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KH-mixerX Blog

The High Life

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Well, it seems I can't keep this blog going no matter what I do. Apologies for the frequently unkept promises and unannounced hiatus'. With all the crap that's been going on in my life as of late, it's been hard to keep this sort of thing up. As soon as I get everything settled in my personal life, I promise the 3 people that read this blog that I will start making entries more frequently.

Until then, stay frosty.

FFXIII Rant/E3 Report Cards (Pissed & Annoyed Edition)

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For reasons I'll never understand, people seem to not realize that the "Auto-Battle" button is a requirement in FFXIII's battle system, since each player's turn involves combining multiple actions into a single attack. The "Auto-Battle" button is essentially just the "Attack" Button. In any other FF, all you do is constantly hit the "Attack" button for the most part. And most of the time, it's the most effective strategy. Unless you're fighting a more difficult enemy which then requires you to make use of your other abilities. FFXIII is identical to this formula. You press the "Auto-Battle/Attack" button when it's necessary, which is most of the time. When a more difficult enemy is encountered and a more complex strategy is required, you form you're own attacks by using the other options at your disposal. See? Same thing. So everyone needs to stop whining and complaining about the "Auto-Battle" button. It's not going away, nor should it.

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*sigh*

Okay, now that I got that out of me, I'd like to throw in a few personal comments about today's E3 Press Conferences.

This year's MS PC yielded a whole lot of Kinect software, and very few surprises. I expected them to spend a large portion of their keynote on Kinect software, but not as much as they did. Very little of it looked compelling enough for me to even think of purchasing one. And by my estimates, that's what they were going for: getting me to buy a Kinect. So, mission failed MS.

Other than that, they announced a few new features for XBOX Live including YouTube and Bing integration. They also unveiled a new voice activation menu for Kinect.

As for software us Gamespotters might be interested in, they showed off Gears of War 3(which I'm very excited for), Forza 4, Halo: Combat Evolved HD, etc. And at the very end they revealed a teaser trailer for Halo 4 developed by 343 Industries(known for Halo Waypoint). Can anyone say "moo?"

Overall MS Press Conference Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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Sony came into this year's E3 fresh off the newly reestablishedPlaystation Network. After it was hacked into pieces that is. With that PR nightmare staring them in the face, I had no idea how they were going to open this year's PC. After seeing the end result, I'm pleased with the way they handled it. It was quick and to the point. They didn't dwell on it which is exactly what I thought they were going to do. After that, they showed a whole slew of software that had already been announced in some form or another.

Then came the Move. Poor Move. Always stuck in the shadow's of the behemoth that is Kinect. Though neither is particularly appealing to me personally, there is no denying that Kinect is a much bigger deal than Move. As for what thay showed for Move, it was just a few games that worked just fine without it. In other words; not worthy of explanation.

And last, but certainly not least came the Playstation Vita(formerly known as the NGP/PSP2). They showed off the hardware and anounced a whole batch of software for it, new and old alike. A few are as followed...

Uncharted: Golden Abyss

LittleBigPlanet

ModNation Racers

Street Fighter X Tekken

Ruin

After a few overly long montages, they moved onto pricing, SKU, and release details. The Playstation Vita is set to be released Holiday 2011 with no specific date set yet. There will be two SKU's at launch. The first is a Wi-Fi only model priced at $249.99. The second is a 3G model backed by AT&T(to the dismay of people the world over) priced at $299.99. Much lower than I expected to be honest. I was expecting the 3G model to be no lower than $350.

Sony Press Conference Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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Well, that's all I got for now. Tomorrow will be Ninty's PC which I think I speak for everyone when saying that I'm extremely excited for. No doubt because of the new hardware they'll be unveiling. I should have something up for that by Wednesday at the latest. Thanks for reading and Stay Tuned!!!!8)

M.I.A. (Homecoming Edition)

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Well, how to begin...

Let me first start off by stating that the unannounced hiatus that I've been on for awhile is now officially over. After the last blog series, I kind of just lost interest for whatever reason. It's not important why. What is important though is that I'm back. I'm going to keep this short and simple and just end it at that. Expect much more from me in the coming weeks. I'll leave you with some of the music I've been obsessing over lately.

