VXLbeast / Member

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VXLbeast Blog

A New Chapter in My Life: College

So, here I am. It's 9:43 and I have an Elementary Japanese class at 10:30. I am sitting in my bed in the dorms of Truman State University. A freshman. Here I am, somehow. When I joined Gamespot back in 2008, I was about to enter High School. One of my first friends on here was about to enter college. Now he has graduated and I am going into college. It's a little more than crazy. But even though I had an absolute blast in high school, I welcome the change. I'm ready and eager to start this next part of my life, and even though I don't come around as often anymore, I wanted to share what is happening with my remaining friends on the good old Gamespot. Basically, I have the opportunity to study what I love more than anything else and through that make my dreams a reality. My major, currently, is Creative Writing with a minor in Asian Studies. The Creative Writing part is because, well, that is my passion. I don't really intend on making any money off of it, and who knows if I will ever publish a book, but it is what I love more than anything else, and so here I am studying it; loving every minute of it. The Asian Studies minor is because I am learning Japanese. I have been self-studying for about a year, but I am having a blast in formal classes and welcome the quicker pace of learning. The reason I am learning Japanese is so that once I have my BFA in Creative Writing I can start work on my Master's in English Education, then move to Japan and teach English there. It has been a dream of mine--wait, have I never told this story? Well then. When I was quite young, 1st or 2nd grade, I went to a tiny private school with an emaciated little library. In this sad little library was a beat up old book on Japan, filled with words I didn't know and pictures I could barely process. When I flipped it open for the first time, I was greeted by a picture of a blossoming cherry overlooking the ocean. I was so mesmerized by that one striking picture that I told myself, "I am going to go there someday." That desire never waned as I grew up with a love and appreciation for Japanese culture, pop or otherwise. But it wasn't until high school--sophmore year I think--that I realized I could make this long-held dream happen. And so I am, one step at a time. The first step is here at college, studying both the passion that will sustain my spirit and the language that will open the door to my dreams, and later the skills I will need to convey my knowledge and experiences to others. 6 years seems like a long time, but when you are spending every day studying what you love, it blows by like a bullet train. I have been gone three weeks and I still can't hardly believe it has been that long. So, that is my life update for now. If I don't see you around Gamespot, then maybe I will see you some years later in Japan, when I am teaching at some school or backpacking during the summer. Or maybe I will see you in Korea when I have learned that language and started teaching there. Maybe you will see me in Ireland or New Zealand, two other entries on my list of cultures to experience. Who knows. But we will see each other again, somewhere, somehow.

Games Aren't Getting Better

You can call me elitist or hipster or just a plain ole' butt-hurt JRPG fan, but this I will say: games are not getting better. As games become a mass-market medium, they are more and more tailored to the lowest common denominator. The blander and more lukewarm your soup is, the more people will stomach it. And I am not even speaking of social or mobile (iphone) games. I am saying that the Assassin's Creed "Push X to kill" style of game play is proliferating the game industry at a terrifying rate. Do you like Assassin's Creed? Great, I like Uncharted, and it suffers from many of the same problems. Look, I am not saying that every game should be Demon Souls, but Demon's Souls was a cult-hit for a reason: there are people who want to play real games again. People who want to think. Who want to lose. Who want to do more than guide minimal interactions with an animated movie. And even with the exploding indie scene and such gorgeous games as Journey or such unique games as Catherine, I am still saying this: games are not getting better. I hope, for your enjoyment's sake, you disagree with me. (PS: This was something I wrote at a spur of the moment, and isn't meant to be a full argument as to why I think games aren't getting better. Of course just because games aren't getting more complex doesn't mean they are getting worse, and I realize that you could probably come up with at least a handful of examples to prove me wrong, but let me say this: this short little burst of air is meant to leave a lot unsaid so that others will say it. I would like to see why you agree or disagree with me. Also, I have been trying to shorten what I write lately in order to be more concise and to the point. ) (PSS: I hope to put up a blog post soon giving an update on my life and stuff. (Stuff being that I got a Vita). Maybe tonight when I get home from work?) (PSSS: I miss the gamespot community. You guys are awesome. The Pokemon Union, Animal Crossings Union, Wii First Person Shooter Union, Anime Union...man, I have had some good times here.)

Systems Through the Years Continued...

Continued from last post...

(heart Etna) keeps the laughs going while also having its fair share of surprisingly somber, heartfelt moments. I won't say that describing why this game is fun is like describing why Harvest Moon is fun, but you do really need to play these games in order to understand just how charming and addicting they really are. For SRPG enthusiasts or simply the curious: give these games a chance; I am certainly glad I did.

Looking into the future: 3DS Vs. Vita

With still no convincing titles on the horizon, the 3DS continues to evade my interest. I am truly worried for Nintendo in this uncertain time, but my pocket book is a harsh judge, and it has sided with the Vita. With Persona 4 and Disgaea 3 announced [Edit: And Army Corps of Hell, and Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and Gravity Rush, and…], I am excited to take the games I missed out on the first time around on the go. What may be the biggest selling point for me, oddly enough, are the social aspects worked into the Vita. I love the idea of cross-game chat allowing me to talk to my PSN friends while grinding on Disgaea 3. Plus vaguely hinted at features such as being able to see who is playing what nearby you sounds like an awesome way to meet like-minded gamers. Here's looking forward to February 22th, 2012!

