You probably never heard of it, but it's damn good: Ever 17

WARNING: If you don't like anime-styled characters, then you won't like this blog, so I'm just letting you anime-haters know this before you get mad at me for forcing you to read my blog about teh animes.

So around two months ago, before the season where all the publishers decide to release their games in a small and cramped 3 month window instead of spreading out their releases, I played a game well-known to the visual novel community but mostly unknown to the gamer community called Ever17: The Out of Infinity. (Yeah, I know, it suffers from Square Enix naming syndrome)

To give this game a little bit of back story it, as you might have guessed, is a visual novel (pretty much an adventure game) for the PC. However, this game is a rarity because it actually received a US localization by a now defunct company called Hirameki International. Despite the localization you probably won't be able to find this game anywhere. This game is not only rare, but a USED copy goes for about $200 USD. So you're better off downloading a copy. (The developer and publisher are already defunct anyway.) You won't regret playing this game though because it is one of the best stories I've ever experienced in a game.

Here's Tsugumi, attempting to impersonate Sonic the Hedgehog.

Just to give you a fair heads-up, in order to "beat" the game, it requires multiple playthroughs before you can go for the "true" ending. So if you don't have a lot of time or patience, this may not be for you. I would even suggest a walkthrough, if you don't want to spend too much time guessing in the dark. Thankfully, the game has a fast-forward feature for the parts that you have already seen, so no worries about reading the same thing over and over again.

The basic summary of the plot, without spoiling anything, is that you're a tourist on the artificial theme park island called "LeMU". Things go wrong though, when you and five other people are trapped in the lower floors of LeMU (the floors are underwater), and you have only one week to escape before the walls collapse, drowning everyone that is trapped. There are two character paths that you can take, one as a young man called Takeshi Kuranari, and as a teenager with amnesia simply called "The Kid".

The plot is so much more than what I listed above, but it would be spoiler territory to mention it. I will say that the twists are incredible and mind-blowing, especially in the "true" ending. The exposition in the beginning of each playthrough can be a bit much, though. I found myself struggling to read after an hour into the game, but it isn't on the Final Fantasy XIII level of horrid beginnings, just a slow start for an hour or two.

The characters may seem like your typical archetypes in the beginning as well. To give a few examples, Tsugumi, the one with the black attire, seems like the classic tsundere type. Takeshi seems like your bumbling shounen protagonist with a bit of a perverted mind. And Sora seems like the motherly figure who watches out for everyone and makes sure they're all safe.

I say 'seem' because as the game goes on, each of these characters develop into so much more, and at the end you can't help but root for them, or at least find them likable. Tsugumi, in the beginning, comes off as a complete bitch in the first few hours of each playthrough, but later events and more exposition provides context as to why she is the way she is. As a result, I found her to be a lot more likable and understood her. After a few heartbreaking scenes involving her, she became my favorite character in the whole game. On the flip side, the only character I didn't really find all that engaging was Coco Yagami, who just stays the same as she was when the game started. I didn't hate her, just felt kinda 'meh' towards her character. (Also, the game says she's 13, but she acts a lot like an 7 year old. -_-)

The art style definitely shows it's age, but it isn't necessarily bad thing. Especially now with moeblobs running the anime scene, it's a little refreshing to see a "simple" anime art style. The backgrounds are also nicely drawn. Once again, going for simple art style and not trying to be too fancy. Certainly more colorful than many modern games, but not sickeningly so like many modern anime. (Okay, I'll stop hating on modern anime.)

The music in this game is really well-done with solid tracks all-around and a few heavy-hitters greatly enhancing a lot of the emotional scenes. Other than the heavy hitters, there really isn't anything that would make you want to listen to it on repeat since some of it just sounds like elevator music BUT it's some damn fine elevator music. Here's one of the best tracks that I'm talking about:

You be trippin'!

It may not elicit much emotion from you at the moment, but when you combine it with one of the tear-jerking scenes it really makes you want to just BAWWW all over the floor. It's just that damn powerful.

