Quest for Remaining Dragons - Dragon Quest Marathon

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I'm going to keep this short. As per the title, I'm going for a Dragon Quest marathon! As crazy as that sounds, I won't be playing all of them. Inspiration drawing from the fairly recent annoucement of DQVII remake with DQVII being my first ever DQ game when I was a kid. Course I never finished it. With that I mean I won't replay the ones I've beaten or spin offs. So pretty much 1 - 9 except 4 as 4 is the only one I've beaten.

I figured I do this marathon eventually and how much grinding and tedious questing this will be but Dragon Quest has always striked me as an odd series. It's so simple and yet, it has a strange addictiveness and charm that you can't deny. It's such an old school game that hasn't changed in all its time but it's a formula well versed and well loved.

I will be playing pretty much the remake versions of all the games that have them. Hopefully I can finish this marathon to completion but you never know. I might go mad from grinding.

Anyways, wish me luck as I venture forth in beating the rest of these "dragons".

Final Fantasy, the things I just wanted to say ~ Pt. 1

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I forgot I had such a thing called a blog since I haven't updated this thing in quite sometime and I feel as though this is a good time to do so.

Firstly, I'm doing well, I haven't been keeping up with anyone's blogs, or who even exists on my friends list still because quite frankly, I can't be bothered to keep track. How's school one might ask, it is fine, my last semester and the job hunt and cert acquiring has begun.

Anyways, what I really wanted to talk about was the Final Fantasy series in general. As many of you know, or don't know, my favorite series has been Final Fantasy. I've played through I to XIII, the many spin offs including the awful Crystal Chronicle nonsense, the Tactics series and I guess the others? The ones off the top of my head are those added on Final Fantasy VII nonsense like Dirge of Cerebeus and Crisis Core. It's a series I've grown up with starting near the end of my elementary days when a friend of mine came over and told me about Final Fantasy VII, I came to wanting to learn more and eventually acquired a copy of Final Fantasy IX (my favorite game of all time), I then got Final Fantasy VIII and traded it with my friend temporarily for his copy of Final Fantasy VII. It was a blast, my days windled down playing these fantastic RPGs as my old gray PS1 slowly came to its end.

I eventually heard about Final Fantasy Origins and decided to quickly get it, not knowing anything about the original numbering system or the original games at all I had set out on a quest to learn more. Playing Final Fantasy Origins when I was still young was quite a different experience, it wasn't like the PS1 Final Fantasy's in which I was easily accustom to, it was very old school, very simple and basic in what it could do. But I still loved it, I enjoyed it, the beautifully done sprites (at the time) made me fall in love with it. I never properly understood Final Fantasy II on Origins back then as it never explained it's levelling system but I enjoyed it almost as much as I did with I. These were the Final Fantasy's I had growing up, I absolutely loved the series.

Let's skip ahead to a time when I learned about the series and the confusing numbering system and the mixup with II and IV, and III with VI. I eventually got Chronicles and Anthology making my collection essentially complete, but where was III? I looked all over the Internet to get some understanding of III eventually landing on the SNES Final Fantasy III which was actually VI. At that point, I just gave up, I had no idea where to find III and even if I did, I doubt I would easily acquire a copy of it. So in turn, I set my eyes on the spin off, Final Fantasy Tactics, I saw this once on sale during Christmas but had no idea what it was like, I decided to give it a go. Now, this was my first taste of a strategy/tactical RPG so you can imagine I was pretty confused at the gameplay. None the less, I gave it a go and didn't fully appreciate its slow pace and I was just unaccustom to the gameplay. As such I just decided against playing it.

The PS2 was released and I got my hands on Final Fantasy X, the same day, the same friend who lent me Final Fantasy VII came over to watch some of the gameplay. We were in awe, it was one of the first games where they didn't have the levelling system, we were just impressed by the early game damage when Sin attacked. When the underwater portion came we were sold, we were amazed and I just kept playing. I eventually came to a halt at the game when I couldn't beat Sanctuary Keeper (yes I remember the name, because I spent days trying to kill this thing) so I just left it. Later down the road, Final Fantasy XII came out and I had to play it. (If you haven't noticed, I have a bad habit of never finishing a lot of my games). Right from the get go, I hated it, the combat was different, everything was off, at that point I, like many today said "Final Fantasy has gone downhill".

But how could I possibly say such a thing? I, a loving fan of the series for such a long time. Disappointed by a simple aspect of CHANGE, simply cry out the downfall of the series. I was young, I didn't understand my emotions and the concept of accepting that things simply change. Needless to say, after XII, I didn't touch Final Fantasy for a long time and instead turning my attention to other series like Dragon Quest and Star Ocean and many others. Final Fantasy has led to my love for the JRPG genre, rather, the RPG genre in general.

