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Playstation Portable

Since I lost almost all interest in "logging my videogame deeds" as said before, just making a quick post as a reminder that I bought my PSP on June 2nd, 2008. Portable gaming rocks! =p

Small update

Well, given that I've been a bit abscent from blogging on Gamespot lately I decided to make a quick post (not that my posts account for anything more than logging my videogame deeds for myself). About a week ago, I played most of BioShock and now that I'm away from the game for a while I can not only say that it is on my "top 5" (the other 4 being DMC3, MGS3, RE4 and FFVII, not in that order, with Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) falling out of the list) but it obtained the top spot. I haven't had the chance to finish it but I already can ask development studios: would you KINDLY make more games like this?

In different news, I finished Sonic 2 (yeah, Genesis Sonic 2) with my girlfriend and a friend last night and although it isn't an accomplishment at all, it was fun as hell. Tomorrow night, we're going on a Snes marathon (which always can end up on a Mario Kart Double Dash!! Bob-omb Blast battle marathon, but that's fun as well).

Nothing else to add, college exams period start soon so I might have to stay away from gaming for a couple of weeks.

PS: Of course, this top 5 is valid for last and this gen, it's unfair when you throw games like Super Mario World, Megaman 2 or Gunstar Heroes to the mix. That said, consider FFVII a wild card.

The different angles from the underwater utopia

Ok, I kinda pushed this time on the title. It doesn't matter. I wasn't THAT excited about BioShock after playing the demo, but I read some reviews today and went over the demo again. And you know what? Ken Levine is a genious. I really played in a whole different way and had a pretty different experience as he's been saying all along! I complained about how weapons sound last time and how enemies reacted to taking shots. You know what? Screw that! The few times I needed to rely on weapons was on the very beginning and once near the end when I was getting swarmed by enemies and ran out of eve. Hacking rocks! So does electrocuting your foes! Next playthrough the demo, I'll go with the fire plasmid and see what I can pull off. I also say a very explosive-like tank, but didn't have time to shoot it before it rolled out of my sight since I was attacked from behind.

Anyway, I'm really psyched with BioShock now, can't wait to play the full version! I didn't really mind the weapons this time although there's still something a little weird about the enemies, code-wise (so to speak), but I care about it less and less by the minute!

On a side note, I downloaded Pac Man C.E. Trial and I need it full! There's something very Lumines about it, not to mention that the way Namco tweaked gameplay this time makes up for an unbelievably enjoyable experience. I gotta admit today was a great day in my gaming life!

Sought prize

Yes! Finally!

Ever since I first saw the "old-school" emblem, it became an obsession to me. I'm a gamer since 1992 (I was 8 ) but I play videogames since I was 4. I've owned many games but considering that I hadn't became a collector before 2002, I've sold many games as well. Nevertheless, no one can say I'm not old-school. Hell, I'm even the most acknowleged gamer I know!

Anyway, last night, I included in "my collection" here in GS three Genesis games I hadn't remembered before that I have: Vectorman, Out of this World and Altered Beast. And today, for my surprise, BAM! I have the old-school emblem. I hope it's not a damn bug like when everyone got the "Hella old-school" emblem. That one I know I don't deserve, but this one I sure have the right to have.

Impressions on my brief glimpse over Rapture

Yeah, well. We all know that BioShock demo is out and this is the game that most X360 owners have been highly hyped about. Ok, maybe people have been even more hyped about Halo 3, but I ushave yet to understand why on Earth you guys like this series so much.

Different from most of my posts, I won't beat around the bush and go straight to the point: hype sucks. Not that the demo wasn't good. It was. God, awesome looking game! Right in the begining, when you're adrift, I watched the BEST water effects I've ever seen. I didn't even feel that I should have an HDTV (something that some X360 games made me feel) because it looks so good in SD I don't even care. The environment and the feeling of immersion are also... can't think of another word other than superb. There's nothing generic about it, not only every room is different from one another (think the exactly how Halo is NOT), Rapture must have been planned by an actual architect, not a game designer. It just makes sense. The 1950's feel is everything it was supposed to be. Interaction is also outstanding, it makes up for the bad feeling Gears gave me (my only complaint about Gears and the only game on the 360 I've played enough to have a good opinion, by the way).

On to gameplay. The Plasmids have been extensively promoted and it's for a good reason: your weapons alone can't make the cut. Nor the Plasmid alone. You must strongly rely on the weapon+plasmid+environment combo in order to survive. Not that the game is THAT HARD, but from what I've seen in that short demo, I suppose that further in the game, a player won't make it too far without thinking outside the box.

Ok, I began saying "hype sucks" but only praised the game so far. Let's talk about that. I expected this to be the best game ever. Well, it isn't that much. First off, the most disappoint thing is how weapons sound. When I picked my first pistol (a magnum of sorts), I kept holding my finger just to unload it only when some unfortunate soul crossed my path, hoping to hear the most realistic (or, at least, loud) sound ever from a fireweapon. And it was completely disappointing. Soon after I picked a submachine gun and it was equally sad. Not only that, the way the enemies take the shots are kind of unrealistic (I had already realised that from the trailers, but when you're playing it, it is very dull).

Bottom line is: the game seems to be good. VERY good. But it isn't perfect and THAT is what I expected. Damn, I didn't even feel the URGE to play the complete version as I felt when I played F.E.A.R. demo. But then again, it is probably because of when in the game the demo is placed and not the game itself.

