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BlackSamvara Blog

Within The Grip (Collection Madness: Pt.1)

Anyone who's taken the time to check out my "Owned Games List" here on Gamespot knows that I'm an avid collector. It's taken a long time to get to where I'm at in terms of my game collection. Given the circumstances, It's actually only been about four or five years at that, But It seems like it's taken me an eternity to amass what I have.

Five years ago I had nothing. Or at least It felt that way.. the only system that I had at that time was a Playstation 2. Certainly not bad, by any means, But this particular PS2 was out of comission. It didn't run DVD's at all, and with the advent of PS2 switching from proprietary "Blue-Back" discs to DVD- Finding PS2 games that worked in my defunct system was fast becoming more and more difficult. The only thing that made things bearable was the fact that my PS2 still ran PS1 games. This gave me a chance to revisit Final Fantasy 8, Brave Fencer Musashi, and experience new games that flew under the radar such as Front Mission 3. It was a good enough distraction at the time, But it's difficult to be limited to only a certain spectrum of games when everyone else is moving full steam ahead into the latest available software. Something needed to be done!

Luck had come my way and I had gotten an opportunity to work a job that would pay me up to Ten dollars an hour, With this sort of income (And no bills to pay) I was determined to begin building my collection up again. The first thing I did was secure a "New" slim model of the PS2, This gave me the chance to experiance all of the games I'd missed out on up to that point, (Silent Hill 3 and "The Room", Digital Devil Saga, MGS3, etc.) and opened up a whole new realm of possibilities. I still focused on picking up PS1 games, this was due to the abundance of second hand stores in the Eugene area. To my delight people sold of plenty of rare games, Probably not even aware that what they're getting rid of is actually quite hard to find (And also that they could undoubtedly make more money auctioning it off on Ebay) Still, they're loss is my gain. A large number of the PS1 classics I have in my library came from these second hand stores.

Eventually after about Two years with the company I finally got a pay raise, taking me from Ten to Fifteen an hour. This was great as at this point and time The Xbox 360 had emerged and talk of Sony's PS3 and Nintendo's "Revolution" had begun to circulate, Not to mention the introduction of the DS and the PSP as well. With this increase in pay I was able to afford a DS and an Xbox 360. Things were finally starting to come together with my collection... Unfortunately, about another seven months after the pay raise major changes in management were breaking things down with my Job. Eventually I had to resign my position and with it forefit all income that I had. I was going to have to rely on Unemployment to get by, and under those circumstances, You don't really have room to purchase items for entertainment, just things to get by. It would be another three months or so before another job opportunity came along, And even then It would only just be temporary work....

Shin Megami Tensei Imagine lands on US Shores!

I remember quite some time ago (Back when I could browse the internet for hours.. the "Newness" of having a comp and the internet hadn't worn off yet) uncovering some japanese gameplay footage of SMT Imagine; Shin Megami Tensei's first forray into the MMORPG scene. While it likely isn't going to topple over stronger fare such as World of Warcraft, It's bound to make an impact with the SMT fans here stateside, Myself Included. As it is, I've been playing it for a little over an hour and half, and I can safely say that once you learn the system, Enjoyment is to be had!

I'll spare you all the specifics, as seeing and learning things for yourself is half the fun, But if anyone's interested in joining me My SN is BlackSamvara and you can get a hold of the game (Free, I might add) from the Aeria games website. The graphics aren't super intensive, so system requirements are quite low, Hopefully this'll persuede some of you to give it a looksie.. especially if you're an SMT Diehard like myself.

Now, If only we could get that Shenmue MMO they did... now that would be great!

Back To Gaming...

Due to recent occurances, Gaming has been difficult as of late. A Debilitating Virus that for some reason seemed to yield only the outcome of a complete reformat.. Including taking us back to Windows Vista. Initially I thought that this would be quite the negative thing, But I'm happy knowing that I can use Gametap again, All I need to do now is upgrade to their subscription based "Gold" service. Onto the matters at hand though

When I went back to Vista I lost all of the games and save information that I had on my hard drive. I had the idea to go ahead and "Back-Up" my collection and even my save files on my flash drive, But when I had my friend look at my laptop he stated that the virus had spread everywhere.. Except for the pictures! Ok, So the thing that I'm concerned about is that if I load up my flash drive maybe the virus had already spread to those files, and now they're on my flash? I don't know, mainly because I don't want to risk loading it up and having the virus wind up Infesting my Laptop again.. Anyway, that wasn't the end of it.

