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Sep. 20th, 2011

Oh dang~

The new Kingdom Hearts game is going to have Neku from The World Ends With You, and Quasimodo and Esmerelda from Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Dag, y'all.

Sep. 11th, 2011

Tales of Xillia is everything that is wrong and right with Japanese games

I am currently playing Tales of Xillia. It is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with the Japanese gaming industry. :/

As I've played the game, I've gone, "...why are all the women dressed like skanks?", "...they had to do the jiggle physics, eh?", "...KILL IT WITH FIRE," and "Wow, that character is the same as ____ from Tales of ____./ _____ is this game's _____ from that other Tales game."

The thing the game fails at and hits out of the park are from the same source: copying what came before. Where is gets it RIGHT is when it takes a gameplay element from other games - the leveling up system is straight out of FF13, and it's made it so you can interact more with the environment instead of invisible walls, including some short first-person elements, which is straight from western games. The leveling up system is a smoother, more streamlined version of the FF13 crystals, and they've improved how to get stores to have more items. They've also made it fucking gorgeous.

Where it fails, however, is doing a copy-paste on the characters. This includes trying to include a "cute" character a ala a moogle or, even more fitting, Teddy from Persona 4. AND FAILING MISERABLY. Tipo is annoying as fuck, and I am not kidding, I have been yelling "Kill it with fire!" every single time it opens its mouth. It is that annoying. And also, for fuck's sake, game, you can not SERIOUSLY expect me to believe that a fifteen year old is a last-year med school student and seeing patients. Unless his name is Dougie Howser, NO. The only way it'd make sense is if you set him up as some kinda genius, and y'all haven'T, and more than that, once the Child Character showed how, she took over being the healer. So. No. Likewise, it makes no sense for the main female character to be dressed in straps of leather and cloth, given the way the people dress where she is from, and especially when you handwave it with her saying, "A short skirt is comfortable to move in," which indicates that the person who wrote that line has never actually worn a skirt at all, let alone one that is skin-tight and barely covers your ass cheeks. They could have given her shorts that same length, and I'd have bought it, but a skirt, no. That's fanservice, and fuck you.

The story started out great and then the actually cookie-cutter characters showed up and I'm getting bored to tears with them, when I am not actively wishing for a flame thrower.

It's like the game devs haven't realized that a) the average gamer is no longer 15 and b) what was cool when they were 15 is not cool to someone in the age range of the average gamer, which is early-to-mid-30s. It's obvious that story and characterization were given a backseat, and it doesn't matter how good your game play mechanics are when you don't give a shit about the characters in an RPG.

You can make a good game by taking previous elements from earlier titles and tweaking them.

You can not make a good story by taking characters from earlier titles and just changing their clothes and voices and dropping them into a story filled with similarly copy-pasted lines.

Tales of, I am disappoint.

Sep. 10th, 2011

Tales of Xillia

I just got Tales of Xillia today and have been playing for about an hour.

So far, it is really, really dark. Like, REALLY dark.

Which is kinda awesome.

I also really like how the male character is a healer - he's a med student about to finish medical school, and the female character is so much higher level than you and with so much more magic and XP that it's not even funny. >XD

So yes, an hour in, and kinda awesome.

Also, the axe-crazy character is also female, and also very much axe-crazy.

Feb. 27th, 2011

So Not A Gamer's Game Review: Radiant Historia

So Not A Gamer's Game Review: Radiant Historia

One thing I'm going to say upfront: game devs, it is time to stop being afraid of an unhappy ending. It is time to stop twisting a story to make a happy ending when unhappy is the only way something should end.

My biggest beef with a game doing that is a game I love, FF13. The only thing I didn't like was the cheeseball deus-ex-machina ending. Sometimes? It is OK for the good guys to sacrifice themselves to completely save the world. If FF13 had ended with the first pseudo-ending, or the second pseudo-ending, I would have fucking LOVED the game all the more, instead of feeling vaguely let-down, as I was when the game final cut scene kept going.

Radiant Historia is also a game that should have an unequivocal hero sacrifice, and yet, it tries to pull out the happy end, and is, I think, weaker for it.

Make no mistakes, it has a strong story, and good characters--it's an Atlus game, after all--but the ending felt weak to me, because they pulled back at the last second. I recommend the game, without a doubt--go get it when it comes out--but the ending was lackluster when it could have been amazing. Had they shown us what it was leading up to, and then not try to close it with ambiguity, this game would have gone into my "damn near perfect" category of games (currently only consisting of "Mizu no senritsu" and "Kirby's Epic Yarn"). Instead, it's only "really damned good."

