Thursday, December 29, 2011

66 - Enchanted Arms (360)

Genre: SRPG
Rating: T
Developer: From Software
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform: 360 (Also: PS3)
Release Date: 2006

I'm not really sure what spurred me to play Enchanted Arms but it led to a really great day of gaming. Usually I don't find myself playing games for more than an hour at a time. For one, there's other business to attend to. The much larger problem though tends to be that I just can't remain interested for that long with nay game anymore. Every once in a while something grabs hold and won't let go (like, say, Corpse Party) but otherwise even the most "addictive" games are passed over by me.

So it was definitely really strange when this RPG managed to hook me in for a great deal of hours on my first time playing it. The game isn't honestly all that great though. The graphics have definitely been surpased by now and the voice acting in particular is awful. You can switch between the English and Japanese voices and, unless you need a laugh, stick with Japanese. I just left it at default English voices because it made the otherwise same-y story have more life.

The game itself is basically a turn-based SRPG. What makes this more interesting is that you've got "golems" to create. These golems are basically like Pokemon or anything else because one big point of the game is to catch them all and train them well. They gain new abilities and all that jazz just like other members in your party do. It's rather fun.

What makes this game probably so awesome to me is that it adds in a lot of features that modern RPGs should have. For one, it allows the option to save anywhere. Why is this still not the case in every game? Just keep players from being able to save mid-battle or something and then it should be fine. Secondly, the game lets you put battles on auto and even speed up the proceedings with the push of a button. I wish more games allowed you to fast forward through the repetitive bits. These were pretty much necessary additions though as random battles happen a lot.

For all the good stuff I have to say about it, Enchanted Arms failed me at about 7 or 8 hours in. It's around this point that the game finally takes on JRPG tactics of old and requires copious amounts of grinding because all enemies have suddenly become insanely strong. I don't like grinding in any games and I wish this didn't have to be a part of the genre. So, I've put it aside for now and don't expect to touch it anytime soon. Still, for a fan of the genre it would probably be worth trying out to see what it does right.

Would I play again? No.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hottest Game Cover of 2012

Yesterday Aksys announced what was going to be in their limited edition version of Hakuoki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom. Soundtracks and artbooks are always appreciated but I'm crazy about this cover! I don't know if the standard edition will have the same art gracing it, but no doubt the LE box will be a little larger. Therefore, I must make it mine.

If you'd like to play an otome (dating sim "for girls") game on your PSP soon, then maybe you should check it out too. Unfortunately, it's mostly rated M for blood and violence.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

65 - Hitman: Blood Money (Steam)

Genre: Stealth
Rating: M
Developer: IO Interactive
Publisher: Eidos
Platform: Steam (Also: PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360)
Release Date: 2006

This is the only Hitman game I've spent serious time playing although it was not my first experience with the series. I started off with the first game, Hitman: Codename 47, but found it much too difficult to play. Although generally stealth games are pretty cool, they are often way harder than I can handle. It's one thing to understand how to be quiet and stay out of site but it's another thing to actually be able to carry it out.

So, with my normal inability to play stealth games I ended up really enjoying this game all the same. I think it's due to the fact that in Hitman: Blood Money you don't have to be stealth if you really don't want to. Obviously the game pushes you in that direction but allows most missions to be completed regardless of getting seen by people, killing civilians, or whatever else trouble you might get yourself into. I appreciate this because it means the game is really open to all kinds of play styles and techniques (including my bumbling, Rambo-esque one).

The game has a really strong sense of self. I often found myself just wandering around to listen to characters chatter on or just explore. Everyone has their own routine. It's pretty cool how nicely realized the world is, although it certainly gets very dark at times. As this is a game about a hitman, you're going to be forced to think about the ramifications of your actions - even if Agent 47 himself isn't.

I really, really like this game. Although I'm absolutely horrid at it the game accommodates itself to me and allows me to continue. The world is cool and I want to see it all. Definitely check this game out if you're in need of stealth games.

Friday, December 16, 2011

So Long, Manuals...

I think we all knew this had to happen at one point but I wish it never did.

Starting with this console generation we have seen video game manuals dwindling into single page fold outs. Although some games still come with decent manuals, most have been getting smaller and smaller until they don't even give you simple character bios or anything other than safety information.

With the impending release of the PS Vita it has just been realized that these games will come with no manual whatsoever. Vita game cases will come simply with one sheet of paper saying that there is no physical manual and where to access the digital one. I guess it's good that manuals still exist, albeit digitally. Still, I want to have my game cases include a nice manual inside!

Some 3DS games have also been equally lacking in manual, although it doesn't seem to be the case for every release. I expect when the next console generation that every game will only include a digital manual. This is just one step closer to phasing out the physical media altogether - at least that's how it feels. As I hold strongly on the side of physical goods this probably bothers me much more than the general gaming population. It can't be helped!

Do you accept this trend of cheapening physical game media further and further? I think digital manuals are at least a little better than the more eco-friendly cases which have giant hunks of plastic cut out of them.

A New Blog to Check Out

It always excites me to see a blog starting up. You never know where it might end up going, but the beginning it's really neat.

With the magic of Twitter, I somehow managed to stumble across The Backlog Journey a few days ago. Basically, the goal of his blog is similar to what mine had been - to play games in our collections that we hadn't before. He seems to desire to beat them while I only wish to sample things, though. Either way, it's a neat idea and I thought visitors to this site would be interested.

Seeing this blog also reinvigorated me to play and write about my collection here. At least, in a more active capacity again... Hopefully I'll be able to get a lot of gaming done over the holidays! What are you looking forward to playing if you've got some free time?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Humble Indie Bundle 4 is Amazing

I've got to confess something here. Although there have been a great deal of excellent indie game bundles coming out lately I have not purchased any of them. They tease me with cool-looking games at any price I'd be willing to pay - even give some to charity! Still, I've shied away from them. It doesn't have anything to do with the quality of indie games or even being a big scrooge, though... there's just something that worries me about grabbing digital copies of games from random sites. It just seems very messy in comparison to simply having everything managed neatly by Steam.

Of course, those fears are mostly quelled since more and more bundles offer Steam codes for their games so you can stick them right in the library. So maybe now there is a lot less reason for me to be wary. Anyway, the 4th Humble Indie Bundle is astonishing. It is full of games that I've been meaning and fully ready to purchase at higher prices. If you're interested then definitely check it out.

For me, I was most excited to try out Shank or Cave Story+ or Jamestown or BIT.TRIP RUNNER. Yes, basically everything in the package. However, I somehow ended up playing the physics puzzler NightSky instead. It seemed like it should really be the least interesting game of the set to me (alongside Gratuitous Space Battles) but it's actually really cool. I think that's the mark of an excellent bundle, really. It mostly amuses me that the game I thought should be the "stinker" of the pack is turning out to be the only way I want to spend my PC gaming time right now.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Good Old Games Holiday Sale!

Yesterday, Good Old Games started up their holiday sale. It lasts until the 2nd of January (for most games) and makes almost their entire catalog 50% off. 50% off of anything is awesome, especially when considering the regular prices of their games. If you ignore the few pricey things like The Witcher, every other game regularly costs $9.99 or or $4.99. Of course, take half off of those prices and you've got the most expensive games being 5 bucks.

