DS Gaming Part I- Terrible Games Part II

First off, the above title is indeed quite confusing for most. I would like to clear up that this is part two of the "terrible games" segment, which is part one of my "DS gaming" blog. Thanks for your time, and onward to the awful game: 

Phantasy Star Zero

 
To be clear, I was a Phantasy Star virgin to begin with, as the Phantasy Star games were either before my time or I just missed them. In any case, my first Phantasy Star game was not a particularly memorable experience.   
 
I started PSZ about two weeks before GB did the Quicklook of it, and that may have lowered my threshold towards it quite a bit. What i'm saying is, if I had seen the QL before playing the game, I may have grasped it more clearly from the get-go and had less confusion and more enjoyment. Who knows? I will note, however, that the beginning of my game and the beginning of the QL game were very different. While the QL version actually had someone there telling you what to do and how to do it, I somehow ended up in the world of PS with no story whatsoever, and just thrust into the questing with no explanations for anything. Something like this doesn't really bother me, as I can figure out games for myself, but even MMO's have a story, for God's sake, and I missed it with PS.  
 
So after I got past the lack of a story in my game, I went headfirst into the first quest. And damn, it was hard. The camera was awful and I had to blindfire into enemies offscreen before fixing the camera to look where i'm pointing. I thought games had gotten past simple issues like this one, but I suppose most DS games have this problem anyhow.  
 
The combat was pressing buttons with good timing, which I found somewhat enjoyable. Granted, the process was very repetitive, so the enjoyment was lost soon after.  I did like some of the weapon options, like the gun-sword. Still, not even this could save the game.  
 
The system was quite linear, also, with invisible walls to keep you penned into a small space when fighting some monsters. This was something I did not enjoy.  
 
I'm sure PS fans had a lot more fun with this than I did, but honestly, I do not see the draw in this game at all.  
 
Good games pt. 1 coming soon to a Giant Bomb near you. 
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DS Gaming Part I- Terrible Games

Games I've been playing


I've been console-less for around 2 months, and while this may seem like a dire situation to most, I made the best of it. I pulled out the ol' DS Lite and "purchased" a few new games, and an old game or two. This will be a two-part blog, so first I will run over the bad games:  
 

Ragnarök

 
 So, this was a RPG released earlier in Japan, and only recently came to the states (or EU, I can't remember). In any case, the first half-hour or so is all cutscenes. But not good, pre-rendered ds screen orgasm cutscenes, no, these cutscenes sucked bad. It was all in-engine and the engine can't run anything worth looking at. The custcenes were basically all you looking at two sprites having a lame-ass conversation. The plot was really terrible, too. An adventurer rises up to avenge his dead mother, and encounters a girl who (guess what) has fucking amnesia.  
 
The combat is somewhat entertaining, but oh so simple. I do like how it isn't a random encounter (Random encounters piss me off), so props there. The combat is also quick and somewhat entertaining. That being said, there's not a whole lot to do, and there are tons of enemies that spawn every few seconds. It kind of feels like a terrible MMO in ds-form. In fact, I would be down with it if it was an MMO, seeing as the graphics are so bad that they could probably fit 10 or more characters on screen at once. But it isn't an MMO, so too bad.  
 
These are by no means my most collected thoughts, and I haven't played through a ton of this game so it may be to early to pass judgement. I don't think it is, but I still won't treat this as a review and more as my thoughts on a game.  
 
Anyway, Terrible game pt. II coming soon.
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Four sacks aren't babies. Don't try to fool me.

Hey all, I've got some (somewhat) crazy stuff going on at school. I needed to write it down, and have someone to feel my pain. 
 
So last week, we had the annual "floursac" project at my school. It's basically where you carry around a 10 lb flour sack for a week to teach why sex is bad. And yeah, it's about as effective as it sounds. So anyway, we were given the choice between carry this sack of crap around all week, or writing a 20 page essay about why babies are bad, sex is bad, and how public schools have no right to inflict their views on me if I don't agree with them  (I guess that wasn't actually part of it, but it makes up a good part of mine). In any case, I was going to do the flour sack bit because I figured it wouldn't be SO bad, so I brought in my sack and a basket to carry it around in. Well, my teacher (who fucking hates me because I am sarcastic to her and avidly disagree with her on most things) decides than in addition to having a floursack, it must also have clothes and a diaper bag with actual stuff in it or I would fail the project. It was about that time I decided that this wasn't worth it, and I chose to do the 20 page essay and let the rest of my class wallow in self loathing for the next week. 
 