Systems THrough the Years

Well, it has been quite some time since I've blogged, huh? Unfortunately, I am not ready to starting blogging consistently again, but I do have a piece I have been wanting to write. Since I am having trouble writing my college application essays (I will probably write an update post on what's new in my life later) I decided to go ahead and hammer this out in the hopes that my creative juices will get a flowin'. So, without further hesitation:

Systems Through the Years:

As I look back on my childhood, growing up with videogames has left an indelible mark on my life. As with any gamer, each system I owned has a special place in my mind, each for different reasons. I don't want to write a vast expose on how games affected my life, or even list all the games systems I have played through the years. I just want to list, chronologically, the systems I have owned, what each one meant to me, and one game on that system that typified my experience with it. I would like to keep this concise and focused, so if you do choose to follow along, I hope that it pulls up as many fond memories as it is even now doing for me.


My first game system. It hardly even felt like mine at first, being a hand-me-down from my older sister. I was very young when I started playing Super Mario Land, F-1 Racing, and Kirby's Dreamland (which is still an incredible game). So young, in fact, that I couldn't even read when I received MY first video game ever:

Pokemon Blue Version:

My dad didn't realize that reading was required to enjoy the game. Luckily, I didn't either. I spent hours running around in the house where you start the game, bumping into walls to hear the funny sound it made, clicking through menus I couldn't comprehend, and talking to my mom over and over again. I was having a blast. And then I stepped outside. What? There is a whole world?! I was sufficiently mind-blown, and my love for everything Pokemon began. I struggled to understand what was being said in the game, and still posit that Pokemon helped me learn—and love—to read. 180 hours later—after beating the elite four and excitedly explaining to my grandparents that I was the best Pokemon trainer in the world(and wholeheartedly believing it)—I had a team of Level 100s, could beat any of my friends in a battle, and continuously wondered what Missingo could possibly be. For me, Pokemon started it all.

GameBoy Color:

I still consider the GameBoy Color to be my first, true system. You see, after seeing the awesome commercials and saving up my Christmas and Birthday money, I bought this system myself. Yup, I wasn't even ten, and I bought my very own game system. The pride I felt when I walked into Toys R' Us, picked up a Teal GBC, and walked over to the cash register, pulling out a wad of cash from my Velcro nickelodeon wallet: it was an awesome moment. Although I enjoyed many games on it, most of them are hard to recall because they rest in the shadow of:

Crystal Version:

It had never even occurred to me that there would be more Pokemon games. By now I was watching the show, collecting the cards, and wearing the Ash Ketchum cap; so when Gold, Silver, and Crystal came out, I was blown away. The excitement that surrounded its release was sublime. My friends and I poured over sheets depicting the new Pokemon. New Pokemon? Could they even do that? Pikachu had a pre-evolved form? Wait, pre-evolved? Steel type Pokemon?!? With the intensity with which I looked forward to that game, it would have been easy to be underwhelmed upon receiving it. This was not the case. I started the game on a long (12 hour) drive to Michigan, and was immediately greeted with a beautiful opening that nodded back to the opening of Blue Version. I could choose my gender. The game looked amazing. There was a day and night cycle. The new Pokemon were awesome. The Unknown gave me Goosebumps. The mystical glowing bird in the first episode of the Pokemon show was explained. And the first time I got a phone call from a trainer wanting a rematch...oh man. This still remains one of my favorite games of all time, and is certainly my (and many people's) favorite Pokemon game.

GameBoy Advance SP:

Yup, I was one of the holdouts. I was having plenty of fun with my Color and saw no reason to buy the Advance. That is, until one day I was wandering through Block Buster and saw a whole shelf of boxes with awesome pictures on them, each one with bright, "Only on GameBoy Advance" printed in the corner. I wanted one. But it was quite some time before my dad could convince my mom to let me have one for my Birthday, and by the time the convincing was done, the SP was out. For how much I played this system, it was probably the one I owned the least number of games for. Even still, with games like Fire Emblem, I got my mileage out of it.

Fire Emblem:

My first introduction into the world of SRPGs, Fire Emblem remains one of my absolute favorite games. I was no stranger to RPGs, but the numerous unit types, grid-based battle-system, and permanent deaths were all revolutionary to me. I had never played anything like Fire Emblem, and I really haven't since. The incredibly emotive sprites brought the memorable characters to life (me and a friend recently sat down and realized we could still name nearly every character in that game, they were so interesting) as I approached what was, at the time, probably the hardest game I had ever played. The multiplayer mode let me and my aforementioned friend pit our favorite characters against each other (Druid FTW) and finally gave that link cable a use besides Pokemon battles. Even though I haven't kept up with the Gamecube or Wii entries, I am still hungry for some more (sprite-based!) Fire Emblem Action.


Around the same time I got my SP, I also received my Gamecube. It was a Christmas gift. I remember perfectly: my dad gave me a package, which I tore open to find a black Gamecube controller. I looked at him wide-eyed as he pointed to another box, a box that held a Gamecube. The Gamecube was special because it was my first home console. Sure, I grew up playing N64, PS1, and Dreamcast at friend's houses, but I had never had a home console of my own. So many awesome games were enjoyed on that system; I had more games for it than any other system before or since (Gamespot says 22). And the variety: the Gamecube really got me to branch out and try all sorts of genres. Even if I was missing hits like Halo and Shadow of the Colossus, I couldn't have cared less, I had:

Super Smash Bros. Melee:

Not much needs to be said here. Although I was never a huge fighting game fan, I played my fair share of Tekken on the PS1 and Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast. But Smash Bros. on the N64 was where it was at. Of course, when Melee came out, I was stoked. There was never a time a friend came over and the words, "So, wanna play some Smash Bros.?" were not said. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the game I have spent the most time playing. And I'm pretty damn good, if I may say so myself.

