A few weeks ago, I bought two games on Steam called Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World for $3 together (that's right,2 games for only 3 bucks ).Recently, I've completed them and wanted to share what I thought about the games with you guys. First thing I'll say straight up is that I had a lot of fun with both of these games and getting both of them combined for $3 is a total steal.
The games are RPGs that are both tributes to the jRPG genre and parodies of the cliches and common themes found withing the typical jRPG. As such, if you've ever liked any jRPG games then you'll have a lot of fun with these games. The story and plot progression are absolutely crazy and hilarious (or at the very least amusing). Breath of Death VII has you taking control of an undead protagonist, one who roams a land completely devoid of humans who destroyed themselves in a war long ago. He then goes on a random adventure, picking up companions on the way. Cthulhu Saves the World has you taking control of the titular Cthulhu who must reclaim his lost powers in order to destroy the world (because that's just what Cthulhu does).
Littered throughout the entire games are references and parodies of many video games out there. While the main focus is the jRPG genre, you'll also find the game making small nods to games like Fallout, Megaman, and Zelda. More obvious references include nods to the Dragon Quest and Suikoden series. What I liked most about this game however is that despite all the humour that it has and the way it pokes fun at games, there's an actual good game there as it's foundation. The gameplay system works as a proper jRPG with well-balanced difficulty and a fast-paced turn-based battle system. There are branching stat and skill paths that you can take when leveling up which reminded me much of Xenosaga Episode III, except this game has more liberties as to which upgrades you can pick which makes you really think about what option you should take since it's possible to mess up a character (people who have played Breath of
Death VII will know who this is) which is actually a good thing since it makes you strategize and think about what would be best for your character. What I liked most about these games is that they also fix a lot of problems that some modern jRPGs still seem to have. Like I said earlier, the combat system is fast and doesn't drag on. Shops let you compare currently equipped items to the items they sell. The game uses a reasonable system that limits the amount of random encounters you can get in a certain area (if you want) and provides a good suggestion as to how much experience you should be getting before moving on.
It's clear that not only did the developers have fun with creating this game but they actually did work hard in order to create it. It's got good music, gameplay, and a story that doesn't take itself too seriously. I wholeheartedly recommend these games, especially since they're being sold for $3 together. To anyone who has played the game, feel free to share your thoughts or comments about it!
On a side note, I've been reading some rather annoying comments online about how some people won't even touch the game because it's turn-based. It got me wondering, since when was turn-based gaming considered "bad" by a certain amount of people? I know that there are a LOT of people who are totally fine with turn-based gaming (the majority) but I've started wondering about how it started being a bad thing to some mainstream gamers. Why do they make such a big deal about it being "slow"?
While looking up answers to this, I found a rather enlightening blog post about the same exact topic.
I quote:Keith Burgun wrote:They think it's slow because... well, in most modern games, it tends to be rather slow. This is, however, not because it's turn based, but rather because it's turn based and it has to have somewhat "realistic" animations. First let's look at turn based board games - are they slow? No, they are not... a player is always playing, or considering his next move. They achieve this by having no animations or cutscenes or anything at all in the way of pure gameplay. If you play Advance Wars on the default game settings (combat animations on, normal map movement speed), a mission takes about three to four times as long as it does when I play with as much of that stuff "off" as possible. Final Fantasy Tactics is a great game, but if you play it a lot it does tend to drag way more than it needs to. I get to play so much more Fantasy General with all animations turned off. I think it's a very good thing for a game developer to ask this question:
"What percentage of the time your game is running is your player playing, and what percentage are they watching something un-dynamic happen?"
and I can't help but agree. I think that one of the main contributors to this new idea that turn-based gaming is slow is the moment the ridiculously famous Final Fantasy series made its transition to 3D. Every time you summon one of those summon monsters, it's usually accompanied by a long animation that is usually (if not always) the same each time. Here are some good examples:
Knights of the Round - FF7 (this animation is around 1 minute long, imagine seeing it over and over and over...)
All FFVIII Summons (mashing the button gets rid of the monotony a bit I guess but it's not exactly something that keeps you thinking and engaged)
Bahamut - FFIX
Magus Sisters Overdrive - FFX
and so on. Now I have nothing against these animations, and I'm sure many of us will admit that they do look pretty kickass, but do we really have to be shown the exact same thing each time? Most turn-based games should have the option to either skip animations or turn them off because they do eventually get redundant. Luckily, there are games that manage to work around this in their combat systems.
Here are some games that I think did turn-based combat right:
Chess - Not exactly a video game but the strongest example. It's stood the test of time and is still played today, yet it has no visual flair whatsoever. I myself actually didn't understand the appeal of chess until I played it with a little kid during a family-friend gathering who was really into it (I lost that match ). I realized was that I was engaged and actually having fun. I believe that the reason for this is that there's always some thinking and strategizing involved. There's rarely a dull moment. You've got to think about where to move your pieces, where your enemy might move his piece (even after your turn is done), and keep track of many different things. Now, if you inserted a long animation of a knight running through a battlefield and slaying an opponent when you remove an enemy piece, the game would drag on and get boring everytime that happens (unless the animation was dynamic/constantly changing).
BoDVII and CSTW Double Pack - Battle animations are short, battles are fast paced, and the enemies actually running out eventually (if you choose so) really encourages you to keep going and gives a sense of progress.
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne - Battles are fast-paced which means that there's always interaction going on. Animations are, for the most part, quick. Furthermore, it helps that this game is HARD so you'll always be strategizing and doing your best not to die. A focus on exploiting enemy weaknesses and summoning and dismissing different types of demons during battle also adds a lot to the battle system.
Final Fantasy X-2 - This game doesn't use the turn-based system in its traditional sense but instead uses the Active Time Battle system where you have to wait for your characters' gauges to fill up during battle before acting (same for your enemy, except you can't actually see their gauge). Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX also used this and definitely benefitted from it a bit (very long unskippable animations still persisted and slowed things down though) but Final Fantasy X-2 used it the best in my opinion. During the battles in this game, something is almost always going on because of how fast-paced it is. Throughout battles, you'll be switching jobs, dishing out damage, taking damage, and continuously interacting with the game instead of just watching. Here's a video to give you an idea (skip to 3:54). That video might not be the best example but it gives an idea of how much can be happening.
Where do I stand on the whole situation? Personally, I think turn-based gaming is a lot of fun (but that doesn't mean real-time games aren't fun either, they're both fun given the quality of the game). I think that this whole "turn-based games is a bad thing" attitude that cropped up recently is because when technology progresses, video game developers are trying too had to keep up and impress people by focusing on crazy visuals while offering barely any innovation to gameplay. Better technology + better visuals = higher price point (the latest big-budget games these days usually cost no less than $50). This usually leads to gamers paying for good visuals and multiplayer (more gaming time) in order to maximize the money they spend , not necessarily the gameplay. Of course, the best way to show off graphics is by making an FPS which is, IMHO, an oversaturated genre these days, with only Bioshock and a select few other games changing things up by being very interesting. If you're making a turn-based game, visuals are obviously not going to be the main focus, but it's more supplementary (which gives the developers more time to make the turn-based gameplay more complex and elaborate). Unfortunately, developers are not willing to take this risk, and as a result consumers and devlopers go for the most visual game instead of the most interesting ones, which gives turn-based games, particularly jRPGs, a bad rep (Final Fantasy XIII being the best example).
So, what opinions do you guys have on this matter? Feel free to share your thoughts! (as long as they're reasonable of course )
For those of you who read my previous blog, you'll know that I recently downloaded (from GOG.com), played, and finished Planescape: Torment and I'd like to share my thoughts on it (as I would like to do so eventually with many other games). I'm thinking of replacing my reviews with these blogs. I don't think I'll have enough time to do full reviews now that I'm busier and I would rather just share whatever thoughts and feelings about the game come to my mind.
What can change the nature of a man?
Planescape: Torment is one of those old-school computer RPGs. If you've played games like Baldur's Gate (or its sequel), Icewind Dale, and the like then you'll have an idea of what the gameplay system of the game is like. If you've only played Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect then be prepared to take a trip back in time.
The story of the game involves an immortal man called The Nameless One (who obviously can't remember his name) waking up in a Mortuary in a place he has no knowledge of. He is quickly joined by a talking floating skull called Morte who serves as his companion and provides a tiny bit of exposition and they go off on crazy adventures to find out the truth about The Nameless One.
Unlike Baldur's Gate where there was focus on combat and story, Planescape: Torment REALLY leans towards narrative. I'm talking about maybe 85% dialogue and character interaction and maybe 15% combat. I know that this already seems like a turn-off to some people but the thing is, I still found VERY enjoyable and I'd recommend that you at least give the game a chance.
One of the notable things I found about this game is that it's very weird and strange. Just look at the character lineup so far: A man who is, by general definition, undead and a floating skull. The rest of the party members that you'll eventually gather aren't any more normal than them either. The setting of the game was also a huge change from what I was used to. I've never played the Planescape tabletop RPG campaign so this game is my introduction to the Planescape world but learning about the world is really fascinating just because of how different it is. Anyone who's played the game will know what I'm talking about. Discard your thoughts of elves, dwarves, orcs, and typical fantasy settings because you aren't going to find any of that here. Planescape works on completely different rules compared to those settings and our world. These factors make the game both alienating (at first anyways) and compelling at the same time.
