Virtual Console Madness!

Picked up a bunch of Virtual Console games these past few weeks. They are:  

 - Sin and Punishment 
 - Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 
 - Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
 - Super Metroid 
 - Final Fantasy IV 
 - Super Mario Bros. 3   

I have A LOT of fun ahead of me! I was also eyeing Cave Story but I’ve played it before on the PC. Maybe a next time. I decided this over a new game just because 6 games are better than one of course. :P 
 
My next pickups won't be until Super Street Fighter IV, and then Super Mario Galaxy 2, Sin and Punishment 2, and Metroid: Other M. In that order. That's all for now, peace! 
 
*Transforms into a pidgeon and flies away*

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The end of a hugely packed Q1

 As most of you are aware of, Q1 2010 has been…very, very packed to say the least. There’s quite a few titles that I purchased this quarter of the year and three more I need to get in March alone! Some of these weren’t released in this time frame, but I’ll add them anyway so you have an idea of how much I bought. These games are:
 
- Bayonetta
- Final Fantasy XIII
- Infinite Space
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
- The Metroid Prime Trilogy
- Muramasa: The Demon Blade
- Resonance of Fate
- Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey
- Super Mario Galaxy

 As you can see, that’s quite A LOT of games for only a span of three months. 2010 is quite an amazing year for video games for all kinds of gamers. My taste is pretty rigid and picky compared to other people. I’m sure other gamers have a much larger than list than I.

 Now, the rest of 2010? There is quite a lot of games releasing that I at least want to play. With my recent purchase of a Nintendo Wii opens up possibilities for impulse buys when I see a great game for a great price like MadWorld for $9.99 at some stores. Anyway, what does the rest of 2010 have in store for me? Well lets see…

Nintendo DS
- Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies
- Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Reverie
- Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2*
- Etrian Odyssey 3*
- Final Fantasy Gaiden: 4 Warriors of Light
- Golden Sun DS
- Inazuma Eleven
- Ninokuni: Another World

Nintendo Wii
- Arc Rise Fantasia*
- Epic Mickey*
- The Last Story
- The Legend of Zelda: Wii (Working Title)
- Metroid: Other M
- Sin and Punishment: Star Successor
- Super Mario Galaxy 2
- Tales of Graces
- Xenoblade
- Zengeki no Reginleiv*

Xbox 360
- Alan Wake*
- Mafia 2*
- Super Street Fighter IV
- Vanquish
 
* - Want to play, will buy if I like it enough
Normal - Must-buy 
  
So, that's my list for the rest of the year. What did you guys buy in Q1 and what are you planning to purchase for the rest of the year?

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Spring Break! And other things.

So, it is officially spring break. It has been raining for the past few days so I haven’t been doing anything except chilling at home playing video games, watching movies, and a little bit of anime. Hopefully the weather clears up so I can go outside and hang out with friends instead of being inside this boring ass apartment. I have quite a few games to play so that shouldn’t be a problem. I am passed the half-way point of Final Fantasy XIII so I’ll hopefully be finishing it by Thursday at the least. Good game that reaches great at times. More on that next time (or if I decide to do a review).

I am thinking of doing another marathon, either something with movies, video games, or anime. Still haven’t decided. Might mix it up with various different things that slightly relate to each other. I guess we’ll see.

With the release of Final Fantasy XIII, I further leave my backlog to the side. Maybe now I have the time (and effort) to actually finish some of the games I buy. Here is a list of some that are top priority:

- Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
- The Metroid Prime Trilogy
- Muramasa: The Demon Blade
- Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor
- Disgaea DS
- Chrono Trigger
- Tales of Graces
- Sin and Punishment: Sora no Kōkeisha
- Mushihimesama Futari ver. 1.5
- EspGaluda II: Black Label
- Dragon Quest IX: Hoshizora no Mamoritibo
- Zengeki no Reginleiv

Yeah…Most of these games are imports that I picked up while waiting for the big releases here. I can read enough Japanese so that’s not a problem, actually sitting down and finishing some of these is hard since they’re either a) very long or b) very difficult. That’s all for now. Hopefully the weather clears up in these next few days and I have something more interesting to write about. Peace…

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Final Fantasy XIII, I haz it!

Played for about an two and a half hours, go to chapter 3 and took a break.

