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  1. To the Moon released in 2011 and quickly garnered love and praise. The adventure game by Freebird Games told the emotional tale of a dying man with one last wish. While a proper sequel is indeed coming sometime in the future, we'll be able to keep ourselves busy with A Bird Story until then. A Bird Story (also an adventure game) is a short about a boy and a bird with a broken wing. There is also emphasis on the fact that while this game is story-drive, it will feature little to no dialogue. A Bird Story also takes place in the same universe as To the Moon, although much before the time of Dr. Watts and Dr. Rosalene. Kan Gao of Freebird Games admits that "there might be certain expectations as to how the 'next game' should be. And to be honest, I don“t really know how it“ll be in that regard — meeting certain quota or matching aspects of another game aren“t really things that I want to make them around." However, he promises that all of his games will always be something that "truly means something to me — and hopefully, to you too." Look forward to A Bird Story sometime mid-2013!
  2. Well, gamers, it“s that time of the year again! That“s right, love is in the air and all the single ladies guys are lonelier than ever (*cries in corner*). But let“s not get into too much detail about real life, as we hear too much about that already. No, I“d rather take a look at video game romances instead, wouldn“t you? Whether a game has a tear-jerking love story, a simple story with a lot of history, or a romance so vague you won“t even know where to start, love is clearly evident within the video game world. So on this lovely day of love, let“s take a moment and look at what this guy (points at self with smug expression) thinks are the top 10 video game romances. #10: Master Chief x Cortana - Halo Series - Love comes in many different forms, with some being more illegal than others. And perhaps one of the stranger relationships on this list (though technically not illegal in real life at the moment) is that of Halo hero Master Chief and his trusty holographic partner and AI love interest Cortana. Through thick and thin, these two vastly different creatures are there for each other, willing to risk one“s own life (artificial or otherwise) for the sake of the other. This sort of forbidden romance is made even more emotional later in Halo 4, which makes this love story all the more touching. #9: Leon S. Kennedy x Ada Wong - Resident Evil Series - Here“s a love story involving two people who don“t really get along too well for the most part. Resident Evil“s Leon S. Kennedy and Ada Wong have gone through the series in an estranged relationship full of arguments, trickery, and the occasional weapon being pulled on each other. Neither would hurt the other, of course, and they will oftentimes go well out of their way to help the other. And even though the people they work for aren“t exactly in alliance, Ada is willing to take the long way if it means helping Leon and foiling his enemies. Not exactly the most convenient romantic relationship, but hey, it ain“t easy to be simple when you“ve got zombies and j“avo to worry about. #8: Sora x Kairi - Kingdom Hearts Series - One thing you will often see in Disney movies is a love story, usually involving a princess of some sort. You know what also tends to have love stories? The Final Fantasy series. So it“s only natural that Kingdom Hearts, the result of combining the two chemicals, would feature a deep and touching bit of romance. Enter Sora and Kairi, the main love birds of the series. Also, enter Riku as well, since this childhood friend adds himself to the equation to equal a conflicting love triangle. But while Riku“s off being swallowed by darkness and whatnot, Sora and Kairi have a pretty deep connection going on that makes you feel emotions you weren“t sure a game featuring both Goofy and Cloud Strife were capable of forcing out of you. #7: Nathan Drake x Elena Fisher - Uncharted Series - Nathan Drake is a super-cool, treasure-loving kind of guy. So when he meets the beautiful TV journalist Elena Fisher, of course the only thing on his mind would be the adventure and its resulting reward. But when things start to get rough during the first Uncharted game, a flame of love begins to form between the two. Come the second Uncharted game, and an old “friend†starts turning their relationship sour. Ultimately, though, their bond is too strong for silly love triangles, and by the end of Among Thieves, you can truly see just how perfect they are for each other. #6: Wander x Mono - Shadow of the Colossus - Shadow of the Colossus is a love story of few words, but resonates deeply in our hearts. This colossal story (man, I“m so clever) begins with a young man named Wander, placing the deceased body of a young woman named Mono onto an altar after she was sacrificed for supposedly being cursed. Luckily for Wander, there appears to be a way to resurrect his lost love – defeat a total of 16 colossal beasts. Regardless of how suspicious the voice who told him that is, Wander sets off to hunt down these colossi, willing to go through Hell and back to save Mono. But when all is said and done, the end reward will have to come at a price… #5: James x Mary - Silent Hill 2 - Simply put, Silent Hill is not a town you want to visit. But for James Sunderland, it“s a necessity. Even though his wife Mary had died years ago, James follows a letter she supposedly wrote for him and journeys to the evil town in search of her. And no matter how many nightmares he walks through, James never gives up his search for a wife he“s sure should be dead. Love makes you do crazy things sometimes, and when James remembers a horrible truth he had blocked out of his memory, he must confront the past and his undying love for his wife. It“s these elements that make Silent Hill 2“s story one of the most horrifyingly touching ones around. #4: Tidus x Yuna - Final Fantasy X - It“s certainly no secret that the Final Fantasy series likes love stories. With games like Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX touching gamers“ hearts all these years, the series is a good way to get your romantic fix. But if I had to choose the most romantic couple of the series, I“d have to go with Tidus and Yuna from Final Fantasy X. Yeah, there are a few annoyances here and there, but throughout the story“s course the two really develop and fall in love in a fairly natural way, growing as friends first before moving onto some bases. And by the end of the game, through certain twists in the story, it“s hard for me to not shed at least one manly tear. #3: Johnny x River - To the Moon - In the future, science has created a machine that lets you have memories implanted into your brain, allowing you to remember a life you always wished you had and die with a smile on your face. For an elderly man named Johnny, this opportunity seems right up his alley. Always wishing he“d been able to go to the Moon, doctors strap him into the machine and begin the process. However, as they delve deeper and deeper into his memory banks, a very heart-wrenching tale involving the man“s late wife River is displayed, showing events in their life before reaching the moment when they met. It“s a very touching love story, and by the end of it all, you will probably need something to dry your tear-drenched face. #2: Mario x Princess Peach - Super Mario Series - The story of a hero saving a damsel in distress is one we've heard time and time again. But that doesn“t matter, as gaming“s most famous couple has taught us all, probably unintentionally, to never give up for the one you love. No matter how many times Princess Peach gets herself kidnapped, and no matter how many “other castles†she ends up being whisked away to, Mario is always willing to travel through dangerous worlds, even going into friggin“ space, just to bring his love home safely. And even though he doesn“t get the kind of reward he probably wants (a cake and a peck on the nose ain“t gonna cut it, princess), he still continues to save her from her inevitable kidnappings after several decades. Now THAT“s commitment! #1: Link x Zelda - The Legend of Zelda Series - The Legend of Zelda series tells a series of tales shrouded in romantic ambiguity. While Link is almost always on a quest to save the lovely Princess Zelda, romance never really sparked between the two. And what makes this romance even more vague is the fact that our hero is also trying to, like, save the world or something, with love never truly blooming before the stories end. But over decades of Zelda games spanning many, MANY lifetimes, Link hooking up with the princess just seemed like it was supposed to happen. Of course, with the release of Skyward Sword, a relationship between the two was finally brought to the forefront, as childhood friends Link and Zelda (who“s not a princess this time around, by the way) obviously have the hots for each other, and Link“s sole intention when starting his quest is to save his girl. How sweet. Do you agree with the picks on this lovely list? What romances would you have added?
  3. Jordan Haygood