What's most impressive is that with such an alien setting like this, the developers were still able to provide an incredible story that was able to affect me emotionally. Some of the dialogue, the characters, the moments will definitely stick with me for quite a while.
To make the most out of an experience like Planescape: Torment though, you need to come prepared with the right mindset. Like I said, earlier this is a game that has a huge focus on narrative. Planescape: Torment is almost like an adventure game with a few RPG elements added in. Combat, for the most part, can be avoided. If you're not willing to read then I recommend just staying away from this altogether. The game was designed to be a story that uses the video game medium as a way to tell it, not the other way around. The game uses its platform's visual and audio capabilities to supplement the story but not completely take over it.
I realize that some might wonder what the point of making a game like Planescape: Torment is when it's so dialogue heavy. I mean, why not just make a book or a movie right? But I think the main reason for it is that much of the appeal in Planescape: Torment is making choices. I tended to be a do-gooder but there are many sadistic, witty, or just plain evil choices that I could've chosen in the dialogue box I don't think a movie could've implemented all the branching story paths of the game and having a visual basis and voice acting was really nice, something that a book couldn't have necessarily provided so I support the developer's decision to use a cRPG to tell this story.
...Yeah, I think I'm going on a tangent here but that's why I'm writing blogs instead of making reviews this time
In the end, I'll just say that if you have time to invest and don't mind reading then I highly recommend this game. I realize that a lot of people don't exactly fit into that category since some of you may have jobs or kids and don't have time to immerse yourself in Planescape: Torment and I really don't think the typical mainstream gamer in this generation would find a text-heavy cRPG very appealing but if you do give this game a chance and come in with the right mindset, you will be rewarded since I can't stress enough how interesting the world, story, and characters (mainly party members) are and how the game might even change the way you think regarding certain philosophical ideas.
If you decide to play this game in the end, here are some helpful links!:
Planescape: Torment mod guide (I recommend installing all of these mods before even starting your first game)
Beginner's Guide by Orion79 (basic help for first-time players, try not to use a full walkthrough because going through the game on your own helps you get more immersed into the game world and puts more weight to the story compared to following some steps)
Unofficial Planescape: Torment Trailer by xtremeunitx (cool fanmade trailer!)
Also, if anyone has played the game and wants to share their thoughts with me or ask me questions then feel free to do so in the comments!
After a run-in with 6h05tly and jwallace on Twitter, I've decided to return to Gamespot. I've been gone from the site for a long time because of many reasons (school, offline social life, volunteering...all of which led to me barely getting to play any games). It was only lately that I used Twitter (for the first time in many months) and met my two aforementioned GS friends which made me remember about Gamespot and I've decided to start writing blogs again.
I know you're probably thinking that I'll just leave again but I think I'll find it easier to stay and have stuff to write about because of these two services:
The time I've spent playing console games has decreased greatly over the last school year. However, by having access to lots of indie games and old games at a very affordable price, I've started to play games more often lately. More often than not, I have many thoughts on these games after finishing them so I thought I might share them with you guys through my blogs. Don't expect me to write about big-budget games very often though The last major game purchase I made is The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.
As for what to expect in the coming weeks, I've recently finished playing Planescape: Torment so expect a blog about that. I've also finished the Zeboyd Games Double Pack (which includes Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World) so expect a write-up on that too. Plus, a lot of other cheap games I've been able to find.
So I'll see you guys around!
After...over two months, I've finally returned. Time just flies once school starts! How's everyone doing?
Things for me are going really well lately. Grade 11 is actually turning out to be a lot of fun and much more bearable for me compared to my previous two years in high school which is weird since the workload is heavier than before. I'm probably just less lazy this year . Also, I've realized that for once, the reason I haven't made a blog in a while isn't because I'm too lazy to be bothered but because I've been dedicating time to offline life a lot more and I just completely forgot about this place for a while but I randomly remembered this site and felt like I should go see what's going on with you guys and update you guys on what's happening with me!
On the school front, things are a lot better than expected. I've reacquainted myself with a lot of people who I haven't seen since my freshman year of high school (our school population is pretty big so I don't usually end up with the same people each year) which feels really surreal but great at the same time. English is proving to be my favourite class so far. Reading and doing essays honestly feels fun (alright, maybe not the essays but the reading) and satisfying for me. Not to mention that I'm doing really well.
So far we've read The Crucible and Macbeth. I thought The Crucible was alright. There are a lot of boring parts but also some interesting ones towards the end. The book also made me a bit angry since I couldn't get over how hysteric and gullible so many of the characters were and how many people suffered because of them but being shown that sort of thing helps bring out the moral of the story I suppose! Macbeth on the other hand, was a lot more interesting. I found it really cool how in our school, they introduce Shakespeare to us with light-hearted plays like A Midsummer Night's Dream and romantic ones like Romeo & Juliet (which was tragic but still fun)...then in Grade 11 they hit us with Macbeth . I think I would best describe this play with the words "death" and "betrayal". When I try looking back at any pleasant moments in the play, nothing much comes to mind (except for the parts where our teacher gave us costumes to dress up while we re-enacted scenes of the play in our cla$$room xD that ended up being lots of fun). The story was really fascinating though and the characters were interesting (especially Lady Macbeth). Like I said in my previous blog, I still have Life of Pi and Pride of Baghdad left to read. I'll be reading Pride of Baghdad next though so I'll tell you guys how that goes and what I think about it.
Another favourite cla$$ of mine this semester is French but more for the whole weirdness factor of it instead of actual reading I ended up getting this really old teacher who's really nice but treats us all as if we're in kindergarten xD She always gives us stickers whenever we do homework and showers us with praise anytime we get an answer correct. I remember this one time a girl in our cla$$ had a birthday and our teacher was all like "BONNE FÊTE!" and she put a sticker on her hand Since this cla$$ is French as a Second Language and we are technically learning stuff at an elementary school level, I guess our teacher is trying to incorporate that into our cla$$room environment or something so I don't really mind. We have been doing SOME reading which consists of this adorable children's book called Le Petit Nicolas. If you know basic French grammar rules, I recommend giving the book a read. It uses really simple language and it's really innocent and amusing.
On the gaming front...I really haven't been doing much That's nothing new though, my gaming time always takes a huge slump once school starts. I never ended up finishing The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass because it got a bit annoying. It felt like a string of fetch quests and going back to the Temple of the Ocean King (I think that's what it was called) after every dungeon got boring quickly. The only other game I've bought since then is Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition. I was contemplating on whether or not I should get it since I didn't like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion that much and they were made by the same studio but I in the end I caved in and bought it. I'm really glad I did! Fallout 3 feels so much better and so much more fun! I don't know if it's because I'm just liking the post-apocalyptic setting or I managed to avoid hype backlash but Fallout 3 is proving to be one of my most well-liked games. I can't wait to play more of it. I think that's pretty much it for games so far...
THIS happened while I was away. It better be localized! I know I already played the game (though *ahem* certain means) but I really want to see how Atlus USA is going to handle the translation and see how much the improved battle system streamlines the character building because from what I remember, as cool as Innocent Sin was, it was pretty grind-tastic.
I think that's pretty much all I have to share for now. I didn't do much else other than hang out with my friends on weekends and I bought a few DVDs of older movies like The Descent to watch with people around Halloween (and for some reason, we also ended up watching Dancer in the Dark despite it not being a Halloween movie at all). So, I'll see you all again sometime! Hopefully next time I don't wait two months to make an update but you never know
As you can probably tell by the blog title, today was my first day back at school. I'm going into Grade 11: my third year of high school and my junior year as some of you like to call it. Luckily, I have next to no homework on my first day so I can actually afford to write a blog post! My first day actually went pretty well which is a lot more than I hoped for since I felt like I was going to have a nervous breakdown the day before Since I have a lot of free time today, I thought I might as well update you guys on how my day went.
First period was my Biology class. The teacher here is super nice so far and I know a lot of the people in the class which was great. Our teacher actually hasn't been teaching for a year though because she was pregnant and had to go on a maternity leave in the last school year which means she's a bit rusty and amateurish though. I remember she gave us these basic beginner questions and one of them was "What are the seven stages of life?". One student asked for help and the teacher told him "Compare yourself to a plant. What does a human, a living thing, have in comparison to a plant which is...a dead thing." At this point, I thought to myself "Plant. Dead. What?" but the teacher quickly corrected herself Kind of a big blunder to make there but I guess that might happen if you haven't taught or worked in over a year.
Second period was French class which was nice too. I knew some of the people and we're all not that good in French so I'm sure there will be a lot of times where we'll be helping each other Our teacher speaks French almost exclusively though so when you can't understand what she's saying, it's kind of nerve-wracking since she might ask you to answer a question or something I guess I'll just have to see how it goes.
After that was my lunch break. Nothing interesting there.
Third period was an Accounting class which seemed nice. The teacher was friendly and seems fair. We didn't do much though. All we did was some social activity to get to know the people in the class so I didn't really get much of a solid first impression.