For some ominous reason, The internet connection at my house wound up getting all crazy and extremely slow. It allowed me to play some games online on my 360 still, but for some reason an error always popped up at the dashboard saying that "Some content can not be displayed at this time, It will reappear when it is available." and I wouldn't have access to any of the marketplace.. Weird.. All the while my laptop was running at a crawl. Of course, with my paranoid mind I was thinking all along that perhaps the virus had somehow spread to the other computers and perhaps even into our network or something! Directly affecting our internet performance! Flash movies, Youtube, Music Players, None of it was working properly, This even prompted me to think that perhaps even though I've put Vista back on my laptop, it still wasn't functioning properly, So what if it was nothing to do with my Connection.. Just my OS?

An overactive imagination indeed, For in two weeks everything went back to normal. I don't know what happened, but everything is working well now. I'm finally going to get back to doing some more web surfing and game playing. Despite these minor setbacks, my resolve is strong as ever!

Finally, MOTHER 3 is here...

Well, I know it's been a few months probably since I've last blogged on here.. I've been laying in wait for the right time to make my comeback... Finally, as of four days ago, that wait has ended.

Mother 3 is here.. The first (and only) game that I've ever imported. I've already played a good 30 hours or so on the GBA and I can tell you this. Despite the fact that the game was in Japanese. It IS one of the best RPGS I've ever played and it does indeed have one of the most compelling storylines I've ever experianced... In fact, the Sound Effects, Gameplay, and Presentation are all top notch. So what's the hitch right? A game like this deserves to be experianced by everyone... The sad thing is.. this game is only available in Japanese....

Something so good should be a shoe-in for Nintendo to cash off of over here.. but for some ominous reason (Despite the outcry from Mother/Earthbound Fan Boys like myself) Nintendo never decided to localize it.. in fact Dodgy and Evasive answers were all any member of the press got when asking Nintendo Of America about it.... Realizing this and taking it into consideration, A small yet dedicated group of people began the unofficial fan translation of Mother 3. That was nearly two years ago... the last year of which I've been following very closely. It's amazing to see this hard work pay off.

I'm only just a few hours into this playthrough, But I wanted everyone to know how proud I am of these individuals for doing something that SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE WANTED. If any of you are reading this, (and I know, It's a slim chance) I just want to say "Thank You.".. Yes, I know, It's Cliche' but, I really want them to know that they've done a great job with this whole thing. I also wanted to let all the friend I know on Gamespot that this is happening. If any of you who are reading this would like, I highly recommend finding this game through some various means on you're computer and getting the patch from

This is an experience that should not be missed...

Inactivity due to MASS GAMING

It has indeed been a long while since I've taken the time to do a blog here.. For all of my adoring fans that can't wait to get their next "Blacksamvara Fix" I say this to you. "The wait is now over, For what you are reading right this very moment is indeed the long awaited blog you can't stop obsessing over".... Well, It's probably not that big for you all, But it's still pretty big for me, After all, I leave GS for maybe two weeks tops, And when I come back, EVERYTHING is different, Namely the new layout of Gamespot. Can't say I don't like it, It just took me a little time to warm up to it.

So, To cut right to the chase, I haven't been putting much time into my writings on here as of late due to the massive influx of games I've been working on. I can't very well write about games without first playing them.. Don't worry, I assure you that this break I took is normal and tends to occur once every couple of months. I started playing World of Warcraft for starters. I never did jump on that whole MMORPG Bandwagon, That is until recently when I played a free MMO called "Rappelz". That consumed me for about a week and a half until I caught my friend playing WOW. The look of the game seemed to me to be a fairly enhanced (That's downplaying it, WOW is about 100x better than "Rappelz") version of "Rappelz". We started playing together on a private server, So there's no monthly fee or anything, And really, Aside from a lack of a computer, The reason I never played WOW to begin with was those damn Monthly Fees... I don't want to feel pressured into having to play a game because of time limits. I get enough of that from Gamefly!

