epicsephiroth / Member

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epicsephiroth Blog

After another long drought.

Hey all,

Once again, I had become lost in some MMORPG and ceased communication with the other gaming worlds that I was so much attuned to and that includes lurking on Gamespot forums as well as checking out pages of some awesome gamers over here.

Well, the MMORPG is Vindictus, previously known as Mabinogi Heroes and I've been waiting for that title since 2008, 2009? It released late 2010 and to be honest, I played it earlier on but I stopped and kind of "meh'd" it. Why is that? Why did I expect this game to come out so I can play it, only to finally have it in my hands and then not play it? I have no idea... something must've pulled the off-switch. Either that or I was playing something else, maybe Pokemon Black or some PS3 title but I usually stick to MMORPGs hard. Anyway...

But yeah, I've been playing some Vindictus (NA) for a few months now, since March 2011 to be exact. Been in a pretty good guild since June 2011 and have experienced all end-game content. While the game is gorgeous and really does take a good PC to run it in those beautiful visual graphics, there is a severe, repetitive nature to the game and this is to be expected by the games published by Nexon. You know, the ever-popular MMO, Maplestory? Yeah, that Nexon. The game's real cool and I actually managed to get a 2nd character, the newest addition, Karok, to end-game level but have unfortunately reached a point where I have seen everything and still.. there are levels which I haven't reached -- and that is the higher skill level that a game like Vindictus really excels as well as rewards its players for. Got that dodge timing? How about the attack timing? Watch out, don't drink a pot while being so close to the boss's range of attacks! It's an amazing hack and slash game which is especially rare on the MMO scene though it has much strides to make or maybe the Hack and Slash MMORPG sub-genre does? We shall see...

I've been playing other games too, got back into Steam earlier on last year Fall and I'm usually on there everyday so if anything, throw me add on steam or let me know your Steam ID name and we can chat or by chance, even play a game (that we both happen to have, haha!). Alright, alright, that's all for now -- if I know myself any better by now, I won't guarantee updated posts but I will surely venture back in here, again.

Yamask? Kinda creepy..

Yamask: Each of them carries a mask that used to be its face when it was human. Sometimes they look at it and cry.

It's late, I've been playing Pokemon Black, just passed the 3rd gym, in the desert on Route 4 and I think I'm part sand now since I've been here for a while ... mainly around the Relic Ruins.

So, this freaky little Pokemon pop out and I decide to catch it, checked out the Pokedex entry and just nodded through. Stop. I went back, re-read it, then re-read it again.*big silence* Whoah, so let's see.. this Pokemon was a human once? It's carrying around the image of its face when it was human?! They look at it and cry..?

Are we still playing Pokemon here or have we stepped into the foggy streets of Silent Hill?

Speaking of Silent Hill, great video here:


With that said and done, time to hit the hay.

DS Lite, Pokemon Black, talking while battling, reminiscence.


Just yesterday night, I played some Pokemon Black. Pokemon Black, you ask?

Yeah, now hold on a sec. Everyone may have moved to big name games like Halo, Call of Duty, Battlefield, or maybe World of Warcraft. Wow, 3/4's of that list are FPS titles, go figure (I like 'em too.. just not the only game I play). Anywya, I mix it up a little, throw some Pokemon Black in there even though I've been largely turned off by the Pokemon franchise since .. Pokemon Red/Blue? Here's the reason why:

While you were younger, you had friends or enemies, .. rivals? who also played Pokemon and alongside your school, homework, all of that jazz, you played Pokemon with your friends. Battled them, probably played the card game, who knows? It was just fun because you knew you were not alone and it was something you can do with friends.

Now, you're older, there are responsibilites, you've matured not only as a person, as an individual, but as a gamer too. I think all of us have that same kid, who we grew up as, deep inside somewhere -- it's just that you've grown up. Well, I'm talking about that kid in me and that kid, still likes Pokemon in some form or the other.

I picked up some of the Pokemon versions along the way even though I lost track of some, didn't get a couple, well, regardless, decided to get Black and see what's new, can it captivate me like it did years ago as a kid?

Well, last night I had a real life friend battle with me over the Wi-fi communication for the DS. Let me tell you, there were a couple things I'm pretty impressed about:

You can trade, battle, spin trade (something involving unhatched eggs and a mini-game in which the eggs are randomized and distributed to your friends), talk in the microphone (wait, what? talk in the microphone??), and also.. to my surprise, talk to each other while in-battle.

Whoah, let's talk about the last part. Talking through the DS with your registered (through Pal Pad) friend is pretty cool as it utilizes the hardware that I thought was useless upto now. Next, talking with your friend (or anyone) while battling is an awesome feature, in fact, it borders on increased interactivity with your game. I trash-talked a little, knew my pokemon meta-game (not really) enough to take one out of his roster and lost. I had a blast.

I think the idea of playing Pokemon at my age doesn't matter but the technology and gaming has changed so much in so little time, that you have no choice but to go with the flow, move with your social group and the games they play -- much like how it was done when you were a kid; some people actually hold onto their personal taste? Radical? Nah.

