Monday, March 21, 2011

Review: Dragon Quest IX: The first 8 hours & 27 minutes

   Before I say anything about Dragon Quest IX, give me a moment to relect on my previous post about RPGs I have yet to complete:

   I completly forgot about poor Dragon Quest VIII. Released for the PS2 back in late '05, I bought this game day one, mostly due to the demo of FFXII that was bundled with it. Previously, I wasn't a big Dragon Quest person, as I had a bad experience with Dragon Warrior for the NES when I was 6 or 7. This game really should of been on the list instead of Xenosaga, but I had forgotten it until I got DQ IX from Gamefly.

A nameless hero, a loud-mouth brit, a girl with a great rac-erm, whip skill, and a guy I never got far enough to unlock.
   In all honesty, I really enjoyed this game for the most part. As stated before, I have issues completing consol RPGs nowadays due to time restraints in life, same with this game. The problem was that when I went to pick the game back up, the disc was mysteriously missing. (I think it ran away with my disc 1 of Grandia III... AHCRAP!! I forgot to finish that game too!!!! I have failed at blogging.) Now all thats left is the box, the plastic case, and FFXII demo.
   Will I go back? I hope so. Moving on..

Not to be confused with anything Toriyama did that has Dragon in the title.
   Note: all commentary in the ( ) are my thoughts during this point of the game.

   As the game starts out, you create a hero/heroine from a selection of sizes, eight types of hair (including the hair of familer style.), eight types of faces, skin tone, eye color, and name. Once you've created your new Toriyama-Inspired character, you set out on your journey. First thing you'll notice is that you have a Halo and Wings. (Did I die already?!?! Am I really this terrible at JPRGs nowadays?!?!)
   You have become the new guardian of Angel Falls (Not to be confused with Angel Grove) and are sworn to protect it's people from monsters & helping the dearly departed cross over. You can also go into occupied homes and listen to what people are saying outloud for some reason & also rummege thru belongings such as the 20 gold some poor guy left wide out in the open. (in his dresser.) You head back to skies to report to your boss and to turn in benevolessence given to you by the now happy town people who belive in you and your protection. This benevolessence is used to help the great tree Yggdrasil bare fruit for the gods. (Don't eat Lord Emma's fruit, huh?) Some crap goes down, something that reminds me of Doom Train goes nuts, and I fall from the sky and land face first in Angel Falls (Aha! I get the joke now!) Now, you have to find a way back to the sky and discover what happend when you fell to the planet.

My hero looks almost nothing like this...
   Right away, you'll notice the awesome animated cutscenes that is onpar with other more popular Square-Enix titles like FFIV & Kingdom Hearts (Any of them.) and the graphics are about on par too. Like all DQ games, the storyline, character design, and music is done by the same set of creaters that have been around sense DQ1. Storyline can be generic at times, but it still has enough to pull you into the overall story without taking the fun aspect away from the game. DQIX also boosts a huge multiplayer option, but as my girlfriend doesn't have time to play and my daughter is more interested in her Pokemon White game, I don't have many oppertunities to play multiplayer. So, I did the next best things and made 3 more characters based on friends/family. Remember kids, fake friends based on real people is like having real friends. (/cry)

"Hello! I'm full of so much Loli, you'd think I was a character from Fiesta Online."
   As a quick round-up, DQIX is a great game I do plan on going all the way to the end with. Challenging & nostalgic, this game is just what I need to hold me over till my JRPG craving has passed. I definitly advise this game to anyone looking for a new JRPG that hasn't picked up Pokemon yet.
   I'll definitly keep you updated when I finally beat this game, so it doesn't end up on my previous post's list ever.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Top 5 Role Playing Games that I stopped playing 3/5th of the way thru!

5. Final Fantasy XIII

I think Sazh was the main character. I think.
   FFXIII was probably my most hyped game of last year. I was excited to get back to a real Final Fantasy, as I haven't enjoyed a real FF game sense IX. (X I had to rush threw so I didn't get to enjoy it, XI was online, and dispite the fact that I've put over 12,000 hours into it.) The game looked great, I just got a new flat-screen LCD TV, just got my PS3, and just found out the the $60 at the time for an HDMI cable from Walmart was worth the money. When FFXIII came out, I definitly had to have it day one.
   After popping it in, getting thru the 10 hour opening, and starting to enjoy the game for all its worth I came to a terrible realitzation once I arrived on Pulse. It was that grinding, something I ususally enjoy, became very random. The fact that I could go into the same battle twice, epicly win the first time but horribly fail the second, made me upset of the almost randomness of battle. Getting to Pulse was where the game was supposed to open up, introducing side-missions and larger and stronger enemies. I thought I could level on the lower tier enemies, and work my way up to killing the huge bosses, but that wasn't how it was. It became a game of Hide-And-Getthehellawaythereisabehemoth. Interest slowly going away and the fack of the FFXIV alpha test was in my hand, I let this game fade away from the daily gaming life.
   Will I go back: Most definitly. I'll have to prepare for FFXIII-2, won't I?