So why am I saying all this? The story is simple if you know that some of my favorite Final Fantasy games today are actually Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy I & II and Final Fantasy XII while my least favorite are Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy X (to some degree Final Fantasy VIII). Odd how that worked out eh? In my story I've clearly expressed my hate for Final Fantasy XII and yet...it's one of my favorites now. I had to accept that it was different, that it wasn't like the games I was so used to. Is it like Final Fantasy IX? No. Is it like Final Fantasy VI? No. Do you see what I'm getting at here? So many people are SCREAMING for Final Fantasy to go back to its roots, to go back to how THEY remember it. I think it's quite sad, people like this who aren't willing to enjoy a game of the same series because it's nothing how they remember to be growing up. Is it the same? Absolutely not. Is this a bad thing? In some cases, it can be, but in the case of Final Fantasy, a long running series in which has been around since the 90s? I would say no. There are people are complain that the JRPG genre needs to evolve, it needs to...should I say it, CHANGE? But at the same time these people are whining how Final Fantasy hasn't been the same. I'm confused here, how does the genre evolve but at the same time, stay the same?

There are series out there who never change, namely Dragon Quest or Pokemon and yet they are praised for being the same, while at the same time criticized for the very same thing! I feel as though people are never sure what they want and complain for the sake of complaining. People want Final Fantasy to change, people want it to stay the same, I don't know what Square's doing to satisfy both crowds. It's funny because the people saying how Square can easily slap a game with the name Final Fantasy and it'll sell, but at the same time it's hurting them because it reminds people of the past games, it reminds them of previous Final Fantasy's. A brand is a double edged sword I guess, where it can both benefit and hurt a company's reputation. I'm not sure if Square's realizing that and instead releasing all these games under the FF umbrella. The funny thing I think is, if Square were to release 13 versions of say, Final Fantasy VI, the same kind of game, the same gameplay, with slight tweaks, would the criticisms be the same? Instead people would whine about the rehashing, the recycling, the yearly releases etc. People complain for the sake of complaining and they don't ever stop. It's something I've learned to deal with. In short, Square changes it up? People complain. Square does the same thing? People complain. You can't win. I blame this on how cynical gamers have become today.

But the main point of all this is, why the hate on Final Fantasy XIII? Yes, it's different, it's not like the past games. Is it linear? God yes. Is the story atrocious? Yea probably. It's a poorly executed one at anything. Is the gameplay solid? I'd say so, it's a streamlined version of Final Fantasy XII, a game in which many HATED so I'm glad they brough a modified version of it. As someone who absolutely loves the classics, like, the classics of the classics (Final Fantasy I & II), I actually...like Final Fantasy XIII. Crazy right? I know. It's a fun game, had an incredible soundtrack and had ONE annoying character, Snow. When I play Final Fantasy, I'm expecting different, I'm expecting it to feel like a brand new game. Because that's what Final Fantasy has ALWAYS been about, about mixing it up, about changing the battle system, the world, the characters, the story, the style of music and much more. Despite the numbering, it was essentially a different game every time. And yes while it did have some resemblances amongst each other, which is no surprise since the developers obviously want to keep fans of one game to play another and provide them some sort of feeling of familiarity.

Lastly, I don't have Final Fantasy XIII-2 yet, but I'm sure I will enjoy it to some degree.

Now I must make this sort of abrupt closing because it's nearing 2 AM and I'm awfully tired. In short if you didn't read it, a long time Final Fantasy fan, grew to accept the changes the series will often and has made quite frequently in the past, liked Final Fantasy XIII, will probably enjoy it.

This is just what I wanted to say, my thoughts on the Final Fantasy series. I'll probably write more about it as the thoughts come to me.

Summer Has Drawn to a Close

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First and foremost, sorry I didn't reply in my previous blog to any of your comments. I forgot I had posted a new blog and I hardly check my profile. I would reply now, but it almost seems a tad late and almost pointless.

Secondly, I finally finished, my Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor playthrough. You can check it out in this very handy dandy playlist thingamajig over on Youtube right here. All 6 routes, from start to finish, just over 100 videos. It took me a long time to get through all of it, lots of rendering and recording to be done, decent job I'd say. My first ever completed video playthrough, feels like a real accomplishment.