    Johnny x River

    From the album: Kaptain's Gallery

    © Freebird Games

  4. Leah

    Review: To the Moon

    Developer: Freebird Games Publisher: Freebird Games Platform: PC (Web, Steam) Release Date: September 6, 2012 (out now) ESRB: N/A (E10+ for Everyone 10 and older recommended) Have you ever had a dream that you wanted to achieve in your lifetime? Travel the world? Become a doctor? Write best-selling, critically acclaimed novels? The majority of the time, we never get to have that single, big wish come true. But what if it was possible to have another chance at reliving your life—to reach that goal that you“ve always dreamed of? To the Moon presents that very scenario, where doctors go inside the minds of dying patients to fulfill their wish. Sure, that change to the patient“s memories is only inside their own head, but it can provide utmost happiness and satisfaction right before they draw their dying breath. The particular tale of memory-altering that To the Moon tells is that of an elderly man named Johnny. Our playable characters, Dr. Roselene and Dr. Watts, learn that Johnny“s lifelong wish was to go to the moon… but why? Your main objective of the game is to find that out—and then, of course, make it so for Johnny. The game is definitely story-driven, with minimal gameplay elements. At most, you will search around for items and solve small puzzles (which are all tile-flipping grid puzzles). And when you do get to those parts, it“s dull, repetitive, and bothersome. So, keep that in mind if you“re looking for a full-fledged adventure game, because To the Moon is far from one. You“ll like it a lot more if you“re into interactive stories/visual novels, though. So, if To the Moon doesn“t have much in the gameplay department, how is its story? It“s certainly worth playing through the game for its emotional and touching tale. However, it“s not a heartstring-tugging and depressing one that has you questioning life while you lay on your bed and stare at the ceiling like many have made it out to be. Nonetheless, I think it“s still very well-written (in terms of its plot) and has a nicely implemented climax and twist at the end. I was really amused by the banter between Dr. Roselene and Dr. Watts, and I grew to enjoy them as characters. I believe Johnny and his wife, River, should have been fleshed out a bit more, though. Graphics and music are what To the Moon excels most in. The game uses pixel art for its graphical style, and it“s tremendously visually appealing. All of the pixel artwork in To the Moon is highly detailed – from the backgrounds to the character sprites. An array of deep and vivid colors is used; it“s a nice change of pace from a lot of other games. Even the animation exhibits attention to detail. You“ll notice that characters will often show off varieties of stances and bodily and facial motions. As for the music, I“d say it“s To the Moon“s best component. The soundtrack is one of the better ones I“ve heard in the past year or two of game releases. Many of the tracks are just so emotional that they“ll give you goose bumps. To the Moon“s music undoubtedly enhances the experience twofold. So, if you do end up purchasing a copy of the game, try spending the few bucks more to get the soundtrack as well. To the Moon isn“t a bad game, but it“s not a masterpiece either. It“s simply good. I still appreciated my time with it and liked the story. In fact, I“m looking forward to Kan Gao and Freebird Games“ next project—which is most likely the next adventure of Dr. Roselene and Dr. Watts. Here“s hoping that they take criticism and suggestions to heart and make the next game an even greater experience. Pros: + Highly detailed pixel art and animation + Music is amazingly beautiful and enhances emotional experience Cons: - Writing feels a bit amateurish and story could use a bit more depth - Gameplay elements are minimal, and when they are there, they“re boring and annoying Overall: 7 (out of 10) Good To the Moon isn“t the heartwrenching, grippingly emotional work-of-art you“re looking for. Still, it“s a game worthy of having its tale being told.
  5. From the album: Leah's Review Images

    © Freebird Games

  6. Leah

    To the Moon - Liftoff

    From the album: Leah's Review Images

    © Freebird Games