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Thoughts on Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World + Turn-Based Games

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Greetings everyone.

A few weeks ago, I bought two games on Steam called Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World for $3 together (that's right,2 games for only 3 bucks :o).Recently, I've completed them and wanted to share what I thought about the games with you guys. First thing I'll say straight up is that I had a lot of fun with both of these games and getting both of them combined for $3 is a total steal.

The games are RPGs that are both tributes to the jRPG genre and parodies of the cliches and common themes found withing the typical jRPG. As such, if you've ever liked any jRPG games then you'll have a lot of fun with these games. The story and plot progression are absolutely crazy and hilarious (or at the very least amusing). Breath of Death VII has you taking control of an undead protagonist, one who roams a land completely devoid of humans who destroyed themselves in a war long ago. He then goes on a random adventure, picking up companions on the way. Cthulhu Saves the World has you taking control of the titular Cthulhu who must reclaim his lost powers in order to destroy the world (because that's just what Cthulhu does).

Littered throughout the entire games are references and parodies of many video games out there. While the main focus is the jRPG genre, you'll also find the game making small nods to games like Fallout, Megaman, and Zelda. More obvious references include nods to the Dragon Quest and Suikoden series. What I liked most about this game however is that despite all the humour that it has and the way it pokes fun at games, there's an actual good game there as it's foundation. The gameplay system works as a proper jRPG with well-balanced difficulty and a fast-paced turn-based battle system. There are branching stat and skill paths that you can take when leveling up which reminded me much of Xenosaga Episode III, except this game has more liberties as to which upgrades you can pick which makes you really think about what option you should take since it's possible to mess up a character (people who have played Breath of
Death VII will know who this is) which is actually a good thing since it makes you strategize and think about what would be best for your character. What I liked most about these games is that they also fix a lot of problems that some modern jRPGs still seem to have. Like I said earlier, the combat system is fast and doesn't drag on. Shops let you compare currently equipped items to the items they sell. The game uses a reasonable system that limits the amount of random encounters you can get in a certain area (if you want) and provides a good suggestion as to how much experience you should be getting before moving on.

It's clear that not only did the developers have fun with creating this game but they actually did work hard in order to create it. It's got good music, gameplay, and a story that doesn't take itself too seriously. I wholeheartedly recommend these games, especially since they're being sold for $3 together. To anyone who has played the game, feel free to share your thoughts or comments about it!

_________________________________________

On a side note, I've been reading some rather annoying comments online about how some people won't even touch the game because it's turn-based. It got me wondering, since when was turn-based gaming considered "bad" by a certain amount of people? I know that there are a LOT of people who are totally fine with turn-based gaming (the majority) but I've started wondering about how it started being a bad thing to some mainstream gamers. Why do they make such a big deal about it being "slow"?

While looking up answers to this, I found a rather enlightening blog post about the same exact topic.

I quote:

They think it's slow because... well, in most modern games, it tends to be rather slow. This is, however, not because it's turn based, but rather because it's turn based and it has to have somewhat "realistic" animations. First let's look at turn based board games - are they slow? No, they are not... a player is always playing, or considering his next move. They achieve this by having no animations or cutscenes or anything at all in the way of pure gameplay. If you play Advance Wars on the default game settings (combat animations on, normal map movement speed), a mission takes about three to four times as long as it does when I play with as much of that stuff "off" as possible. Final Fantasy Tactics is a great game, but if you play it a lot it does tend to drag way more than it needs to. I get to play so much more Fantasy General with all animations turned off. I think it's a very good thing for a game developer to ask this question:

"What percentage of the time your game is running is your player playing, and what percentage are they watching something un-dynamic happen?"Keith Burgun


and I can't help but agree. I think that one of the main contributors to this new idea that turn-based gaming is slow is the moment the ridiculously famous Final Fantasy series made its transition to 3D. Every time you summon one of those summon monsters, it's usually accompanied by a long animation that is usually (if not always) the same each time. Here are some good examples:

Knights of the Round - FF7 (this animation is around 1 minute long, imagine seeing it over and over and over...)
All FFVIII Summons (mashing the button gets rid of the monotony a bit I guess but it's not exactly something that keeps you thinking and engaged)
Bahamut - FFIX
Magus Sisters Overdrive - FFX

and so on. Now I have nothing against these animations, and I'm sure many of us will admit that they do look pretty kickass, but do we really have to be shown the exact same thing each time? Most turn-based games should have the option to either skip animations or turn them off because they do eventually get redundant. Luckily, there are games that manage to work around this in their combat systems.