Thirdly, I've recently finished Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Gotta say, very solid game. The stealth mechanics and the various different paths to take are just so well done. The gunplay is decent, can't say I like it enough to play it like a cover shooter, but I know some people have. The game offers different ways in beating it, different paths to find, and many other intricate things that just make it so well rounded. There's still some polish to be had when it comes to things like AI, and there's some design choices like bosses that weren't as well done as the rest of the game, making it rather disappointing to see.

The AI isn't the smartest, but they sure are fun to fool.

The city hubs though are a blast to explore, there's just so many hidden things lying about. The hacking mini game is pretty solid, not overly complex, but not too simple and pointless that it'd be a tedious thing. The endings I thought were rather lame, they didn't feel like endings. Not to mention the ending is dictated at the very end with some buttons, I personally thought that was a poor choice. Aren't games like Deus Ex supposed to be all about choice? And consequences? This almost feels like another Mass Effect where they give off this illusion of choice and consequence only to have one end. If you want to see a game that does choices and consequences right, you play a visual novel I suppose.

But overally, very fun, very solid. I would recommend.

Anyways with that, all I have to say is summer is coming to a close and I'll have to be starting school tomorrow. Which means possible less frequency around here on GS, but that's prob for the best. Final year of college, I'll have to be putting my best effort into my c|asses.

Final Fantasy Type-0 Impressions

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Final Fantasy Type-0 Demo Impressions


Agito, as it was once called, was first introduced as a mobile game years ago and then eventually moved to become a PSP title. At long last, we've received; well the Japanese anyways have gotten a demo of what could be the first real Final Fantasy in a long time. The demo starts off with some impressive pre rendered cutscenes. The cutscenes detail some rather violent events, of what looks to be a war. Some students participating in this war, a crazy academy of sorts and other things I don't particularly understand. So far it seems the latest installment of Final Fantasy will be a much darker one. Perhaps a welcoming change of pace?



Let's just jump straight into the gameplay then, to begin, it's not turn based. Its action based, it reminds you of Crisis Core, but it's a lot more refined than that. To begin, all the characters feel very unique. They all have different moves and play very differently. The demo only had 7 characters but I believe the final game will have 15, so there's lots of variety to choose from. You can have multiple characters fighting together (max 3 including yourself), I believe there is a multiplayer option with friends, however I haven't tried it, nor sure if the demo included it. There is also the option to go solo, this personally is my preferred option, having party members controlled by the AI may die and I'd have lost a character for nothing. There is also the option to have "Guest" characters, these characters are shadowy forms of your party members, and even though they do die, they won't have wasted a party member. You can't switch them out so if they are occupying a slot you can't remove or switch to them.



The character commands are inputted using the face buttons, the Triangle button is your normal attack, the Square button is usually your magic, and the Circle button is your active command while your X is your defensive spells or moves. Pressing Circle+Triangle unleashes the summon you have selected prior to the mission. In the demo there was Golem and Shiva to pick from.



However these summons come with a cost, the life of one party member you use the command on. Summons don't last forever either, with a span of either their life bar depleting or the timer running out. These commands are customizable, and new commands are unlocked as you gain AP and spend them accordingly. AP can also help grow other stats and essentially help your characters grow even stronger.

Magic on the other hand, has its own slew of assortments and management that you'll have to keep an eye on. There are different types of magic, they are labeled by MIS (Missile), ROK (Rocket) and so forth. Their properties are different so it's best to pay attention to which character has which kind. Magic has its own form of leveling, known as the Alto Crystarium.



Powering up your magic is crucial, though in the demo, it's locked so I wasn't able to give it much of a shot to try it. From what I do understand is that you'll have to collect "Phantasma" items which are found by defeating enemies. But how you collect them is big, when you defeat an enemy, a special lock on appears on the dead enemy, holding it and waiting for the reticule to flip will allow you to extract the phantasma, this ability also restores a little bit of mana. It's an annoying little feature that I wish was better designed. This is mostly due to the lock-on system which auto locks onto an ALIVE target rather than the dead target, this makes sense, however to change targets to a dead one, you have to press Down on the D-pad rather than switch between normally with left and right, this makes it a bit more confusing and a bit more tedious.



Speaking of the lock on system, the camera is also a big issue. I understand it's mostly due to the lack of dual analog on the PSP, but there are a lot of times when it's just a real nuisance. The lock on system does a poor job of readjusting the camera and most of the time you won't be able to see what's going on and could end up getting killed. It also has trouble catching up with Shiva when you're using her, making it difficult to land her attacks. If there is one major flaw, it's the camera. Hopefully by the final release, Square will have fixed this up.