Nintendo DS:

The DS. This one sure came out of left-field, didn't it? I remembering reading about it in Game Informer, trying to figure out what exactly it was supposed to do. Two screens? The bottom one was touch-sensitive? Yet, it all made sense when I played Metroid Prime: Hunters on a display DS in Gamestop for the first time. When Target misprinted there sales paper, I picked up my electric blue Nintendo DS for only $100. The second system I bought on my own. And oh the joys I have had, and am still having, with it. In fact, the DS has probably been my favorite system I have ever owned. The collection of must-play games is staggering, as is the creative ways in which the hardware was utilized. Deciding what game typifies my "DS Experience" was very difficult. I have played such a wide range of awesome games on that system, and there is still more I haven't gotten around to yet. But, when it comes down to it, in my heart of hearts, I know the answer:

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor:

My favorite DS game of all time is also my overall favorite game of all time. I have never had any trouble praising this incredible game. It is the hardest game I have ever played, and yes, I have played Demon Souls. Its presentation, music, and art design are top notch. Most of all, it has the best story I have ever encountered outside of a book. But this game was influential beyond its own greatness. At a time when I was getting bored of gaming as a whole, Devil Survivor reminded me why RPGs (particularly SRPGs) are so amazing, and drew me back into the fold while instantly making me an Atlus faithful. Show this game to anyone who says video games are mindless entertainment. I read Tolstoy to relax, and play Devil Survivor for a mental exercise.


Notice any patterns with my previous systems? Yep, all Nintendo. So when the "Revolution" was announced, I was on-board day one. Motion gaming sounded sick, and Twilight Princess looked sicker. Alas, I think we all know how this story ends. Now, don't get me wrong, I had some good times with the Wii. Okami, Rune Factory: Frontier, and Brawl all got extensive play time, and I am about to pre-order Skyward Sword [Note: I wrote this a while ago, and now have and love Skyward Sword]. But the strangled trickle of Wii games and non-existent third-party support drove me mad. It's amusing that my most memorable experience on the Wii was with a feature the Wii is least know for:

Call of Duty: World at War:

Specifically, the online of COD: WaW. Not only was this my first modern shooter, but it was my first real experience playing competitive online. And I ate it up. It was a new experience every time. The people you played with, unlike bots, adapted to your strategies and predicted your movements. Incredible map design and impeccable gun balancing kept me glued to the screen for over 250 hours of play time. By the time I was done, I was a proper terror with a Kill/Death Ratio of 2.83. Yah, I'm braggin', U mad bro? Since I am no good at any other COD game on any other platform, I allow myself to brag about that much. Even though I burned myself out on World at War and no longer enjoy the Call of Duty franchise, it was a great ride.


Only 599 U.S. dollars! I laughed as much as anybody else, but I wasn't laughing when I was looking at all the Triple-A titles Sony was accruing. My coming on to the PS3 was slow. Two years ago, I decided my Wii wasn't going to cut it anymore (refer to my rant here on Gamespot called, "A Letter to Nintendo" to get the gist of how I was feeling) and so started looking at 360s. All my friends had 360s, and I had spent plenty of time making jokes about attacking Sony's weak spot for massive damage, so a PS3 wasn't really in consideration. But then the slim came out. $300. I did a little research, and found that the PS3 exclusive line-up was markedly more impressive than the 360s, and—gasp—they didn't break. I was a confused little boy. The object of my scorn was now a more compelling option than the 360. After—I kid you not—three months of research and debate, I finally went for the PS3, picking it up on black Friday. Of course I love the system, faults and all, and especially loved playing:

Demon's Souls:

I only just beat Demon' Souls a couple months ago. 96 hours and 8 minutes to complete. You might have heard that this is a hard game. It is. But every time you get throttled, you can't help but think, "I got this next time! I know what I did wrong now!" Pick yourself up, dust off, and try to beat Flamelurker for the eighth time. The feeling when he finally falls is like none other. A dark and somber atmosphere, fantastic art design, totally unique online play, and interesting back-story for those willing to dig make this a game that will not soon be forgotten. Certainly not by me, or by the hundreds of thousands of Dark Souls players.


Amusingly, I nearly forgot about the PSP entirely. But that is not to say I haven't enjoyed the system. After hearing Persona 3 talked up for so long, and being enthralled by everything Atlus, I decided to take the plunge and purchase the system that, just like the PS3, I had spent so much time mocking. And indeed, with something like 15 games on my DS, there is no doubt which system I have enjoyed more. But, if it weren't for the PSP, I would have never discovered one of my favorite game series:

Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness:

What to say what to say. Disgaea is a crazy deep, totally off the wall, 100% Japanese SRPG. Everything about this game oozes Japanese charm. The hilarious and unpredictable story, supported by universally lovable characters (Etna

Leave of Absence

Well, if you haven't noticed, I haven't been active here in months. Its been a combination of things; more than anything though it is just this funky mood I can't seem to shake. Alot of the stuff I used to enjoy (Cars, RC cars, writing and so forth) just doesn't appeal to me at the moment. As far as writing, it scares the crap out of me; if I want me furutre career to involve writing, I can't let it be ruined by some stupid mood. But that seems to be what is happening. I had a 102% in my honors english class...but the last paper I wrote I got a 51% on. Its like there is a cloud over my mind when I write (thats some funky mojo, huh? lol).