The "true" ending is the main reason why you should play through the game so many times. Although, the 'good' endings and heck even the 'bad' ones are really good, the "true" ending ties up so many loose ends and provides the proper closure to so many arcs that it is not only a wholly satisfying experience, but you just feel like you played through a true emotional roller coaster.

I honestly can't think of any criticisms except for one. The localization effort is hit and miss. It's understandable since the localization company didn't seem to have big bucks flowing around to do a much better job (I assume), but it still does hamper the experience a small bit. The numerous grammar and spelling errors can be annoying, with examples such as: "Naturally, I knows the hacker" is a famous error in the translation. And there are a few things outright mistranslated. However, when the translation team does get things right, it is done really well. There are some lines during the emotional scenes that are very descriptive and really immerses you in the world. This is one of the best adventure games I've ever played, and I really do recommend to anyone who doesn't hate anime art styles or doesn't hate good stories.

The game doesn't take a powerful PC to run (shocker!) since it is a game originally released in 2002. However, if you're willing to wait and if you have a lot of hope, there is currently a remake about to release for the Xbox 360, but it is only for Japan. Good news is, you can urge niche game publishers like Aksys Games or Atlus to localize the game for American shores so that more people can experience the awesomeness that is Ever 17.

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Online Service will Make or Break Nintendo 3DS


 Awesome, if flawed, little thing there.

The Nintendo 3DS, a thing that you play video games on, came out a few days ago and was met with a seemingly modest, yet successful, launch day. Everyone will be raving about it for the next few weeks, play SSFIV3D or Pokemon White/Black on it all day, and be excited for E3’s 3DS offerings this upcoming June. It’s not all happy times in 3DSland though, when you take into account the worrisome “Black Screen of Death” issues popping up, lack of quality launch games, and infamously mediocre battery life. Those issues will eventually be forgotten or remedied. BSoD may be fixed with a simple firmware update because it’s a software issue, better games will eventually come out for the newborn system, and the battery life can be fixed with a third party battery or new SKU in the future. There is one issue that Nintendo can’t afford to ignore any longer. That one issue is their online service.
 
Despite the name of the system, 3D isn’t going to determine how big a success the 3DS will be, it will be how they approach online gaming with the new handheld. As you all may know, Nintendo isn’t exactly known for embracing the world for online gaming. Due to their paranoia of sticking to their “family-friendly” image, online gaming is a road that they have treaded on with much caution. Much to their detriment, this extremely cautious approach has made their online features very barebones and inconvenient on the Wii and DS. With the 3DS, they have fixed some of these issues by adding a friends list, lessening the annoyance of friend codes by sticking them onto one system, and the introduction of the Street Pass system which may or may not be a success here in the grand ol’ USA.  

 The Mii Maker gave me squinty eyes...

Despite recent strides, Nintendo still can’t get the internet right. Friends list are barebones and unfriendly to organization. You still can’t send messages or game invites in 2011 for some ridiculous reason. And you can’t access you friend’s Mii for the Mii Plaza which feels like a missed opportunity. It makes you wonder if Nintendo even bothered to take notes from their competitor’s superior services in XBL and PSN. For a company that boasts about bringing social gaming to the next level, you would think online would be more of a priority for them. I understand StreetPass is their main focus, but it seems to be more of a Japan centric feature due to the dense population, and the popularity of the DS.
 

 I see you turning out to be $399 with all your bells and whistles.

I get that the big draw of Nintendo’s handhelds aren’t the online play, or fancy features, but the consistently strong line-up of games it brings to the table. Problem is, Sony is going all out with the NGP (god that name sucks), and I am absolutely certain their online service at launch will be superior to the 3DS’ current offering. If they want the 3DS to stay number one in the portable market, they need to update the shit out of the 3DS to even hope to compete with whatever Sony has planned for the NGP. 
 