Here are some games that I think did turn-based combat right:

Chess - Not exactly a video game but the strongest example. It's stood the test of time and is still played today, yet it has no visual flair whatsoever. I myself actually didn't understand the appeal of chess until I played it with a little kid during a family-friend gathering who was really into it (I lost that match :P). I realized was that I was engaged and actually having fun. I believe that the reason for this is that there's always some thinking and strategizing involved. There's rarely a dull moment. You've got to think about where to move your pieces, where your enemy might move his piece (even after your turn is done), and keep track of many different things. Now, if you inserted a long animation of a knight running through a battlefield and slaying an opponent when you remove an enemy piece, the game would drag on and get boring everytime that happens (unless the animation was dynamic/constantly changing).
BoDVII and CSTW Double Pack - Battle animations are short, battles are fast paced, and the enemies actually running out eventually (if you choose so) really encourages you to keep going and gives a sense of progress.
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne - Battles are fast-paced which means that there's always interaction going on. Animations are, for the most part, quick. Furthermore, it helps that this game is HARD so you'll always be strategizing and doing your best not to die. A focus on exploiting enemy weaknesses and summoning and dismissing different types of demons during battle also adds a lot to the battle system.
Final Fantasy X-2 - This game doesn't use the turn-based system in its traditional sense but instead uses the Active Time Battle system where you have to wait for your characters' gauges to fill up during battle before acting (same for your enemy, except you can't actually see their gauge). Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and IX also used this and definitely benefitted from it a bit (very long unskippable animations still persisted and slowed things down though) but Final Fantasy X-2 used it the best in my opinion. During the battles in this game, something is almost always going on because of how fast-paced it is. Throughout battles, you'll be switching jobs, dishing out damage, taking damage, and continuously interacting with the game instead of just watching. Here's a video to give you an idea (skip to 3:54). That video might not be the best example but it gives an idea of how much can be happening.

Where do I stand on the whole situation? Personally, I think turn-based gaming is a lot of fun (but that doesn't mean real-time games aren't fun either, they're both fun given the quality of the game). I think that this whole "turn-based games is a bad thing" attitude that cropped up recently is because when technology progresses, video game developers are trying too had to keep up and impress people by focusing on crazy visuals while offering barely any innovation to gameplay. Better technology + better visuals = higher price point (the latest big-budget games these days usually cost no less than $50). This usually leads to gamers paying for good visuals and multiplayer (more gaming time) in order to maximize the money they spend , not necessarily the gameplay. Of course, the best way to show off graphics is by making an FPS which is, IMHO, an oversaturated genre these days, with only Bioshock and a select few other games changing things up by being very interesting. If you're making a turn-based game, visuals are obviously not going to be the main focus, but it's more supplementary (which gives the developers more time to make the turn-based gameplay more complex and elaborate). Unfortunately, developers are not willing to take this risk, and as a result consumers and devlopers go for the most visual game instead of the most interesting ones, which gives turn-based games, particularly jRPGs, a bad rep (Final Fantasy XIII being the best example).

So, what opinions do you guys have on this matter? Feel free to share your thoughts! :) (as long as they're reasonable of course :P)

Thoughts on Planescape: Torment

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Greetings, everyone.

For those of you who read my previous blog, you'll know that I recently downloaded (from GOG.com), played, and finished Planescape: Torment and I'd like to share my thoughts on it (as I would like to do so eventually with many other games). I'm thinking of replacing my reviews with these blogs. I don't think I'll have enough time to do full reviews now that I'm busier and I would rather just share whatever thoughts and feelings about the game come to my mind. :)

sdgh
What can change the nature of a man?

Planescape: Torment is one of those old-school computer RPGs. If you've played games like Baldur's Gate (or its sequel), Icewind Dale, and the like then you'll have an idea of what the gameplay system of the game is like. If you've only played Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect then be prepared to take a trip back in time.

The story of the game involves an immortal man called The Nameless One (who obviously can't remember his name) waking up in a Mortuary in a place he has no knowledge of. He is quickly joined by a talking floating skull called Morte who serves as his companion and provides a tiny bit of exposition and they go off on crazy adventures to find out the truth about The Nameless One.

Unlike Baldur's Gate where there was focus on combat and story, Planescape: Torment REALLY leans towards narrative. I'm talking about maybe 85% dialogue and character interaction and maybe 15% combat. I know that this already seems like a turn-off to some people but the thing is, I still found VERY enjoyable and I'd recommend that you at least give the game a chance.