4. Xenosaga

Best movie ever released exclusivly on the PS2.
   I had purchased this game because a friend of mine told me how great the "Xeno" series was. I didn't play much of Xenogears, so I thought I'd give saga a try when it came out. Hearing that it was supposed to be a 6-game epic story, I really started getting excited.
   The big draw to this game was supposed to be the epic storyline, but honestly I coulden't tell you what happend. Something about getting attacked because we have a large golden shiny thing, a scantly-clad robot girl who has less personality the the 3rd Rei Ayanami (SPOILER!), and a little red-haired kid I coulden't stand. The game's cutscenes often made me forget I was playing a game, but not because of the look. The cutscenes where so long I often forgot to move once they where over, once or twice thinking the disc messed up and froze. I got about 20 hours into the game (17 probably being cutscenes) and ended up putting this game down due to bordom.
   Will I got back: Even though I own part 2 (3 bucks, perfect condition @ GameStop n Las Vegas.) It'll probably be retirement when I return to this series. Knowing that the franchine is incomplete, it'll be hard to get back any sooner.
3. Lost Odyssey

Starring characters with personality.
   I really feel bad for this game. It was the 3rd game from Mistwalker Studio and probably the best thing they've released. Story from a famous Japanese arthor, Artwork from the creator of the manga Slam Dunk, and everything else filled in by former SquareEnix employees that worked on Final Fantasy and other great RPGs. Another game I bought day one:
   I honestly have no excuse for putting down this game. There was nothing for me to gripe about. Cutscenes where well paced and interesting, the look and feel of the game felt real, the battle system was simple but boss fights where made to be challenging and engaging, and the story was one of the best I've seen in a JRPG in years. Even the long "dreams" where interesting. I'm really unsure what stopped me from playing this game.
   Will I go back: Hell yeah! I just need time to go back to it! (Doesn't help that my FFXI addiction still runs high.)
2. Valkyria Chronicals

"Hey baby, you like to bake and I like nature. Let's go to war together."
   Here is another entry that I absolutly loved. Purchased for $20 from Walmart when it got a price cut. I had already played the demo from PSN and loved it, so I knew I had to get the game.
   First-person shooting-RPG-Strategy with water-color like anime design was a win-win. It was when I found out that I could lose characters permenitly if they die in battle and their body is not claimed by my medic. This put me on a balls-to-the-wall ginding of characters. I wasn't going to loose anyone else! The back side to this was that when I played the game, I only did side missions and got bored of them because I kept repeating them. Sad way to put down a game.
   Will I go back: Hell yes.

1. Final Fantasy VI

If you're going to die, die for Kefka!
   My first real FF game. I had played the demo of VII want wanted to get more into the series. I got the game for the SNES from a friend, and got right into it.
   There is nothing bad about this game in my eyes. I played this game for hours on end, loving the characters, story, and music. The problem came with the fact that I had to return the game while I was near the end of the magic tower portion of the game. My friend, who was mad at me at me because I tried to hide the game from him (I really wanted to beat it!) deleted my save data due to my childish excuses. So, I waited. I waited for the oppertunitly to purchase the game. Rented the Playstation re:release and never got to play it due to my PS breaking, and I never picked up the GBA version because I told myself to wait. Wait for the day that Square would remake it like they did 1-4. I want a remake of this game more then VII (readies to battle fanboy rage) and would love to see it on the upcoming 3DS.
   Will I go back: If you don't already know, yes. Yes I would.

   Due to the time restrants of life (See last webiste update as example) and the fact that I've been addicted to FFXI for almost ever it is hard to return to great RPGs that I put down, or great games in general. Hell, if the server wasn't down on FFXI at the moment I would probably be playing that & not finishing this blogpost.
The lesson? MMO addictions kill other games.

Games that didn't make the list;

Final Fantasy XII: The game play was similer to FFXI, so when ever I played it, I turned it off to play XI.
Dragon Ball: Attack of the Saiyans; Based on a series that announces that it cuts out filler, with enough added filler in the game to even shock Naruto fans.
Phantasy Star Zero: Stopped playing because I got VCII..
Valkyria Chronicals II: Stopped playing when I got PSPII....
Phantasy Star Portible II: Stopped playing when I got Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep. >.>

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Final Fantasy: Dissidia Duodecim Prologus