Other gameplay elements include being able to switch up party members in battle. Should your controlled character fall in battle, you can easily just change to another and continue where you left off. Having a party of 3 allows you switch between the 3 as well (provided they aren't guests), this gives a lot of versatility and allows you to incorporate a lot more different play sty|e into a mission. There are also items as well, but in the demo they only included some HP restore and MP restore, nothing significant or gameplay changing. During missions however, you may receive an "S.O" which flashes at the top, my belief is that it stands for Special Orders. These special orders add a bonus objective that you may or may not want to complete. They are entirely optional though I'm not 100% what the benefit of completing them are. However there is a time limit in completing these orders and failure to do so means the cost of your life.



Another element is the "Overkill" (I totally made that up) attack, basically there are times when the reticule changes to either Yellow or Red, performing an attack an enemy while this is the case either causes massive damage or kills them respectively. Learning how to time your attacks is essential in completing your mission quickly for the best grade possible. It doesn't necessary discourage mashing, but it encourages to better time your moves and better learn the enemy's movements, which in later missions is crucial.



In terms of graphics, the game looks very solid for a PSP title. Square's been known for making some of the best looking handheld games, and this is no exception. It's not spectacular or had the same impact of WOW like Crisis Core did or looks as solid as Kingdom Hearts but it's still a good looking game. The academy where you begin doesn't offer much exploration as most of the areas are locked out from the demo. But it still provides a feel that this game is quite a big one, lots of NPCs as well around, some moving from area to area to give it a more livelier feel to it. Also to my surprise, there was also a town! Albeit the town was very small, it didn't contain much but a few narrow alleys and some people including a merchant who sells accessories. Still we went from no towns in Final Fantasy XIII to a small one, slowly Square's getting there.



Lastly, how does the soundtrack stack up? If you know me, you'll know that I absolutely loved Final Fantasy XIII's soundtrack, it's one of the huge pluses for the game. So how does Type-0 fare? Well, it's incredible. The songs fit quite well with the tone of the missions, whether you were going off into a battlefield with Bahamut in the background blasting away at stuff or in a forest taking down mechs, they would make the feel of the battle quite epic. Even while exploring the academy with it's much more peaceful tone you could feel the soundtrack of this game is going to be quite solid.



Overall the game is very solid, I've enjoyed the demo quite a bit (put like 10 hours into it). There's a lot of replayability with trying to complete all missions with an S grade, using one of the other varied characters, leveling up your magic, gaining new commands and much more. There are sidequests to do, places to explore, fantastic music to enjoy and some incredibly difficult missions to fulfill. The game has its share of flaws one mainly being the camera and the other being that it can be quite difficult at times, with the camera not making it any easier. It also has this "The 3rd Birthday" feel for me, the way the timing attacks work, the interface has the same kind of look, the fact that you have to really abuse the dodge roll. However, while The 3rd Birthday didn't feel like Parasite Eve, Type-0 feels more like a Final Fantasy title than XIII was. This just might be the long awaited "true" Final Fantasy game we've all been waiting for.

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You can find my mission playthrough right here.

(HTML is so bad on GS. )

And then there were videos...

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Hey what's up everybody, it's been awhile since I last updated. Enjoying summer so far, it's been pretty chill so far, though I need to find a job pretty darn soon. Not just for the summer, but for the rest of the year, it'll be easier this way and this'll be my final year in school which looks to be pretty damn easy. In any case, the real point of this update is to say that...

I am doing a playthrough of Unlimited Saga and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor!

Both of them can be found on my YouTube channel.

A playlist for Unlimited Saga can be found here.

And a playlist for Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor can be found here.

Comment, subscribe if you really care that much, watch as I struggle in Unlimited Saga and so forth. Hate my voice, love it, it's all up to you!

(I personally hate how my voice sounds, I hate hearing it)

Anyways, I'll try to update whenever possible. Chances are, not too often, I am playing other games (i.e Final Fantasy XII -International Zodiac Job System) and Final Fantasy (PSP).

I think that's about it from me, well, E3 was great I suppose, not as good as last year's, just a bunch of sequels being announced and so forth and so forth. Can't say discussing E3 is my favorite topic, but have at ye.

Anyways, that's all for now, till next time, cya guys.

blog;posting.

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Why hello there ladies and gentlemen, it has been awhile hasn't it? I haven't felt much like blogging. But I felt the need to procrastinate so I figured why not blog instead.

I haven't been completing many games the past few months, I felt rather burned out and ended up playing a lot of multiplayer online games, like League of Legends, Starcraft 2, the sorts. Was in a weird phase of playing those games for a solid few weeks.

However I did manage to squeeze in one or two regular single player games during my commute home.

