Sunday, May 30, 2010

Now Playing - "Bizarre Jelly"

Not really been playing much of anything this week since I had my exam earlier on in the week. I started up another game actually, wanted to get some of my Wii games out the way so I could pick up Fragile Dreams soon, so I started up No More Heroes (Wii) and I've put a few hours into it so far. Actually I'm kinda near the end now, I'm the 5th Ranked assassin, so just this next boss and then 3 more after it I think. Its got some really cool references and quirks, but I'm really not liking the blandness of some of the environments and the damn tedious padding side missions and jobs. It is pretty graphic and mature but also kinda funny in places-it really does not take itself too seriously, which is a good thing I think. But one thing I realise now is that the PAL version got edited a lot from the US version, which kinda sucks. There are entire scenes that are different apparantely.

Definitely check it out if you like quirky, otaku-ish references, samurai films, 8-bit games, mecha or other stuff, its got it all in here from what I've seen so far.

Not sure if I've enjoyed No More Heroes quite as much as I thought I would...seriously, I should lower my expectations of games in general...I expect too much. Not saying this is terrible, but I think if my opinion doesn't ramp up before the end, I won't bother picking up the 2nd game.

Still slowly slugging away at Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days (PSP) but its mostly been other games than this and Suikoden: Tierkreis (DS) that I've been playing. I'm still on Chapter 6 or so on Disgaea, starting to get used to some of the gameplay things, and its starting to get a bit more grindy, level jumps are gettting annoying, but I think I said already that this one seemed much easier to level in than the first game. I'm still not really liking many of the characters as much as the previous game, but still these are both pretty good games. So far, they would both be 3 or 4/5 games...but I've not finished either, so I'll think about what I think of them once I finish them.

I've kind of decided to drop the Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) post-game for a while now, I eventually got all the character's roles maxed and beat the Long Gui. I'm definitely not going for treasure hunter or 5 starring the missions. Not until I feel REALLY fuckin bored...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Exam tomorrow!

Argh, tomorrow is the big day. My final Human Biology exam, in which I need to get an A in order to get into uni ;_;

I'm kinda confident since I've got A's in pretty much all my work throughout the year (including the prelim) and in the past papers, but still...I'm always damn nervous the closer the exam gets....

And omg...the Kingdom Hearts fandom is scary..I had to see some horrible things searching for that image on google. >< .......

Yeah Axel, I "got it memorised!" At least I hope so...lets hope I can remember all I need for the exam tomorrow. Gonna do a little bit more tonight and then try and relax a bit.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Now Playing - "Invincible shoes!"

Aww man, forget to write this up earlier today (I usually aim to get these posted on Sunday.) Nevertheless, I'll go ahead and warble about the games I've been playing this week.

Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days (PSP) For the most part, this has been the support game, when I'm bored of Suikoden or away out with no access to a computer (for FAQs since I don't wanna miss anymore chars in Tierkreis ;_;) So as a result, I've not progressed very far since last time I don't think. I'm on Chapter 6, the colosseum one, and just in the middle of doing some grinding to get my Thief levelled high so I can steal some gear ;D 

Still quite liking it, but the story or character assortment hasn't impressed me as much as the first Disgaea game really. I absolutely love the depth of Disgaea games though, I always seem to learn new things each time I play (or most), which I think is one key diagnostic feature of a good srpg-plenty of depth, too much perhaps.

One game I wish I had a bit more depth is the other game I've been playing~Suikoden Tierkreis (DS)..the battles are not the worst I've seen in a turn-based RPG by any means but the game is pretty damn long, and the battles have started to get annoying and boring at times.

I'm attempting to recruit as many people as I can, so far there are 2 I cant get now, so aiming for 106/108...but to be honest it is getting a bit tedious recruiting boring chars. Adds so much time to my game clock...and to be honest I just wanna crack on with the story and see how it ends.

We shall see...I might play a bit more in the next few days but not too much. My last exam is coming up on Thursday so I've not had much time to play games in general. I'll aim to get another chapter done in the next day or two. 