The sucky thing is, some games do take that last step, the one Radiant Historia pulled back from--look at the Silent Hill series. Playing the other games, it's hinted very strongly that James never came back, which means one of the bad endings was what happened. And in Silent Hill 3, the protagonist of Silent Hill 1 is murdered. So why is it that RPGs--Japanese ones, at least; I just can NOT get into Western ones, and I tried--seem to think if the ending isn't bright and shiny, or at the very least ambiguous--that players will freak out?

Game devs...stop. Stop being afraid to pull back. If there can be books and movies that end in a way that makes the players cry when they're can games. If you want to be considered an art ready to take that last step.

Sometimes, it's OK for us to play as Aerith, and for us to therefore die.

We, the players, can take it. I promise.

The short of it. )

Jan. 30th, 2011

The Last Story first impressions: nngh

So, I bought The Last Story. I was going to wait until I finished Tales of Graces F to play it since I knew I was close to the end, then I got fed up when the final boss killed me twice--and once after I spent a truly godawful amount of time level-grinding, which I get to repeat to level grind up some more, since dammit, I was fairly close. asdfghjkl;

But anyway, I decided to just see how The Last Story was, and popped it in.

OK, so, there is "in medias res" and then there's "dump your ass in the middle of shit," and believe you me, there is a difference. "Final Fantasy 13" was in medias res. The Last Story, on the other hand, is "dump your ass in the middle of shit." You are just tossed in the middle of a dungeon, and there you go. That's how it starts--no intro, no nothing, just BAM, there your ass is.

I'm sure a lot of the twitchier gamers--y'know, the ones who aren't happy unless something is deadified in the first two minutes--will be happy with this, but so far, I am completely disconnected from any of the characters (...other than the token chick, whom I already wish a) would put on some more clothes--I actually went, "Yeah, see, that's what you get for not wearing proper armor," when one of the cut scenes you trip over has her shot in the chest with a magic arrow (she gets better)--and knew she was going to be the "quirky" one) and am not drawn in.

I can see the influence of Western games in this--shit like autosave, short and sporadic cut scenes instead of one good chunk of one, dropping you into battle instantly--and truth be told, I'm not sure I like it much. I'm kinda like, why do I care about these characters? What are they fighting and why? Also, where the fuck are they and where the fuck are they going?

It's leaving me with nothing but frustrating questions, ones that if I had answers to, I might want to keep playing. But so far, the big question dangling at the end is, "And why do I care?"

Oh, and the camera is shit and the aiming is too loose--this is not a good fit for a wiimote and nunchunk. If you get this game, I hope you have a classic controller for it, because maybe that will control better. The last time I had this kind of problem with a game was when I tried to play first person games and found myself walking into walls as splicers savaged my back. The same thing happened, only it was shambling undead instead of splicers (so, really, not THAT different).

Seeing as I loved FF13 and critics and *cough*hardc0r*cough* normal gamers hated it, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say this game will garner tons and tons of critical praise and people saying FF went to shit when Sakaguchi left and this is what FF should be and BLAH BLAH BLAH, and I'm just gonna sit here and go, "I have no urge to keep playing, and I only played for 30 minutes." :/

I just...don't care at all about the world or the characters. Which kinda makes me sad, since yeah, Lost Odyssey, even if for me it went downhill fast, at least got me really interested in the world and characters fairly early in. This? It's just...meh.

If you play games to kill things with your pointy sticks and don't care about the little automatons you puppet around, you may like this game. If you play games to see the stories unfold and because you like the may not. I'm the latter type, and I'm just not hooked into it. :/

Dec. 26th, 2010

Nnnngh... XD;;;

I just finished the main story of Tales of Graces--the whole Wii version clocked in at about 60 hours, which for me is almost perfect for a game (I would have liked about five more hours or so, but hey) and started playing the "F" part of Tales of Graces F, which is a story set a year in the future.

I'm about two hours in, and already wishing I hadn't started, just because now they are aggressively trying to pair everyone off, and it feels so forced and kind of out of character since it's all coming out of nowhere. Boo.

*snerk* And not even gonna lie, part of it is because it's ruining my ships. XD (well, sort of--you will never convince me King Richard doesn't see Asbel as a, uh, special kinda friend), and the main "romance" seemed so one-sided in the game, and I saw Asbel as being (and kinda creepily, for various spolierific reasons) far more into Sophie than Cheria. Hell, he seemed more into Malik (...not that I blame him, 'cause, hi, Malik) than Cheria. One of the big plot running points was him not noticing at all that Cheria was into him.