The eShop is also something Nintendo must get right if the 3DS will have any chance in the increasingly competitive portable market. The emergence of apps in the past few years led by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android is something I believe Nintendo should take seriously. Despite the apathy towards garage developers, these devs could immensely help the 3DS become a more flexible device. Nintendo’s already on a good start with Netflix support, why not expand on that? A Pokemon app that allows you to trade and battle with friends on future 3DS Pokemon games would be a stellar feature. Add some social interactivity and a a tournament mode and you got yourself a beefy app. This could be the closest we get to a Pokemon MMO. Or maybe an app that allows you use Twitter on your 3DS except it’s convenient and doesn’t suck like the Xbox 360’s Twitter support. Hell, an app that expands on the AR card concept would breathe more life into it. Nintendo having an app store that interacts with their games would be a huge draw for people, and would improve the 3DS experience immensely. 
 
Game pricing is also very important and something Nintendo cannot screw up if they want to remain top dog. The iOS and Android platforms have had some success with mobile games by having their games priced at a reasonable dollar or a few. Nintendo’s chance at holding an influential portable market is there’s for the taking.  For example, pricing Metroid Fusion for the GBA on the Virtual Console (Handheld?) at $20 will surely bring about some laughter by gamers following some disappointment at your inability to price reasonably. Pricing it at $1-$5, will create some good will and a lot of sales along with respectability for your store.
 
Excellent port to an excellent game.
The biggest issue that needs to be addressed is the friends system. It’s a good start by Nintendo, but sending messages and game invites would do wonders and cement the online foundation. Organizing your friends list by who is online and who isn’t would also help and give user’s less headaches after adding their 100 friend. Expanding a person’s profile to include a mini-bio and other info would help out in Nintendo’s quest to improve social gaming. Let user’s try StreetPass with their friends and exchange Street Fighter figurines or our Miis.

If Nintendo implements even 50% of these suggestions onto the 3DS then I believe it will be the ultimate gaming device, and I will love it long time. The 3DS has an amazing amount of potential and I would hate for it to be squandered just because Nintendo is afraid of the internet. I’m currently playing SSFIV3D and I have to contact my cousin through the phone in order to get him to play online with me. If Nintendo adds a simple invite feature in the coming months, then the 3Ds may be in good hands. 
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My new PS3 and my first game: Uncharted 2

Holy crap! I’m writing in my blog again after two days! This calls for a celebration. Seriously, I write a blog then disappear for months before writing again. Anyway, today I’ll be writing about my experiences with the PS3 and Uncharted 2. Both of which I recently bought about a month and a half ago. Aren’t you excited!?

 
I first bought my PS3 just after the Black Friday madness, and I was lucky enough to find that Amazon still had a sale on a PS3 bundle which included 160 GB, Uncharted 2, a digital copy of Pixeljunk Shooter, The Karate Kid Blu-ray, and $25 gaming credit (also used for LBP2). I was supposed to recieve the GOTY version of Uncharted 2, but the listing turned out to be an error. I ended up receiving the regular version of Uncharted 2. However, Amazon compensated me with $10 credit towards any PS3 pre-order so it all worked out.  Despite the loads of stuff I was getting I wanted to start off my first few days with more games just in case Uncharted 2 wasn’t to my liking. So I ended up buying Valkyria Chronicles and Demon’s Souls w/ art book and OST. About 5 days later, the PS3 arrived and I was predictably excited.
 
After setting it up to my HDTV, and setting up my profile I toyed around with the dashboard to see what it was like compared to the 360 dashboard. Although it is simply a copy and paste from the excellent PSP dashboard, it doesn’t look right when you see it on a huge TV instead of the small PSP. It’s more of a personal preference, so I can see other people preferring it over the new 360 dashboard.
 
The Blu-Ray Player is fucking fantastic. I watched Inception 5 times in 1080p and the picture quality was perfect. While Blu-Ray sounded very unnecessary when the PS3 first launched, I now see why it won the “format war or whatever it’s called” against HD-DVD. I now plan on using it as my main movie/TV playing device. It also helps that the Netflix addition is absolutely superb, and free unlike those asses at Microsoft who puts everything for Gold. So my PS3 is not only a games console, and Blu-Ray player, it is also my cable box (in a way). It only does everything.  
 