I played a little bit more Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)-trying to max out all my Roles for each character..takes so long. I'm determined to platinum it eventually though. The postgame is really not that good. Its just grinding and missions really, as well as trying to get all the items and accessories...I'm not looking forward to that (I've only got like 1 Trapehezadron at most)

I also tried the demo of Dante's Inferno that I downloaded a while back on the PS3. I'm not entirely convinced by the demo, but I like it more than the Darksiders demo that I tried. I was stuck for goddamn ages trying to twirl the analogue sticks and click them to finish off death when a button prompt came up on screen. It looked so much like thumbsticks, eventually I looked online and found a lot of people had wondered how to beat the same enemy, and it turns out it was in fact the circle button, not the sticks. I'd probably only pick Dante's Inferno up cheap (£10ish), perhaps Bayonetta before I get it. Still, I need to send off my xbox cos I'd rather play Bayonetta on the 360 than PS3.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Games on my Radar #3

A couple more games sneaked into my attention recently, so thought I'd bring them to the attention of the masses, or something like that. I doubt 'masses' of people read this blog but anyways...

The first couple of games are pretty obscure RPGs, so no worries if you haven't heard of them before. If you have, well, I envy you as I really want to play these ones sometime soon and don't know that much about them. I don't think the series has come out in American or European areas at all so far. Now though, XSEED has picked up a few titles for releases in the US on the PSP. Hopefully we PAL gamers see at least some of them. I guess I can always import them, but I don't like raping my bank balance too much. Ebay imports from the US will usually cost me around £30-40 depending on the game around release time.

Anyway, the Falcom titles that are slated for release by XSeed are: Ys Seven, Ys: The Oath in Felghana, Ys I & II Chronicles, and the trilogy The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (the Sora no Kiseki series in Japan.) All of these titles will be released on the PSP, further bolstering the RPG catalogue on the system.

Ys seven has actually been made exclusively for the PSP from the ground up, so it hasn't been ported or anything from another system. It definitely looks amazing. The Ys series is one I've never had the opportunity to play, I'll definitely look forward to trying some of these titles.

I'm going to focus on the Legend of Heroes games here first. There are 3 games in the series, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky FC, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky The 3rd and then a direct sequel to this trilogy, The Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki. The first time I had really heard of these games was when I was browsing youtube, listening to a few Top 50 or 100 RPG OST songs, and in quite a few of them, these games featured, some of the songs were actually at the top of people's lists. They have some really cool music, for sure. So I was really pleased to hear that these games would be coming to the US.

I'll also link to an interview from RPGamer with the people over at XSeed. Link.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (PSP) now has a North American release date. It will be out in the US on the 7th of September, 2010, and the 10th September in Europe. I'm kind of hoping that this one does a bit better than 358/2 Days, which not everyone liked. It was very repetitive apparantely. I'm still considering picking that DS title up though, because it is cheap and I'd like to get more of Roxas and the Organisation's story.

Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (DS) also finally has a release date! =D They've been working on this one for a while now, and it will be released in the US on 11th of July this year and the EU on the 23rd of July 2010. Just in time to catch the last bit of the summer. Slightly dissapointing is the lack of a wi-fi multiplayer aspect, but I never really expected them to add this to the English version since it would be kinda unfair on the Japanese millions who bought it. Level 5 are on board for this one (they were with DQVIII as well, so hopefully this one is as good)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Now Playing - "be a good little sacrifice now!"

I've been putting in more time to Suikoden Tierkreis (DS) the past week or two. I don't usually follow guides the first time I go through a game. Or if I do, I try not to over-rely on them..anyway, something about my first foray into the Suikoden series meant I needed to loosely follow one and that is the recruitment in the games. They typically have 108 characters you can recruit, known as the Stars of Destiny. So I've been trying to get all of them but I missed one which you had to get at one point in the story, and that meant I couldnt get another because the first one, Wustum is a prerequisite for the other character. This was like..25 hrs in to the game, and I had actually considered restarting so I could get all 108 and the good ending, but meh...I can't be bothered doing it all again. I'm slowly working through this, its a fun game, but has a fair bit of glitches and problems, one being the fact that it is WAY too easy. I haven't died once yet, around 30 or so hours in. Still, I am really liking the story, its unravelling slowly, but keeping me interested. There is a huge amount of dialogue and I think the story is quite cool so far. I've got a bad feeling it is gonna be really predictable though. 