   As of the 15th of March, you can now download a "Prologue" of the upcoming Final Fantasy Dissidia 012. The download costs around $3 though the Playstation Network. Is it worth the cash for a amped demo that you probably won't play passed the late-March release date of the final game?
Dammit Vaan made it into this game. I wanted Ashe..
    First off, this game is definitely an over-glorified demo. You'll get a quick story mode level with a quick run threw on how the controls are used, and an introduction to how Lightning is played. Nothing amazing happens in this storyline that will define the next game, this is more of the appetizer. I can sum up the storyline for you, but as you can tell, I'm not good with just single sentances.
    The demo also gives you an Arcade mode where you can either play 5 battles of normal mode, or 30 of hard mode. Through these modes you can gain items and achievements that will carry over to the final game, as well as getting to test your skills with newcomer Lightning, Off-Again/On-Again ally Kain Highwind, and returning fighters Jecht, Sephiroth, Kefka (Come on come on come on!), Garland, and Warrior of Light respectively. The neat thing about Arcade mode is all of the characters from the first game appear in new costumes, ranging from the barely noticeable Sephiroth in his FFVII outfit (As opposed to his previous slightly different Dissidia design.) all the way to Garland in his Amono Art form and Warrior of Light in full "Warrior" gear. The demo also gives you plenty of music and a decent amount of areas to battle in.
    The thing comes down to if it's worth 3 bucks for you?
"... but to pay for this demo"
   When you go out to dinner and you plan to get a large meal, such as a full rack of ribs or the fried seafood platter special of heart attacks, do you want an appetizer? Keep in mind this appetizer also unlocks stuff in your full meal, as well as gaining the exclusive Aerith as an assist ally, and obtaining items that'll level your characters in your final game. The game will also prepare you on using the new little tweaks and assists for the final game.
    It's all up to you if you're hungry now, or you're willing to wait for your nomura-inspired prime rib dinner coming out March 22nd.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Review: Dragon Ball GT Episode 2

If this is a sign of character designs to come...
Review: Dragon Ball GT Episode 2: "Pan Blasts Off" / "Shuyaku wa Watashi! Pan UchÅ« ni Tobitatsu!!"
    In this episode we're reintroduced to most of the major characters from the previous series, including the Son & Briefs families. Bulma & ChiChi are now showing their age (guessing they're both getting close to 50), Videl has became on toned-down loving mother of Pan, Gohan now is in full scholar mode, and Goten is more interested in girls then anything else. Oolong and a few other characters are shown as well, but not to much has changed in their design. You can definitely tell the animation's details on these side characters are alot less then say Goku and Pan.
    Then... there is Vegeta. Once proud Prince Vegeta has settled down and became a family man. It's not that I have a problem with this, no at all. Considering how accepting he was about Goku leaving at the end of Z, and almost admitting he'd never be able to overcome him, it would make alot of sense that Vegeta would be more interested in taking care of his wife, son, and now teenage daughter Bra. (Sorry, Not calling her Bulla. There was a paragraph rant here, but I didn't want to get off the subject of Vegeta.) So, he's settled down. I expected him to continue training as more of a hobby, and perhaps even do something useful like open up a training dojo. (I know how retarded it sounds, but Vegeta being old would remind me of my old P.E. coach. Used to pretend old man Vegeta was yelling at me and calling me a slacker.)
What we did get was a calmed down Vegeta, who seemes to of settled down and cut his hair and grew a mustache. I would of assumed Vegeta was reading to many biker magazines or perhaps watching the decently popular Chowder on Cartoon Network. Honestly, who's idea was it? This addition to his face was bashed on during most of 1997 from the old Anime Club (Go go Anime Sentai!) I was apart of. Even my 10 year old daughter says to me that it's a creepy mustache and he should shave it off.
    The episode moves on the Bulma working on a spacecraft to send Goku & Gohan into space to locate the now scattered Black-Star Dragon Balls. Vegeta uses his powers of the mustache to trade Gohan for Trunks & Goten, who he has deemed lazy in the time of peace. During this time, Goku is kidnapped by people who want to hold him for ransom (They meant to kidnap Pan.) and find out the the ransom isn't worth the food bill he made & once they see his super-human powers, they run. The best part about this is when they call to demand money, Vegeta picks up and after listening to their demands, he tells them to do whatever they want to Goku, and hangs up. Happy that Vegeta's personality hasn't been taken over by his moustache, we then continue onto the take off. As Trunks & Goku board the ship, Goten is trying to explain to his girlfriend that he'll be away for a while. Pan, who has snuck onto the ship, is found in the control room of the ship, and carelessly wanting to prove that she is old enough for this adventure, slaps the ignition button and the ship takes off with Goten being left behind. Pan, Trunks, and Goku are off on their grand tour! We won't worry about the little piece of the ship that fell off during take off either.
   The best part about this episode is really the reactions to Goku's new transformation. I also have to admit, I like how Trunks is being presented. This Trunks is now the same age as the (Murai)Trunks that came from the future. Everything the past Trunks was; Calm, Calculating, and very polite the current Trunks lacks. He's more carefree and willing to ditch his duties at work, and he also freaks out when things becoming out on control. He's basically became the parent figure of the crew, considering he the oldest one on the ship. (I know Goku is 50ish now, but he's been reverted to his kid-form.)
    The lack of detail on the side characters is kind of insutling. I assume Gohan would of been drawn better, and Vegeta's character overhall wasn't really needed. The biggest failure this episode has is it's lack of presentation of therest of the cast. It really feels like it was tossed together last second as a reason to write off everyone except for Goku, Trunks, and Pan for a whole season. Mind you, considering where the series is trying to go, it makes sense for this to happen.

   Stay turned, I'll try to finish my episode 3 review here real soon!