I do love how the slim looks as well. It’s not as sleek as my 360 S, but it fits perfectly in my shelf and looks sexy in its own right. The Dualshock 3 controller is well-known and loved, and I mostly agree, except for the L2 and R2 buttons . They were too mushy and easy to slip off compared to the 360 controller so I ended up getting one of these at some point. Now I feel perfectly comfortable when playing on the DS3. It also makes the controller look cooler to boot. The Sixaxis motion control often gets more flak than it deserves. Sure, it was a crappy attempt to take on the Wii's motion control grab on the market, but it is still a neat little gimmick that I enjoy more than I probably should have. Bobbling the Sackboy's head is kinda funny and cute.
 
Anyway, enough about the boring stuff, how about the games? 

Uncharted 2 = Awesome
The first game I began was Uncharted 2, a game where you kill ludicrous amounts of enemies to reach a mythical place called Shambhala in Indiana Jones-style. I must say, this is one of the most stunning games I’ve ever had the pleasure to look at. The snow looks incredibly real, the character animations are completely fluid, and the long-distance views made me want to take a picture of the TV screen displaying the view. If any awards show didn’t give this game best graphics in 2009, they had better come up with some excellent reasoning for it because this game is only matched with FFXIII in terms outstanding graphics.  
 
 This can be fun...for a while.
The story itself was serviceable and entertaining. It was no storytelling masterpiece, but with the quirky and likable characters (Nathan Drake, Sully etc.), intriguing settings (Snow mountains in Tibet), and great dialogue (“Great, power's out, and a girl's trapped. I swear to God, if there's a zombie around the next corner...”) it didn’t need a deep and complex story to be enjoyable. The ending did have me at the end of my seat which is surprising since I am cynical about predictable endings.
 
Being a big fan of shooting and platforming games, I felt that the game blended these two gameplay elements really well. Drake controlled very smoothly and I never had many problems with the camera. Usually whenever I fell to my death in the platforming levels, it would be entirely my fault for overlooking something. It was refreshing to play a challenging yet fair game. The shooting was also very fun though after the first 7 hours I did get tired of shooting the same enemies over and over again. Luckily, near the end of the game is when they introduce more powerful foes to keep me on my toes once again (no that rhyme was unintentional). The music was decent, but nothing really stood out to me all that much, which is fine since I wasn’t expecting much from that department anyway. It does succeed in giving off that Indiana Jones vibe that the game seems inspired by. 
 
So Uncharted 2 is a great game. I’m not saying anything new here and you should probably buy the hell out of it and play. It’s really one of the experiences that can stay with you as a gamer after completing it. I know right after I beat it I went on a short break just because the single player left me so fulfilled and satisfied. Now that Uncharted 3 has been announced, to say I am excited for it would be an understatement (though you could say the same for anyone on many video game sites). It is definitely a day one buy for me.
 
Edit: fixed a bunch of weird sentences and spelling errors
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A rambling about the first 20 hours.



You’re wondering how I’ve only played 20 hours since the last time I blogged about this almost 2 months ago. That reason is because of my new PS3 that I bought in December has sucked me in with it's fantastic exclusives. I'll get into that another time but for now, my first 20 hours of Final Fantasy XIII!
 
I don’t like it. From the confusing intro, to the annoying characters, to the very forgettable setting, this game has been mediocre so far. However, I don’t hate it at all, the graphics are absolutely gorgeous, the battle system is enjoyable to look at and play, and the music, while not memorable, is catchy and nice to listen to.
 
My biggest problem with the game’s story is why should I give a shit? Due to the game’s very linear gameplay, absence of the JRPG staple “towns”, and refusal to explain anything without me going to the game’s dictionary, I really don’t care about Cocoon’s fate. I don’t even know what it looks like! All I can imagine is literally a giant cocoon moon world orbiting an earth-like Pulse. Anyway, the world of Cocoon has no personality other than it has an irrational hatred for Pulse l’Cie and that it’s a weird mix of steampunk and Tron.  
 
The characters are mostly forgettable with a few on the irritating side (Snow The Stereotypical Saturday Morning Cartoon Hero, and Vanille who’s still very weird and voiced inappropriately). Sahz is the only character who I somewhat like. He just wants to end this badly told story and be with his only son. Hope has gotten better and is the only one with some form of character development.   
 
