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OkamiWoodson Blog

Man, I've been away for awhile huh? Nice to see you guys again.

I've missed my fellow fusers a lot. Due to school, I haven't had much free time let alone gaming time. Lots of things have been happening in the game world as of late and it seems that 2012 is gearing up to be one of the best years rather the best year in this generation. Kinda excited for some of the new games coming out like Halo 4, the new Shin Megami Tensei games for the PS3 and Vita, and the news of MGS5 and MGR. Oh right not to mention God of War and DmC. I haven't really been investing in the games of this generation just because most of the ones that have come out over the years have been either carbon copies or following a trend. Games like Ni no Kuni from NIS and others seem to be changing that by breathing new life into the industry. What games are you guys excited for?

Man, I've been away for awhile huh? 2012 seems to be a great year in gaming.

I've missed my fellow fusers a lot. Due to school, I haven't had much free time let alone gaming time. Lots of things have been happening in the game world as of late and it seems that 2012 is gearing up to be one of the best years rather the best year in this generation. Kinda excited for some of the new games coming out like Halo 4, the new Shin Megami Tensei games for the PS3 and Vita, and the news of MGS5 and MGR. Oh right not to mention God of War and DmC. I haven't really been investing in the games of this generation just because most of the ones that have come out over the years have been either carbon copies or following a trend. Games like Ni no Kuni from NIS and others seem to be changing that by breathing new life into the industry. What games are you guys excited for?

The Tale of the Creative Gaming Drought and The Fall of Complete Products.

Frustration, regret, depiction,and betrayal. These are some words that can describe the way most gamers feel now. This generation have had it's spurs of creativity and innovation but we know we cannot say that for all of the big developers. Lately we as gamers had to suffer through the industry's latest trends like military FPS and the idea of not releasing a complete product aka The DLC machine. Over the last couple of years we have not experienced many new and innovative games from big developers like Capcom or EA. We mostly experience a multitude mediocre titles that are the exact same minus some minor tweaks here or there. Games are mainly known by their names not because of the creativity and art of them now. People go out and buy a new game due to the name on the cover. I am one of those people in most cases like when it comes to a new Street Fighter or Final Fantasy to say the least. When a new version of the game comes out we all expect a vast improvement over the previous version but in some case we get a product that is sometimes inferior to the previous. In 2012 we are expecting many new IPs from a lot of companies and some returning IPs. Games like Asura's Wrath and BioShock truly shows that there are still some thought and creativity that we love and the reason we fell in love with the art of game in the first place. I am not saying that this generation hasn't had any break through games that are actually memorable but I just saying that there is a incredible lack of them. From the Call of Duty Machine to the Capcom DLC and updates. We are not getting full games any more due to DLC. The Idea of DLC was for the developers to create additions to games to breath new life into them for players to continue playing their games. That idea was actually a great one. After playing a great game, some if not most gamers don't want the game to end. DLC was not abused at first upon it's creation but as this generation went on DLC have been used as a cash cow for developers. One of the Biggest culprits of this crime is Capcom with their fighting game IPs like Street Fighter IV and Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. The idea of creating unfinished products and releasing them with the full product not unlocked is something that should not be condoned. Some companies release games knowing this and plan on releasing the full unlock codes for content via DLC with hiked up prices. Games are now $60 a piece and that is a bit expensive for a lot of people. With DLC gamers spend way over the products original price. From downloading a new character that averages around $5.00 and buying new costumes, weapons, or map packs that average around $10. That is highway robbery and gamers have no choice to pay for them if they want a complete game. We seriously need to not buy these DLCs and lining the creators and developers pockets. All as consumers and fans are asking for is a complete product not being bombarded with countless DLC. I love the idea of increasing the longevity of their games but not to this extent. As a future Game Producer, I think about the gamers and I care about what I will put out. Gaming is an art form but it's sometimes abused just to make an extra buck.

The mythology and philosophy of Shin Megami Tensei: To create a new world.