Here are some games I recommend:


  • The Longest Journey
  • Neverwinter Nights Diamond Edition
  • Phantasmagoria
  • Police Quest 1-4
  • Postal 2 Complete
  • Sanitarium
  • Scratches Director's Cut


  • Phantasmagoria 2
  • Rollercoaster Tycoon Deluxe
  • Sim City 2000 Special Edition
  • The Zork Anthology

While Steam is going to have a huge sale soon too I can't help but feel that GoG is a bit of a nicer place to get digital games. Sure, Steam is great and all but they don't offer all the extras GoG does regularly. If you ever get any games from here you will typically get some computer wallpapers, game art, and sometimes even soundtracks. Getting a soundtrack is probably the nicest thing and I wish Steam would offer them too. At the very least both services will give you digital version of the game manuals, but it's not as obvious on Steam that they do so.

PS: They're giving away a free copy of Empire Earth: Gold Edition until tomorrow too. I haven't played my copy yet but it looks like a fun strategy game.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Black Friday 2011 Haul

Black Friday 2011 has come and gone and I think I made out decently. It wasn't nearly as awesome as last year's haul, but I still managed to grab some stuff so yay. However, my method is a bit different than most people's battle plans on the day. You see, I mostly ignore all the crazy Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, etc deals and just head straight to GameStop. While I actually don't like GS much, they are basically the only purveyor of PS2 games still so that's the place to go.

Thanks to their Buy 2 Get 1 Free sale (it should have been B2G2 on PS2 again, haha) I managed to pick up:

  • Area-51 
  • Armored Core 3
  • Bujingai: The Forsaken City
  • Chaos Wars
  • Conflict: Global Terror 
  • Contra Shattered Soldier
  • Eternal Poison
  • Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel
  • Growlanser: Heritage of War
  • Justice League Heroes
  • Mega Man X8
  • One Piece: Grand Adventure
  • Pac-Man Fever
  • Rocky Legends
  • Ruff Trigger: The Vancore Legacy
  • Shadow of Rome
  • S.L.A.I. Steel Lancer Arena International
  • Street Fighter Alpha Anthology
  • Street Fighter Anniversary Collection
  • Super Bust-a-Move
  • Super Monkey Ball Adventure
  • Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror
  • Ultimate Spider-Man Limited Edition
  • War of the Monsters

It was a little unfortunate though because there were 8 games I really was looking forward to at one store but the worker was unable to find each and every one of them. Maybe they really didn't have them all but I'm sure some of it was probably also due to just being tired of having to search out the discs to put in the cases. Ah well, one day I'll get copies of RPG Maker II, Firefighter FD 18 and others. I also saw some rare games on shelves like .hack//Quarantine, Ikaruga, and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes but they were all over $20 which is over the amount I am currently willing to spend on used games.

From the list of things I did get I'm especially happy with my pickups of Eternal Poison, Shadow of Rome, and Ultimate Spider-Man Limited Edition and that all but two games came in complete condition. Shadow of Rome in particular I've been waiting to play again for years after renting it once and falling in love with it. While I'm not a huge comic book fan or anything, the Spider-Man game is notable because I handed over the regular edition case to the cashier. He was the one who instead picked up the Limited Edition box from their little PS2 pre-owned stock and handed it over.

I also picked up a few 360 games too since sometimes I couldn't find enough notable PS2 games to buy from a store. Those games are Bionic Commando, Dark Void, Power Gig: Rise of the Six String, and Velvet Assassin. Beyond that, I also devoted some funds to gift games. Maybe next year I'll try out some online shopping instead though, as it's finally beginning to annoy me to wait in lines with people squeezed all around.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wow, I am Really Enjoying Corpse Party

So, this week is a pretty full one for me. I have to work on reviews for both Jurassic Park: The Game and Corpse Party. Jurassic Park is a better game than a lot of people have been giving it credit for, so definitely looking forward to type out my thoughts on that. However, I've found myself a lot more enthralled by Corpse Party.

Seriously, I can't even tell you how excellent this game is to me. It has a pixel-y retro look but despite that it manages to toy with my emotions all the same. I am left feeling a bit sad or even really scared for "my" safety while playing. I won't say anything spoiler-filled but a certain chase scene in Chapter 3 made me feel absolutely terrified although the game never overtly says to you "oh no, here's a bad thing chasing you!". I really love that a game can work its meaning into your brain without having to be so obvious about stuff.

In general it's just really a great title. Well, not perfect by any means, but I'm digging it all the same. I haven't been so obsessed with playing through a game for a while. In fact, the last game that comes to mind that kept my attention so fully was Deadly Premonition (which came out in early 2010). The game's also made me think about what other really enthralling games came out this year. I'll probably make a list later of my personal favorites, since the obvious choices like Skyrim, Battlefield 3, or other triple AAA titles aren't going to be included, I think.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

64 - Vanguard Bandits (PSN)

Genre: SRPG
Rating: T
Developer: Human Entertainment
Publisher: Working Designs/MonkeyPaw Games
Platform: PSN (Also: PS1)
Release Date: 2011 (1998 original)

I love strategy RPGs. I've never really been a huge fan of western or JRPGs but SRPGs or RTS games I tend to adore. I'm not sure what it is about them but they're definitely a great area of games for me. Despite that, I rarely go off in search of them. I stick with what I know and it all seems to serve well enough.

Vanguard Bandits came onto the PSN last week with little attention. It seems PSOne Classics only tend to get attention when they're Final Fantasy or another hugely famous RPG. There's nothing wrong with that really but not many seem to know what this game is. Either way, I'm glad I got the chance to play through it because it is a phenomenal game.

Basically you've got your typical story going on about a young man who must save his country from being taken over by an evil empire. Although it takes place in a castles and knights kind of time they happen to have lots of mechs. The mechs are of course used for fighting because that's just so much cooler than knights with swords duking it out.

The game is really deeply strategic. While it's not hard to grasp the main concepts of battle being able to play the game skillfully is tough work. While the game doesn't have sidequests or anything it does have multiple story paths to go through. The replay value is definitely there and I appreciate it. With each of the 20 main missions taking about 30 minutes or more too this is one intense game, although maybe not the best fit for quick bursts of play. I really dig the game and find it a whole lot of fun even if it's a bit dated now (only graphically speaking). I could easily see the gameplay mechanics transplanted onto a 360 or PS3 game and people would love it. 

Would I play again? Yes!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Have a New Twitter!

For a while I've used a Twitter account mostly as a way to remember what movies I've seen. While that was pretty useful for me, it has no real application for anyone else. Last week I decided I would try to make a new Twitter account to use for discussion with other users and just talking about and posting game-related items (and posting my live streams and editorials, tee hee).

If you are one of the couple people who were following my old account feel free to unfollow it. If you have a Twitter account and I don't know it then let me know or something as I'll follow you right back! My new account can be found right here. Thankfully I've not yet gotten into the habit of tweeting every hour or so.... yet.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Here's a Neat Zine

It always surprises me how many gaming zines there are online. Not only that, but how many are single-person ventures. Knowing how much work it takes to fill up even 20 pages makes it seem like quite the undertaking for just one person to cobble up. Still, it seems like this is common in the zine world and I'm glad that people have the drive to go for it.