On to the gameplay, I do love how the battle scenes look when I’m kicking the monster’s asses. Square Enix decided to make the battles more cinematic and I believe they succeeded with some battles even getting my adrenaline pumped for a bit. Although, it got me thinking that Square Enix wants to make movies more than video games because some of the mechanics are pretty flawed. The summons are useless due to the crappy amount of damage they produce and whatever stagger they produced are automatically reset once the summon goes away. The fact that you lose if the character you control dies is very irritating. Couldn’t Square Enix just let you switch control to another character who could then revive the fallen character? This fact isn’t helped by the fact that there are bosses that deal so much damage to one character that they’ll die even if they were at full health! Playing as Lightning in the battle against Barthandelus, I spent a good 20 minutes chipping down his insane amount of health (another stupid problem, why artificially make the boss harder with this crap!? It’s not fun at all) before his ultimate attack kills Lightning, who cannot guard, despite her being at full health. It sucks that one little mistake can ruin 20 minutes of flawless effort against a broken boss. /rant  
 
So yeah, I’m struggling to keep playing this game, but I must because I have this irrational sense of duty to complete every single game I own. I also have a huge backlog of unplayed/unfinished games. I need to stop buying games. Anyway, that’s it for Final Fantasy XIII 20 hours in. I’m glad to know that this game gave me the privilege to change my battle team after 20 hours but whatever I can now hope the game gets much better after all this crap. Check back tomorrow for my impressions on my PS3, all 4 people who care! 
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Late as Hell: Final Fantasy XIII Impressions.

 

I’m such a lazy, procrastinating bum. I say I will write blogs regularly, and I end up writing 2 in the last 3-4 months. I can’t guarantee anything, but I figure I might as well talk about games I’ve been playing recently and attempt to write some coherent thoughts down.

 
I began playing Final Fantasy XIII for the first time yesterday after giving up on Lost Odyssey’s difficult, optional boss battles (I needed to level up). After playing it for a few hours though, I must say that I came away pleased, despite the shitstorm of negativity it received from practically half the World Wide Web. My guard is still up against any future disappointment, but I feel safe in saying that I’m cautiously optimistic. So here are my first impressions of the latest story-based installment of the mega franchise, Final Fantasy XIII.

Final Fantasy XIII is one of the prettiest games I’ve ever seen since Eternal Sonata. That just had to be said right from the get go. Even on the “inferior” Xbox 360 port the game still looks lovely. The characters animations are straight out of a CG movie, even though there are CG movies in the game! The lighting effects are great, especially in the crystallized waves level. The backgrounds do look noticeably blurry, probably due to the whole 360 port thing, but you hardly notice it with all the action going on so it’s just a very minor gripe. This is a game that was made to look like a CG movie, even though there are CG cutscenes everywhere, the difference between the cutscenes aren’t as big as Final Fantasy X. So, graphically, Square has made a huge step in the right direction making this look like a movie, than a game.

The gameplay in Final Fantasy XIII is what XII should have been. While I didn’t hate the gameplay in XII, the grinding aspect turned me off the game so much along with it’s overly complicated plot, and boring main characters (Balthier and Ashe should’ve been hero and heroine). Anyway, I’m glad they did away with the MMORPG feel of XII, and replaced it with the traditional “flash of light into a battle arena”. It feels much more fast-faced and flashy which is something Square has going for them in this game.

 I like this a lot.

The command list is also interesting with the presence of ATB bars. With the ATB bars I can perform multiple attacks as long as they fit in the whole turn of ATB bars. I can attack an enemy twice, or attack them and then shock them with Thunder. It’s a departure from the one command per turn from previous Final Fantasy games, and I welcome it with open arms. Battles feel much more fluid, and realistic than the old-school “stand in one spot until it’s your turn” though I don’t mind that too much. The absence of levels do puzzle me, as I wonder how I can gauge who is very strong in my party, and who is too weak to participate in the battles of the current level. I’ll have to wait and see. The Crystarium system is probably the key to this. I do like this modified Grid Sphere. It’s easy to understand, and a very good stat building mechanic. (I love the Grid Sphere). The Paradigm Shift is a much better Gambit system. I hated having to buy Gambits in order to get my character to do certain things. This system already has characters do what you want without the hassle of buying useless “80>HP Enemy” bullcrap. Plus you can change formations during battle which has put me in love with this battle system. The only thing that can ruin the gameplay for me is unnecessary grindfests. It wouldn’t totally ruin the game for me, but I would have trouble picking it up again. I’ve had enough grinding in RPGs years ago.