*sigh* It just feels "My love is pastede on yay!", especially the other love story (there are two, *herk*) that's starting up. At least that one doesn't seem quite as WTF, because at least there were shades of it if you stumbled across the right cut scene when you were wandering around.

*snerk* I don't have a single romantic bone in my body, is all. I was making pukey noises as I was watching some of the cut scenes play out. And going, "The writers need to get hit with the 'subtlety' bat already! "XD

Dec. 12th, 2010

Tales of Graces

I'm currently playing Tales of Graces F (the ps3 port of the Wii game), and so far, I am enjoying it immensely. It's not quite as gripping as Vesperia, but it's heads and shoulders above the DS Tales games I started and didn't finish. This story feels far more like a slow burn, unlike Vesperia, which may be why it's got me hooked, but not with quite the same intensity. may also be because some of the characters are kind of facepalm worthy. Cheria I've taken to calling "Emomancer" (if you play Fantasy University on Facebook, you'll get the "Emomancer" thing.) Girl just needs to go full loligoth and dye her hair black and wear black clothes. She's got the feeling of l'ennui down pat, even though she looks like she should be the genki girl.

Then comes the genki girl, and I swear, it's a toss up between who I think was dropped more on the head as a baby, her or Vanille. ...OK, no, it was Vanille, but Pascal is a very, very, VERY close second, and I swear, her gropey-hands at the fourteen-year-old character has a) got me having flashbacks to the Korean girls in my class at language school who kept grabbing my boobs and b) screaming, "Pedophile!" at the screen.

Emomancer just makes my brain feel sluggish, but Pascal has me screaming, "You're a freak!" or "What the fuck is wrong with you?" at the screen (and one, "Can I do a find-replace of you with RIta from Vesperia?")

On the plus side, the other characters are interesting (even though one has me singing, "Someone drank the crazy juice~!" or go, "He is all eat up with the cray-cray,") and I'm really interested to see where the story goes. I'm quite enjoying this. (And yeah, I know there's little chance of Bandai translating it, which sucks. I pout at all the great fanfic that won't get written now. I mean, gawd, there's so much potential for a slasher to go to town with. *waves little Malik/Asbel flag and little Richard/Asbel flag and totes innocently denies there is a Hubert/Asbel raised-apart-but-stlll-siblings incest respective hate-/guiltsex flag* *cough*)

Also, Malik needs more screen time, because Mmmmm... (And I might need to track down the Tsubasa Chronicles anime, because wiki tells me Malik's voice actor was Seishirou in that, and that voice as Seishirou? YES PLZ.)

The other game I'm playing is Radiant Historia, and while my brain is crying with the nitpicking over the time-continuum things in it, it's definitely a cool premise, so when it comes out, if you have a DS, get it!

Now to get some more cleaning in so I can game more without guilt. At some point, I know I must be able to put Malik in my party, because the stores sell a weapon that only he uses, and I'd like to get to that point ASAP. My gaming life will be muuuuuch happier when Malik is in and Pascal is out). XD

Jun. 11th, 2010


I found out this evening that Japanese players also do "Let's Plays" and upload them to youtube.

I just spent my evening watching a Japanese Let's Play of Alan Wake. In case you're wondering why, yeah, just listen to this guy's voice:

I am such a sucker for voices. XD

May. 9th, 2010

World Destruction/Sands of Destruction

I went to a friend of a friend's farewell party yesterday--it was loads of fun! I like meeting new people, and hopefully will get to hang out with some of the folks I met there.

While I was going into Osaka, I pulled out the DS and started playing, because since I started playing "Tales of Vesperia," I've gotten back into the gaming grove, and figured I should play some of the games I bought which are just collecting dust. I took my DS instead of PSP because I figured I was going early to give myself getting lost time, and so maybe I'd go game shopping, because I want to get more Tales games, and wanted Tales of Heart.

But it's still an hour into Osaka, so I took a game to start me off. I made a quick call between "Demon Summoner" and "World Destruction" ("Sands of Destruction" in the West), and took World Destruction because, hell, it's a game where your goal is to destroy the world, not save it, and that's awesome.

