Dear Esther Thoughts and Spoilers

August 14, 2012

Dear Esther is a Half Life 2 source mod turned retail and plays very similar to the free mod Stanley Parable, you awaken in a world all alone and walk forward as a narrator tells you a story.

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“A deserted island… a lost man… memories of a fatal crash… a book written by a dying explorer.”

The focus is on exploration, uncovering the mystery of the island, of who you are and why you are here. Fragments of story are triggered by moving along the linear paths until you hit a dead end. At the dead end you simply turn around and you’ll find a new path that branches off and you can continue walking forward. There are also a few moments of well composed music that stand out against the simple environmental sounds that fill most of the game’s soundtrack.
Now if this sounds good to you so far I am sorry, this “game” is the most boring 80 minutes I’ve ever spent with this hobby.

I’m going to keep the spoilers below the page break. Before that however I want to say that this game is the worst aspects of “art games”. It is boring, almost to a criminal degree. You can only move at a slow walk, unable to interact with anything at all, the only thing you can effect is finding a trigger for the narrator, but his story is such a jumbled mess that I started wishing he would stop talking his nonsense. The story is poorly told, convoluted, and completely full of itself. I am glad that I played this “game” because now I know it’s hogwash that doesn’t deserve any of the praise it received.

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Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy

August 3, 2012

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The 3DS hasn’t had the strongest line up, all three games I had bought for it in the last year were ports of older games. With my July turning into a lot of traveling, including my first trip to Otakon, I decided I needed a new 3DS game, and Kingdom Hearts 3Ds wouldn’t be out in time.  So I talked myself into the Final Fantasy Rhythm game. I was very hesitant going in since I completely suck at games like Rhythm Heaven DS and Elite Beats.

At the 7 hour mark I realized this may be the best FF game they’ve released in the last decade. And the funny thing is it has nothing to do with story, or visuals. This game is just amazing music, the best from 25 years of games with fantastic music.

The Rhythm game is fun and the perfect amount of challenge for me. It isn’t afraid to have you replay songs to get better at them and I want to replay the songs, not only because I love them, but each time is another chance to improve my aggregate score, collect all kinds of items, unlock more songs, modes and even characters, level up my party of final fantasy heroes who learn skills that can slightly change the experience and so much more. You can even replay songs with nothing equipped increasing difficulty, but increasing the chance to get more collectables and a boosted score. They have found a way to make me love grinding. Even after beating the game I’m no where near done. I’ve now clocked 20 hours and still going strong.

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I will probably talk myself into buying a few of the dlc songs, FFVI songs are some of my all time favorite. But I really hope square realizes the prices are a bit much and eventually release a cheaper bundle.


Games from Around the World

January 26, 2011

 

I was listening to some podcasts recently and it was mentioned just how culturally wide Video Games are compared to any other medium.  After thinking more about it, it’s really quite amazing.  We have games coming from literally ALL over the world and we don’t even have to separate them into a different category, like “Foreign Movies”

Mario(Japan) sits there right next to Medal of Honor: Heroes 2(Canada), Assassin’s Creed(Canada owned by the French) sits right next to Alan Wake(Finland), and Heavy Rain (Paris, France) sits right next to Heavenly Sword (Cambridge, England). Let’s not forget Call of Duty created by a California team, the most recent release (BlackOps) had portions of the game developed by teams from all over the world.

My point is we have games developed by different people not just from all parts of the world, but actually still IN all parts of the world.  All those different cultures and experiences defining and shaping the gaming experiences they share with the rest of the world and BEST of all, we don’t segregate it.  Everything is listed in Alphabetical order, be it the turn based japanese RPG or an american rack up points for shooting someone in the face.

Another fascinating aspect of video games, I visited Washington DC in November of last year, and I was constantly seeing things that reminded me of my trips through Fallout3, I could pull up a map of Arlington and see where the landmarks lined up.   I’ve heard stories of people who have said the same after visiting New York, Paris and Tokyo.  That through games like Grand Theft Auto, The Saboteur and The World Ends With You, they then recognize land marks and know what directions they would go to find others.  Video Games have an amazing ability to teach, history, skills, culture, and so much more, and do it in a way that you may not even realize you are learning anything at all.  All you know is that you are having fun playing a game.

Gaming isn’t the same the world over, I know what does well in Japan doesn’t always do well here and vice versa(especially when Microsoft is involved).  The PS3 and PSP have a much stronger following in the UK than in the US, but they sometimes end up waiting an extra year for games from Nintendo. And really, that’s the only thing that I think we still need to improve, we need more localization teams to help spread gaming to every corner of the Earth. I can’t think of any other entertainment that is so widely distributed the world over and I love it.


I HAZ A PS3!!!!~!

September 23, 2009

The world is coming to an end, for I have a PS3. First gen, 60GB, full backwards compatible to boot.