Game is breathtaking, seriously. It's been a crazy ride so far and I can't wait to see what happens next. Battles are fun as fuck and I haven't even gotten paradigms yet! Music is godly which is a no-brainer since Hamauzu is the fucking man. The only thing that's been bothering me is the weird ass camera and if Snow says "hero" one more time I think I'm gonna punch the wall. 
 
Going to play some more later, the game is awesome so far. :D

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SHMUPs: Welcome to The Curtain of Bullets


Oh god, even the bullets are shooting bullets.   
 

Introduction

 SHMUPs are one of the oldest video game genres in existance. It's true. Even before games like Ultima and Wizardy. Shooters preceded them all. It all started in 1978 with the release of Space Invaders. A revolutionary game by the Japanese developer known as Taito which still makes arcade boards and other video games. More than 30 years later since the release of the original. Now, in the year 2010. The genre has became one of the least accessible and is literally never mentioned in mainstream video games. Even Rogue-like fans who recently got The Dark Spire and Shiren The Wanderer are laughing at fans of the shooter genre. Here is a blog totally dedicated to the dying genre. I will include some recommendations for beginners, hybrid shmups, and what I think are the best games and developers in the genre.  Before I begin, these are merely my opinions and shouldn't be considered anything more than that.
  

Recommendations for Beginners

The genre is very diverse, that much is obvious. The tricky part is finding out which game is for you. First recommendation is a game called Bangai-O Spirits for the DS. It is the sequel from the original Dreamcast version. It is made by the amazing developers over at Treasure who made games such as Ikaruga, Sin and Punishment, and Radiant Silvergun. It's fairly easy to get into for the first half but the difficulty ramps up. Well worth a look. Second game is on the 360. It is called Raiden IV. The Raiden series is also a well known series on the scene. It's a throwback to old games like Gradius, Radiant Silvergun, and Giga Wing. You can find it fairly cheap at your local video game store. Finally, the last game is Castle of Shikigami III. This series goes back to the PS2 and is also pretty easy to get into if you have patience. It is notorious for the god awful voice acting that will make you cringe, and then laugh your heart out. 
 

Hybrids

Like every other genre, SHMUPs have hybrids too. Only here, they are one of the easiest games to get into. Examples of these are Starfox 64, Pilot Wings, and just about any Panzer Dragoon game. If I had to pick ONE game that is my absolute favourite, then that game is Sin and Punishment on the N64 and now Wii Virtual Console. Sin and Punishment is the perfect game in a variety of ways. It is another example of Treasure doing what they do best. It is a SHMUP combined with some aspects of a rail shooter. There are still curtains of bullets that you must dodge like all games in the genre, but there is a twist of being able to move on both axis. Sin and Punishment combines amazing set-pieces, great music, and just all-around perfect gameplay. The only dent in it's armor is the nonsensical story and voice-acting. But honestly, who plays these games for a compelling narrative? Nobody, that's who! 
 

The Best of the Best

The pinnacle of what this genre has, are the independent Japanese games aka "Doujins". An example of this is the Tohou Project. ONE guy makes a series of games including one which is my favourites, Perfect Cherry Blossom, the game in that first picture in this blog. You don't need to dig deep to find the gems, just hit up and Google and get ready for a goldmine of classic game design for free. If I had to pick TWO developers that are the best that this genre has to offer, they are definetly Treasure and CAVE. I have cited Treasure numerous times in this blog because they are just THAT good. CAVE on the other hand, is a dev that rarely releases it's games outside of Japan but most of them are region-free so you can import if you have the desire. Examples of their work are Mushihimesama Futari 1.5, EspGaluda II, DoDonPachi Daioujou, and DeathSmiles. All of these games are at the height of the genre. CAVE has perfected the concept of "bullet hell" while still being somewhat accessible due to the amount of difficulty levels. So if I had to pick three games that are my utmost favourites, they would be Sin and Punishment, Mushihimesama Futari 1.5, and Ikaruga. 
 

Conclusion

 I hope you enjoyed reading this blog and it got you at least somewhat interested into this genre of video games. So until next time, peace folks!
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Final Fantasy XIII is on the horizon...