Fourth period was English class. Teacher seems like a nice and fair guy so far. I'm actually kind of excited for this class since we'll be reading stuff that I'm interested in. The teacher gave us a list of reading material on our course outline and it looks like we'll be reading Arthur Miller's The Crucible, Shakespeare's Macbeth, Yann Martel's Life of Pi, and a graphic novel called Pride of Baghdad (yay for reading comics as part of school! ) A friend of mine told me he read Life of Pi and really liked it so I'm looking forward to that. If you guys have read any of those, feel free to tell me and give me advice on what to expect
So yeah, better first day than I expected. Other than that, nothing much has been going on in my life. I'm getting Starcraft II:Wings of Liberty sometime this month but my uncle warned me that the game is very addictive so until I get a long holiday, I might stay away from the game Also, my DS Lite's speakers broke That means I can't hear what's going on in my games unless I have earphones which is lame. I might get a new DS Lite sometime then or see if I can find someone who can repair it. It sucks too because I just bought The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and sometimes I just want to relax and play it without having earphones or headphones on.
and...that's pretty much all I have to share for now! I expect the schoolwork to pile up soon and whenever that happens, I feel too lazy to update the blog so don't expect me to make a new post in a while. I'll still be hanging around the site though so don't think I've died or anything See you all later!
How is everyone? For once, I'm not waiting for over a month to do a proper blog That's probably since it's summer vacation and I might as well do this while I still have time. Speaking of summer vacation, it's almost over By September 7th, it's back to school for me. Not to mention that I'm going into my third year of high school and apparently, this is the point where your marks actually matter and are considered by colleges and universities so I'm actually going to be trying this time (instead of cruising through like I did in first and second year) so don't expect me to come here too often once the school year starts! Enough about that though and let's get on with my usual updates.
I've finally gotten to getting myself Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love for the PS2. I was thinking of getting Trauma Team first but I heard that the sales for Sakura Wars were...well, pretty bad. So, to show my support, I got Sakura Wars instead! I don't regret the decision at all. I've never played Sakura Wars prior to this (I don't even know how to read or speak Japanese after all) so it was really interesting playing a game that's just so anime-like. Seriously, the game is absolutely ridiculous and awesome at the same time. As ridiculous as it all is though, it's A LOT of fun. I wish they would localize more games from the series. For those interested in this game and don't know anything about it, think of it as a very anime-$tyle dating sim/strategy RPG mish mash with pretty much no level grinding. If you're interested in the game then I really recommend playing it.
Also, I went and watched the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. The World with a friend. I actually didn't know about the comics that the movie is based on until a few weeks before even watching the movie so luckily, I was spared all the months of waiting for the movie to come out that I'm sure a lot of fans had to go through. After watching the movie, all I have to say is that it's...well, as I've said earlier, awesome and ridiculous. It's hilarious too , I don't think I've laughed so hard in a long time (although that's probably because I rarely watch comedies). Seriously, if you're looking for a movie that's pure fun then this is the movie you want to watch. It honestly makes me laugh whenever critics take this movie seriously since this movie is as over-the-top as possible and taking it seriously is completely missing the point. Not to mention that there are a lot of video game shout-outs and hipster culture references which is amusing. Although the most amusing part for pretty much everyone in the theatre where I watched this is that Toronto (which is where the movie was filmed and takes place in) is ridiculously close to where I live so people were already psyched up after seeing the first few lines of text in the movie . As you can probably tell, I fell in lesbians with this movie and I really recommend it. I'm sure a number of people aren't going to like it but this movie was totally made for my demographic (teenager, grew up somewhat with video game culture, etc.) so it was really enjoyable for me.
I've tried some of Dissidia: Final Fantasy as well. To be honest, I've had mixed reactions to this game. The gameplay is a lot of fun and the arena-$tyle fighting is really interesting but...the story mode is just so boring. It's pretty much doing the same thing over and over again with some weird uninteresting story to try and keep you interested. I know this is a 3D fighting game and it's made for multiplayer but I just don't know anyone who has this game so I wasn't able to experience that part of the game which sucks because playing this with someone else sounds like a lot of fun. Still, it's really interesting and was fun for a while so if you've got friends who like Final Fantasy and have this game then go ahead and get it! This game isn't very similar to the RPGs of the main series though so don't expect something like that.
Well, that's all I have to share with you guys for now. I'm not sure if I'll be making a blog before the school year starts so if I don't make a new blog in a long time, know that I'm still around and checking up on the site. See you all soon! (maybe )
Alright, since gamer_girl15 tagged me and I have some free time (at 1:40 AM in the morning ), I might as well do this. Here are the rules for those who haven't seen them yet:
- 1. Put Your iTunes (or other music player) on Shuffle.
- 2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
- 3. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds!
- 4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name.
- 5. Tag at least 10 friends.
- 6. Anyone tagged has to do the same, because fun pointlessness spreads like a virus
Also, expect my taste in music to be all over the place. I honestly don't care what genre or artist something is from, as long as it sounds nice and catchy to me, I listen to it. Onto the questions and answers!
1. If someone says, "Is This Okay?" You Say:
Feel Good Inc. - Gorillaz (Like everyone else, I'm going to be adding comments. This is such a random song title though, I have nothing to comment on)
2. How would you describe yourself?
Olson - Boards of Canada (Not exactly...)
3. What do you like in a guy/girl?
Assault - Nobuo Uematsu (I certainly don't mind a little aggression )
4. How do you feel today?
Oh Well - Lady Gaga (but the day hasn't even started )
5. What Is Your Life's Purpose?
Summerboy - Lady Gaga ()
6. What is your motto?
Tightrope - Janelle Monae ft. Big Boi (I guess I encourage walking the tightrope)
7. What do your friends think of you?
Jump - Madonna (this would have been more appropriate for #6)
8. What do you think of your parents?
Goodnight and Go - Imogen Heap (doesn't really make much sense)
9. What do you think about very often?
The Beautiful People - Marilyn Manson (Nope, I have other things to worry about )
10. What is 2+2?
Paparazzi - Lady Gaga (Apparently, 2+2 = Paparazzi)
11. What do you think of your best friend?
Get In Line - Ke$ha (I'm not THAT arrogant)
12. What do you think of the person you like?
Rhinestone Eyes - Gorillaz (I never actually payed much attention to the eyes)
13. What is your life story?
Teenage Dream - Katy Perry (Well, I am still a teenager after all.)
14. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Odno I To Zhe - t.A.T.u. / Rammstein (I have no clue what this means)
15. What do you think of when you see the person you like?
All The Things She Said - t.A.T.u. (It does come across my mind occasionally)
16. What will you dance to at your wedding?
Getting Scared - Imogen Heap (...I sure hope not, unless I'm marrying some old enemy of mine)
17. What will they play at your funeral?
Hyperballad - Bjork (I wouldn't mind!)
18. What is your hobby/interest?
Rhapsody in the Rain - Lou Christie (It would be a bit unhealthy to have that as a hobby)
19. What is your biggest fear?
Friend or Foe - t.A.T.u. (I do tend to be wary of other people)
20. What is your biggest secret?
Ruins of Lemuria - Motoi Sakuraba (...I'm pretty sure I don't own any ruins)
21. What do you think of your friends?
Dr. Jones - Aqua (I don't even have a friend with Jones as a surname)
22. What will you put as the title?
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Daft Punk
and I shall tag....
If you've done it already, there's no need to do it again. Also, yes, I just picked the people who commented on my last blog. Also, I'm pretty sure something like this already circulated around my group of Facebook friends before. It's interesting seeing it on Gamespot of all places!
August sure is coming up really quickly. Everytime I realize that, my mind just keeps wandering over to the fact that school will be coming around again for me in about a little over a month's time. I seriously don't want summer vacation to end anytime soon, especially since things are supposed to be a lot busier next year and I plan to take night school but I guess I can't really do anything about it. The fact that it's almost August also reminded me that I haven't updated you guys with random going-ons in my life for over a month!
In terms of gaming, I haven't been doing that much. I went ahead and got myself The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for the Gamecube (I've really been having the urge to try out older games that I missed on lately). I've already finished it and liked it a lot! It's not my favourite Zelda game and definitely not mind-blowing in terms of taking the series anywhere new but it's still a lot of fun and very solid. Honestly, at this point, I don't think any game is going to outperform Majora's Mask for me since that one's my favourite. It might not be the best for a lot of people but it's the first Zelda game I ever played and I was really young when I first played it so I think my experience playing that was the equivalent of many people's first foray into Super Mario 64 or Ocarina of Time.
I also went and tried out Persona 3 Portable since it has the new female route I wanted to try out. After playing through that...I have to say that there's honestly not much new. The only stuff I really enjoyed were the new Social Links that weren't present in Persona 3 FES and the amusing dialogue changes that happened with the change in the character's sex. Everything else was boring because I had already seen it all before. I can't really speak for those who haven't played Persona 3 at all but after I've spent 80-ish hours on Persona 3 FES, do I really want to do that all over again? Not really. Thankfully, you can blaze through the game in less than 30 hours by picking the new "Beginner" difficulty level and ignoring all the random side stuff that you can do. That's pretty much what I did.
Also, I went and watched Inception last week! I'm no expert in movies or anything like that, but I really enjoyed it! It's a very intense movie and even fun to watch at some points. Not to mention the all-star cast that the film has (the film has brought out some very...strange feelings within me regarding Joseph Gordon-Levitt ). I'll stop there since I don't want to go into details and spoil the movie. I really recommend watching it!