Having barely scratched the surface of available xbox360 games, or even simply completing half of the ones that I own. I somehow found myself on Craigslist buying myself a PS3 so that I could finally get back to playing my PS2 games.

I’ll invite anyone who has a PS3 to friend, since I’m pretty much the only person I know who both has a PS3 and has it hooked up to the internet, but the only online game I own currently is Fat Princess. I’ll also own Wipeout HD relatively soon, but probably not until November when I feel I can finally spend more money of video games.

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Of course the FIRST (and only retail) PS3 game that I had to buy was Valkyria Chronicles. I’ve been planning on getting a PS3 just for this game since AGES ago, it just so happened to finally be the right time I guess.
Though, I never watched the anime, I saw snips of the first ep that they were turning it into an abomination that no fan of the game would accept so I never watched it.

I have beaten Flower,  it was actually the first game that I bought. It’s been an amazing game, and all that I have left is to find all those trophies, which should be fun. I love showing people the grass in this game, it really is a great game to show off the processing power of the PS3.

Anyways, I’m pretty happy with it so far, though getting it to play happy with my router was a huge pain. It also required a redesign of my entertainment center, but it’s all been worth it.  And now I can finally go back to being a PS3 fanboy…….. ahhh shitz, they’ve ruined it.


My thoughts on Anime Expo: Part2 (Announcments)

July 13, 2009

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Now I’ve never been to E3 or the TGS, but I follow them and others like it every year. Waiting for those few game announcements that can actually put me on the edge of my seat in excitement. The rest of my time is spent looking at the new information, videos and screenshots of games that I already know about but still aren’t out. Sometimes, incases of Fallout3, the initial announcements pass me by without any desire to know more, and then half a year later I see a developer walkthrough and realize that the game is going to be EPIC.

This is something that I can’t do at Anime Expo, or any other anime convention.  I mean there are a lot of announcements every year about all the new shows, manga, and more that are licensed for release state side. But I’ve already watched any of the shows that I care about. Really the closest thing I can call exciting news that I found at this years Anime Expo was that there is a company called MangaGamer and they’ll be releasing the Shuffle! and Higurashi VNs.

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MangaGamer is a company based in Europe(can’t remember where), and they provide translated Japanese visual novels for download. The digital games are still on the pricey side, but that’s reasonably understandable considering how small of audience it pulls with western gamers, and how expensive the games originally are in japan. But what really sets them apart from the deceased Hirameki International Group, Inc. is localization of games like Da Capo and Shuffle! AKA Eroge.

I just didn’t see them coming at all. But in my opinion MangaGamer owned this show, no other announcement was able to knock me off my feet like this one. They even had multiple industry guests from Circus and OVERDRIVE. A booth offering all sorts of 18+ goodies. And did I mention that they are bringing over both Shuffle! and Higurashi?

Other than that, I really can’t think of any exciting news. I mean sure there were plenty of new titles coming over, but nothing can top MangaGamer’s news.

For a more complete post on how awesome MangaGamer was at AnimeExpo09 check this blog post out.  Shuffle! already has a date set for August 15th with Higurashi PT1 planned for Sep.


GTA IV Game of the Year?

March 5, 2009

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Back near the end of 08 and beginning of 09 there was the yearly awards given out for amazing games. At the time Fallout3 was pretty much the only Game of the Year nominee that I had played. I really rooted for the game, it was an amazing experience and anything that I can clock 70+ hours into must be worthy of the award. To my dismay though, GTA IV took home at least half of the GoTY awards, and with sites like GameTrailers, it took home almost every award it got nominated for.

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Plans for the Future

February 27, 2009

So the idea struck me, much like a 102 degree fever dream at 1 am, I should try going back to the basics. By which I mean, simply reviewing an anime show here and there. My schooling is currently on break, and I have a lull in my work schedule, so outside of watching the anime and playing my new copy of GTA4, I’m thinking I’ll have plenty of time to do it.

With any luck I’ll be able to revive this blog a bit and watch the hits per day trickle away. I have a couple of things in my draft list, I’ll work on getting something out. But just a warning, I have a challenge going with my good friend, AuthorX/AxeltheBard on who can reach a gamerscore of 10,000 first, current scores place him at 9,475, and myself trailing him at 9,140.  Even though he’s pulled ahead, I’ve been catching up and have closed the gap by quite a bit in the last month.  I’ve also got two “new” games to work with on top of going back to my old games to achievement hunt.  Last I checked, my opponent only has a copy of Mass Effect that is in the mail, I believe I have a chance.

My final words for tonight, don’t hold your breath. I’ve said a number of times that I’d be reviving this thing and it’s always been followed with a mild putter, a whimper and silence for almost a month. ^_^ I do have faith that this time will be a bit different however.

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If not, you’ll know what to refer to this as.