Games I beat:

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story

I started playing this game ages ago but never finished it. I figured I quickly just run through it and I did. Great game for the DS, and a wonderful RPG. It's neat to play as both Mario & Luigi and as Bowser, the puzzles and little mini games like parts were very fun. It wasn't just an RPG, it had a good mix of battles as well. Bowser growing large and taking down huge buildings is fun and interactive, overall the game is very solid and I'd recommend picking it up if you haven't already. It was my DS Game of the Year last year and I didn't even finish it :P

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep -Final Mix-

Don't know why I decided to play this. Just felt bored and wanted to mash away in Kingdom Hearts, this game is neat in that you play as 3 different characters with their stories interweaving together. Personally I didn't understand a thing that went on, being that it was in Japanese, so I tended to just skip all the cutscenes. Watched the secret ending on Youtube, so all good I suppose. Overall I think it's a solid game, but meh, I could've finished a much more important game instead :P

Saya no Uta

Saya no Uta is a visual novel by Nitro+. A great one at that, follows the story of a college student who had a major accident when he was younger losing both his parents. He was near death until he was put under an experimental surgery, he lives however the side effect is he sees the world very differently, this is where he meets Saya, the girl who saves his very existence in the harsh hell he has to accustom to. A very good horror visual novel with some H scenes, there is a censored version on Youtube, there are only 2 choices in the whole game so it's easy to follow along via Youtube. It also has one of the best soundtracks I've heard.

Games I'm playing now:

Chaos;Head

Chaos;Head is a visual novel. A rather interesting at that...it piqued my interest when I started watching Steins;Gate, the game/show that follows Chaos;Head. And now I'm just hooked onto this whole horror/mystery/sci-fi mind**** kind of stuff. Chaos;Head follows the story of a shut in otaku freak who starts to have strange delusions, he meets these odd girls who tells him some odd science stuff, he witnesses a variety of murders, odd gruesome murders and they're all linked somehow by some greater power. It's all messed up and odd and it really just mind****s you. But at the same time, it's very interesting, it keeps you on the edge of hoping you'll make sense of it all, it gives you subtle hints for you to understand, but then just throws another curve ball. Another unique thing about the game is the "Delusional Triggers", these occur at certain events, clicking on them can either set a positive delusion (symbolized by green) or a negative delusion (red), or you can simply not click on either. These delusions are rather important to the game as they are important choices. I'm only on Chapter 8, out of I believe 10 chapters so I'm near completion, however 2 playthroughs is required to get all endings.

Seems like so far, I've been really enjoying Nitro+ games, first it was Saya no Uta (which I recommend), and now Chaos;Head, I'm just waiting on Steins;Gate to be translated before I play that.

Okamiden

I just started this very recently. Sequel to Okami, the game follows the son of the goddess Amaterasu. From what I've played of both games, they seem to be quite similiar, the game looks also very good on the DS, albeit the combat feels a bit...clunkier to me. I haven't finished the first Okami (though I eventually plan to). So far the game is good, I like the use of the dual screens, feels like it was meant to be used this way.

Games to play next:

Final Fantasy XII -International Zodiac Job System-

I know there are a lot of you FF12 haters out there. But you know what? I personally think FF12 had one of the most fun and unique battle systems of all of them. It has the best boss battles, the hunts were fantastic and you know what? I feel like doing all that again, but this time with a job system to keep things interesting as well as bypassing the damage limit to help with Yizimat. I probably won't play this till much after my exams are over.

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And that is it from me folks! Back to some studying :(

P.S Whatever happened to Shin Megami Tensei? I'll get back to it! Kinda lost my save data from my laptop dying...

The 3rd Birthday Impressions

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First thing's first, welcome to 2011! Secondly, new banner/blog header. Thirdly, will have to postpone my marathon since my mic has been reported to be making weird noises (it's built into the laptop), so I ordered a headset and a USB adapter (since this laptop doesn't have a input), will be awhile before it ships over here so I'll be playing some Devil Survivor and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance until then. Lastly, The 3rd Birthday Impressions!

The 3rd Birthday

Impressions

I want to point out right now, that if you were expecting anything like the earlier two Parasite Eve titles, you will be disappointed. Secondly, I can't describe the story since it's in Japanese and I don't understand a word so for the most part I skipped a lot of the cut scenes (because why bother right?). Anyways on to the impression!

