My Thoughts on the Continuation of the Persona Franchise

God, it's been ages since I last wrote a blog post on this site. Even longer still since I wrote a good one (that time being approximately never ago), and who knows if this'll buck the trend. But enough self-pitying whinging; let's set this up. It's very long, also, so... you know. Be warned all ye who enter here.

With the recent announcement of all that Persona stuff - Persona Q: Where Are You?, Persona 4: Tunoku Don't Dance, and Persona 5, I found myself nowhere near as excited as I thought I would be. I've been worried about the franchise ever since Persona 4: The Animation was announced, and the recent explosion of Persona gave me pause for thought. I decided to sit down and try to write down what I felt about the franchise, and suddenly, an hour later, I'd written a 2,085 word long essay on the subject. If you care to read it, please do! If not, who can blame you; thank you for bothering to check this in the first place. So, without further ado:

Persona 4 may very well be my favourite game of all time. It has characters I love, some I still borderline obsess over. The setting was perfect, the gameplay pretty good for a turn based RPG, and the story was excellent. It is unique and beautiful and I care about it intensely. So, I ask myself, why am I worried about Persona 5? It's not simply a fear of the game not living up to the lofty expectations the last game set - I played Persona 3 FES after I finished 4 and still very much enjoyed it, even if I didn't like it as much. So why the fear? It's been troubling me for some time, and I figure the best way to sort it out is to write it down. Shake the tree and see what falls out, as it were.

I was first introduced to Persona 4 with, like many others, the Giant Bomb Persona 4 Endurance Run. I knew straight away that it was a game I had to play, and by episode six, the game was out in the UK. I borrowed my Uncle's Playstation 2 to play it, as I had found that mine had stopped working. Over the following two weeks I found myself sucked into the world of Inaba, hopelessly in love with Rise Kujikawa, and desperate to spend more time with the characters that populated that world. And that's not to say watching the ER alongside my own play through of the game - or several play throughs, if we're being specific - took away from the experience; it was the opposite - having two people I respect and look up to enjoying the same game I was didn't take me out of the experience - it simply made me enjoy it all the more. It felt like I was not only having this wonderfully immersive experience, but was sharing it with Jeff and Vinny. It felt like we were all in on it together, and it was wonderful.

So, some preface; I grew up in a small, rural village. I went to a relatively small countryside High School, The closest town was twenty minutes' drive away, and that town was very much like Inaba - nothing to do there except "hanging with my friends or getting part time jobs." That was pretty much my world. I had aspirations of greatness and big plans for the future, but as a 16 year old approaching the end of my compulsory schooling, I was stuck there. So straight away there were parallels; rural town, same age, same situation, and with a father that constantly goes overseas - my life was very similar to the mundane of Persona 4, just with a lot less social linking. As an introverted 16 year old who doesn't drink or enjoy going to parties, I was living a life of escapism, more or less. And then here comes Persona 4; also known as 'My life, but way, way more interesting." I could sympathise with Yosuke feeling like life was inescapably boring, I could sympathise with Kanji for feeling he didn't fit in, I could sympathise with Rise for having a lot of personas that she had to change between, and I could sympathise with Yukiko for feeling like she was trapped in her surroundings - every part of that game, every character, spoke to me. To an introvert with not much going on in way of mad friendship, and one who's always preferred a small group of very close friends than a large group of acquaintances, the Investigation Team felt like home to me. Familiar enough in both character and setting that I could simply become the blank, faceless protagonist, of whom I named 'Ben Tunoku', supplanting the name from the Giant Bomb Endurance Run with my own first name.

To me, Inaba was home, and the characters in that game were my friends. That made the ending all the more poignant - when Tunoku left the station to go back to his city life, leaving his friends behind, his situation mirrored my own, because it WAS my own. I was leaving the characters and fond memories behind me and returning to my real life. Ben Tunoku wasn't just my persona in that world - he WAS me. I inserted myself into that world, I fell in love with Rise, I saved the people who fell into the TV, I spent time with the characters - it was an intensely personal relationship that was brought about by having the protagonist being a blank slate, a veritable tabula rasa that one could impose themselves on and adopt the position of. Going into the TV became more than a little bit literal for me. It wasn't just playing a game, it was going into another world - living in Inaba, if only briefly. Persona 4 came along at the perfect - or, depending on your point of view, perfectly wrong - point in my life. My experience with Persona 4 was entirely reliant on me being in that state when the game came along. It was a perfect storm, and I suppose it's fair to say that my experience was rather unique - at least, insofar as my own personal life. That's not to say others didn't have the same experience, I just haven't heard from them.

