Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Gone to Tokyo...

Until next Wednesday, I'll be gone on a trip to Japan. Until then, updates will be halted for the time being. Everything will be back to normal after next Wednesday.

I'll bring back some goodies, hopefully, to share with you guys when I return. Until then, laters!

Friday, May 16, 2008

The World Ends With You...finished!

TWEWY was just an incredible video game binge that just took up way too much time...about 50+ hours, at least. But the story was incredible, and there's still much more to complete, so I'll just say I finished the story for now. I just hope SquareEnix will recognize the success from this small title to make another non-Final-Fantasy-based game. See, it's not so scary when you're not relying on the main franchise, is it?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Beyond Good and Evil...another sequel may appear

Beyond Good and Evil is one of the best stories out there. Sure, it's a great game, but when the story really drives you to completing it, that's something else on a whole new level. So imagine my enjoyment when I hear that its sequel has been in development for a year now, and is merely awaiting pickup from UbiSoft to really get going in production. NOT let this game go. This is a freaken cult-following goldmine, and if you back up the developers, you will reap huge profits. Your profits will reap huge profits. And your profits' little profits will reap huge huge profits. You like money, right? Make this game happen! Jade is depending on you!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Zero Punctuation review: Grand Theft Auto IV

It's "Lazy Wednesday" time, and Yahtzee's got his hands full with Grand Theft Auto IV. I agree with some of his thoughts about doing mindless chores, but taking people out for a drink and a movie? That's what I do when I'm not playing video games. And please take heed to his message at the end.

Wait, that email rant response was funny.

I take that back! Spam his email for all its worth!

Click the funny NSFW goodness below and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The world ends with you...playing "The World Ends With You"

There are a few games that will completely absorb me, suck me into the interwoven and intricate gameplay mechanics that extend well beyond the boundaries normally unbroken by the common and mundane games released. Then I got my hands on SquareEnix's "The World Ends With You," or "TWEWY" around the interwebs, and I'm reminded what a good DS game is capable of.

This game has anything and everything to keep you occupied and constantly changing your preferences to obtain what you need, when you need it. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

1. No random battles: TWEWY made enemy interaction smarter and more logical. If the user wants to enter battles, they just scan and select with the stylus. Want a longer battle with more rewards? Chain more enemies. Want to select difficulty and frequency of rare items? Adjust it. There are still enemies that will pursue you on your own, but for the most part you just select your own battles.

2. Pin abilities: The abilities your character uses are tied to these pins that you collect and level up. This is like Pokemon, but without the caring for another living being. And with so many goddamn pins around, it really makes you want to search for every single one out there.

3. Battles: There's nothing anywhere like the battles you face here. Essentially, you're fighting two battles at once - one on the top screen, and one on the bottom. The top screen is handled with the D-pad, while the bottom is for the stylus. The learning curve is certainly a struggle, and if you're not comfortable at all with the top screen battling, you can set that to "auto." However, you may miss out on the ability to battle with an advantage. If you set it to a partial or all manual system, you can effectively battle on both screens at once. This makes every single battle truly a feast on the senses, since you have to multitask everywhere. The benefit from this, of course, is better control and the ability to pass this green puck back and forth, accumulating a stronger attack while maintaining this combo.

4. Touch-screen interface: The types of attacks this game offers for the different touch styles is so intuitive that it almost makes it feel like the DS was purposely made just for this game. Of course, you're prone to just stylus-mashing, but when you know exactly what you need to do, initiating attacks is a thing of beauty.

5. Setting: TWEWY gets a shitload of points alone for being an RPG not based around swords and shields all in a medieval setting. How I longed for an RPG that was based on modern times, much like Earthbound was. TWEWY delivers, and it delivers strong. Basing a game on a popular city like Shibuya with the pins and clothes as this version's "swords and shields" gives a fresh take on the typical RPG fare.

I can go on, but typing this post has steered me away from the game long enough. A word of warning, though...this game can suck you in bad. Like, "forgetting to feed your pet" bad.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The wheel's not ALL bad...

Okay, I've stayed away from reviewing this thing long enough. It's the game that's everyone's praising or hating - Mario Kart Wii.

By now, you've probably read reviews on how the Wii Wheel handles, and that half of them say to stay clear of it. The other half thinks it's an innovative feature that is an absolute must.

I'm not gonna say either of those things. All I'm gonna say is give it a try.

I treat anyone that reads my blog with a good degree of respect. No one should have to actually do anything an article says them to do. In fact, by telling people to not do something, it inversely compels them to actually go and do it. Of course, that privilege does not extend to me telling you not to jump off a bridge, only to have you actually do it.

The main point is, if you like the game, you'll give the wheel a try. Want my opinions? Here's the gist of it:

1. I was terrible at it the first time.
2. The learning curve was relatively short. I got good in about an hour.
3. It's not as sensitive as people think. I think people are just trying to jerk the wheel to the left or right severely, thinking that it would respond just as fast. It won't, so don't.

Wanna know what I didn't like?

1. Controlling motorcycles is a bit more sensitive with the wheel.
2. Sometimes hard to pull off the mini-boost after a jump (shaking the Wii-mote after a jump).
3. No resistance/support when turning.

Wanna know why I think people blame the wheel?

1. The game's Mario Kart - they're notorious for annoying AI, and annoying AI would make anyone think their controller's messed up.
2. They're not patient with the wheel (see above comment about sensitivity).
3. They suck, but don't want to admit it. A worker blames his tools.

All I'm saying is to give the wheel a shot. If you don't like it, feel free to send it my way. I need the extra one for my wife.

That's right, you heard me. My wife is a racer, and enjoys the control scheme. The only review that means something to me is my wife's, and that already says a lot.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Zero Punctuation special: Mailbag Showdown

Hey guys! Yesterday was too lazy, so I'm not so proud to bring you a "Lazy Thursday" today with Yahtzee's critique - the people who wouldn't shut up about Super Smash Bros Brawl. I love the game, despite any bad reviews I've read on it. And when I mean "bad," I mean the ones that don't know how to write and bash it from a fanboy's standpoint. There's plenty of good reviews out there that point out the flaws of the game in a critical but informative manner, and Yahtzee's one of those reviewers. I mean, one of the things that makes him good is that he never uses a scoring system - something I believe is terrible and should not be relied on. I mean, really...when was the last time you asked someone for their opinions on a game, and then, when they're done, asked, "So, out of a 10, what score would you give it?" People who think he needs one misses the point of his video reviews completely, and it saddens me when Yahtzee (in this week's entry) had to explain himself on why he omits numerical scoring.

Okay, rant's over. Check out the obviously NSFW video below, and stop bugging him to review certain games. He has a job where people already tell him what to review; he doesn't need suggestions from people that don't sign his paycheck.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Need to get something off my chest...

If you're a Phoenix Wright fan, you're gonna enjoy this comic as much as I did. Bonus points for the alternative ending.