Anyways, I guess I decided to make this official. I am taking a leave of absence that could easily last all summer or longer. I dunno at this point. I may hop on every once in a while when I get the urge, but you won't see any new blogs or me posting around in forums too often. (Which is too bad, since I just joined and was really enjoying Hanzoadam 's games, anime, and manga union, which is really cool and has a great group of guys. Check it out if you are even remotely interested in anime).

Also, sorry about not keeping up with all you guys blogs recently. I really love reading them, hope to get back into then as soon as possible.

So, before I bid you adeiu, I will give you a couple updates about me:

I was going to write a blog a couple months back about whether or not I should get a PSP, but then I decided I would. Then I was gonna write a blog about whether or not I should get the Go or 3000, but I never got around to that either. So now my birthday has come and gone (oh yah, I am 17 now!), and I am the proud new owner of a PSP 3000. I already got a 16GB memory card a put tons of anime on it (actually, only Durarara, K-on!, and Death-Note at this point). I also bought Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness and Pre-ordered Persona 3 Portable (I get a little baseball cap for pre-ordering....woohoo, lol).

So far I really like Disgaea, the battle system is very unique, and the games humor is fantastic. I think I am going to enjoy this game alot.

On my DS, I got Infinite Space. I had heard good and bad about it, but it sounded fun, so I picked it up. Its hard to say what I think of this game at the moment...it is certainly fun building up a ship and flying around space, but the battle system feels almost...gimicky. I dunno, I am glad I bought it, but I will get back to you on how well I end up liking it.

Also, one thing that I still enjoy just as much (yah, even video games aren't as fun anymore) is reading, and boy have I been reading. IN the past two weeks I read 6 books, lol. I read the two Mass Effect books by Drew Karpyshyn, and they were fantastic (the first being much better). Karpyshyn also wrote three Star Wars books, which I plan to pick up as soon as possible. Speaking of Star Wars books, I read three of those as well. Allegiance and Survivor's Quest by Timothy Zahn were the usual Zahn masterpieces: fantastic books that you can't put down. Allegiance was 350 some-odd pages and I read it in two days. I literally couldn't stop reading. I am in the middle of reading another star wars book at the moment (the title escapes me, and I don't feel like getting up to see what it is, lol). After that, I may read Shogun. Its pretty darn long, but it is supposed to be really good. Books I have in mind to read sometime soon are: Watership down, Catch-22, and the 501st. If I read all those, well, then I will have to go to borders and see what else they have, lol.

Anyways, I love you guys and I hope to see you all again soon.

VXLbeast signing out.

Anyone wanna play Lost Planet 2?

So, anyone wanna play Lost Planet 2?

No no, I don't have a pirated, early release ROM for sale. :P

But I have been playing the Multiplaer Co-Op demo for Lost Planet 2, and it is quite fun, IMO. The demo lets you play through two short levels and a boss fight with 3 other people. Its quite fun, and you can invite any of your friends from your friends list to play. I don't have any multiplayer games, so I haven't gotten to play much (if anything) with you guys. So, if anyone wants to play some LP2, go ahead and leave me a comment, download the demo, and lets do it! :) Oh, and I don't have a mic yet. : /

Shin Megami Tensei Movie?!?

So, just minding my own business, reading articles on GameSpot when all of the sudden MY MIND IS FREAKIN' BLOWN!!!

Well, at least, I am very excited. Turns out this director, Len Wiseman, was directing a Gears of War movie. That movie has had the plot significantly scaled back and the budget slashed. On top of that, Len Wiseman is probably leaving the project as well. So, whats Ole' Lenny gonna do in his spare time? Turns out he is now working on a post-apocalyptic movie called "Nocturne".

Ring any bells?


Yah, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne for the PS2. And it just so happens to be post-apocalyptic.

So, a guy making a video game movie moves to another project with the same name and setting as another video game? The chances are looking pretty good if you aks me.

Its funny, cause I was just thinking about how epic a SMT movie could be if it was done right. I was thinking more along the lines of Devil Survivor, but I will take what I can get. Well, anyways, fingers crossed and hope for the best.

Oh, and here is the article:


Now: Playing, Reading, Watching, Doing, Listneing to...(No, I am not dead!)

Well, some of you may have noticed I haven't been on in, oh, what, somehwere around forever? Yah, its been a while. So, why the hiatus? Well, mostly computer trouble. The power cord for our computer went out...yes, again. This time the aftermarket one we bought conked out. Getting a replacement from the supplier took forever (like two weeks). The day our replacement arrived, my family went to Chicago for a mini-vacation. So yah, that encompasseswhy I was away form Gamespot for so long. Well, I am back, but you might not have me back for long. You see, I very much enjoyed my time away from the computer. Honestly. No checking facebook, youtube, or gamespot messages and no time caught up stairing at a screen. Its was relaxing; a destressor. It also allowed me to rediscover exactly how much I adore reading.

