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fantasyfacade Blog

An Update Of Sorts

So what have I been up to this week. Monday Got up - went to work - came home - played Mass Effect 2 for five hours - played with cat - went to bed Tuesday Got up (reluctantly) - went to work - had to help an indecisive customer who took an hour to buy one thing - finished work - went for dinner with the mother and younger sister - went to other younger sisters home for cake and tea party (it was yummy) - came home - went to bed. Wednesday Got up - went to work - slow day so talked to manager all day - came home - played with cat - played Mass Effect 3 demo for two hours - played with cat some more - got into fight with cat - lost the battle - cat who now reigns supreme in apartment demands lap for three hours - played Mass Effect 2 for three hours - went to bed. Thursday Woke up - day off so stayed in bed - watched anime - read manga - scrolled through many memes - finally got up - played with cat for an hour - first aid - played Mass Effect 2 until 3am - realised time went to bed Friday Got up (like a zombie) - went to work - day dreamed about Mass Effect 3 all day - found out best friend's girlfriend proposed to him and he said yes - came home - rented some movies - watched all movies - currently sitting in bed writing this blog. Yep my life is truly fulfilled.

I Am Such A Geek

You may have noticed but I haven't been here in a while. There is a very good reason for this. I just finished this... I am currently playing this... I just bought one of these... Which I intend to wear as I'm playing this... Also I have arranged my holidays from work so that it starts on the release day of ^^^, for me the 9th (damn Europe). And now I shall leave you with a picture of my cat.

Currently Playing #5 : Soul Cal... Hey Look Over There!

Soul Calibur V When you think of fighting games, usually Soul Calibur would fall somewhere within the top five. The memorable characters, the fast paced fighting, not to mention usually a unique game mode, character creation, as well as an all too traditional arcade mode. You would think with the enormous amounts of new characters added to the fifth installment and that after a seventeen year jump, the game would feel fresh as if you were picking up the series for the first time. Nope! Unfortunately Soul Calibur V just appears to be a copy of IV, which itself was a copy of III and its a bad copy at that. Things that you were expecting to be there seem to be missing, the new characters don't feel fresh but more of a cheaper slower copy of the originals. With the exception of Viola (whom is probably Amy) and Z.W.E.I, both of which are fun characters to play; one of which is very much broken. The lack of solo mode for each characters, explaining their reasons for fighting as has been done in every single game of the series has vanished. Due to this you are left feeling rather cheated by the arcade mode. Especially if you went all through the trouble of defeating Nightmare only to find a time screen instead. It also appears that the AI is cheating too. Normal mode is harder than ever and while many of us are up for a challenge this is just ridiculous. Its like the AI reads your moves and despite the fact that you got your hit in first for some reason your character it the one flying across the screen. It feels like a "hey look over there" moment in which your characters has hesitated for reasons unknown to the user. Despite all the negatives I have said, by all means V is not a bad game, its not a great game either. However is a solid good game. Character creation is still fun, and the mechanics for it have been improved, even if the items are rather familiar. Online is fun and the ability to actually watch the fight going on makes for some hilarious comments made by spectators. The response time is good, however you will want to avoid it if you have a red bar as your commands won't connect with your character for about half a second. As such either don't play online or update your broadband line. Now if you excuse me I have some awesome looking characters to make and some peoples *ahems* to kick.

