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It's a round number, so I'm noting it as a milestone of sorts. Which gives me an excuse to celebrate heavily today. CHEERS!
Lol...you might be right. Since, while CC was a long review, it wasn't 350K words long.
I don't know if its just because I've had a lot to say about certain games like FF XIII and Chrono Cross, but I've been more in the 8-9 MB realm than the 5-6 MB realm recently. Might have to do a couple short-n-sweet reviews just in case I'm just getting overly verbose.
OD's Thought for the Day
Here's a weird thing I noticed online. Epic Dungeon is no more. It's now called Cursed Jewels or something like that with an extra class to play as.
I tried to read why, but can't remember. It just seems kind of lame because you and Joe have outdated reviews of a game that no longer exists in that form, I have a game I have no reason to review for that reason AND, most importantly, even if you have "Epic Dungeon", you still have to pay $1 to get this updated version. I mean, the money's no issue, but the principle of the matter is. To me, it'd be like if Bethesda came out with a patch for Skyrim where they fixed things, added a couple minor details, changed the name to NordWorld and charged you $50 more for it.
Since I'll be reviewing it in the next couple weeks most likely. Love the game, but am starting to get a bit tired of it. 150ish hours of something does do that.
1. Avoid Fast Travel when possible. I only use it to get back to base and/or collect quest rewards, but try to walk everywhere. The game's really attractive and immersive, but when you rely on fast travel, it really devolves. Which is why I'm still going strong after 150 hours. That walking takes time.
2. Most alive world I've experienced. Just the sheer number of quests you can get from just about everyone, as well as all the little randomized events that can happen as you're walking around the countryside.
3. If you play aimlessly with the purpose being to wander around and see what trouble you can get in to, it's near-perfect. If you play in a more regimented style, things kind of fall apart, as most of the game is based on a repetitive style. Get quest, go to dungeon, kill stuff, get item and/or kill boss, go back and get reward. If you're freestyling, you don't notice (or you notice, but don't care), but if you're planning to sit down and, say, knock off 4-5 missions for a guild or something, it kind of grates on you.
4. Even that's better than in Oblivion. Just because the dungeons look so much more varied. You might be getting sent to 30 different caves for fetch quests, but at least they don't all have the same general look.
5. Difficulty balancing is still an issue. Around when I hit the late 30s level-wise, virtually everything got very easy. It might have been because, thanks to smithing/enchanting perks, I massively boosted my armor rating AND added superior enchantments to everything. But, whatever, when you get to a certain point, it does get a bit depressing, as I went from needing to use stealth and guile in many situations to just being able to destroy everything with my fire-enchanted warhammer.
6. And by "stealth and guile", I mean "exploiting enemy AI issues". Hello, Mr. Bandit Marauder! You're a tough mofo, so how about I use sneak to peck away at you with arrows while you only make lackluster attempts to find me even though I'm only about 30 feet away! Man, I got pissed when I fought Movarth the Vampire, as he apparently regens health, so that strategy didn't work and I had to actually man up and fight melee style.
7. Gotten lucky with glitches compared to things I've read. Only quest that really glitched in any way was the Brotherhood quest where you have to assassinate a woman during her wedding in Solitude. Apparently, the town gets hostile and one of your DB buddies creates a distraction. Neither of those things happened and I also didn't get the reward for the perfect kill even though I did push the statue on her while she was addressing the crowd. The most annoying thing is that I did all three Bard's College fetch quests, but the special instruments never left my inventory, so I have 10-12 pounds of non-droppable quest items cluttering things up.
8. The inventory, for MISC items, is a bit glitched. Things don't always stack, which makes the list obscenely long. Also would have been nice if they created sub-menus for ores/ingots and soul gems and quest items. MISC just gets so long and cluttered.
That seems to have been taken out with the last site revamps. Might have to talk to Justin about that, as I have a bad habit of screwing up HTML deals and it's nice to catch a minor error that would turn the entire site into italics before going live.
I'd seen Parallel Trippers got translated. I was wondering if that'd be worth downloading sometime (even though I have a million other games to play) and now I know to put it on the "maybe do in the next 20 years" list!
I like the big band rendition of The Thing. Great way to get the afternoon going!
Chris Jericho's coming?
That's the best possible outcome! Especially if it's slimy, big-word-using Jericho.
Since it's been a couple of weeks since I've bored/enthralled everyone with that sort of thing.