Yesterday's Gamer is one of these solo endeavors and apparently has been worked on since early 2010. In case you couldn't tell by the title, the zine basically takes a look back at some great games from over the years. There's talk about Metal Slug, Silent Hill 2, Bishi Bashi Special, and a lot more. It also seems that the zine's author, Joshua Croft, has a better feel for graphic design then other zines out there. It's not the world's most polished production but it is definitely clear and readable. If you've got some time online to spare it might be worth checking out.

PS: The writer is also the guy behind ThisKidPlaysGames.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Simpson Arcade Game

There's been talk recently that the old The Simpsons Arcade Game might be coming to consoles. Although it's really only expected to be a straight port for the XBLA/PSN market it is awesome news if it turns out to be true!

Back when arcades were still popular I found the Simpsons game to be some of the best fun out there. It's probably because the game was not inherently competitive. I didn't like going near the fighting games or anything like that where someone would be waiting to pound my digital face in or something. The Simpsons was all about getting four players on it and beating up everything together. I'd love to have that experience again, although certainly a digital release will never be able to get it back entirely. There'll always be something "magic" about being shoulder to shoulder with strangers or with having a teammate you don't know well give you a quarter to keep on fighting. Man, I miss those days.

Anyway, The Simpsons Arcade Game was awesome and I really, really, really hope the rumor is true.

Monday, November 7, 2011

63 - Dungeon Defenders (PSN)

Genre: Tower defense
Rating: E10+
Developer: Reverb
Publisher: Trendy Entertainment
Platform: PS3 (Also: 360, PC)
Release Date: 2011

I only really became aware of the tower defense genre when flash games started to proliferate online. Back then it didn't really spark my interest though so I shied away from it all. Only recently have I gotten a taste of it at all via Orcs Must Die! which was a pretty fun game. This is my second bite of the genre and I see that perhaps it really isn't for me at all.

In Dungeon Defenders you can take up one of four classes (although you can switch at any time) and level them up as well as your traps. You set these traps and barriers to keep hordes of enemies from destroying your crystal. It's the easiest goal ever except for the fact that the rest of the game is so tactical and difficult. It dives headfirst into lots of RPG-type stuff as well by making you grind and level up your characters and their skills to proceed.

Within the first two levels you will be tasked with taking down a humongous enemy with 10 times the health of anything else you were forced to fight the rest of the level. It was when this point came that I realized this game is serious business. It also is probably best to play with a team of four. As I was soloing, I found the game to be outrageously difficult. It's hard to try and defend four seperate points all at once. Since you can't have your eyes everywhere you can simply set up your best barriers and hope for the best while you slooowly run from entryway to entryway. If I had more players in a team with me it probably would be a ton more manageable.

As is, the game just doesn't appear to be for me. It's supremely tough and doesn't appear to let up. Playing alone is far from the best idea... although it's true that you can grind on the first level until you're strong enough to take down harder monsters all by yourself. If nothing else, the game is super deep for a digitally distributed title which I'm sure some folks will quite appreciate.

Would I play again?: Nope.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

62 - Pokemon Rumble Blast

Genre: Beat 'em up
Rating: E10+
Developer: Ambrella
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 3DS
Release Date: 2011

Pokemon Rumble Blast is the first Pokemon game on Nintendo's latest handheld. Nintendo could have waited for the next big iteration but instead they decided to go with something different. From what I've seen on game blogs, most people seem not to appreciate this game at all. It's too bad really since it's actually pretty fun.

The game plays out a lot like Gauntlet. You control one (or a team of 3) Pokemon and battle through "dungeons". It's all from a top down perspective and fighting is not complex at all. In fact, the game is really simple because there's not more to the fighting. You can use different skills and all but aside from speed of attack and range they never really change much.

There isn't all that much to the game, honestly. You battle, battle, battle, and battle some more. However, what reviewers are not seeming to mention is how addictive it is. Even though nothing really exciting or cool was going on I continually find myself returning to the game for short bursts throughout the day. I think that is the game's strength and it's a great one. Handheld games aren't necessarily meant to be long, intensive things but nice breaks from work or school. This is Pokemon Rumble Blast's strong point.

It's also a really long game. Some of the Pokemon spin-off titles (Pokemon Channel comes to mind) are super brief experiences. I've put in about 12 hours with this one so far and I'm only about halfway through. For a handheld game to offer so much playtime makes it worth the price tag right there. Not to mention that, from what I've heard, it even has a high degree of replayability due to new things opening up after beating it.

I like it. This isn't a game for everyone and especially not people tangled up in the "hardcore gamer" world. If you just want something fun and mindless though when you're on the go then give it a look.

PS: EVERY Pokemon is in this game! That's 600+, in case you haven't been keeping count over the years.

Would I play again?: Yes!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Gender and Horror Games

So I've not written up much on my blog as of late but there's a reason for this! I've been writing up a load of reviews and opinion pieces elsewhere. Also, I think not much of interest has been happening game-wise to get me to fire up a post. :(

Anyway, yesterday I put up an opinion piece that I'm kind of a fan of. Usually what happens is I write something and then really dislike it and never look over it again. That's probably not the best mindset to have but that's just my reaction for one reason or another. Either way, the post I'm a little proud of is about the presentation of men and women in the horror gaming genre. If you're at all interested in either horror games or gender it might be an interesting read.

In other news, I'm going to be having a party this weekend! Yay!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

This Post Isn't Really About Video Games

So, over the past week or so two gaming sites have written a little bit about why "gamers make good bodybuilders". Both GamePolitics and GayGamer have made note of how the site Fitocracy turns exercise into a bit of a game, and why gamers have the right mindset for this sort of thing. The two correlate because Fitocracy lets users level up after they get a certain number of points. These points are gained through doing exercises and if you keep progressing enough you even get achievements and can place on leaderboards. It's very much like a game.

Fitocracy isn't a new site, although it may have recently opened up to public registration. I've been a member since about the inception but have only started using it recently. After using it for a few months I do think that gamers may make "better" exercise types when exercise is combined with this kind of gamification. I remember watching a TED Talk where someone discussed the future gamifying all sorts of parts of our life. Personally, I would like that. As is, I have my own personal methods of turning my to-do list into a progressive game as well as some other tasks. It just seems to be the way my mind is wired to enjoy these things. 

If you like to grind in RPGs or do whatever then maybe you'll like the site too. Watching yourself level up is pretty neat as well as seeing all the work you've done so far. Seeing workout sessions laid out like stats are cool and so are the achievements and quests, although I wish there were more of them. 

Once I do my regular workout routines I still engage in exercise-related games. Now that Dance Central 2 has a fitness mode you can bet I'll spending a lot of time on it. In the past I used DDR for about the same purpose and might go back to it simply because it's easier. Does any of you enjoy the gaming/fitness overlap? 

Friday, October 21, 2011

PS Vita Owners Might Need to Buy Memory Cards

Well, this put a slight damper on my day as I looked through my RSS feed this morning.

So, Sony's Vita looks like it is going to be a great little handheld. Anything that can play PS2-caliber games portably is basically my dream device. Either way, some time ago there were reports that the new proprietary memory cards for the unit are going to be painfully expensive. Of course, we still only have the Japanese prices (which are always extremely inflated) but even the PSP Memory Stick Pro Duos were pretty pricey for a long time here. I expect the same of Vita.

Now, memory cards shouldn't really be a big deal if you're not downloading games or extras to your system. As the Vita has absolutely NO internal storage anything being put on it requires a card. Simple. The 3DS also has no internal storage but it does at least come packed with a little SD card. It's still unknown if the Vita will come packed with a card or not.