One of the notable things I found about this game is that it's very weird and strange. Just look at the character lineup so far: A man who is, by general definition, undead and a floating skull. The rest of the party members that you'll eventually gather aren't any more normal than them either. The setting of the game was also a huge change from what I was used to. I've never played the Planescape tabletop RPG campaign so this game is my introduction to the Planescape world but learning about the world is really fascinating just because of how different it is. Anyone who's played the game will know what I'm talking about. Discard your thoughts of elves, dwarves, orcs, and typical fantasy settings because you aren't going to find any of that here. Planescape works on completely different rules compared to those settings and our world. These factors make the game both alienating (at first anyways) and compelling at the same time.

sdghj

What's most impressive is that with such an alien setting like this, the developers were still able to provide an incredible story that was able to affect me emotionally. Some of the dialogue, the characters, the moments will definitely stick with me for quite a while.

To make the most out of an experience like Planescape: Torment though, you need to come prepared with the right mindset. Like I said, earlier this is a game that has a huge focus on narrative. Planescape: Torment is almost like an adventure game with a few RPG elements added in. Combat, for the most part, can be avoided. If you're not willing to read then I recommend just staying away from this altogether. The game was designed to be a story that uses the video game medium as a way to tell it, not the other way around. The game uses its platform's visual and audio capabilities to supplement the story but not completely take over it.

I realize that some might wonder what the point of making a game like Planescape: Torment is when it's so dialogue heavy. I mean, why not just make a book or a movie right? But I think the main reason for it is that much of the appeal in Planescape: Torment is making choices. I tended to be a do-gooder but there are many sadistic, witty, or just plain evil choices that I could've chosen in the dialogue box :P I don't think a movie could've implemented all the branching story paths of the game and having a visual basis and voice acting was really nice, something that a book couldn't have necessarily provided so I support the developer's decision to use a cRPG to tell this story.

...Yeah, I think I'm going on a tangent here but that's why I'm writing blogs instead of making reviews this time :P

In the end, I'll just say that if you have time to invest and don't mind reading then I highly recommend this game. I realize that a lot of people don't exactly fit into that category since some of you may have jobs or kids and don't have time to immerse yourself in Planescape: Torment and I really don't think the typical mainstream gamer in this generation would find a text-heavy cRPG very appealing but if you do give this game a chance and come in with the right mindset, you will be rewarded since I can't stress enough how interesting the world, story, and characters (mainly party members) are and how the game might even change the way you think regarding certain philosophical ideas.

If you decide to play this game in the end, here are some helpful links!:

Planescape: Torment mod guide
(I recommend installing all of these mods before even starting your first game)
Beginner's Guide by Orion79 (basic help for first-time players, try not to use a full walkthrough because going through the game on your own helps you get more immersed into the game world and puts more weight to the story compared to following some steps)
Unofficial Planescape: Torment Trailer by xtremeunitx (cool fanmade trailer!)

Also, if anyone has played the game and wants to share their thoughts with me or ask me questions then feel free to do so in the comments! :)

Returning

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Greetings, everyone.

After a run-in with 6h05tly and jwallace on Twitter, I've decided to return to Gamespot. I've been gone from the site for a long time because of many reasons (school, offline social life, volunteering...all of which led to me barely getting to play any games). It was only lately that I used Twitter (for the first time in many months) and met my two aforementioned GS friends which made me remember about Gamespot and I've decided to start writing blogs again.

I know you're probably thinking that I'll just leave again but I think I'll find it easier to stay and have stuff to write about because of these two services:

Steam
GOG.com

The time I've spent playing console games has decreased greatly over the last school year. However, by having access to lots of indie games and old games at a very affordable price, I've started to play games more often lately. More often than not, I have many thoughts on these games after finishing them so I thought I might share them with you guys through my blogs. Don't expect me to write about big-budget games very often though :P The last major game purchase I made is The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.

As for what to expect in the coming weeks, I've recently finished playing Planescape: Torment so expect a blog about that. I've also finished the Zeboyd Games Double Pack (which includes Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World) so expect a write-up on that too. Plus, a lot of other cheap games I've been able to find.

So I'll see you guys around! :)

OOGA BOOGA! A New Update!

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Greetings!

After...over two months, I've finally returned. Time just flies once school starts! How's everyone doing?

