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larkanderson Blog

Post game Brawl wrap-up

Despite being groggy from last nights send off party for Brad--which included a lot of singing, among other activities--I managed to get this morning's brawling started only mere minutes late. Anyway, thanks to everyone who showed up! There were some epic battles, some epic lag, and a bit of epic fail--such as the time when I somehow mixed my Lucas up with a Luigi and jumped off the map. There were also some crazy item spawns. I mean, how often do four Hammers and three Smash Balls appear in a single battle? Or how about the time that a Bomb-omb appeared a foot in front of me as I fired my projectile? But that's just all part of the fun of playing Brawl, right?

I saved some replays, and I'm going to try to capture them for upload here, so hopefully next week we'll have some of the good times to look at here. Thanks again to everyone who could make it in, and sorry if we couldn't get a match in. We'll have to do it again sometime.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl Saturday

So, this Saturday, from 12pm noon PT to 2pm PT I'll be online for some smashing good times. I've added just about everyone who has sent me their friend code or posted it here (there are a few I missed though, and I'll add those tonight!). My plan is to create a room at noon and accept the first three people who try to join, then to drop out and make a new room every twenty minutes after that so we can rotate people out. Obviously, depending on a match in progress, this may be delayed a bit, but I'll try to stick to the schedule as best as I can.

As far as game rules go, it'll be free-for-all with default item options set in three stock matches.

If you've got any comments about how we could do this differently, post them here. Also, if you want in on the action and you haven't already, send me your Brawl friend code!


People asked about a chat room, and I've been told I can just use the tournament chatroom. So at 12 noon I'll be there too so we can coordinate a bit better. All you've got to do is head here.

My Brawl Friend Code

So a lot of people want to play Brawls with me, so I'm posting my friend code here for anyone interested:


This is my Brawl friend code, not my Wii system code (which is 16 digits). If you add me, make sure to post your FC or PM it to me! I'm pretty busy this week and weekend, but I just talked it over with Don and told him that probably next weekend I can set something up. Check back later for more details!

Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword

I'm glad that I'm not the only one that thinks the music from this game is completely ripping Super Metroid off. I guess there are worse games to garner "inspiration" from, but still, it sounds like it was lifted direct.

Burn my dread...again

Today, Atlus made it official that Persona 3: FES, the definitive cut of the game we gave the Best RPG of 2007 award to would be making its way to the US, and I couldn't be more thrilled. As one of the people who vociferously argued for Persona 3 in the awards over its steep competition, which included Eternal Sonata and The Witcher, I'm glad to see that "the real game" is on its way over, because after all, we were downright robbed by the original release of the game.

Persona 3: FES (oddly enough my second encounter with a Fez in the last week), though billed as an "expansion pack," is anything but. It comes with two discs, one of which is the completely remastered original game, and the second is a brand new mission that takes place after the original game. The remastered version includes all new Personas, a new social link with a new Arcana, a Hard difficulty, tons more requests from Elizabeth, new nighttime events with that crazy awesome dog Koromaru, a new weapon fusion system, and some more spoilerific secrets. Oh, and equipping different armor actually changes your characters appearances in the game. The second disc includes the Operation AEGIS sequel, which continues the story afterwards and actually provides a brand new 30+ hour game campaign. This is on top of the already 100+ hour main game. You're getting all of this, which also includes the awesome ability to import saved game data from the original game, for only $29.99.

So, why the expansion pack? That's a good question. I don't really know the answer myself, but I would imagine that it has something to do with the original product being rushed to market. I'm guessing that Persona 3 got pushed out early, and that it sold so well in Japanland that they decided to recover all that extra awesome stuff they had in the works and put it out. And then, because they are extra awesome, they decided to make a 30+ hour mini-sequel to it. Basically, once I realized what FES was, after having already gotten some 80 hours into the original, I cried a little on the inside, because I knew that the odds of it coming out in the States were somewhere in the negatives. Now that I know it's coming out, I'm crying a little on the inside out of joy.

