The perfect run(Thus far)

On a NG+ at the moment, going for a perfect S.Link run. It's now 07/31 and I just finished Mitsuos dungeon. It cost a fox and a soma, but I managed to knock it out in one day, which is good.

I've been rolling with Yosuke for wind/aoe speed buff and tentarafoo  /  Teddy for ice/ aoe attack buff and healing(Blessed gloves are god tier)   /  Kanji for lightning and sick P.atk damage.

I must say, going for this sort of run is nice and easy. I've not dragged out any powerful personas...but Satan is there if I need him ;)

S.Links so far are as follows:

Fool: 7
Magician: 7
Priestess: 7
Empress: 1
Emperor: 2
Hiero: 6
Lovers: 2
Chariot: 7
Justice: 6
Hermit: 6
Strength: 9
Hanged; 6
Temper: 3
Devil: 4
Star: 4
Moon: 6
Sun: 7

Stay tuned for more updates :P


TF2 -Day one.

After playing TF2 for a day now(Probably 2), I'm now getting really into it. Oddly so.

Still having weird disconnects whenever I start up the game, but I'm playing Well and Dustbowl a lot, and really liking them.

So far I'm pretty much playing Pyro>Medic>Heavy>Spy, in that order.
Pyro because it's quite an easy class to pick up and go, and I'm not very good at multiplayer FPS.
Medic because I was a healer in WoW, and it's just easy to get assists :P
Heavy is just dumb fun
Spy I'm not very good at, but It's nice to play when it all goes well.

Furthermore, in one day I've unlocked the Backburner, and Flare gun for pyro
And Upgraded bonesaw and Kritzkrieg for Medic, which is convenient as they're the two I play as most :P

More to come as I play more!


So long Gekkoukan.

There is a lot I could say about the ending to Persona 3, but I am having a lot of trouble narrowing down how to start because it simply has so much good stuff packed into it. I guess I may as well just summarize a few thoughts I have had about it.

1) The set-up for the final battle and ending, including the final climb up Tartarus across January (which builds up the Judgement Social Link and unlocks the ultimate Persona), the last meeting between the SEES members in which they make the pledge to meet again even if they lose their memories, and the last battles against the members of Strega, is nearly flawless. I suppose the entire cult thing was pointless, but other than that the last month, with its severe change in tone and music, was very good.

2) The final battle was really dramatic and well-done. There was nowhere more appropriate for the final battle to take place than the top of Tartarus, and the final battleground set amidst dark clouds beneath the full moon was spectacular. The battle itself, involving the countdown of all of the Arcana used by the Shadows building up towards Nyx Avatar unleashing its true power, was also very dramatic and sufficiently impressive for a final battle.

3) The sudden revival of Nyx Avatar, the revelation of the true, monstrous Nyx within the moon, and the beginning of the end of the world were expected, but still very welcome twists to the game. After all, given all of the discussion over the past few months of the game of how Nyx was invincible, and the importance of the hopelessness of the heroes' battle to the game, the battle shouldn't be won that easily. No videogame with a story based around saving the world should finish before the end of the world is in full swing.

4) It is a cliche story twist that has been parodied time and again, but the whole "in the world's darkest hour, the hero gathers the power from his friends in order to gain new strength" idea is a logical and believable conclusion to the entire Social Link system, so it actually works rather well when it is used here. I like the fact that all of the Social Links that have been maxed out are referenced, I like the resulting, undefined ultimate Persona card (which is certainly The World card even if it is not called such), and most of all I like the fact that the elevator-shaped Velvet Room actually reaches its destination and opens its doors to the light for the first time, as if it is symbolically carrying the hero to his final battle and the conclusion of his story.

5) The scripted battle against the core of Nyx strikes a nice balance between dramatic elaboration and keeping things focused and to the point. I like the fact that the enemy's ultimate attack goes from nearly killing the hero to be completely ineffective against him as the power of his allies surges into him. Also, the fact that the Great Seal move uses up all of the hero's HP is an important detail that properly foreshadows how the game ends.

I was really expecting the ending to conclude shortly after the battle against Nyx, but I was rather pleasantly surprised to see that the ending had only really just started by that point. The hero returns from his battle, the world is saved, and time jumps forward to a month later at the beginning of March, where the parts of the ending I really want to talk about take place.

