Monday, June 21, 2010

Rant the third : Adrena--- HO!!

This made me sad. Really really sad. Is this it? Is this what the future of gaming is? Is this what younger gamers want nowadays?


All the American gaming industry is reduced to is nothing but a bunch of FPS cookie cutters? If you look at it, it's all the same. Your character takes a bigass gun and is out to kill everything in sight. Everything that moves. Halo, Mass Effect, Medal of Honor, Modern Warfare... FPS, giant gun, aliens/terrorists/your grandma's book club members.
Name me one really really successful American game franchise that didn't involve huge guns and mindless killing.

WoW doesn't count. It's not a console game. God of War doesn't count. You still kill everything in sight. And can I be honest? God of War... offended me. It's just one big testosterone bag on a stick.... pike... whatever. You go around killing things... and... bang chicks. Yeeeeeeah...

Like this...And... that cut scene with Aphrodite that Youtube refuses to keep due to nudity and lesbians.

And other people complain that girls don't get into gaming enough. Please. How dyou expect your girl to get into a game where you get to bang... other girls...
I mean, I like girls as much as the next... girl who likes girls... does but come ON. Enough's enough.
Maybe it's just me. Maybe it's just the hope that gamers don't turn into douchebag meatheads whose line of thinking doesn't always equal "Hulk see locked door. HULK SMASH!" in order to get themselves out of a jam.
I remember the old days when games were a test of skill and reflex. Mario, for one and Castlevania. And who can forget the Battletoads? Good luck trying to get through that without trying to tear out your hair.

This? Remember this? I spent hours with this game. Given, I was around... ten when I first played it so I kinda sucked at it but.. it was pure fun. Heck, ANY of these games are pure fun.

Look at em. No ZOMG BLOOD SPLATTER, no shock and gore... just pure fun. And some of these games were really tough, too! Now those were games. Show this to newer gamer nowadays and the only thing they'd prolly notice would be the graphics and they'd prolly call it lame after five seconds.
Maybe it's just a generation gap. Maybe it's just me being a girl (?) but... meathead games just don't do it for me. Give me a good RPG anyday... or Castlevania... or heck, Tank and I'd gladly play that over Gears of War.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Rant the Second: Rumble Ramble

So... a new Dead or Alive game is coming out for the PSP soon. No, it's not a fighting game... no, it's not a volleyball game either. It's called Dead or Alive Paradise and it's... causing a bit of controversy. The main idea of DoA Paradise is you get to watch the DoA girls hopping around in bikinis and take pictures of them. There's also a casino-esque minigame along with it, too. Kinda like Pokemon Snap for... adults? Anyway, some people think "HOMG HOT BABES IN BIKINIS ROLLING AROUND! AWESOME!" while other people are going "HOMG PEOPLE PARADING WOMEN AS SEX OBJECTS! NOT AWESOME!". Personally... I dunno. You've heard my say on Fanservice games which usually get a thumbs down from me for not being innovative enough.
I facepalmed when I saw the game description.

Though you did have me at the hot blonde with the ribbon, Tecmo...

-coughs- Anyway! Ramble 2.

I've noticed a certain something with the releases on the PSP and on the DS. Back when I had full control over my DS, there would be a new release I could look forward to almost every two weeks or so. I mean, just this month alone, I've seen the new Ace Attorney game as well as Ragnarok DS. As for the PSP, not so.
There's a really long wait time between major releases.
This month, after Dante's Inferno, Lunar Silver Star Harmony and Blazblue come out, it'll be two months til the next game I'm looking forward to. Of course, there's a good thing to all this: I can focus on the games that just came out and getting all I can out of them before trying something new.
So... I think I'm actually enjoying my shift to the PSP... I can get more out of my games instead of not finishing a single one and ADHD-ing over to a new one the moment it becomes available...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

News: Persona 3 Portable


Atlus has opened the English site for the Persona 3 PSP game and I'm TOTALLY excited. My only Persona experience has been limited to Persona: Innocent Sin, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor and the PSP remake of the first game. Finally, to be able to try out one of the newer Persona games is quite exciting for me.
Needless to say, I'm keeping a close eye on this one!

Stated release date is July 10, 2010.

Here! Have a trailer!

Review: Silent Hill Shattered Memories

First Impression:
Ah, Silent Hill. We go way back, you and I. From the first game, I've tracked your progress and I remember having hard times sleeping because of the damned hospital area. I could only play you in the daytime when the lights were on. Good times, good times. So... how has the newest installment fared?

I'd heard of Shattered Memories (SM) when it first came out as a Wii game. Sadly the PSP and PS2 versions were delayed so I had to wait a while til I finally got it in my grubby little paws. What made me even more eager was hearing of a so called "psychological profiling" system built into the game. Depending on how you played it and what decisions you made, the game would change. This changed how some characters looked, where you could go and the ending you got. Interesting. This I had to see.
As SM was called a "reimagining" of the first Silent Hill game, it shares the same premise: Harry Mason takes his daughter to Silent Hill, the car crashes and little Cheryl goes missing. It's up to you to find her.

There are clear differences between the first and this, quite obviously. For one, there are psychiatric sessions sprinkled in between locations. These sessions will get relevant once you see the ending. Said psychiatrist gives you some tests and some minigames which help the game analyze your psychological profile. All in all, a good breather.
Secondly, Harry has a phone now. He can use this to make calls (Try calling the Konami Service Hotline.), take pictures (mostly of ghosts sitting around town and UFOs) and it also has a handy GPS. From the phone menu, you can also save and look at how much time you've logged into the game.
Third, there is no combat involved.
Yes, you heard me. No combat. No guns, no clubs, not even a machette to call your own. Instead, you have to run from these things called Raw Shocks which change in appearance gradually through the game.
These Raw Shocks will follow you during chase sequences called Nightmares. During a Nightmare, Harry has to run. And run. And run.

