Friday, November 19, 2010

Time to Buy a New Game

I'm still alive, motherfuckers. This Fall semester is kicking my ass. Any of you gentlemen still here?

Anyways, after realizing my budget won't be enough to buy the Collector's Edition of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, I have decided to get the next best, cheaper thing: Rune Factory 3. I heard really good things about it.

This better be fun.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

One of the Greatest Crossover Games... Not Going to be Localized? ? ?

I bet by now you guys have heard the awesome news! A Phoenix Weight and Professor Layton crossover game for the upcoming Nintendo 3DS! If you guys haven't, well here's the trailer:

Pretty fucking neat-o, huh? Gameplay details haven't been revealed yet, but it's probably safe to assume that it might be a mix of Layton's puzzles and Phoenix Wright's fantastic court cases.

According to the trailer, the game takes place in an unspecified period time, where Layton and his boy-toy Luke, Phoenix Wright along with Miya, somehow got summoned up in the city you see there. Here in this city, reality, as we know it, ceases to be and witches and magic exist. The leader of the city is said to be an enigmatic person called "The Storyteller," and whatever he writes goes. Or is it? That's what Layton's here to prove otherwise, as you can see in the trailer where he's "probably" accusing the girl, said to be a witch in the video, to be full of shit. Phoenix, on the other hand, is doing what he does best, defending his clients. That's all that was revealed in the video, if I can remember correctly, and from the looks of it, it's going to be one hell of a ride...

That is, if this game manages to get localized. According to a blog post over in Capcom Unity, it is only announced to be released in Japan with no plans of a Western release. Though this game was just recently announced, people over the internet have begun speculating, spreading gloom and doom that this game being "Japan Onry" is already set in stone - as can be read in the latest post of the The Escapist. I don't blame them however, Japanese developers are notorious for keeping some of their awesome game from the outside market.

Let's just hope this isn't so. After all, the 3DS is not even out yet, and even the Japanese release date hasn't been posted.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Filler Episode - 1

I want to take it easy. Sadly, this semester of classes is kicking my ass. Multi-variable Calculus is tough, and Linear Algebra is blowing my mind over the minuscule amount of Algebra/Calculus stuff there is as it's more of a conceptual class. I must prevail, however, as much as I want to live life like a NEET, there are responsibilities that come as an adult. But that doesn't mean I'll stop blogging, it's pretty fun, and it's a good place to speak my thoughts unlike that piece of crap Facebook.

Speaking of Facebook, don't get me wrong, I only use it to make and expand connections. You'll never know when you will need a favor from other people.

That's it, and goodnight.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Anime Review: Fate Stay Night - Unlimited Blade Works

I just got around to watching this, and I have to say that even having played (more like read) the visual novel, I was confused as hell by the pacing.

This movie runs around for 1 hour and 45 minutes. That's not enough to scratch the surface of Unlimited Blade Works. For those who are familiar with the source material, Fate Stay Night is basically like a visual e-book that is comprised of three story arcs - Fate, Unlimited Blade Works, and Heaven's Feel. To even finish each arc alone requires at least 20 or so hours of reading, and clicking, and that's considering you are one hell of a fast reader. To me, this movie felt like it was a 105 minute montage that served only to showcase the high points of UBW.

Even then, there were some scenes that felt underwhelming. One of the parts that the anime series got right was during Archer's unleashing of his most powerful ability - Unlimited Blade Works. That was one of hell of a scene as he makes his last stand in order for his comrades to escape. Here in the movie, it was anticlimactic at best, as he didn't even recite the entire incantation to conjure his said ace in the hole. Sure, it was prettier, but there was no sort of build up to it, mostly because they had to cram an anime season's worth of content into one short movie.

If you're a fan of the Fate Stay Night series, then I won't even have to tell you to watch this. You owe it to yourself at least to finally see UBW animated in all (not really) it's glory. For those who haven't, then I recommend saving your bandwidth to much more profitable than ventures, namely just getting the source material instead.


+ Unlimited Blade Works is finally animated!
- Why is it a movie?

That's pretty much the gist of it. Fate Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works gets a rating of 6.0/10 from me.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pitter Patter

As I peer through my window, countless droplets of water obstruct my view to the outside world, and as I sit alone inside my dark room, the only noise I can hear is the symphony of the rain as it endlessly pours down our roof. It rarely rains in my place, as the weather here mostly ranges from sunny and cloudy. Right now, there is no one in my home, only me. Though as much as I continue to yearn for someone, I am thankful for this moment of solitude.