Things for me are going really well lately. Grade 11 is actually turning out to be a lot of fun and much more bearable for me compared to my previous two years in high school which is weird since the workload is heavier than before. I'm probably just less lazy this year :P. Also, I've realized that for once, the reason I haven't made a blog in a while isn't because I'm too lazy to be bothered but because I've been dedicating time to offline life a lot more and I just completely forgot about this place for a while :? but I randomly remembered this site and felt like I should go see what's going on with you guys and update you guys on what's happening with me!

On the school front, things are a lot better than expected. I've reacquainted myself with a lot of people who I haven't seen since my freshman year of high school (our school population is pretty big so I don't usually end up with the same people each year) which feels really surreal but great at the same time. English is proving to be my favourite class so far. Reading and doing essays honestly feels fun (alright, maybe not the essays but the reading) and satisfying for me. Not to mention that I'm doing really well.

So far we've read The Crucible and Macbeth. I thought The Crucible was alright. There are a lot of boring parts but also some interesting ones towards the end. The book also made me a bit angry since I couldn't get over how hysteric and gullible so many of the characters were and how many people suffered because of them but being shown that sort of thing helps bring out the moral of the story I suppose! Macbeth on the other hand, was a lot more interesting. I found it really cool how in our school, they introduce Shakespeare to us with light-hearted plays like A Midsummer Night's Dream and romantic ones like Romeo & Juliet (which was tragic but still fun)...then in Grade 11 they hit us with Macbeth :|. I think I would best describe this play with the words "death" and "betrayal". When I try looking back at any pleasant moments in the play, nothing much comes to mind (except for the parts where our teacher gave us costumes to dress up while we re-enacted scenes of the play in our cla$$room xD that ended up being lots of fun). The story was really fascinating though and the characters were interesting (especially Lady Macbeth). Like I said in my previous blog, I still have Life of Pi and Pride of Baghdad left to read. I'll be reading Pride of Baghdad next though so I'll tell you guys how that goes and what I think about it.

Another favourite cla$$ of mine this semester is French but more for the whole weirdness factor of it instead of actual reading :? I ended up getting this really old teacher who's really nice but treats us all as if we're in kindergarten xD She always gives us stickers whenever we do homework and showers us with praise anytime we get an answer correct. I remember this one time a girl in our cla$$ had a birthday and our teacher was all like "BONNE FÊTE!" and she put a sticker on her hand :|:P Since this cla$$ is French as a Second Language and we are technically learning stuff at an elementary school level, I guess our teacher is trying to incorporate that into our cla$$room environment or something so I don't really mind. We have been doing SOME reading which consists of this adorable children's book called Le Petit Nicolas. If you know basic French grammar rules, I recommend giving the book a read. It uses really simple language and it's really innocent and amusing.

On the gaming front...I really haven't been doing much :o That's nothing new though, my gaming time always takes a huge slump once school starts. I never ended up finishing The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass because it got a bit annoying. It felt like a string of fetch quests and going back to the Temple of the Ocean King (I think that's what it was called) after every dungeon got boring quickly. The only other game I've bought since then is Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition. I was contemplating on whether or not I should get it since I didn't like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion that much and they were made by the same studio but I in the end I caved in and bought it. I'm really glad I did! Fallout 3 feels so much better and so much more fun! I don't know if it's because I'm just liking the post-apocalyptic setting or I managed to avoid hype backlash but Fallout 3 is proving to be one of my most well-liked games. I can't wait to play more of it. I think that's pretty much it for games so far...

OH YEAH

THIS happened while I was away. It better be localized! I know I already played the game (though *ahem* certain means) but I really want to see how Atlus USA is going to handle the translation and see how much the improved battle system streamlines the character building because from what I remember, as cool as Innocent Sin was, it was pretty grind-tastic.

I think that's pretty much all I have to share for now. I didn't do much else other than hang out with my friends on weekends and I bought a few DVDs of older movies like The Descent to watch with people around Halloween (and for some reason, we also ended up watching Dancer in the Dark despite it not being a Halloween movie at all). So, I'll see you all again sometime! Hopefully next time I don't wait two months to make an update but you never know :P

School Begins!

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Greetings everyone!

As you can probably tell by the blog title, today was my first day back at school. I'm going into Grade 11: my third year of high school and my junior year as some of you like to call it. Luckily, I have next to no homework on my first day so I can actually afford to write a blog post! :D My first day actually went pretty well which is a lot more than I hoped for since I felt like I was going to have a nervous breakdown the day before :P Since I have a lot of free time today, I thought I might as well update you guys on how my day went.