Anyway, needing a memory card for downloaded content is perfectly reasonable. It's just like how you need a hard drive or one of those eensy overpriced memory cards for 360 to save Marketplace stuff. The point of what now bothers me about Vita is that apparently some physical retail games will still require saving to a memory card (Ex: Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Ridge Racer).

It made sense for disc-based games to have memory cards. Video game discs of any type are DVD-ROMs (Read Only Memory). As they are "read only" they cannot have any new data written onto them, which is why all disc-based media requires some storage. Cartridge based games can typically write to themselves, but since most carts we are familiar with could only hold so many KBs or MBs some of the larger saves needed a memory card.

As far as I know, the Vita game cards are rather large in size and will not be completely filled to the brim with game content. Even now, PS3 titles barely ever reach their 60GB Blu-Ray disc capacity. In fact, the majority hover around 5-35GBs. Because of this I don't think it is purely a technical necessity to have physical game carts saving to an external memory card. I think it's business.

This is all just a rumor at the moment but I have faith that this will actually be the case. If it isn't then I will breathe a heavy sigh of relief and resume praising the Vita to no end.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

61 - GrimGrimoire (PSN)

Genre: RTS
Rating: E10+
Developer: Vanillaware
Publisher: NIS America
Platform: PSN (PS2)
Release Date: 2007

For some reason I never got around to purchasing or playing GrimGrimoire. Despite being a crazed PS2 fan from 2004 onward I skipped over a lot of gorgeous-looking games (Eternal Poison, Odin Sphere). Why? I think there wasn't enough money going around for me to pick up each and every cool game. So, it was super lucky for me that the game recently came out on PSN. I grabbed a review copy of the title and finally got to experience it. Review can be found here.

First thing that must be mentioned about any Vanillaware game are the graphics. The game looks fantastic. The 2D character portraits appear to be painted and even if they aren't it is extremely pretty. They also "breathe" and emote more interestingly than most do for other games employing the same static character technique. The in-game RTS battle stuff at first looked kind of like a gussied-up Flash game but I got over that. By the time I was halfway through I was totally immersed in strategizing and stopped noticing the slightly lower quality of the monster sprites.

There were some weird things in the game. Like, it may have just been me but there appeared to be some LGBT subtext between certain characters throughout the story. If that really is the case then I'm impressed since it's not pointed at as some odd token thing. It's just there... somewhat. Perhaps I just had my gaydar turned up too high.

Overall I'm sad I missed out on this game when it first came out. It's super fun and a pretty good challenge too. I'm mostly surprised they managed to make a RTS game that doesn't suck on a console. I'm still on the lookout for a physical copy of the game but until then my PSN one will have to do.

Would I play again?: Yes!

Friday, October 14, 2011

TGIF: Turtles Edition

I love when there are video games that seem so perfectly tailored toward me that I've never heard of. Apparently Power Shovel for PS1 is one such game. I'm not sure what the whole game is about but I can only assume it has you doing various tasks with your "shovel" AKA a giant machine.

It's this clip in particular that made me decide I need to find a copy of the game. Why would someone need to save turtles from a pool? If they did have to, why would they do it with a huge vehicle? Neither question is answered in this clip but that makes it all the more enjoyable. Hopefully this game's not expensive.

Gaming Wedding Invitations

These are awesome. I was just looking at PACROID and they had posted that really caught my attention. Apparently this blogger Larry makes gaming-themed wedding invitations and the like.

I don't know why I never thought about this but it's an awesome idea. Not only do they look really good, they have a lot of obvious work done on them. For example, the Nintendo seal of quality is actually changed into the name of the groom. There are various other touches and each one of them is sweet. When you open the card up there are even "pins" at the bottom like you'd see when examining a NES cartridge.

If I ever were to get married I think I'd enjoy going all out indulging in things like this. Well, as long as we were both gamers anyway otherwise it might not go over so well!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Hey folks, sorry for the relative silence over the past week. I got weirdly sick or something which made it really tough to get much of anything done but thankfully I'm over that slump. But then I realized this is midterms week! Oh no, but at least I'm about half done with them already. That will probably contribute to a bit more quiet on my end.

Either way, just wanted to share a few things with you folks. I've been playing a LOT of downloadable games lately. Usually it's easy enough to ignore them as there's so much dull stuff. It seems like XBLA and PSN are pulling out the big guns for fall though as already a bunch of neat things have popped up. Orcs Must Die!, Rochard, and Eufloria are a few of my favorites at the moment. I've also been playing through and streaming Uncharted: Drake's Fortune in my downtime. I'm hoping to be able to go through the second one as well before the 3rd launches.

I'd like to stream horror games but really the only ones I've not beaten yet are really difficult and/or too scary. Still, since it is October maybe I'll get around to streaming something spooky before the month ends.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Are You a Fan of Games and Food?

If so, there's a great blog for you out there. It's called Gourmet Gaming and I found it through GameSetWatch over the weekend. 

Basically, the point of the blog is to try and recreate food items from games. Not only that, but then the recipes are shared and then pretty pictures are taken. I think it's a genius idea. It may be more of a niche than, say, the Destructoid blog, but there's nothing wrong with that. I'm looking forward to seeing the things that are made in the future (and you can vote on the food you want made!). 

My personal favorite food so far is Thomas' biscuit from Deadly Premonition. Of course, it certainly helps that I'm a huge fan of the game so anything related to it tends to please me. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Late TGIF: TF2

Hey folks! It's the start of October and this means some really exciting stuff in my world, but it's not especially worth detailing on a video game blog. I'll probably post up something on my movie blog about it, for those interested. Either way, that has nothing really to do with this late TGIF post so let's get to that, shall we?

Okay, so every once in a while I get really enthralled by Team Fortress 2. Now that it is free to play I think anyone who can try it really should. I'm not a big FPS fan myself but it's more of a party FPS game, if that makes any sense. Either way, here's a silly little video of TF2.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Auntie Pixelante Does it Again

I'm a huge fan of indie game devs who really try for something different. Now, there's nothing at all wrong with, say, retro-looking platformers or moody sidescrolling adventures but they're not exactly my style. If someone is making an independent title I like to see something really creative and new shine through (and that's a little hard when the market is crowded with a lot of "me too!" games).

Two of my current favorite devs are women and they both seem to be ridiculously awesome (Anna Anthropy and Christine Love). Anyway, the former just put together a choose-your-own-adventure sort of thing titled Encyclopedia Fuckme and the Case of the Vanishing Entree and it's excellent. The idea for it came due to her lamenting the lack of seriously sexual stories in text adventures that seem at all true to life. Well, like, where the writer seems to understand sex and sexuality instead of making a harem fantasy, anyway. I think she achieves this very well AND creates one hell of a story in general.

I really appreciate her work and wish that more people would get to play it, but that's probably a pipe dream. Or, maybe if I wait a few hours Jim Sterling will "discover" this and write about how hilarious and weird it is. Despite being a lesbian tale, I have a feeling all sexualities will be able to get a kick out of what Anna offers with her story.

PS: It might be tough to get, but working for the "good" ending is tremendously worth it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yakuza of the End Might Get English Release

Just saw this post over at SegaBits and wanted to share my opinion on the matter. Basically, there was a trademark filed in Europe for "Yakuza: Dead Souls" which almost certainly has something to do with Yakuza of the End.