Hope Remains - Times of Grace

Life Is Simple In The Moonlight - The Strokes

Blue Dream - Dance Gavin Dance

High Maintenance - Miranda Cosgrove

Cold As Ice - B.o.B

Difficult - Eminem

My Top 10 Favorite Moments & Sequences in Gaming: Episode #4

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Greetings everyone, and welcome to the final episode in My Top 10 Favorite Moments & Sequences in Gaming blog series. I apologize for the this episode taking so long to complete. I had a pretty epic debate with myself as to what should make the number 1 spot. Thankfully though, it has ended. Now, on with the show!!!

Reader's Note: Most of the entries on this this will undoubtedly contain spoilers. Reader's discretion is advised.

1.) Final Fantasy X (The End of the Road) / Final Fantasy XIII (The Fate of Oerba)

A Fleeting Dream(FFX Music) Dust to Dust(FFXIII Music)

Well folks, it looks like we have a tie. Man, where do I begin. Both of these sequences have had immense impacts on me as a gamer. Let's start with FFX.

A.) The End of the Road

If you're familiar with my blog or any of my dealings on Gamespot's forums, you are undoubtedly aware of my immense passion for FFX. Not only is it my favorite game, but it effectively taught me that games are just as capable of evoking an emotional response from people as any other entertainment medium. In no other sequence is it more apparent than at the abandoned city of Zanarkand. It helps to have played FFX for yourself, but either way, it's a surprisingly powerful section of the game. Weary and depressed by the weight of their travels, Yuna & Co. arrive at the road that will lead them to their ultimate destiny. After a short respite around a campfire, they begin the final stretch of their journey. The genius of this sequence is the music, and more importantly, how it is incorporated into the scene. Instead of cutting to the typical triumphant battle theme during fights along this long road, they keep one single song playing during the entire section. It's a very lovely tune. I posted a link for it under the picture on the left. I encourage you to give it a listen, so you can better understand the scene. Although nothing is an adequate substitute for actually playing the game. In fact, no matter how well I describe it to you, it's impossible to truly understand the essence of the situation. In other words, go play it if you haven't already.

B.) The Fate of Oerba

Say what you want about FFXIII, but don't call it soulless. This particular sequence in FFXIII has more emotion in it than the entire Dragon Quest series combined. The setting is Gran Pulse. The location is Oerba(Oh - air - bah) Village. Your party has traveled to this place in order to find a way to defy their fate as Pulse L'Cie. Each Pulse L'Cie is given a Focus, which is essentially a task that you must complete. The consequence of not completing this task is the transformation into a monstrous C'ieth for eternity. Unfortunately for the party, their focuses are both horrid and near impossible. I'll stop right there. Any more explanation of the story would only complicate things too much. So, in your party you have two characters who are natives to the village of Oerba. For reasons you'd find out in the game, they were separated from there homes for 1000 years. When they finally arrive to Oerba after being gone for so long, they find it in ruins and half buried in ash. The reason for this isn't explored in the game unfortunately. As you travel through what's left of the derelict city, a haunting, yet beautiful song plays in the background. I have a link for it posted under the picture on the right. Similar to the Zanarkand scene, the music plays uninterruptedthroughout the entire sequence. Now, I'm a bit of a sap, but this song, coupled with the scenery of the location and weight of the situation, almost brought me to tears the first time I heard it. Imagine being separated from your home for an unimaginable amount of time, only to find it in a state of ruin. A shadow of it's former self. It's really sad to put it mildly. This is another time where you have to actually experience it for yourself to get an adequate understanding. If you only choose one song to listen to out of the two, choose this one. "Dust to Dust."

*sigh of relief*

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Phew, it's finished. I really hope you enjoyed this series, It was a blast to write. As always, your comments and criticisms are greatly appreciated. Not only that, but they help me to improve myself as a writer.

My next blog series will be focused on my favorite voices in gaming. Look forward to it my friends. Till next time8).


Spaceman

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Before you question the unusual title, read the rules. Inspiration for this blog goes to Thomas-Crown. Thanks for the tag buddy.

Madness commencing now....

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Rules courtesy of Thomas-Crown

You've been tagged, here are the rules:

1. Put Your iTunes (or other music player) on Shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds!
4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name.
5. Tag at least 10 friends.
6. Anyone tagged has to do the same, because fun pointlessness spreads like a virus.

Lets go, mang.