First period was my Biology class. The teacher here is super nice so far and I know a lot of the people in the class which was great. Our teacher actually hasn't been teaching for a year though because she was pregnant and had to go on a maternity leave in the last school year which means she's a bit rusty and amateurish though. I remember she gave us these basic beginner questions and one of them was "What are the seven stages of life?". One student asked for help and the teacher told him "Compare yourself to a plant. What does a human, a living thing, have in comparison to a plant which is...a dead thing." At this point, I thought to myself "Plant. Dead. What?" but the teacher quickly corrected herself :P Kind of a big blunder to make there but I guess that might happen if you haven't taught or worked in over a year.

Second period was French class which was nice too. I knew some of the people and we're all not that good in French so I'm sure there will be a lot of times where we'll be helping each other :P Our teacher speaks French almost exclusively though so when you can't understand what she's saying, it's kind of nerve-wracking since she might ask you to answer a question or something :? I guess I'll just have to see how it goes.

After that was my lunch break. Nothing interesting there.

Third period was an Accounting class which seemed nice. The teacher was friendly and seems fair. We didn't do much though. All we did was some social activity to get to know the people in the class so I didn't really get much of a solid first impression.

Fourth period was English class. Teacher seems like a nice and fair guy so far. I'm actually kind of excited for this class since we'll be reading stuff that I'm interested in. The teacher gave us a list of reading material on our course outline and it looks like we'll be reading Arthur Miller's The Crucible, Shakespeare's Macbeth, Yann Martel's Life of Pi, and a graphic novel called Pride of Baghdad (yay for reading comics as part of school! :)) A friend of mine told me he read Life of Pi and really liked it so I'm looking forward to that. If you guys have read any of those, feel free to tell me and give me advice on what to expect :P

So yeah, better first day than I expected. Other than that, nothing much has been going on in my life. I'm getting Starcraft II:Wings of Liberty sometime this month but my uncle warned me that the game is very addictive so until I get a long holiday, I might stay away from the game :P Also, my DS Lite's speakers broke :( That means I can't hear what's going on in my games unless I have earphones which is lame. I might get a new DS Lite sometime then or see if I can find someone who can repair it. It sucks too because I just bought The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and sometimes I just want to relax and play it without having earphones or headphones on.

and...that's pretty much all I have to share for now! I expect the schoolwork to pile up soon and whenever that happens, I feel too lazy to update the blog so don't expect me to make a new post in a while. I'll still be hanging around the site though so don't think I've died or anything :P See you all later!

Sakura Wars, Scott Pilgrim, and Dissidia

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Greetings!

How is everyone? For once, I'm not waiting for over a month to do a proper blog :P That's probably since it's summer vacation and I might as well do this while I still have time. Speaking of summer vacation, it's almost over :( By September 7th, it's back to school for me. Not to mention that I'm going into my third year of high school and apparently, this is the point where your marks actually matter and are considered by colleges and universities so I'm actually going to be trying this time (instead of cruising through like I did in first and second year) so don't expect me to come here too often once the school year starts! Enough about that though and let's get on with my usual updates.

sdghg

I've finally gotten to getting myself Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love for the PS2. I was thinking of getting Trauma Team first but I heard that the sales for Sakura Wars were...well, pretty bad. So, to show my support, I got Sakura Wars instead! I don't regret the decision at all. I've never played Sakura Wars prior to this (I don't even know how to read or speak Japanese after all) so it was really interesting playing a game that's just so anime-like. Seriously, the game is absolutely ridiculous and awesome at the same time. As ridiculous as it all is though, it's A LOT of fun. I wish they would localize more games from the series. For those interested in this game and don't know anything about it, think of it as a very anime-$tyle dating sim/strategy RPG mish mash with pretty much no level grinding. If you're interested in the game then I really recommend playing it.

sdghh

Also, I went and watched the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. The World with a friend. I actually didn't know about the comics that the movie is based on until a few weeks before even watching the movie so luckily, I was spared all the months of waiting for the movie to come out that I'm sure a lot of fans had to go through. After watching the movie, all I have to say is that it's...well, as I've said earlier, awesome and ridiculous. It's hilarious too :P, I don't think I've laughed so hard in a long time (although that's probably because I rarely watch comedies). Seriously, if you're looking for a movie that's pure fun then this is the movie you want to watch. It honestly makes me laugh whenever critics take this movie seriously since this movie is as over-the-top as possible and taking it seriously is completely missing the point. Not to mention that there are a lot of video game shout-outs and hipster culture references which is amusing. Although the most amusing part for pretty much everyone in the theatre where I watched this is that Toronto (which is where the movie was filmed and takes place in) is ridiculously close to where I live so people were already psyched up after seeing the first few lines of text in the movie :P. As you can probably tell, I fell in lesbians with this movie and I really recommend it. I'm sure a number of people aren't going to like it but this movie was totally made for my demographic (teenager, grew up somewhat with video game culture, etc.) so it was really enjoyable for me.

