Welcome to the course page for the ongoing Video Game Studies class available on Outschool.
Sign up to join the live weekly discussion!
Recommended readings and resources will be updated each week, as will the course slideshow, so check back here regularly–
Undertale and EarthBound
Bonus: My review of Deltarune ch 1+2
Final Fantasy IV, V, VI
Week 4 – There are many versions of these games out there! Here’s a good overview of the options for playing them. Let’s Plays can be helpful to review specific scenes, but nothing beats playing Final Fantasy for yourself
Week 5 – Clyde Mandelin’s translation comparisons of FFIV and FFVI are a great resource, especially if you’re working on your Japanese, and Chris Kohler’s FFV book doubles as a nice general history of the series
Final Fantasy VII original and Remake
Week 7 – For digging into the original FFVII, I recommend
- The Myth & Materia essay series on The Well Red Mage, by yours truly
- The Lifestream and Fandom wiki
- Resonant Arc and Patrick Holleman on FFVII (youtube)
Preview of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Mario 35th Anniversary Celebration
Week 11 – Overview of the Mario 35 release blitz
Week 13 – Retrospective of the course so far, projects for the coming year
Semester 2: Roots of the JRPG
We’re back in 2021 with a look at more key players in the history of Japanese Role Playing Games. Here’s the slideshow, updated weekly.
January: Dragon Quest/ Dragon Warrior
Week 1 – Dragon Quest I-IV
Week 2 – Dragon Quest V-VII
Week 3 – Dragon Quest VIII-XI
Week 4 – Spinoffs and related media
February: Xeno Series
Week 1 – Xenogears
Week 2 – Xenosaga series
Week 3 – Xenoblade Chronicles (original and Definitive Edition)
Week 4 – Xenoblade X and 2
A history of the developer, an interview with one of the creators, and a deep dive into the original game will keep you busy. The Xenoblade games are wildly popular nowadays, but we all know disc 2 of Xenogears is where it’s at!
March: Chrono Trigger
- Week 1 – Opening thru the Trial
- Week 2 – The Future to the End of Time
- Week 3 -The Village of Magic thru Magus’ Castle
- Week 4 – The Kingdom of Zeal thru Death Peak
- Week 5 – Side quests and Endgame
This month, we’re going to try a playthrough of just one game, widely considered to be the pinnacle of the genre: Chrono Trigger. Play along in your free time or watch one of the many let’s plays available out there–I suggest watching one without commentary, but with game audio. Along with Xenogears, the Chrono Trigger soundtrack is a gem.
April-May: Hiatus to complete student teaching program
We hope to resume the course in June
To be continued…