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HotGimmick Blog

It may have been FOREVER but I'm back!

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Figured I'd celebrate with another TL;DR post about games I've played.

But honestly, there have been too many games I've played so I'm going to have to split them up by genre.

JRPGs for the PS2 - The simarities between JRPGs has often been complained about here, there, everywhere. How weird is it that the last five JRPGs I've played were so dizzyingly bizarre and different from one another? But they were released at the end of the PS2's lifespan which resulted in a big nobody-cares. Sad. :( Because they were all good or superb titles that should have been created and/or released earlier.. Odin Sphere, Shadow Hearts 3, Persona 3, Mana Khemia, Ar Tonelico, and Steambot Chronicles. Only one I didn't beat was Persona 3's "Answer" portion (The "Question" portion already clocked in over 90 hours for me.) Ar Tonelico (I don't care about Aurica) and Steambot Chronicles (Extremely long + alternate route!)

ADV Games for the DS - After playing Phoenix Wright I was desperate for anything even remotely like it. Hotel Dusk was great and not over-rated. I guess I'd call it just-right-rated. ^^' I wish it had sequels though. And it would be interesting to play it on the Wii and walk around and explore with the remote. Trace Memory- I failed miserably at figuring out the puzzles but the story and setting was very interesting. Tunguska- the only Western ADV I've tried so far. Liked it quite a bit, but too close for comfort to those annoying "Find the hidden item!" games that have been clogging up the PC game selection. Now for two nobody has played but should really try- Theresia : Dear Emile. (If anybody knows of a game/book/movie/anything similar to this one PLEASE LET ME KNOW. It has such an atmosphere. and Unsolved Crimes. Looks like shovelware- it's not. At all. Has a very well thought out bunch of stories and the final boss has you running around hapless underground trying to locate and disarm a bomb. Previous stories are murder mysteries/crime scene work. Touch Detective games are super weird and nonsensical but I found myself missing them after they were done. :( I also liked Time Hollow, Jake Hunter Chronicles (I should expand upon this, it's great but non-interactive.) Still meaning to play 999 and, despite it's reportedly AWFUL translation, Lux-Pain.

I haven't yet come across an ADV I didn't like- oh wait, the precursor to Trauma Center. I forget the name of the game- which should tell you how much I cared. : Trauma Center was great though.

Really have to check out the PC Adventure games too. Heard great things about Grim Fandango and The Longest Journey.

Visual novels and eroge (18+) - Apparantly I don't have enough questionable hobbies for people to give me side-eye about, so I just had to worm my way through this fandom as well. And by -worm my way- I mean sit down with the other eleven VN and Eroge fans who exist in the West. ;_; VNs and Eroge are not just a niche, they're the niche that other niches "my word!" and "can you believe those weirdos?" about. There are several reasonable reasons why it is this way. That being said, I LOVE EROGE AND VISUAL NOVELS. If only because the following titles exist. For the more well-known and well-received ones in English, Tsukihime (avail. censored), Fate/Stay Night, Cross Channel, Narcissu (all-ages), Saya No Uta, ef, Yume Miru Kusuri, Crescendo, Kana, and Utawarerumono. And for ones no one cares about but I loved- One, Desire, Chain, Suika, and Figures of Happiness. And all yaoi and Otome (basically shoujo) games for the usual reasons. My backlog to-play list is through the roof. Yu-No (I MUST NOT DIE BEFORE PLAYING THIS GAME) G-Senjo, Sharin No Kuni, Symphonic Rain, Eien no Aselia (all-ages), Little Busters (all-ages?), Swan Song, Higurashi and Umineko (most ages, some violence), Ever17 (all ages), and too many others.

Next time I will elaborate more instead of throwing lists at people, promise.

Rambling about random rpgs. RAMBLE LAMBLE LAMBLING TILL THE COWS COME HOME.

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Wow, I haven't updated in almost a year. :O Sorry everybody. I still like Gamespot and writing little thingers. So I'm going to continue.