dfgj

I've tried some of Dissidia: Final Fantasy as well. To be honest, I've had mixed reactions to this game. The gameplay is a lot of fun and the arena-$tyle fighting is really interesting but...the story mode is just so boring. It's pretty much doing the same thing over and over again with some weird uninteresting story to try and keep you interested. I know this is a 3D fighting game and it's made for multiplayer but I just don't know anyone who has this game so I wasn't able to experience that part of the game which sucks because playing this with someone else sounds like a lot of fun. Still, it's really interesting and was fun for a while so if you've got friends who like Final Fantasy and have this game then go ahead and get it! This game isn't very similar to the RPGs of the main series though so don't expect something like that.

Well, that's all I have to share with you guys for now. I'm not sure if I'll be making a blog before the school year starts so if I don't make a new blog in a long time, know that I'm still around and checking up on the site. See you all soon! (maybe :P)

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (Tagged)

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Alright, since gamer_girl15 tagged me and I have some free time (at 1:40 AM in the morning :?), I might as well do this. Here are the rules for those who haven't seen them yet:

  • 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

Also, expect my taste in music to be all over the place. I honestly don't care what genre or artist something is from, as long as it sounds nice and catchy to me, I listen to it. Onto the questions and answers!

1. If someone says, "Is This Okay?" You Say:

Feel Good Inc. - Gorillaz (Like everyone else, I'm going to be adding comments. This is such a random song title though, I have nothing to comment on)

2. How would you describe yourself?

Olson - Boards of Canada (Not exactly...)

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

Assault - Nobuo Uematsu (I certainly don't mind a little aggression ;))

4. How do you feel today?

Oh Well - Lady Gaga (but the day hasn't even started :()

5. What Is Your Life's Purpose?

Summerboy - Lady Gaga (:o)

6. What is your motto?

Tightrope - Janelle Monae ft. Big Boi (I guess I encourage walking the tightrope)

7. What do your friends think of you?

Jump - Madonna (this would have been more appropriate for #6)

8. What do you think of your parents?

Goodnight and Go - Imogen Heap (doesn't really make much sense)

9. What do you think about very often?

The Beautiful People - Marilyn Manson (Nope, I have other things to worry about :P)

10. What is 2+2?

Paparazzi - Lady Gaga (Apparently, 2+2 = Paparazzi)

11. What do you think of your best friend?

Get In Line - Ke$ha (I'm not THAT arrogant)

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

Rhinestone Eyes - Gorillaz (I never actually payed much attention to the eyes)

13. What is your life story?

Teenage Dream - Katy Perry (Well, I am still a teenager after all.)

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

Odno I To Zhe - t.A.T.u. / Rammstein (I have no clue what this means)

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

All The Things She Said - t.A.T.u. (It does come across my mind occasionally)

16. What will you dance to at your wedding?

Getting Scared - Imogen Heap (...I sure hope not, unless I'm marrying some old enemy of mine)

17. What will they play at your funeral?

Hyperballad - Bjork (I wouldn't mind!)

18. What is your hobby/interest?

Rhapsody in the Rain - Lou Christie (It would be a bit unhealthy to have that as a hobby)

19. What is your biggest fear?

Friend or Foe - t.A.T.u. (I do tend to be wary of other people)

20. What is your biggest secret?

Ruins of Lemuria - Motoi Sakuraba (...I'm pretty sure I don't own any ruins)

21. What do you think of your friends?

Dr. Jones - Aqua (I don't even have a friend with Jones as a surname)

22. What will you put as the title?

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - Daft Punk

and I shall tag....

1. jaykho213
2. pigfish2
3. Vexx88
4. TAMKFan
5. DrCLos
6. lightwarrior179
7. mufujifi
8. julianozuca
9. Extra_Life
10. DraconigenaDeus

If you've done it already, there's no need to do it again. Also, yes, I just picked the people who commented on my last blog. Also, I'm pretty sure something like this already circulated around my group of Facebook friends before. It's interesting seeing it on Gamespot of all places!

