Shiggums / Member

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Shiggums Blog

In the mail

Lately I've taken some initiative in getting games. I just ordered Call of Duty 4 a few days ago, and today I ordered both Assassin's Creed and Mass Effect. I should have all 3 games by Saturday.

GTAIV is going well, except I'm stuck at a couple of missions. One, for Brucie, is a street race, and I'm terrible at handling vehicles at high speeds :? The second is for Manny. I have to take out a bunch of gangsters, but whenever I try, I get killed by cops :|

Also, if you ever get the chance, watch the film Airplane. You'll be glad you did.

You say coke, I say cane, you say john, I say wayne

That's a line from Bicycle Race, by Queen. Great, upbeat song.

Anyway, I've been playing GTA4 lately. It's good, but I don't see how it could be a 10/10 game. I like the story and characters (and killing for fun :P), but the controls are sensitive and the gameplay is generally no different than the last few GTA games.

I also plan on buying a better copy of CoD4 soon. I would like to get back to that game, but I can't go anywhere in the damaged copy I have. I'm surprised it still goes as high as $50, since it's sequel is already out.

I've become obsessed with Queen songs (namely Bicycle Race, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, and Don't Stop Me Now) as well as the cIassic Stooges song, I Wanna Be Your Dog.

I was introduced to the last song there thanks to The Lonely Island, a comedy group that has Andy Samberg. Check them out on youtube, they're ridiculous :P

I also changed my banner. Just an image of Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Bonham from Led Zeppelin, with my name on the side.

Not a Happy New Years blog

It's true. I won't use a blog to say what is basically implied at this point :P

I've been pretty inactive with games lately. Just a bit of CoD4 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance (which I find surprisingly good). I have ordered GTA4, should get it in a week or less. I hope it lives up to the reputation it's built. Any thoughts on the game?

I never had a Christmas blog, so Merry Christmas. It was good, I got a new 360 out of it. Wish I had Assassin's Creed right now though. I'd be playing the hell out of it :P

Must stay up til midnight...

EDIT: Shortly after I posted this blog, GTAIV came in the mail. I didn't really get to play it until this evening.

Oh, and if you haven't noticed, new avatar. Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. Yeah, I would link to it's Wiki page.

Initial Impressions

So I've only played Chrono Cross for maybe 2-3 hours now (I know, ridiculously slow start) and I've already hit something of a snag. The games is pretty solid except for the battle system. The three different strength attacks and their hit percentages really throws me off. Plus, I think there's timing involved with pressing X...idk, it's all a bit too confusing.

I can't say much about the story since I'm only so far in, but it seems okay from what I've seen, though it does need a few patch-ups.

So far, I'm looking at an 8/10. A few hiccups, but otherwise not bad. We'll just continue and see how my opinion changes...

It has been done

I finally took the time to sit down and finish The Legend of Dragoon. I thought for sure it'd be harder than it turned out to be. My party consisted of Dart, Rose, and Haschel, Levels 36, 33, and 36 respectively. Only a 38 hour total, which surprised me. I was anticipating 40-45.

Next on the agenda is either Chrono Trigger or Chrono Cross. I probably should do CT first, since I've already begun a file on it, and it's been waiting longer than CC. We'll see...

Observations

This is just a random and pointless blog really. Just suddenly realizing things and wondering how they happened. Like a few minutes ago, I was checking out the forums of one of my unions, and noticed many of my friends (in fact, most of them) are getting higher up in their levels. All of us are. I'm basically at the low end, most of you guys top 30 and a few reach into 40's and 50's. I can still remember when everyone was just teens, maybe 20's. Doesn't seem like that long, but nearly 2 years accounts for a lot of levels here...

I also see that Winter has almost officially come upon us (here in the States at least). There is already quite a bit of snow, and the temperatures are lucky to reach 30 F. Today was in the teens for most of the day. I say this a lot, but with good reason: I hate this time of year!

I also noticed that I'm finding it much easier to drink alcohol than it was before. The taste hardly bothers me like it used to. In fact, I had Jagrmeister for the first time and I thought it tasted good on its own. Recently, I drank screwdrivers (vodka and OJ) and there were quite a few strong ones that went down smooth. Wonder why this suddenly is?

Top Video Games of All Time #1

Honestly, who didn't see this coming from a mile away?