The 360 Experience

First off, I decided to go with no puns for the name 360 in this post title because it is getting sooooooo old that makes me wanna cry. Ok, not so much. What actually made me wanna cry last Friday (the day my 360 got here) was the first time I chainsawed a Locust... And then I also wanted to cry on Saturday (damn, I'm starting to sound like an emo kid with all these crying...) was when I kicked General Raam's ass. Those who haven't played Gears of War aren't understanding **** but those who have sure know what I'm talking about. Great game. Awesome game. Simply put, probably the best action game I've ever played. Different from other games on my "best action games ever" list, such as MGS3, RE4 and DMC3, this one is only about action. But equaly different from those games, this one single player campain is too damn short for its own good. Ok, whatever, this is not a GoW review. But rest assured that it will come, once I finish it in all difficult modes and have a deeper online experience.

Speaking of online, I signed up with Live yesterday (1 month of free gold membership baby!). Downloaded a few trials on Arcade (Lumines definitely lives up to the hype) and Blue Dragon and F.E.A.R. demos. So far only got to play Blue Dragon for around 20 minutes the least I can say is: Best Boss Battle Theme EVER. And I've played a lot more than a handful of JRPG's before saying that. This is just the beginning.

Before wraping this post up, I'm not that happy to say that Final Fantasy III has been sitting aside in the last few days (which was completely foreseen) but I was smart enough to keep a detailed journal on the game while I was playing, so I can easily go back to it any time. And I still hope this time to come soon.

Back to business

Well well, finally a break! Have a two week break from college, now I can go back to gaming. Well, just today I started playing Final Fantasy III on the DS (AGAIN), but this time, I suppose I'll go through the whole game. That is, if I don't get too distracted with Gears of War... you know, it's been a while that I've been saying that I'm saving up for a 360 and stuff and well... I BOUGHT ONE XD
I mean, I just ordered online, it will arrive within this week. Along with GoW and Perfect Dark Zero (I've been dying for a good offline FPS multiplayer since the first one... Those PD and 007 on the N64 were so, so sweet... ^^), and I'm also planning on buying Enchanted Arm and Dead Rising within the next two weeks.

On a different platform, my PS2 is dead again. And this time is for good. In fact, I decided to buy the 360 right away or I'd end up spending part of what I saved on a new PS2 (damn, that is one good system), I started craving to play FFXII again (I played only the first 30 hours and then the system died last year...). Regardless of that, I bought Dirge of Cerberus and the FFXII Collector's Edition. Yeah, I'm pretty hooked up on FF again for I started reading the Reunion Files and some Ultimanias translations.

Time to go back to FFIII... so simple yet so sweet... that's what old school is all about! XD
(I might end up checking the NES version and see how huge is the gap between them)

A fitting end

My review of Symphonia is up and although I've beaten the crap out of Mithos, I'm still not satisfied. 60h+ and I still know about some sidequests I haven't done (or suspect they exist). I suppose that after milking everything I can from this game, I still will check gamefaqs and see what I missed. Well, I suppose I still have some ways to go so, 'till my next game!

Reuniting worlds torn apart

With 46h+, I believe I'm close to the end of my journey. And it's been quite a ride. Although Tales of Symphonia overall plot isn't that big deal, it served its purposes and even if it is a tad on the childish side, its quite fun. There's even a poorly explained "Ancient War" that starts to become clearer towards the end and it reminded me of Xenogears, not in content, but in "spirit". Nevertheless, the real thing here is the cast. It's been a looong time since I came across such a likable cast like this. Not that they're perfect, I mean, even though they all have strong, distinct personalities, these personalities didn't evolve much during the game. But that doesn't matter, Symphonia is the kind of game that you come to like and care about the characters, and that's a lot more than most RPG's do these days.

Plot aside, the feeling that I was playing an RPG from the PSOne "golden era" never abandoned me and the whole experience felt pretty nostalgic. It was like playing a cross between Grandia (basically plot-wise) and Star Ocean 2 (game progression and soundtrack - before my review, I wanna check if both scores aren't by the same composer). In other words, it felt great. Battling never gets tiresome and dungeon design is pretty outstanding, almost every dungeon has a different kind of puzzle to solve which turns out to be the dungeon itself, all ranging in the "traditional area", from pushing blocks, to riddles, to those goddamn teleporters; this helps to avoid that feeling of "oh man, another dungeon? Not again!". You actually have fun during the dungeons, which, again, is a lot more than most RPG's do.

Obviously I still have some unfinished business with cool characters who can't decide which side they are, but I have enough ground to say that my opinion about Symphonia is strong and most definitely final. In a couple of days, at most, I'll have the game finished and the review should follow shortly after. And the good news is, despite its shortcomings (which obviously will be taken into consideration), I mostly have good things to say about this game. A lot of good things. VERY good things ^^

Sacrifices of the Chosen

Started playing Tales of Symphonia two days ago and I'm quite pleased with it. Clocked at 14h+, the game seems to blend several aspects of the "RPG Golden Era" on the PSOne. The world reminds me of Expel, from Star Ocean 2, the plot setting has Grandia written all over it and game progression, so far, is somewhat similar to FFVII. Not to mention that the game is somewhat slow so far but you just feel that something very meaniful is about to happen, furthermore it keeps hinting that there is a lot more to its plot than it meets the eye. Just like, again, Grandia, FFVII and Star Ocean 2. I didn't wanna say that I'm loving the game, for it has its shortcomings (sometimes the dialog is a bit silly and most characters are much too cheerful for their own good), but considering that I spent over 10h straight playing it today, well... I'm loving it! I had never played a Tales game before, but if the others are as good as this, I have found a very good "light" alternative to the darker-toned RPG's I'm used to.

I suppose I'm gonna get some rest and head back into the game. I'll keep posting my impressions here 'till I beat it and have the review done. 'Till next time! ^^

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