While it's nothing like the earlier Parasite Eve titles, it's still a lot of fun. The shooter mechanics feel smooth and quick paced that it's just a blast shooting down enemies. It's definetly a lot more streamlined compared the earlier games and while this makes this more of a third person shooter than an RPG, it's not a totally bad trade off. I guess a good way to describe it, is that this game got Mass Effect'd, meaning it's a shooter with light RPG elements. (No, let's not argue whether Mass Effect is an RPG or a shooter, that's how I think of it, and that's that! :P)

You start off in a snowy city of what I believe is New York, the first Episode or chapter is to simply tell you how to play the game, Aya starts with her pistol (which has infinite ammo), here the game shows you the unique aspect of The 3rd Birthday, diving. When you do enough damage per second to an enemy, you are able to dive into them and deal a good portion of damage. You'll know when you can dive into an enemy when you're targetting them and a big flashing yellow triangle shows up on them, simply press triangle while targetting them. You can also dive into friendly units, doing so allows you to take control of them. This is mainly used to deal damage from various points, for example if you dive into a sniper unit, you'll most likely be placed far up and able to snipe down enemies. Diving into various friendly units is also for those special units that wield specific guns such as the Satellite, or the Grenade Launcher. Diving is important because the whole game revolves around this aspect, so get used to it. (Also you can only dive into friendly units if there are any around).

Diving into an enemy.

The controls are fairly simple, holding R locks on to the nearest enemy, pressing L once reloads, holding L then pressing one of the face buttons changes your weapon accordingly, X is to dodge roll, Triangle is to dive, Square is to shoot, Circle is grenades, D-pad is camera and analog is to move. All in all, it works except the camera, since at times the lock on messes up your view, also at times if you're trying to target a specific enemy and there's a cluster of smaller, probably should ignore enemies, it's annoying to switch around your targets since you need to use the d-pad to change targets. Pressing Triangle + Circle activates Liberation mode (when the bar is full of course), in this mode Aya is invicible for a brief moment, wields dual pistols and shoots very powerful shots that when focused on an enemy, will bring them to be able to be dived dealing tons of damage, really Liberation mode is just Aya's safeguard when there's a bombardment of enemies.

Liberation automatically makes Aya dodge any incoming attacks. Also the screen appears redish!

The game's RPG elements come from Aya's levelling system and the DNA board. I don't really understand how the DNA board works other than it gives Aya her passive abilities, and probibly her stats as well. I don't understand how the fusing and the mutation idea works so I can't really explain how the DNA board comes together or how you can make specific DNA. Aya can also level her weapon profienciey just by constantly using a pistol, or an assault rifle, or a sniper etc. Doing so unlocks new guns. Unlocking weapons and repairing clothing uses up BP which are earned by killing enemies. You can also upgrade your weapons to give them that extra ammo or accuracy or power you want.

Other than that, there isn't much else, the game's always putting you in the action of the fight, it's fairly difficult to stay alive since enemies deal a ton of damage while you need to also prevent as many casulties as possible. Making diving essential, however at times it just doesn't seem possible to prevent either deaths or casaulties thanks to certain enemies killing you in one hit. Cheap, but you are still able to live so long as you can dive into another friendly unit. Cruel, but you gotta do what you gotta do to survive.

The game also featuers a variety of costumes, all of which can be heavily damaged to the point of...suggestive. It also features a variety of special weapons that I'm not even sure how to unlock, but I do know one of them resembles Lightning's sword (Final Fantasy XIII) and she does have a Lightning costume as well.

Rippable costumes, probably one of the reasons to play this fairly challenging game on an even higher difficulty.

Anyways, I don't believe there's anything else to really talk about this game (aside from the story which I don't understand). Overall, nothing like the earlier titles, but still a lot of fun, a much better shooter done by Square (unlike Dirge of Cerebeus was just okay). I am looking forward to the English version when it releases as you should be too!

And I'll say farewell to thee...

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Well, it's been 3 years. But my PS3 finally bit the dust, it died earlier but I got it fixed, died again, fixed it again, and finally died a 3rd time. I'm a little fed up so it's time to say goodbye to it.

So I do apologize if I'm not on PSN anymore, I have no acess to a PS3 :P

I did keep my HDD so if I ever get a replacement, I will still have my stuff.

Next marathon should be starting soon* It's going to be a Shin Megami Tensei marathon.

  • Shin Megami Tensei
  • Shin Megami Tensei II
  • Shin Megami Tensei ...if (maybe or maybe not)
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey

I also finished The 3rd Birthday, impressions on that? Maybe another time :P

For now I gotta work on that Knights in the Nightmare review for SWM and play some more Valkyrie Profile 2, until next time!

P.S I'm a little late, but happy holidays all, and have a good 2011 :D

What's next?

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Well, it's been awhile since I last blogged. Heh, don't think anyone missed em, so it's alright :P

Been keeping busy with school, games, GS, the usual stuff. Exam time for me, so first semester of my 3rd year will soon be over.