Speaking of Gamefly, After two months of Gamefly goodness my time with them is drawing to a close. I can't say I didn't enjoy it! It was definitely a new experiance for me and helped me get through about eight to ten games.. Boosted my achievement score by about a good 4000 or so too... So I can't really complain about that! After I send back Frontlines: Fuel of War and Dynasty Warriors 6 I'll be cancelling my account. After I start work here in another week, I'll be allocating a portion of my paycheck to getting back in the game... Or I guess I should say "The Game.... FLY!

Well, I just thought I would explain myself to all of the awesome people I've met on this site, I promise you all that I will be putting in some work real soon! Until then, Keep checking my page out, and If you ever see me online, Get at me, I'm always down to talk or play games, That is unless it's one of my many friends that play my 360...

Random thoughts on Anime

After mentioning some of the animes that I thought were pretty good on a thread that I just visited, I thought I would indulge in some other animes that I think are pretty top notch.

Case Closed is a pretty good one. I don't think it really caught on like it could have. Due probably to it's somewhat childish first appearance. Luckily enough for those of us that stuck around and watched it, we found out that it was actually rather mature, considering that almost every episode involves a murder of some sort. So yeah, Whenever I play Pheonix Wright I can't help but think of this show. Everything seems so similar. Anyway, Jimmy Kuno gets dosed with a shrinking pill by some mysterious men in trenchcoats on the first episode, This makes him appear much younger in appearance to the point of looking like an eight year old. Of course, he retains all of his abilities, (Did I mention he is an ace detective?) and when he winds up staying at his Psuedo Girlfriend's house (Who's father is also a detective, Albeit a somewhat washed up one) while he try's to find a cure from his friend who is a Professor, Jimmy Kuno, creates the alias of Conan Edigawa. Conan always winds up tagging along on Richard's cases, with the help of the Professor's inventions he normally winds up solving them, Although Richard takes all the credit! It's a pretty long running series, I've heard that it goes into 500 hundred plus episodes, much like Dragon Ball Z. It's worth a watch if you've continued reading this far!

Next is Eueaka Seven. This one was pretty good too. It only took just a couple of episodes for me to get the jidst of what was going on. Renton Thurston gets taken aboard the Gekko. A ship comandeered by the Gekko State, a team of "Mercenaries". Actually, I'm not quite sure, I've seen quite the number of episodes, but the beginning ones have still eluded me. Anyway, the story was definitely good for what I've seen. I intend on purchasing some DVDs of this so that I can indulge in it some more. It's been off the air on Adult Swim for a few months now.

Lastly, Shin Chan is pretty interesting to say the least. Most every episode involves some sort of Crude Humor. This is enabled by Shin's love of his own Ass and his inability to show any remorse for busting it out at the most in-oportune times! Otherwise, the show takes many stabs at american pop culture, Showing the fact that the episodes have only been recently brought here. How else would they make references to Snakes on a Plane or What-Not? If you can handle some reletively low brow, but often well-written comedy, This one is definitely worth a look.

I've been watching a higher number of new animes recently too, (Red Garden, Guyver, Kyo Kara Moah) and more that I've yet to watch. (Melody of Oblivion, Ikki Tousen, Texhonolyze) so yeah. I might have some more things to say soon. But I just wanted to ramble a little more about this without taking up space on the forum. If you've been reading this, Thank you, and have a good night!

Persona 4 Finally Officially Announced!

Well, Here it is. The information that I've been waiting to hear for about a month or two. Persona 4 was officially announced by Atlus. I just recently found out when I recieved an Atlus newsletter/announcement in my E-Mail. I'm sure I don't have to tell any of you how excited this makes me! Being an avid supporter of the Persona (And Shin Megami Tensei for that matter) franchise it was certainly good news. Being released for the Playstation 2 it looks like the game will more or less look and play the same as Persona 3, Which in my opinion isn't a bad thing at all. I'm sure that there will be other gameplay differences in addition to the different setting, A japanese Countryside, But what those might be I don't know yet. I just thought this would be good news for anyone who know's what's up with Persona 3. I'll be getting it. Also, Don't forget about the included Soundtrack CD. Awesome.

Gaming Armageddon!