With solitude comes thoughts over how pathetic my life is however, so I tune it out by opening my PS3 and playing this game I've got. It's Resonance of Fate, which I only got 40 bucks new online. People's opinions about it are heavily mixed, so I guess I have to find it out myself.

I love the rainy season.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Game Review: TRIUMPH! WAR 2099 (Action Shooter - PC)

Yep, that's the cover. This game holds a special place in my heart as it's one of the freeware games that I have first downloaded and played. Released by the now defunct (seems like it) indie developer Darksun games, TRIUMPH! WAR 2099 is a top down, squad based, 2D shooter where you fight against hordes of space bugs. This game was definitely inspired by Starship Troopers, and even one of the very few games I consider that got the whole "Space Marines vs Space Bugs" trope spot on.

The first level starts off with your mini space marine guy being dropped off on a battlefield where your fellow comrades are duking it out against the space bug horde called the "Kratte." Once you take control of your dude, you can then issue commands to the rest of your guys that are in the map. In addition, there are power-ups that are scattered across the stage, from giving you reinforcements to different sets of weapons. The first level of this game is pretty straightforward, serving as a testing ground for players to get familiar with the controls and the aspect of issuing commands to your soldiers. However, it's still difficult enough that you can lose this level. HARD difficulty is a totally different story, however.

Make no
mistake, TRIUMPH! WAR 2099 is not your typical top down shooting game. The fact that you can issue commands to your squad indicates that there's some degree of strategy involved, and one of the big reasons why it's so fun to play. While the first couple of levels can be finished by going all "Rambo" across the map, the rest will require you think fast, and act fast. The following commands you can issue are: Defend, Attack, Follow, and Normal. It's pretty basic, but it gets the job done as the AI seems to pretty much follow your orders without any hitches. One of the big reasons why you're going to need to use strategy this game is because your life depends on the number of troops in the battlefield. There's a counter in the bottom part of the screen that shows the number of guys you have left. If you die, the counter goes down by 1, if any of your guys die it goes down by 1, and once it gets to zero it's game over. In addition, enemies have power ups, too, in the form of a flower. When a bug comes into contact with this, it becomes a fat bug reminiscent to the brain bug in Starship Troopers. It takes more to kill it, and when it dies, it spawns more normal spider bugs from its carcass. More than one of these fat fuckers will be crawling in each map, so it will be crucial to get to these flowers and "step on it." Without teamwork between you, your pals, and the AI, you will be 100% annihilated.

Speaking of pals, there is coop in this game. Sadly, it is only local coop. Nonetheless, playing this game with your mates is one of the most fun gaming related memories I have. You can have up to four players, and each guy your buddies use can also make orders. Though, since it's local coop, you're gonna need several USB controllers so your friends can play. If only the guy(s) over at Darksungames can come back and give this gam
e an update.

Depending on what difficulty you're on, a single playthrough of this game can take a couple of hours, even more when you're in HARD. Each mission is varied enough that it will barely reach the point it gets repetitive. That one mission where your guys are stuck defending an outpost against waves and waves of bugs is definitely the most fun part of the game that I can remember. As you issue orders to the rest of your squad, the enemy horde slowly tears away at your building's walls, and if you're not fast enough, you'll soon be left with you and your guys wide in the open for the slaughter. There are other fantastic moments in that game, but that one really stands out as I'm a sucker for "hold the fort" parts in my games and movies.

The visuals are pretty decent, with well crafted 2D sprites, this game stands the test of time even after being released back in 2001. Despite having no variety in between your character and your dudes, resulting in confusion in some cases, and enemies being only two types - normal and fat, the variety in each level make up for it. There will be a level when you're in a facility that's been run down by the Kratte, and there will be no instance where you'll say that this just looks like the previous stage.

While this game is brimming with positives, there are still some moments where the game gets frustrating. There will be times where enemy bugs would spawn right next to you and your mates, which often results in death, though those times make sense in context with the level seeing as you are fighting in their lair after all. Another annoyance which was already touched upon was there's barely any distinction between your character and the rest of your squad. When you get to the point you have reached the maximum number of troops you can have in the field, and you have somehow kept your eye out of your dude, it might take a second or two to find him again amongst the masses. That one second might be vital, and if an enemy spawns right next to you, you're dead. While those are the only negatives I can see, it seems like they are only very minor annoyances, and is no way detrimental to your enjoyment of this very fantastic game.


+ Addicting gameplay
+ Requires strategy for a straight up shooter
+ Coop is very, very, very fun
+ Variety in each level
+ Decent length
- Might be difficult to distinguish player from fellow NPC's.