Well, that's pretty much all I have to share for now. Sorry for not updating as often, my offline social life has gotten a lot busier as of late which is both a blessing and a curse since I don't get to communicate with you guys on Gamespot so often anymore. I'll see you all again soon!
Finally, exams for my second year of high school are finished and I have the next two months off! It's times like these when I'm really thankful that I'm not older and I still have huge breaks like this. It has certainly been a while since I last posted anything here. I don't really have any good reason for not doing so other than the fact that I've been really lazy and unmotivated to do anything on the site lately Well, that and studying for exams.
...Well, not really that either. I barely studied for my final exams at all. On the evening before my Science exam, I ended up watching a TV biography about a serial killer with my friend instead of studying. They were all still pretty easy though and I couldn't care less anymore. The end of the school year is always the point where I stop caring about my performance at school and more on "How much can I slack off without letting my mark drop too much?". That's just how I operate, I guess! Although I'm definitely not taking that attitude for my last two years in high school since that's supposed to be when your marks actually matter.
Anyways, during my absence, I've managed to add two more games to my collection.
Both of these games were amazing.
*the next two paragraphs have minor spoilers on the above two games so if you're worried about that sort of thing, skip them*
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle managed to make me pull out my Wii (which, honestly, I haven't played in months) and have loads of fun. I don't buy many Wii games lately, not because there aren't any that interest me (I really want to get Trauma Team), but because I've been working on school and building up my offline social life so I don't buy games quite as often, and when I do it's usually for the DS. Fondly remembering the times of playing the first No More Heroes and remembering how crazy awesome, yet flawed, it was; I decided to get the sequel. I do not regret it one bit. NMH2 is FUN. I'm not going to spoil more of it since one huge thing I'm thankful for is that I didn't view much of the media and buzz regarding the game and thus, was able to enjoy it without knowing what to expect. I highly recommend it though and those who loved the first game are probably going to enjoy this one as well.
Also, yes, I only got to getting and playing Metal Gear Solid 2 now. The Metal Gear series is one of those series that I've really wanted to get into, but I just keep forgetting about it and passing it up for other games. The only game in the series I actually did play was Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes for the Gamecube a long time ago and while it was very interesting and neat, it didn't really get me that hyped up for the sequel and I delayed purchasing the sequel until now. Now I regret not having bought this game earlier. MGS2 is amazing. The cutscenes are annoyingly long sometimes but the game is really enjoyable and flows really well. The story is great as well, it really had me gripped towards the end! In the end, I enjoyed this a lot more than I enjoyed The Twin Snakes and after finishing the game, I really want to get MGS3 (and MGS4 as well in the future).
I'm also probably going to make a few game purchases in the near future. Like I mentioned earlier, I'm very interested in Trauma Team after reading up on it (although I wonder if I should get that New Blood game first). I've also been eye-ing this Sakura Wars game which has received some really positive feedback from this RPG website that I frequently check up on, but looks like one of those obscure Japanese games that are going to run out and never be rereleased if I don't pick it up sometimes soon. Also, when it gets localized and comes out, I'm definitely going to get Etrian Odyssey III. I never played the first two games but the big draw here for me is the co-op. I have a friend who's really interested in the game as well so playing that should be fun!
Well, that's pretty much all I have to share for now. Until next time!
Oh yeah, I watched Toy Story 3 over the weekend. It's amazing. WATCH IT.
This week has really been a very "different" experience. This week was actually my March Break which is basically the big break that we high school students get to have in our 2nd semester here. However, there was a bit of a complication in my break. To put it simply, I got an operation. I went through a surgery since I was diagnosed with appendicitis and everything.
I first felt signs of it on Sunday morning (March 7th) where I woke up and had a weird feeling in my stomach. I dismissed it as a normal stomachace and went on with my day since I promised to hang out with my friend. It was weird though because by the end of the day, the weird stomachache wasn't gone yet and I even mentioned this to my friend before leaving her place. It didn't actually start hurting until the morning of the day after when I woke up. I thought I was having some really bad stomach pains so when my parents woke up, I asked them to help me out. I wasn't having any unusual bowel movement and I tried vomiting a few times but that didn't make me feel any better. I even tried antacids in case it was an acid indigestion problem but that didn't help at all. My parents had to go to work so I just told them that they could try to find out what the problem was when they come back later on in the day.
This turned out to be a pretty bad idea on my part. The pain kept getting worse and worse throughout the morning and it was very debilitating. I seriously could not do anything except lie down because it hurt to get up and walk. I tried sitting down on the computer and doing random stuff to pass the time but I just couldn't concentrate, I just felt like lying down again so I did. I kept falling in and out of sleep since I was very tired and in pain at the same time, and eventually my mum came home at 4 PM and when she saw the state that I was in, decided to bring me to the clinic where I got diagnosed. The doctor asked if I ever had my appendix removed after doing all these tests (my reply was, of course, no) and recommended that we go to the emergency room at the nearby hospital so we went there.
After getting me registered, answering questions, and lots and lots of waiting, I finally get to talk to the surgeon and he tells me that all the results of the testing do correspond with appendicitis and that I would be operated on in the next few hours which was actually a bit of a relief since I wanted to get this over with as soon as possible. I'd never been through an operation though so I was also a bit nervous but I needed it so I didn't bother getting all worried. So yes, at around 12 midnight or so, I went and had an operation. Thankfully, I didn't feel a thing since the anesthetic was very effective. I only had some nasty after effects (I was coughing up blood and everything) but they were able to fix the problem and of course the wound from the actual surgery still hurts if I stretch too much or do anything strenuous (which I do try to avoid) but I can deal with it. I was admitted out of the hospital by Tuesday afternoon.
So yeah, if you've been wondering where I've been or what I've been up to, that's one big thing that happened. It wasn't pleasant but I'm thankful that everything happened the way it did. The hospital staff were really nice, my mother was there to help me out all that time, and I don't have to worry about that happening again since my appendix has been removed. I'm very lucky and grateful that things went well. Also, it's good that it happened during March Break. I would hate it if I had to miss school because of it and have to catch up.
On the gaming side of things, I bought Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth a few weeks ago and finished it.
I liked the game and it was pretty nice. It was also disappointing in a way though since it just didn't have the same impact that the Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice games had when it came to its story. Some cases also drag on for way too long and the whole "Logic" system that they brought in didn't really bring in anything that new to the table. Still, it's a good game and if you liked the other games in the series, you'll like this too. Just don't expect it to be groundbreaking or something really new.
I've also played a lot more of Dragon Age: Origins and finished the game with my Human Noble Warrior. It was a good experience and I'd definitely recommend the game. The game isn't even half as enjoyable when playing a second character though. Aside from dialogue changes and the actual Origin story, not much changes when you're playing through again with a different character. Going through the main quest dungeons is also a big bore the second time (particularly The Deep Roads) since you already know what to expect and what's going to happen. Maybe I'll get around to finishing my second character once I've stayed away from the game long enough. I also still haven't touched Mass Effect. I know better than to play two Bioware RPGs back-to-back.
It has been a while.
Alright, so maybe two and a half months is more than just "a while" but I'm afraid things in my offline life continue to keep me busy. Thus, I have not been able to give you guys my meant-to-be-obligatory updates such as my New Year's post and my birthday post (yes, my birthday passed and I didn't make a blog ). Pardon me for continuing to postpone my blogs but I'm afraid that I've been focusing more on my offline social life lately and there's also school. Also, believe it or not, I've been spending a lot of my time actually gaming which is quite a surprise since at the end of the last year I was going through a gaming drought.
So yes, quite a bit has been happening and I must once again apologize for not keeping all of you Gamespot friends updated. Until now, anyways.
Like I was saying, I've actually spent a lot of time gaming since I was able to buy a few new games with the Christmas and birthday money I received.
The Path is an indie video game that I heard about quite a bit last year when it first came out. I remember hearing about how it was really artistic and unique in its execution so I decided to buy it since it's $10 and looked pretty interesting. After playing it, I'm kind of disappointed but I kind of saw it coming. The first thing I noticed is that it's really annoying how slow the game is. I'm not a very artistic person so perhaps I wasn't able to see the value of going through the forest really slowly but the pace that the game went at made me lose interest quickly. I was also able to figure out the structure of the game quite quickly which made things much less exciting compared to the beginning of the game to the point that I lost interest and stopped after finishing 4 of the characters' stories. The whole analogy of growing up and losing innocence (at least, I think that's what the game was about) didn't really interest me very much. If you look elsewhere though, you'll definitely find some very positive feedback for this game so I guess it really depends on who you are. Some will like The Path, some will not. I didn't. I'd still recommend it for some of you though if you have $10 to spare.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor
I'm sure you were all expecting me to pick up this game eventually with me being such a big fan of the MegaTen games and what better way to have spent the Christmas holidays then getting lost in a story involving brutality and survival? I was very pleased with this game. I honestly didn't expose myself to much media regarding Devil Survivor so I didn't really know what to expect. Thankfully, what I got was really good. The story caught my attention and it the game was surprisingly violent which I didn't expect seeing how colourful the characters looked. The game wasn't really that difficult or complex compared to other grid-based strategy RPGs I've played but it was still interesting seeing how they decided to fuse tradition JRPG elements together with the whole grid strategy system. I'd recommend the game.
