Monday, November 1, 2010
Yep, I've slacked. I haven't gotten my shit together, but I decided that I really need to put these links here. So I'm getting my shit together now.
Without further adéu, here is the lenghty list of articles I wrote for my National Video Game Trailers column on Examiner.com.
Capcom released its second episode of the Marvel vs. Capcom trailer. It is awesome. Dr. Doom and Super Skrull versus Chun Li, Captain America, Trish, Amaterasu and Viewtiful Joe? How can it not be awesome!
Devil May Cry is getting a reboot (DmC), which I can't say I'm very happy with. Dante looks like a hobo punk the developers pulled off the streets of England. The action is cinematic, but I can't really tell what the gameplay is going to look like. Here's to hoping it turns out well.
Alice, Madness Returns is a title I am looking forward to. The first title was critically acclaimed, but I never played it. This one looks like an evolution of that wonderfully twisted and deliciously macabre magic: I will definitely pick it up when it hits.
Square-Enix revealed a brief Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy trailer at the Tokyo Game Show, which you can view in my article. An extended version was also released some time later, which includes all of the footage from the former, plus lots of new contend. Tifa is revealed at the end of this trailer, which made many a man cream his pants at the sight.
A sexy trailer, narrated by Jason Isaacs, gives us a look at Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. I still haven't played it, but I will get my copy some time this week. I promise you the review will be up as soon as possible.
Sega gives us a look at the newest Sonic title: Sonic Colors. The gameplay trailer showcases what players can expect from the blue blur in his latest outing.
A silly and quirky little game called Vikings Row! is scheduled for release for the iPhone. Two short teaser trailers were released, which you can watch here and here.
Keiji Inafune and Capcom reveal Mega Man Legends 3! Inafune reveals Capcom's master plan in a neat video, which you can view in my article. Sweet!
I uploaded the full TGS trailer of The 3rd Birthday, which you can watch in my article. They decided to re-work Aya's personality for this PSP iteration of the game, which is weird, to say the least. Chalk it up to amnesia.
I uploaded the TGS trailer for Okamiden as well. Watch it and melt at the overwhelming cuteness of it all! If you don't feel like petting Chibi from watching this trailer, you have no fucking soul.
Warren Spector and a few developers got together to explain storytelling, and what sets Epic Mickey apart from other games in a video called "Epic Mickey - Behind the Scenes: Storytelling." Watch it, because this game is looking really good.
Platinum Games and Sega has released an enemies trailer for their sexy-tastic action/shooter Vanquish. I regret to say that I haven't bought it yet, but I can't seem myself not pick this up soon. it's too bloody awesome.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
I've been slacking pretty hard. I can't really excuse my absence, so accept my apology instead. I've done a lot of writing these last two months, so I'm breaking down my content by website, to make these blog entries a bit easier on the eyes.
Here's all of my latest articles for New York Console Games, on Examiner.com:
Nintendo and New York-Tokyo held a Samurai Warriors 3 event at the Korean bar "Fat Buddha." The food was good, and I won't say no to free beer, of which there was plenty. Attendees got a chance to eat, drink and play some Samurai Warriors.
I got some hands-on time with a few upcoming Disney Interactive Studios titles, one of which was TRON: Evolution. A mix of energetic action, platforming and more, the game is a great-looking movie tie-in title, coming to the PS3 and Xbox 360.
The second Disney Interactive game I got my hands on was Disney's Epic Mickey, an adventure and platforming title from the creative mind of Warren Spector. The title is absolutely unique, combining adventure elements from Zelda and platforming elements from Mario, alongside a painting mechanic that lets you greatly interact with the world.
I got my hands on a copy of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, for the PSP, and wrote up a review the moment I finished it. Fun combat, lots of content, and an interesting story makes Birth by Sleep a title worth picking up if you haven't already.
Just before the NY Comic Con, I got hands-on with Capcom's Okamiden, the DS successor to the classic Okami, for the PS2 and Wii.
I also managed to interview with Okamiden's producer, Motohide Eshiro, and get an interesting background on the title.
I managed to get hands-on with Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy. It plays much like the original, but there is a LOT of new stuff Square-Enix has added, like the assist system and the new characters. Check it out to read up on Lightning and Kain's movelist!