Anyways, I've been thinking of my next marathon. I won't reveal anything yet, I HOPE to be able to do a LP (Let's Play) of it and upload it to YouTube, but I'm not sure if I can do one for every game in this somewhat short but long series (maybe that's a hint?) I haven't fully planned how I'm going to do this yet since it spans across various platforms and I'm only capable of recording on a computer *coughyouknowwhatthatmeanscough*.

I will try though.

When will I attempt to do this marathon? I'm not sure, it depends whether or not me and my friend are going to run through Fire Emblem 7 together (we recently did Fire Emblem 6, great game btw), I don't want to do 2 games at once. Hopefully I can finish Fire Emblem 7 before the end of the year (depends how exams hold me) and start this marathon next year.

I don't know either how long this will take or whether I can be fully committed to doing an LP for the entire series, like I said, there aren't that many games in this particular "main" series, but they tend to be long in terms of "grinding". I will say this, the first game is on the SNES.

Anyways, I am out of here for now, see if you can guess which series :3

P.S Maybe if you persist enough in the comments I'll just tell you :P

P.P.S Don't expect something grand and awesome!

Pokemon White Impressions, oh yea, that Zelda marathon too.

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It's been awhile since I blogged. I know I have a lot of things to talk about, mainly my look on the many Zelda games I beat the past month or so. If you haven't guessed already, I have decided to end my Zelda marathon. Not that it mattered too much, the remaining games I had to finish I had finished previously. Going through Spirit Tracks a second time, just after a few months after I beat the game wasn't exactly fun in my mind. And so because of Spirit Tracks, you could say the Zelda journey stops there (ironic).

But enough about Zelda, you guys have been hearing me talk about Zelda for a long long time. So I'll keep this short:

Ocarina of Time - Playing the game recently originally made me think I'd dislike it a lot. On the contrary the game is still a blast to play even by today's standards, sure the graphics are ugly and it bears a lot of similarities to Link to the Past, but it's still a fantastic game. Best game of all time? Probably not, one of the best Zelda games? Probably.

Majora's Mask - When I first played Majora's Mask, I thought it was lame, the 3 day limit, the 4 dungeons and weird way of saving. But after awhile, I fell in love, the depressingly dark story, the people, the sidequests, it wasn't about just finishing a bunch of dungeons, it was about saving the world, seeing the same people over and over again repeat their routine, and you, hoping to find some way to break free of all that. Did I mention BEN? Overall Majora's Mask is my favorite Zelda game in the whole series, not many would agree since it's radically different from Ocarina of Time but hey, people always clamor for change right?

Oracle of Seasons/Ages - I missed playing this when I was younger, when I wasn't too into Zelda. Oracle of Seasons is easily the better of the Zelda handheld games, while Link's Awakening DX set the bold standard, Oracle of Seasons added the ability to change the seasons, while Oracle of Ages added the ability to travel through time. While Seasons was more action oriented and Ages was more puzzle oriented, they both came together to create an epic adventure. Whether you fight the General Onox or the Sorcess Veran, beating both allowed you to once more fight Ganon. A great handheld game that should not be missed.

Windwaker - I know a lot didn't like the game for the sailing, and I didn't either. In fact, I hated the sailing, but I still loved the game. Many didn't like the big fetch quest at the end, neither did I. But I still loved the game. It has a lot of charm and a great art sty|e that I love. A few changes to the combat allowed Link to do more moves and it was a lot of fun. The game's setting is vastly different, and there is still a ton of things to do even if many of it requires a ton of mundane sailing.

The Minish Cap - Didn't like it, least favorite Zelda. Why? Because it just felt...boring. I didn't like the dungeons, the dungeon items were lame, the dungeon bosses were meh and while the kinstones were optional, they were so tediously bad and annoying. Changing size was...alright I suppose but after awhile got annoying. I literally forced myself to beat it, it's just...ugh

Twilight Princess - Not sure what to make of this game really I only beat it once, like a long time ago. I suppose it was fun and I liked the darker theme. The combat was decent though I was disappointed that it was really just waggle, hopefully Skyward Sword changes that. I don't have much to say about Twilight Princess, I found it to be good, but it wasn't as great as I was hoping it'd be.

Phantom Hourglass - I detest whoever invented the Temple of the Ocean King, seriously. Whoever made that should go throw themselves in a fire because it is the ONE and ONLY thing I hate about Phantom Hourglass. Other than that, I thought it was pretty solid, the combat and controls are great and they reverted back to the Windwaker sty|e. A good game ruined by a silly temple with a time limit.