I was having a look round the PSN store the other day and realised that there is quite a bit of DLC for the Disgaea games, some of which is free for the 2nd game. So I guess I was inspired to play it to snag the DLC while it was free(I reckon the 2 initial characters will actually remain free though.) I was intending to keep this game to play on holiday, but I started up Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days (PSP). I was a big fan of the first game-I played the psp version and was really impressed with the voice acting, humour, craziness and depth to the srpg battles and customisation. There is usually tonnes to do in Disgaea games as well, and the 2nd one is definitely no exception to that. I'm a couple hours in so far and it seems that there is a little more to do than the first game (but I can't be sure yet)-you've got the Item World, Dark Assembly, Felonies, Dark World, DLC characters, Geo Panels, Magichange, Transmigration, Apprentices Extra Gain and many other facets to the game. There are so many ways to make your characters stronger and so many things to do in this game. Story-wise, it hasn't impressed me as much as the first game: Disgaea: Hour of Darkness/Afternoon of Darkness/Disgaea DS so far at least. Although, I am only on episode 4 or so. It may well improve..I reckon its gonna be predictable though. The characters for me aren't quite as cool as Laharl and Etna-they were hard to top. Adell-the main character is a bit too cheesy. He's kinda reminding me of Snow from FFXIII and some others that I can't remember. He's sort of a cliche "I fight for my family and never give up!" kinda guy. Rozalin is a bit more interesting, she's pretty sadistic and pompous but with what looks like a soft side (*cough*Laharl*cough*). I find myself laughing at her lines more than the main character's so far. Axel is sort of funny as well, in a pathetic kind of way.

Recently I had a bit of an urge to play some Castlevania games, and after listening to some of the music on youtube while I studied, I picked up Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (PSP) and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS1) at the recommendation of some backloggers (onion and wenchwogg)

I actually got all the way through the original Rondo of Blood on the Dracula X Chronicles collection on psp in 2 days. It can be a hard game, but if you make sure and unlock Maria, it becomes a LOT easier. Some say it takes all the challenge out of the game..I guess it does kind of. Still, pretty good game, there are some nice aspects to it. Its got the hardcore platformer feel of the older Castlevania games to it, a good soundtrack and some pretty smooth graphics depending on what version you play of it. I definitely enjoyed the remake but for some reason that one got me stuck for long periods of time more than the original one did. Perhaps it is a bit harder, or maybe it is because I remembered how to beat a lot of the bosses second time round. Anyway, you are definitely getting a good deal when you buy Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles-it has the remake of Rondo of Blood and you can unlock Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night (perhaps worth buying it alone for SotN)

I'm considering playing Curse of Darkness soon, and possibly picking up Lament of Innocence to fill another hole in my Castlevania 'collection.' I lack a lot of the consoles needed to play the older games, but I've still got a fair few of the games. Hopefully I'll get some of the older ones some time, I'll have a look on the Wii's Virtual Console soon perhaps.

I've been wanting to pick up a couple more artbooks, get more into collecting them. Reckon its Disgaea inspiring me as always, I love the character designs. There are a couple Disgaea artbooks and game guides out there, and one Etrian Odyssey one I want. Its an expensive interest though. 

Trauma Team (Wii)

Hmm, this one seems interesting-looks like they are trying to change a few things from the fun, intense and crazy games so far on the Wii. It has forensics, and a whole bunch of other additions. Check the review from Gamespot. I might pick this up-not entirely sure yet.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Games on my Radar #2

Ok, thought I'd continue this idea. I do a lot of posts with games I am looking forward to (well, I used to) and I reckon if I get some regularity and structure to the posts, the blog will benefit. 

So I was reading up about a few things online and there are many rumours surrounding a new Castlevania game for the Xbox Live Arcade. Initially the key words 'Harmony of Despair' were trademarked and this led people to speculate about whether it would be a Castlevania game, whether or not it would be related to Harmony of Dissonance, whether it might be HD (like Dawn of Sorrow meant 'for DS') and a whole bunch of other stuff. I don't particularly follow rumours and whatnot, but the mere mention of Castlevania of course had me interested. 

Take any of this stuff on Castlevania: Harmony of Despair (XBLA) with a pinch of salt. Little has actually been confirmed.

There are a couple links and images in those. The site which initially posted details on this '6 player co-op game' had to pull their story for some reason. Apparantely it will feature many of the characters from the series, similar to Castlevania: Judgment (hopefully it is a bit better than that though. Tbh, I didn't mind it much, but many people hated it)

Ok, next up. What've we got? Another game from the rather awesome developer Sting. It has the rather awkward name Hexyz Force (PSP). I challenge you to think of another game with x, y and z in the title. =p

I've been really impressed with the depth and artistic direction in Sting games, ie Riviera, Yggdra Union and Knights in the Nightmare. To be honest, this one looks a lot more generic, which worries me. Some of the character designs are quite cool, but some do look actually kinda that lion type creature. Check it at around 1:17 in the below video. It's eyes, or something just seems really bad. 

Regardless, I am still keeping this on the fringes of my radar. Sceptical, but interested.