Ys: The Oath in Felghana is a very highly respected PC action-RPG from Falcom, which is being ported to the Sony PSP. Some new trailers and images were revealed, which you can read and view in my article.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Holy shit, I haven't been here in a good while! I've been busy with all manner of personal issues. Over the last few weeks, my parents' marriage has hit a very rocky point, my ex-girlfriend was in town, I got the flu, my fathers family (my grandmother and uncle) came up to visit (i.e. take up space), and I've been writing. It has been hectic, and very draining.
Fortunately, that shit is over now. Almost. My parents are still getting their shit together, but I'd imagine they'll sort it all out by weeks end.
As you can imagine, though, I haven't really gotten the chance to sit down and write in my blog, so I am very behind with my updates.
In any case, here are the last three weeks of my writing for Examiner and Multiplayer Games.
Mafia II his shelves recently, and I wrote a review of the game, which you can read here. It is not a bad title at all: the story is great, and the gameplay is very enjoyable. It is a bit bare-bones, mind you, as in there isn't much in the way of optional content.
With Mafia II's release, 2K and Gamertag Radio set up a very badass NYC release party at the 92nd Street Y's Tribecca Center. Protesters whined about the stereotyping of the Italian mafioso, but no one payed them any mind. Read more on the event here.
Konami held a sexy little event called the NYC Gamer's Night, showcasing some upcoming Konami titles. I got my hands on Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, which has shaped up to be an great title, and an excellent addition to the Castlevania series. Check out my preview for details on this title.
Among the titles showcased at the NYC Gamer's Night was an interesting wrestling game called Lucha Libre AAA: Héroes del Ring. I thought it looked cheesy at first glance, but it was surprisingly fun and well-designed. What threw me was that it is being developed by spanish developer Immersion Software. Read more on Héroes del Ring if wrestling is your thing.
Ys Seven is the newest incarnation of the Ys series from Japanese developer Falcom. Publisher XSeed localized the title for North America, and it is out now. The verdict? Buy the game. Seriously. If you like Action RPGs and old-school, Zelda-style exploration and dungeon crawling, you need to pick this title up. Read my review if you're on the fence.
Dissidia is the over-the-top, nonsensical Final Fantasy fighting game from Square-Enix that finally let us beat the shit out of Sephiroth with Squall. An S-E has announced the sequel, which is being developed on the PSP just like its predecessor. Called Dissidia Doudecim, you can read all about the title and the new characters in my reveal article.
I only wrote one article for this column in three weeks. That's... pretty fucking bad. Anyway, the action-crazy geniuses at Platinum Games have rolled out a brand-new trailer for their upcoming third-person-shooter-on-crack, Vanquish. A demo is out, if you are interested, but definitely check out the trailer too.
"Wired" and several other sources reported that a negligence lawsuit had been filed against the publisher of the popular MMORPG Lineage II, NCSoft. A Hawaiian man alleges that he has developed an addiction to the game so ridiculously strong that he can no longer function normally. Game addiction is a sticky subject, so read my thoughts on it in my article.
NCSoft and ArenaNet were at GamesCom, showing off Guild Wars 2 in playable from. A storm of recorded videos were uploaded to Youtube since the event opened, and the biggest surprise of the event was the inclusion of the unannounced playable profession: the Necromancer.
The Guild Wars 2 official website officially unveiled the necromancer on it's professions page a few days later, giving it's readers a wealth of details about the new class.
Game site "Glimpse Dog" published it's five-part video hands-on experience with TERA, which gives it's viewers an enticing glimpse of what the game hopes to achieve. The videos are actually very fun to watch because they players discuss all sorts of subjects (particularly politics) as they interview the developers.
The official TERA website released two new screenshots for the city of Allemantheia, the elven capital in the heart of Southern Shara, and also updated with a rich history of the city and it's people. I love a game with a good backstory, and it's nice to know En Masse is putting effort in to translating and westernizing the story to make it more appealing.
Final Fantasy XIV has been in and out of beta for some time now. Websites all over were collaborating with Square-Enix to offer eager gamers a chance to win closed beta keys for the game. Square-Enix announced that Final Fantasy XIV would enter open beta on August 31st, and released a nice new trailer to compliment the announcement.
News of a fatigue system in Final Fantasy XIV hit the internet recently, and the response was fucking atrocious. Fortunately, an official translation explains in detail just how the fatigue system will work in the game. Plenty of people are still crying over the issue, but at least you can properly read how it works now.