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1. If someone says, "Is this okay?" You say

"Gotta Get" by 50 Cent

2. How would you describe yourself?

"From the Inside" by Linkin park (I like it)

3. What do you like in a guy/girl?

"Voices" by Disturbed

4. How do you feel today?

"Believe" by Staind

5. What is your life's purpose?

"Bite to Break Skin" by Senses Fail (Well, that's discomforting)

6. What is your motto?

"The Final Stage" by Masashi Hamauzu

7. What do your friends think of you?

"Your Lies" by 32 Leaves (Oh dear)

8. What do you think of your parents?

"Cold Wind Blows" by Eminem (LOL)

9.What do you think about very often?

"Keeping the Peace" by Takeharu Ishimoto (Hmm....interesting)

10. What is 2 + 2?

"The Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners" by The Foo Fighters (Come again?)

11. What do you think of your best friend?

"Alias" by Sky Eats Airplane

12. What do you think of the person you like?

"Grown Man Part 2" by Young Gunz feat. Kanye West (I think my iPod hates me)

13. What is your life story?

"Game Over" by Hitoshi Sakimoto (I like it)

14. What do you want to be when you grow up?

"Twilight" byNobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu, & Junya Nakano

15. What do you think of when you see the person you like?

"All the World Against Us" by Masashi Hamauzu (Oh! I love forbidden romances)

16. What will you dance to at your wedding?

"We Made You" by Eminem (LMFAO HAHAHAHA!!!!)

17. What will they play at your funeral?

"Colder Than My Heart, If You Can Imagine" by A Day to Remember

18. What is your hobby/interest?

"All Alone" by Gorillaz (What?)

19. What is your biggest fear?

"Fake It" by Seether

20. What is your biggest secret?

"Public Service Announcement" by Jay-Z (Oh the irony...)

21. What do you think of your friends?

"My Girl" by The Temptations (Don't ask)

22. What will you put as the title?

"Spaceman" by The Killers (Oh yeah)

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Well, that was certainly revealing. That's it for now folks. Again, inspiration goes to Thomas-Crown. The last entry in the (Top Ten) series I'm doing right now should be up very soon.

Remember, be cool8).

My Top 10 Favorite Moments & Sequences in Gaming: Recap

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We've certainly covered a lot of ground with the first three episodes. I hope all of it has been to your liking so far. Only one more episode to go. Here is a recap of the list so far...

Episode 1

10.) Bioshock (Atlas Revelation)

9.) Shadow of the Colossus (Entire Game)

8.) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Train Sequence)

Episode 2

7.) Metal Gear Solid (Psycho Mantis Battle)

6.) Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Nuclear Explosion)

5.) Heavy Rain (Sacrifice of Flesh)

Episode 3

4.) Metal Gear Solid: Guns of the Patriots (The Infernal Finale)

3.) Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Rundas Battle)

2.) Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (Zack's Final Battle)

Well, there ya have it. Episode 4 will be here before you know it. Until then folks8).

Piano Collections FINAL FANTASY XIII

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Finally, the day has come. The Piano Collection for Final Fantasy XIII released today. I don't know about you, but being a pianist myself, I'm a huge fan of piano arrangements. I've practically played out every FF piano collection CD there is. All of them are amazing, and this one is no different. For all of FFXIII's shortcomings, SE did manage to get a one thing right. And that's the sound track. I bought the OST the first day it was available. It's FFXIII's crowning achievement in my opinion. (That and the combat system, but that's an entirely different discussion.) So, it's a given that the Piano Collection would be amazing. And let me assure you, it definitely doesn't disappoint.

I'd post a few of my favorites from the new album for you guys to sample, but I don't think they've been posted on youtube.com yet. Suffice it to say, it's awesome. Anyone who enjoys fine music should give it a listen. It's currently available on iTunes and (play-asia.com if you fancy a hard copy).

Top Ten List Update: I hope all of you are enjoying the list so far. Only one more episode to go. I should have a recap up within the next few days before the final episode. Look forward to it!!!! Till then, be cool8).

My Top 10 Favorite Moments & Sequences in Gaming: Episode 3

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Reader's Note: Most of the entries on this this will undoubtedly contain spoilers. Reader's discretion is advised.

4.) Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (The Infernal Finale)

This sequence brought me closer to actually feeling what the character felt more than any other game had before. It's extremely riveting. Old Snake, weary from his long journey and difficult life, makes a final push towards the end of a hall filled with powerful microwaves burning the very flesh on his body. In order to translate this struggle to the player adequately, they make you(for what seems like forever) continually push the triangle button on the controller without rest. It doesn't seem very compelling explained through text. It's just something you have to experience for yourself.