I'm a huge fan of the Yakuza series as well as zombies so I've been gunning for this game since it was first announced. However, I didn't really expect anything from it because the last time there was a "different" Yakuza game it stayed stuck in Japan (Ryu ga Gotoku Kenzan!). Zombies are certainly a hot commodity these days though so maybe Sega figures they can safely cash in on this one - Kenzan was about samurais which, I guess, are not as profitable.

So it's only a trademark and trademarks don't always mean something but they also put up a logo with it. I'm hoping this means it does get English release. Even if it is only European release I'd be more than happy to import it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This is It. This is Why I Bought My 3DS

Okay, well maybe it wasn't the reason why I purchased it about a month ago but that was only because I didn't know it existed yet. However, now that I know, I'm determined to get it regardless if it comes to America or not. What am I even talking about? Well, it's this new game by Tecmo Koei of all people called FabStyle.

FabStyle looks to be a mix of Style Savvy but also Princess Debut (ballroom dancing?!) and maybe even some of the hostess training segments from the Yakuza series. You've got your styling of characters, from their clothes to their makeup all the way to going on dates with equally fabulous guys. That's what I'm getting from the recently released trailer, anyhow. Oh man I hope someone picks this up for Western release but I won't hold my breath.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Should I Start Renting Games Again?

All this stuff Netflix has been pulling lately is making me antsy. I feel before the year is done I will stop being a Netflix member (after wanting to be one for 7+ years even!) and go somewhere else. I've already cemented in my top two replacement options and will just spend some time with their free trials to discern which is the best solution.

Anyway, what I have found is that Blockbuster Online lets you rent out games at no additional cost. Netflix is going to finally add games to the rentable selection but they will come at an added fee. I am guessing the fee will be between $2 and $5 more on top of the $7.99 1 DVD-at-a-time plan. I decided to look at GameFly to see how they compare and they set their same plan (of course only with games for rent) at $15.90. Blockbuster Online's fees are slightly higher than Netflix's base rate at $9.99, but add in games (and Blu-Ray) and it looks like a much better deal overall.

If I were to get Blockbuster Online I think I'd really want to make use of game rentals. Unfortunately online the newest games don't become available until a month+ after launch. It's just like how most new to DVD movies don't appear on other services for a while too. Still, being able to try out various games I've been wondering about would be extremely useful (if a bit silly seeing how much I already own). You can get "new" games via RedBox I suppose but that charges late fees so naw...

Back in the day I used to visit Blockuster or Hollywood Video every Friday after school to try something new. After a while, I basically had rented out every N64 game they had in stock (minus Conker's Bad Fur Day, which I always gazed at longingly). I think it would be a ton of fun to rent again, but maybe the spark of "discovery" would be gone now. Either way, I have at least a month to figure this all out.

Friday, September 16, 2011

TGIF: Just Some Music Edition

I've not got much to say this night (really I'm too wrapped up in Minecraft to think up topics). I did come across a really cool video game song last night though so I'm going to share that here.

Apparently this song was made for a Half-Life 2 mod game. Personally I find it astounding that someone with musical skill would devote such effort and time for a mod soundtrack. However, people seem to get really wrapped up in HL2 mods. There's definitely nothing wrong with that because it just means more games to try!

PS Vita is Region Free!

In some of the best news I've heard today it was announced the Vita will be region free. I'm so glad this is the case because it seemed handhelds were sticking firm to region locking. When the DSi came around it was the first Nintendo handheld to employ region locks and of course they continued that with the 3DS.

It's good to see that Sony is keeping things open like this. In such a world where gamers can and will import games there's really no reason to try and lock them out. If there's not an easy way to play our imports many of us will resort to means that companies don't readily approve of, anyway! I'm still probably going to wait for the Vita to launch in America before grabbing my unit, but I'll be feeling a bit happier knowing a world of games is at my fingertips (and not just those from the US).

I'm just hoping they don't pull back this statement later. Back before the Wii came out they did say it would be region free but then went back on their word. Either that, or it was a most unfortunate mistranslation.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Guess Who's Hooked on Minecraft

I've gone and got myself stuck playing Minecraft again. I'm not sure what it was. All that happened was I wrote a news post or two detailing the most recent update to the game and then started playing again. Initially it was just to check out the newest and changed features because they seemed to address my biggest issue with the game. Basically, aside from the creative aspect it never really felt like there was a purpose to the whole thing but now there sort of is.

Anyway, the game has reeled me right back in and I'm hoping to make some really cool stuff. People who haven't played Minecraft will probably never understand what is so enthralling about the game. Even some who have played it once or twice might not get the appeal. The first times I tried to play it seemed much too silly and complex.

Just wanted to let everyone know what's up. It certainly isn't a game for everyone but is such a treat for those who enjoy it. If you've never played it I suggest maybe giving it a go someday. It's about $15 right now and will cost $20 once it "launches" on November 11th. But by that time everyone will probably be busy busting open their brand new copies of Skyrim instead.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Nintendo 3DS Conference Thoughts

Now that it's over I can review what all information came out. There wasn't much new to entice the core American crowd, but there was sure a lot for Japan to salivate over. Unfortunately, most of the stuff that interested me on display probably won't be coming here at all. Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy is the one game I think we'll see here.

Here's a list of the stuff announced during the conference that I can only dream about getting in English (not-fan patch style): 
  • Girls Mode 3DS (known as Style Savvy in the US)
  • Girls RPG: Cinderlife
  • Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai
  • Love Plus 3DS
I know that's a lot of girly and dating sim stuff but I can't help being interested in this mostly-Japanese niche. Something that we might get over here is the new pink 3DS. The color is called "Misty Pink" and it look great. I was thinking about picking up the pink DSi XL because of the color, but now I can withhold that purchase and get this one instead. It could be my import system for all these great games coming out that I won't get a chance at otherwise! Darn you, region locking. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

TGIF: Girls Playing Games

FatUglyorSlutty is totally one of my favorite sites and it's so simple. Basically, they just post screenshots of harassment/stupidity that is received predominantly by female-identified gamers. Or, they don't even need to say they're female but get insults, pick-up lines, and more directed toward them. Anyhow, it's similar to the other site Why Was I Banned just with a little different point to it.

Here's a video they made recently which would be funnier if it weren't still true in 2011:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I Thought This Was Cute

When The Sims Social first came out on Facebook I was all over the damn game. Since then I've weaned myself off it but still check back from time to time. I think EA/Playfish are doing the best they can with the game as it receives frequent updates of new items. A lot are pay items but there are a lot of free ones too.

Anyway, I logged in today to see this new feature:
You can change the gender of your sim! I'm not going to change my sim but it made me smile to see it. Honestly, it's probably even a lot easier to do than changing your gender within Facebook (that feature is tucked right away). 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dead Island is... Interesting

So, Dead Island launched today and not without a bevvy of issues. What was known before today's launch was that there was going to be a day-one patch to fix up some stuff (that I guess they couldn't just fix with their final pre-launch crunch times). However, when the game went live on Steam for download everyone quickly realized there was something much worse going on.

For whatever reason, the copy that Steam purchasers got was the development version of the game. So, it's got things like noclip enabled (lets you fly about the level whenever) as well as screen prompts still mapped to Xbox controls, whatever. This has happened before with Steam but it seems really odd it could happen to such a highly anticipated title. Either way, they're supposed to get the REAL final version out by Friday. I've heard that the "real" version simply has noclip and a few other things patched out, but that would be really depressing if so, since there are a lot more problems with the game than that.