It was recently announced via the official website forums that TERA would not be implementing IP blocking or any other territorial restrictions within Europe and North America. Korea wasn't mentioned. This means that players can freely choose which of the two territories they can play TERA in. Sweet.
Fansite "Rift Nexus" has released an exclusive preview of Stonefield, an early Defiant faction zone in Rift: Planes of Telara. This region pits players against assloads of the undead and the ex-servants of the Titans as they complete quests and gain some crucial early levels.
Nobuo Uematsu is considered by many to be a crucial part of the Final Fantasy experience. In the "Making of Eorzea" Final Fantasy XIV video, he discusses the direction he received from the development team regarding music, the composing process and more as well as details on the theme song of the game, which was sung by Susan Calloway at Uematsu's request.
Fansite FFXIVCore has provided a near complete list of the Guildleve Quests, which has been added on their Final Fantasy XIV wiki page. The fansite has also come across some unused/unreleased model data in the game, as well as some as-of-yet unused miscellaneous models.
EverDream Studio has revealed details on the latest instance for its 2D, turn-based, browser-based fantasy MMORPG Dragon's Call. Yes, the same Dragon's Call that a player threatened to sue for banning/flagging the word 'gay" in world chat, not that this fact has any bearing on the instance at hand.
And that does it!
Holy epic shit, this is a long post. But then again, it's three weeks worth of writing. That's what happens when I slack, I suppose.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Alrighty. Down one molar, but up quite a few articles, I'd say. Been keeping myself busy this past week, and I've been on-point pretty much the whole time. So much so that I'm actually posting my Sunday update on Sunday! (Gasp!)
With GamesCom in full swing, plenty of neat trailers have been released. BioWare's dark fantasy Dragon Age is hitting March of 2011 with a fully-fledged sequel. This cinematic teaser video, the "Destiny" trailer, gives us a pre-rendered taste of things to come in Dragon Age 2.
Firstly, I'd like to say that I hate Examiner's basic publishing tool. I like to be able to edit HTML code - even if I'm not that good at it - and the basic tool negates this. Since that's all we can use during Examiner's current transitional period, my Examiner articles look a bit... off. Please excuse this. I'm hoping these transitional shenanigans come to an end soon.
Secondly, GamesCom was in full swing this week, meaning plenty of new images, trailers, artwork, and all kinds of game related jazz hit the web.
And with that, on to my week in gaming!
An interesting rumor hit the internet last week: the PS3, stoic paragon of unhackable gaming security (for developers, at least) was supposedly hacked by a mere USB mod-chip. I haven't followed up on the story, but many other sites corroborated the legitimacy of the product at the time. Read more about it here.
Valkyria Chronicles II has revealed it's pre-order bonus: two extra missions for the early birds who put money down on it before the August 31st release. Remember, Valkyria Chronicles II is being released on the PSP, unlike it's PS3 predecessor. Check out the article for more details.
With GamesCom in full swing, plenty of neat trailers have been released. BioWare's dark fantasy Dragon Age is hitting March of 2011 with a fully-fledged sequel. This cinematic teaser video, the "Destiny" trailer, gives us a pre-rendered taste of things to come in Dragon Age 2.
A while back the Japanese Metroid website had a video detailing the history of the Metroid series. This video has now been uploaded to the english website, with Samus' english voice actress narrating. Pretty neat stuff, so definitely check it out.
The Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep website has updated with the last of it's videos. This time we get the:
- The GamesCom trailer, called the "Launch" trailer. Pretty much the final trailer before the game's release in September.
- A multiplayer gameplay video, showcasing how you can play this incarnation of the game with other players.
- A mini-games trailer, revealing what you can do outside of the story proper.
Blizzard Entertainment has sued a private server for copyright infringement, and won an astronomical $88 million from the case. And I thought they couldn't get any wealthier. This server not only let people play World of Warcraft without having to pay a monthly subscription fee, but actually made a profit of $3 million from selling in-game stuff to players. It's crazy stuff, so be sure to read the whole article.
The last of TERA's new class-skills has been revealed on the official website. Lancers get a sexy bash and lunge attack, and Berserkers get a neat health-eating ass-kick attack. Plus, TERA was at GamesCom, and announced that they have a full dungeon-crawl as a demo, instead of the E3 demo they've presented for a while. Read up on it here.