Currently Playing Episode 4: Final Fantasy VII

For those of you have read my previous currently playing you probably know I have set myself a hard task, to complete about five Final Fantasy games in the space of two weeks. I have come to the conclusion that its not going to happen. Especially considering I'm 50 hours into Final Fantasy VII at this moment and have yet to see the second disc. It's a surprised to realise that the graphics in VII hold up pretty well in this current age of HD and 3D technology. The sprite images on the world map and within towns are still very clear, even on a 42" HDTV despite the graphics being prerendered. Yet after about 50 hours of play you start to forget that it isn't in HD, doesn't have any fancy flying acrobatic battles, or voice acting for that mater and do you know what... it doesn't matter. The script is so well written and translated, that you still find yourself immersed in the characters and story, even those small gestures of blocky hands still get across a face palm moment. The relationship between the characters is one thing that stands out very well within VII, particularly between Cloud, Tifa and Aerith. The interaction between these characters, especially between Cloud and Tifa, is one of the highlights of the game... at least for myself that is. While many think of her as only eye-candy and a filler character, she is actually very important to the development of Cloud. As a childhood friend she can say things to him other characters can't, and her role becomes even more important in the second part of the game, which sees her become the emotional anchor for Cloud. The games story has a very good build up, it starts off on a rather grand scale only for it to be slapped back down into an *ahem* hit the fan sort of moment that leaves you a bit shaken, only as it starts to build up you start to realise that it is going to be bigger then any of the characters could imagine. The entire story is wrapped up in a web of lies and cover-ups and with each of these uncovered not only do you build a relationship with the characters but also with the main antagonist Sephiroth, to a point where you actually start to feel sorry for him. Despite this there are some plot holes left in the story, though Square Enix decided to fill them up over a decade later they only made more with spin-offs and movies. Fortunately the only tedious annoyance of the game I complain about today is those boring battles that occur when you have to back track over areas you have been before. Especially the ones you encounter when you have to return to the gold saucer as part of the main plot. You know the type of battle, the ones where you simple hold down the action button on attack and then yawn your way to the fanfare. Using materia would just be a waste of MP. Yet even now boss battles have you on the tips of your toes and they always put your reactions to the test. Good memories though. In the hope of not sounding too old fashioned, they really don't make games the way they used to anymore. These days it seems to be all about the glitz and sparkles, which make it look great, but underneath there is rarely any substance. It's like someone forgot to put baking powder into the mixture, so in the end all you get is some flat cupcakes with loads of icing on top to compensate. Where as we all know the important thing is the cupcake itself, too much icing can spoil the cake, as over sweetly things can make you sick. In fact sometimes you don't even need icing. Sorry for the baking reference, I've been making them all day.

Currently Playing Episode 3: Final Fantasy Marathon

Breaking out the ye-ol Playstation, sitting down with wire wounding around the coffee table, a bag of sweets perched beside me, a 2 litter bottle of coke by my feet and my laptop sitting in front of me with GameFAQs open. I know I am going to not be moving for a while as the PS starts up to a sound that brings back very nostalgic memories of my childhood. Yet the game I am playing is one I wasn't introduced to until seven years after its initial release when the PS2 rained supreme over all consoles. This game is Final Fantasy VII. You may be surprised to know I have never actually completed this game, but now I am determined. Determined to do what I failed to do nearly eight years ago, final finish it from beginning to end, so that I will be able to tick it off my "Not Completed" list, which is never ending. This is the one that made the series mainstream outside of Japan and here I am trying to kick myself into completing it. But its not stopping there. After this with all the intentions in the world I intend to play all those Final Fantasy games I have not completed. These are XII, VIII, IX, VI for the PS, IV for the DS and V for the GBA. My only fear is that IX will not work, as when I got it just over a year ago I played it with with the PS3 and disc 2 would not go past the first scene. I was fuming and worried it was the game, but I have heard its compatibility with the PS3 is questionable. Hopefully, as I will be playing them on the PS this will not occur... hopefully. The one thing you can always be sure that will be in a Final Fantasy game is its battle system. Though it will be different from one to the next they all essentially use a battle system that is completely separate from its field, with the exception of XII, which intergrated the typical Final Fantasy system in with its field exploration, probably the best one they came up with. Despite their differences a transition can be clearly seem from one to the other, with XII having the biggest leap from X (XI not included due to it being online). Yet story is normally the main focus of the series, one of rather epic proportions, where good and evil struggle to be the one on top. Of all of the storylines X stands out the most for myself, the world has already been destroyed by evil and what remains is hope, hope to stop the constant cycle of death and destruction. Instead of your typical good versus evil you have three sides, destruction, order and hope. I plan to play as much of the series as possible up until Final Fantasy XIII-2 is released on the February 4th, which is only 2 weeks off. For now I shall leave you in order to try accomplice this task I have set myself. Wish me luck!