I was unable to use the computer all easter break, so I turned to reading. A new Halo book had just come out: Halo Evolutions, so I started reading that. It was a collection of short stories, and it was absolutely fantastic. That book then led to Animal Farm, which I also read through quite quickly, and was also quite good (of course, I liked Orwell's 1984 as well). So, without further ado, my now reading section:

~Now Reading:

Maybe Star Wars is old and tired, but it matters not to Timothy Zahn: he breathes new life into the series. Zahn is a fantastic writer, and his "Thrawn" series are some of the most funI have had with science fiction, and are most certainly the best the Star Wars series of books have to offer. His book, Outbound Flight, is a prequel to the Thrawn series. Reading it literally gave me goos bumps as it expertly drew in the loose ends of the series. Epic.

Another Zahn work, and his only Star Wars book that is not part of the Thrawn series. I haven't gotten far enough to say what I think of it, but I am sure it will be good. This is last of Zahn's Star Wars books, so after this I will have to read some of his other, non-Star Wars works.

Wowzers, this one was a suprise. My dad noticed how quickly I was eating my other books, so he picked this one up at Borders for me. I really wasn't expecting much, but I started it on the way down to Chicago, and it is amazing. It takes a different approach to human/alien relations story, and comesout a diffinent winner. I love this book, and I am only 1/4 of the way through. Can't wait to read the next two. Oh, and they guy who wrote this book, Drew Karpyshyn, also wrote three Stars Books; looks like I will have to check those out as well.

Those are my books in progress, here are the two I just recently finished:

A collection of short stories (60-120 pages each, usually), this book is awesome. I wasn't expecting much, but they brought in some real talent for this one. Two stories that were especially excellent were: The Gravemind and The IMpossible Life and Possible Death of Preston J. Cole. The later was written by Eric Nylund (creator of the halo story), so it is no suprise it was good. The Gravemind was written by an author who name escapes me, but it was good enough that I looked here up to see what else she wrote. Guess what? She wrote a Star Wars book, lol. Looks like I will have to check that out as well.

This was pretty cool. A simple allegory, but a really interesting concept. Worth reading if you are a fan of distopias like me. Not much else to sya about it though.

So, some of you are reading this thinking, "Why so many books at once?" The simple answer is: I am weird like that. But, in all seriousness, I hate finishing a book. I like reading them so much that I don't wantit to end. So, I read multiple books at once, dragging out how long each individual book lasts. Seriously. Yah, I know, its crazy, but thats just how I do it. Works well enough for me.

Now, I didn't read the whole time, I spent a little of my spring break playing games as well. Here is my..

~Now Playing:

Okay, so I didn't buy it, not yet, that is. I rented Final Fantasy XIII (13) because I had heard sopme negative things about the game, and I wanted to try it out before I bought it (that, and I didn't have enough to buy it, lol). At first-like most-I was really thrown off. This is alot different than most final fantasy games (escpecially for people who haven't played 9-12, i.e., me). Like most everyone said, it is extrmeley linear. Dungeons point you in the direction they want you to go, you walk in a straight line and fight enemies, and eventually you encounter a boss. Basically, thats all there is too it. No side-quests (this early on), no branching paths, no hidden treasure to find, and most painfully, no towns to explore. All your shopping is done through menus. Thats right, no overworld either. It hurts, as the game losses that sense of vastness that the others always had.

The combat was quite a departure as well. At first, I was not at all a fan of it. Instead of a having a team of people to control, you can only directly control one person in your party, the rest being assigned behaviours or "roles" to fullfil. At first, this seems very limited. Furthermore, you don't really take turns anymore. Instead, everyone has an ATB Guage: a guage that slowly fills up to allow you to perform certain actions. Doing any action (casting a spell, or using any kind of physical attack) expends a portion of your ATB bar. Once empty, you must weight for it recharge before you can perform an action again. Its not to vastly different, but it still bothered me.

But, after logging nearly 25 hours on the game before having to return it, the unique battle system really grew on me. Having assigned roles in decks (or "paradigms) meant a good deal of thought before and in battle. What seemed limiting (being able to control only one character at once) at first was a blessing later on, as difficult battles become frantic races to deal damage while keeping your party alive. Furthermore, the "stagger" system (fill up a guage under an enemies health to lower its defenses) is a really interesting concept that makes combat faster-paced, challenging, and continually interesting. Obviously I am only twenty-five hours in, so I can't make any final decisions, but I can says this: The issue of linearity becomes a mute point when you get the hang of the awesome battle system and become entangled in the web of wonderful narrative. so, will I be buying FFXIII? You bet.

I can't say much, as I haven't put much time into MGS at all. From what little I have played, I haven't really liked it much. Too much time hiding, not enough time shooting. Not saying its not good, its just might not be my kind of game. I will give it a little longer though. I did download Metal Gear Online (which took all night to download! Not to mention those stupid Konami ID things...), which was fun for a while. Even still, it got old fast, and I would rather play COD: WAW for my Wii (which I did play for the first time in a while recently. Love that game).

I Finally got farther in Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor over spring break. OMG, this is the hardest game I have ever played. No joke. In fact, the boss I was stuck on (Belial) took me over two months to beat. Once again, no joke. He was the hardest boss of any video game I have ever played, and only after weeks of strategy crafting, trial and error, and strategy re-crafting, did he finally fall. The accomplishment I felt when he fell was like non other. When he died, I closed my DS and stared at it for a minute or two, revelling in what I had done, lol. Anyways, with Belial out of the way, I was able to move on. I am approaching the end of the game, and it just gets better and better. I can't wait to review this one.