Hearing all this I was happy to not have bought the PC version (although I may still during a crazy Steam sale). Instead I picked up the PS3 version and am working my way through it. So far, I'm really not impressed with the game. But then again I was never really a fan of Fallout 3, which this game is echoing in a more simplistic way. So maybe fans of the American "modern" RPG might be more inclined to enjoy this game. Either way, it at least looks like there was a lot of work put into it.

I'm just wanting to spend more time in the world so I can formulate a more solid opinion...

Friday, September 2, 2011

TGIF: Some Music Edition

Oh man, I have been writing so much this past week and there's only more to come! I'm not especially PROUD of any of my reviews as of late so there's no need to link them... However, it at least gives a little explanation why I've been a quiet little boy on my blog. If you follow my movie blog and are feeling gypped about how that gets constantly updated, well, here's my secret... I wrote my posts a while ago and just queue them to upload days later. Maybe I'll employ the same here.

Here's a song:
It's pretty cool and the art style for the video is really attractive to me. Also, it's a bit NSFW-y.

Have a good Labor Day weekend :).

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Even More Collection Updates

This weekend I went all out with video game shopping. Unfortunately, 3 of the better local game shops closed down... I guess it should be expected that with GameStop stores about as prevalent as McDonald's here there isn't room for many others. Still, I found a nice deal from the surviving store and, yes, even a few GameStops.

GameStop in particular had a buy 2 get 2 free sale on PS2 games. I have a feeling these sales will become more prevalent in the future as GS is hoping to condense and then finally rid themselves of PS2 games all together. GS no longer accepts Xbox, GameCube, or GBA games and it becomes increasingly harder to find these games in stores at all. So, onto the games I picked up...

  • .hack//MUTATION
  • .hack//OUTBREAK
  • Atari Anthology
  • Battle Engine Aquila
  • Black
  • Capcom Classics Collection
  • DICE - DNA Integrated Cybernetic Enterprises
  • Forever Kingdom
  • Fugitive Hunter: War on Terror
  • Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows
  • Giants: Citizen Kabuto
  • The Great Escape
  • Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus
  • Heavenly Guardian
  • Inuyasha: Feudal Combat
  • McFarlane's Evil Prophecy
  • MDK 2 Armageddon
  • Mercenaries
  • Metropolismania
  • Resident Evil: Outbreak
  • Ring of Red
  • Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends
  • The Sims
  • Soul Calibur III
  • Taito Legends 2
  • Tetris Worlds
  • Total Overdose
  • Virtual-On Marz
  • We Heart Katamari
  • The X-Files: Resist or Serve
I tell ya... the life of a collector is an expensive one. Although, to be fair I'm still extremely glad to have gotten all these games for the price I did (like, $80). Just think back to when each of these games was going for $20-$50 to start and it's great to see most games go down in price over the years. There was even more I could have picked up but this should tide me over until Black Friday, haha. Damn you PS2 for having such a massive library of games!

Friday, August 26, 2011

TGIF: Suda 51 Edition

I'm going to be off having adventures this weekend but couldn't forget to post a nice TGIF thing here. I've been working on a two-part Goichi Suda retrospective piece over the last couple weeks so I've got Suda on the mind... Goichi Suda, in case you don't recall the name, is the guy behind Killer7, No More Heroes, Shadows of the Damned, and others.

This is the intro from one of his older PS1 titles: Moonlight Syndrome. I like it because it's super engrish-y. Make sure to pay attention during 1:22 when my favorite line of the intro pops up. I have both Twilight and Moonlight Syndrome games but since I'm not well-versed in Japanese can't play them without aid of friends! Maybe someday I'll work through one...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Collection Updates - August

So, I've really been slow on picking up PS2 games as of late. I've found myself busy playing over newer games either for reviews or just to stay on top of things. It's funny how writing about games has reinvigorated my interest in the current generation!

There haven't been many sales lately so I've been relegated to picking up PS2 titles at thrift stores. However, I walked into my local GameStop today to find the Buy 2 Get 2 Free sale was back. It's funny because I've seen nothing of that mentioned online so perhaps it is as specific locations only... or will be this way until the games are all gone. When my store still had Xbox games they were on constant B2G2 sale until I suppose the last sports games were thrown out.

Here's the stuff I picked up:

  • Armored Core: Nine Breaker
  • Army Men RTS
  • Dawn of Mana
  • Dead or Alive 2
  • Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland
  • Lemony Snicket's: A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Rez
  • Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven
I'm most proud of my Rez acquisition. I've skipped over buying an English copy on multiple occasions, due to price. Once I found it for $2 but in a generic case so I decided I would keep on waiting. A little over a year later and my waiting has paid off (lol). Of course, the Trance Vibrator that came with the Japanese version still escapes my grasp... 

I'm looking forward to playing Harvest Moon since apparently this version is very different from the normal games. Don't know why I continue to buy Armored Core games though as they're all pretty tough. Either way, this looks like a good haul to me and this weekend I'm going to hit up all the local non-GS stores. Yay!

Friday, August 19, 2011

TGIF: Terrible CGI Edition

This post actually has no real relation to video games but, hey, this is my blog! Every once in a while I stumble upon videos where people who probably shouldn't be messing with CG graphics are... Eventually I hope to assemble a bunch of these types of videos into a big "video mixtape" and give it out to friends. As it stands though I'm just sharing the short little weird bursts with folks. Hope you get some amusement out of the video.

What I'll never understand is why CG is an excuse for people to make the weirdest stuff in the world. I guess it's easier than trying to edit reality into this sort of Frankensteinian creation.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

60 - El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (PS3)

Genre: Action adventure
Rating: T for Teen
Developer: Ignition Entertainment
Publisher: Ignition Entertainment
Platform: PS3 (Also: 360)
Release Date: 2011

El Shaddai is a game I hoped I would really enjoy. The screenshots looked stunning and it just seemed to be a game forging its own path. As it turns out, the game certainly is different from everything else coming out these days. However, that doesn't make it good.

Basically I really don't like the game because the main "game" portion is devoted to fighting enemies. There isn't a very large variety between then and the fighting mechanics themselves are extremely dull. Apparently you can switch weapons to gain a tactical advantage over enemies but the game never tells you what works best against what. The game barely tells you ANYTHING. While I'm sure some will be pleased the game doesn't hold their hand I wasn't. I'm playing on "easy" so I expect things to be, well, easy!

Even when I think I figured out the best tactic it ends up not working at the next encounter. Either I'm continuously doing something wrong or there are slight variances between the 5 or so enemy types. The game is kinda cool in that if you mash buttons right when you die then you don't lose. However, sometimes it's hard to tell if you're "dying" or not so you don't know to start pressing them.

As for the story I couldn't even tell you what's going on beyond the very basest plot that was established at the start. Characters babble on and say important-sounding things but they mean nothing to me. It's such a shame the game is so incomprehensible and dull. If you're interested in the game though be sure to play the demo as it gives you a sample of the gameplay stylings.