This is just a little post for me to keep track of what I should write reviews on and what games I should finish. But it might be worth reading to waste time, as I've included little notes. :D

Lumines Plus - I don't have a PSP yet (and probably wouldn't get one for a few years. Because I'm cheap. :p And I have a rule that I don't buy any gaming device unless it has 10 Must Have Or Die games on it. And PSP only has about 3-5 at the moment.) otherwise I would've gotten Lumines for that and it would've been worth it because LUMINES IS MY NEW FAVORITE THING. It's obscene how addictive this game is. It is hard to explain.. it is similar to Tetris, yet totally different. It's like the creator(s?) had taken Tetris, alchemized it, and pulled some invisible property of awesome newness out of it and wallah, here is Lumines. Old parts combined and creatively worked into something new and unbelievably addictive. Lumines has taken over my life and I'm happy. XD 10 10 10. Note- the ecstaticness of my Lumines experience might dull with time once I become more accustomed to it. Still, it would get top marks.

The Sims 2 - For PC. Maxis had the great foresight to allow for immense user customization of this game. The result? A GAME WITH EVERY POSSIBILITY IN THE WORLD. But only aesthetically- there are some awesome modifications (literally, called mods) that can enhance gameplay but the most real freedom is in designing your characters and environments. And therein lies unbelievable possibilities that I'd never even imagined. D: Hint- check out ModTheSims2 to see what I'm talking about. The only problem is that I'm more addicted to downloading clothes and hair and cats and couches (the list goes on and on forever) for my characters than I am to actually playing the game. So where is all the fun in tinkering with what your characters look like? Well, you can make some incredibly realistic characters if you have the right mods. Maybe even somebody who looks significantly like you. Also The Sims is a life simulation and some people have taken advantage of the myriad of poses and environments to set up scenes- illustrations really- for their own stories. (Since you can take pictures in the game.) Great if you're like me and can only draw stick figures. :p Someday I'll write up a review but really, GameSpot's review sums it up well enough.

Dragon Quest VIII - Nice game. A really great game, actually, it's just that I'm bored to tears with the old-school battle system. DQ8 has every right to stick with what they (it? them?) wish to though, since they were- what- the first JRPG ever? Anyway I'm around the last boss. I ship Hero X Princess/Horse.

Atelier Iris - OMG I BEAT THE GOLDEN PIGS OF DOOM. I've heard that you should be at level 99 before even attempting, but I had no problem with them around level 75 or so. One thing that peeved me- The golden pigs of doom and co. are too well-hidden. Most gamers won't even know they exist. It's a rather long and worthwhile extra.

Thousand Arms - Re-write review. I long ago abandoned this game (not because I disliked it! Just because I had other important things to attend to. Like watching jpop videos.) and when I fired it up again I thought I had at least 5-10 hours of gameplay left to complete.. turns out I had 18 MINUTES. O_O Pretty big miscalculation on my part.

.Hack//Quarantine - Write reviews for the preceeding two games I liked the first game. It was pretty good, a little too repetitive though. Then pop goes the second game and WHAT ON EARTH?! It is the exact same game as the first! With maybe 2 new things. I don't like the series much (in fact I have MAJOR BONES to pick with it!) But it can be oddly addictive and I play anyway because of that. :p

Suikoden II - I was going to speculate (READ AS: theorize unfoundedly) here that Luca did unsavory "things" to Jowy to screw him up. Because when we see Jowy again in the late game, he is VERY EXTREMELY SCREWED UP. The ultra angst-bearer extraordinaire. I was gonna cry. T-T What happened to him? WHAT DID YOU DO, LUCA?!?! I know it's Luca. I saw how his roving eye and destruction was sizing up poor, pure, innocent Jowy. *babbles incoherantly in silly fangirl manner* Oh yeah, I already wrote a Suikoden II review. But it's.. really really long. I plan on cutting it down once I summon up enough energy to dive into its longness.