Here is a gameplay trailer from Atlus:

Niiice, that chick has an attack called Purple Haze. Fricken awesome song. 

During the time that I was writing this, a hands on impression of the game got posted over at RPGamer.

There aren't actually that many games on the way that I am looking forward to, I mean there are a few, like Final Fantasy Gaiden: Four Warriors of Light (or whatever it will be called in America and here) and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, but most of the games that I am looking to get are out already really. God of War Collection, Fragile Dreams, Shin Megami Tensei: Lucifer's Call, Infinite Space and Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey are a few I might be getting eventually. Right now I've got too many games though, gonna try getting through some of my stack before buying much new.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Now Playing - "Spoony bard"

Ok, since I was away last week and didn't post one of these up, I'll go over some of my impressions of the games I played in the last week and a bit. 

Suikoden Tierkreis (DS) I started this up and I've already put a lot of time into it, I'm around 24 hrs in, and reckon I am around halfway, but not sure on that. The voice acting is good to have in a DS game, its definitely not the norm, same with the cutscenes in the story. Some of the voice acting is pretty funny (even though its not supposed to be)-the main character for one, he talks so damn fast...

There are a few instances when the game seems to be quite unpolished, little things like bugs, graphical glitches, the fact that it doesnt automatically equip marks of the stars or give you a sensible formation as a default-it often puts characters in the back row where they cant use their weapons. Those things could have been worked on. Although I can tell that later on if I get more Marks, the auto-equip thing would have been potentially annoying if they had included it.

I'm really liking the graphics and character designs. Very nice stuff. So far I've been impressed with this game, and its given me a good impression of the Suikoden series (this is the first one I've played)

Dragon Warrior Monsters (GBC) - I picked this up again and tried to get past the bit I was stuck on. I'm quite a bit further now, around 10 or 12 hours, and getting used to the differences between this and the 2nd game. I think I've managed to get some decent monsters and grind them up to a level where I can make progress. Its a very grindy, but fun game. I still the prefer the 2nd game but pick either of them up if you are big Dragon Quest or Pokemon fans.

Other than that, I would have been playing some Blazblue now and then, but my xbox has given up the ghost....

I couldn't find a decent (more relevant) quote for the title, so settled for the rather epic spoony bard quote =p

Games on my radar.

Thought I'd do a post with some of the games I'm looking forward to. Might make this a regular thing, I need to post more on the blog...the cobwebs and dust are piling up on here...

Trinity Universe (PS3) 

I'm not too sure, I kind of want to preorder and import this actually..since Rosenqueen do a preorder with an artbook. Limited stock, so once it runs out, they won't get it back in stock...I am a bit of a whore for artbooks...on the other hand I could wait for reviews and get it for cheaper over here...not sure what to do. It looks pretty =3

I saw this video today and man...its another RPG on the way for the Wii. Looks absolutely gorgeous.

Xenoblade (Wii)

I don't know an awful lot else about this game. Dunno what the battle or gameplay systems are going to be like yet. I do know that it is not connected to Xenogears or Xenosaga as many people believed earlier on.

Arc Rise Fantasia (Wii)

This one I've had my eye  on for quite a while now, and its getting closer to a NA release. I'm fairly sure they've announced it for PAL regions but I don't have much confirmation of that. Its got such good talent behind the game, I just hope the localisation doesn't suck..I mean, the voice acting might be quite bad from what I've heard. RPGamer did a first impressions, head on over there to check it out.

One concern I have is that it really seems quite poor in places graphically, it reminds me of some of the gamecube RPGs (ToS and Skies of Arcadia), so perhaps it won't age too well.

So in addition to those, Fragile Dreams and Sakura Wars, my Wii is building up a pile of games I've not touched. I need to get it back so I can play some games on my tv now that my xbox is borked. I guess I have Valkyria Chronicles as well.

Saturday, May 8, 2010 RRoD again.

Goddamnit..I barely play my 360, but I turn it on earlier today to play some Blazblue, and it chooses to get Red Rings of Death during the one time I've payed for xbox live gold? I barely every pay for the online. Fucking shitty ass console...

I wanted to play some Blazblue... :@ 

I swear to god, if they don't send me the same kind of Xbox back as a replacement, heads will roll. I've got a limited edition Halo 3 xbox and don't want some inferior white replacement, for one thing, the HD will not fricken match it. RAR! ¬_¬

I don't think my warranty is still active. So I have to pay for M$'s failure. Fantastic, I thought I had a bit too much money. Hopefully it ain't expensive.