Hey Broseph, What's Going On?

So I've been playing Runescape again for the first time in like... a year. The amount of effort Jagex puts into constantly updating that game is both commendable and slightly frightening. I mean, it had only been a year since the last time I logged on (maybe less, I'm not really sure), but I feel like every other thing I saw was either completely new or updated in some way. Anyways, Runescape may not be as popular as WoW (and is probably of lower quality realistically), but I actually enjoy playing it more for whatever reason (probably because none of my friends play World of Warcraft). Also, the writing in Runescape is pretty awesome; the quests in that game are easily better than in any other MMO I've ever played (not that I've played a whole lot, but you get the point). But yeah, I'll probably be playing Runescape for at least the next few weeks (against my better judgement, believe me), and if you want to chat me up in that, feel free. My screen name's Teh Flan, though I don't imagine that would have taken too long to figure out. Well, the space in there may have tripped you up some, but whatever.
 
On an unrelated note, horses are pretty cool, and I have never played Gallop Racer (unfortunately). 
 
Good Luck Have Cabbage, 
 
Teflon- er, I mean TehFlan. Yeah, let's go with that one.

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My Friday involved lots of video games.

And by lots of video games, I mostly mean an RPG I had never heard of before that a friend of mine showed me while I was at his house. We were hanging out and looking for a game for me to play when he pulled out the box for Grandia III. I had never heard of it and he hadn't played any of it yet. Apparently the reason he bought it was that it was a two-disk game, and he sees that as being a decent indicator of a good RPG. He wasn't wrong. Not only does Grandia III have one of the most random (and awesome) opening cutscenes I have ever seen (seriously, look it up on youtube or something), it has a battle system (that I had to wait for an hour to experience) that I have enjoyed more than any other RPG in a while. Everyone involved in a battle is put on a timer, and depending on which moves you use and when you use them, you can cancel opponent's moves, send them flying into the air, or unleash a bunch of devastating aerial combos. Basically, the game does a really good job at making you feel like a total badass while still manage to be a significant challenge. To give you an idea of how much I enjoyed this game, I played it for 7 and a half hours in two sittings during about a 16 hour period (and I was sleeping for 7-8 hours during that time as well). The story seems pretty uninteresting (at least at the point in the game I'm at, which isn't far), but the characters are cool. Yuki (the main character) dreams of becoming a pilot, and I think he's voiced by Johnny Yong Bosch. Anyways, if you haven't played this game, you should try and find it, because it's good.


I also played some Infinity Blade and am in the process of EV training a Shroomish and Pokemon Black. And that was my Friday.
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World 2.


Guess who came back. 
So world 2 is a kind of "ancient temple" type of place. I unlocked a new power with Silvia where she can "replay" an attack she does. It seems pretty limited in actual combat, since it takes up a big chunk of the time meter, but I had to use it for some puzzles and whatnot. I don't fight with Silvia much anyways; I prefer Joe's punches over her gun (which is weird, but whatever). After that though, Big John came back WITH A TANK. And he started throwing barrels at me WHILE I WAS RIDING A MINE CART. Pretty awesome, right? Anyways, it kept up this game's trend of super-tough boss fights, which kind of starting to enjoy. I guess it reminds me of the good ol' days of repeatedly dieing to the bosses in Mega Man. Although, I'd say this is the games easiest boss yet. I mean, I only died twice. Maybe I'm actually getting better at this game? Yeah, I thought not. After that was World 2's end boss, which I'd say is the hardest boss of the game so far. In fact, I've given up trying to beat it for now and am going to sleep after I finish typing this. I mean, tomorrow's Christmas, I can't just stay up all night playing this game, even if it is awesome. Merry Christmas, Giant Bomb.
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More on Viewtiful Joe 2.

OK, so I played some more Viewtiful Joe 2. Finished the first "film", actually. The world boss was a big T-Rex named Big John. It was a pretty tough fight (and I still regret not playing this game on an easier difficulty) but it was also fun, if a bit repetitive. Afterwards was a cutscene every bit as cool as the opening cinematic with a narrator whose voice could not fit more perfectly. Turns out these films I'm playing around in are being played in Joe's dad's theater. After a bit of convincing by Silvia, he changes the reel to whatever world 2 is going to end up being. See you on the other side. And by you I mean the nonexistent group of people reading this.
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This game is pretty cool.