I think I'll enjoy this one, Pokemon Black, and play it without expecting anything game-breaking or revolutionary. Maybe, I'll be surprised.

Great points made for Guild Wars 2, update from PAX East 2011 Guild Wars 2 panel


I just have to say, thank you for giving us this video interview! I'm really looking forward to Guild Wars 2 and I can only anticipate (at the edge of my seat) for what's to come even though I'd be happy with what's already available right now. Key points I've picked up from this interview:

1. Sidekick option for preventing high levels from ganking low-level kills (or players?)
a. Removes the need to create a new character, just to play with a friend who just started the game (awesome!)
2. Smart AI for event scaling experience - the system will keep track of how much damage each player deals and appropriate reward via the reward system.
3. Traits, weapon bonuses, more than two weapon sets, many utility and elite skills to create an endless combination of skills, you choose to have in your skill-set.
4. You can finish a dynamic event, decide to log out and after logging back in, you can teleport (for a fee) or run to the nearest rally point which serves as a safe zone. The rally point also serves as a portal in which you move from different parts of the map (in real-time).
5. In dungeons, after the story mode is finished, the repeatable quest will be tougher and change the dungeon's content as well as what you expect, so it's a different and new experience plus you will want to have an organized group at that point.

These are just one of the few details that have been fleshed out but I can see that Guild Wars 2 is making itself out to take big steps through the MMO genre and even bigger steps through the MMORPG genre. Awesome.

Guild Wars 2 is coming up pretty nice, latest GDC 2011 update.


Here, we have a Charr guardian mashing it up on some centaurs raiding the village (or the gate itself) and you're objective is to stop them. This is just one of the many dynamic events in the world of Tyria for the upcoming Guild Wars 2.

It's truly commendable how radically different Guild Wars 2 is from the first game, aesthetically, cosmetically, environmentally, just all of it. It's almost as if it's not Guild Wars at all but alas, it is, and that is what makes it even better. The great thing is that each race displays skills in different manners despite picking the same class and that gets a big "Thumbs Up" from me.

While the cutscenes are a little bland for expressions the voice acting is great, I can only assume they will tweak and create many more additions to the game in the coming months. I'll stay tuned and for anyone also anticipating this title, fan the flames.. cause an unholy war is about to be unleashed on the MMO and online gaming world.

A slow dry spell of gaming for me..

.. but you might as well call the gamer in me a caged animal. Yeah, I've been busy with other duties, like studying for an exam, starting my internship and well, believe it or not, sleeping. My brain can't handle doing too many things at once even though, I've picked up a couple things at least related to gaming recently, these are:

  • Recording gameplay of PS3, Wii games
  • Livestreaming games such as the one I'm playing currently: Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World (Wii)
  • Trying some video editing

Most people I know are still engrossed in MvC3, figures, it's a pretty sweet game with a pretty great roster too. Dead Space 2 released not too long ago, right? Seems like great games are just around the corner of each other. None of which I have indulged myself in yet, .. notice how I said yet!

March 2011 is a pretty crazy month for gaming and the gamer's wallet and for like-minded gamers. What's coming out this month?


Dragon Age II, Crysis II


Pokemon Black/White, Okamiden


Final Fantasy Dissidia Duodecim (actual title is Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy)

Unfortunately, I'm only getting one of those and that's the one in red.

I would've skipped any game purchasing for the month of March if it weren't for the list of games releasing. Why? well, I'm actually saving up for some hardware upgrades.. of which I can't specifically name at the time being but look forward to finishing in the upcoming months. The games I'm anticipating so far, still, are Diablo III and Guild Wars 2. Guild Wars 2 especially, fingers crossed for this year's open beta -- yeah, I'm a PC gamer at heart. Until then, plenty of games and things to do.. if I tame my gamer self!

P.S.: Oh yeah, since I am a PC gamer, I use Steam as well! Got a steam account? Let's chat sometime, if you got one too, just post your steam name in the reply and I'll add you.

Small update to previous post.

Oh yeah, one of the big reasons I got Demon's Souls this time around was because of the additional Arthbook and Soundtrack CD (full OST) that came with it. Here's an image:

Only if Gamespot would allow me to edit my own blog posts... argh.

Tekken 6's surprising story mode and a little demon in the soul.

So I beat Tekken 6, I know, fighting game, in the Scenario Campaign mode. I was honestly impressed that Tekken, a traditional fighting game had actually innovated the winner of the Iron Fist Tournament gets to control the powerful Mishima Zaibatsu. Of course, those who have been playing Tekken know this old plot for far too long. Now, the interesting thing is how -- Oh yeah, SPOILERS coming up, so stop reading if you want to save the surprises 'n' galore for yourself.

So over the course of the story mode, we witness Lars, a leader among men, of an elite squad of men under Jin's massive army. He gets amnesia from an incident and the story goes on through him trying to remember who he is and battling the baddies of the Mishima Zaibatsu to find some answers. Now, the android or robot, Alisa, is also looking for her identity or rather trying to form one.. as we see through the story -- think of her like a new computer, no history, just a blank slate waiting to be used. So, as we play the story mode, we essentially see Lars and Alisa go through a journey together and get hints of them forming a close bond. Alisa also starts to exhibit some behavior like a human through continued interaction with Lars and the people or Tekken Force fighters or.. madmen/women they meet. Well, to put it short, she eventually gets reprogrammed/restarted by a simple voice command from Jin Kazama, the protagonist, and seeks to destroy Lars.