FINAL FANTASY VII

http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/7158/ffviibox1zj.jpg

At this point, I've practically forgotten why I love this game so much. Every time I play it, I feel so satisfied; thrilled. I know it pretty well at this point, though not to the degree that I know FFIX. I think the main attraction is the thriller/mystery aspect to the storyline. You get little tidbits of info and clues that slowly begin to piece together. It's an intricate and complex web of lies, secrets, and power. There's so much to absorb, and when you really think about what all is going on, you feel something that just tells you this game is fantastic.

I know a lot of people say this is the best game ever, and I'm one of them. I sometimes wonder whether or not this really is my favorite game. Back when I first played it, I was in absolute awe over the complexity, and intrigue, and the mystique that flooded my senses. While it's anything but the pinnacle of graphical quality, it almost felt like you knew what each character looked like. Then again, I was raised on those kinds of graphics.

I think FFVII was a step in the right direction. It was the beginning of the best era of FF games (FFVII-FFX), and it really set the golden standard by which almost every following RPG is compared to. As an avid RPG player, I can safely say this is the peak of RPGs. The story, the characters (except Yuffie and Cait Sith), the concepts and ideas put into this game all just overwhelm people. I mean, the epic battles against the WEAPONs and the intense chase after Sephiroth, all the while trying to save a planet and stop an maniacal demi-God. Pretty cliche, but it's the little changes to it that make it so much better.

I've thought a lot about what criteria it would take to consider a game #1. Is it the memorable experiences of playing it? Maybe the ability of the game to make you want to play it no matter what, at any time, and get as into it as you did the first time you played it? Who knows? I can say that I can't play FFVII any time and be fully into it. It'll only happen when I truly feel the desire to play it, as with any game. I can say that I have extremely fond memories of this. Is this why I consider it so great? Is that the real reason? Is the even a good enough reason? Makes me yearn for my childhood. I miss those days of video games, and ever since then I haven't felt as into them. I'm stuck in an era that is dead. Maybe this is why I'm always trying to get more PS/N64 games. Weird... 

Top Video Games of All Time #2

THE LEGEND OF DRAGOON

http://images.marketworks.com/hi/71/71296/ps1_game_legend_of_dragoon.jpg

It wasn't until recently that I realized how much I loved this game. I had played a file of it previously, several years back. I had made it to the final stage of the game, only to have my brother "accidentally" overwrite my well built file. I was crushed, so I basically abandoned all hope of returning to where I was. But, about a month ago, I purchased the game. I gave her a whirl, and after some minor adjusting, I was back in it.

What really stands out about this game is the battle system. The way characters attack is by "Additions", which are special attacks that have certain timing and button presses that make it work. You have to time the lining of the squares up and press X to make a successful hit. If the squares turn orange, you must press O to avoid an enemy block. Upon pressing the buttons correctly in time, you'll get the complete Addition. They range from 1 hit, to 7 (meaning that's how many times you have to press the button to complete it). As you make succcessful additions, the attack levels up. 0-20 is Lvl. 1, 21-40 is Lvl. 2, etc. Upon reaching Lvl. 5 (80 successful uses), you can continue to a new addition, which starts back at level 1. As they level, they get more powerful, and in some cases earn you more SP (which charges up your dragoon bars).

Like most RPGs, there's some form of super powerful attack/form. In this game, it's Dragoon form. In dragoon form, each character (when they get their stones) can perform either D-Additions, or D-Magic. With the additions, you have a little timer appear, and you must hit X right as the bar passes on the little marker on the top, up to 5 times for a "Perfect" addition. Very strong. The Magic aspect is more powerful though. The Dragoon stone also levels up like Additions, so at level 1 you have 1 spell, 2 you get another, 3 you get a third, 4 is nothing, and 5 is the ultimate magical attack (it's always summoning the Dragon of that dragoon spirit). SP is accumulated, which fills up your Dragoon gauges. With 100 SP gained, you have 1 attack made available. You get 1 Dragoon attack per 100 SP, up to 5 total.

Lastly, the story of LoD is amazing. Much like the greater RPGs, it has something of a puzzle like feel to it, where all the pieces start falling into place and every question you had earlier starts getting answered. It's all about the Moon That Never Sets. It's the key to the entire plot, from the beginning. I won't spoil it, but let's just say that you have to stop a God from being born. Each character has a story that eventually leads into another character, and eventually they all are connected. Various races, powers, and secrets make them quite a motley crew.

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Just to let you all know, I'll be away for the weekend. I won't likely be active until maybe Sunday or Monday. I'll finish up this blog series then. I bet you can't guess what #1 is >_> 

Top Video Games of All Time #3

FINAL FANTASY IX

http://www.freewebs.com/shadowz_123/ff9.jpg

Right off the bat, this was my first introduction to RPGs and the Final Fantasy series. I have played this game enough times through to know it better than the back of my hand. At least 8 playthroughs, maybe more. I would often play this game as a filler when there weren't any other titles I felt like playing, so yeah, I'm a big fan.