This is a game that I've been enjoying quite a bit. At first, I was rather skeptical of this game. I was really disappointed that after trying out several Origins stories (which were advertised and hyped a bit too much), they all led to the same end result and didn't really affect the game world too much. Anyway, after a while I decided that a Human Warrior was what I wanted to be. I kept playing and the game got much more interesting after going through more of the main quest and getting used to the mechanics. Morrigan is easily my favourite character since mages in this game are just ridiculously powerful and her personality is interesting. The other two characters I put in my party are Leliana (as an archer) and Zevran (as a dual-wielder). I'm not too far into the game so I'll keep you guys updated as I go on.
I also bought Mass Effect (since quite a bit of buzz about ME2 was going around with some of my friends and I wanted to get into the series before I get left behind ) but I have yet to even open the plastic casing so I can't provide my opinion on the game yet.
As for other things going on my life...well, there's school. The second semester of school started around two weeks ago and I'm not really liking it as much as I liked my first semester. Things might still get better though. I also watched the opening ceremony of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and I watched some of the sports yesterday. It's really exciting stuff! I can't even imagine trying to be athletes like the ones performing. I think I'd break my bones or even die if I tried something that straining
There's been a lot going on but this blog is getting too long so I'll stop here Anyway, even though I keep disappearing and never post my blogs regularly, know that I still lurk around this site so if you ever want to talk to me about anything, just send me a private message and I'll reply.
See you all soon!...or not. (probably the latter)
Hello everyone! A pleasure to see you all once again.
Wow, I can't believe I haven't made a new post since September 9th. I'm very sorry for not keeping in touch with you all more frequently but I'm afraid that the usual stuff has come up. School, my offline friends, and...well, you know. This is always the case once school starts though In the summer, I'm always keeping you guys updated and making reviews but things always slow down around this time so just bear with me and keep in mind that I'm always around here, even though I may not make it very obvious.
So, how have you all been? I've been pretty good so far. School is treating me very nicely in particular. Things have been pretty easygoing thanks to my balanced semester and the work isn't overwhelming at all. I got quite a few new games too and things with my family and friends, while not always so smooth, have been pretty peaceful lately.
In terms of gaming, I have a lot to talk about. It's been such a long time that I've gotten myself a few new games and I'm working on an older one that I never got to finish.
You guys will remember that I purchased Shadow of the Colossus some time ago if you read my last blog. Well, now I've finished it! I have to say, I was actually getting tired of the game towards the end. I felt as if it was getting redundant and I honestly wanted it to hurry up and end already. The last colossus and the ending did not disappoint though! That was probably one of the most satisfying and interesting endings to a game that I've experienced so far. Overall, I thought it was a very solid game. If I have the time, I'll make a review for it.
Touch Detective is one of those games that I never really had any intention of buying but I decided to pick it up because of a friend's recommendation (you know who you are ). I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by it. While it wasn't that superb, I liked it more than what most professional critics seem to think of it. It definitely has a certain creepy charm (especially the 2nd case) and it was worth playing through. I'm definitely thinking of picking up the sequel!
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is a game that I honestly wasn't planning on buying this soon but my friend REALLY wanted to try out multiplayer with me so I went ahead and bought it. Of course, you guys know how I can be with games sometimes. I just blaze right through them to get them over with and by the time my friend bought this game, I was already at around Day 200 so she was too weak to go on any worthwhile missions with me So I just went ahead and finished the game and agreed to help her get extra stuff in Mission Mode if she needs any help. I have to say, this entry in the Kingdom Hearts series doesn't really live up to the PS2 games (which, while not the best RPGs I've ever played, were tons of fun). The story in this one was an absolute bore. I hated how, since Organization XIII was a "stealth" organization, they couldn't interact with any of the Disney characters. I admit that a big part of the appeal of console games was that I was able to traverse all these different Disney worlds and see these characters who I thought I would never see in the same game (and a Squaresoft RPG for that matter). Sure they were held together by some ridiculous story about hearts and whatever that wasn't that interesting to me but still, it was quite interesting seeing what happened when Square and Disney worked together. Much of the appeal is gone in this game though (there are zero Final Fantasy characters and a ridiculous lack of Disney with all the worlds having been present in the past games), and the gameplay isn't quite as good either because of the DS hardware limitations (controlling a game like Kingdom Hearts with the d-pad isn't exactly the most comfortable setup). Still, it's a nice attempt and still a game worth playing through. Just don't expect too much. I'm looking forward to the PSP one much more though.
Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars (Director's Cut) was a bit of an impulse buy for me. When I even heard that there was a Director's Cut of Broken Sword, I remembered playing another version of it on the GBA (I haven't played the superior PC version unfortunately). I actually liked that one and thought that it would be interesting to see how the game would be if it wasn't held back by the GBA hardware limitations. Since the PC one isn't quite as readily available as this version, I picked this one up when I saw it. After playing through it all, I have to say that it was a very enjoyable experience! I liked those cool new animation scenes that were thrown in together with the extra Nico sidestory segments (as short as those sections may have been). Being an updated version of an old cla$$ic, I can't really go too in-depth into this. There's not much I could reveal that you couldn't find out by looking up the Broken Sword games yourself but I'll just say that I enjoyed this game and I recommend it!
I've actually owned The Witcher: Enhanced Edition since last year but back then, despite how nice this game looked and how much I wanted to play it, our computer simply couldn't handle it well. Well, my brother did some heavy upgrading and now the game actually works pretty smoothly and I've been able to play it a lot lately. I'm really enjoying it! I'm glad this didn't end up like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion to me (which was a game I really couldn't get myself to like). The way that this game pulls off the fantasy setting is very realistic and convincing. I also love how the choices you make can really have some weight to them and how the events of the game can unfold very differently based on what you do. The political tension is also something that really gripped me here. I honestly can't decide on whether I should side with The Order (the humans) or the Scoia'tael (the non-humans). They both really seem like they're doing horrible things but if I just say neutral and do nothing, I miss out on a lot of quests so I try to balance the choices I make regarding them. It's pretty difficult to stay neutral in this game though. I'll keep you guys updated on how things go with this game.
Well, that's pretty much all I have to say for now. I could talk about school and all the sort of stuff but I'm kind of tired so I'll stop here I hope you guys all have a great Halloween if you're celebrating it! See you all soon.
Hello everyone! Nice to see you all once again!
So as you all probably already know, school has started for me (it started on September 8th) so I haven't quite been blogging as much and don't expect me to make blog posts too frequently for a while since school is proving to be somewhat busy and I don't have much free time. It's the weekend though so I have time to make an update.
I've been liking Grade 10 so far. I've been learning quite a bit and things have gone well for my first week. As some of you know, I posted my schedule two blogs ago so I thought I might add some impressions as to what I think so far of my classes (since I don't have much else to blog about )
Principles of Mathematics: Blech, I have to start the day of with Math. This class isn't that bad and I have a somewhat good grasp of things so far (especially since everything for the first week is pretty much a review of Grade 9 stuff) but this is the class where I get the most homework. We get around 40+ questions to do everyday and I'm not looking forward to going into the more complex stuff. Still, you can't really escape from Math in life since it's necessary in a lot of things so I'll just deal with it.
Christ and Culture: Yeah, like I mentioned before, I go to a Catholic school so I have to take a religion-centered course once a year. I'm not really liking this class that much so far. Not only is it pretty boring so far but I'm finding some of the students to be rather annoying. I still have to see how things go and whether or not my teacher does well at teaching or not.
English: I love this class. I honestly find doing some writing assignments fun and we started with the short story unit, reviewing literary devices, and blah blah blah, the usual Reading stories and myths is interesting for me so I'm looking forward to seeing more of this class.
Civics: Well, this is an interesting class. I actually had no idea what Civics even was before coming into this class >_> but the teacher explained that it's studying the rights and citizenship of a nation and stuff like that. Some of the stuff is interesting I guess, but my teacher is the really odd and interesting one. He really likes to stare at people and stares at me from time to time. It doesn't make me uncomfortable though so I just stare back at him and we have some staring contest for a few seconds He also talks to us about comic books, Spider-Man, Batman, The Lord of the Rings, the Wii (which he hates his wife and son decide all the games for him to get though and they get stuff like Lego Batman and Wii Fit. I'll have to introduce him to No More Heroes and Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition), his experiences from his younger years, and random stuff like that. I'm amazed we actually get anything done with how off-topic he strays but I guess I don't mind.
Well, there you go. I know it's not the most interesting topic but I thought I might as well share what I think so far of the classes I've been having this semester.
In other more game related news, I got myself Shadow of the Colossus!
First impressions of the game so far are great. I'm not really too familiar with what the story is all about and everything since the beginning was kind of confusing but I really like the game. The isolated and desolate atmosphere that this game has is really effective since it really seems like it's just your character, his horse, and the colossi out there in the land this game takes place in. I also like how the game controls when you ride the horse (I believe his name was Agro or something like that). He's a bit difficult to control and unstable at times but he's much faster than you are. Kind of like a real horse!
Of course, the best parts so far are definitely the colossi battles. Scaling them and slaying them is tons of fun (well, until they die and you start feeling sorry for them of course). The music that plays during the encounters with them is amazing as well! I really need to look up the composer and see if he's done any other works. Anyway, I'm only up to the big flying bird colossus so far (I think it's the 4th or 5th one, I forgot) so I still have quite a way to go, but I'll try to finish as much of the game as possible soon.