Would I play again? Yes (to finish it).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Picked up El Shaddai Today

Despite not really knowing the first thing about El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron I picked it up today. Normally I wouldn't make such a gamble but it was $20 cheaper at a local store so I decided to go with my gut. Honestly, I don't even know what "El Shaddai" or "Metatron" even mean, so that should tell you this was a choice made at near random. I know there's some religious meaning or what have you but that's all.

Anyway, I'm already regretting my purchase which is too bad... The game LOOKS fantastic but beyond that the play isn't very spectacular. It's extremely dull, but maybe that will change later. I guess we'll see. Either way, I should probably play it through to completion after downing a good chunk of money for it.

For those of you on the fence about the game I would highly suggest playing the demo. It should give you a taste of the lovely locales but completely underwhelming combat. Or perhaps it will feel different for you! If there's one thing to be thankful for this console generation it is the wide library of game demos available.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Sims...

Back when The Sims first came out in 2000 I couldn't get enough. I was a lot younger back then and with less responsibility I was able to play the game for hours on end. I practically would play from morning to night whenever humanly possible. While my mother wasn't pleased by my addiction-like propensity to play the damn game, at least I wasn't typing up the phone line for hours on end (by using dial-up, not chatting it up).

Every single expansion pack that came out was gobbled right up. I remember distinctly going into EB Games time and time again to buy the expansions the day of their release. I think when I got the first one I wasn't tall enough to see over the counter. Boy, what changes can happen in 11 years.

I lost interest shortly after The Sims 2 came out however. It was due to the fact the game wouldn't run on my aging PC. Since then, I played it a little when I did get a new computer and even tried out The Sims 3. However, it felt like my days with the series were done with. It just wasn't that much fun. This all changed last week when The Sims Social arrived on Facebook.

A fan of Facebook games I am not. However, I wanted to support one of my old favorite franchises and in general was just curious to see what it had to offer. Immediately I found myself hooked. Like most Facebook games, you can only do so many actions before you must wait a set amount of time to do more (unless you pay money). I would keep the game up in a tab and come back to it as soon as I had credits again. It was the strangest experience I've had in a while, but it was exhilarating all the same.

After a few hours of glorious playtime then things went wrong. The game would refuse to load and later that evening the game went back into closed beta. It still is that way for many users, including myself. I'm still not sure when it'll be back. I couldn't stop thinking about how much I wanted to play the game though so I decided to install The Sims 2. What harm could it do?

I've found myself completely addicted to the game. If it were possible for me to still play for an entire day I would. This, to me, is really shocking because I had thought I was completely over the series. It looks like Sims will continue to haunt me and I might as well enjoy this while it lasts. It's just too bad I had to go and get all crazy about a game again right before school starts.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I've Actually Played a Lot of Games Lately

I've been neglecting to update my blog with posts about games I've played. However, it wasn't until just now when looking over a list of things I beat last month that I realized I got a fair bit of stuff done. I played and completed Batman: Arkham Asylum, Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, Spy Fox: Dry Cereal, Spy Fox 2: Some Assembly Required, Putt-Putt Joins the Parade, Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon, Catherine, and most recently Trauma. That doesn't include games I just played but didn't beat like Rule of Rose, Lunar Knights, and others.

Now, Putt-Putt and Spy Fox aren't the most difficult games to finish or anything but I still think this is a relatively sizable list for about a month of playtime. And yet I didn't get to writing up a "test drive" post for any of them! At the very least, my time management skills are improving so I hope that means my blog will become more regularly updated in the coming weeks.

Friday, August 12, 2011

TGIF: Chickens

If I had posted a TGIF post last week this would have been the accompanying video. It's fun and shows the Zelda world through the life of those cute little chicken creatures. That's really all there is to say.

I wish I had the dedication to work on something for more than 10 minutes in Flash to do something like this. Maybe one day... I'll just need to get super excited about the project at hand.

Silly "Treasure Hunters"

Lately it seems that shows about buying and selling stuff have been really popular. You've got Pawn Stars, American Pickers, and Storage Wars all vying for collective attention. Personally, I've always been a fan of this sort of thing so these shows are pretty excellent. Well, at least the first two as I'd actually never watched Storage Wars before.

That all changed today when I saw an episode of Storage Wars where someone found a NES system. The guy apparently has some knowledge of eBay as he spoke about the famous time a year or so ago where a NES sold for a boatload of money. The story for that system was that a mother was cleaning out the closet and happened upon the system and 5 games. One of those games was Family Fun Fitness which is one of the holy grails for NTSC NES collectors. However, the guy who happened upon this NES believed that particular auction to be representative of all NES auctions ever. Oh boy.

So he goes spouting off to his storage bidding buddies that he has hit the jackpot with this "NES-001". It's also hilarious to hear him talk about the system as if he knows everything about it: "This is the first Nintendo DS". Yeah, you keep thinking that. It's equally entertaining to see his dreams squashed with a healthy dose of reality when he takes it to a game store to try and price it. I wish the game clerk had been a bit more informed himself though, as he didn't even know of the auction.

Ah well, I'm just glad that was put out there for everyone to see. I just wish everyone who grossly overprices their stuff on Craigslist could watch the show. By the way, if you want to see the episode then click here. This may only be open for US residents though and the NES sequence starts at about 15 minutes in.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Catherine, Catherine, Catherine!

So, I played and beat Catherine over the weekend. I'll probably do a little blurb about the game here later, but for now I just wanted to pimp out stuff I wrote about it. First, there's my review. It's not my best work but I'd like to think it is a relatively unbiased and helpful review.

Tonight I just published a small opinion piece about one small snippet of the game. It contains spoilers for the 7th day though so if you don't want to know what happens then it might be best to skip this. Basically, the piece is about something that happened on that day in the game that pulled me straight out of my enjoyment of the title. It's rare for a game to do that to me.

Unrelated, I'm a little annoyed that Atlus called the "Love is Over" edition of their game extremely limited. Special edition game collectors are saying that the set is actually put together on demand, meaning, it is not limited at all. It's definitely sneaky marketing on the part of Atlus and actually turns me off to them a tad. That's just the crazy collector inside me talking though.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dammit Blizzard

Diablo III looks like it is shaping up to be a good game but with annoying business decisions behind it. It should have really been expected when Activision came into the picture. Either way, now there's no single-player offline mode for the game.

Back in my Diablo days I would very often hit up a single-player game just to explore and learn. I would level, level, level on my own and then finally brought myself out of the woodwork when friends from school invited me to online multiplayer. The same held true for Diablo 2 when I finally got it. At the very least you can still set up a single player online match, but then, it still has to be online!

From what I've read it also appears that every online game is being verified through Blizzard's servers. That means the continuation of locational servers for people (US-West, US-East) which is common in online games. This has always bothered me though since I have many friends who are not local. Hopefully they didn't remove LAN play or else I'll be a lot more displeased.

Back to the servers though, it seems really annoying how Blizzard wants to have constant authentication that your game and characters are legitimate. They never seemed to care before! Back for the older games there was Open BattleNet which was basically a free-for-all alongside the more closed BattleNet servers. What is wrong with having a free reign mod Open version again alongside the structured one? People had tons of fun in Open and it's not like any true harm is coming from it.

Oh, I know why. It must be because hacking would screw up the auction house and people now that auctions go for REAL MONEY. Who thought that was a good idea? Because it will pay out REAL MONEY people are definitely going to work even harder to abuse the system.