TERA has also revealed it's GamesCom trailer, showcasing many of the newly revealed skills in some nice cinematic combat footage. With that, they also revealed the newest screenshots of the week: the Azarel Temple has been re-named to Azarel's Labyrinth, and we get two images of the area surrounding said dungeon.
And that wraps it ups for the week! The latest chapter of Kurohime was finally uploaded by Imangascans, and now I'm very eagerly awaiting the next one. I also learned of a Korean Manhwa called Legend of Maian, which I've been enjoying as well, though I admit I like Kurohime a quite a bit more.
And yes, no Civilization V or Ys Seven yet. I simply haven't published my Civilization interview yet, (but I will this week) and I haven't received my review copy of Ys Seven. I borrowed a copy from a friend and played for a bit (it's awesome) but the fucker demanded it back before long.
C'est la vie.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Had a pretty rough week, unfortunately. I cracked my molar several years ago, and it started acting up two weeks ago. The pain intensified last week, to the point where I was in and out of the hospital every other day. Fortunately, today (Monday the 16th) the doctors agreed they couldn't save the tooth (the decay was too extensive) and pulled it. So the pain is gone, but so is my tooth. I kinda miss it, now...
Anyway, the pain was kicking my ass hardcore, so I didn't write as much as I would have liked. Nonetheless, here is my week in gaming:
(Update) American McGee's Alice is a cult-classic PC title that was acclaimed for it's macabre, unhinged take on the Lewis Carroll stories "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-Glass." Alice, Madness Returns is the sequel, set ten years after the events of the first title. I forgot to add this article preview at the time of the writing of this entry. Whoops.
My review of Arc Rise Fantasia went live. The verdict? Surprisingly good battle system (especially considering it's entirely turn-based) with a piss-poor localization. I honestly feel that Ignition (the publisher) cut some serious corners with their effort on the game. The dialogue is weak, and the voice overs are atrocious.
Bioshock Infinite hit the scene with it's impressive cinematic trailer, and let's just say that the new setting is fucking awesome. Bioshock has abandoned the underwater utopia of "Rapture" in favor of something fresher, and I think the decision is brilliant. Check it out.
Guild Wars 2 developers interviewed with a french (I believe) MMO website called "Univers Virtuels," and discussed a few elements of the game. They were extremely tight lipped, so we
get little more than snippets of info, but considering how secretive ArenaNet (the developer) has been on the subject of it's upcoming game, I assume any info is better than none. Right?
The badass Guild Wars 2 video, the "MMO Manifesto" promises everything from the kitchen sink to the second coming. I have to admit, It got me excited a bit. Guild Wars wasn't a major blip on my radar, but I feel compelled to keep an eye on it now. I hope they deliver.
The sexy TERA reveals it's screenies of the week, detailing the cities of Velika and Castanica. In addition, we get some super sexy skill reveals for the Sorcerer and Priest class. Sorcerer's get a powerful area-of-effect sleep spell, and Priests get a badass magical bolt combo. Last week saw the reveal of new skills for the Archer, Warrior, Slayer, and Mystic.
Blade & Soul, the sexy South Korean MMORPG from NCSoft, with artwork by the renowned Hyung Tae Kim, is promising a playable demo by the end of the year. They won't be at GamesCom this week, and they very likely won't be demoing at Tokyo Game Show, which leaves G-Star for the demo reveal. God, it's gonna be so sexy...
And that about covers it! My mouth feels like shit courtesy of the tooth-pulling, so I only wrote one article today, but I intend to write plenty this week. Expect to see some Civilization V, TERA, Ys Seven, and more this Sunday!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I... forgot to post on Sunday. Again. Clearly, punctuality isn't my strongest point. Still, it's only Wednesday, so I'm not terribly late in posting this. And besides, I have writers block, so writing this out now may get my creative man-juices flowing.
I'm gonna try something bold and creative: a new, ass-kicking style for my "week in gaming" posts. Let's hope it looks good.
And that about does it! This looks absolutely ghastly on the publishing tool, but doesn't look too bad on the published page. I'll probably adopt this for future posts. And yes, I didn't do anything for Video Game Trailers. I've had a damned toothache that hasn't let up, and a splitting headache since last Monday, so my work has fallen behind a bit. Hopefully my Dentist's visit tomorrow will alleviate this somewhat and let me kick ass with writing.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Umm... well, I forgot to write in my blog last week. I know I said I wouldn't not write, but unfortunately, I did. Lucky for you, I'll post double the normal amount of ass-kicking gaming content in a single post! I know, I spoil you. But there is no such thing as "too much of a good thing," I say.