Update Time! (because I can't think of a better title)

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August sure is coming up really quickly. Everytime I realize that, my mind just keeps wandering over to the fact that school will be coming around again for me in about a little over a month's time. I seriously don't want summer vacation to end anytime soon, especially since things are supposed to be a lot busier next year and I plan to take night school but I guess I can't really do anything about it. The fact that it's almost August also reminded me that I haven't updated you guys with random going-ons in my life for over a month!

In terms of gaming, I haven't been doing that much. I went ahead and got myself The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for the Gamecube (I've really been having the urge to try out older games that I missed on lately). I've already finished it and liked it a lot! It's not my favourite Zelda game and definitely not mind-blowing in terms of taking the series anywhere new but it's still a lot of fun and very solid. Honestly, at this point, I don't think any game is going to outperform Majora's Mask for me since that one's my favourite. It might not be the best for a lot of people but it's the first Zelda game I ever played and I was really young when I first played it so I think my experience playing that was the equivalent of many people's first foray into Super Mario 64 or Ocarina of Time.

I also went and tried out Persona 3 Portable since it has the new female route I wanted to try out. After playing through that...I have to say that there's honestly not much new. The only stuff I really enjoyed were the new Social Links that weren't present in Persona 3 FES and the amusing dialogue changes that happened with the change in the character's sex. Everything else was boring because I had already seen it all before. I can't really speak for those who haven't played Persona 3 at all but after I've spent 80-ish hours on Persona 3 FES, do I really want to do that all over again? Not really. Thankfully, you can blaze through the game in less than 30 hours by picking the new "Beginner" difficulty level and ignoring all the random side stuff that you can do. That's pretty much what I did.

Also, I went and watched Inception last week! I'm no expert in movies or anything like that, but I really enjoyed it! It's a very intense movie and even fun to watch at some points. Not to mention the all-star cast that the film has (the film has brought out some very...strange feelings within me regarding Joseph Gordon-Levitt :P). I'll stop there since I don't want to go into details and spoil the movie. I really recommend watching it!

Well, that's pretty much all I have to share for now. Sorry for not updating as often, my offline social life has gotten a lot busier as of late which is both a blessing and a curse since I don't get to communicate with you guys on Gamespot so often anymore. I'll see you all again soon!

Summer Vacation

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Finally, exams for my second year of high school are finished and I have the next two months off! It's times like these when I'm really thankful that I'm not older and I still have huge breaks like this. It has certainly been a while since I last posted anything here. I don't really have any good reason for not doing so other than the fact that I've been really lazy and unmotivated to do anything on the site lately :P Well, that and studying for exams.

...Well, not really that either. I barely studied for my final exams at all. On the evening before my Science exam, I ended up watching a TV biography about a serial killer with my friend instead of studying. They were all still pretty easy though and I couldn't care less anymore. The end of the school year is always the point where I stop caring about my performance at school and more on "How much can I slack off without letting my mark drop too much?". That's just how I operate, I guess! Although I'm definitely not taking that attitude for my last two years in high school since that's supposed to be when your marks actually matter.

Anyways, during my absence, I've managed to add two more games to my collection.

gfd dfgh

Both of these games were amazing.

*the next two paragraphs have minor spoilers on the above two games so if you're worried about that sort of thing, skip them*

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle managed to make me pull out my Wii (which, honestly, I haven't played in months) and have loads of fun. I don't buy many Wii games lately, not because there aren't any that interest me (I really want to get Trauma Team), but because I've been working on school and building up my offline social life so I don't buy games quite as often, and when I do it's usually for the DS. Fondly remembering the times of playing the first No More Heroes and remembering how crazy awesome, yet flawed, it was; I decided to get the sequel. I do not regret it one bit. NMH2 is FUN. I'm not going to spoil more of it since one huge thing I'm thankful for is that I didn't view much of the media and buzz regarding the game and thus, was able to enjoy it without knowing what to expect. I highly recommend it though and those who loved the first game are probably going to enjoy this one as well.

Also, yes, I only got to getting and playing Metal Gear Solid 2 now. The Metal Gear series is one of those series that I've really wanted to get into, but I just keep forgetting about it and passing it up for other games. The only game in the series I actually did play was Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes for the Gamecube a long time ago and while it was very interesting and neat, it didn't really get me that hyped up for the sequel and I delayed purchasing the sequel until now. Now I regret not having bought this game earlier. MGS2 is amazing. The cutscenes are annoyingly long sometimes but the game is really enjoyable and flows really well. The story is great as well, it really had me gripped towards the end! In the end, I enjoyed this a lot more than I enjoyed The Twin Snakes and after finishing the game, I really want to get MGS3 (and MGS4 as well in the future).

