Valentino's weekly Videogame Talk: February 10-16

In an attempt to try and start writing more often on the internet, I have decided to start blogging about games I have been playing for the past week. It doesn't mean I beat them or anything, just my general impressions with the games so far. Hell, even if I do end up talking about a game I beat (which I will) it won't be full of spoilers. On with the Show!

Binary Domain

I picked this up on PS Plus way back when it was free but I never really played it. For whatever reason, I said "Ah what the hell?" and gave it a shot. Turns out I think this game is pretty swell! I'm sure everyone has their love of Big Bo (as they should) but the other characters are interesting enough. Hell, I think the only person I didn't get a good grasp of was that English lady with the Bazooka, but that's probably because I only chose her once in my entire play-through. Honestly though, it was the banter between Big Bo and crew that really kept me motivated to play through the game. There was that one scene though where Robot French guy saved Faye and then crashed through glass as he landed... that was pretty awesome.

The story was fine I guess, pretty generic aside from the twist which, admittedly, I didn't see coming. I really liked the shooting in the game, it felt real satisfying dismantling an enemy robot and

never felt like it was too much of a challenge. Hell, the only time I thought the game was hard was during the boss battles.

That's mostly because they were the only enemies that dealt AOE attacks like rocket launchers and grenades so it forced me to move out of cover, which lead to more rockets being shot in my face and well... you know how it goes.

My one real qualm with the game wer

e the Asian accents. I love Laura Bailey to death, but her portrayal as Faye the Chinese sniper of the group was pretty horrible. It didn't sound anything like a Chinese person. Also, just because Johnny Bosch is half Japanese, doesn't mean he can pull of a Japanese accent. Maybe they were afraid of doing the generic "Oh! Me Sho Shorry!" Asian accent which is acceptable, but I mean, I don't know... at some point some of the Japanese accents broke so bad they sounded German. Maybe we just aren't exposed to non-generic sounding Asian accents over hear? I don't know.

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

I was originally planning on writing this blog post some time early today, but I got caught up in this game that I just finished it prior to writing this. For those unaware, Danganronopa is a visual novel aching to the likes of the Ace Attorney games. Meaning at some point in the game, someone yells "There's been a murder!" which leads everyone to go look for clues, find out who did it, prove it to everyone, win the case, and wait for someone to jump onto the screen to say "There's been another murder!" and the whole process repeats itself.

Difference being that instead of a lawyer, everyone is a Highschooler, leading to them killing other Highschooler's, leading me to say "How the hell can these guys solve murder cases?" Then I remember it's usually people in their teens that end up saving the world, so I guess it's OK that these guys can solve murder cases... Anime.

It plays a lot like the Ace Attorney games more so then you'd expect, (or not, I'm not sure) where you have statements and you need to present evidence that shows errors in said statements. Except the statements run in real time(You can repeat them, multiple times in an allotted time given) and certain parts of the statements are highlighted, and you have toguess which highlighted words contradicted evidence to prove otherwise. So it's kinda like an Ace Attorney lite game.

They also have other types of ways arguments play out but I felt they were so forced. One is a rhythm game that, in the end, you need to provide evidence against your opponents point (which makes the rhythm game kinda moot), and the other is Hangman style where letters appear randomly on the screen and you have to select the proper ones. Also there's this like, fill in the blank comic book thing where you have to re-tell the events of the murder in a comic book where question marks are left in some panels and you have to put the corresponding image into said question marks.

Look, I get that having only one style of gameplay in these kind of games can get repetitive at some point, but this was too much. At some point I got so invested in the story that I just read a walkthrough that told me the words for the hangman part cause I don't care. I play Visual Novels for the story, I don't need other things holding me back to get that story cause I have to guess that the word was "Replaced".

The story itself is very much Anime influenced with the evil bad guy saying "Aahhh I'm so evil!" all the while giving out a monolog as to why the world would be better with said evil. And you, the protaganist being all "All we need is love man!" and your monolog why love conquers all. Also there's a Tsundere... so Anime checklist complete?

I really liked the real-time argument feature thing, and it helped a lot that they were voiced. It added that extra impact that you don't really get in the Ace Attorney games since they're all bleeps and bloops. I liked most characters except for that one guy who was the generic fat anime nerd. Not so much for stereotyping, more so cause most of what came out of his mouth were references to either video games or anime... which is accurate to real life yes, but I hate those people none the less.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13

This trilogy may go down as the only trilogy where I bought all three of, and never completed any. I hated Final Fantasy 13, I got to a part in FF13-2 where these like robot enemies kept killing me near the end, so I gave up. And with this game? I only played up to the part where you can start exploring so who knows? But I can probably, with 76% assurance, say that I won't beat this game either.

