Report
1st Half
RPGs Not to Miss
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Although we've dubbed 2010 "The Year of the RPG" here at RPGamer, I can't say I've been immensely impressed with a lot of the offerings. Having a glut of RPGs is not necessarily a good thing, and often a lot of gems slip through the cracks in order to promote the large titles that have yet to impress me. The games I have played, however, have been wonderfully enjoyable enough to recommend.

Let's start with 2010's biggest surprise, which for me is Yakuza 3. Ah, Yakuza 3. I never expected to enjoy you, yet somehow I instantly fell in love and found myself plugging through your content like a fresh batch of cookies. I tend to be someone who isn't huge on action-RPGs, but I do enjoy them, and Yakuza 3's B-movie mafia story, and addictive combat really did keep me entertained from start to finish.

Second on the list is a gem from my past, though was recently remade for the PlayStation Portable. Many people were thankful when XSEED picked up Lunar: Silver Star Harmony, and TLC really comes through in the game's localization. While Lunar's gameplay may be slightly outdated, this isn't a game you play for the combat you play it for the sweetness of the story, and the fact that Kyle dresses like a woman. Awesome times.

Sakura Wars: So Long My Love was my most anticipated game last year, and after everything I've heard it still holds up. While I recently just completed the game, it's one that I've been enjoying mostly for the LIPS system. Plus there are so many options of women to date, and I've been finding myself having problems trying to figure out who to pick! Mind you, somehow Subaru seems to be completely smitten with me. Who knew?

Independent developer Zeboyd Games really rocked my world with the Xbox Live Indie Arcade release Breath of Death VII: The Beginning. I don't think many people expected much from this indie title, but that dollar really does go a long way. This homage to 8 and 16 bit RPGs will make you laugh out loud, and truly is a testament to those who love the genre and the RPGs of yesteryear. Plus, it's a dollar, and that dollar gives you more enjoyment than some of the other titles that have appeared so far this year. This one is highly recommended if you own an Xbox 360.

Finally, no one ever expects Harvest Moon to be a pick on a halftime report. I love the Harvest Moon series. They are my preferred relaxation games, and Harvest Moon: Hero of Leaf Valley might be one of the better games in the series, especially compared to some of the glitchy DS versions and the other PlayStation Portable titles, Harvest Moon: Boy & Girl and Innocent Life, neither which I can say I've tried. Hero of Leaf Valley offers a lot of content and has so much to do that Harvest Moon fans won't get bored. Plus as a spiritual successor to Save the Homeland you can finally get married in this version, and who doesn't love marriage?

2nd Half
Most Wanted RPGs
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My most anticipated title for the second half of the year is no surprise. Atelier Rorona has been my most wanted title since Run to the Sun 2009, and it was one of the main reasons I bought my PlayStation 3. Gust always is able to give me a mega-dose of cuteness, and after Atelier Annie last year I can only have high hopes for what sort of wackiness will occur in Rorona's adventure. Also there are cuddly little cat people and they look so darn cute!

The second title on this halftime report is also no surprise. Persona 3: Portable should be an interesting romp considering how much the game has changed stylistically. Not only can I be a girl and date Junpei, but I can also go through one of my all-time favourite RPGs a second time and giggle at the possibility of maid outfits, spiked bras, and swimwear. Let's not also forget Mitsuru in a Ms. Claus outfit. My only complaint is my lack of social link with Mitsuru if you play as a girl. Who wouldn't want that? Sexy times.

Who doesn't love Cthulhu? Who doesn't love the idea of Cthulhu starring in his own game where he wants to destroy the world, but can't and is forced to save it? Zeboyd Games impressed me immensely with Breath of Death VII, and I can only hope that the follow-up is just as compelling. There's so much promise for a fun and entertaining little RPG that waiting until August to get my hands on it is quite challenging.

While Final Fantasy hasn't entertained me in years, I am intrigued by Four Warriors of Light, or "Four Chibis of Light" as it's been dubbed by one of our staff members. This hat collection RPG seems to be made for the old school Final Fantasy fans, and while the newer titles have yet to draw me in, somehow I hold a torch to this one with the hope that it will be a fun experience. Plus there are a lot of hats, and who doesn't love the idea of changing your hat to change your job?

The last title to make my most wanted was not on my radar until very recently. Ys Seven is a title I've been watching rather closely, yet it's a part of a series that I have absolutely no experience with. I've been wondering if I should go back and play some of the other ones to have graced North American shores, but at the same time, Ys Seven looks a lot less archaic compared to the previous titles. I hope that my first dive into the Ys series will be memorable, but at the very least I know and have faith that XSEED will do a fabulous localization job.

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