Basically, I hate all the directions Diablo III is going. I already hated the Real ID stuff that Blizzard pulled on their other games but this just hits me harder since I actually want to play this game. Despite all the ways they are making me angry I still intend to put down my money day one. Now I understand why people rally against things online but are seen playing them days later. It's tough to stand up for what you believe in when you're the biggest fanboy in the world for the property.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Beautiful Silent Hill: Downpour Video

For all those Silent Hill or even general horror gaming fans out there this is for you:

The game isn't out yet so this video doesn't show anything spoiler-ish in any way. Unless you're unaware that the town of Silent Hill has a propensity to cut you off from the rest of the world and be really foggy. I just had to share this in my downtime, haha. I'm hoping to be able to write a few game pieces this week too.

Friday, July 22, 2011

TGIF: I Don't Know Edition

Hey! I'm here letting you all know life is going relatively well and I'm still here. Kinda. I'm still reading the posts that come into my RSS feed and the like, just not as compelled to be writing. Also, I've been focusing on a few select games lately (Terraria and Minecraft). I'm trying to keep my palette mostly clean for when my copy of Catherine arrives. 

Until then, I might be up to posting some content here but it remains to be seen. Even my movie blog which tends to be more active than this one has slowed down. In the mean time, have this lovely video from the game NITRO FAMILY!. 
Yes, this is exactly how things appeared in game. The music, the speed, the characters are all legitimate. Legitimately hilarious. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Teeny Update

Hey all!

Just wanted to let you know that I'm actually trying out streaming my gameplay online. I'm still not exactly sure how well it works (if it is even working!) but figured it was worth a shot. Honestly, streaming should be super easy but I tend to make things a lot more work. Here's a link to the channel. It's mostly just an experiment but it could be useful to grab some feedback as well. I have a friend who knows a lot about streaming so at least I can rely on him for the big problems.

Presumably because of my free day I'll be streaming on and off. That may be the case for the rest of this week as well, I'm not quite sure yet. Either way, I'm just going to be playing point and click adventure games that I find enjoyable.

Friday, July 8, 2011

TGIF: Busy Bee Edition

Happy Friday! I'm going through some amazing life changing stuff right now, so that may mean I'm less active on the blogging scene for a while. It's all good stuff, just very engrossing. Anyways, I'm going to leave you all with the theme song for the N64 game Buck Bumble. It's pretty sweet.

Also, just going to pimp this list I put together yesterday about games that the UK got that we didn't. Soon I'll post up a Japanese-only game list as well as one for some of the many, many games Europe missed out on that we (the US) got. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pyramid Head Plushies

Pyramid Head is the iconic monster/being/character from Silent Hill 2, Silent Hill: Homecoming, Silent Hill: The Arcade, and the Silent Hill movie. Ever since I first played the 2nd game I was horribly intrigued by him. The being is truly disturbing but somehow awesome as well.

Between Silent Hill 2 from 2001 and the Silent Hill film in 2006 Pyramid Head got a redesign. Apparently it was due to his helmet being too awkward to translate into an actual prop. Obviously this is false because people (including myself) have done cosplay of him using the old helmet style. Anyway, they changed him up for the movie and ever since then that's been the way he is represented. The changes are basically to his helmet, musculature, and outfit.

The whole point of this Pyramid Head talk is so I can show you these two wonderful plush versions of Pyramid Head that I received from my girlfriend for past holidays. She got them via Etsy which is a pretty cool shop from time to time. I just had to share their cuteness with the web!

The one on the left is the SH2 styled Pyramid Head while the one on the right follows design principles from the later version. Both are insanely adorable especially in person. The one on the right has a special surprise underneath his helmet as well... A "face" with two big black buttons for eyes.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Amazing PS2 Collection

I've been a member of the PlaystationCollecting forum for a while now. It's a pretty cool place to hang with other, well, PS collecting enthusiasts. I'm not necessarily a fan of everything Sony, but the PS2 is where it's at for me. I'm not 1/4th through collecting every NTSC-US title out there even at 350+ games.

There are few who have come close to or actually completed a PS2 collection for any region. I think there may be two folks that are known out there on the internet. However, here's one guy who I never knew of before. He's even more impressive than anything I could hope to achieve. How's that? Well, every game in his PS2 collection is SEALED.

I can barely believe it. Even if they weren't all sealed that is still one mighty feat. His collection hovers somewhere  in the realm of 1,800. There are still a trickle of PS2 games coming out so it may not be completely "complete" but no doubt these new titles will be instantly picked up.

It's just so damn impressive. Here's the link for anyone interested in reading an interview with him.

Friday, July 1, 2011

TGIF: Angela Lansbury Edition

Murder, She Wrote was an awesome TV show starring Angela Lansbury. What I didn't know however is that there were multiple games based on the series out there. There's a recent one that looks to be a hidden object game so I don't really care. However, there was also a FMV version from 1996 and it looks... awful. I guess some things just aren't made to be games. 

What inspired me to search out these games? I recently rekindled my love for the Angela Lansbury's Positive Moves exercise videotape. It's pretty damn elegant and somehow those 50 minutes go on for a lifetime. It's probably one of the least embarrassing celebrity cash-in exercise tapes out there. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

59 - APB: Reloaded

Genre: MMO, 3rd person shooter
Rating: M
Developer: Realtime Worlds
Publisher: K2 Network
Platform: PC
Release Date: 2010

APB: Reloaded was known as APB: All Points Bulletin back when it was new. It promised a game like Grand Theft Auto where you could be the criminal or the cop. Depending on your side, you could have a gang of real life players or be on the police force with other gamers. The idea was interesting and since I've never played an online match of GTA IV before I unfortunately can't compare how similar or different they are. But at some point, APB's publishers realized there were not enough people flocking to the game. Pair that with an unusual new subscription method where you paid for hours instead of a monthly timeframe it seems people stayed away. And so APB died until it was picked up by K2 Network.

I'd always wanted to try the game before. I was invited to the initial beta of the title but my computer at the time was unable to run it. Now that the game is free and I have a nicer computer I can finally enjoy it. Funnily enough, I remember that when the game was being closed down I could still find pallets of APB games on their shelves. I guess they had to get rid of them somehow. They were $5 coasters basically but I still kind of wish I'd picked one up just for collector's sake.

Okay, back to the game again. I'm surprised at how much I enjoy it. This seems to be the theme of my recent MMO experiences. I really loved GTA: San Andreas and Saints Row and to me the game manages to capture the feelings I had for those games. It's not perfect and not quite as fun as those titles, but in some ways it is even better because you are playing with other humans. Sometimes that completely fails though as many don't know how to drive and will inadvertently squash their teammates. At the very least, working with a competent gang to do some crimes is exciting and I enjoy wasting time on it. I've yet to play the police path but you can create a couple characters on either side, thankfully.

The character creator is pretty nice. You can do a lot with it although you can't outfit your character until finally entering the Social District. Horribly, many of the clothes are pay items. Most others you will have to do a few quests for to pick up. Something really cool about the clothing is that you can also design artwork and logos for the clothes (and cars). It's very neat although it seems open to abuse if someone wants to write or draw naughty or disrespectful things.

APB: Reloaded is more difficult than the other MMOs I've mentioned before. It's very similar to a console action game so some degree of skill is required. Still, it's a fun way to pass the time if you've got nothing better to do.

PS: Here's my character. His shirt says "BAD GIRL" which is a homage to a shirt Travis wears in Killer7.
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