So, after that long winded section, I think it is about time to wind this down. Here are my last two update sections:

~Now Watching:

ToraDora: Thanks to Hanzoadam for suggesting this one, it rox. ToraDora is kind of confusing when you write the plot out onpaper. It is about a guy and a girl whotry to help each other get these other people they know to fall in love with them, but end up falling in love with each other. I have only seen 7 episodes so far, but it is really great up to this point. Love it. It also ties in with my next section.

~Now ListeningTo:

*Motteke! Sailor Fuku Remix [Choushi Koite Gyokusai Mix]:


For whatever reason, I haveve been really into Japanese music lately (even though I hated it up until this point.) This song is super crazy, but lots of fun. It is a remix of the theme song from Lucky Star.



The opening to ToraDora, I really like it.

*Ain't No Rest for the Wicked (Cage the Elephant)


Okay, enough of that anime music, here is a neat song some fo you boderlands players might remember.

~Now Doing:

Well, I n=have to finish up, so I can't really say all I want to in this section. Basically though, I may be purchasing a PSP. *Gasp* I know, it sounds crazy, since I always blast the littles things. But, you will see my logic in my next blog.

Oh, and Chicago was pretty cool. My feet hurt from walking around all day, four days in a row though. Anyways, good to be back and Gamespot! Thanks for reading!

Top FIve Biggest Push-Over Bosses

So, we have all walked up to the boss doors, expecting a big fight, palms sweaty, arranging your potions in preparation for the arduous marathon ahead. You walk through the doors, a cut-scene insues, and you are faced with the most butt kicking thing you have ever seen...then you trample all over it. What happened? You thought this was gonna be hard? Some bosses, no matter how cool, turn out to be softies. Here is my list of the top five biggest push-overs:


Fool's Idol (Demon's Souls)

Speaking of hard games, there's Demon's Souls. Hardest game I ever played? No, but its pretty darn close. This game will beat your butt, then hand it to you on a platter. Over and over again. So, this game's bosses should be pretty BA, right? For the most part, yes. That is, minus Fool's Idol. Fool's Idol has all the trappings of a hard boss gone wrong: cool looking, interesting gimmick, and overly complex attack patterns). It was certainly a cool idea. This boss is mostly defensive, placing green "hexes" on the floor that stun you when you step on them, leaving you open for fairly weak magic attacks from the boss. When you get close enough to land a hit, she splits up into three seperate Idols, each one throwing (albeit slowly) weak magic at you. The catch is, only hitting one of the three deals damage to the boss. So, you have to dodge from cover to cover, trying to find the one that can be hurt. After you finally findthe one and deal out a couple hits, they shift around and you have to play the game all over again. Sound hard? Although time consuming, its far from difficult.It wouldn't be too blarringly obvious of the rest of the game wasn't so punishingly difficult. But in the end, Fool's Idol turns out feeling like a "freebie" boss.


Zant (Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess)

I will admit, this one had me stumped at first...ok for quite a while. Zant confused me, I had no idea what to do, until my friend gave me the hint that he was "like the other bosses". That did the trick, and he turned out to be extremely easy. All Zant really did was emulate the actions and attack sequences of every boss you fought up until thatpoint (except in an even easier fashion).Having already defeated the previous bosses, anyone can easily predict what Zant will do and when he will do it. Its a walk in the park, and quite possibly the easiestLegendof Zelda boss I have fought since that weird crab thing in the volcano in Wind Waker.


The Final Boss in Kingdom Hearts (Kingdom Hearts 1)

Well, this one is a thorny one. The final boss in Kingdom hearts is Ansem, but I didn't label this heading "Ansem" because, well, Ansem is extremely hard. That is, his first form is. In his first form, there is a terribly annoying shadow that hangs behind him and constantly blocks your attacks. That part is no joke. The joke is what comes next, when Ansem morphs into some type of odd, giant flying ship. This part is painfully easy, especially considering some of Kingdom Heart's challenging boss fights (Ursula and Riku/Ansem were particularly difficult, and the Trick Master was just plain evil). The patterns are simple to figure out, and your targets aren't exactly moving...at all. For the climax to such an epic game, this boss really let me down. Oh well, Ursula more than made up for it...*cringe*


Blight (Okami)

This guy gets in here mostly for the fact that he looks totally awesome and extremely hardcore, but is actually quite easy and highly predictable. I know this picture doesn't do him justice, so I will set it up for you: You (the wolf) are shrunk down to go inside the emperor's body to figure what kind of sickness is afflicting him. Upon reaching his stomach, you encounter a strange, floating samurai with a (gusetimate) fifty something swords rammed through his stomach and sticking out of his back. When he claims that his sword, Goldnail, screams for your blood, you pretty much know your in for a fight. But, while a visual feast, this fight is entirely too easy. It certainly looks intimidating, as the blight performs a slicing move so fast, you can;t even see him. Other times he pulls swords from his stomach and throws them in the air, where they circle around you before flying inward to stab you. As impressive as all this sounds, your new power recieved right before the fight (the ability to slow time) allows you to negate all his attacks, every time, almost without fail. A cool game, a cool fight, but this blight was big whimp in the end.