Spirit Tracks - I like this a little more than Phantom Hourglass, while the Tower of Spirits is just a copy of the Temple of Ocean King, it doesn't have a time limit not to mention Zelda joins you on your quest! The puzzles are fun and can be challenging. The dungeons are great and some of the items are fairly new to the series.

Phew, a quick rundown, I hope that's good enough :P

On to the impression!

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Pokemon White

So I JUST finished the game today. My thoughts? Freaking. Awesome. There is still a ton of more content to go through once I'm done but I'll tackle that and talk about it when the time comes. So...I bet many of you are asking, how does it differ from the older games?

Well firstly, you won't find any of the older Pokemon from previous generations until after you beat the game. This means all the Pokemon you'll encounter are new, this makes the adventure feel a lot more fresh and exciting, many times have I purposely wandered in grass just to see what I could find. Honestly it's an exciting feeling not knowing what awaits you.

Secondly, the game has more of an emphasis on story. Yes this sounds weird, but a Pokemon game where it's about...story. Whether this story is good or not aside, it really makes you feel involved. Before, the story felt like an aftermath, oh look Team Rocket doing this, oh Team Galatic doing that, blah blah blah. They were really an after thought as the gym badges were your main goal. However in this, Team Plasma is really dishing it out and making your journey a whole lot difficult, intervening when they can, really...putting themselves forward in your way. Perhaps it's hard to explain..but in short, story has a stronger emphasis. I won't say much about Team Plasma's intention, but it has more of a conflicting idea rather than the typical take over the world. The gym leaders in this game have more of a role and are actively a part of your adventure, it's certainly different and it feels like a good transition.

Changes to the combat have been minimal, it's still addicting however. The introduction of 3 vs 3 is great, and they differ depending on the version you get. Black seems to have this rotation method, whereas White has a full 3 on 3. Basically in Black, you have 3 Pokemon, only the center Pokemon can attack, however you can rotate them around and chose who should attack, basically, 1 Pokemon attacks per turn. In White, the left most Pokemon can attack in front, and center, the center Pokemon can attack all 3, while the right most can only attack in front and the center. So it makes it a little tricky since you can easily just gang up on the center Pokemon.

Another thing about combat is that it feels...faster. I can't really figure out the reason, but I haven't turned off battle animations. Perhaps the animations are shorter and the HP doesn't go down slowly like molasses. There's also of course, a slew of new moves, many of which I find to be a lot more useful.

A little detail to combat are the sprites, if you don't already know, they move now! Well they won't animate according to the move, but at least they move. I do like the little details they did however, if a Pokemon is asleep, the sprite will close it's eyes, if their paralyzed, they'll have a slight hint of yellow to them and etc. It's these little details that might be hard to miss for many. It's not much, but it's def a step forward.

Another thing I have to address is the encounter rate, it's a little...ridiculous. I understand that finding new Pokemon is exciting, but don't make it so every 1-2 steps I'll find some Pokemon. It's just annoying, especially in the beginning of the game were all you see are those chipmunks, that dog and something else like a thousand times. Course you'd probably want to defeat them all to really grind up your levels. Why? Because the game can get a little difficult if you're not careful, the AI seems to be a tad smarter, switching out when they can, even choosing type advantage moves against you. (One of the Elite 4's had a fighting move, to combat my dark type and even had another Pokemon with a grass move to combat my water) Course, they can still be beaten fairly easily and still don't compare to the competitive scene.

The graphics, they're great. The little 3D effects are neat and are pretty awesome, did I mention cutscenes? Yup, there are a few cutscenes and they look just fantastic. Phone calls (though rare) have anime drawn portraits for the characters, and overall the game world just looks a lot better. The seasons affect how the weather fairs, and things like rain are done pretty well. It's unfortunate that the seasons don't really affect the Pokemon aside from one, that deer. A lot more detail could've gone into every Pokemon from seasonal change and it feels like it's a minimal feature that doesn't do much to be honest.

There a ton more features, mainly the wireless features that I haven't even tried yet (Mainly because there's no one else I know who has Pokemon Black/White...), the WiFi features are plentiful, even adding this DreamWorld feature which I can't test yet. As such, I don't have a FC yet...so sorry guys, won't be battling online anytime soon :P

Overall, Pokemon White addresses the main thing that people have been asking for, and that's change. While they're not grand changes, they're def a step forward in the series. So for those looking forward to Pokemon White/Black next year, I have to say you're in for one hell of a game.

Of course if you guys have any questions about the game, I'll do my best to address them.

(Hope I'm not forgetting anything)

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silvur.cross