Okage - Beat it. I really have to re-write my review. I don't know what I was smoking when I typed that the graphics are average. They aren't! They're not only good for a launch game, they're still really good now. And I have to put more emphasis on how utterly painful the battle system is. Painful, ya'll. But I like the weirdo story. I'd like to copy and paste it into another game,

Saiyuki - Haha, I thought this was related to the starving angsty bishounen manga Saiyuki. Despite that description, it is purely an action/adventure manga. Not much wuv at all. D: Still good though. Anyway it's not related to this here tactical rpg- this one is a bit more lighthearted, and some of the characters look a little like animals and have totally different (non-angsty) personalities. The game is very simple. Breezy. I should play more of it for relaxation after the PAIN of Okage's encounter rate and battle system. Anyway, why are the manga and game both named Saiyuki? Because they are inspired by (re-writes, really) the ancient Chinese legend of Sanzo. Saiyuki. Yeah. (*Is terribly ignorant to all things ancient China*) Which is a shame, since I'm half Chinese.

Harvest Moon : More Friends Of Mineral Town

Harvest Moon : Magical Melody

Harvest Moon : Save The Homeland

Harvest Moon : A Wonderful Life

- Jeez look at all those Harvest Moons I've gotta review. 0_0 I already reviewed Magical Melody but I feel the need to edit it, if only to lower the rating a little and whine and moan about the lack of character interactions. No, it's not on-par with HM64. It has a lot of great things, but it's not quite there yet.

Katamari Damacy - I think I already spoke of how great this game is. It still is. It never dulls, ever. Or maybe I've just be put into a trance by the all-too-catchy theme song. You cannot hear the theme song without humming it forever.

Shin Megami Tensei : Digital Devil Saga - I have this terrible habit of burning out RIGHT BEFORE THE LAST BOSS of a game and totally shelving the game to later be picked up again months or years later. That was the case with this one. It's very good by the way, especially if you like more challenging rpgs.

Board Game Top Shop - In this one you play a greedy yellow cat who plays a variation of Monopoly (a MUCH more colorful Monopoly!) where a plate of Teriyaki costs the same as a trip to Hawaii. Might not win any prizes for realism, but it can be fun for some multiplayer. There is a story mode, but it is the most repetitive thing in the universe. And of all the odd things in the world, I have the urge to play it now and then. :p

Shadow Hearts - I need to replay it to get the perfect ending. Actually, I cheated and searched for the perfect ending on Youtube. :p Turns out there is only- wait for it- a 4 second difference between the two endings. The difference is clever, but EVIL. No, developers, you are not allowed to make such a short change and call it an optional ending. I'm sure everyone agrees with me on that. But I'm going to eventually replay the game anyway because it's wonderful overall.

Jade Cocoon 2 - After you beat the game, it goes on with many more new events and goals. Very extensive ones that really put the value of this one through the roof. Unfortunately, the battle system- while dazzling at first- cannot quite survive 100 hours of play unless you spread it out very well over a long time. JC2 might not be eternally addictive, but it's still one of the most underrated games I've played.

Radiata Stories - I should edit this review. There is a rather nice optional dungeon with extra bosses. And.. you can get VALKYRIE of Valkyrie Profile fame to join your party. The very final of all final bosses (Ethereal Queen) is a pain in the neck. I beat her at quite low levels though. Yay! And to think it was only a few years ago when I was having trouble with FFX. Now FFX is the landmark for all easy of the easiest rpgs (sans the bonus dungeon.)

So that's.. somewhere from 12-14 games to review. Get to it, me! D:

Plan on getting/playing.. Odin Sphere, Dawn Of Mana, Ar Tonelico, Riviera, Steambot Chronicles, Summoner 2, Grandia 3, Tales Of The Abyss, Disgaea, Rogue Galaxy, Growlanser 2.

In case anybody is wondering how I look..

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Here is a picture of me. Now I must warn you beforehand, the sheer hotness I exude is enough to melt your computer screen. Tread carefully. It was taken during one of my lovely morning strolls..