I posted my hands-on preview of Mafia II, which I play-tested a few weeks prior. I have to say that, despite the awkward faces/lip movement, the game looks fantastic. Good combat, good voice acting, interesting story, and great look.
The weekly Japanese comic and game magazine Shonen Jump, revealed some interesting info on Namco's popular Tales series. Tales of Graces is headed to PS3s, a new Tales game is in the works (also for the PS3), and more.
I updated this column like mad these last two weeks, LOL.
The Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep website updated with some awesome gameplay demonstrations:
The mobile Kingdom Hearts title, Coded, is getting a graphical face-lift. As you can see by the awesome trailer, the gameplay is perhaps the most varied of any in the series.
Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, the newest and sweetest clash between the legendary companies, has revealed two new characters in the fighting universe. Amaterasu, (yes, mother-fucking Ammy, goddess of the sun in wolf form and heroine of the awesome Okami), and the thunder-god badass Thor.
San Diego's Comic Con revealed some cool stuff, but the Street Fighter Vs. Tekken trailer raised more than a fair share of eyebrows. Yes, Street Fighter. Yes, Tekken.
Speaking of Okami, the DS sequel Okamiden has recently revealed a new gameplay trailer, and is so over-the-top cute I can't say much other than... damned, that's cute. Really, though, Chibi is the cutest puppy-wolf-god ever.
Halo: Reach, the latest and greatest title in the acclaimed Halo series has released it's launch trailer, and the game looks pretty damned sweet. The scale is incredible, so don't miss it.
TERA, the awesome action MMORPG from South Korea is being published by En Masse Entertainment in North America. However, it is being published by Frogster Entertainment in Europe, known primarily for their free-to-play titles.
DC Universe Online, the action MMORPG from Sony Online Entertainment and Warner Bros. Interactive, is (or rather, was) accepting registration for their beta later this year. They are also offering ass-loads of pre-order goodies should you decide to reserve the game.
Heroes of Three Kingdoms, based on the heavily romanticized "Three Kingdoms" era of Chinese history, entered open beta testing on July 27th.
Frogster took notice of the negative press from European TERA fans, and made a formal address on TERA's official forums to explain what exactly they would be doing in collaboration with En Masse and Blue Hole regarding localizing the game.
The Vindictus article I wrote a few weeks back got some good attention, so I was asked to whip up another article on the subject. Fortunately, the official Vindictus website uploaded some character and gameplay trailers for the game, which you can watch on Multiplayer Games.
San Diego's recent Comic Con revealed a crap-storm of new of stuff. TERA unveiled a few new game-enriching mechanics: The Glyph System, achievements, and an improved user-interface
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Still haven't come up with a decent title. It'll come to me, eventually. Anyway, another week has come and gone. I feel as though I didn't really do much during the week, which is weird, since I also feel like I've been pulled every-which-way these last few days.
Last week (July 10, 2010) saw a Dragon Quest IX event at the Nintendo World Store at Rockefeller Center. This week saw a new event at Liberty State Park in New Jersey. Called the Wii Games: Summer 2010, Nintendo invited players to join in the summer spirit and compete in some video game tournaments.
Ys' Official Facebook page uploaded some new images for the upcoming Ys Seven title for the PSP. Being an avid Ys fan, this is definitely something I look forward to. This game introduces all new concepts to the series, particularly the three-person party mechanic. Ys Seven is scheduled for release on August 17th, so give it a look-see if you own a PSP.
Bioware is officially testing it's upcoming MMORPG based on the Star Wars mythos. Star Wars: The Old Republic is undergoing small focused-group tests, and will branch out into larger scale tests as the year progresses.
Runes of Magic, the very well-known free-to-play MMORPG, is introducing a relationship system. Marriage is at the core, but friendships and family ties can also be established. Runes of Magic is also introducing a video-tutorial system to help newbie players get into the game.
I did another piece on Allods Online and it's stupid fucking cash-shop nonsense. The game's player-base ran the hell away because the game is now without a doubt pay-to-win. I also wrote an article for MMOsite on the subject, but it was too opinionated and actually got taken down. Self-pwnage?