Philosophy is the medium of realizing the idea of truth and self realization. Many stories in the world of gaming have made an philosophical impact upon the hearts of who experienced it. I can go on forever listing the stories that have touched my heart and made my think differently about this world, life, and what the true meaning of "truth' is but recently I got into to the JRPG series by the name of Shin Megami Tensei. The lore of MegaTen has always had to do with the many mythologies, religions, and ideas of the world that we live in but is illustrated with Demons and other spiritual beings. The game does not discriminate on any cultures beliefs and integrates all of them into one. I've only completed the Persona series and almost done with the original SMT series but one thing is apparent in the creation and that is the destruction of the world as we know it through the Apocalypse or the elimination of humanity. The story that touched me the most and is making me really think is Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. For those who don't know, the story follows a youth who survives the Conception(Apocalypse) and is reborn as a demon in the new world as the Vortex World. A world that is awaiting it's rebirth that is up for grabs for anyone who collects spiritual force called Magastuhi. Throughout the story the main character encounters many you strive to create their ideal world and he has to chose one dream to join. A world of stillness, without humans. A world of perfection. The power to create your own isolated world without contact with other life. This made me think, if I had the choice to create a world or restore the world to the way it was... Would I take that opportunity? I couldn't imagine myself taking that opportunity. I am not a religious man but I do believe in God. i couldn't take that power of his and rebel against his creation. Saying that, there are some many forces that control this world. We are either aligned with one or in neutral. If I were to take that opprutinty to created a new world, I would want the world of Nihl. A world without hatred, a world without love, a world without pain... Some of you may say to yourself,"That's what makes us human, why would you not want those things?" The reason why I choose this is not because of the those emotions and feelings are not needed, it's just that due to these emotions and feelings, devastation occurs. The life of human beings, what is the real purpose of it? Were we left here by God and that God is no longer here or is there something that we are here for? That's the question that has been in the minds of every human on this planet. Are our bodies nothing more than a prison for our real self or are we reliving the memories of past lives? Life is the most complicated and alien subject. The World of Nihl would solve that mystery I think. Please tell me everyone, if you would create a new world, how would you? In a future Blog, i will expound on my thoughts but now it is an open forum.