Enjoy

...

.....


Okay fine, fine, that was somebody cosplaying Sadako, that's not me. Sadako is the wonderful bearer of curses in the movie Ringu. The only thing we have in common is long weaponlike hair. It's so thick and long that somebody would break their arms trying to wash it.

Okay sorry for accidentilly lying again. #_#

Here is a kitty to make up for it. This kitty is also cosplaying as Sadako, though this is an event cosplay.

Orange!

I'm playing Katamari Damacy. It's killing my thumbs (mostly, probably, because it's been awhile since I've used the analog sticks. I was kicking it old school with d-pad. Yar.) But it's worth the pain. The game is great and fun and COW SAMBA!!

What is Toobin'?

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Yes I've jumped on the quiz bandwagon too. -_-;; If everyone jumped off of a cliff, surely so would I, if only from the fear of loneliness. Good luck. Plus a commercial of one of my favorite vampire/singer dancing with stuffed kitties to the upty upty in a credit card commercial. Upty So yes.. question! For anybody! What music do you listen to? Time to whore out your bands. ^__^ I listen to.. uwa I'll let the Last.FM do the talking. Not much english stuff in my rotation. I'll get back the balance someday.

UPDATE

Added review for Azure Dreams. It's very passive-aggressive.

Added review for Tales Of Destiny. It came too late.. well actually I came for it too late to usurp much joy.

Added review for Amplitude. I really liked that DJ HMX & Plural song.. also David Bowie, Slipknot, and Freezepop.

:coming soon.. hopefully:
Grandia - Only about 10 hours left till I beat it! Yay! On the 2nd disc. I don't like it as much as the sequel (I'm crazy about the sequel) but it is still a good game, great when you consider it's as old as the Saturn.

Saiyuki - 14/50 hours.. It's very good and fun so far.

Xenogears - (Yet to play)

Threads Of Fate - (Yet to play)

Suikoden I-II (I've actually played Suikoden before.. about 98% of the way through. I don't remember a second of it. #_# Gaming amnesia.)

then I'm to get started on alot of PS2 rpgs.. Disgaea, SMT: DDS 1 & 2 (I'm too chicken to do Nocturne yet.) FFX&X-2 (I've played FFX before.. but it's that gaming amnesia kicking in again..) DQ8, .Hack, Growlanser, Wild Arms (PS2 versions..) maybe I'll get lucky enough to get them all done (and even reviewed!) within the next 13 years !0_0! Who knows..

RPG Critic! Waaah!!

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I know that Working Designs is now defunct, but is their website really gone forever too? ;_; I liked reading RPGCritic's reviews. Even though he stopped writing over two-three years ago, he still had quite an archive. I wanna go back and read them but they're gone forever! *crying* Does anybody know if he has a website? E-mail address? Any place where they might still be? I miss those reviews! Even though I didn't always see eye-to-eye, many of the reviews were really good. I started writing my own after being inspired by that work. And for once my trusty google searches have failed in finding any hint of them.

In other news, it turns out that Ray doesn't make a very good husband. Remember to ALWAYS save your game before marrying people, everybody! ^_-

Victory dance! Live-action FF battle. Really goofy.

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In celebration of my new rank (Phoenix Down! Yay! I've been revived. 0_0)

I come bearing a funny video. Anyone who has ever done a battle in a Final Fantasy game will know what's going on here. Hi-speed users only. Sorry dial-up, I know it sucks to be reminded that you have a dial-up modem. ;_; I remember those days too.

Even if you have a dsl or cable you might wanna pause the video and wait for it to load all the way though anyway. YouTube has been slow lately. GRARBBQ.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jy-Jfl5GC8g

Okay! ^^ A request to anybody who is ever reading this.

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I've never played anything other than RPGs. Ever. Well maybe a bit of 2D Mario back in the day and some Warioware recently, but nothing else. I'm curious about other genres. Action, adventure, fighting, FPS, platforming, anything at all.