In a moment of great parallel between the two endings, the next part of the ending starts out exactly the same way as the "Kill Ryoji" ending began, with everyone having lost their memories and continuing on with their lives, speaking about fellow members of SEES as if they were total strangers. However, instead of ending the sequence there and jumping to three days later like it happened in the other ending, here it continues on to the rest of the day that follows, and control is given back to the player as if it were a normal day like any other in the game. This phase is the best part of the whole ending. At this time, the player is free to explore the town, and in doing so can see special scenes for every Social Link at the maximum level that give an epilogue for each story and subplot, as well as scenes involving other members of SEES that show that they have not completely forgotten the bond they share and the things that have changed their lives. It begins just like it did in the "Kill Ryoji" ending, but the freedom that comes afterwards is such a significant divergence from the other ending that it makes it feel like something completely different.

After a few days of being free to see Social Link epilogues, it reaches Graduation Day, the day which both marked the end of the "Kill Ryoji" ending and was decided to be the day in which the characters would meet again even if they lose their memories. Whether it was that promise or just the fact that the SEES Social Link would have maxed out (and thus become unbreakable) twice over between the time Ryoji asks for a decision and the final battle, it is clear that the continuing memory loss would actually be broken in this ending, and when Aigis approaches the hero at the beginning of this day speaking as if the hero's memory has returned (or was never really lost at all), that divergence from the bad ending is confirmed. The final sequence in which Mitsuru slowly gets her memory back in the middle of the same speech she was making in the "Kill Ryoji" ending is almost magical with how effective it is in reversing the tragedy of the heroes' lost memory in the bad ending, but in a odd way that reversal is reflected by another reversal: instead of going out with his friends to sing karaoke, the hero rests his head on Aigis's lap, and slowly closes his eyes...

In a way, there is really no other way that Persona 3 could have ended other than with the hero's death. Much like the idea of the Hero's Journey and the concept of the tarot, the entire story of Persona 3 is essentially a giant metaphor for a person's life. Even more clearly, the hero was bound to Ryoji, an incarnation of Death itself, and was haunted by Thanatos from the very beginning. The hero was given the contract by Death under which he was supposed to assume responsibility for his own actions, and was promised a single year within the game. Because of all of these, I was certainly expecting the hero to die, but I was surprised and impressed at both the fact that the game designers actually went and made it happen, and the way in which it happened. The common, cliche way such things usually happen in stories is that the hero sacrifices himself in the final moment and never returns home, but in this game he does return from his battle with Nyx and lives long enough to enjoy that time and see the happy result of his struggle. Most notably, the way the hero goes is incredibly peaceful and joyful. The hero simply lays his head on Aigis's lap while listening to the sounds of his friends coming to meet him again, and closes his eyes as if for a nap. rather than a tragedy, the hero's death is portrayed as a long-awaited, well-deserved rest. If it were not for a large array of subtle foreshadowing and the oddly sad tone in Aigis's voice as she talks to the hero, it would be impossible to guess that he had even died. Honestly, more than anything else I consider it to be a beautiful ending.


Dark Sector('s of War)

Coming into writing this, I was tentative. This is my first real game since I left World of Warcraft a week ago. From WoW, to Dark Sector, it's a pretty big leap. Instead of....healing another guy, so he could let the enemy hit him, so ANOTHER GUY could stab it with his daggers, I was pretty much just going balls to the wall cutting off peoples arms, heads, setting people on fire, and whatever else I could do to stop the bad guys shooting pain cylinders at me.

But less about how WoW is a work simulator, and more about Dark Sector (Evil 4)

First impressions upon firing up the game. Holy shit this looks nice. Being the first game I'd played since I got a HD television, I didn't really know what to expect. After trying out GTAIV on it, and essentially thinking "Why are the shadows made jelly", I went into the game thinking "I hope this doesn't look like dog food". How sorely mistaken I was. From the opening cutscene, I was hit by a definitive "Wow" factor. The water, the textures, even my character, albeitly wearing a mask, looked brilliant.

After the initial shock of transition to High definition, I realised. I was standing there with my thumb up my ass, not actually doing anything. So I got cracking. The game gives you no tutorials after "Move the left analogue stick forward to go forward". So I went into the mindset of "I'm playing Gears of War", adopted the control style of it, and went on into the darkness. After running around for a short time, I encountered my first enemy, a gentleman who was having a chat with an "Infected", repressed looking man. Who he shot in the head. With no visceral violence, I was a bit upset. Then I shot him in the head and grey matter (Which was red) splattered. I smiled. Then his friend threw a grenade into my open mouth and I died. So this happened 3 times. I don't know why, but everytime, a grenade landed in my lap. So after sometime I thought "Fuck this", and roadie ran to him, and beat him to death with my pistol butt.