Boycott E3 In Favor Of The Internet

Did you know that the ESA, you know the biggest name behind the biggest gaming event of the year... none other than E3, is in support of SOPA. You know that horrible bill they are trying to pass in the US Congress along with the other bit of nasty work PIPA that would change not only the Internet for those of you in the United States, but also for the rest of us internet folk around the world. Sites like Gamespot here will be held responsible if a user uploads copyrighted material if this bill is passed, or even if we post a link to a site which is know for "piracy"... and by that I mean sites they deem to be pirate sites. Imagine if you came here to suddenly find a notice saying it has been blocked due to copyright infringement. Well then you wouldn't be able to watch E3 anyway. Today Wikipedia has gone dark in order to oppose both these bills that could potentially bring down their site too. The harsh wording of these bills will pretty much mean the end of the free internet as we know it, whether you live in the States or not. In general, as long as the site operates within the States the government will have the jurisdiction to affect what happens within that site, be the user living in the States or not. This could be anything from removing your content to denying access to the site. As such please boycott E3 this year and sign the petition to let ESA know how outraged we gamers are at their supporting of SOPA.

Supposedly I'm A Hipster

One of my friends last night told me that I was a hipster since I have choppy hair and wear thick rimmed glasses (I wear many different styles of glasses except rimless). He also went on to explain that I was one because I was thin and had a different style from everyone else and also because I was intelligent and didn't follow social norms. So beneath is supposedly your typical hipster. I can get where he's coming from, I do dress similar to this. Yet according to urban dictionary "Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often be seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses." This contradicts me completely... I buy all my clothes from the high street. Actually I work in woman's high street fashion and everyone and I mean every woman here wears tight fitting jeans. It is not exclusive to hipsters therefore should not be included in this description in my opinion. But here's the thing, being a hipster is not just about style its about what they believe and what they like, usually they are into recreational drugs, drinking, foreign/underground films/music, think everything popular is uncool, in general don't follow mainstream stuff. Usually they are up their own *ahem" about what they don't like and are blind to other peoples opinions outside of their social group. This on the other hand is me... If I like a song I won't rag on it because its by such and such an artist, I enjoy modern music, old music, classical music, soundtracks, from all different genres, rock, pop, techno, k-pop etc. I love movies from Hollywood, especially action movies and like any person love animation. I watch endless amounts of anime and read far too much manga, as well I watch too many cartoons and read too many comics. I play a lot of video games and love both the old and the new ones and admit that I play the new ones more than the old ones. I will spend ages on the internet looking at funny videos and memebase. Drugs are evil and I'll never put them into my body, I value it too much. I don't drink as it has nearly destroyed my family on more than one occasion... therefore it is evil. If someone doesn't like what I like I tell them to each their own. My friends come from various backgrounds, working class and middle mainly but with one or two from upper. I like what I think is good, I don't care where it came from or if it is well known about. I try to learn as much as I can about things and love technology and how it works. I've always been and always will be a geek. Who do you think made thick framed glasses cool in the first place. Also if I was a hipster I wouldn't get annoyed when someone called me one, because I think of them as a group of people who hang about complaining about their life. There are better things to worry about.