Manga/Anime games that are actually good: Part One Featuring SNES

Over the years there have been hundreds upon hundreds of licensed manga games that have been released for consoles. This epidemic started with the 16 Bit era and still is going strong with this generation. Most of these games were actually God awful and were made just for the developers and the licensed property to earn a lot of money. Recent games like Dragon Ball Z Raging Blast 2 and Ultimate Blast have proved this theory to be correct. As we all know, licensed games are mainly made just for the fans and not for innovation or to bring in new fans but their has been exceptions to this rule and most of these games have never hit US or the UK shores. This blog will ultimately list very great manga/anime games that are actually a joy the play not just because of the name on the cover. Don't get me wrong some of those rare gems have graced the shores but are really difficult to track down. Let us start with the 16 Bit Era of manga styled games and work our way up to this generation. 1. Dragon Ball Z Butoden series/Hyper Dimension (SNES) Let's face it the machine known as Dragon Ball has been turning out games for over twenty years now. Some have been great and some have been so damn bad that even fans would ask the question,"What in the name of Kami is this S@#$?". The Butoden series is what started the DBZ fighting game movement. Each Butoden game that was released were released in according with the story arcs the anime was following in Japan so there are 4 games on the SNES. The flow of the game was like any other fighting game of that Era. Fight against an opponent using combo attacks and special attacks but what made this game special for it's time was the muti-leveled stages, power struggles(beam clashes), and flight. As the series went on, the fighting system and graphics improved which made the experience of DBZ felt in these early years of fighters. The only downside to this game is something gamers nowadays don't experience. Each Butoden roster was only about eight fighters per game. People complain now that there are not enough characters in any fighting game(when there is over 40 characters) imagine just only eight. Hyper Dimension followed suit with that but the combat system was overhauled and visuals were crisp. HD is a cult classic among DBZ Fighting fans it featured characters from the final two story arcs in the series including Vegerot(Vegito). These games are damn near impossible to find so if you want to play them try emulation and I really do encourage it. 2. Yu Yu Hakusho 2&3 (SNES) Like the Butoden series, the Yu Yu Hakusho games were fighting games (like most manga games at that time). These two games were actually some of my favorites growing up just because of the combat system. The combat system was fast and frantic with great combo attacks and special moves that we have seen done in the series. You can only use special techniques when your spirit gauge is filled and that can be done by attacking or building ki(like in DBZ games and Naruto). These games were not the best looking but they were incredibly enjoyable. The modes consist of Story, Vs, and CPU VS. The roster of these games were based on the Dark Tournament Story Arc and The Makai Story Arc which means all of your favorites make an appearance like Demon Yusuke, Hiei, Fox Kurama, and Full Spirit Kuwabara. 3.Gundam W Endless Duel (SNES) Gundam Wing is one of the most popular animes of all time and Bandai banked on this with many products including games. Endless Duel is the first Gundam fighting game and it's based on the Endless Waltz film. This game later became the Battle Assault Series that were on the Sony PSX which were really popular. The game features all of the Gundams from the Endless Waltz film. The combat was a bit clunky and felt a tad slow in response. Being that they are giant mechs, I got over it but it was still a tad disappointing seeing that they move damn fast in the anime. Combat was simple. Each button had a certain strength of attack to it like Light, Mid, and Heavy but the game shines in the special attacks. Each Mobile Suit handles differently from another like the Wing Custom is fast and the most basic of characters. This game is mainly for the fans of the series and that's about it. It was nothing special but it was the birth of the MSG game franchises so I had to mention it. 4.Dragon Ball Zetto: Supa Saiyajin Densetsu (SNES) Yeah, another DBZ game, I know. I'm a fan, what can I say. Imagine a RPG that is based on the events of the Saiyajin and Nameksei Arc featuring all of your favorite warriors in a turn based world. Sounds weird right but actually the game was really fun. While exploring the world of Dragon Ball by walking and of course flying, random encounters will bombard you. The battle system is built on cards, yes I said cards. Each card is an attack. The cards vary from physical attacks and Ki based attacks. The cards that you select are basically random and each card has a number. The higher the number, the stronger the attack. At first I was a bit turned off by this but I got over it due how fun it was. The game is rather lengthy due to it covering the whole Saiyajin Arc and Nameksei Arc. Seeing that this one was only released in Japan, this is a game you would most likely only play through Emulation. here are translated roms out there so don't you worry. Check it out when you have a chance.