In any case, I was the ONLY one in my grade to chose to do the report (which doesn't really bother me, i'm okay with being different and such) and my report is going to be... A piece of work. I do try to cover as much as I can, but I really detest Health class as it's very unneeded (you don't need it to graduate, colleges don't require it, there's no real tests or actual information I learn, the teacher is annoying, etc.) and it makes it very hard for me to not take a few shots at the class in my report (most are pretty vague, though).  
 
I'm a good student, I really am. I get A's, I do my homework, teachers love me (except that one, even though she does like me, just not when I use sarcasm and such). I don't mean to come here and bitch about how my life sucks, because it doesn't. I'm happy to do my report, I chose it anyway. Here's what I REALLY wanted to show you: 
 

 If you look just right, this looks like it says "Little Blands"  
Yep. Thanks for listening. 
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If I made a MMO...

Hey, so I haven't wrote anything substantial in several weeks, so what the hell. 
 
If I made a MMO, I would do a few things differently than the status quo. For example: 
 
-Several months before I released an open Beta, I would release the character creator for free. I think if people got a chance to make a detailed character, they would really want to play when the game came out. Also, a detailed character creator can be a lot of fun. 
 
-I would make the price low and sexy. Say, 5.00 USD a month. That or I would go Guild Wars style and give it a box price but no monthly fee. I guess it would depend on the beta numbers and how many people were interested in the game. 
 
-I would NOT use stupid points to nickel and dime players. No in-game exclusive stores or any of that junk. I realize some games don't do this, or some games do just to support themselves, and that's justified.  
 
-I'd put some work into a good spam filter. I was playing Rappelz today (yeah, I know) and they have no spam filter in place. No fun.  
 
-Create-A-Class. Must I say more?  
 
-Some type of in-game system so you can join a party with other players of similar interests. Say, close to your level or on the same quest.  
 
-The option to skip the tutorial.  
 
-I would hunt down the sites selling in-game money for profit. Really, are they that hard to catch? Just type in "_insert game name here_  gold" and you can find the sites.  
 
-I might make two versions. One that runs from an internet browser (ex: runescape) and one that is downloadable. Both the same game, but the downloadable one with much better graphics, and maybe some other benefits. But the browser one would be good to have to, so people can play from anywhere. I would also throw in a little bonus for people who use the downloadable (like some gold or a pet, etc.) so that people don't just see the browser version and think that's all there is.  
 
-Raise the level cap every time someone reaches it. This would frustrate the hell out of people, but wouldn't it be cool?  
 
-Weekly updates. Every week add some quests, or items, or pets or whatever just to keep giving people stuff to do. Great example of this is Runescape (even though many people hat that game, the team that makes it is on the ball when it comes to new content). 
 
-Make it rated M. Or A. Maybe put some drugs and sex and violence in. I hate to say it, but that's the kind of shit that attracts people.  
 
Ok, Ok, before I go too far i'll stop. Anyone else got some good suggestions or have a bone to pick with mine?

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Xbox 360 disc drive question

So my Xbox 360 got the old RROD a few weeks back, and in the process of fixing it I stripped one of the torx screws holding in the x clamps, so screw that. Anyway, I was buying a new console on Ebay, and one going for cheap says it does not have RROD, but it does have a broken disc drive. The disc drive on my old console that RROD'd still works, and I believe I can just replace the broken disc drive in the ebay console with the working one in my RROD console. 
 
That will work, right?

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You'll be sorry when OnLive is out...

This is just kind of a response to all the hate I have seen OnLive get over the past while on the Internet. I seems at least 5/6 of everyone who comments on something OnLive related has something to say on how "Oh, the connection is going to be laggy" or "It's going to be really slow" or even "Even though the OnLive people have told us a thousand times that it isn't going to be slow and laggy, and that you only need a 1.5 mbps connection to run it, which isn't absurdly high by any standards, I still think i'm smarter than them. It's not like they've been working on it for the past few years or anything."  
 