Atlas-Fontaine (Bioshock)

Those of you who know me, know that I do not own Bioshock. Nor have I played it much. But when I went to my friends house, one of my other friends wanted to try out Bioshock. So, he hopped on, loaded my friends saved file, and popped up right before the last boss fight. Mind you, he had never before played the game. Ever. He walked into the boss room, started the fight, and completely wiped the floor with this joker. It wasn;t even a challenge. A kid who had never played the game, had no idea what he was doing, beat the last boss in the game without any trouble on normal difficulty setting. Thats pathetic. Really pathetic. I asked my friend who owned the game if it was really that easy. He confirmed it. This boss is a wussy, a whimp, a push-over. And, I mean, come on, he doesn't even look cool. Lame.

Various Demo Impressions

So, I downloaded a butt-load of demos about a month back when I was bored. Decided, well, I don't have much else to do, so now you get to hear what I think of them. Here are my (brief) impressions of the various demos I downloaded.

Gran Turismo 5:

Despite what your eyes may be telling you, that is not a picture-thats GT5. I downloaded the demo not expecting much, since I absolutely abhore race simulations games. Well, gues what? Yah, I hated it. Can't stand it. At all. Not much to say here, looks pretty, not fun. Thats that,

Dirt 2:

After being dissapointed inthe Gran Turismo 5 demo, and still thirsty for some type of racing action, I decided to download the demo for Dirt 2 (supposedly the Brits got this one right. :P I jest) To my delight, it was not a simulator, and had the good ol' arcady feel to it. It wasn't easy by any stretch of the imagination, as I constantly spun out on the dusty dirt roads. In fact, of three races against computers on the easiest setting, I managed to place 8th each time....there are 8 cars in a race. Definitely a farcry from my Need For Speed days, but nontheless, I enjoyed it. I can't say the same for the trophy truck segment of the game, which just about put me to sleep. Either way, it was fun, beautiful, and had an amzing sense of speed. So, am I gonna buy it? No, probably not. I have too many games on my list right now, and this just didn't "awe" me enough to warrant a purchase. Fun demo though.

Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce:

That cover....my goodness....lets just say I wasn't expecting much when I saw that cover (and the opening of the demo). I wouldn't say I am a big dynasty warriors fan (as I don't like button smashers at all), but something about dynasty warriors back on the PS2 clicked with me, and beating up hordes of enemies with your friends was riotous fun. This, whatever this...abomination is, is NOT dynasty warriors. Dynasty Warriors was two armies clashing, you at the center, fighting enemy units with crazy (but within some semblance of reason) attacks. This Strikeforce thing is...oh god, its like the illegitimate child of power rangers dynasty warriors affair. You are now alone in battle, fighting entire armies by yourself, which is more annoying than it sounds. Your character can onlyu be described as "flowery", no matter who you choose (I played through as a couple different characters, even though it pained me to do so.) Every step you takes sends light everywhere, and every attack you lands emits some type of Care Bear aurora. Battles are-literaly-colorful, and don't feel right at all. Thought the original games controls were simple? Boy, are you in for s suprise. You have a total of two attacks in this game...yup, two. And each time you do an attack, your character makes the same exact grunting sound...again and again and again. Oh, so do your enemies. Well, it gets worse. This game has the sinlge worst loading screens ever. Instead of a huge battlefield filled with enemies, you fight in a tiny area with about 10 enemies, then move on past giant glowing blue walls to advance, which presents you with a load screen. This succesfully makes the battle (a term I use loosly here) less like a war, and more like secluded little fights. The quickness with which you dispatch enmies means that you will be seeing a loading screen at leats every minute, and sadly, thats not an exageration. And the attempt to add RPG elements through a "town" overworld just fails...terribly. Oh, almost forget the character design. Ever seen those play school nights? Or mega block knights? Yah, everyone looks like one of those, with cartoonish, disspraportionate bodies that look terrible graphics wise to boot. My advice? Avoid Care Bears: Strikeforce, er, Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce like the plague.

Katamari Damachi:

Following the trend of things I didn't like: Katamari Forever. I had been wanting to try this whimsical game ever since it came out on the PS2. When I saw there was a demo, I decided to give it a whirl. In thi sgame, you roll around a ball and stuff sticks to it. Unfortunately, it is about as cool as it sounds. I really thought it would be addictive to amass a huge collection of stuff by rolling a ball around a stage, but it is honest to goodness downright no fun. Simple as that. Oh well, now I know.

Soul Calibur IV:

I had high hopes for this one, as-besides Super Smash Bros.-Soul Calibur was and is my favorite fighting games (Although I loved Tekken for the PS1 and PS2). I have been playing it since the Dreamcast version, and spent quite a while on the Gamecube version (best version to date, IMO). Anyways, the demo doesn't offer you a whole lot of insight into the game, but from what I got to see, I wasn't impressed. I honestly can't put my finger on it, but somethin was just...wrong. I dunno, but this one isn't looking like a purchase for me. (Oh, and for the record, Knightmare owns face. Thanks.)


When I heard Platinum Games (formerly Clover Studios, the masters behind Okami and Veiwtiful Joe) I was totally psyched. I love these guys, they can't help but make good games, they rock so much. Well, Bayonetta is going back to there Devil May Cry roots, and I just can't get into button smashers, at all. I tried the demo, just to make sure, but yah, not for me. Too bad, it looks well designed.

