Lost Gems #1 - Maximo: Ghosts to Glory

 
I play a lot of niche games so I'm doing a blog series of hidden and forgotten classics. I hope to inform people of these old games and if you have played any of them, by all means please list your experiences and opinions on the game in question. And the first game is..... 

Maximo: Ghosts to Glory is an old-school hack and slash game made by Capcom on the PS2. The game is based on the classic Ghosts n' Goblins series and borrows some elements from it like very hard difficulty and Maximo's armor comes off every time he gets hit until he's left with only boxers (perverts!). The game is primarily a platformer with some beat em' up elements. Maximo is able to move freely around the 3D plane to jump, attack enemies, and defend himself all with the help of the Playstation 2. The game is split into 5 worlds each with different stages and a boss at the end. I won't talk about the story since I don't want to spoil it for
anyone, but it's hilarious and well worth the price of admission.  The game was met with mixed reception and scores ranged between 6-9. The vast majority of reviews said the game wasn't accessible due to it's difficulty, it currently has an 84 rating on Metacritic so it isn't THAT mixed. There is also a sequel called Maximo vs. Army of Zin. It might be a little expensive now but if you find it at Gamestop/EBGames for a cheap price, pick it up! 
 
That's it for the first "hidden gem". I don't have a fixed time period for when I'll write up another one, but it won't take long. Thanks for reading and make sure to follow me. :D
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My Christmas Wishlist!

Christmas is a special time of year. A time for families, snow, TV specials, and presents! Here are a few items that I want for Christmas, and one BIG item I know I won't get. :D
 
1. Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey (JPN)
2. Pokemon Heart Gold (JPN)
3. Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
4. Monster Beats by Dr. Dre headphones
5. Nintendo Wii
6. Plane ticket to Tokyo, Japan and a hotel reservation
 
Pretty cool list, right? I know I'll get items 1-3, 4 and 5 are big maybes, and 6 is impossible right now, but I put it up there as a joke. :P
 
What do you guys want for Christmas?

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2009 is coming to an end!

Yes it is folks, time to ring in the new decade! There's still some games I gotta finish up this year like:
- BlazBlue: Calamity
- Dragon Age: Origins
- Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor
- Pokemon Platinum
 
I will make a blog about my favourite games of 2009, and a list of all the games I'm excited for the amazingly ridiculous year of 2010. A lot of stuff planned for next year too like me starting University and moving out on my own. Until next time, peace!

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Bayonetta Demo Impressions.

 This demo is beyond words.

Okay here's a few quick impressions about what my opinion on the demo.
+ Gameplay was extremely tight and well done. I love being able to quickly cancel a move into something else, it adds a whole new layer of depth and strategy. Plus it feels extremely fluid and flows well. Controls work great.

+ Witch Time and Torture Attacks are another thing I really, really liked. They implemented a great way to acquire Witch Time instead of just doing a certain number of combos and it activates itself. Really well done.

+ I noticed the music is very awesome too. That J-Pop song adds so much style and personality while Devil May Cry games have those metal tracks I don't really care about, this was a nice change of pace. Oh, and the music during the running part was also very well done.

+ Graphics look much smoother when you're playing and not looking at a screenshot. The game runs so fluidly that you will never notice a shitty texture or something. It looks almost as good as Devil May Cry 4 graphically.

+ Level design is another thing that caught my eye. They have a lot of stuff going on at once and it really makes it feel more epic. The demo was a bunch of awesome setpieces in one, and if the game retains this quality through the whole, that would be astounding.

- It might just be me, but the voice acting was kinda bad.

- At times, the framerate kinda dipped down. It's annoying, but still very playable.

All in all, it is REALLY looking to be THE best action title this gen, by a good amount. Day one buy for me, onward to launch!

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Life Update - September 21st, 2009.

What's up GiantBomb? I haven't been on much since school started, I'll try and be more active. I like my classes, they are really good this semester. I'm a Senior in HS btw. Games-wise I have been LOVING Pokemon SoulSilver, Disgaea DS, and TWEWY. God I love Amazon, their deals are amazing. Been watching some anime and looking forward to buying some Manga the upcoming days. I really like Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Soul Eater, and Code Geass recently. What's up with you guys?

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Inglourious Basterds, and Q4 Gaming Schedule.

So I went and saw Inglorious Basterds today. Here is my review... 
 
 

Inglourious Basterds is Quentin Tarantino's latest effort in the world of cinema. This is what you would classify as an "Art Film" and that's what it is. It has the signature Tarantino style and flair you expect from his movies. The film is broken up into five chapters much like Kill Bill. Each chapter is it's own short movie ranging from 20-30 minutes. These chapters and huge amount of characters all come together in the final scene which is by far the longest.

There isn't a bad performance in the movie. Christoph Waltz playing Colonel Hans Landa steals the show. The man deserves an Oscar for his performance. I was anxious about Brad Pitt's role but by the end of the movie, I loved his character. Aldo Raine is a true movie badass. Melanie Laurent plays Shosanna Dreyfus, the lovely femme fatale who has a plot too take down the nazis. Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, and even Mike Myers among others are there for the ride as well.