Some critics are right when they say FFXIII is littered with hallways, but I wouldn’t say that’s entirely true. After reaching the Pulse fal’cie lair, the environments did open up a bit to something akin to the FFXII dungeons. I did like the level design of XII so I hope XIII continues with that instead of the aforementioned hallways.

On to the story! I do understand mostly everything that is going on at the moment I’m at in the story, but that’s no thanks to the actual cutscenes. Instead, I had to learn the backstory through the game’s encyclopedia. I am not too bothered by this, but I’m wondering if it was so hard for them to write all that in the game’s prologue a la’ Final Fantasy VI. At least VII explained what the terms “lifestream” and “mako reactors” were. I had no idea what the hell Pulse and L’Cie were until I read it in the encyclopedia. Hell if it weren’t for the back cover telling me I was fighting in Cocoon, I would have thought Cocoon was the final boss or something. So yeah, the vagueness of the story annoyed me greatly. I’m still wondering about the characters. Lightning seems okay though she’s still one-dimensional at the moment. Losing her temper at the drop of the hat, but I won’t blame her for it. Her sister was in danger, though she could be more cooperative with Sazh. Speaking of Sazh, he looks like the most levelheaded person in the group. Hope is annoyingly wimpy, while Vanille is a weirdo, and it doesn’t help that she changes accents every 15 seconds. Snow also seems levelheaded, but his cheesiness makes me cringe a bit. It’ll probably grow on me. I don’t have a high opinion of the characters, but it’s too early to tell at this stage.

Why are you weird!?

So that’s all for my impressions on Final Fantasy XIII, which has been enjoyable so far. I’m not too confident that it will get better as the game goes on, but the battle system is something I am greatly looking forward to.

Oh yeah, the music is alright, but I miss Uematsu.

7 Comments

The GB community isn't perfect, but at least we're not THIS bad.

The past few months there has been a lot of harsh criticism and/or bashing of the Giant Bomb community. I was one of these critics. However, I didn't realize until now how good we have it. Sure we have our low points like the numerous "girl topics" that end in spectacular failure, the "quest spam" that has put many regular users off, or the usual political or religious topics that turn into flame wars 2 pages in. We have many more highs points though, like that Starcraft thread where the guy's armor looks like a cat, the help that fellow user Aurahack received from everyone, anything BiffMcBlumpkin posts, this thing, and the awesome race nights for Forza 3.
 
What am I trying to get at? Well, I was completely and utterly wrong for thinking the Giant Bomb community was crappy because I forgot all about...
This.
 
Yes, another run-of-the-mill fanboy bait article written by your friendly neighborhood IGN. All they are doing is just stating the obvious shit about the two consoles that anybody with reading comprehension skills can figure out on their own. This article exists for the sole purpose of creating another flamewar between the cults of the PS3 and Xbox 360. 
The comments section is rife with witty banter such as... 
"the ps3 has more aaa games"
 
"i know what ign now stands for
ign= international gay fags.
lol F-U IGN" 

"YEA GAYBOX LOOSE"
 
And my personal favorite
"loners buy ps3s and people with friends buy xbox 360s" 


 
 
 
 
 
 
Anyway, I'm just glad I came to Giant Bomb a few months back. I've hardly seen any fanboy threads and I'm glad to leave the shithole of disease and misery that was IGN. So if you think the Giant Bomb community is bad? Then look everywhere else around you...it's much worse...
114 Comments

Gaming Thoughts of July 16th.