Bad Company 2:

Yup, not much to say here either. Its definitely fun, and definitely tromps all over MW2, but its just not enough to make me buy it. The combat is well paced, the vehicles are awesome, and destructible environments mean strategies are ever changing. The guns are fun to wield, and the sound is especially superb (so cool when a bomb goes off near you and you can't hear squat for a little while). But, the whole time I am playing it, I just can't shake the feeling I have done all this before. Just not enough to make me buy it. Oh well.

Fat Princess:

This game is simple, riotous fun, but in the end falls victim to the same problem as Bad Company 2. Sure, 32 people in a match is fun. Sure, all the differentcharacter typesmeans there are alot of ways to play. Sure, the commentary isdownright hilarious ("Help, we're beingganked!" being my favorite :lol: ), but there just isn'tenough substance to warrant the$15 price tag. If I ever get the urge to play, I will just hop onto the demo,


Follow this link to see my MAG Beatimpressions:


Valkyria Chronicles:

I got mixed feelings here.I love SRPGs, and Fire Emblem games are some of my favorite games ever.Valkyria Chronicles is certainly fun, and now that it is only $20, I will probably get it. Either way,it just didn'tclick with me. (if you haven't noticed, I am pretty picky about my games) It was fun, sure, but combat just didn't seem right. Maybe I am too old school, and the lack of a grid bothered me? Maybe Idon't want my SRPGs to have guns and tanks? Maybe the ****s weren't diverse enough? I don't know,but this game just wasn't doing it for me. Either way, I have heard so many good things, I owe it to myselfto delvedeeper than the demo, so this game is on my list.


I was pretty excited for this game. I mean, combat with a huge focus on vehicular warfare? It sure sounded good to me. Its not the case. Everything feels wrong about this game. The controls are odd, the vehicles drive very strangely, you have a ridiculous amount of health (halo **** and I hate halo), and the animations are all off and unrealistic. If you like this game, great, I hope you enjoy it, I wish I could. That said, I can't, so its a pass.

Heavy Rain:

If ever there was a demo to write home about, this is certainly it. I have played through 4 times now, and it blows my mind each time. I will tell you what basically everyone else has already said:I was worried, context sensitive, timed button presses making up all the action? I was more than a but leary. And it was all for naught. The movements really do put you in the game, whether your pullingh your inhaler out of your pocket, shaking it up, and pressing the button, or smahing a bear bottle over some jerks head. Even mundane tasks are fun. And what about that fight scene people keep talking about? Its hard, and very awesome. Its not just button presses, but shaking the remote and moving the analog stick perfectly. I can't really describe how awesome it is in words, you just gotta try it. The icing on the cake? I played through the demo four times, and it was different everytime. Yu can change the whole course of the game by every decision, you make. Holding conversations is interesting, its wild how vastly you can change the situation with one word. Also, it has the best use of the rumble feature I have ever seen. Man, when the drug addicted FBI agent was having a withdrawal and his hands started shaking, your controler shook with it. That was the moment of culmunation, when I realized how epic this game is. Sadly, due to intense violence, heavy profanity, and sexual themes, I won't be adding this one to my collection. Oh well. : /

Dark Void:

This demo was the very definition of *mehed* to death. There was nothing particularly bad about it, but nothing particularly good either. The flying segment was pretty boring. Although it controlled well for just straight flying, actually engaging enemies in combat was awkward and uninteresting. Fighting on the ground faired a little better, but not much. Its pretty standard third person shooter from there. A simple cover system thats hardly ever used and some ffairly generic guns make up droll experience all around. B-O-R-I-N-G.

Red Facton: Guerilla:

Okay, I have said riotous fun alot, but this freakin defines the term, "riotous fun". I can tell this game doesn't have alot of substance to it. You know what? I don't care. When you starting blowing stuff up, it just doesn't matter anymore. The way buildings are setup, you can attack the support beams of a building and listen to it groan as it slowlysuccumbs to the inevitability of gravity. That, or you can drive a truck full of explosives into the side and blow the wholedang thingup. Anyway you wanna do it, you can. This game is very open, and I can't tell you how many times I blew up everything I could get my hands on. Will I buy it?No, probably not, but boy is it fun.

Lost Planet 2:

This isexactly opposite of Dark Void. Its a third person shooterthats absolutely doesn't suck.Graphicsaren't really important to me, but this game is beautiful, both in effects and in art desing. The demo take splace in a swatch of woods crawling with not so benevolent buggers. The wholeplace is saturated with a continous rainfall that collects on the screen; it looks so darn good, youcan practically feeling the oppresive condensation on you. Next, there is a ridiculous amount of motion blur in this game. Its over the top, but sure is pretty. When a giant insect (pictured above) swipes at you, his appendages blur wildly as the air wooshes around you. The light affects are fantastic too, with incendiary grenades being particularly gorgious, their heat distorting everything caught in their area of effect (which is massive). There is quite a bit of gun tracking (meaning the game aims for you alot), which I usually hate, but I don't really mind here. It fits in with the arcady nature quite well. So, I dunno, maybe I will buy this, maybe I won't. It certainly was fun to play.


Besides pretty much making me soil myself, I don't have much to say about this game. FPSRPGs aren' really my thing, so yet another real engine game just isn't for me.

Well, that about wraps it up. I am tired, and having trouble concentrating, so I guess I am heading off to bed.