The cinematography is really well done and a lot of odd camera angles are used but that is Tarantino's style. The violence and gore is still there and is set up quite nicely. Inglourious Basterds has a great soundtrack like all the other QT films. A lot of clever word-play and film references all around.

Basically, this movie lived up too the hype and is QT's best offering since Pulp Fiction, and for good reason. If you love cinema and have a passion for movies, you're doing yourself a favor by watching Inglourious Basterds. This is my favourite movie of '09 and I don't see anything beating it. Congrats Quentin, you did it again.

 
I have laid out the games I plan to get for the rest of the year and the time they will take up. Most of these games will spill into the next month. Here it is...
September: Batman: Arkham Asylum, Pokemon Soul Silver (JPN Import) and Melty Blood: Actress Again.
October: Alpha Protocol, Tekken 6
November: Dragon Age: Origins, and Assassin's Creed II
December: Final Fantasy XIII (JPN Import)
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Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy XIII

 Fabula Nova Crystallis is an umbrella of games by Square Enix. As you know, Final Fantasy XIII is the main game in the series. Versus and Agito are the side stories. Don't think of them as spinoffs, they are their own games. Square has said quite a few times that they want this series to become comparable to VII in terms of appeal. This is going too be a 3-part blog/thread of all three games. The first part is about the main game, XIII. So let's go!

 

                                                 Battle System

The main idea of XIII's battle system is too recreate battles similar to Advent Children. There is a seamless transition from the field into battle, once again too do with Advent Children. There is no random battles and enemies are integrated to the field map. In my opinion this is a huge positive, because you can decide which battles to fight, and which too just walk away from. A new addition to the series is being able to chain moves together in one turn which uses the Active Time Battle system for the cost of moves. For example, Cure will cost less than Fira, Cura less than Firaga and so on. Your character can also launch the enemy in the air. If you don't have anymore points for the current turn, you can pick your moves for next turn if you wish.
 
There is magic in the game but it operates in the same ATB system so no MP points this time. Magic is only limited to ones called the "l'Cie". Summons are back also, like Odin, Shiva, Carbuncle, and Ifrit. There is a new feature called "Gesalt Mode" which transforms the summon into a type of vehicle. The Shiva Sisters turn into a motorcycle for Snow to ride, and Odin turns into a horse for Lightning.  The player is able to view the HP and name of the enemy before engaging it in battle. When engaging an enemy, the camera moves to another position and the battle menu appears, making the battle transitions nearly seamless.The after-battle victory screen in XIII holds information such as the time it took to finish the battle, the highest number of combos executed, the number of break attacks and the quality of battle which is determined by a ranking of one to five stars. 

                                                         Plot

The plot of FFXIII revolves around the fal'Cie being created from crystals and living in them. Certain people are marked by the fal'Cie for a greater purpose and are called the l'Cie. If a l'Cie fails it's "Focus" they will be turned into monsters called "Cie Corpses". Fal'Cie created a paradise in the sky called Cocoon which is high in the sky above Cocoon.  The people of Cocoon worried one day that they will be sent to live in the "Hell" they thought of Pulse. This is the basic overview of the plot.

                                                   Characters

Lightning - Former Solider of the Cocoon military (sound familiar?). Lightning has Strawberry blonde hair and Nomura was asked to make a female version of Cloud Strife.
 
Lightning's weapon is a cross between a Gun and a Sword. She can manipulate gravity by snapping her finger.
Snow Villiers - Snow is the leader of a resistance group in Cocoon called Team Nora. He uses the power of Ice as his main weapon. The source of his power comes from his tattoo. Snow summons Shiva.
Oerba Dia Vanille - Vanille is a young, pig-tailed girl who lives in Pulse. Oddly, her weapon is a fishing rod with multiple lines. She summons Carbuncle.
Sazh Katroy - Sazh is a friend of Lightning's from the military. He has an afro and a baby Chocobo resides in it. He is said to have a nice personality.
Hope Estheim - Not much is known at this point but he is a young boy traveling with the group. He uses a boomerang in battle. 

                                                Development

 Final Fantasy XIII was first shown at E3 '06. Few tidbits were released every now and then but the real deal came in E3 2008 when Square dropped a megaton by saying Final Fantasy XIII will launch on the Xbox 360 in NA and Europe. A playable demo was shown at  DKΣ3713 Private Party event in August 2008, but was only shown behind closed doors. Square later announced that a playable demo would be available with Advent Children Complete to be released in April 2009. The "Winter 2009" release date is still on the table for Japan. At E3 2009, at the Microsoft press conference Square announced that Final Fantasy XIII will be available for both consoles in Spring 2010. There is no concrete date yet.
 

                                                  Extra Links

E3 '06 Trailer
Dengeki Special Edition Trailer
E3 '08 Trailer
DKΣ3713 Trailer
2009 Kickoff Trailer
E3 '09 Trailer
Japanese Official Site
North American Official Site
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