Whoah, well, can't say that I wasn't shocked so it was a good plot twist. Fast forwarding, she gets beaten down by Lars and speaks her last words with compassion, wishing that her and Lars' journey hadn't ended so quickly and also that she regretted fighting Lars even if it was against her will (programmed to serve Jin Kazama). Lars didn't only lose Alisa but also Tougou, his right hand man. Just taking into accounts, the story level of Tekken 6 and comparing it with the previous Tekkens, ... well Tekken 6 wins by landslide and I welcome it.

Nice cutscenes, customizations for characters, buying stuff from a "store", online multiplayer, great combos and juggling too (who am I kidding? Tekken is the king of juggling) -- this is a good fighting game, if not the best I've seen for PS3 yet.

Also, Demon's Souls.

Yeah, I finally made my decision to open the case and pop it in the PS3. Although, I slightly regret getting it while being in the mode of playing Tekken 6 and another, Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage, ... eh.. well, I have no excuse. I hate to admit-- temptation. Let me say though, Demon's Souls, yikes, the world looks fantastic. Dark, medieval, you're all alone and there's things in the dark that would make you think twice of venturing in further or not. I love it.

It reminds me of Diablo II but mostly in the theme as opposed to the bulk of the game, which is NOT Diablo II. Mysterious, great evil has taken over the land and it is up to you, one brave sou, to venture into the unknown and face your worst fears, head on. Yeah, I should be a narrator, huh? Well, I played a little Demon's Souls and let me tell you, I kept dying in Boletaria, just the first zone.. what a bummer. Maybe, I wasn't concentrating or just preoccupied with my other games -- argh.

Anyway, Demon's Souls is a keeper even though I was trying to decide between Transformers: War for Cybertron and it. Hey, I'm an old Transformers cartoon fan and I mean the Generation 1 -- also loved Beast Wars. It took me a while and I'm still regretting somewhere that I should have gotten Transformers and trust me, I don't just blindly want a game, I research it, look at reviews, both official critics and players like you and I. All in all, I ended up wanting it more but instead, decided on Demon's Souls.

For now, I bid you adieu and leave you with a couple words from Deckard Cain of Diablo II:

"Stay awhile and listen..."

A dash of ATATATATA and one of the best, competitive fighting games to date.

Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage and Tekken 6, respectively.

I gotta say, just the first chapter alone for Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage (FotNS:KR) is pretty tough on Hard and ridiculously easy on .. well, easy. As a fan of the FoTNS anime (oh yeah.. classic animes and cartoons, gotta love 'em), I was a little surprised to hear crazy metal music going on in the background since I figure that's when the brute, insane goons are coming down with their motorcycles and assorted weaponry (yes, assorted.. as in clubs, mace, rocket launcher? etc). But no, there's crazy metal music going on all the time and I learned to deal with it because when it's off, you hear a very, very eerie background music that just reeks of a dead, desolate world. Hey, it's post-apocalyptic.

Anyhow.. the combos is prefect eye-candy, wow. Last but not least, the Meridian Chart, slightly RPG-ish element like the Sphere Grid in Final Fantasy X and implores you to upgrade your character via skill points. Sounds great cause I love RPGs and Beat 'em up games, most of them at least...

Also, it's been a long time coming and the tables turned around~. Wait, what? Er.. right, I'm talking about Tekken 6, of course. I should've got this game way back but have neglected it for so long even when the prices have dropped since then. I knew that you could customize your character's looks in some form, like a different costume but that was just the tip of the iceberg .. not only could you customize the costume but the hair, accessories and before you know it, your character is someone of YOUR choosing. Whoah! I didn't know you couuld add little things like boots or gloves or whatever to make your guy or gal look sweet on Tekken 6. I'm a noob, yeah.

Anyway, these are some great games and I have also re-decorated my brother and mine's game shelf which looks great.. since it's finally organized. These are some good games and I'm just timing my way into this double kick-ass entry.

Hope to add more. Be back again.

Aw man... finally.

Just beat Silent Hill: 0rigins for the PSP. Wow, I had bought this game when it first came out and just beat it today. It's funny I took so long, since I beat Silent Hill: Homecoming for the PS3 pretty quickly. I know the game psychologically affected me for sure (nice going, developers!) and that was one of my main reasons for avoiding the game. I mean, come on, it's pretty disgusting, depressing, and just plain dark. Glad to have beaten it and I feel the fog has cleared from around me ... or that one part of my mind, at least. Ironically, it's a cloudy and rainy day outside my window -- you know what happens at the end of most Silent Hill games and the movie, as well... hmmm..

Haha, anyway. I think I'll check out my Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete for the PS1 that just came in!.. well yesterday but I'm going to open it now cause I have a certain rule that I try my best to follow. Never start or open a brand new game if you're currently playing one game or is on the verge of beating that said game. Don't ask, it's just a habit.

Be back for another update.

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