A lot of my time not liking this series isn't its dumb dialog or confusing story, it's the combat. No, I liked the idea of switching classes on the fly to correspond with what the enemy is doing, no I actually liked the idea of an auto button, yes I always hated staggering the enemy. Which really, is the one common theme in all these games.

It's the same thing over and over again. Hit enemies weakness till that yellow bar is full and they stagger, then deal massive damage and repeat as necessary. It isn't that it isn't rewarding staggering an enemy, it's that it seems like that's the only way to deal real damage to an enemy. In all three of this games! Over and over! All these enemies have so much damn HP that it takes what seems like an eternity to kill them without staggering them. Hell, even when staggered the amount of damage seems so minimal to me. It's like the game is punishing you for not trying to exploit an enemies weakness, like the only way you can truly beat this enemy, is by hitting them with fira over and over till they stagger. Ultimately, that's my problem with these games.

I'll probably end up playing more (mainly, cause I love Lightning's voice) and maybe the games story will grab me. But so far, no dice.

Clash of Clans

Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up. Let me talk about this game.

I'm not sure those web based browser games are still around, but this game reminds of those swirve games? The ones that ran real-time? Like you send your army out to attack, ask them to build stuff and it takes literally 13 hours for them to come back? Ring any bells? One had orcs they other was all modern millitary? Maybe? Anyone? Well I liked those games so its not surprising I like this one.

Only problem is that I'm at the point where gathering gold and mana (is it called mana?) takes forever, so upgrading and stuff is a hassle. I don't know. Me and my friend made a guild but we never attack anyone. I just like building and upgrading stuff.

That's all the stuff that I've played this past week. Till next time!

Start the Conversation

I`m still waiting for THAT Next-Gen RPG

   So it’s been three years since the next gen consoles came out and there have been plenty if great games that game out. From small scale independent games to the huge blockbuster games there have been no doubt plenty of great games to choose from. However, if you are in my position then you are still in dire mean of your RPG fix and for the life of me I cannot fathom what the hells taking so long.

   Now I understand that RPG’s do tend to take it’s time to move onto the next gen consoles, this is usually the case. But it’s been three years since the 360 came out and while there have been RPG’s they haven’t hit me yet. Looking back at some of the best would be those odd hybrid fusions of action oriented games that have RPG elements. Mass Effect, Oblivion and Fallout 3 would all come to mind in this manner. They all have those RPG stat elements and bring it into a action genre. But not really that kind of RPG experience that I’ve been waiting for.

   So what have I been waiting for? Well probably one of those JRPG’s, those are the ones I tend enjoy the most. The ones that have come out have not really been very engaging. Most just seem to be very unpolished and not full of life. Let’s take a look at the RPG games I have played so far”

You were pretty bad!

   Enchanted Arms- This was probably the first RPG to be released for the next gen consoles and if it was a sign of this to come then it was point on. Horrible dialog, music was very generic, somewhat interesting map progression, graphics could of used more time to develop. The story was somewhat interesting. The idea of a demon possessing your hand and seeing it grow over your body was pretty cool. Biggest problem was probably in the combat.

  

You were really good!
  Eternal Sonata- Really this game was great. The graphics were great, the story premise was original but turned into something else at the end. Music was pretty fine and the battle system was highly addictive. I would have to say that this was my favourite next gen RPG. Problem with this game was the story really. It had an interesting premise but never really used it well enough.

  

You were kinda fine!


   Lost Odyssey- I was really hyped up for this game. I thought the premise was interesting enough but the way it was handled was very poor. Everything about that game seemed to go at a sssssllllllooooowwwww pace. From cut scenes, battle system and dialog everything seemed so slow.

You were pretty dull!
   Infinite Undiscovery- Really I wasn’t sure what to expect from this game. I knew I wasn’t going to be a grand-slam hit but maybe I was expecting a bit more from it. The voices were very generic, the music was forgettable, the battle system was nothing special and the overall experience just left me saying “.....ok.”

  

 

You were pretty good.... for a while!

   Last Remnant – Really I thought this was the RPG I was waiting for. And I said this to myself as I was playing it. But as I was playing it the game started to feel like a chore to me. The battle system was trying to make battles more of an epic scale when really all it was doing was just making this game more of a chore. Disregard the graphical issues with this game it’s still a sub par experience.