There is a bit of TERA info out: an interview reveals some info on the jumping mechanic and crafting. I also put up the most recent (at the time) screenshots of the week, which publisher En Masse puts on the official website weekly.
Vindictus, the upcoming free-to-play MMORPG is holding it's closed beta on July 22. The game is heavily action-based, and very awesome-looking. For a free-to-play title, Vindictus looks like it will offer some great gameplay. Sign-up for the beta test ends on July 19th, so you may still be able to get in!
Dragon's Call, a free-to-play browser-based MMORPG, had a bit of controversy go it's way: A player learned that the word "Gay" was banned/flagged by the World Chat system. In essence, you couldn't say the word in-game. Which pissed off the player, who threatened to sue.
Lastly, Free Realms, the ridiculously popular online virtual world, is offering a lifetime membership to it's players. Shell out $29.99, and you can get premium access to Free Realms. Considering how the damned game is growing at a rate of about a million players a month, you may want to check out the game and see what all the hullabaloo is about.
I haven't written anything for Video Game Trailers, and that's pretty fucking sad. I need to get back on-point.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I've been so bad to this poor blog. This is the one and only place I can really cut loose and talk about the games I love in a way that won't get me in trouble, and I haven't posted in the poor girl in well over two months. For shame, Gabriel. For shame.
So I came up with a kick-ass idea!
So I came up with a kick-ass idea!
Since I'm so busy writing everywhere else, I'll re-cap what I wrote every Sunday here on The Gaming Gab. Not only is this a shameless self-promotion, but I can (hopefully) benefit from an SEO boost with links going every-which-way to all my writing sources. And I'll actually be using my fucking blog! Whoamfg!
All I need to do is come up with a catchier title...
Anyway, here is last week, (July 4- July 10), in gaming:
I wrote a review for Toy Story 3: The videogame. The game itself is pretty good, especially considering it's a movie-tie-in game. Check it out if you get the chance.
I also wrote a preview for a surprisingly bad-ass Dragon Quest IX event at the Nintendo World Store at Rockefeller Center. Plenty of people showed up, and the game itself looks sweet.
The awesome Vanquish E32010 trailer. Like the love-child of a first-person shooter and a third-person action game, Vanquish looks fucking amazing. Platinum Games is on a roll.
The Last Story finally revealed it's debut trailer. I don't wan't to get to excited yet, but The Last Story looks fucking great. It's like Sakaguchi (the father of Final Fantasy) is showing Square-Enix what an action-RPG should look like. And it's for the Wii. A pwn-some A-RPG on the Wii? Inconceivable! And yet...
Uploaded the E3 2010 demo-walkthrough for TERA, a fucking incredible action-MMORPG from South Korea. In a genre with few action-intense games, TERA is going in for the kill.
Wrote about Allods Online's ridiculously ass-backwards patch. The developers have replaced one stupid, player-deterring gameplay mechanic with an even stupider player-deterring mechanic.
TERAFans hosted some sexy-as-fuck armor renders for the demonic "Castanic" female characters in TERA. My weak, tempted manliness couldn't resist, so I had to write about it.
And that about wraps it up! Join me next week for more of Dracozombie's week in gaming! (It's a working title, please STFU).
Thursday, May 13, 2010
I'm as much a Final Fantasy fan as anyone. True, I haven't played much of the Nintendo Final Fantasy games (just chunks of FFVI and FFIV), but I've played through all of Final Fantasy VII, IX, X, X-2, XII, and now XIII, plus the first disk of FFVIII and a few hours of FFXI. That's a lot of fucking Final Fantasy. And sadly, the latest installment, Final Fantasy XIII is tied with FFVIII as my least favorite of the games in the series.
Gameplay wise, XIII is the strongest game in the series. You cannot fucking argue this. The Job system has been re-worked and refined as the Role system, where many of the series' staple moves and abilities have been modified and simplified to fit six basic "jobs", all of which are actually useful in battle. Characters can input up to six commands at a time, and can act before the gauge is full, making combat flow much better and faster. MP is gone: everything uses varying amounts of the ATB gauge. Awesome.
The chain system, lifted from Final Fantasy X-2, has been re-worked into a system that heavily impacts how fights play out. Chaining and Staggering determines how much damage you deal to enemies: the higher the combo chain, the more damage you deal. When enemies hit a certain point in the chain, (it varies by enemy type), the enemy will enter "stagger" state, making it vulnerable to damned near everything, and dropping it's defense to shit, leaving them open to all kinds of sodomy.