So what can you do? You can start by preordering this game. I'm pretty sure that Atlus only prints about 5 copies of every game they make, and so you're pretty much going to have to preorder it if you want a copy. If you like JRPGs, this is probably a game you'll really dig, and even if you don't you might like it because it's totally not a traditional one in any sense at all. But in the meantime, you can check out the cool trailer:


Moves Shown

Today I had the opportunity to play our Japanese import copy of Super Smash Bros. Brawl at the set for On the Spot with Ryan Davis (in his last appearance on the show, as today was his last day) and Brad Shoemaker. I was supposed to be the resident expert on the game, but Brad and Ryan did most of the talking, though I did get some dialogue in and answered a couple questions. It was a fun experience and I'm glad I had the opportunity. If only because I got to Falcon Punch Brad on the air.

You can watch the episode here, if you're interested in seeing me fail with Pokemon Trainer--who is a fail character as far as I'm concerned anyway--and then pull out victories with Captain Falcon and Lucas. Oh yeah, and I think I jumped off the side with Lucas after botching a PK Thunder. Whatever.

This wasn't the first time I've played Brawl as I've been messing with it ever since we got it in the office (I'm actually directly responsible for or was present during most all of the unlocked content in our import), and I remembered how when I first saw it here I flashed back to the literally hundreds of hours that I played the original and Melee with my brother way back when.

Anyway, if you're looking for impressions, you're not going to find them here. I'm not a Previews Editor and Brad's done a great job so far. Do be sure to check out our Super Smash Bros. Brawl Launch Center, however! One of my jobs is to project manage editorial features including our Launch Centers, and I would be remiss if I didn't try to push traffic that way. Go post comments about how upset you are that R.O.B. is in the game, or about how awesome Captain Falcon is, or something!

I have never played Rez before

And this is something that I am truly ashamed at admitting. I am very familiar with the game, having become highly interested in it and the other works of mastermind Tetsuya Mizuguchi when I discovered them, but unfortunately, by the time that I did, Rez's time was long since past and I wasn't particularly interested in paying an exorbitant fee to buy a copy of the exceedingly rare game.

When I started at GameSpot and discovered that we had a house copy of Rez, I snatched up the game box (the special edition one with the Trance Vibrator, still enshrouded in its velvet casing as God only knows where that's been--Alex's pants, perhaps?) and put it on my desk. I'll admit it was a tad bit for some gamer cred, but mostly because it was something that I'd always wanted to own, but never did. I never did play it though (mostly 'cause I didn't find the game disc), and when I learned that an HD version was coming out on XBLA, I decided that I would wait to play that version.

Well, today was that day for me--I got to play Rez for the first time. On the final level. With Tetsuya Mizuguchi sitting right next to me. I'm pretty sure that I died in record time, much to everyone's disappointment, especially my own. He's a great guy though and took it in stride, and we all joked about how we'd just pretend it didn't happen.

He showed me how he likes to play with Trance Vibrator support (mind out of the gutter! He puts the controller under the ball of his right foot) and did a quick run-through of Level 2, in which he tried to pass the controller off to me again but I politely declined. He ended up dying at the boss, something he attributed to jet lag, but of course I have no room to judge: I failed almost instantly at perhaps his most famous game because I had never played it before. Needless to say I was a tad bit embarrassed having met one of my idols in such a way, and confessed to having never played it. I suppose I should be lucky that he didn't simply frown and dismiss me from his presence.

He was on a tight schedule though and had to leave, but I did manage to secure the one thing from him that I had desired most, beyond the opportunity to bask in his presence to see if I couldn't somehow absorb some of his genius through close proximity:


Yay, I'm one signature closer to my goal of getting all of my heroes' (the ones who have developed for the Nintendo DS, at least) signatures on my DS! In case you're wondering, the silver sig on the right is from Mr. Castlevania, Koji Igarashi.