Can we just have some faith? I think that if they say they've managed to pull it off with no lag, we should give them a chance. What gives us the ability to say beyond a doubt that they haven't actually done something revolutionary?  
 
Ok, i'm done venting, but let it be known now. I say OnLive is going to turn out really well, and anyone who wants to come here and bitch about internet connections can do it until they are blue in the face.

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Strange Racist Mucinex Commercials

I don't know if anyone else has ever noticed this, but I recently saw one of those Mucinex ads where the fat green "mucus-people" are having a party or something inside someone's chest, and they take Mucinex and kick them out. I doubt anyone else thought this, but why is it that fat green people aren't allowed to have a good time? They weren't trying to hurt anyone, just have a family reunion or dance party. They seemed intelligent as well, so I believe they have the right to enjoy themselves just as much as anyone else.  
 
Commercials below: 
 
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5CAlE9nxn0 
 
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH3-9G9iTJ8 
 
There are others, but I didn't see them in the first ten seconds of looking.  

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My take on what XBL will become

Well, my title pretty much set up my mindset, so i'll just spit it.  
 
I was playing a little 1 vs. 100 on XBL tonight, and it kind of set off a crazy glimpse into the future for me. In my personal opinion, the whole format for 1 vs. 100 is what we're starting to see and will be seeing a lot more of, especially when Natal is released. I foresee shiny, wii-like graphics on interfaces and avatars doing strange things with no regard to their personal image on many more applications soon to come. If you haven't seen 1 vs. 100, I advise to take a look, so we're all on the same page here. I don't know about you, but I didn't buy a 360 for it to gradually become a Wii. Admittedly, the motion-controller for 360 looks a lot better and more refined, but that's only because they don't want to copy the Wii exactly, isn't it?  
 
I'm not trying to diss any Natal developers, and i'm sure they've put in a lot of effort. All i'm talking about are the core elements here. In any case, I didn't mean for this to be another post about Natal, but actually about the shiny, avatar-toting graphics of what seems to be what XBL is moving towards. I just kind of find the whole thing irrelevant to the gaming experience I was hoping to buy into.  
 
Anywho, am I missing something, or is it just that Microsoft wants us to be sucked into the whole avatar-fueled, community-interacted, shiny-graphic-ed idea? That sentence didn't really turn into what I wanted, but that's basically what i'm trying to get across.

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Should old games be legally downloadable?

 I personally have no problem with it.  I'm not saying I support pirating games in all situations, but does anyone buy Nes games anymore? Other than collectors, of course, but the original cartridges aside, does anyone buy Nes games to actually play them? All i'm saying is, if the game isn't making any revenue anyway, should game developers release the game for free?  
 
Sorry about asking so many questions. I say yes, if they are: 
 
-At least 10 years old 
-Have sequels or successors 
-Are no longer in production 
 
The point is, by releasing a game (that wasn't selling) for free, it could build up an audience it never would have gotten otherwise.  
 
Don't get me wrong, i'm sure this won't actually happen,  but am I missing some big reason game developers don't do this?

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Gaming for free is now illegal

Meh. It should be. Look, I admit to being one of those people who has very little money, and i'm not going to sit here and bullshit you about how free games can be good too. They can't. The fact of the matter is, you get what you pay for, and only around 1% of the time will you ever get a truly good free game. Now I know most people know this already, but try telling this crap to my dumbass friends who think the epiphany of online gaming is a good round of Runescape.  
 
Other free games that piss me off: 
Free WoW servers. Really guys? Like $15 was too much to pay to be able to play with thousands of players and have a great time? 
 
Demos. It's one thing if it's a demo of a game that isn't out yet, but I just can't stand demos and trials. OCD? 
 
Evony. Heh, does that even count as a game? If it wasn't for their misleading (yet totally hot) ad campaign, this game wouldn't make enough money to cover the server cost.  
 
Free things that I allow: 
 
Gamebiz 2. Google it, bitches.  
 
And that's all I can think of, except for a few flash games. And not the kind your momma would approve of, either.

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