I love everything about this game. The characters, the music. Hell, I even love the locations on the maps! I'd say the most useful character is Steiner, though Vivi is my favorite. So much power and intelligence and humility in a little boy really makes me connect (minus the power of course...). I liked to see them all sort of mature in the game. In the beginning, even Steiner and Zidane were more like children than men. By the end, all of them were changed for the better, even Amarant. Watching that transition was pretty interesting.
This game also features one of the most insane (if not most insane) villains: Kuja. He's a powerful character, capable of killing thousands (which he does effortlessly) as well as entire planets. That's why I consider him above Sephiroth and Kefka, the "quintessential" FF villains. They had to use outside sources to cause damage that paled in comparison, whereas Kuja just plain used his own power (thanks to his Trance form) to obliterate all of Terra.

FFIX also has one of the best stories of any RPG. You start as a theif out to kidnap a Princess. You end up getting your way, though in an unusual way: she WANTS to go. From there it's an escape, learning the truth about characters, the connections between a blood-thirsty queen and Kuja, and the connection between Gaia and another world, called Terra. In the end, you learn just what Kuja's purpose was, what Zidane's purpose was, and just what the fate of existence on Gaia is.

The story revolves around Eidolons (summons) a lot. I think in FFIX the Eidolons were the best summons in all FF games. First of all, Bahamut's incarnation in this title was the best. He was a basic black dragon, with awesome horns and no eyes (that's also really cool >_>). Second, Eidolons like Atomos, Ark, and Madeen pack one hell of a punch. You'll learn to accept them as a part of many critical battles. And unlike other FF games, there are 2 summoners. Garnet (Dagger) who is more of a summoner than white mage, and Eiko, who is more of a White mage than a summoner. But in either case you're getting a great character. 

I still have the copy of the game that I got from my dad all those years ago. Black label, so I'm guessing I got it around 1999 or so. I no longer have the little booklet (don't know where that went) but all the discs are still in pristine condition, and I intend to keep them that way. I hope I can play this game for many more years to come. It's hard to put it at #3, since for a long time I held it at #2 in my heart. But I think the next 2 still top it, albeit not much ;)

Top Video Games of All Time #4

FINAL FANTASY X

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6d/Ffxbox.jpg

Final Fantasy X was the best PS2 FF title, hands down. It's a fact. A truly fantastic storyline, memorable cast of characters (in a good and bad way), and the only FF where I cared about the music.

Yes, one of the most appealing features is the music. There are a lot of calm, serene sounds throughout the game. Zanarkand comes to mind first. It was a tranquil, and almost saddening song. Really set the mood for the location, and it fit perfectly. And while the softer music was my more preferred sound in the game, there were of course the more epic sounds. Battles for example. But enough about music.

FFX tells an interesting story. If you ask me, it has the 2nd best story of all FF games. The legend of Sin, Machina, Yevon, and how they are all related really weaves a wonderful picture. Even the things relating to Tidus' origin and purpose (don't worry, no spoilers) were pretty cool, though a bit cheesy in a way. I really found it addicting to learn about people's pasts, secrets, and the reality of things. I mean, you basically dismantle an entire religion in the game! Seriously, that's something to brag about.

I also thought the characters made up an interesting bunch. Tidus was kinda femmy, but what FF main character isn't? I hear a lot of people call him "emo" which confuses me. He only whined about his father, and after a certain point in the game, even that stopped. Not the best character ever, I'll admit that, but he did change and mature a lot in the game, which impressed me.
Lulu is the uptight chick nobody would think to cross.
Wakka was the extremist devout Yevonite/athlete who was somewhat childish.
Kimahri was cool, though there isn't much to him. He's just very loyal and honorable.
Auron is also honorable. He's also badass, obliterating fiends the way he does.
Rikku is the worst character imo. She's too annoying. Acting like a little school girl (and I mean that in the non-erotic way >_>), jumping around, making a fool of herself and the rest of the group.
Yuna is last. She's a good character in FFX (not so much in X-2), having a big heart and being the caring woman of the party. 

Overall, FFX remains a solid cIassic of the PS2, and should be remembered as such. If I could point out one flaw, it's that it's way too easy. Grinding is extremely simple, which means it's easy to become something of a demi-God and destroy all enemies, even Nemesis (the strongest foe in the entire game) with little to no effort.