Friday, September 11, 2009

Now Playing - Crystal Castle

Here's some ramblings on what I've been playing this week. Not many games really since the last time, but I've got loads of nonsensical (and grammatically poor) jibberish to fire at your end of the internet. 

Bombs away!

  I've been playing a LOT of Dissidia: Final Fantasy for the PSP. I've been looking forward to this game for what seems like forever, since it was announced ages ago. I played a tiny bit of the Japanese version on my friend Joe's PSP quite a few months ago and couldnt quite get into it. For me, it seemed pretty confusing. [The language didn't help, but I was basically just trying the battles out] The big number (Bravery) above the health bars would seem like the logical place to put the HP, and I was kinda surprised to hear that the smaller health bar and numbers below it represented the HP. So anyway, minor interfacing issue aside, I eventually got the hang of the many different moves and commands in this action rpg/fighting game after a couple hours. 

The game has actually kinda blown me away, I mean I was looking forward to it for sure, but its much more fun and addictive than I thought it would be. I don't know why that is, probably its due to the battle system, the levelling up, learning abilities, progressing with the percentage completion of the Shop Inventory(shared among characters), Battlegen, Accomplishments (essentially kinda ingame achievement things which you get rewards for completing). And there is a heck of a lot more, loads to unlock in this game. They definitely pulled out a lot of stops with this one. You get a shitload of stuff to do for your money. =D

I love the little details, like all the cameos, references and appearances from FF characters in the tutorial system, the detail that they've put into the game. Even the text boxes indicating the names of special moves etc are different based on what character you are using and are referring to the original games that the characters come from. Thats pretty funky (if you can understand what I mean...I have a habit of speaking in cryptic tongues)

I've also been abusing the gains that you can get from Bonus Day (which you choose at the start). You essentially get more Exp, Gil, PP, AP etc on one day of the week and can make the gains even better by spending some of the PP you earn in battles and through the story mode in the PP Catalogue. This was my first port of call, to buy all of the Catalogue bonuses so that any further gains in subsequent days would help me get even more PP for the Catalogue.

Speaking of which, I preordered the special edition box early on and ended up getting it off Amazon for £30, which (although my friends with hacked psps might scoff at) I am pretty chuffed with. Here's what you get in the box. I will make those of you who haven't got the game fold and get it if I can! Mwahaha! =p

Dissidia Special Edition@ Amazon

Special Edition Contains:

-Unique DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY clamshell packaging

-Full boxed copy of the DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY game

-DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY Original Sound Selection Mini-CD:The DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY Original Sound Selection Mini-CD includes a selection of music tracks from the game that are especially chosen by composer Takeharu Ishimoto. The Mini-CD will be presented inside a unique pochette and contain liner notes written by Ishimoto-san. 

-Hardback, 48-page The Art of DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY artwork book: Featuring character artwork and CG rendered artwork from across the game production.

-Brady Games Official Miniguide: 32 page game guide printed in full colour, with character artwork, descriptions and walkthrough information - to help you win the battle.

-Exclusive Lithograph Prints: 2 Exclusive Lithograph prints, inside a unique DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY branded bandwrap, featuring artwork not used to promote the original Japanese version of the game.

Dissidia: Final Fantasy Official Site

I didn't think I'd be so addicted to what is kind of a mix of fighting game, rpg, board game but it takes chunks of my life hours at a time. I'd definitely recommend it. I've already put around 16 or 17 hours into it in the past few days and I've still got a lot to do in it.

The thing is, since I started up Dissidia, my other games that I've been playing have got a bit neglected. I recently beat Riviera as I was away for a couple days with just my psp for games so went onto Castlevania: Symphony of the Night which is unlockable as part of the Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles compilation on the PSP. I hadn't ever played this one as I got into Castlevania with my GBA experiences of the metroidvania games. See Also.

Anyways, I'm getting sidetracked.. Yeah, I never had the fortune to play this one and many people say it is the best Castlevania game, maybe even among the best side scrolling action games/RPGs etc ever! So having never played it, I continued on my save I had started not too long ago, determined to put some time into it and see what I thought. Well I'm yet to get a lot of the stuff you can get in the game (Familiars, most of the relics, Cards, decent weapons (lol) etc) but I am really enjoying playing as Alucard and exploring the castle. The sprites are really well animated as always and it seems there are tonnes of options for those who like to try 100% these games. Even more so than some of the later games in the series released after this one (which from what I understand, changed the series towards the metroidvania style)


I'm looking for some lull in my Dissidia obsession to play more of Symphony at some point, as I've enjoyed what I've done so far and wanna beat it.

I'm about 2 and a half/3 hours into this and at 43% ish, so it can be beaten quite quickly, but there are lots of things to find and do as well and I think I could easily sink a lot of hours into this one, my latest quest in Dracula's castle.

After this, I just need to obtain Order of Ecclesia and I'll have (and have beat) all the GBA-DS titles.

So other than finding crystals and exploring castles, I played a little bit of Shadow of the Colossus. Well, I was meant to, but psp has been distracting me from it and I've not played much (if any) of it since last time. I'll put more into it and SotN before next week if Dissidia lets me...


Anyway, my mind is turning to mush and I'm making less and less sense. SLEEPTIEM. ZZZZzzzzzz

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