 

Welcome to what is hopefully a weekly blog about my gaming habits and what I’m thinking. It will most likely be crap but w/e. '>_>

Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

 

Aksys Games recently announced a new game for the DS. It is titled “Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors” which sounds like a title of a B-movie. It’s a thriller adventure game developed by Chunsoft. My first impressions are that this could be a sleeper hit for adventure games on the DS. After playing through all 3 Phoenix Wright games, Jake Hunter, Time Hollow, and Apollo Justice this looks to bolster the already spectacular line up of adventure games on the DS.

You control a college student named Junpei who wakes up on a cruise liner in a dangerous conspiracy. He and 8 other people must work together before they drown. You have to solve various puzzles and make the correct decisions in situations if you want yourself and others to survive. There are also 6 different endings which make this a tad more playable than other adventure games.

I am looking forward to this release being a big fan of adventure games ever since the first Phoenix Wright came out, and I hope the localization is top-notch along with some rather interesting characters and a compelling story to boot.

Dragon Quest IX

 

Dragon Quest IX came out this week and it’s getting very favorable reviews among game critics. It’s receiving an 87 score on metacritic. I have been considering picking up the game recently. The customization options tickle the creative side of me, and the old school RPG mechanics don’t turn me away like it does so many other people. While it may not have a story worth writing home, this will probably be the first RPG I pick up for strictly gameplay purposes. (I downloaded Final Fantasy V =P)  I have, for the record, never played a Dragon Quest game and I hear this one is an easier installment.
 
Growing up a Sega kid has made me want to play classic franchises from the NES/SNES days as if they were new. Missing out on great franchises like Fire Emblem, Dragon Quest, Zelda, and Final Fantasy has made me a little regretful of sticking with one console during my childhood. If there's anyone out there familiar with the series, what other DQ games do you recommend to a newcomer like me?

Super Street Fighter IV


Lastly, after over 2 months of banging my head against the wall and ragequitting every 4 matches, I am beginning to feel myself improve significantly at Super Street Fighter IV. I now have three reliable combos as my main Sakura. One of them is “j.HP, c.HP, EX tatsu, Ultra 2”. It’s nothing much to a longtime veteran, but I feel incredibly overjoyed whenever I pull this off. All that hard work is paying off.

I still suck at actually winning games, but I’m at least giving my friends a run for their money. I still need to practice my techs and FADC, but that’s what another 3 months of training will fix up. =P I have many weaknesses, but my main problem seems to be Zangief and Chun-Li. Zangief just continues to grab me and take off huge chunks of my health, while Chun-Li seems to have an impenetrable defense. Oh and Ibuki...I just hate her. 
 
I still haven't touched much the ranked match mode yet simply because the little bit I have played I've had my ass handed to me by mostly everyone. Even flowchart Kens. T_T
 
If there are any Sakura players out there, tips would be appreciated. =)

However, seeing the EVO tournament this past weekend awakened a more competitive version of myself. Especially after seeing top player Justin Wong lose to a newcomer with a low tier character. This makes me dream that someday I can win with Sakura as my main, surprising the whole audience. Although Daigo predictably won (I ended up not seeing him win because of the shitty stream), that was an overall fun tournament to watch and I'm looking forward to dive a little further into the fighting game community.

Still on the subject of Street Fighter, I came across this sweet deal that I must take advantage of. I could always just give my brother Vanilla SFIV so it’s not a shabby deal at all.

So that’s pretty much all I have on my mind. Hope I didn’t bore you all or anything.

8 Comments

Buying A PS3.

Of all the current-gen consoles, I only own an Xbox 360 and a Wii. This is due to the fact that it started out at an absurd high price point ($599 USD), the games library were lackluster for the first two years, the screenshot comparisons were usually in the 360’s favor early on, I was content with my Xbox 360 to consider getting a PS3, and that Sony were absolute fucktards during those first two years of the PS3 lifespan.

