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ovapr00f1 Blog

Where's Proof Been?

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Wow, what a busy last few months! This is obviously my first post in a while, and I'm glad to be making it!!! I've definitely missed posting on the boards and discussing all the latest games and gossip.

In any case, where have I been? Well, beween working 2 jobs, finishing my university degree, and getting married, it's really been a full life!!! So full in fact, that I've barely had time for much gaming (although I did manage to finish Enchant Arm, Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne, and to get through most of Gears of War).

I've definitely got to make up for my lack of gaming in the next couple of months (and beef up my gamerscore of course lol!). I was thinking of giving the following games a try: PSU (360), FFXII (PS2), Rogue Galaxy (PS2), and Lost Planet (360). Anybody else got any suggestions? If so, let me know!

Rabid fanboy rant...Sony made me do it!!!

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Unfortunately, work is kind of slow and boring right now, and this just made my day, so I really hope it will make yours too by putting a smile on your faces...

For all those who want a good laugh, check out the following rant (which was initially broadcast on the Gamespot's the Hotspot podcast for July 5th) made by a self-proclaimed Sony fanboy gone mad: http://angrysonyfanboy.ytmnd.com/. The best part is the conclusion lol (especially where he proclaims Gamespot is his only friends!)... :lol:

Poor guy, I honestly feel his pain, although I can't say it has made me scream quite this way...!

Sony's Krazy Quotes (tm)

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Honestly, like most non-fanboys/girls on the net these days, I'm a little tired of the somewhat excessive Sony bashing which is occurring on most forums round the web recently. One has to give credit where credit is due: Sony, with their Playstation brand and popularization of the disc-based format we use for games today, has played a very significant role in the popularization of videogames as a form of mainstream entertainment and in the expansion of the industry as a whole.

That being said, it has really dumbfounded me to hear some of the recent statements made by their executives re: their upcoming PS3 console. Is it cockiness? True belief in a so-called unbelievably superior product? Wishful thinking? A little of all three??? Truly, who knows...

Without further delay, a selection of Sony's Krazy Quotes (tm):

1. Ken Kutaragi: PS3 is "too cheap" - the initial post-E3 quote that pissed people off...I mean were not all millionaires with $600 in pocket change, right? RIGHT?

2. "Krazy" Ken: PS3 is NOT a game console, "It is clearly a computer" - No Ken, PS3 is NOT a computer - until I am proven otherwise, it is a glorified Blu-Ray player with game functionality (here's truly hoping that I am proven wrong!!!)

3. Jack Tretton: In response to not not having GTA IV as an exclusive, "No, I don't think it hurts us. No, I really don't." - I don't know, but I think it must have really hurt just saying that!!! After all, it is commonly known that GTA exclusivity helped PS2 move huge amounts of units in North America this generation. In any case, if it doesn't hurt Sony, it certainly doesn't help either!

4. Howard Stringer: Xbox 360 is a "transitional product" - Howard, with all due respect, I think you missed the boat on this one...althougth PS3s graphics may certainly end up as superior in the long run, there is no doubt that as of this moment, the initial batch of PS3 games ain't lookin so good (MGS4 excepted)! Furthermore, Xbox Live has developed into the premier online gaming service, there are some great looking Xbox 360 games on the way, and sales remain very strong (except, of course, in Japan). Can't really say I see anything "transitional" about the Xbox 360 at this point!

5. Mr. Stringer, again: "The price of the PS3 is high, but you're paying for potential." - OK, this is just past ridiculous!!! No one wants to pay for "potential" Sony, they want proof of purchase IMMEDIATELY, especially after spending $600 freakin dollars on their console of choice!!!!!! Wanna know why? Because just like Blinx, 3DO, and Sega 32X, potential usually doesn't pan out!

6. Kaz Harai: On PS3 software pricing, "So, if it becomes a bit higher than fifty-nine bucks don't ding me, but, again, as I said, I don't expect it to be a hundred bucks." WTF? Does PS3 use cartridges??? Not the last time I checked! And I just can't believe that Blu-ray discs are that expensive to manufacture!!! In any case, there is no way I'll be paying more then the current gaming price point for my games...the sad part is, it's not even that I don't want to, I just can't afford it!

7. Random Sony executive (I can't remember who): Stating that PS3 could move 5 million units without any games, while probably true, is simply unnecessary in my books. Just plain cocky and full of themselves!

Anyway, taken in the proper context, the above statements are definitely great for a laugh or two! That being said, on a more serious note, I really don't like the way things are headed with the apparently increased pricing structures Sony is looking to implement (however, time will tell whether they stick with their statements). Although I would like to get a PS3, it doesn't look like it will be happening for quite a while...

360 JRPGS have me excited!!!

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Wow, it feels really ackward/odd (and I'm really hesitant to say this), but here goes: the Xbox 360s upcoming JRPG lineup has me excited!

Strangly enough, despite the continuing minimal sales of the console in Japan, I actually feel like MSoft is going in the right direction re: the RPG genre for the console. Although this may not help whatsoever in Japan (where consumers seem to view the 360 as the console equivalent of rabies), JRPGs have a worldwide appeal and are sure to boost the console's profile in Europe and North America as well. If nothing else, it will give the Xbox brand a much-needed shot of variety, namely an alternative to the FPS, driving, and sports titles which have dominated the early 360 releases titles as well as the those which were released for the original Xbox.

In any case, here are the titles I am looking forward to, assuming they all make it to North American shores: Enchanted Arms (which is being released in August), Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, Trusty Bell, Phantasy Star Universe, Spectral Force 3, Culdcept Saga 2, and the new, unnamed MSoft Tri-Ace RPG have got me feelin' all woozy inside!