 
It's been almost four years since that infamous E3 trailer that started the hype train. Random tidbits on info were sprinkled to fans for two years until E3 2008, when Square dropped the megaton that Final Fantasy XIII will be appearing on the Xbox 360. Yes, 20 days left until this game releases. Will it be the next step in Japanese RPGs? Will it suck? Why am I asking retorical questions? I flirting with the option of importing the Japanese version but alas! I do not own a Playstation 3. Though I did play an hour of it in Japanese and I imported the ACC demo back in April 2009. I am very hyped up for this and could be the biggest release of the year for me. One thing is for certain, Lightning and friends have a tall mountain to climb if they want to win my GOTY for 2010 over Bayonetta. I will keep a series of blogs up until release and my first review since BioShock. 20 days sounds like nothing when you have been waiting almost 4 years. Ladies and gentlemen, we are in the final stretch.
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The Wii and I: My experiences with the Nintendo Wii.


Wii and Wii Remote

 On the 21st of January, I turned at 18 and decided it would be cool if I bought a Nintendo Wii. Being bored with my Xbox 360 in between big releases of games like Bayonetta and Final Fantasy XIII,  I thought it would be a good time to pick up a second console. I was debating between a Playstation 3 or Wii, and obviously by this blog I chose the Wii. I have played the console only two hours in my life, and the game I played was Mario Kart. I was optimistic with the Wii since it was called the "Revolution. I'm not going to include some arbitrary numerical value or nothing so don't think of this as a review. So without further ado, let's get to my experiences! 
I have already purchased four Wii games and those are Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Super Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime Trilogy, and Muramasa: The Demon Blade. Here are my impressions thus far. 

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: This could quite possibly be my favourite Zelda game of all-time. I owned the Gamecube version but let a friend borrow it, and I never got it back from him. Oh well. The core game is refined and polished to near perfection. The music is good, and it has the best dungeon design in the series. The story isn't just filler like the other games, this one actually makes sense and adds to the experience. I'm not quite sold on the "waggle" controls of the combat. The "B" button could have been used for the sword and equipped items should stay to 3 like in Wind Waker. That's nit-picking but the game is still very playable. I'm not done the game yet but I'm pretty.   

Link in a battle 
 
Super Mario Galaxy: Oh man, this game destroyed my expectations of what a platformer can be. I never was big on the 3D platformer genre but Super Mario Galaxy changed my perceptions of what is possible. Everything is polished TO perfection from the level design, music, art-style, and the gameplay. Mario moves flawlessly in outer space and the gravity elements are really well done. The controls of the Wii remote translate really well into a platformer. It just goes to show how well made the "Wiimote" is. Hats off to you Nintendo, this is one of my favourite games this gen.  
 
Metroid Prime Trilogy: I never was a big fan of the Metroid series. Partly because I never played them outside of a one hour playtime of Metroid Fusion, which I really enjoyed. I bought this pack because, it's three games for the price of one and because I never played any of these games. I heard very great things from the series so I was eager to try it out myself. First off, I felt overwhelmed by the game. I had no clue where to go and it was refreshing since games these days hold you by the hand and don't let go. Metroid Prime isn't like that, well the first one isn't. I haven't played the other two. I'm enjoying it so far but I'm still very early. I'm glad I bought this because it's out of print now. 
  
Muramasa: The Demon Blade: I was intrigued by this game's artstyle and big focus on Japanese mythology. The gameplay is really good and reminds me of stuff like Castlevania and more recently, Shadow Complex. The combat isn't very deep but it's flashy and has great difficulty. I got this one last so I'm still very early in the game. I'm eager to play it more. Oh and the two campaigns this is a great idea. Muramasa took the only good aspect from Devil May Cry 2. 
 
That's it for the first three weeks. A few more things. Miis are really neat, especially the option to download other people's created Miis like Peter Griffin and The Joker. Channels are neat, but it lacks the beauty of the NXE. If there's a few things I can nit-pick about the Wii it's the lack of achievements/trophies and the online is very sub-par. The Wii channel is literally just a webpage. Other than that, I'm having a great time. Virtual Console is an awesome concept and I heard a lot of good things about WiiWare. 
 
Thanks for reading, peace!
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Got a Wii! and other stuff.

So I got a Nintendo Wii for my birthday and I'm enjoying it. Picked up Super Mario Galaxy, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and the Metroid Prime Trilogy along with it. Also got a 2000 points card and a classic controller. Downloaded Sin and Punishment with it. I'm have a lot of fun with it and I can't wait to check out more of the Wii's library since I missed out on the little console ever since it was released. 
 
I have been a little unactive these past few weeks due to school ramping up and exams. I'll be more active and I hope to write some reviews, and do another Lost Gems blog. 
 
Until next time, peace!

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