1. Oblivion. Been so long since I played it that I decided to just start over. It'll be interesting to see how long I keep away from Fast Travel. Playing it in HD (didn't have my new TV when I first played it) is nice enough to keep me interesting in watching the countryside. I've done the entry level mage guild work (in other words, walked virtually all the main roads) and the opening bits of the main quest to where I now have to take Martin to Weynon Priory.
2. Final Fantasy XIII. In Chapter 8. Where Sazh and Vanille have to fight one of their eidolons. Not positive which one -- I just remember both were getting kinda angsty, but that chapter had been pretty throwaway with those two walking around a crowded city and occasionally getting story stuff before the enemy FINALLY started attacking, so I could so something while walking on rails. This was the first chapter things started annoying me, as at least the rail-walking was loaded with combat previously and here, I had two or three "walk a while, then cutscene" deals before getting to kill stuff.
3. Wild Arms 2. Mixed bag. I like seeing how a lot of WA 3 stuff was implemented here and just refined a bit for the PS2. But they tried to go more plot-driven here than in 1 or 3. I've had nights where my couple hours with this game have next to no dungeon work (the best part of these games, what with all the puzzles), because you're doing plot-related stuff. A couple nights ago, I got stuck with three boss fights in my home base that ate up a lot of time. Last night, I had to find three tablets in the water, followed by taking them to a town with a trip to an optional dungeon located in the mix. The optional dungeon was short. I do, however, still think Liz (and Ard, to a lesser degree) is the greatest character in the history of gaming.
On my computer, I'm also working on two others.
Phantasy Star 2. In the "about frickin' time" category. Nothing like a brutally tough old-school RPG to remind me of how easy gamers have things nowadays. Like last night, when I added Hugh to my party and just when I was starting to make him something better than a liability, I pick up Anna, so I have another L1 character to build up and buy better equipment for.
Dragon Quest VI (the translation patch for the Super Famicom version). In that really annoying grinding bit before fighting Jamiras. It takes a while to buy all the good equipment and he is a tough boss. A lot tougher than Mudo in my opinion.
The best times are when you finish a review and are just about to hit send and then you realize that because you changed paths of thought in midstream, you have a very ugly transitional paragraph or sentence stuck in there.
Title: Re: Working on hororr-themed games reviews for this month...
Posted: October 08, 2011 (10:16 AM)
You owe it to yourself to do Castlevania III to wash the taste of Simon's Quest out of your mouth.
You also owe it to your sanity to pretend you never thought about doing the SNES Doom. It's a port so bad, that the only reason you wouldn't think Color Dreams had something to do with it is that when nothing's moving, the graphics are rendering pretty nicely. Unfortunately, to play the game, you have to move eventually and it all goes to hell then.
Over the past week or two, I ordered (and received) Stella Deus: Gate of Eternity and Wild Arms 2 online and just started Final Fantasy XIII last night. Impressions are below:
1. Stella Deus: Through the first of five chapters. Pretty easy, but entertaining. The points system for moves/attacks/spells is pretty good and adds strategy. Nothing groundbreaking or awesome, but for someone who hasn't played a turn-based strategy game in some time, it's a good way to get reacquainted with that genre. If I'd find a battle that I struggle with, I can easily hit up the (dull) Catacombs fights for levels and money to buy stuff.
2. Wild Arms 2: Through a couple dungeons past the end of the intro stuff. Reasonably fun. I'd played the first and third games and it's kinda neat to see how WA 3 essentially refined so many elements of 2. I guess I'd always thought 2 was like 1, but it's more of a prototype of 3. I guess it got blah reviews mainly because it was ugly for when it got released, but if you're playing a PSX game now, you're probably not caring about graphics all that much. The "hit button to use radar to find towns and stuff...which don't appear until you've been told about them by people" element is as dumb as it was when I played 3 a few years back, but other than that, this is pretty fun.
3. Final Fantasy XIII: Into Chapter 2. Walk in straight line. Control new characters. Walk in straight line. Repeat for all of chapter one. At least the graphics/production is through the roof. So...what chapter do you start doing things that don't involve just walking in straight lines? Is it 10 or 11? I'm enjoying it mainly because of how good it looks, but do think it's funny that so far, I've done two things (staggering an enemy and pre-emptive attack) before the actual tutorial on them were triggered. I'm smarter than the game!!!! I do like the datalog. Those sorts of things really fleshed out the last couple Star Oceans, but not in an intrusive "30 minutes of exposition" about stuff way. Click a few buttons and you're good to go. I don't like how the exclamation mark appears next to items in the menu because you picked up another potion. Just have that stuff go down when you get a new item...not another item of a type you get every other battle/treasure chest.