...or so I thought, until I started playing. )

Jan. 31st, 2010


Lightning is officially awesomesauce, and is my favorite FF13 character (followed, oddly enough, by Hope. He's just so...earnestly adorable that I love him to itty bitty bits and pieces). Seriously, though, Lightning just did something so awesome in a cutscene that I literally squeed, "Oh my god, she's awesome!!!"

The game was apparently decided there had been too awesome, because when I got control again, it gave me a party with Snow and Vanille, and I was like, "...are you shitting me? Why do you do this to me?" Seriously, I have not used either of those characters since, well....their summons battles, pretty much. I haven't upgraded their weapons or put any new accessories on them, and also, I don't like either one of them.

Also, as an aside, the tower of Jintae is frickin' awesome (yeah, I know, I keep using that word). I spent more time than I needed to in there because I just liked it. The game also, in a cutscene, gave me a "jaw and controller drop, yell, '...NO!'" moment. Aiyiyi.

As I've said before, haters hating on this game can suck it. <3

Jan. 26th, 2010

Wow, I'm glad as a shallow gamer that I live in Japan

So Squeenix is working on a new RPG--Nier Gestalt/Replicant.

Replicant is very much geared towards a Japanese audience, with a pretty, androgynous young main character.

Gestalt is...geared towards the western Fugly, Oversized Medieval Space Marine Brickhouse character.

Replicant will be for the PS3, which sells very well in Japan, and Gestalt for the 360, which sells well everywhere but Japan.

However, only Japan will be getting Replicant. In the west, y'all just get "Nier," which is Gestalt.

I am glad I can buy Replicant, because OMFG Old!Nier is FUG.

Go ahead and compare your two protagonists. (And if you watch the movie clips, wow, Gestalt sure seems a lot...bloodier.) :x

Yeah, so, I consider this a bullet well dodged, because I do not want to play as that. x_X

Jan. 25th, 2010

It is like something out of a nightmare D:

Y'know, most of the flan/pudding monsters in FF are kinda, well, comical. They're living pudding monsters. It's kinda funny. Yes, OK, they can clobber your ass, but their weakness to fire is comical, as is the fact that they are pudding.

Yeah, well, FF13 just managed to make the pudding monster of nightmares. It looks like melting toxic waste.

I will see this in my nightmares.

Also, I finally got to Vanille's summons boss battle. And by "got to," I mean, "saw it go into the cut scene and start the fight, looked at my clock saying "11:30 PM" and decided there was no way in hell I was going to try a boss battle right when I should be going to bed, cheered for the save point right before, and turned the game off." I will get the twit's summons this week, and then not bother having to level her up the way I do my main party--I've been using everyone's CP points to gain them abilities just because I never know which characters are going in for the summons battle. Now I know, Vanille and Her Royal Hawtness, so I will be prepared. Supposedly Vanille gains depth after this battle; I await proof, because so far, all I see is her literally prancing across the screen, and she makes my eye twitch. She and Snow are the only characters to cause this response, but at least Snow got punched out--repeatedly--for this.

Also, I adore Hope. I want to hug him and squeeze him and call him George. Seriously, he's adorable. Especially when he gets in the last blow in the fight, and he always looks so happy. I fully understand why Lightning the Hardass warmed up to him so fast. XD

Jan. 18th, 2010



"EA" no longer exists in my reality. I have ejected it. It has been booted off the island.

Jan. 17th, 2010

Only one summons left...

Dear FF13:

Yeah, so, never do that "summons battle" thing AFTER three cut scenes, not without putting a frickin' SAVE POINT in there somewhere. GAH.

And yes, I got my ass handed to me by the Alexander summons, and it was all the more painful because TWICE I had hit the point where I could claim the summons but he got one potshot in that dead-Zacked me.

Also, those little imp-things that can summon frickin' Behemoths need to no longer exist. GAHx2.

I would say "no love" but who the hell am I kidding because we both know I'm Squeenix's bitch,


One the plus side, yeah, I got two of the last three summons--Bahamut and Alexander. All that's left is the twit's--er, Vanille's--summon, and I have them all. Go, me. I'm also at the 41 hour mark, so I figure I'm a third to halfway done. I'd have said "halfway" a couple hours ago, but then it started giving me side missions. Last game I did side missions like mad for was FF12, and that pushed me to the 120-odd hour mark.

Oh, and at one point, the game tried to put Snow in my party, and what's up with that, yo. He got swapped out for Her Royal Hawtness pretty dang quick, because why would I have He of the Stupid Hat when I could have Yun Fang?