The most underrated, most under appreciated, and overlooked JRPGs for the PS2

2.Rogue Galaxy Rogue Galaxy is a sci-fi action RPG that was developed by Level 5 and published by SCE. Level 5 is one of the biggest developers in Japan and they have quite a track record of making exquisite games. From the cult classic Dark Cloud to the legendary Dragon Warrior series, Level 5 always pushes the limits if creativity in each and every game they make. Back in 2005, Rogue was released in Japan and sold over 350,000 units in three months. It was one of the fasting selling games in Japan at that time. In 2007, it came state side. The version we received was actually the director's cut which improved the overall battle system and added more content like an exclusive planet. Rogue Galaxy centers around a young man named Jaster Rogue. Jaster is a native of the desert planet Rosa which is currently being occupied by the Longardin Army. One fateful day, a beast attacked the town of Salgin, and the events leading to Jaster's destiny were set in motion. The youth rushed to the scene and was encountered by a hooded-man. The man helped Jaster in a battle against lesser beasts. After the battle was one, the hooded-man gave Jaster a legendary blade called the Desert Seeker, which was one of the seven legendary Star Swords. This blade belonged to a hunter named Desert Claw. After the sudden jester, Desert Claw vanished. Soon after that two pirates named Steve and Simon run into Jaster. Thinking that he is Desert Claw, they ask Jaster to join their ranks on behalf of their Captian. Jaster couldn't refuse. His dream was to explore space and he wasn't going to let that dream pass him by. After the keys to Eden, Jaster and his friends travel all over the galaxy. The story is full of twist and turns with memorable moments. This was one aspect of why this title was excellent. The game truly shines with it's battle system, item creation system, and weapon fusion system. Rogue is an action based RPG with random encounters. In battle, you are able to preform melee attacks, special techniques, projectile attacks, block, and "limit breaker" styled attacks called Burning Strikes. In battle, four party members are allowed in the battle and the player can switch between each character on the fly. Though it's an action RPG, the player can't attack consistently meaning after your Action Bar runs out, you are unable to attack. The player will have to wait until the Action Bar is refreshed or simply block an enemies attack to quickly refill it. The new feature in battle called Burning Strikes is a great addition to the original battle system. Burning Strikes are attacks special attacks when triggered, the player will have to enter button combinations as they appear on the screen. The attack strength depends on your timing. The battle system is really fun as is addictive. Grinding isn't so much of a pain due to this. Level 5 is known best for their item and weapon creation systems. Similar to Dragon Quest VIII, Rogue features ways to fuse and invent hundreds upon hundreds of items and weapons through this games version of the Fusion Pot called Toady. Yes, a cute purple talking toad allows the players to fuse weapons. Weapons gain EXP as the character grows as well. The system is similar to Dark Cloud's. If you max out a weapon and fuse it with another weapon, a new and stronger weapon is made. The number of weapons in this game is daunting. There are so many Main Weapons and Sub Weapons in this game, so if you are a full inventory type of guy, good luck to you. Another page that was take out of Dark Cloud is The Factory. The Factory allows you to invent new items with materials you gather. From new rare weapons to gear, the The Factory is essential. You can't just invent something, you need blue prints. With Blue Prints you are to model the factory to what is listed. This is basically a puzzle area to the game. To have a successful creation you need to use the right tools, the right materials, and the right timing. This is one of the more tedious areas of the game but when you create the item you want, it feels so great. Rogue Galaxy didn't sale as many copies over in the states due to, again, poor marketing but around the web and hardcore gaming community this was one of the most applauded PS2 games of all time. I came across it on accident really. I just grab a bunch of games out of the bargain bin. At that time I grabbed it for only $30 used. This game is quite a rare one indeed. I fully enjoyed every aspect of this game and I heard that Level 5 is actually developing a sequel. For hardcore JRPG fans, this is a must buy. This is another great edition to any RPG library. Around the interweb, the game goes $70 new and the lowest of $25 used. If you need a lengthy and enjoyable RPG, this is the game for you. The list isn't over yet, we are just getting started folks. My next entries will feature another action RPG named Mushashiden: Samurai Legend, Dark Cloud, Wild Arms 3, and Shin Megami Tensei III. Keep a look out and if you guys have any suggestions please let me know. Cheers.

The best underrated and overlooked JRPGs for the PS2: Part One

The Sony Playstation became the number one selling game console of all time last year due to the vast and endless amount of games that are available for the console. From Action Adventure games to the never ending roster of JRPGs, the PS2 had a diverse collection of IPs. In this article I will be focusing on some of the best overlooked or less known RPGs that hit the PS2. 1. Xenosaga(Series) The Xenosaga was developed by Monolith Soft and published by Namco. This game is actually a prequel to Xenogears, a cult classic RPG that was on the PSX. The game was originally made by Squaresoft and the game did quite well over in Japan. The creators of the game left Squaresoft due to a disagreement with the President and soon joined Namco. Xenosaga is a sci-fi JRPG that takes place deep with the future. A sacred artifact called Zarathusra was discovered which held unfathomable power. This artifact allowed the human race to gain more advancements in technology but it also cost them their planet. The planet known as Earth disappeared and humans took to the stars to find a new home. Humanity found a way to survive and all was well until a unknown force called Gnosis, appeared. The Gnosis are beings that don't not exist in the same dimension as humans which leave no way for humans to fight back until a method known as the Hilbert Effect was invented. Now humanity is on the brink of destruction. The story centers around a young engineer named Uzuki Shion and an android named KOS-MOS. The Story of Xenosaga is broken up into three parts. Though it was originally intended to be a six part story but due to low sells of the United States, Namco decided to shorten it. The Xenosaga series is known how it's explosive cut scenes, philosophical story, and it's battle system. The battle system is modeled from the original Xenogears. Instead of the player attacking once per turn, in Xenosaga you allowed to chain attacks together and make combos. The depth of this battle system is quite incredible and also arguably one of the best battle systems for turn based RPGs ever. Another aspect of the Xenosaga series that was original and possibly the best aspect of the game was the fact that players could use giant mechs called E.S.'s.This game series has been critically acclaimed but the marketing here in the States was basically non existent because of that this game has become a cult classic and Gem. I implore you guys to find and check these games out. Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht, Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Bose, and Xenosaga Episode III: Also sprach Zarathustra. The price tag for the first game is around $80 new and $8 used, part 2 is the most common and easiest one to find so the price tag is $20 new and $5 used, and as for part 3, part 3 is the rarest of them all, $90 new and $20 used. If you are a die hard rpger these are a must buy for your collection. These games will give you over 200 game play through out the three. In the next entry of this list I will focus on another Sci-Fi JRPG called Rogue Galaxy developed by Level 5 and Published by SCE.