I'm also probably going to make a few game purchases in the near future. Like I mentioned earlier, I'm very interested in Trauma Team after reading up on it (although I wonder if I should get that New Blood game first). I've also been eye-ing this Sakura Wars game which has received some really positive feedback from this RPG website that I frequently check up on, but looks like one of those obscure Japanese games that are going to run out and never be rereleased if I don't pick it up sometimes soon. Also, when it gets localized and comes out, I'm definitely going to get Etrian Odyssey III. I never played the first two games but the big draw here for me is the co-op. I have a friend who's really interested in the game as well so playing that should be fun!

Well, that's pretty much all I have to share for now. Until next time!

Oh yeah, I watched Toy Story 3 over the weekend. It's amazing. WATCH IT.

An Interesting Break

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This week has really been a very "different" experience. This week was actually my March Break which is basically the big break that we high school students get to have in our 2nd semester here. However, there was a bit of a complication in my break. To put it simply, I got an operation. I went through a surgery since I was diagnosed with appendicitis and everything.

I first felt signs of it on Sunday morning (March 7th) where I woke up and had a weird feeling in my stomach. I dismissed it as a normal stomachace and went on with my day since I promised to hang out with my friend. It was weird though because by the end of the day, the weird stomachache wasn't gone yet and I even mentioned this to my friend before leaving her place. It didn't actually start hurting until the morning of the day after when I woke up. I thought I was having some really bad stomach pains so when my parents woke up, I asked them to help me out. I wasn't having any unusual bowel movement and I tried vomiting a few times but that didn't make me feel any better. I even tried antacids in case it was an acid indigestion problem but that didn't help at all. My parents had to go to work so I just told them that they could try to find out what the problem was when they come back later on in the day.

This turned out to be a pretty bad idea on my part. The pain kept getting worse and worse throughout the morning and it was very debilitating. I seriously could not do anything except lie down because it hurt to get up and walk. I tried sitting down on the computer and doing random stuff to pass the time but I just couldn't concentrate, I just felt like lying down again so I did. I kept falling in and out of sleep since I was very tired and in pain at the same time, and eventually my mum came home at 4 PM and when she saw the state that I was in, decided to bring me to the clinic where I got diagnosed. The doctor asked if I ever had my appendix removed after doing all these tests (my reply was, of course, no) and recommended that we go to the emergency room at the nearby hospital so we went there.

After getting me registered, answering questions, and lots and lots of waiting, I finally get to talk to the surgeon and he tells me that all the results of the testing do correspond with appendicitis and that I would be operated on in the next few hours which was actually a bit of a relief since I wanted to get this over with as soon as possible. I'd never been through an operation though so I was also a bit nervous but I needed it so I didn't bother getting all worried. So yes, at around 12 midnight or so, I went and had an operation. Thankfully, I didn't feel a thing since the anesthetic was very effective. I only had some nasty after effects (I was coughing up blood and everything) but they were able to fix the problem and of course the wound from the actual surgery still hurts if I stretch too much or do anything strenuous (which I do try to avoid) but I can deal with it. I was admitted out of the hospital by Tuesday afternoon.

So yeah, if you've been wondering where I've been or what I've been up to, that's one big thing that happened. It wasn't pleasant but I'm thankful that everything happened the way it did. The hospital staff were really nice, my mother was there to help me out all that time, and I don't have to worry about that happening again since my appendix has been removed. I'm very lucky and grateful that things went well. Also, it's good that it happened during March Break. I would hate it if I had to miss school because of it and have to catch up.

On the gaming side of things, I bought Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth a few weeks ago and finished it.

sfhsh

I liked the game and it was pretty nice. It was also disappointing in a way though since it just didn't have the same impact that the Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice games had when it came to its story. Some cases also drag on for way too long and the whole "Logic" system that they brought in didn't really bring in anything that new to the table. Still, it's a good game and if you liked the other games in the series, you'll like this too. Just don't expect it to be groundbreaking or something really new.

I've also played a lot more of Dragon Age: Origins and finished the game with my Human Noble Warrior. It was a good experience and I'd definitely recommend the game. The game isn't even half as enjoyable when playing a second character though. Aside from dialogue changes and the actual Origin story, not much changes when you're playing through again with a different character. Going through the main quest dungeons is also a big bore the second time (particularly The Deep Roads) since you already know what to expect and what's going to happen. Maybe I'll get around to finishing my second character once I've stayed away from the game long enough. I also still haven't touched Mass Effect. I know better than to play two Bioware RPGs back-to-back.