TRIUMPH! WAR 2099 deserves a score of 8.0/10 in my book, if I put my nostalgia glasses on, we'll have to make that a 9.0/10.

So, if you guys loved Starship Troopers and old school arcade action shooting games, then I highly recommend you try this out. Here's a link where I was able to find a working copy here. This game is almost 10 years old, it's surprising it's still compatible with new OS'.

My only lament is the creator of this game has been no longer active for years. I wish him safety and good luck to where ever he is, as well as a thank you for making a very fun game.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Japan Onry" Versions of Games

Anybody else getting seriously pissed over this? You might refute this by saying that most Japanese games won't translate well overseas. That part is all fine and dandy, and I completely understand why. Case in point - the Yakuza spin off game: Ryu ga Gotuku Kenzan, where the game dabbles in child prostitution. That alone will get some people in the West very mad, and even though the Yakuza series is pretty niche, I can see why Sega won't risk localizing it here.

But that's not why I am mad. The thing that is really getting into me is when a Japanese company releases a game here in the West, but then to completely turn a 180 and subsequently release a "more special, more complete" versions of their games exclusively in Japan. That is a god damn slap in the face. The big offender here is Square Enix, putting out an "International" version of their products but then only to have it be completely Japanese. I won't even be so surprised anymore when Final Fantasy XIII: International comes out and be "Japan Onry."

Another Japanese company that is known to do this is Bandai Namco. Putting out Tales of Vesperia for the 360, calling it exclusive, but a year later, they announce a PS3 version. It had tons of new content, as if the PS3 version of Vesperia is the "definitive" version of the game. Namco Bandai even heavily implied that the 360 version was essentially a beta. While all might have been forgiven, the most aggravating thing was they refused to make a Western localization. There are other "Tales of" games that were given the same treatment, but this whole fiasco with Vesperia is the most well-known and recent one.

While other companies are guilty of this, those two are the ones that really stuck to me. Even now, the former is once again pulling a fast one on us as a "Final Mix" version for the latest Kingdom Hearts game for the PSP have been announced. For those who didn't get that, yep, it will be Japan Only.

With the rise of globalization, refusing to sell their products overseas seem to be a moronic thing to do. But what really makes me so god damn mad is that I want to play their games, and, understand it in a language I know and love at the same damn time. Seriously, what is the logic behind this? It's no wonder that, asides from Nintendo, most Japanese games are seen as a joke these days.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Game Review: Final Fantasy XIII (Role Playing - PS3/360)

Everything about this game sucked beyond belief. I won't go into detail with this review, seeing as how everyone in the internet has already stated what was wrong with Final Fantasy XIII.

When I first started the game, I was actually in awe over how pretty the visuals are. A high budget game with actual colors in it? Great! But it was quickly dispelled by the next few moments when every character in the game seemed to talk gibberish, mentioning obscure words every now and then in an effort to make this game's plot sound "deep." Yes, it was that bad. The characters are nothing special as well. It's hard to even call them "characters" at all, as the Japanese seem to have a thing for putting "Archetypes" in all their media instead. Too bad the actual story is nothing short of bland, just another generic JRPG plot where you and your friends try and kill the god of their world in order to save the planet. It wouldn't be too bad if the characters didn't spout "L'Cie, Fal'Cie" etc. every waking moment.

The battlesystem was actually pretty fun, but that's about all you'll be able to do in FFXIII seeing as how the creators had this brilliant idea to make everything linear as hell. Since there are no towns and NPCs to interact with, just about every sidequest consists of hunting down a monster (a "Mark") and kill it. In addition, there is no sense of exploration as every area has already been mapped into one long disappointing line.

A single playthrough of this game will take you at least around 40 hours, even more if you do all the hunts. Sadly, this game did not live up to its years of hype. Why wade through the first 20 hours worth of crap just to see if this game will actually turn a 180 and be considered good?


+ Amazing visuals

+ Arguably one of the most fun FF battlesystem to date
- Very, very, very linear maps
- Bland characters and bland dialogue
- Bland story
- A very long thinly veiled "tutorial" segment that takes around 10 to 20 hours.

This game deserves a score of 4.5 out of 10. Spectacular visuals and Brand name won't save this from being a pile of trash.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

On MOBA games

Why are multiplayer online battle arenas so goddamn fun? It started with DotA (Defense of the Ancients), eventually got bored with years of playing and jumped to LoL (League of Legends)when I got wind of it.