  When my friend showed up at my house and handed me a copy of Viewtiful Joe 2 for Christmas, I can honestly say I was a little bit surprised. Don't get me wrong; I was super excited. I've never played a Viewtiful Joe game, and I welcomed the idea of trying this one out. I did watch some of a Viewtiful Joe cartoon when I was younger, though, which made the plot a bit easier to understand, even though it's been years and can barely remember a single detail. 
 
So my friend and I exchange Merry Christmases, he leaves, and I head upstairs to dust off my PS2 and start playing this new game. The difficulty choice is between "Kids" and "Adults", so naturally I picked the hardest one of the two, despite never having played this game before. That was a mistake, but we'll get to that later. Anyways, I always like it when a game gives more than the generic easy/normal/hard choices. It gives the game a bit more personality. The next thing that happens is a big cutscene explaining the game's plot. Turns out Captain Blue (super-powered father-figure) got captured, his power is being used by the game's antagonist in the form of a "Blue Oscar", and I have to go collect the seven "Rainbow Oscars" that contain "the power of the happy ending" and I'm thrown by the antagonist into the year 10 million BC. 
 
I love how everything in this game is movie-related. It's a pretty cool gimmick. The Rainbow Oscars are an amazing name for the game's collectibles, and I love dinosaur-themed levels. This game just got off to an awesome start. 
 
  So after this cutscene, I get thrown into a tutorial. I can punch, kick, and switch between Joe and Sylvia. Crouching changes how my attacks work, and I can dodge attacks by pressing up and down. The combat at this point is pretty basic, but dudes seem to take more hits than I'd like (I shouldn't be playing this on hard mode). There's a cool-looking old film effect going on that I like though, so whatever. After a little bit of beatin' weird silver dudes up, I get the ability to put on my super-hero costume. This allows me to slow down time and gives me a double jump (the latter was never explicitly mentioned, I don't believe). Slowing time down makes me slightly faster than my opponents, powers up my attacks, serves as an auto-dodge attacks mode, and lets me PUNCH TANK BULLETS. I like this power. It's my friend. The only downside is that if the time-meter at the top runs down, I untransform. But said meter fills itself back up any time I'm not using my slow-down, so it isn't much of an issue. With the power to slow-down time at my disposal, the game starts throwing some simple puzzles and platforming at me, which I enjoyed. I especially liked one part where I had to jump across falling logs in slow motion. There are also some coins I need to collect while going through, which tend to be pretty easy to find, but not always. Using points I earn for killing dudes and collecting stuff, I'm able to buy various power-ups in-between stages.
 
After playing a bit more, I gain the ability to go super-fast. It seems less useful than slow-down, but still pretty cool. Not long after that, I got to the game's first boss, a big drill-tank that also has an infinite supply of minions coming out of it. It kicked my ass. Repeatedly. (Shouldn't have picked hard mode). For some reason, it took me like five deaths to realize that the idea is to slow-down time and punch his shots back at him, not to beat up the dude driving the tank. In my defense, though, kicking the driver in the face was doing a small amount of damage. My incompetence aside, it was actually a pretty cool boss. Depending on how the tank came out of the ground, I either had to speed up or slow down time to keep it from going back under, which was a cool use of those abilities. Then, it was just a matter of holding off the three minions that jumped out of the tank each time it stopped and reflecting the 2-3 bullets that it fired before it went back underground and the process repeated itself until the tank (or myself) died. Even knowing how to do it though, it wasn't easy. Several times I tried to punch the bullet and Joe simply dodged out of the way on his own. I did manage to win eventually, though, and that's all that counts. 
 
In any case, I'm really enjoying Viewtiful Joe 2 so far. It has several interesting gimmicks that make it unique, especially the time-control powers, and I'm enjoying it far more than I do most Beat-em'-ups. It is one glorious surprise of a Christmas present, and I couldn't be more pleased with it. 
 
So, what about you Giant Bomb? Any Viewtiful Joe fans out there? How does this game stack up to the original? Are there any differences between the PS2 and Gamecube versions?
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