Back To Gaming Basics

As a video gamer, it is so easy to get completely immersed in one game that you don't realise what time it is, sometimes even not knowing what day it is. Especially when you play past midnight, which for most gamers is a norm. Yet the past couple of months I have found myself tediously board of video games... actually to be more specific, current generation video games. No longer can I go a day without hearing something about Skyrim, be it talk about the game itself, or the getting old fast 'arrow to the knee' meme. I was... fed up. Fed up with video games that is. At first I thought it was myself, maybe I was growing out of video games, I didn't find myself enjoying them very much and on a couple of occasions went days or a week without touching a console. Until the other day that is. As a surprise my boyfriend of five years decided he was going to do something nice for me. That was to fish out my old consoles from storage and hook them up to the TV. More specifically hook up my old PlayStation to the TV as it was because of this console that I started considering myself a gamer. Nothing says memories like holding a wired controller and actually getting off you *ahem* to turn the console on. I haven't turned it off since. Ok I did go to bed, but this morning I was up playing it from breakfast... except I did get stuck at one point and waited for my boyfriend to finish work to help me out... it truly has been a while... So where was I... yeah... so I've been playing Final Fantasy VII all day, during which I realised something. It's not me its the bloody video games. The thing that has been missing all along from video games these days is the charm. (With the exception of my game of the year, see previous blog for reason). Video games just don't have that spark any more. They all seems to be clones of each other in one form or another, it a case of been there done that, there doesn't seem to be anything innovative these days and I miss it. I'm not saying it didn't happen in the previous generations, just that is happened less. Remember the initial pull that draws you in and keeps you playing, the anticipation of the next level or next mission, the gripping storyline and the frustration experienced at dying. None of this go back to the last checkpoint, I mean then 'you forgot to save your game and lost two hours of game play'. You don't know frustration at a video game until this happens, but its a frustration that I look back at fondly. These days people complain at the lack of checkpoints in games and then go on about how they aren't what they used to be. Yeah video games aren't what they used to be... they have 'evolved' and now some video games are used as marketing tools by other companies. Everything seems to revolve around online capability... games that never needed it and don't need it somehow manage to get it in there. What happened to gathering your friends around one TV, and even some games are excluding split screen. So for the next couple of weeks I plan to play a lot of my old games on my Playstation, N64, PS2 and Gamecube, generally all my favourite series, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, Spyro, Resident Evil, Legend of Zelda and a couple of my favourite games. All in the hopes of rekindling my love for video games in general and hopefully then I won't look at current generation games with such contempt.

My Game Of The Year 2011

After much thought and deliberation I managed to pick just a hand full of games I consider some of the best games to come out this year. Having looked at them in every way, graphics, characters, story etc etc etc, in the end I came to what was actually a very easy choice. In a surprising revelation that even I thought would never happen, yet has. Now, I hope you agree with me that these are some of the best games this year.

SHORTLIST

- Uncharted 3
- Dead Space 2
- Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
- Portal 2
- Batman Arkam City

And My Game of The Year Is...

[spoiler]

Xenoblade Chronicals

Score 9.5/10

As the game that took most of my life, soul and sleep this year, I really can't praise it highly enough. After years of waiting for a JRPG that would remind of what once was, this lovely game was dropped on my doorstep after thousands of people took to forums all across Europe in demand of it localisation. Sure enough we weren't disappointed either. Xenoblade has done something other JRPGs of this generation have not, stuck to what a JRPG should be. It hasn't tried to take a page out of western RPGs, it hasn't tried to add anything that was simple unnecessary and you get the feeling playing it that the developers knew what they wanted when designing it. Not to mentions that its fun to play, that you wanted to explore every possible area, has hours of gameplay, has likable characters and then finally they pulled everything together with an epic story of good versus evil, while not once losing its charm. At the same time it. Xenoblades is a very beautiful game to look at and to play, that you really didn't care that it isn't in HD. As, yes this is a game for the Wii.

Yes I am too shocked, a console I barely like has managed to produce my favourite game of 2011. Hopefully this game will reach American shores soon.

[/spoiler]

Happy Holidays Everyone

This is the time of year when all walks of life can come together, where excuses can be made and gotten away with, where family can get together and people can have a good time without feeling the consequences.

It doesn't matter who you are, where you're from, what you do or which religion you are. Sure I'm agnostic and I celebrate Christmas because its the time of year where all my family literally come together and of course don't forget the presents.

See you all after the new years and enjoy yourselves no matter what you do.