Well, that's all for now! I'll talk to you all some other time.
Hello everyone! Nice to see you all again!
Life hasn't been very busy for me lately, but that should change soon since school is starting for me in five days. However, I have been playing a game recently to occupy my time. After my last foray into the land of fan translations, I played an interesting RPG called Persona 2: Innocent Sin. The experience was pretty good and I was very satisfied with the dedicated translation which allowed me to play one of my most wanted games that wasn't released in English...in English.
Well, now a similar situation has presented itself. As I was looking around some forums on an adventure game site, I came across a thread talking about the fan translation of Policenauts, a very old Playstation adventure game directed by Hideo Kojima (which was also released on several different formats before the PS version). Intrigued, I went ahead and looked some stuff up. Apparently, many people who played it in Japanese and understood it hail it as Hideo Kojima's "hidden masterpiece" as plans for the official localization by Konami were cancelled. The translators also seemed to have been working on it for a very long time so I felt very obliged to try the whole thing out and I honestly found that the game looked interesting as a whole so I went ahead and played the game which was translated thanks to the patch.
Now, I haven't played this long enough to give my definite opinion on what I think of the game (I've played around 5 hours) but it left a very good first impression on me.
I'll say it up front though. Policenauts is a cla$$ic adventure game. If you don't like adventure games, don't play this. The only action sequences that it has are these (very intense) shooting sequences that have so far happened rarely. Also, this game has a very heavy science fiction feel to it. If you hate science fiction, don't bother with this game as it throws a large amount of scientific terms at you.
For everyone else, I really suggest you give it a try. Like I said earlier, the game left some very good first impressions on me. It's a game that takes place around the year 2040 and follows the adventures of Jonathan Ingram, a man who was...er, it's kind of hard to explain. It's probably easier if you guys read up on it yourself.
Anyways, that's all I really have to talk about I just thought I'd give you guys an update since it's been quite a while since my last blog. So I guess that's it for now. I'll give you guys an update on how school goes when it starts this coming Tuesday.
Oh yeah, and like I predicted, The Greatest Adventure Game Hero of All Time is turning out to be one big glorified popularity contest. I mean, honestly. Frogger is beating Garrett? Little Mac won over Phoenix Wright? It's clear that this is more of a "Who do more people know about?" and "Who looks cooler?" contest instead of a Greatest Hero one. Well, I guess that's a given. Although this honestly isn't turning out to be anything more than those Character Battles they have over at GameFAQs (except with less candidates since they're only including heroes).
Hello everyone! Nice to see you all once again.
Anyways, as you can see by my blog title. School is coming pretty soon for me. Some of you (depending on which part of the world you live in) have already started school, some of you might still even be on vacation, and some of you might be fully working adults but my school year starts on September 8th which is coming pretty quickly. I'm always a bit nervous before the school year starts, mainly because I don't know what teachers I'll be having and whether or not they're going to be any good but I guess I'm also excited too in a way to meet everyone again and start getting busy. I'm not too terribly excited for this year though. I'm going into 10th Grade (which is 2nd year high school) and from what I recall, this is what my schedule is:
Principles of Mathematics
Christ and Culture (Yes, I go to a Catholic school)
Canadian History Since World War I
Introduction to Business
So yeah, not the most terribly exciting schedule but that's probably just what the first two years of high school are like. All the courses I'm taking are mandatory except for Business and French which I chose on my own. I'm not really interested in Business but I'm taking it to get the credit out of the way (on the other hand, I kind of like French). Religion was a total bore last year and I'm expecting it to be one again this year (it supposedly doesn't get interesting until Grade 11) and everything else looks alright to me.
I know my school schedule isn't the most exciting thing in the world but since school was on my mind, I thought I might as well share I'll give you guys updated impressions of what I think once my first semester begins.
Also, I ended up getting a new emblem which is related to the All Time Greatest Video Game Hero contest.
This looks like a nice and interesting activity for the community to take part in. Although, someone like Link or Kratos or Snake will probably end up winning in the end no matter what Still though, I'm going to vote whenever I get the chance to. I also took a look at the brackets and tried making my own. It was actually pretty amusing because my choices were so far off from what would probably happen After all, you guys know what sort of taste I have (I'd take Phoenix Wright over Cloud Strife any day). It's horrible of Gamespot to put Samus and Jade against each other as their first match though. I mean, making two of the most likable gaming heroines going off against each other on the first round? How criminal! Well, I'm probably voting for Jade in that case since she talks a lot more and has the courage to wear green lipstick. This suddenly reminds me of how much I'm looking forward to Beyond Good & Evil 2...
Also, I made a new review for The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition. Go check it out if you've got the time and I hope you guys enjoy it!
Well, that's all for now! Excuse me as I continue to wait for Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth to come out... (I do hope school makes the months fly by until February)
Hello everyone, it's a pleasure to see you all again! How have you all been?
Things have been rather quiet with me. This summer has been lots of fun and all but it's coming to and end quickly so things are settling down. I doubt I'm going on anymore camping and overnight trips for the rest of the month and my "fun" will probably be limited to browsing around the internet, reading, or hanging out with friends until summer vacation ends and school starts once more.
Speaking of school, I'm quite looking forward to going back to it. It's certainly going to keep me busy and it'll be nice seeing people again. Not to mention that I actually enjoy classes and taking down notes (since I'm weird like that ). I should study a bit before it gets started though. If I don't then I'm going to get off to a very bad start with some of my classes like French since I'm quite sure I've forgotten most of it over the summer.
On the gaming side, I'm really pleased with the announcement of the PS3 Slim.
It's $299, 33 percent smaller, 36 percent lighter, and uses less energy! Sounds good to me. I'll see if I can get myself one before the end of the year. I honestly can't wait until I get myself one. There are lots and lots of games that I'm looking forward to playing that are on it. I'll probably start off buying the games that my friends really recommend to me like Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and LittleBigPlanet so that I can actually talk to them/play with them when it comes to some games and then slowly work on building up my collection with games like Valkyria Chronicles and MGS4 (after I get all the other MGS games first...). My PS3 purchase cannot come soon enough!
Anyways, in other gaming news...well, I haven't been doing much lately. I bought Golden Sun: The Lost Age a few weeks ago.
That was quite some time ago though so I already finished the game. It was a solid typical JRPG. It had a much larger scale compared to the first game and was nice. As usual, taking the GBA's technical limitations into consideration, the special effects in battle were very impressive. The puzzles were done rather well too. I recommend it! (but then again, who buys GBA games anymore these days? )
I'm also getting really hyped up for Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth. I'm rather disappointed that it's still coming out in February, 2010 but at least I know it's being localized. The Ace Attorney series is what sparked my interest in the Adventure genre after all (as I got The Longest Journey some time not too long after playing the first Phoenix Wright game). Anyway, to commemorate the announcement of its localization (which happened quite some time ago actually), I've decided to replay all of the Ace Attorney games. I'm currently in the middle of Trials & Tribulations which is easily my favourite entry in the series. After I'm done with this then...well, I guess I enter the waiting phase for the Miles Edgeworth game
I've also made a bunch of new reviews. If you want to check them out, here are the reviews I made for God of War (those who have been keeping track of my blogs for a long time will know my stance on this game), Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines (a review which got featured on the weekly community blog), and Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice for All (which I should've written years ages ago but just never got to it ). I hope you enjoy reading them!
Well, that's all for now. Yeah, not much has been happening lately Expect a meatier update from me next month!
Also, since I haven't been too busy lately, if you guys want me to write an opinion blog or a "Top 10/Top 5/Top Whatever" blog then you can request it. I honestly wouldn't mind since it'll keep me busy.
Hello everyone! It's nice to see you all once again. How have you all been doing?
Nothing much has been happening with me. It's kind of sad that I'm spending my summer vacation at home most of the time but I still do stuff occasionally. I'm going camping this coming weekend with some family friends and my family and I are watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on Tuesday or Wednesday (I honestly don't know if I'm looking forward to it or not with how weird the editing of Order of the Phoenix was but I guess I'll still stay cautiously excited about it). As for now, I just got a few games and watched a few movies so it's time for another one of my usual irregularly posted update blogs
Astro Boy: Omega Factor
The story behind me getting Astro Boy: Omega Factor begins many weeks ago. While I was looking over my Gameboy Advance section, I said to myself "Wow, the DS has been out for FOUR years and the GBA system is pretty much almost dead. I can't believe that I only bought this many games for it" so I decided to work on my collection before all of the games for the handheld went into obscurity and would never be seen again. So I went lurking around Gamespot looking for some interesting games and found Astro Boy: Omega Factor. Seeing how it was going for a decent price on amazon.ca, I had it ordered.
I must say, it's a very solid action game. Now, I was not very familiar with the manga or anime that this game is centered around on but I was still able to enjoy it. It plays like some sort of arcade shooter/beat em' up hybrid where you fight bad guys to progress through the stage while collecting points and getting high scores at the same time. Not something I'm very accustomed to but a system I eventually warmed up to throughout the game.