But I'm a total beginner. So my request is.. name the most entry-level insultingly easy but decent games that you can think of that are worth checking out.

Many thanks.. ^^

Grr..

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Being in a somewhat bad mood (even my bad moods are pretty cheerful) I've decided to vent about videogames. I really only have one thing to say.

Why.. WHY has Chrono Trigger not been remade for the GBA? I could count a gazillion (yes I may be exaggerating) games that have been ported to that system. Not a one of them is Chrono Trigger. I see Final Fantasy I & II on there.. getting closer.. but alas, still no Chrono Trigger. The best game ever made has only had one port. I'm considering picking up FF Chronicles (or is it Anthology?) But the long load times have kept me away. Five minutes to open up the freaking menu? No thanks, I'll take my chances with the moral ambiguities of emu or just shell out the $80 to buy a fifty year old cart (more exaggerating ^^;) off eBay. It really is worth that much, but really I'd rather spend my money on recent releases to help out the industry. (read: Support the awesomeness that is everything Shadow Hearts)

What else is troubling me.. AH! Suikoden 4 instead of Shadow Of Destiny : The Sequal. Time Stalkers instead of Napple Tale. Missing out on ever playing Suikoden II. Waiting for FFVI to get to the GBA. Doing dash jumps in Ys VI (still love the game though) Overall I'm still happy in gaming land. Tales Of Phantasia is making it (maybe it's already here?) Valkyrie Profile is getting a sequel. HM:MM is coming out in a month. *gets the happy again*

Phew I'm back to normal. ^^ Make sure you get Harvest Moon : Magical Melody when it comes out, okay? Or rent it or anything it. This is the revolution. Whoever you are. (Does anybody else read this besides my nya friend? I know she'll get it. Nyanya! ^^)

In other news I'm reading a manga called Aka-chan To Boku (translation: Baby And Me) for a series with a title like that it is DEPRESSING. So so depressing. Made me laugh and cry and laugh some more.. right when I thought it was all happiness.. more destruction to make me bawl some more. It's quite good so far. (No wonder it won an award! ^^) But if this is your first time hearing the word "manga" make sure you check out the classics first. Angel Sanctuary, Count Cain, BASARA (notice the caps), Berserk, Rurouni Kenshin, Fruits Basket, Nana, Death Note, etc firsthand. There are others but I've wrote enough for now. So much for not writing in this thing.. hehe. Review for Grandia II coming soon. I was on a roll and I just remembered that I forgot how the battle system works. *_* Just that it was great. Kehehe.. I've gotta go dig out the game and get re-acquainted with that pretty important part...

Updated icon + banner.

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Banner are very crappily copied and pasted pics from a Kaori Yuki one-shot called "Ludwig Kakumei". It's not a bad starter if you're a virgin to the masterpieces of Kaori Yuki.. (as it's only one vol, both guy and girl friendly, lots of disturbing takes on fary tales, crazy evil heroines) But Count Cain and Angel Sanctuary are the winners. (Count Cain's first publication in the US is God Child) Oh yeah and for the even virginier virgins, these are manga series.

The icon is of the beautiful Kos-Mos from Xenosaga. She could destroy the entire universe, and still be my idol. <3_<3 A great idol character. I want to be like her and yet I want her. Shion isn't good enough for her! Oh the trials of the fangirl. >< Anyway she's one of my few fave female characters. Great character design you can tell from anywhere. She has brilliant red eyes and.. aaa she's so great. Really hard to cosplay as. I like Albedo to. Great name, great theme song, and totally horribly nuts. Just the way I like them. I like Jr more though. If only he could find a way to grow up (and have long fluffy bishounen hair) he would be the most XD of bishounen.. geez how did this turn into a Xenosaga fangirl gush. Sorry.

*Credit for the images goes to sakura-crisis.net. Yeah I know that the link is dead. I hope they come back.

Update: Went back to my old icon. I still love Kos-Mos I just.. miss purple. ;_;
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