Archive for March, 2011

On Time to the Party: Ghostbusters Sanctum of Slime

Posted in Uncategorized on March 24, 2011 by nairume

Hey guys, a new Ghostbusters game is out, so I’m going to give it a shot now instead of in two years because I fucking love Ghostbusters and

WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOUR FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE

I hate this game already.

LttP: Final Fantasy XIII- The First 10 Hours (of tutorials)

Posted in Uncategorized on March 18, 2011 by nairume

I’ve been kind of putting this game off for a while. A combination of bad press, middling impressions from friends, and a general annoyance at the development cycle of the game kind of left me kind of apathetic towards the game and the Square side of SquareEnix in general. I pretty much swore to hold off on the game until it dropped in price enough to hit that sweet spot to where I’d really not feel any buyer’s remorse no matter how bad the game turned out.

Whelp….the game is now getting to that spot, so I guess it was time for me to actually follow up on my promise and give the game a chance. Was it worth it? I still don’t know. The game certainly isn’t helping in that regard. I’m apparently still working through the “tutorial” phase of the game, and I’m already ten hours into the game. It took an hour for the game to start leveling my team up. I don’t mean grinding, either. I mean the party’s stats did not change, aside from a couple changes of equipment, until an hour into the game. Only Dragon Quest 7 could claim to be slower.

Two hours into the game was I able to start buying equipment. Ten hours in, and the game has yet to start providing me with a way to actually build up my funds, unless it expects me to throw the same items I’m supposed to be using for upgrading my weapons to the seller. It’s been telling me how to do everything else, so I’m expecting it to start saying “hey, this is how you earn money”. That point has yet to come.

Ten hours into the game, and I still can’t select my own party whenever there are more than three characters present (granted, this hasn’t happened for a while). I have also been yet to allow to even select who I control in battle. That decision is still being held from me.

Ten hours into the game, and I’m still walking down a long corridor. It’s a pretty corridor and it occasionally branches off and changes scenery, but it is still a corridor.

Ten hours into the game and I’m still forced to pay more attention to the annoying antics of local Aussie mystery girl Vanille than I’d like, while the game only occasionally allows a glimpse at the character I really want to play as.

Swoon

Ten hours into the game and I’m still putting up with this shit because the rest of the game is just somehow so enjoyable. Despite using auto-attack more frequently than I’d like, combat is amazingly fun. The music proves that Masashi Hamauzu is among the best musicians in the industry. Everybody not named Vanille is suprisingly bearable. Even Hope, who I was fully expecting to be the game’s Shinji Ikari, has been strangely not annoying. Though the start was rocky, the plot is growing ever more interesting. It even somehow manages to feel somewhat fresh, even though it really never hides the fact that it is borrowing queues and themes from VII and X.

Actually, that’s a wart that needs to be addressed. Within the first five minutes of the game, the game makes it very obvious that it wants to be FFVII. The order of events may be different and there is a slew of contextual differences in everything going on, but I could not help but find the game screaming “REMEMBER FFVII? I AM JUST LIKE THAT ONE!” when I saw the camera panning over a high-tech city cast in a greenish light, while the main character sits aboard a train that runs through a red security scan field, following which our ex-soldier swordswoman jumps out of the train, dispatches some guards, and is then commented to by a comical black man who keeps yapping about her status as a soldier.

At least this time they made the black guy Richard Pryor instead of Mr. T.

I'm not the only one making this connection

I’ve been growing increasingly jaded with JRPGs. Lately, I’ve found a few that have renewed my interest in the genre. This isn’t one of them, but, in all honesty, I’m kind of amazed that I’m enjoying this game as much as I am. Ten hours of tutorials and Vanille squealing should have been enough to scare me off, but I feel no difficulty pressing on. No obligation to make sure I get my money’s worth. I legitimately want to find out what happens next, and I am enjoying the ride to that point. I guess this is the power of lowered expectations.

LttP: The 1st Great DS Rundown

Posted in Blurbs, LttP on March 11, 2011 by nairume

Oh hi there. I forgot this was a thing. So, in the past year, I’ve kind of done some hardcore LttP gaming, both with my finally getting a PC upgraded to the point of playing anything made since 2000 and with my DS reigning as my biggest non-PC time sink (well, outside of grad school as well). So, let’s run through some quick DS related LttP thoughts:

 

Sands of Destruction: Holy shit this game is bad. I hate everybody involved with it, which is even worse since the pedigree behind it is supposed to be good. I mean, you got that guy that did the scenario for Xenogears, which JRPG nerds still are convinced is the bar for JRPG scenarios (it’s not, but it is better than most), and he’s done an amazingly unique story (You are a bunch of people out to destroy the world). You got guys that designed the Grandia battle system, otherwise known as the best JRPG battle system from a game that wasn’t made by Atlus. You’ve got Yasunori Mitsuda, who has composed some of the most beloved game tracks in the genre. And you also have a style that is similar to the Playstation era of RPGs, which J-nerds still consider to be the best (it’s not). So what the fuck happened? Seriously, I want to know. The soundtrack is terrible. The battle system is criminally awful. Everything about the writing is an absolute trainwreck. This game pretty much gets nothing right.

 

Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow and Order of Ecclesia: Remember when Symphony of the Night pretty much coined a whole new subgenre of gaming? Of course you do. How can you forget when Konami refuses to let you forget that they did by making the same damn game….what is it…..six times now. Sure, they slightly vary up the gameplay and you get a whole new castle every time, but it is all just feeling so tired by now. I think the worst part is that, Circle of the Moon aside, they can’t seem to let go of the stupid “Collect all of the Mcguffins to unlock the whole castle just like SotN!” formula. We get it, SotN is awesome. Let’s have something else now. Yeah, I’m not bothering with Portrait of Ruin. I’m tired of this formula.

 

Metroid Prime: Hunters: Woah, am I back in 1998 or something? This feels like a shooter from that era. Not that it’s a bad thing, but if I want Quake, I’ll play Quake. And I don’t want Quake.

Nostalia: Victorian-Era Steam Punk Skies of Arcadia. That’s what this game wants to be….and it pretty much is. Just not as good. While SoA was made better by its obvious influences from classic 16-bit era JRPGs, this one doesn’t seem to do as well of a job with touching those influences up enough to make the game not feel incredibly dated.

Soma Bringer: Why didn’t we get this again? Seems like American audiences would have eaten it up. It’s like a water-color hybrid of a Mana game and Diablo.

Disgaea DS: You can feel the lack of effort NIS put in this, as well as the bitterness that they’d have to lower themselves to working on a dredded Nintendo console instead of getting to shit out more crappy Disgaea spinoffs on the PSP. So, yeah, this is Disgaea. Again. Nothing to see here folks.

Henry Hatsworth: HarumphHarumphHarumphHarumphHarumphHarumph GOOD SHOW

Tetris DS: That the game has been long out of print and few more people will be able to enjoy its near perfection is almost enough to make me shed a manly tear. Almost. But not really.

Civilization Revolutions: OH GOD WHO PUT CIVILIZATION 2 ON A PORTABLE? MY FREE TIME IS FOREVER GONE. YOU MONSTERS.