So, Persona 4 ended, and then, months later, the Persona 4 Endurance Run ended. I said goodbye to my friends and went back to my ordinary life, sad, but happy for having had the experience. It felt like I really did go away to Inaba and come back. I felt sad that I had to leave the people I cared about behind, but what a beautiful, albeit bittersweet, ending to a wonderful experience. It was incredibly special, and I doubt I'll ever have that experience with another game for the rest of my life, unless Persona 5 is about a jaded 20 year old in University afraid of the impending, colossal unknown of the future.

Then, Persona 4: The Animation came out. That was fine; they had to give the protagonist a name, and I wasn't directly influencing it so that was alright. I wasn't being forced to be Yu Narukami; I could still separate him and myself. Yu had his adventure, and I had mine. That was fine. They were just two separate stories.

Then, Arena came out. A spinoff, but after waiting a year to play it because of the odd circumstances that surrounded that game's release in the EU, I was rattled to my absolute core. It shook me. It borderline horrified me, to be perfectly honest; Suddenly, I wasn't there anymore. It was like invasion of the body snatchers was happening right in front of me. I wasn't picking conversation options. I was sitting there watching Yosuke talk with Narukami, not me. I was watching Rise call the person who used to be my existence in that world a 'big bastard with a sister complex' with no mention of the relationship she and I had had in the previous game. All my input was gone; all the choices I made had ceased to be. I felt like I'd fallen into another world where I no longer existed; I was just the player, playing a game again. I completely agree with you if you're thinking that it was my fault that I got so invested that this troubles me, but as I've said, it was a perfect storm of circumstance that led to me being so invested in my time in Inaba that the suggestion that it was entirely non-canonical is completely abhorrent.

But it still stood; as far as Persona 4 Arena was concerned, I couldn't go back to Inaba. Yu came along and took my place. And that hurt, a lot. It worried me. The experience I had had with Persona 4 was something I hold incredibly close to my heart - did they just make everything I'd done completely redundant? Did they just ret-con Ben Tunoku? The time I'd spent in Inaba? My choices? My relationships with the characters? Could Ben Tunoku still exist in a world where Yu Narukami existed?

And there was no answer to that question. There was just a big, empty void, with no suggestion of any continuation of the franchise but Golden, which I bought and loved. Then that bloody countdown clock came along.

So for the past few months I've been worried. Not excited, worried; and that itself is strange to me. Persona 4 was and still is the best game I've ever played and my favourite game of all time, and Persona 3 is definitely in the top ten, so why am I not excited by the prospect of a Persona 5? Why did I try to rationalise that the introduction of the Multiverse in Persona 4 Golden was a method with which to allow there to be multiple stories taking place in different versions of Inaba, and not simply a way to work online functionality into the game?

Well, if you've stuck around to this point, the answer should be obvious. Persona 5 reflects the critical point where I'll find out if Ben Tunoku is still allowed to exist; and, of course, we don't know the answer yet. It doesn't look like Narukami's coming back for Persona 5, but that's all just speculation at this point - five chairs with ball-and-chains attached to them is hardly conclusive. I just think they'd lean harder on the existing characters off the bat if they wanted to hype people up about it. Also, important to note, the main character in Persona 4: Dancing All Night (still the best video game title ever) was referred to as 'Hero', not 'Narukami-kun', so that could be a big positive step at least as far as I'm concerned. And Rise you have never looked so fine. But at the same time, denying Arena and canon could seriously hurt the possibility of a continued franchise, and I hardly want Persona to go Final Fantasy route and have a completely unrelated story every time, reducing the franchise to nothing but a disconnected mess of similar situations. But if there are whole new characters, and I'm playing as someone else but can see Narukami and Rise and to a lesser extent everyone else from a distance, how am I going to feel? I still don't know, and that uncertainty is disquieting.

I don't want my time in Inaba to be over, but it might be. At the very least, Ben Tunoku certainly didn't go back for Golden Week. Or perhaps he did, but with a different name, and with a different personality. Perhaps it's high time I let go of my attachment to the characters and accept that they're not real, accept that it's simply a video game, and that it's impact on me is all one-sided; just lines of code speaking pre-determined dialogue to a faceless, voiceless character who was designed to give me a place. But I care about Inaba, and I care about the characters. Accepting it to be completely unreal is not something I could do lightly, as it was real to me, if only for a short while.