3.) Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Rundas Battle)

Battle Music

I love this character to death. He is one of three hunter's that accompany you on your quest to rid multiple planets of the Phazon infection. At one point in the game, he falls victim to Dark Samus' mind control on the volcanic planet, Bryyo. Once you reach the end of your journey on Bryyo, you're made to fight him. It's actually quite sad, to me at least. Once you defeat him, Dark Samus retreats from his body and impales him through the chest with his own ice powers. Effectively ending the life of one of the most bad ass characters ever created. He had a wicked battle theme too.

2.) Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (Zack's Final Battle)

This is another great example of how to do emotional character moments the right way. Zack Fair is pitted against an entire army at the end of Crisis Core. He knows its futile to fight back, and he knows that death is at his doorstep, but he fights anyway. After hours of struggle, he is reduced to a bloody mess clad in shredded clothing and armor, but he continues to fight until he can no longer stand. He collapses. He clings to life just long enough to pass on his legacy to his best friend, Cloud Strife. And so ends the life of Zack Fair.

And so also ends episode 3. Stay tuned for my number 1 pick. Till next time.

My Top 10 Favorite Moments & Sequences in Gaming: Episode 2

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Reader's Note: Remember, each entry in this list will likely contain spoilers. Reader discretion is advised.

7.) Metal Gear Solid (Psycho Mantis Fight) [Breaking the Forth Wall]

This particular boss battle was way ahead of its time. Not only would Mantis read your memory card for other Konami titles(as seen in the photo), but you actually had to switch controller ports at one point to stoop his psychic abilities. It doesn't seem so special by today's standards, but back then, it was incredibly revolutionary. And it's for that reason alone why it earns the 7th spot on this list.

6.) Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Nuclear Explosion)

Anyone who played through COD4 will likely agree that the nuclear explosion that killed your main character was one of, if not the most shocking moment in any game ever. Stuff like that isn't suppose to happen to the hero. You always hear about it happening in some distant place to some semi-minor character. But that's exactly what makes it so jaw-dropping and awesome.

5.) Heavy Rain (Sacrifice of Flesh)

Like Shadow of the Colossus, Heavy Rain is practically filled with memorable moments and sequences. But my personal favorite shocker was the sacrifice of flesh. You literally had to cut off your own finger in front of a camera. What made it even more...um...enjoyable, was all the tools that you had at your disposal to complete the grotesque deed. AHHHHH, QUICK, I NEED A BAND-AID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So ends episode 2. Remember, your thoughts and feedback are always appreciated. Till next time. Peace8).

My Top 10 Favorite Moments & Sequences in Gaming: Episode #1

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Greetings everyone, and welcome to the first entry in my latest blog series. I've given this one a lot of thought, so I feel it'll be as exciting for you to read as it is for me to write. Let me inform you that entries 10 through 2 are in no particular order. So, without further exposition....

P.S. - I shouldn't have to remind anyone that this blog series will include massive plot spoilers to any game that makes an appearance. So, please read at your own risk.

P.S. 2 - I apologize if any of the images I include in these entries are bigger or smaller than they should be. I'm a noob at resizing things. I will include a link to any photo that cannot be properly seen on the blog page.

10.) Bioshock (Atlas Revelation)

Ahh, Bioshock. What a game. If Bioshock is anything, it's definitely not predictable. Anyone who saw this one coming was either on the dev team at Irrational Games, or a psychic. Who could've guessed that the kind person with the gentlemanly accent who had been guiding you through the horrors of Rapture for the majority of the game was actually a cold, calculated man bent on using you for his own gain? That's right. Nobody. This game proves that choice in many situations, be they fact of fiction, is merely an illusion.

9.) Shadow of the Colossus (Entire Game)

This one I kinda have to cheat on. The entire game is filled with incredible moments and sequences. Every entry on this list could come from this game alone. Since that is so, I refuse to pick just one. Deal with it.

8.) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Train Sequence)

This is probably the most technically impressive entry on the entire list. What makes it so impressive is that you're constantly moving the entire time through an ever-changing landscape. I didn't even think that was possible in a video game until Uncharted 2. I still occasionally boot this game up every now and then just to play through this particular sequence. Bravo Naughty Dog, bravo.

Hope you like how this first episode turned out. Stay tuned for the next episode within the next few days. Ciao.