All in all, the gameplay is a fucking model for future games in the series.
So why don't I like it?
Well, the characters are shit, the story is shit, and worst of all, the developers prioritized the story. The first five hours of the game has you running around linear corridors doing all sorts of action-movie-esque stupid nonsense, all the while the game is throwing out random fucking jargon information that doesn't make sense to anyone who isn't a developer or has a fucking summary of the story in-hand.
Once the developers pull their heads out of their ass and start telling the story, you still continue playing the game on rails for hours on end before the game actually lets you do something that isn't story related. I clocked in at about 22 hours before Grand Pulse (where the game opens up). Twenty-two motherfucking HOURS. That's a long fucking exposition for a game with such a simplistic, melodrama-riddled story. What does the story boil down to, that requires such a long and elaborate set-up? People fighting their fate. Defiance. Not accepting the circumstances, and fighting to survive. Thats IT. Square-Enix took over twenty hours to say that. Jesus weeping on the cross.
I hate Final Fantasy VIII for similar reasons. The gameplay improved in every way from Final Fantasy VII, but the story was such angsty shit, and some of the situations the characters found themselves in were so fucking ridiculous, I actually couldn't play past the first disk without feeling my gag-reflexes kick in.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Everyone knows instant noodles are the shit. Maruchan, or good old Nissin, are fucking classic. Well, until I discovered Bayonetta.
Okay, not really "discovered": I've been playing the thing since January. However, I find that it's such an incredibly rich action title, and just an incredible game in general, that I keep coming back to it regardless of whatever else I'm doing. Food? Fuck it, that means less time for Bayonetta! Work? My boss can blow me. Other games? Why bother? They aren't Bayonetta.
Seriously though, Bayonetta boasts the complex branching combo lists of the Ninja Gaiden games, the ability to free-form and spice up combos with ass-loads of extra moves like Devil May Cry on crack, and a cool finisher system that's something like a mix between God Hands roulettes and reflex-based QTE's. On top of that, the enemies are both challenging and fun to fight (who'da thunk?), and the bosses are so epic they make every other action game boss look like absolute shit. SHIT. Christ, just the first boss (Fortitudo, the two-headed chrome dragon-angel) is so fucking incredible and satisfying to fight the game guarantees a Jizzgasm for fighting it. It says so on the back of the fucking box. (Read: no it doesn't).
Story wise, the game is silly, and rarely gets serious. This isn't a bad thing. I can't begin to tell you how stupid games make themselves look when they present shitty, nonsensical conflicts completely seriously, I.E. Ninja Gaiden. Pull your head out of your ass, please. Bayonetta has a great sense of humor, the voice acting is great, and some of the torture attacks are fucking hilarious.
It's only real flaw is the odd instant-kills the game throws at you, be it during some platforming segments, or during cutscene QTEs. Once you recognize them, they aren't a problem, but knowing doesn't make it any less inconvenient.
Here's a little review of mine, which I published for Examiner.com
Anyway, play this game if you haven't already. PLAY IT. I'm serious.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
This is the leaked introduction to Metroid: Other M. The 3D render for Mother Brain and the Baby Metroid are what make this trailer badass, which explains why Nintendo keeps taking the fucking thing down from Youtube. No doubt they'll catch on and pull it off here too. Which will suck. But still, enjoy it while you can.
I wish it showed some actual game-play.
Metroid: Other M, New Cinematic Trailer
Not much is known about the title, but the game seems to flesh-out Samus' humanity, and give her some actual personality. Mind-blowing, I know.
On top of that, Tecmo's Team Ninja is co-developing the title with Nintendo. Boob-physics FTW. If this title does well, maybe Nintendo will enlist another developer to help make Zelda less stagnant.
Posted using ShareThis
Posted using ShareThis
Friday, January 15, 2010
What's cool is actually the way the video plays out. You play as Nico, the super-secret ace in the Agency's sleeve, who tackles the military regime in Panau in pursuit of his former boss and mentor Tom Sheldon. It seems going rogue with military intel and cash is not something the Agency takes too lightly.
So you can actually branch out and "play" through different scenarios by clicking on different prompts when you reach a certain part of the video. Kinda like a "choose your own story" book. Neat.