The King of the Iron Fist reigns supreme. TEKKEN is the best fighter in gaming.

Through the years, I have had a lot of experience with the fighting genre of gaming. The first ones I have ever played were Street Fighter II World Warrior Edition and Mortal Kombat for the Sega Genesis. As a kid, I remember not really liking either of those games even though I was pretty good. Sure Street Fighter II is the holy grail of fighters that any gamer who knows anything about our culture has played and has been forced to like. Mortal Kombat, on the other hand, only gained popularity due to it's never before experienced level of violence that created the highest level of controversy in our world, it wasn't for the game play, I'll tell you that much. Those games were popular but sure as hell lacked a lot. As the 16 bit generation came to a close, a new console called the Sony Playstation ushered in a new age of gaming. The first, among many, games I got was called Tekken. I wasn't just blown away by the full 3-D graphics but even as a kid, the game play was nothing I had experienced before. Insane combos, beautiful stages, and great characters. Besides that fact that ducking could save you from just about every attack, the game was pitch perfect. The best part of TEKKEN has to be it's story. Unlike Street Fighter where the story doesn't make a bit of sense do to countless "remakes" of the same broken game( come on guys, 36 different Street Fighter II's? I didn't know you could have the same tournament 36 times over.), the only Street Fighter series that actually made sense was the Street Fighter Zero series. TEKKEN's story has been consistent over the years as for the game play as well. Each TEKKEN title that is released is improved from the other previous ones. The characters grow and the story grows which ultimately makes the game even more enjoyable. Harada-san has been with this story since the very beginning so there are no grey areas or different interpretations of the world of TEKKEN. Capcom has always had problems of different producers touching the SF world which build confusion of the story and also the way the game play style is. The Street Fighter III saga was the best of the series and was and still is cutting edge but ten years later we get a carbon copy of Street Fighter II. Why move backwards, when you can move forwards? The upcoming Street Fighter X TEKKEN is on the horizon. I am completely and utterly excited to see how these two legendary franchises are going to pit up against each other. Ono-san has disappointed me and many with Street Fighter IV seems to be returning to the SF III flavor while fusing the bare knuckle fighting of TEKKEN. Don't disappoint me Capcom.

Resident Evil 6 trailer.

The trailer has been out for a couple of days now and I will like to hear you guys' opinion on it. I'm actually excited to see Leon back in and it seems like when playing with him, we will actually experience the fear that was missing in 5. This one looks to be promising and will take was back to the nightmare. Chris and the new guy is an added bonus.I just wonder if Wesker is really dead.

Devil May Cry series reviews coming soon.

Being a huge classic gamer and a huge fan of Devil May Cry, it's my right to review all of them. Yes, even DMC 2. The HD Collection will be coming out pretty soon but seeing that I have the originals, that really doesn't matter. As a DMC head, I am not too excited of this "revamp" or parallel universe or whatever the hell it is but I'm am going to give it a try even though it was developed by Ninja Theory. Like most, I don't like the new character design and story but the world seems a bit interesting. I just hope this story won't kill the story I've been following since 2001. Capcom, listen to your fans for once and don't kill Dante please.
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