That being said, I think I am must excited about the fact that these are all original titles...honestly, I'm tired of seeing the same old games/series rehashed again and again and again (although I honestly wouldn't complain if the new FF games came to 360, as well as a new Shin Megami Tensei title)...it's nice to see some orignal properties with potentially new storylines and battle systems released for the 360.

Recipe for "Japanese 360 Success"

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In order to make the perfect "Japanese 360 Success" in time for speculated relaunch, precisely combine the following simple ingredients:

  1. One (1) to two (2) established RPG franchise(s) (Ex. Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Children of Mana, Tales of...)
  2. One (1) to two (2) highly anticipated original RPG franchises (Ex. Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey)
  3. One (1) to two (2) dance or music titles (Ex. DDR, Karaoke Revolution, Guitar Hero)
  4. One (1) to two (2) quirky, creative titles, original or franchise (Ex. Katamari Damacy; note: DO NOT use cheap products such as Every Party)
  5. One (1) to two (2) dating simulations
  6. One (1) highly established fighting franchise sequel (Ex. Virtua Fighter 5 is best, Soul Calibur 4 is almost as good)
  7. One (1) to (2) Gundam or big name mech games (Ex. Mobile Suit Gundam, Lost Planet)
  8. One (1) top-quality racing sequel (do not use poorly ported products such as Ridge Racer 6)
  9. One (1) top-quality domestically developed action title (Ex. Ninety-Nine Nights or a truly next-gen Dynasty Warriors)
  10. One (1) franchise or original shooter (Ex. Project Sylph, Ikaruga, Radiant Silvergun)
  11. One (1) domestically-respected soccer title (Ex. Winning Eleven)

Note: Be sure NOT to substitute above for ANY of the following ingredients - FPS, Foreign Sports, or War

Combined properly, the above should generate "tasty" results and interest. Good luck!

Exclusives will make or break Xbox 360 in Japan

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The next generation of console wars is shaping up to be an interesting battle between Sony's PS3, Nintendo's Revolution, and Microsoft's Xbox 360. Although I believe Sony is unlikely to repeat their almost absolute dominance of this generation of console sales on a worldwide scale (90 million PS2's shipped vs. 22 million Xbox's), there is one battleground where M$ is far from assured of victory: Japan.

There is no debating that while successful in almost all other regions, the Xbox has been a complete and total failure in Japan, failing to outsell any other console, including handhelds. In fact, a typical sales week for the Xbox in Japan is a miserable 200 - 500 units, and never do any of its games crack the top 20 on the charts. Indeed, it is very telling that the top selling game for the platform remains one of its launch titles, DOA 3, and that many retailers no longer even carry the console in stores.

Given the problems of the last generation, Microsoft has since gone on the offensive with the promotion of its new console in Japan, doing everything from broadcasting MTV Specials and sponsoring rock tours by popular Japanese artists, to courting Japanese developers/publishers and hiring ex-Square employees to head-up their operations in the country. Although M$ has truly made a remarkable effort thus far to raise public awareness of the 360 and to generate excitement from Japanese gamers (granted, there have definitely been some mistakes as well along the way), the question still remains: will the Xbox 360 be successful in Japan?

Early results appear to indicate that it may not work, as polls of Japanese gamer interest in the 360 have only about 5.8% excited about purchasing the new console. That being said, this may all change, for better or worse in the next several months when the 360 is actually released (and when gamers worldwide recognize that nothing on the current market is technologically able to compete with it, at least until PS3 is released), when the Japanese launch lineup and pricing is finally revealed, and if M$ manages to shock everyone with some unexpected surprises before the release (Origen anyone?).

The way I see it, here's what it truly comes down to: exclusive Japanese titles will make or break the Xbox 360 in Japan. Yes, there is no doubt that Square-Enix support will help, and it would be great if the new entries of their blockbuster franchises such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest were available on the Xbox 360, but for the 360 to really be a major success in Japan, it is important that there is a large variety of games available for the 360 that are only available on the platform. In my opinion, the reason for this is quite straightforward: Playstation is a Japanese product with a strong reputation, and even if titles such as Final Fantasy were available on Xbox 360 as well, why would you want to play it on a foreign Microsoft product, when you could play it on a domestic Sony product?

Therefore, it is absolutely crucial that Microsoft consistently release top-quality games which are exclusive to the platform, developed by Japanese companies, and suitable to the tastes of Japanese gamers (after all, it is no secret that Halo does not sell in Japan). All in all, M$ is off to a good start, having exclusively signed development houses such as Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi's Mistwalker studios to create 2 games (Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon), and Tetsuya Miziguchi's Q Entertainment (N3: Ninety-Nine Nights). In addition, and perhaps more importantly, Japanese 3rd party commitment to supporting the 360 has also been relatively (and surpisingly) strong, with exclusive RPG titles such as -eM eNCHANT arM- (From Software), Operation Darkness (Treasure), Far East of Eden Ziria - Tales of Distant Jipang (Hudson), and an untitled RPG developed by the Tales team (Namco) already having been announced as being in development for the console.

Will the titles be top-quality? Will the Japanese support continue (especially once PS3 is released)? Will Japanese gamers support these exclusive 360 titles? Honestly, it's hard to tell at the moment, but for Microsoft to have any chance of being a player in the Japanese market, they must continue their aggresive marketing of the product, as well as their continual pursuit of exclusive content from Japanese developers to even stand a chance. After all, if M$ doesn't support the tastes of Japanese gamers (and give them strong reasons to buy the console), history has clearly shown that Japanese gamers definitely won't support M$.