AAwwwwww yyeeeeaaaahhhh
   I find it odd how I can play these games with such aggravation and yet go back to a game like Persona 4 and enjoy that with such ease. It makes me wonder if Persona 4 were to be released on PS3, would I still think it’s a fantastic game like I do now? Or would I think it needs some more polish?

   So what’s the problem? Where are all those great RPG’s I played on my PS2?

   Well when you think about it most have either tried to crack the Next Gen consoles with mixed result or just moved on to make cheaper games and move on to the DS. Creating games on with a smaller budget to a mass market of over 80 million owners seems to be logical. People tend to forget that RPG’s have a difficult time selling themselves so they usually stick to the strongest device out there.

   Now I know I haven’t played all the Next Gen RPG’s out there (Tales I’m looking at you) but this certain group doesn’t leave me with much hope for the future.

   Maybe I was expecting something more when it moved to the Next Gen. Maybe I thought things would get better after playing a bunch of crappy RPG’s that really had no reason to be played or finished. But really if these games were on the PS2 maybe I’d think there just as great as some of the other games out there? Is Final Fantasy XIII going to be that RPG I have been waiting for? I never really Liked FFXII that much so does this spell doom for me? Will I just have to stick with FPS and other action oriented games for these Next Gen games? I certainly hope not but only time will tell.

Start the Conversation

My Thoughts on the VGA's

So the weekend went by and the 6 annual VGA’S went on the air. After all these years I figured by now the VGA’S would have figured itself out by now, create an identity and just roll with it. And yes it has, for better or worse it has. The identity it has is some weird hybrid of celebrities and video games. Now, for whatever reason, it has worked for them. I guess it’s tailored to the young adolescent teenage males that think video games are the be all and end all of everything, which is fine. VGA’S too me are nothing more then a big advertisement for both celebrities and video games.

One of the best things about the VGA’S is the whole aspect of the exclusive trailers. I still remember to this day seeing the Godfather trailer as that big mafia guy was talking about stuff from the movie. Huge WTF moments ran through my mind as that trailer faded to black with the God Father logo making its way at the end. But now, all trailers don’t seem to have that certain umph that God Father had. Sure, that trailer didn’t show game play but that wasn’t the point. The point was to say “Hey look how good he looks” and be interested in it from then on.  But all these other trailers don’t have that umph. Most that are shown are too early in development to really peak an interest. Plus, God Father itself is far too popular for people not to take notice. Beyond that, there really hasn’t been a trailer aired on the VGA’S   haven’t really spread word of mouth. Most are just very early teaser trailers that don’t really show anything of interest.

The awards, again for some reason just doesn’t seem relevant in this show. Yeah, you see winners and an exception speech but there really wasn’t much emphasis on them. A lot of the time, more hype came around with the celebrities as they were presenting a trailer to the audience. I won’t go into the screw up that happened but it did so hahahaha. But going back to the awards, I was very VERY fearful when Will Wright came out to receive his “Gamer God Award”, I thought he would run the clock and eventually get a signal to rap it up. Fortunately, that didn’t happen but I feel like he purposely went short on his speech. Most of the awards given out were typical nothing really worth mentioning. Again, though they had that huge montage of winners for almost half of the actual awards. Which is just plain stupid, you call yourself an award show and montage half of the awards given out?

The music was horrible. Last year they brought in Video Games Live which I just thought was a fantastic idea. And then they go back and revert to what it was before. I’m sure by now everyone’s heard the Ludacris ‘ video game rap song and really, they dropped the ball. No song was related to a video game in anyway, I’m not sure why 50 Cent was there, I’m not aware if he’s trying to promote his Album or he has a new one coming. It was interesting for it to end with Weezer as they never really preformed for such a time. Aside from that it was very generic musical showcase.

Overall the show itself was not all bad. Jack Black was a good choice. He seemed to know more about video games then previous host and work it well. The presenters weren’t all bad most were entertaining the models were stupid. There’s no need for some hot girl to come out and say “Hey I like games ;)”. It still boggles me why they bring Hollywood celebrities to a video game show, especially if they have no relation to games at all. For entertainment purposes, the show was ok. I still feel like the show is trying to grow into something a bit more serious, trying to get more people involved in the whole judging process and finding out proper winners. Somewhere down the line I feel that Spike will get the proper balance of advertisements, celebrities and video games all in one. I don’t know when but I feel this way.
Start the Conversation

My Red Ring Story

The Three Lights of the RRoD
Everyone has a story of there first RRoD story and I'd like you all to listen to mine. It all started some time in December of last year when I first went to go get my first 360. By this time RRoD was a clear notion in my head and really it was the main reason why I was so reluctant to go ahead and buy one. Finally a freind convinced me to go ahead and buy it. He even told me he'd drive me to go and get it. So off we went to go off and buy my very first 360.