I was also surprised that the story was able to capture my attention. The game moves at a blisteringly fast pace so there's never much focus given to it but the concepts are all pretty interesting with the whole robot and human racial tensions and such. It actually made me watch a few episodes of the 1980 anime online and it almost creeped me out a little. Also, am I the only one who was reminded of Pinocchio with the storyline of the whole thing? Except this one was kind of more exciting since people almost get killed and it involves a little robot boy who can shoot lasers out of his fingertips and fly. Anyway, I recommend this game. It's old but fun and I'm very satisfied with my purchase.
This game was a bit of an impulse buy for me. I decided to expand my Adventure game collection so I decided to look around my brother's Steam account (who says downloadable games can't be part of my collection? ). Of course, the first thing I pretty much saw was The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition. I had heard a lot of the hype over this new special edition and I've read some impressions on the old game and why it's such a cla$$ic AND it was only $10 so I thought "Wow, this sounds like a great deal" and bought it.
I do not regret doing that one bit. I don't know how I'm so impressed over a Special Edition of a game made in 1990 but I guess that just showed that this game really knows how to stand the test of time. Well...I guess the humour and the writing anyway. I switched to cla$$ic mode a few times and the difference in quality between the new graphics and the cla$$ic one was too big that I just stayed with the modern version (the animation is very similar though). I might do a playthrough of cla$$ic mode one day though.
I can also see why this is considered one of the most accessible adventure games of all time. The hint system was a lifesaver for me a lot of times and the game doesn't carry any heavy philosophical themes. It's a lighthearted, fun, and very humorous story about pirates. Don't expect anything on the level of The Longest Journey here in terms of story. It's rarely ever as serious as some parts in that game. There's tons more humour and fun puzzle-solving in this one though and I highly recommend this. Now, just in case LucasArts ever stumbles upon this blog...
PLEASE make a Special Edition of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge. By releasing The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, you have somehow made a new fan (almost 20 years later of the release of the original game no less...) who wants to play through all the Monkey Island games. If you do this then I will be eternally grateful.
Also, is anyone else getting pissed by the people who bash on this game? For some reason, this game seems to be attracting people used to RPGs and the like who are probably complaining about the lack of combat. I even read a guy's post comparing this game to Chrono Trigger of all things. Sheesh, they're two different genres people. If you like one, you might not like the other. No need to needlessly criticize one because of your tastes.
So, other than my Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince watching that will be done next week, I also watched one movie in the last few weeks which is...
Yep, I watched Drag Me To Hell (from watching Up to Drag Me To Hell, what a change )! One of my friends was ranting about this to me about how scary the trailer looked and everything so I looked the movie up and found out that Sam Raimi, the guy who made the Evil Dead movies is directing it! This made me more excited to watch it so my brother and my friend (not the one who said it was scary) decided to go ahead and give it a watch.
After seeing this movie, the best word that I could come up with to describe it is HILARIOUS. I don't know how my one friend thought the movie was going to be scary. I was laughing the whole time and was almost never scared. The general consensus between my brother and the friend who watched it with me was pretty much the same. This movie seriously works better as a comedy more than anything. If you can still find it airing in a theatre or if it comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray, I highly recommend giving it a watch just for the lulz and if you're scared about watching this, don't be. There's like one or two "Boo!" moments here but the rest is comedy gold.
As I was looking over my Gamespot profile the other day, I just realized something. I'm really getting tired of my usual design. My avatar is fairly new and I like it so I'm cool with that but I really want to change everything else.
KOS-MOS is cool and all but it's been forever since I've played Xenosaga and I want to try another theme. I also kind of want a new blog header and signature.
So, if there are any people out there who are experienced with programs like Photoshop and the like and you wouldn't mind helping me out, you can send me a private message or leave a comment about it. If you could, I'd greatly appreciate it!
and that's all for now! Until my next blog post!
Hello everyone! Nice to see you again.
Anyway, here is Part 2 of my Top 10 Most Memorable Games list. If you just got here and you're not sure what I'm talking about, go see my previous blog.
Anyways, here we will be seeing some of my most favourite games that left such a memorable impression on me. There's bound to be disagreements but once again, go consult my collection to see if I missed a game that you thought deserved to be here before arguing. On to the list!
5. Metroid Prime "The Atmosphere"
This has probably got to be one of the most amazingly designed games I've ever played. Not only did Retro Studios bring the fantastic Metroid series to the 3D world but they did it with so much $tyle. It even serves as a hybrid game being a mix of first-person shooter and an adventure. The first section of the game in the space pirate frigate was very intense and was already quite memorable on its own. The moment that really won it for me however was when Samus landed on Tallon IV which first appeared as a very lush place filled with greenery, natural-looking platforms, and some of the best graphics I had seen at that point. Then they put you behind Samus' visor, give you control, and it easily becomes one of the most immersive experiences I've had. The first thing I did when I got control over Samus was jump into the small body of water in the beginning area and and come out. It was really cool seeing how the water would actually slide off your visor instead of magically disappearing. It's small added touches like these that really make the Metroid Prime trilogy one of the best-looking video games in recent memory and definitely the most atmospheric and memorable.
4. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES "The Characters"
I always have thought that of all the things that the Persona spin-off titles had which put them above the rest, it was the characterization. Instead of having protagonists that are overpowered and badass (like the stars of DMC and God of War and even other RPGs like Valkyrie Profile), it instead favours flawed but human characters. This definitely works to its advantage to making the characters very memorable. The experiences they go through and the problems they have (well...except for being able to summon crazy other selves and having to climb through a treacherous tower filled with demons) are pretty realistic and there's bound to be someone in the game that once can sympathize with. There has definitely been effort put into the character development in this game.
3. Final Fantasy VI Advance "The Change and the Story"
Having started the Final Fantasy series at Final Fantasy VII, I was one of the people who missed out on this game (called Final Fantasy III back in the day in North America) the first time around and all the Final Fantasies prior to it. Thus, I followed the releases of the Final Fantasy games closely on the Gameboy Advance. I honestly thought they were all pretty good from I to V and each had some interesting qualities. Then I came to this game and all I could say once everything was over was "Wow". It was so much darker compared to the previous games (it still had some silly antics of course). The cast had a lot of backstory to them, and the first lead character Terra is one of the most memorable and interesting. It was done in a different ****and it was done well. The plot had lots of effort put into it and it's amazing that a port of such an old game could evoke such emotions. Definitely the pinnacle of Square Enix's work.
2. The Longest Journey "The Execution and The Characters"
Let me say one thing that I'm sure of: I'm not an avid adventure gamer. I do buy some and I enjoy them but it has never been a huge part of my collection. I enjoyed some of them like the visual-novel $tyle Ace Attorney series and the exploration-based Endless Ocean and I definitely played some cla$$ic adventure games back then on my parent's PC but I never really got into the genre too much despite it being the genre that succeeds the best in making a great narrative and great dialogue. Then came this game which made me go crazy over the genre and made it rise from one of my most overlooked sector of games to my most favoured. This is the one game that had characters filled with personality that I actually cared for and the dialogue is wonderful. I also cannot overlook the amazing voice acting that this game has which makes April Ryan and everyone her seem even more real. The game has a typical "two worlds" setting that combines fantasy and a modern feel but it is done with such great execution that it surpassed all the rest in actually making it believable. The Longest Journey definitely counts as one of the most memorable games I've played that sparked my great interest in the adventure genre.
1. Persona 2: Innocent Sin "The Characters...Again and pretty much everything else too"
Yet another Persona game featured in my list and for the exact same reason I DID say that the characterization is one of the strong points of the series though. However, before I even move on to that, I should point out that there are so many other reasons why this game is memorable too. Instead of going for a steampunk, fantasy, or futuristic setting it instead focuses right on the modern world (in this game's case, 1999 since that's when it was released). That on its own is quite unique already. To add even more to the memorability of the game, it even features one of the darkest and most tragic stories I've ever experienced (especially if you don't have a walkthrough handy and make the wrong decisions). This game even has a choice and consequence feature that many other JRPGs don't have (they instead have pointless dialogue choices that have little to no impact on the story). Make the wrong choice? One of your main characters might miss out on their advanced personas or their final fate might be worse than it could have been. Nice touches like these are why I love the game.
Finally, this game is the most memorable because of the characters. In Persona 3 FES, you could sympathize with the characters and feel sorry for the believable situations they could go through. It was more of a pity relationship that I had with the characters there because of all the family, life, and education issues they had to go through. However, the characters in this game are much more human. While in Persona 3 I could sympathize for the characters, in this game I WAS some of the characters. I was Lisa when her parents brought her to a completely new country where she was teased and suffered, I have friends that very well resembled Maya in her positive big sister personality, and my personality is just like Yukino's. Prior to this game I had never seen a cast of more believable characters and the way that the villain tortures them and the way they face it really made them some of my heroes. This is definitely one of (if not the) most memorable games I've played.
Well, that's all for now. I hope you guys enjoyed my list! Remember, it's just my opinion so don't go holding any grudges on me just because I didn't list so-and-so game at #1. Feel free to discuss it!
EDIT: Oh yeah, super ultra special shout-out to xriceballx and gamer_girl15 who commented on my last blog. I haven't seen you guys for a long time! Also, a shout-out to NekotheSpook who commented on my blog before my last blog! I really missed you guys!