So, I started playing Stella Deus (PS2 turn-based strategy) last night. Like many games, it has an evil empire. There's a head overlord dude and four generals under him.
One of these generals, Viper, is an over-the-top insane guy. Crazed cackling before each line and a love of killing everyone he meets.
So, how does a guy like that become a GENERAL in any army worth anything? The other three generals all have come off as mentally competent and/or tough potential opponents. He's just an insane guy who the other ones seem to consider incompetent. Sure, guys like that might have a future in evil armies (as the rabid dog types you use to strike fear in the people to make them susceptible to what you're doing), but as a GENERAL? When the other generals look at him with contempt.
At one point, I was considering reworking my Rogue Galaxy review because while replaying it, I was thinking my 3 might have been a bit low and the game was more of a 5 or so. Well, that might still be the case, but finishing the game proved to be so painful that I just don't have the energy to care enough to do so.
Here's how it went (massive spoilers for those interested in the game):
1. You reach the game's final planet and find out about a huge threat.
2. Go through dungeon, kill boss.
3. Enter shrine dungeon where you have to take about eight paths so each character can have a revelation about themselves.
4. Enter final dungeon. This place is very long and repetitive, even by the standards of a game that specializes in long, repetitive dungeons.
5. Fight "final" boss. This is a two-part fight.
6. Enjoy game designers remembering that, before this boss was introduced, they had perfectly good adversaries, so they quickly appear to get assimilated into the new boss.
7. Eight-part fight against new final boss. Each part is one of your eight characters against part of it. Fortunately, I never died because if I had, I would have gone back to the very beginning of the entire thing.
8. 30-minute ending after all that.
Yeah...never going back to that one!
I'm nearly finished with my playthrough of Breath of Fire II for this month's contest. I'm also nearly finished with my replay of Rogue Galaxy, where I've toughed it out and am at the beginning of the 13th and final chapter.
I'm trying to decide if I should rework that review, as I think I was too hard on it the first time. However, the "too hard" is more like where I think it should have gotten a 5 or so instead of a 3, as opposed to the sort of dramatic difference that would really warrant a rewrite. Time will tell. Just like time will hopefully tell me why I've invested like 50 hours of my time into replaying a game I didn't like just because a little voice in my head thought I should give it a second chance.
In other news, I've been looking both at my game collection and the collection of games I don't have, specifically in the RPG and turn-based strategy realms of things. I have a lot of non-ROM games that fit into one of three categories:
1. PS1 games I've beaten, but it was before I started reviewing and I'd have to probably play all or part of them again to review them.
2. Games I haven't played and/or beaten yet. Ranging from one of the PS1 Spyros to Final Fantasy XIII.
3. Reviewed games with unfinished business. Maybe it was a platformer that I played 70 percent of and felt I had enough of an experience to review. Or a RPG where I haven't got around to the postgame bonus stuff (and I would like to at least try it).
So, I've created a list of PS1, PS2 and 360 games I'd consider buying. And then after looking at Amazon, chopped some of them off the list (hmmm...Suikoden II's price HASN'T plummeted, I'll be damned...). Purchasing those will be rewards for clearing stuff off the unfinished list. Along the lines of a 3 things done, 2 games bought sort of thing. Finishing and reviewing Call of Duty 3 was one thing. Finishing Rogue Galaxy is another. The third likely will be finishing and reviewing Tales of Vesperia, since that game got put on the backburner for some reason in like May or so.
So, if anyone has ideas for games to purchase in the near future or down the road in more of the RPG/turn-based strategy genres, feel free to give them. Note: I will know if you're not being sincere, so don't even try suggesting that Monsterseed or whatever it's called, Emp. I'm mainly trying to avoid games that either generally considered CRAP or movies masquerading as games (which so far really has only eliminated the Xenosaga series).
Title: Re: At the risk of making everyone on HG hate me...
Posted: September 14, 2011 (01:00 PM)
If by "hate me" you mean "offer a toast to me", mission accomplished.
During the summer I didn't think I'd be able to say this, but football (of the American variety) is back. And just in time too because the past week has been extremely painful to be a Red Sox fan as they slowly implode in on themselves. So here are my predictions/commentary on some teams.
Steelers & Ravens - The Ravens really beat the Steelers bad. The media seems to be championing the Ravens predicting that they'll take the division. If today's game was any indication, then maybe they're on to something. Regardless I'm sure you'll see both teams in the playoffs, but I don't think this is going to be Flacco's year. Especially when he'll likely have to go through the Patriots and/or Jets to get to the Super Bowl.