Now normally you'd go to a Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Future Shop (Canada's Best buy)  EB or where ever to buy one. But me? No no no I wasn't like that. You see my friend showed me this flyer for a local store they specialized in refurbished products. Now I know what your thinking, but at this time I already went ahead and bought a refurbished MP3 player that was working great for me so I thought this was a good opportunity. So I went and bought the Premium version that sold 2 games (Forza and NHL 2007) along with a one year subscription to XBL. for about $220 not a bad deal.

Off I went to a local future shop to get 2 recently released games Eternal Sonata and Mass Effect (The only two games I wanted the system for). Went home opened the box up and took out all the components. You can tell the box was previously opened but meh, what can you do. Hooked it up threw in Eternal Sonata and was instantly hooked. I should also note that I have a Wii and PS3 for whatever reason (bragging rights? I suppose).  For two weeks I switched between Eternal Sonata and Mass Effect constantly playing both.There we're times when I played for an entire weekend without leaving my house only for the sake of food (Yeah ok I'm a loser too).

Anyways, constant playing always made me worry about the RRoD but I didn't care I was loving the games and couldn't stop. Eventually I said too myself "You know my sister bought me Rainbow Six Vegas for my birthday on PS3... I should really try that out." I did and got hooked. Played it for a good five days till I beat it. Now by this time I figured it was enough rest time for my 360 and was looking forward to playing my games again. Went ahead and turned it on and what do you know... RRoD.

I don't know what caused it, maybe it was the fact that it was winter and I left it off for a bit, maybe my 360 was mad at me for ignoring it for so long or maybe it was because I bought a refurbished product I don't know. All I knew was that those Three-Lights (lol Sailor  Moon reference) were mocking me... mocking and laughing. Eventually, I called up a friend of mine who knew a thing or two about this. He told me of all those weird methods to try and restore my 360.

First was the un-plug everything wait and plug everything back in method. And well to my surprise it worked. I was happy and spazzing out everywhere. Went back and played some Sonata satisfied. After a couple days or so I got RROD again but I'd always use the same method of un-plugging all then reconnect and it worked... for awhile. For the next week or so I would have to end up doing this method over and over again. It was getting to be a pain and I was just about to give up on my 360 experience. But I wouldn't have to worry about that because well, it gave up on me. That method no longer worked and again I was frustrated. Once angain I called my friend and he said the only other method was the towel method... the dreaded towel method.
The Three-Lights of Sailor Moon

For those who don't know this method, it's basically wrapping up your 360 in a towel, turn it on, wait a bit, turn it off, remove towel and turn back on. I have heard many negative things about this method and was recommended as a last resort. Frankly I knew it was near the end so I decided to do it. For whatever reason the towel trick didn't work for me. Or well, it did but it took a long time for it too work. The normal time your suppose to leave your 360 on while wrapped in the towel was about 10-15 minutes and it should work. For me it was anywhere form an hour to an hour and a half. Realising that this method wasn't really helping me (and never really feeling good about doing it) I knew it was time to give up on my 360. It has died and comeback to life far too many times for me to remember so finally I put it too rest.

So what could I do now? Call Microsoft and tell them? Well I tried, and well it didn't work. Apprently, the console was not under my name so I wasn't allowed to send it. Maybe it was because I bought it refurbished I don't know. And what about sending it back too that store? Well I could have, infact, they had a replacment warranty. Problem there was that it was only for three months and I was in my fifth. I could of sent it back to them when I first got my RROD but I didn't and instead went for the other methods I stated above. Even if I did send it back to them, they would just gave me another refurbished 360 that might of died aswell so I wasn't looking for that.

Finally, I gave in and went to my local Futureshop and bought an Arcade version and just put the hard drive onto that one. I don't know if I have the falcon chip or not but I do know it comes with the HDMI component and I heard the HDMI ones are +5 RRoD resistant. So now I'm back to enjoying more 360 games without any worries of the dreaded RRoD. Though in the back of my head I feel it will show up again.

So what happened to my old 360? I sold it for $80 to a guy who said he could "fix" the problem. And that MP3 player I had? I dropped it and now it doesn't play music so now I just use it as a memory stick. Oh, also as I was reading the serial numbers to the Microsoft guy I saw the date the model was created. Apparently, it was one of the original launch consoles.

R.I.P Old 360 I'm sure your having fun where ever you are.
Start the Conversation