Derek Heemsbergen

Derek Heemsbergen
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A University of Arizona graduate, Derek Heemsbergen has been writing about games professionally for over six years. He loves RPGs almost as much as he loves the way ferrets smell.
Latest Articles From Derek Heemsbergen
Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth (3DS) Review - Challenging Cartography

Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth (3DS) Review – Challenging Cartography

"Clearing the rubble from your path, you emerge from a narrow canyon corridor into a wide clearing. The orange bedrock beneath your feet is uneven, eroded by centuries of exposure to...
Blue Reflection (PS4) Review - Cracked Mirror 2

Blue Reflection (PS4) Review – Cracked Mirror

The magical girl genre is a staple of modern Japanese fantasy. From the bright and bubbly Sailor Moon to the disturbingly grim Madoka Magica, there's a wide variety of anime and...
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (PS4) Review—Truth Versus Lies

Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (PS4) Review—Truth Versus Lies

A few years ago, I wanted nothing to do with Danganronpa. Its morbid premise—a neon-splattered killing game between sixteen talented high school students—sent chills down my spine. I wondered what joy...
Ys SEVEN (PC) Review - SEVENth Time's The Charm 3

Ys SEVEN (PC) Review – SEVENth Time’s The Charm

The presence of the Ys series seems to ebb and flow like the tide; its most recent incarnation, Ys: Memories of Celceta, graced North American shores nearly four years ago, and...
Tokyo Xanadu (PS Vita) Review - A Safe Effort 1

Tokyo Xanadu (PS Vita) Review – A Safe Effort

Nihon Falcom is one of my favourite developers because they have a game design philosophy that miraculously caters to all of my preferences with laser precision. Nuanced characterization and world-building? Check....
Namco Museum (Switch) Mini-Review - A Pac-Man Party Pack 1

Namco Museum (Switch) Mini-Review – A Pac-Man Party Pack

The preservation of video game history is extraordinarily important to me. On a broader level, the gradual shift from physical to digital media means that yesterday's games are increasingly less accessible;...
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age Second Opinion - A Puissant Pantheon 1

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age Second Opinion – A Puissant Pantheon

Not every story can speak to every person at every stage of their lives. The beauty of diversity in media is such that where one person sees a reflection of themselves,...
Kamiko (Switch) Mini-Review - Easy, Breezy, Beautiful 3

Kamiko (Nintendo Switch) Mini-Review – Fantastic Fit for the Switch

I'm a relentlessly organized sort of guy, the type who makes tracking the games he's playing into its own sort of game. I swore by the Backloggery for years, and while...
Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception (PS4) Review - Too Sexy for its Own Good 12

Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception (PS4) Review – Too Sexy for its Own Good

There's no denying that the written word is no longer the most popular avenue of narrative ingestion. Compared to its flashier audio and visual counterparts, textual storytelling demands a higher degree...
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Review - Liberty or Death 4

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood Review – Liberty or Death

"May you ever walk in the light of the crystal." These words have spurred me onward time and again, toward horizons unknown throughout the myriad realms of Final Fantasy. I've grown...
Rakuen Review - Beautiful and

Rakuen Review – Beautiful and Emotional

I've often said that my favourite video games are the ones that help me cultivate a deeper understanding of the human condition. I don't necessarily pick up any game with the...
Cosmic Star Heroine Review

Cosmic Star Heroine Review – Fun for Retro RPG Fans

Evaluation by comparison is one of the most straightforward strategies a critic can employ. It's also one of the least nuanced. I say this knowing full well that I often do it...