Colts - If you're a football fan, you've likely heard about Peyton Manning's impending neck surgery that will likely make him miss the season. This pretty much effectively tanks the Colts and makes them a non-threat.
Eagles - I don't pay as much attention to the NFC, but the Eagles are an interesting team to follow. Not only is Michael Vick extremely talented, but there's all the hype about the 'Dream Team' they've created. I think this team is only going to get better as the season progresses.
Packers - The Packers want to be the next Patriots but they're forgetting that the Patriots are still the Patriots. They looked good in their opener, and I think it's very possible they'll be back at the Super Bowl if not repeat a win.
Jets - Honestly pretty surprised with how tonight's game is going. 17-7 in the 3rd with the Cowboys winning. I don't know if Dallas has good defense or their offense just sucks. I figured the Jets would be even better this year, but hey whenever the Jets lose, that's a good day.
Giants - This will be the year Tom Coughlin gets fired, but hey Eli Manning will have a better season than his brother at least.
Patriots - Tom Brady will do his best being Tom Brady and that will win a lot of games. Wes Welker & co will do their best catching some balls and that will win games to. Chad Ochocinco will be living with a fan or something. At some point Randy Moss will make a shocking announcement that he is coming out of retirement to play football with his buddy Tom. The Patriots will have an undefeated season and beat the Eagles/Packers 100-0 in the Super Bowl (700-0 if Bill Belichick suits up and plays left tackle). Jokes about the Patriots being the Boston team to go the longest without a title will be deferred to the Red Sox.
On a side note, I'm starting a new job tomorrow, but that's misleading to say because I've been doing per diem work for the same position at the same hospital (same floor and unit too) since July. The only difference is now I have a guaranteed 40 hour work week and I'll have my own caseload instead of covering for other therapists, which in some ways is easier and some ways harder. I'm kinda surprised I found full time this quickly in this economy but that's healthcare I suppose.
all 2011 games
01) Zelda: Skyward Sword - Zelda has been one of my favorite video game series since my childhood - the other being Final Fantasy which hasn't held up as well. I've loved every major installment in the franchise. Though Wind Waker was a bit of a low point to me, I still enjoyed it a lot. Twilight Princess was extremely good, and I hope Skyward Sword doesn't falter by comparison.
02) Assassin's Creed: Revelations - It would be difficult to imagine after playing the first Assassin's Creed that this series would become a stellar franchise of sandbox games. I loved II & Brotherhood, and I'll be happy as long as this one ends up being 'more Assassin's Creed with some gameplay improvements' as Brotherhood was. I just hope the game does enough unique things to tide me over until the proper sequel without making the series' formula feel stale.
03) Skyrim - I finally got around to playing Oblivion this summer. I sunk way too many hours into the game. I loved parts, hated other parts, got completely bored by the end of the main quest. Even if the main quest sucks in this one, dicking around in the game world for 30-40 hours will be really fun until I become overpowered.
04) Gears of War 3 - Gears is pretty fun. Guess I'll be playing this soon.
05) Rage - This looks more up my alley than Modern Warfare 3 & Battlefield 3. It's like The Road Warrior & Fallout meets Doom!
Dark Souls - Never played Demon's Souls so I don't really know what to think. What I've seen of both games frankly doesn't look all that fun, though I'd imagine it feels different factoring in the tension of nearly being killed by everything.
Batman: Arkham City - I liked Arkham Asylum, but I don't feel like I need this one right away. I'll likely own it before the year is over, but I'm just not that excited about it.
Halo Anniversary Edition - I want to get this some day, but $40 for an HD remake of a game I've already played a lot seems steep.
Modern Warfare 3 - Last Christmas, I received both Black Ops & Halo Reach. Black Ops was fun for a couple days before it was shelved. Reach got a lot more play time out of me. CoD is losing its appeal. Even before Black Ops, Modern Warfare 2 didn't enthrall me as much as Modern Warfare did. I doubt a 2011 edition of the game from 2 years ago pieced together by 3 studios is going make me satisfied with a $60 purchase.
Battlefield 3 - Looks pretty, but not really interested.
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record - Same game as last year but with Frank West. For $40. I can't believe this is going to exist.
Silent Hill Downpour - This series should have ended after part 3. Downpour is going to suck.
Xenoblade - Being touted as one of the best JRPGs in some time but Nintendo of America doesn't want me to play it. Thanks, jerks.
Just another accomplishment on my part. This time getting my hits over the 300,000 mark. And I'm one hit shy of having 100 reviews with 1,000+ hits each.
It's about time there was a reason to have a holiday on the first Monday in September in the U.S.!