As I previously stated, I began work on Tomb Raider Legend and Assassin's Creed while waiting for my first two gamefly games to arrive. I am here now to report how progress has been since my last post.

I believe it took about three days for the games to arrive, so in that time period I was able to power my way through Tomb Raider Legend on it's hardest difficulty setting. It was a surprisingly short game, I think it only took somewhere around seven or eight hours to beat spread out over the course of two days. I actually enjoyed it, which was a bit of a surprise to me considering two of my good friends had played it and were less than satisfied with it. In the end I thought it to be an enjoyable distraction for a few days, and also since I own and have played all the previous Tomb Raiders (Save for Angell of Darkness on PS2) it was interesting to see what Crystal Dynamics did with Lady Lara. I do believe now that I'll be playing Tomb Raider Anniversary within the next few weeks.

After having finished Tomb Raider it was time to move onto my oft delayed file on Assassin's Creed. I played it for about four hours in one sitting the night before the Gamefly games arrrived. My findings over that four hours were as follows. This game does everything within it's power to push you're patience to it's ultimate limits. Now, Before all of you Assassin's Creed fans who are potentially reading this start to burn me at the stake let me explain my reasoning. I was finding myself extremely aggitated at the "Rescue the Civillian" extra objectives. Normally they aren't that bad, but for some reason after having engaged the guards in combat and defeating them (And often times more that would show up) the civillian would be "Gone" forcing me to have to travel a short ways down the street then go back to re-trigger the event. Frustrating. Worse off, on some of the "Contact" objectives (The ones where you meet with a fellow assassin and he asks you to either Off some people or do a quick "Race" by collecting flags within a time limit) I would notice that if you fail, Not only do you have to go back to said contact and restart the mission, You ALSO have to listen to his entire load of dialoge. Why can't you skip it? And Finally, the Control System and Overall Gameplay. While the controls are intuitive enough so that anyone can trapise around with Altair and look good I often find myself inadvertantly running up a wall when trying to run up a ladder while being chased or maybe accidentaly jumping off a lethal height. The gameplay is good, But in short doses since the majority of the game plays out with the EXACT same sort of missions. There's very little variety. Rest assured though, I do enjoy the story enough so that I'll continue to play it!

Sorry about the Impromptu Assassin's Creed Opinion/Review. I just had to get that off my chest. I'm pleased to report that the gamefly games have arrived and I've already finished off Guitar Hero Aerosmith on Expert and also got a pretty good number of the achievements for it, so yeah. I'm quite pleased with that one! I'm also near the very end of Alone in The Dark, which despite what many a review has said, I do enjoy it quite a bit. However, as I believe I've already rambled on enough I'll be saving my thoughts on that game until next time.

Finishing Business

I was finally able to beat Viking Battle for Asgard a couple of nights ago. It was nice to put that game to rest once and for all, And now that there's not even any achievements left to get I've less reason then ever to play it. It's a good thing that it's a rental I suppose. But still...

Now, Speaking of Rentals, I decided that I would give Gamefly a shot. My birthday was just a couple of days ago and I figured that I would treat myself to something new. I've never done the whole netflix thing or anything like that, But I know people who have, and the overall concensus is that Gamefly is more than likely EXACTLY the same as Netflix, Only just with Video Games. Anyway, My first rentals should arrive tomorrow, It'll be Alone in the Dark and Guitar Hero Aerosmith, So yeah, I'm hoping that they're not too bad.

Also, In between waiting for shipping and what-not I'll be finishing off my game on Tomb Raider Legend and perhaps Assassin's Creed. I'm right at the end of Tomb Raider Legend and will more than likely be finishing it off shortly after this post. So I suppose that means that I'll be tied up with Assasin's Creed. It seems as though work is never over, But at least I got this last batch of games out of the way, So on to the next one then!

Work is never ending

It's been a pretty long haul these last couple of weeks. I wound up playing and beating Naruto: Rise of a Ninja and ET:Quake Wars last week and Bourne Conspiracy, DBZ Burst Limit, and Viking: Battle for Asgard this week. I'm looking forward to taking a very small break before I get back to work on Assassin's Creed and Tomb Raider Legend. Anyway, That's the update for now, I've got to get back to finishing Viking. I'm almost there!