Perhaps this is a part of growing up; letting go even though the thought horrifies you. Maybe I'm just a man child who cares more about his computer friends than going out there and making actual, living friends, but that's neither here nor there - that'll simply be something I have to figure out as I go.

To finish, I'll simply state the obvious and render the entire essay I just accidentally wrote meaningless in a stark metaphor for the impact of canon on my time in Inaba. Persona 4 was a huge part of my life, and my time in Inaba ended with the train ride home. When the credits rolled and the screen faded out with Tunoku looking at that picture of his friends, I found myself looking at that same picture with feelings of regret, of sadness, of hope that I'd see them again. Of fond memories about the time I spent with them. For that one moment, Ben Tunoku and Benjamin Holdsworth were the same person. We didn't want to leave Inaba, but we thought we'd be back again someday.

And now, almost five years later, I've been told that Inaba might be open for business again. And I want to go back. But I'm not sure if I can go back, now. Perhaps the train headed for Inaba isn't waiting for Ben Tunoku anymore.

And there you have it; 15 paragraphs of overly dramatic self-indulgent nonsense, but perhaps you're of a similar mindset and appreciate it. Or perhaps it's an interesting case for study over over-immersing oneself in a video game world, who can say. But either way, thank you for reading it, or at least scrolling past it to see how long it was.

- Aaox

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The Canadian Connection, purchased goods, and maybe a podcast?

It's Straight Up Blog Time

So, Internet people. It's been about four months since I last blogged. With good reason? Who can say. All I know is, I've got some English coursework to do and I can't think of any better way of procrastinating that writing a blog that's got absolutely nothing to do with To Kill A Mocking Bird. Except that part, obviously. And now I have more than 5 followers, so maybe this blog will get around better than my old ones. Also, sorry if I don't go into detail on most of the topics, I'm kind of pressed for time.So... Topic times, then?  

The Canadian Connection 

    So there are these guys on this website. Maybe you've heard of them; AjayRaz and DannyJW. And being best friends as me and you are, I can't lie to you- Since I last blogged, they both have done stellar work getting me more involved in the Giant Bomb community, and there's something to say about that. They've also become  good friends, and in the case of Ajay, homies. Home Dogs. Broskis. In the case of Danny, Interbros and Broses.

  But I digress. They're both from Canada. So this has led me to assume that Canada is the best of all the countries. And that's why I called this bit The Canadian Connection. We wrote a story a while back, and if it turns out that my writing gathers any interest at all I'll post it. But it isn't the time for that, young child, for it is time to talk about the fine art of purchasing goods and wares purely on a friend's recommendation. 

Purchasing goods and wares purely on a friend's recommendation. 

Because we all know how gullible I am. 
Recently, I procured some intelligence thoughtfully displayed by compatriot Ajay about the awesomeness of the new RE5 DLC, Lost in Nightmares. I then pressed him about his opinions on the game, receiving something like "It's my favourite game of the current gen" and that is was "Massively underrated" in return. So I bought it, and we played it, and once again, if this gets any interest at all, I'll post some more of my feelings on the game at a later date, because this BLAUHG is getting a bit long in the tooth. Anyway, after copious amounts of RE5 were played, I decided to buy RE4, which was supposedly even better. We'll wait and see when it comes tomorrow, and I'll have a Resident Evil Blog-anza or something. 
Also, sidenote! The (Name Pending) podcast that me and two other dudes MIGHT be doing is maybe totally happening. Stay tuned.  Easter Egg Hunt! Guess who they are! No prizes.
Anyway, this essay's not going to write itself. Peace out. 
-Aaox 
P.S: Hey! It got interest! Because of Ajay! Yeah! 


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So I had this weird match on Modern Warfare 2...

So, I decided to take a break from playing Dark Chronicle on the Playstation 2 by playing the almost as frustrating Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer on the Xbox 360, and then something weird happened. Unspeakable. Distrustful. Macabre. I picked Team Deathmatch, but as soon as the match started, I noticed something was wrong. I was playing on Rust. RUST! That's a free for all map, right? Not TDM? Then I got killed by my own team- some were green, some showed up as enemies. There was no scoreboard, either. An EMP was called in. The game went on for about 15 or so minutes, and only ended with a tactical nuke by some guy who had 88 kills. In a Team Deathmatch game. I uploaded some post-match photos taken with my trusty and somewhat dusty DSi, and here they are. Gaze in gaze in gazemazement. 

Has this happened to anyone else here? Is it news? Am I news? Tune in next week. 
To find out.
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Playthrough: Aaox's Persona 3 FES + 4 Completion Details

This is just a record so I can compare all four playthroughs OF EACH GAME I hope to do (if I don't die by then).