However, the PS3 has hit its stride as of late. They have some critically acclaimed exclusives like Uncharted 2, Demon’s Souls, LittleBigPlanet, and Metal Gear Solid 4 out right now. They have more great looking exclusives coming out like Final Fantasy XIV, Trinity Universe, and LittleBigPlanet 2. It’s at a reasonable price point for $300. And finally, I can complete my trifecta of video game consoles this generation. (Okay that’s not a big deal XD)

These are the 2 games that interest me the most and hopefully may interest you as well:

                                                                                                                            LittleBigPlanet 2

I played the first LBP a bit over at a cousin’s house and I liked what it had to offer. The concept of customizing your own character (sackboy) appealed to my creative side, and was helped by the fact that you could make him/her into absolutely anything. I remember being able to play as Kratos, and it was quite neat that you could do that. The stage customization was huge for me because I have a hard-on for well designed platforming games. My biggest gripe was the way the sackboy was controlled. The jumping was too sluggish and I had to retry a level multiple times because of how shitty the sackboy controlled. Maybe it was because I sucked but I digress.

Fortunately, LittleBigPlanet 2 seems to fix that problem and a whole lot more. What has me most excited is the fact that the developers added multiple GENRES into the game. You can’t even call it a platformer anymore. It might as well be its own console itself! The fact that you can play RPGs on this makes it already a purchase for me. The 3D space shooter looked like Star Fox, which is not a bad thing. While I don’t know much about the sharing features of the LittleBigPlanet games, I can see myself spending hours making stuff just like I do on Halo 3 and sharing it. Overall, LittleBigPlanet 2 is the game I’m most hyped for. It might be the biggest game of this generation. If there is a PS3 + LBP2 bundle (which Sony would be stupid not to consider), then I’m snatching that shit up!
 

                                                                                                                            Valkyria Chronicles

The current-gen consoles haven’t been nice to the JRPG genre. There really hasn’t been a hit JRPG out there like a Xenogears or Persona 4 that receives little to no criticism and is proclaimed a masterpiece. Final Fantasy XIII has been hit with the most criticism I’ve ever seen in a Final Fantasy game. Lost Odyssey was decent but not “great” in the eyes of many, and it did feature some old game mechanics. However, there is one game that, from what I saw, gave people what they wanted in a superb JRPG.

That game is Valkyria Chronicles. In the reviews I’ve read, the story is unmatched compared to others in the genre. The gameplay is just complex yet rewarding. And the graphics had a nice painting feel to it. It’s also a JRPG that models after WWII! How crazy is that!? You would think that only FPS and RTS games would do that! Anyway, I’m in dire need of a “great” JPRG and this looks like the perfect game for me.

So I pretty much love RPGs and am hoping LBP2 is bundled with the PS3 Slim. I am also interested in Final Fantasy XIV, but I know next to nothing about it other than that it’s an MMO and that it has trailers that make no sense. If there is anyone out there who has played Final Fantasy XI, what should I expect out of Final Fantasy XIV?

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I'm thinking of buying a PS3. I need reccomendations.

I'm thinking of buying a PS3 by the end of the year now that it has a few games that interest me greatly. I am already sold on LittleBigPlanet 2, and I'm hoping Sony can release a PS3 bundle with that game. It just makes perfect sense. I'm not interested in the Move at all. Mostly because I already have a Wii, and I'm content with that. Valkryia Chronicles is another game that I hear great things about, and I need a fantastic JRPG so that fits the bill. However, I don't know much about the PS3's library other than their exclusive shooters (KZ3, R2, MAG etc), and I am burnt out on shooters. (I'm content with Bad Company 2). 
 
I am interested in Final Fantasy XIV, but I don't think Square Enix will release two Final Fantasies in the same year, getting that by the holidays may be out of the question. 
 
I heard of Trinity Universe, but I'm not too sure about it just yet. It could be good, but the fact that it's a crossover RPG with obscure characters mean that I probably won't enjoy it as much as I should.
 
Disgaea 3 sounds very addicting and I will buy it if I can find it. I think they're plentiful...right?
 
I've never played a Metal Gear Solid game before, and I don't want to play 4 without playing the first 3. I'm hate jumping into a sequel of a story driven franchise if it means I'll be lost in the plot. (I probably could have enjoyed Half-Life 2 more if I had played the first one)
 
If any PS3 fans can point me to some awesome exclusives that would interest me, please do so. I'm open to anything as long as it's good and not a shooter.

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