More bad guys, more guns, nothing much really happened until I got outside and encountered a Hind-D. Conveniently, there was a conveniently placed Stinger missile launcher, to which I proceeded to unload (With great difficulty seeing as the lock on took up to to the time inbetween a vernal equinox to aqcuire a target) and after a short time, proceeded to bring down Liquid.

I was pretty satisified, as that was a pretty good opening chapter and boss fight, but then out of nowhere, Dark Sector(Sons of Liberty) threw some unbeatable metal robot alien ......thing at me. Which proceeded to beat the shit out of me, then infect me. Which annoyed me as I couldn't fight back, but I guess it progressed the storyline, so it works.

This is the point in the game when you get the primary selling point in this title. The Glaive.

This was basically a giant ......glaive that you can throw at enemies and cut off their heads and arms. But....that was pretty much it. Don't think that you have a glaive for an arm, now you can melee them to death with relative ease. You'd do better waving your dick in their face and hoping they faint from the shock of human flesh in a "Gritty realistic" game.

Come to think of it, looking at the box the game came in, I had a realisation. If I wasn't recommended this game by the other attractive author of this blog...why the FUCK would I buy it?

Let's see what the box says- "The Virus. The source of all your pain...your enemy..your POWER. Unleash the deadly power of the glaive and become the hero". What virus, and become the hero OF WHAT? This is where the game falls down. The aesthetics are nice sure, but if you're playing this game for a brilliant plot, and character development, do yourself a favour:


You would actually do better reading this than trying to understand what's going on in Dark Sector. Maybe when I get further in, I'll understand a bit more, but at the moment, there's a virus, which I have, and I need to kill bad guys. That's it.

But for first impressions, it's gone pretty good. It's kept my interest, and I'm gonna go and finish

What Pokémon needs.

Rock band eat your heart out.
Rock band eat your heart out.

More of this. Delicious dawn feet, and a Piplup banging a soup can. Look at his eyes.


Do you know why?

Because Pokémon is a shadow of what it used to be. No more is it about petty crooks, Gym leaders (L.T Surge- He covered wars ya know?), and adventuring. It's now about collecting fucking 8 billion Pokémon, training them up on EV points, getting IVs, making your 8th generation snorlax breed with a 3rd generation Ditto to get a 4th generation move. Urgh.

I remember the year 1999. High school was a year away, the millenium was due to destroy us all with the Y2k, and Pokémon had come out. My mum was picking me up from school, and I asked if she got me Pokémon from the store, and she said no. This made me sulk and get in a mood all the way home. Then I got home, and on my bed....there it lay:

He's a dragon...
He's a dragon...

I was literally speechless. I screamed some incomprehensible words down the stairs, shut my door, fired up my RED Gameboy pocket ( A RED GAME IN A RED GAME BOY - I WAS THE BEES KNEES) and got going. Never before, or never SINCE has a game hit me with such a "Holy shit" feeling that the original Pokémon game did. Whether it was training up in Viridian forest, wondering why anyone would ever pick a Weedle/Caterpie (Almost impossible to find in Red anyway), getting on board the SS.Anne for the first time, trying to make my way through Dark Tunnel without Flash (Which I did), or traversing through Victory road, to finally become a Pokémon master. All of these things just add up to an amazing feeling...until you reach the end of a tunnel, and Gary Oaks music pierces your ears like the well sharpened knife of a serial killer, and he beats you right back to the Pokémon centre.

I hated that motherfucker.

Years past, and more Pokémon games were released. They were all pretty good, especially G/S/C, but none of them had that initial "Wow" factor that the original had. And I remember Pokémon red. We had the 3 legendary birds, and a Mewtwo. None of this bullshit about 36 legendarys who fly around the world and can only be found if you fly around the world 18 times after them, take 4 steps up, 9 steps left, and when you throw the Pokéball you hold up and SPAM the B button (Don't lie to me, you all had some variation of this)

I look at the recent variations of Pokemon, and what do I see. Infinite legendarys, cookie cutter teams and definite strategies, specific ways to beat specific teams. Sorry am I playing Pokémon, or World of Warcraft?

Here is what the Pokémon franchise needs to insert to make it better, and improve upon:-

-No EVs
-Customizable trainer
-Returning to previous regions after the E4
-Gym leaders that continue to level up
-More fire pokemon accessable early in game
-Less legendary pokemon (a trio, and two or so others are fine)
-Less super-crazy world-destroying badguys (Team Rocket was perfect as just a bunch of criminals)
-3D battles using 2D sprites and backgrounds with sweeping camera, ala Golden Sun series. It'd maintain the charm of the handheld graphics' legacy, but actually look like a post-GBA game.

I think that should suffice.