I can't really pin point what makes it so, but I can always see myself playing hours on end. Is it the sense of satisfaction when you successfully ganked an enemy? The rush of adrenaline as the entire team is chasing you down in the bushes, with your comrades located at the opposite side of the map? Or the feeling of victory when your team completely turned the tides of an already losing game?

Sure, the player base is one of the worst types around online, but you just have to admit, that without humongous crybabies like them, games online overall would be a lot boring.

And MOBA games have them in spades.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Videogame Review: Bayonetta (Action - 360/PS3)

Ah, first game I have bought in this decade. It was an impulse buy at that!

I really had a tough time in deciding which version to get. Everyone says 360 is the definitive version since it was the main platform that it was developed for, while SEGA only ported it to the PS3. In addition, it seems like most of the flaws are in the PS3 version - blurry textures, lower framerates, and insane loading times. So, why did I had a tough time? I was wary of using the 360 controller for anything other than a shooting game. I have played Dead or Alive 4 using the standard 360 pad, and it wasn't pleasant to say the least. Plus, I was too lazy to plug every cord back again to the T.V. because I haven't touched said console for almost a year. That, and I wanted to let the guys in my PSN Friends List know I'm playing this game. Oh, and Trophies, I want to collect them to increase my e-peen.

Yes, I realized they were trivial, so I mentally slapped myself and went ahead to get the 360 version.

First, Bayonetta looks absolutely gorgeous. No, not the character (I find her strangely disproportionate, I guess it varies for each person) but the game itself. So that takes care on the argument pertaining to the Graphics Department.

The game starts off with you immediately taking control of the heroine, Bayonetta, standing upon a huge slab of a destroyed giant Clock Tower fighting amongst your comrade against angelic monsters as it falls down to the ground. You'd that think that scenes like what I've just described only happen in in-game cinematics, but actually playing and kicking all sorts of ass as the narrator lays down the introductory plot for the game actually made my jaw drop. Platinum Games really went all-out with this title, and the best part is, the game didn't lose steam throughout my entire playthrough.

Usually, as I've experienced in most games, they start to become boring and tedious come at the first 1/3 of the game. Bayonetta actually manages to keep its flair, even constantly overdoing itself in almost each scene of the game. So don't expect to lose interest, this game will hook your attention all the way through the end. As for the controls, they are pretty great for an action game. However, my one main gripe is the camera, as sometimes the enemies get moved out of the screen to only focus on you. Using the right analog sticks moves the camera, but doing this during an intense fight where there's a lot of crap going on might be asking for a lot. Plot is ridiculously absurd in this game as there's no need to follow it, but it's not something as complex like in many RPGs so there's a high chance you'll know what's going on at least. Still, it's crazy.

But for action games like Bayonetta, what really matters is the gameplay. As you've already read earlier, the gameplay doesn't disappoint. Boss fights are intense as hell, as the scale of each Boss range from human size to really damn huge; no doubt you'll be left with a grin on your face after you defeated each one of them. Most of the moves you'll be doing will be so over-the-top that you won't even believe you're controlling the character, even your grandma could make Bayonetta do it. Of course, there's a ton of combos that you can mix and match, so for those people who like depth in their games, Bayonetta's got them in spades. Well... except for the plot. However, difficulty's another matter, as Bayonetta is not as forgiving as most games released these days. It will literally kick your ass if you're not paying attention. Yes, even on Normal Mode. Though, that doesn't mean its balls to the wall hard, the difficulty is balanced enough for the player to actually enjoy. But that's just for Normal Mode, Hard and Infinite Climax Modes, which you unlock upon beating the game, might actually want you to throw away your controller in frustration.

In addition, the game actually rewards you for doing good on a level, based on how much damage you dished out, as well as how much damage you received, and the number of times you died. The rewards will be more money for you to spend on the store, as well some stuff to unlock later in the game. Speaking of unlockables, Bayonetta's got a whole lot of them, adding more incentive for a player to re-play the game once they've finished it.

One playthrough of a game, without skipping cutscenes, will net you a good 12-15 hours of gameplay. Couple that with unlockable modes and items that further enhances the gameplay, you might actually end up twice, if not three times more than your first playthrough. Of course, that solely depends on how much you like the genre.


+ Fluid and Over the Top action
+ Good graphics
+ Combos are easy to pull off, but can be complex once you start experimenting
+ Nice soundtrack (Just ignore the "Fly me to the Moon" remixes)
- Camera needs a little work

Therefore, I rate this a game good 9.5 out of 10.

Not bad for the first game I have bought this decade!