Jan. 11th, 2010

A moment of shallow

*shallow* Sweet baby Jesus, the doing Hope's father's voice. *fans self* */shallow*

It sucks very much for all y'all that you can only play it in English, 'cause damn.

I got home last night and played FF13 for a couple hours, and was yay because for a brief and shining moment, I got Yun Fang in my party...then it went to Snow, and I was sad.

It was nearly 3 am when I went to bed, and right before I did, I noticed I had an e-mail from the guy, asking if I wanted to go out today. It was 3 am, and if someone e-mailed me at 3 am, my response to it would be "Fuck you, die," so I decided to wait until it was morning proper. I e-mailed him saying I was free today so could meet up, but got, "I caught a cold!" back, so we're doing the raincheck thing. He asked what kind of food I like, so it seems like he really does have a cold and not second thoughts, so we'll see.

So today, I'm playing FF13,, this game really loves having party members smack each other around. One character tried to kill another one, and Her Royal Hawtness, Yun Fang, just got slapped by Lightning (right now I just got the party with Lightning and Yun Fang again, and this fills me with joy and glee, because I love them both because they take no shit.)

This game is awesome and has amazing characters and is telling one hell of a story--seriously, the storytelling in this is one of the best I have ever seen in any of the games (admittedly few) that I've ever played. So far, this is shaping up to the, hands down and unqualified, best FF game--hell, game--that I've ever played. With the caveat that for me, story and characters are more important than anything else. Even with that, the game play itself is tight and well done, once you get past the slow beginning.

When this game comes out, y'all need to get it, I'm serious.

Jan. 9th, 2010



Also, Vanille still makes me want to punch babies. And Lightning is Cooler Than You. Even when the game is trying to turn the woman that cheerfully punched Snow in the face for being stupid into a Healer (to get the Odin summons, you have to keep Odin from killing Hope. I tried a way I saw online, which is have her switch between healer and attacker; it kept getting me killed. Then I went, "Fuck that" and just had her toss potions at Hope in between beating Odin's face in, and I finished the supposed 25 minute fight in two minutes.) It's almost funny. I think it's more the big sister in her just likes Hope.

Although I died laughing when Hope (voiced by Kadaj's VA) mumbled "Mother," in his sleep and Lightning (Aerith's VA) went, "WTF, like I'm your Mom." XD

I <3 Squeenix. >XD

ETA - Yun Fang AND Cid just showed up. And the scene ended with Yan Fang kicking Snow in the face when he was stupid.

I <3 Squeenix.

Oh, and I will do more of the twisted drabbles later tonight--I spent all day asleep and am gaming now since tomorrow I have rehearsal and a b-day party to go to.

Jan. 4th, 2010


FF13 is awesomesauce. XD

I just finished a too-short minigame where Hope is riding, I shit you not, a giant mech. You have to ride the mech through a bunch of enemy soldiers. You can attack or just walk right through the mob, and if you walk through them, they go flying through the air, flailing, and explode when they hit rocks.



Vanille needs MEDS.

I spent the last few days of my vacation...pretty much passed out asleep, catching up on lost sleep. I needed it. I finally dragged myself out of bed today to watch the new NHK Taiga drama, and discovered where my subtitles button was hiding on my remote control, which vastly increased my enjoyment of it. Then I watched what seems to be the Japanese knock-off of ER and spent a great deal of time yelling at my TV. Then went, "...why am I doing this to myself, when I have games I could be playing?" and put on FF13.

I dead-Zacked several times, until I figured out the trick of how to fight some of the enemies. Then had to deal with the walking aneurism that is the pink-haired twit, aka Vanille.

I'm not even kidding, I spent too much time whenever she had lines with my jaw hanging open and going, "You need RItalin. You need meds. You need serious drugs," and "....Are you OK?!" Seriously, the girl is not right in the head.

And on the surreal side, Hope is voiced by the same VA who did Kadaj. This makes things AAAAAAAAAAAAH when he goes on about his poor, dead o-kaa-san. I keep expecting Jenova. >XD

I got a good hour or two of play time in before I went, "Oh, hey look. A save point. And it's midnight, and I have work tomorrow. *save, turn off system*" Yay, being a mature adult. Or some strange facsimile thereof. XD;;;

Dec. 19th, 2009


I hereby officially take back everything I said about the battles in FF13 being easy. After FINALLY getting through all the tutorials--I hope--it's decided it's time to play for realz. The turning point is when you do a boss battle to get a summons, and then it's, apparently, ON.

I have been dead-Zacked so many times tonight, OMFG. XD;;;;

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