So nothing much has been happening with me lately. I've been doing some stuff but I'll just mention that in my next update when I buy some new games. In the meantime however, after taking the advice of a good online friend of mine (you know who you are ), I've decided to make a Top 10 list. Instead of going for something like "Top 10 Best Games I've Played", I've decided to take a look at my collection and see what games rise above everything else in terms of leaving a memorable impression on my mind. It doesn't necessarily have to be a high quality game, but just something that really resonated with me. Also, take note that I am only including games that are in my collection because I have not played every game ever made. If you're going to argue with me saying "this game should have been there" then go consult my collection list first to see if I've even played the game. On to the list!
10. No More Heroes "The Bosses"
I had no prior knowledge of Goichi Suda (also called Suda51) before playing this game. I was introduced to this game by a friend who considered him to be an amazing game director though. He praised killer7 greatly and recommended this game to me so I went ahead and bought it. That is one decision I do not at all regret. This game has its fair share of problems with an underdeveloped open world and graphics (which are cel-shaded and I honestly thought Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne did it better) but if there's one thing I'm always going to remember from this game, it's the amazing boss fights. They were truly the highlight of this game for me and showed me in a way that Suda51 has many creative and great concepts and ideas, but probably just doesn't have the funding to polish them all up. This game's bosses are definitely memorable for me and really had a huge "epic" and "whoa" factor which you don't find in many other games.
9. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines "The World"
My first exposure to this game was from someone who didn't particularly have my taste in games (he is known as vaarna, for those of you who might know him). He didn't like JRPGs and tended to go against the popular opinion. I asked him about the Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion which I had started playing at the time and he told me that it was a pretty mediocre game. I honestly didn't like Oblivion as much as some people either so I asked him for other recommendations. This game was one of them so I went ahead and bought it. I was not familiar with this game at all but when I played it, I couldn't help but be amazed as I continued playing it. The way that this game portrayed the world of a vampire was so effective and immersive that I almost felt like I was my character. The game does have many technical bugs but those were easily fixed up with the unofficial patch. It isn't a top-quality highly polished game from a major company, but it created a believable immersive world that I hadn't experienced in all the other games I had played which definitely makes it one of the most memorable games I've played so far.
8. Endless Ocean "The Scenery"
I'm going to take a cue from tvtropes.org and say that this is one of the fist games I bought that is pretty much mostly consisted of "scenery porn". Although that site only listed one example of it on the game's main page, I honestly thought that the entire game was pretty much an example of that. The landscapes and the aquatic lifeforms exhibited in the game are really a feast for the eyes. Underwater ruins of an ancient civilization, coral reefs, and the like are all featured here and they are done pretty impressively. It still never made sense to me how you can pet sharks and horribly dangerous fish without consequence but...the game is still gorgeous and definitely sticks into my mind. It doesn't have the best quality of graphics out there but the beauty of the surroundings is definitely very memorable.
7. Siren "The Scares"
As some of you may know by my review of this game, I did not particularly like it. Its gameplay was horribly broken with a ridiculous difficulty that makes me wonder how people get through this game in the first place without some help. What it did accomplish well was creating an effective atmosphere with terrifying enemies. So what do you get when you mix a broken difficulty with a genuinely scary atmosphere? You get one of the scarier games out there. Unfortunately, it only has a very scary beginning. Thanks to all the problems this game has, the scares quickly turn into frustration and proves to be a very broken game. Does this game give a great and memorable first impression? Definitely. Can it keep this up throughout the whole game while not being ridiculously hard? Nope. It had potential though.
6. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney "Something New"
This was one game I bought on a whim. I saw it and remembered Gamespot's shining review of it and decided to pick it up. I honestly wasn't expecting much since I didn't really think being a lawyer was all that much of an interesting concept. Although, that was also a time when I had no clue what a visual novel was. I had no clue that on the first day that I started playing this game, I couldn't stop playing until it was 3 AM in the morning with school starting in a few hours (you certainly could take lots of liberties back in elementary school ). This game was really something new to me because it was something I'd never experienced before. I had played Adventure games before but not quite in the visual novel $tyle and I had never played a game that had me playing the role of a lawyer that made it actually seem epic and fun (real life court isn't like this of course but this game honestly wouldn't be very fun if it was). Definitely a memorable experience for me. One thing I'm really pleased with too about this game was that it started gaining popularity gradually after my purchase and the entire series is now pretty much playable in North America (the Miles Edgeworth game still awating release). I remember back then I used to have arguments with people who hated the game because there was no action or whatever which wasn't the point of this game in the first place. I remember that I was pretty much the only one on my side. If I were to have that same argument now though, I'd probably have hundreds of fans siding with me
Anyway, I have a bad feeling that if I keep going all the way to #1, I'm going to exceed the character limit so I'll stop here for now and let you guys comment on what you think and what your most memorable games in your collection are. I'll post my other 5 later on.
Hello everyone! It's nice to see you all again!
I hope you have all been doing well. Things for me are going great. Summer is a lot of fun so far! I've been going to a lot of graduation parties recently since school just ended and I have a lot of friends who are at the stage where they either go from elementary school to high school, or from high school to university/college/whatever post-secondary school activity they're going to be getting in. It's all starting to make me feel a bit old actually That's alright though. Summer vacation is certainly a lot busier than I thought it would be. I got some gaming done, went to watch a movie (I'll give you three guesses as to which one it is...), and read some books.
In terms of gaming, I tried playing games from my backlog like God of War in hopes of finishing that game. Unfortunately, it ended in failure. I started a new game since I figured that I'd have forgotten what happened in the story anyway and I would suck in combat since I haven't played so long. Now I'm saved somewhere in Athens and I feel even more unmotivated to play than before. I really don't know why I can't get back into it, maybe it's just not a series that's for me? There's so much hype going around for God of War III though so I just can't help but feel like I have an obligation to finish the first game but...I guess I can always do that later.
On a happier note, I finally got myself Rhythm Heaven! (Yes, I took graf's recommendation to heart! It isn't Rhythm Tengoku Gold but...it's really similar at least!)
I really like this game so far! The reviews weren't lying when they said the difficulty can limit the game's audience though. I finished the first 3 sets of games in Rhythm Heaven and the 4th set is giving me hell Nonetheless, I'm having a lot of fun! The game also has a really quirky and unique $tyle in terms of the music and the art which I found appealing. Don't confuse this with a children's game though, it can get rather difficult to the point where I could only handle the game a few bursts at a time (I can't imagine playing this game for 2 hours straight). I highly recommend it! However, I don't recommend it if you get easily frustrated or if you are not rhythmically inclined. I might make a full review for it if I have the time.
I also watched Up. (if you haven't found out already)
We were planning on watching this movie when we got to the movie theatre, but we saw that Transformers and The Proposal was also playing and we wanted to watch those too. However, after considering it, we just decided to stick to our original plan and watch Up.
I am REALLY glad that we did. This movie was amazing! It's not realistic (alright, it's about a house that is being held up by balloons, if you watch this expecting realism then there's something terribly wrong with your logical skills) but it's animation so who cares. It deals with a lot of realistic issues though. The beginning of the movie was really quite moving and it only got better (and thankfully, more light-hearted and wackier). Up was just full of so much stuff. There were emotional moments, some really thrilling moments (seriously, the number of near-death experiences the protagonists experience is ridiculous, don't watch this movie if you're horribly afraid of heights), and also a lot of hilarious moments. I highly recommend watching this movie! We also watched it in 3D but...to tell you the truth, I really didn't think it was worth it. It already has a solid visual $tyle as it is and a lot of substance to back it up so don't bother using up more money to see it in 3D.
I've also been catching up on a lot of reading lately. I'm usually too tired or too busy to read when there's school so I do it as much as possible during my summer vacation. Here are the books I've been reading recently:
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (or Alice in Wonderland, whatever you want to call it)
I bought this book after learning that Tim Burton was going to make a film based on it in 2010. I realized that I never really had any knowledge about this book's universe other than watching the Disney film so I decided to go ahead and get the book myself. After reading it, I do have to say that it was quite entertaining. It's a children's book so it's not very long but it was very odd and interesting. I enjoyed the book so I recommend it. It might be a bit too short for some though.
I haven't read The Perks of Being a Wallflower so I won't say anything about that for now. My friend just recommended it to me so I went ahead and bought it.
This is certainly an interesting book. I actually found it a bit difficult to follow but I'm holding up Basically, it's supposed to be about this man named Billy who was a prisoner of war and gets kidnapped by aliens who teaches him about the concept of time and everything. It certainly has a unique $tyle and a lot of the issues the book brings up make a lot of sense. I haven't exactly finished it though so I'll keep you guys updated later on.
Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress
Buying this book was more of "on the whim" thing. As I was looking around Chapters, I saw this book and I vaguely remembered my friend Brandy having talked about it on the previous website that she posted articles for. She gave it a recommendation so I picked it up. Unfortunately, I'm really not the target audience that the author was aiming for With the way she writes the book, I can tell that it's very effective, especially for the typical girl who's never gotten into D&D (Dungeons & Dragons for those not in the know) before and wants to, but I could not relate to the author at all. She constantly used terms I couldn't recognize (I still don't know what jelly bracelets are) and while her $tyle of writing was interesting, it would probably be much more effective if someone else were to read it except me.
Well, that's all for now! See you all soon!