USgamer's RPG Podcast Picks the Best RPGs of 2016 (So Far)

AXE OF THE BLOOD GOD: Plus, Nadia, Kat, and Bob dive into Final Fantasy Brave Exvius and Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness.

Article by Kat Bailey, .

Axe of the Blood God is our weekly RPG podcast hosted by Kat Bailey. You can find the previous episodes here.

In this week's episode of Axe of the Blood God (download link here), we explore Final Fantasy Brave Exvius and Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness (say that three times fast), then pick some of the best RPGs from the first half of 2016.

This past week saw the release of Final Fantasy Brave Exvius and Star Ocean. Nadia was reasonably positive about Brave Exvius, where Bob was a little more negative on Star Ocean. As usual, our conversation goes in a lot of different directions, so check it out.

In the second segment, we recap the first half of 2016 and pick some of our favorite RPGs. By and large, I've been pretty happy with the array of both new games and high-quality DLC - especially Far Harbor and Blood & Wine. The Blood God has been pleased. We cover several of the highlight, the only omission being Darkest Dungeon. I'm disappointed in myself for not remembering to mention Darkest Dungeon. It's really good! But at least I manage to squeeze in a little more Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE discussion.

Next week: Axe of the Blood God x 8-4... again!

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Show Description

Kat, Bob, and Nadia discuss Final Fantasy's latest turn on mobile and review the new Star Ocean (15:40) before moving on to discuss the best RPGs through the first half of 2016 (33:56). Odin Sphere, Dark Souls, Fire Emblem Fates, and more!

Music from Axe of the Blood God is courtesy of Lena Chappelle, who has also contributed the themes to Active Time Babble and Roleplayers' Realm. I also use music from the RPG Music Pack over at Check it out!

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Comments 7

  • Avatar for Talraen #1 Talraen 2 years ago
    When it was first released, FFXIV (2.0) could actually play very well as essentially a 60-hour single player Final Fantasy game. That's still kind of true, though these days your anonymous party members in dungeons are liable to want to speed through everything and god help you if you are a newbie tank.

    I've personally quit FFXIV because I can either play it or everything else, but not both, but it's definitely a good game and I echo Bob's opinions on how well it works as a Final Fantasy, and how no one seems to talk about it.
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #2 riderkicker 2 years ago
    I've only been playing 2014's best RPGs, like Bravely Default. Birthright is definitely not my top, but it will have to be.
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  • Avatar for himuradrew #3 himuradrew 2 years ago
    Just downloaded the episode off Instacast. Will give it a listen later on the way home from the office.

    But RPG-wise? I'm not really sure, but does Odin Sphere count as an RPG? Because that and VC Remastered are probably going to be my picks for the best of 2016 so far. If Persona 5 had been released this year, it would've been my top choice for RPG of the year (take that FFXV!!)

    To be honest, I really, really wanted to like Bravely Second, but I felt that it didn't recapture the magic of the first one. I just got Grand Kingdom for the Vita, but I'm still sort of busy with GE: Resurrection so I haven't touched that yet, but I'm hopeful for that game.

    I feel that I have to mention the 2 DRPGs that came out for the Vita - Stranger of Sword City and Ray Gigant. Ray Gigant had some real nice production values but I quickly lost interest. I might go back to Stranger on the other hand though - it's like the handheld version of Wizardry that I've been clamoring for.

    And speaking of the Vita, I really wish Squenix would reverse it's decision and release I Am Setsuna on the Vita also.
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #4 SatelliteOfLove 2 years ago
    This SO talk gets more and more damning by the minute. Its not "LOL THIS NO FF AND IT ANIME LOLZ WHAR R CAWNTINT 6.0!" but chilling deconstructions with a headshake.

    Tales got weak on the innovation front after Graces. They won't let us have Eleth Mixers or wave-dashin', CC-replenishing, Title-Mastering, comboing-shortens-cast-timers-for-instacast-INDIGNATION funtimes any more. Gotta have "open world". Gotta have "bonding" in battle. Pfeh. I hope our Vampire-Pirate-Werebear Protag Game coming up is better about that.

    Darkest Dungeon, Dark Souls 3, and Stranger of Sword City all have their flaws that bind, I guess mine's a tie? I've heard Cold Steel 2 is a real banger that fixes a ton of what held Cold Steel 1 back, so that's always in the race I guess.
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  • Avatar for CipherStone #5 CipherStone 2 years ago
    For me,probably Fire Emblem Fates or Dark Souls 3 so far, but there's still a very strong RPG line up in the latter half of the year so that can easily change.
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  • Avatar for TheWildCard #6 TheWildCard 2 years ago
    So far even though it's getting kind of rote Dark Souls continues to deliver the goods, although I'm waiting for Darkest Dungeon to come to Sony's platforms.
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  • Avatar for ping33 #7 ping33 2 years ago
    I've been playing Cold Steel (1) gonna include that in 2016 b/c it came out so late in 15.. I would be LOVING it if it didn't have such SERIOUS pacing issues. Whenever I'm playing it's fun but I dread it as each game play period ends and is about to transition to something else because I know I have 45 minutes of cutscenes where not much happens.

    also playing #FE which is great so far but I'm early (1st intermission) I too miss the demon negotiation and fusing aspects.

    TBH the best RPG I played this year was SMT: Strange Journey, I kind of think that unlike other games, RPGs are a bit more evergreen so Game of the Year means slightly less.
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