Occasionally, he will have to crawl.

You can also pull down things and jump over gaps to slow down the Raw Shocks. If you're good, they won't be able to catch up to you. If they do, you have to throw them off by pressing a face button corresponding to where they came from before they pounced you. (X if they came from behind, square if they came from the left, etc.) Compared to the Wii version's having to flick the wiimote and nunchuck to throw them off, I prefer the face buttons. More responsive.
When you're not being chased by Raw Shocks, you're wandering through a snowy fog-less Silent Hill in search of Cheryl while collecting mementos and snapping photos of shadows and static... things.

This is a fun game. Yes, the chases are exciting and at times a bit frustrating as you can lose your way and that's something you don't want happening. Sure, I found the psychology test thing fun and a good push to see the ending.. but... it didn't quite deliver to yours truly as a Silent Hill game.
The environment's nice but.. it's just a snowy town. There's no fear of turning the corner and seeing something scary/dangerous/HOMG OUT TO GET ME out of the Nightmare sequences. It didn't scare me. At all.
And I'm easily scared.

Last Words:
I gotta admit, I was in it for the psych testing. In terms of scare factor, this isn't at all a game you'd go to. I think Silent Hill Origins might do better in that field. For a Wii port, this isn't so bad. The graphics are pretty sweet though it's hard to control colored pencils with the analogue nub.

-During Nightmare sequences, turn off the flashlight. I find that it lessens the chance of Raw Shocks spotting you from the get go. Except for the forest nightmare, I haven't gotten lost because the doors and ledges are easy to spot even with the flashlight off.
-Things you can interact with are marked with a white arrow over them. Usually, this is where you can find a key or a memento.
For a handheld game, this has pretty good graphics. You can't really compare it to the Wii version since the specs are hella different but it has its own charm. One thing I want to ask is... why do all of the female characters look like they just had a good cry? Their eyes are red around the rim...

Gameplay: 3.5/5
The lack of scare factor... I'm a bit torn about. It's a Silent Hill game so... it's supposed to be scary but since it's not all that scary, I can play it without losing any sleep. Some people might be put off by the lack of combat... but I found it quite refreshing.

Soundtrack: 5/5
There isn't much in the blaring background music department but they do have some awesome mood music. Some voices were creepy... and the voice acting was pretty well done! I salute the guy who did Dr. Kaufman.

Look and Feel 5/5
Everything's just right. With the flashlight, you can still make out some things and sometimes, you're in complete darkness. The phone is your answer to everything and the directional buttons serve as shortcuts. Brilliant. The menu isn't confusing and everything is where you'd expect it to be.

Final Rating: 8/10

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Around the net Week 1

And this week on Around the Net, where we dig up some interesting news articles worth the read if you're into games or the gaming industry in general:

And that's it for Around the Net this week!
Links courtesy of

Friday, January 15, 2010

Trailer: Tekken the Movie

For some reason, Hollywood seems to be cashing in on anime and gaming franchises lately. In the past year, we've seen a CGI version of Astroboy (Why was Tenma's name changed to Bill, for heaven's sake?), a live action version of Dragonball called Dragonball Evolution and another equally legendary flop, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Lee.
Now, sometime last year, I'd also heard of a sudden make of Tekken. Of course, I started to worry. Hollywood has released its share of fighting game related movies and none of them were enough to do the game justice. From the first Street Fighter film starring Jean Claue Van Damme and Raul Julia to the several Mortal Kombat films with another one rumored to be on the way, all of them look pretty darned shabby.

Then I saw this trailer:

I'm a little torn. For one thing, the characters look like the characters and I haven't seen anything over exaggerated yet..
But who knows. It looks pretty good but hmm... I'm still nervous.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rant the first: Final Fantasy XIII, the really long movie

So today, I was surfing around when I came across their article on Final Fantasy XIII. As most people know, FFXIII has been one of the most anticipated RPGs this year. People have been waiting for this game for years and when it finally came out, Squeenix fanboys everywhere came.

Sure, it looks like Squeenix put a lot of effort into it as there is a lot of flash and bang and shiny graphics but when it comes down to it... how does it play?
And thus the link up there.
I don't have a PS3 and won't be able to play this game for myself so I can't judge for sure if the article is true but if it is, I'm sorely disappointed. The impression that article left on me about the newest installment to one of the pioneers of the JRPG genre... is that everything went down the toilet.
With the shiny graphics came a battle system that seems confusing to say the least and... this:

"Every level is one long Hallway of Death, and you run down its interminable length, never moving left or right, always running forward. There is always only one thing to do next, and it is always either fight a short battle or watch a long movie."

I frowned at this and what came to mind were the long twisting tunnels of dungeons past. I remembered the DS remake of Final Fantasy 3 where you would get rewards for completing the map for one particular floor of the dungeon. Then there was the thought of wandering aimlessly around the dungeon in search for treasure chests and thankful you had another battle for the experience points. Now, it seems you're trapped in a death tube and forced to fight until you watch the next cinematic. Seventeen hours into the game, Chris Kohler (said article's writer) has said there hasn't been anything noteworthy happening at all. It's all movie and battle. No fancy equipment, sidequests or the like.

Scary, really.

Then, there's the naming choices. I've seen Square choose a few good ones in my time (Luneth was a nice name, same with Cecil and I rather liked Zidane) but... this cast is going too far.
A world called Pulse?
I'm betting FFXIV will have a character named.. oh I dunno... Paper... or Stone... or... some other inanimate object.

Take away the shiny graphics and it seems that FFXIII isn't worth all the hype. If this is what's going to happen to one of the most beloved JRPG franchises ever in the history of gaming... then I may as well quit while I'm ahead.