Persona 3 FES Playthrough One

Overall experience: One of the best games I've ever played aside from Persona 4. Seriously!
Enjoyment rating: 9 / 10
Real-life duration: From Sunday 19th April to Wednesday 13th May (23 days)
Playtime: 129 Hours 35 Minutes
Level: 90
Difficulty: Normal
FAQs used: WAY TOO MANY TIMES. Mostly fusing, though.
Compendium Percentage: 81%
Last Persona Used: Messiah
Player Name: Ben Tunoku (Heh... Heh...)
Ending Obtained: Prevention of The Fall
Social Links maxed with: Yukari, Aigis, Kenji, SEES, Nyx Annihalation Team, Sports Team, Treasurer, Girl at the Shrine, Pharos.
Weapon Used: Mother Sabre (Fused with Thanatos)
SEES members in party:  Yukari Takeba, Aigis, Koromaru, Ben Tunoku (Obviously)
Most-used party member: Yukari Takeba
Favourite Character (excluding Ben Tunoku): Yukari Takeba
Girlfriend: Yukari Takeba
Date for Christmas Eve: Yukari Takeba
First social link maxed: Kenji
Favourite moment: Operation: Babe Hunt

FES:


Persona 3 FES Playthrough Two

Overall experience: Hooray, it's still Persona.
Enjoyment rating: 7/ 10
Real-life duration: From Wednesday 13th May to July 31st (79 days)
Playtime: 215 Hours 32 Minutes
Level: 99
Difficulty: Normal
FAQs used: 14 times
Compendium Percentage: 87%
Last Persona Used: Helel
Player Name: Ben Tunoku (Heh... Heh... HEEURGH)
Ending Obtained: Prevention of The Fall
Social Links maxed with: Yukari, Aigis, Kenji, SEES, Nyx Annihalation Team, Sports Team, Old Couple, Girl at the Shrine, Pharos, Yuko, Mamoru, Online Game, Tanaka, Unusual Monk And others I can't remember.
Weapon Used: Lucifer's Blade (Fused with Lucifer, obviously)
SEES members in party:  Yukari Takeba, Mitsuru Kirijo, Junpei Iori, Ben Tunoku
Most-used party member: Yukari Takeba
Favourite Character (excluding Ben Tunoku): Yukari Takeba
Girlfriend: Yukari Takeba
Date for Christmas Eve: Yukari Takeba
First social link maxed: Kenji
Favourite moment: Operation: Babe Hunt

FES:


Persona 4 Playthrough One

Overall experience: One of the best games I've ever played. Seriously!
Enjoyment rating: 9½ / 10
Real-life duration: 12 days
Date I overtook the Endurance Run: 18th March (Day 3)
Playtime: 79 hours 58 minutes
Level: 81
Difficulty: Normal
FAQs used: 3 times
Compendium Percentage: 72%
Last Persona Used (Excluding Izanagi-no-Okami): Kohryu
Player Name: Ben Tunoku (Heh...)
Ending obtained: Investigation Team VS Izanami-no-Okami (a.k.a: True Ending)
Social Links maxed with: Rise, Yosuke, Chie, Yukiko, Kou and Daisuke, Dojima, Teddie
Weapon Used: IT WAS A KATANA
Investigation Team members in party:  Yosuke, Teddie, Yukiko, Ben Tunoku (Obviously)
Most-used party member: Yosuke Hanamura
Favourite Character (excluding Ben Tunoku): Rise Kujikawa
Girlfriend: Rise Kujikawa
Date for Christmas Eve: Rise Kujikawa (*Gasp*)
First social link maxed: Yosuke Hanamura
Favourite moment: King's Gaaame! (I picked #1)

Persona 4 Playthrough Two

Overall experience: Got a bit bored. Still awesome, though.
Enjoyment rating: 9½ / 10
Real-life duration: 28th March to the 26th of May.
Date I overtook the Endurance Run: 12th May
Playtime: 79 hours 58 minutes
Level: 83
Difficulty: Normal
FAQs used: N/A
Compendium Percentage: 82%
Last Persona Used (Excluding Izanagi-no-Okami): Futsunuishi
Player Name: Ben Tunoku (Heh... Heh... Heh...)
Ending obtained: Investigation Team VS Izanami-no-Okami (a.k.a: True Ending)
Social Links maxed with: Rise, Yosuke, Chie, Yukiko, Nanako, Dojima, Teddie
Weapon Used: El Calito
Investigation Team members in party:  Yosuke, Chie, Yukiko, Ben Tunoku (Obviously)
Favourite Character (excluding Ben Tunoku): Rise Kujikawa
Girlfriend: Rise Kujikawa
Date for Christmas Eve: Rise Kujikawa (*Gasping*)
First social link maxed: Yosuke Hanamura
Favourite moment: King's Gaaame! (I picked #1)


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Video game manuals! And those 'Notes' bits at the back.

Rayman 3 had a manual. Surprise.
What were they for? I mean, I never used them. Were you supposed to write the little 'Note: You die when you lose 1+ main arteries' in there? 'Cause I didn't. I mean, I'm not going to de-face my manual for something like that. Also, did you guys ever read the manual? I did (Obviously) Because there was sometimes funny stuff in there. I still remember the manual for Rayman 3, which went: "(Press X to hover) (Press R2 to lock on) (I love brackets, don't you?)" And it's nice to read 'em sometimes because it gives you a little bit of backstory or some character stuff. The manual for Vexx had some hints for the game in there, too. So! Some questions. Did you guys ever read the manual? And did you ever use the 'Notes' section?
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Mega Man III!

Mega man is Funerrific.

I never really got into Mega Man- Mainly because I was too young to understand it. Which is why listening to this makes me kinda sad, because to be honest, there's nothing really like this anymore. But hey, I love this music! It's awesome!
Embed'd!
  

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Merry Christmas, from Aaox.

New York!
It's soon to be Giant Bomb's first christmas! And It's also nearly christmas, in general! So, to spread That 'Yuletide-type joy', here's an old classic from 'The Pouges' called 'Fairytale of New York' - Lead singer's a druggy now, but still- We all know this one. Merry christmas, Giant Bombers!
  

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RED RING OF DEATH

From the mouth of Jeff...

" While all around me has been chaos, I've had a pretty good run with my Xbox 360 hardware. While everyone was running around like maniacs, investigating the Xbox 360's supposedly shoddy hardware, I was sort of quietly hanging out at home, getting achievement points and wondering what the big deal was.

Well, today's the day I join the rest of the world. My 360 decided that the multiplayer mode of Gears of war 2 was too much for it to handle, so it locked up, filling the screen with a checkerboard pattern of static.
Red rings, baby. Three of 'em.

I... might be putting words into my 360's now-silent mouth. I can't remember for sure, everything happened so fast.

The awesome part about having it break tonight is that the Microsoft customer support center is currently working on upgrades. So you can't register consoles or file new repairs until tomorrow. When it rains, it rains, brothers and sisters. When it rains, it rains.

Oh, pours? Well, whatever. You get what I'm saying.

This is the first 360 that I've owned that's given up on me.
Whatever, I won't cry and moan about it, since everyone's been hearing people bitch about the 360 hardware issues for years now. I think that's one part of all this that worked out in Microsoft's favor--the problem went on so long and got so bad that everyone got fed up with all the people complaining about it more than they got fed up with the actual hardware issues.

Still... pretty bad timing. I REALLY WANTED TO PLAY GEARS 2."


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Fable 2, and the 'Exclusive' CoD 5 Beta Keys.

FABLE 2 FUNTIMES.

Fable 2

Okay Giant Bomb. You just deleted my amazingly long blog-post. That's not cool. NOT cool, dog. Anyway, I'm waiting for Fable 2 Because I want that game more than any of you. (Including Scott Ramsoomair Of VG Cats fame.) I've been waiting for it- For. Four. INCREDIBLY. Boring. Years. I haven't checked any videos concerning the magnificence that will be Fable 2- other than the Dev. Diary vidocs, that is. And I also haven't checked Wikipedia either (For all of your encyclopedic-type needs, visit Wikipedia- The web's free encyclopedia that ANYONE can edit!). So that's pretty cool. I can't wait for this game any longer- You know how it is, the closer you get to something the further away it seems. Did I just quote a Chinese proverb? I think I did. At least, as far as I know, I did. 
Now, onto CoD 5." EXCLUSIVE " beta. Yeah, It's not exclusive. About five of the people I know have this thing- There's about 30,000 people on there now (Guess what? Most of them are Jerks). I got the Beta early, but since then I've seen thousand after thousand flock over from other games. The special feeling went as quickly as the new horde of unwashed peasants flew in. I think this is more of a marketing thing now, a sort of 'Hey, guess what? It's just like CoD 4! Come play and buy it! NOW!' People have been giving codes out because they have two. Or five. Or so many, they're selling them for REAL MONEY. (EDIT: This game was not as good as I thought it would be. )
Anyway, it's time for my

Beta Impressions:

Call of Duty: Old timey warfare.
It's the multiplayer, so It's not very deep. Aside from the levelling up. (Level cap at the moment is 24) There's vehicles now, and the tanks control smoothly, but the turning and reloading speed are pains. You can get perks to speed these up, but it's still annoying. There's nothing much to speak of, other than new weapons, areas, time zones, accents, ect. It's like an expansion pack for CoD 4. Some will be pleased to hear this, but I reckon most people will just skip this awesome game just because 'It's set in WWII'. 
 A neat addition to this series is gore. As opposed to CoD 4, CoD: W@W has limbs being blown off (Though not in a Gears of War ' way over the top' kind of way- the limbs are realistically blown off). there's no excessive blood, which is actually kind of wierder than seas of it. It makes you feel immersed, and it makes you go 'That looks painful' as opposed to the CoD 4 'WHAT THE F***?!? post-living talk. Then there's the new primary grenades- The typical Frag, The (Oddly) Sticky, anti tank  grenade called the N 74 ST, and the Molotov Cocktail- although more people are using the molotov than the others- just because it's FIRE. And the Mortar Strikes are MUCH more brutal than the Air Strikes ever were. The dogs are a really good addition- you stand a chance against them, which is good- and they kill just as quickly, if not faster, than the Helicopter did. And you get points for killing them, which makes you want to avoid them and gun them down more than usual. It's a nice incentive to get your teammates shooting them, and you won't feel like you're getting picked on, because they're mauling your friend's face, too.  The thing that bugs me, though, is the fact it doesn't do that 'Press Right Stick to break dog's throat' thing, they just leap at you. The knife animations have blood, which is nice, because they feel like they're doing something now- as opposed to the *SWIPE= FALL OVER* of CoD 4. Overall, this game feels really solid, and CoD fans shouldn't be left wanting anything. Except maybe decent weapons, but we'll get over that.
But it's only a beta. Or a active advert. Whatever. It's not finished, Okay?
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WOAH, MOTHERLODE! *Old Sims 2 joke*

Why indeed?
I went over a friend's house yesterday. His Xbox got the red-ring. He let me borrow BioShock, which I whored for achievements. Got me into the 10k club! And now is Xbox is back, but not without it's benefits (For me, anyway.). Yesterday, I told him he could come over my house because he had no entertainment choices. First I had to go over his house (He's within walking distance) to pick up a game that I wanted to play- Gears of War. I played the HELL out of that game before it broke on me. Me and my friend Matt played the campaign all the way through about 36 times (I kid you not) and messed about in Gears about 52 times. It was a long, sweary, chainsaw filled summer. And that was a year ago. The disk broke for obvious reasons, and I was crushed. But now I've got it back we played a little bit today- actually, I should say yesterday, because it's midnight- anyway, we got up to Act 2 when he had to go to Wendys, also known as greasetraps. But that's just ONE of the games I stol- Borrowed from Kinkles707. Real name exclusion! LOOKIT ALL THAT JUICE! The second one is Viking: Battle for Asgard. It's a good game to work off stress, but not worth buying. There is something to be said about the way it handles it's wars, though. I'll post a review up soon. What's that now, BIoshock, Viking, Gears of war? That's a lot of reviews. Hell, I'll do it. Then we have... Viva Pinata. Yes, I played it for you, Brad. I'm a good person now, right? Anyway, it's not actually half bad, if you can get past all the cutsieness(?) of the menus and the oh-so-terrible voice acting, the flower loading symbols, the way the game treats you like a five year old; All of these things don't matter when you first see that Sparrowmint come into your small 4x4 square garden. I won't be posting a review for that, though. My mind's set. Then we have Army of Two. I haven't played it yet with another Live person, and because the online's so ASS-BACWARDS it's impossible to play with who I want. Mainly because the region-lock stops you from playing with people from other countries, and I'd rather play with an American or a Canadian. I love Canada. Yeah, Canada. It's called 'Kanada' in German. I'Z THE SMARTEREST. So I can't play 'Army of Two (EU)' With 'Army of Two' for some utterly arbituary reason. That's probably been used out of context, but we well spoken English people (which is about 1/7th of the population) are required by LAW to use complicated words in their sentences. Woo... Hoo? Whatever. Army of Two's been fun, but without anyone to play with, I can't see myself investing much time in it. Also, now the posts are regular  length again! Hooray! 
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