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This week, two and a half years after it was released, I finally completed the final entry in the Final Fantasy XIII saga. Lightning Returned into my heart and gave me  more than a satisfying conclusion to the giant cliffhanger we were left on in XIII-2. Outside of the ending, though, I can’t really say I  really loved this game experience.

(What a tease this commercial is. She doesn’t have her OG XIII outfit in this game)

 

Lightning Returns picks up 500 years after XIII-2 where Lightning went into an eternal crystal slumber. Lightning is woken up by the God of Light previously mentioned but never seen, Bhunivelze.He charges Lightning with collecting the souls of everyone left alive on Pulse within 13 days before the world ends – and that’s where my problems with LR begin. The plot and writing are pretty bare-bones and so is the world you inhabit. In order to collect souls you need to “make people happy” which equates to doing fetch quests. Tons, and tons and tons of fetch quests. If forced to add all of them up I’d guessimate there were Infinite Fetch Quests. You talk to bland NPCs, in one  of the game’s FOUR locations, or you talk to a woman in a sexy chocobo costume and read quests off a literal quest board, and you fulfill the requirements to collect a soul and gain stats.  Outside of four or five major quests that involve characters from previous games and give large portions of plot that move events forward to Lightning figuring out her true powers and who the real enemy is, all the other quests give a few sentences of lore about the world. The bit of data the NPC gives that details the apocalypse or the people left is usually repeated somewhere in the datalog or by Hope, making it even more worthless. Most of what they had to say was so interesting I spammed X to move on to next quest.

That may seem harsh but the game itself conditioned me to rush through certain parts. The 13 day time limit Bhunivelze gave Light? It’s a real-time limit! Each ‘day’ in the game lasts one hour in real time. You are given a skill, Chronostasis, that stops time for a few minutes but that skill has limited uses. When not stopped, time will progress during dialog, when you run around so painfully slowly on the map and when you travel via train between the 4 locations in the game. I always felt rushed and pressured to be as  precise with my time as possible. It’s not like the world was so beautiful I wanted to wander around and look at it but I still didn’t like being pressured by an every growing checklist of quests or constant annoying reminders from Hope on how much time I had left.

The pacing problems of the game don’t just stop with the time management and slow running. By the last few days enemies are so powerful that I, having done almost all the fetch quests in the game, had a seriously tough time fighting them. by the Final Day every enemy has all their stats multiplied by up to 300%. Upon my first death I found the root of  the issue. In place of the enemy mob on the map was a floating crystal hourglass which, upon inspection, told me if the enemies of the area were too hard I could give up my quest and start a New Game+ right there. I’d carry over my stats, equipment and abilities but would need to do over every fetch quests I had already completed. The fetch quests would you the stat bonuses AGAIN so the grind was as endless as the quests!

What a terrifying idea! Redoing my 28ish hours of gameplay just to beat the last dungeon? Instead of balancing the enemies in some respectable way or giving Lightning some way to power up her skills that isn’t based on random drops the devs really thought “just do it all over” was a better idea? No thanks. You also get the option to start NG+ if you don’t complete those Big Story Missions in each of the four areas before the end of the world – but the game never tells you to go out and explore those areas first. I was trying to complete ALL the quests in the first town when suddenly I ran into mobs that one hit KO’d me and I was told by an IRL friend to travel to a new town.

Finally for the positive things about the game. By now if you follow video game news even a little bit you’ve seen the trailers, read the articles about her stint as a REAL LIFE model or at the very least you’ve seen THAT DRESS, so you know the major mechanic that drives gameplay in Lightning Returns is Playing Dress Up! Aside from the fact that I avoided most dresspheres that had Light only in a pair of panties and a bra, this was legitimately one of the best parts of the game. I think most fans of modern RPGs really enjoy customization of how their character looks and this game gives it to you. You can change the color of individual pieces of  an outfit, and you can add accessories to make your own look. I wish you could equip more than one accessory, like a hat AND glasses. Alas :(. There are dozens of dresspheres in the game and each has between zero and 2 abilities innately equipped. Defensive ones might have Mediguard or Steelguard, another might have Fira and Thundara and so on, with many combinations and color swaps. Later they start coming with abilities that passively boost something, like adding Quick Stagger or giving her +10% HP.

Those buffs help you in the other good part of the game: Murdering All the Things. LR places Lightning in the spotlight like never before. Your party has been reduced from three main members in the first game, to 2 + a pet to Lightning alone (for the most part). Instead of switching between 6 paradigms with multiple roles set in them (Tri-Disaster with 3 magic using attackers, Combat Clinic with attacking and healing) you switch between only 3 dressheres and each of those only have 4 skills that are mapped to the face buttons.  I felt it really reduced the amount of strategy you could achieve in previous games but the addition of a blended action RPG feel (free movement and evasion skills) felt good. One light nitpick here is you don’t gain skills from leveling up but from new dresspheres and enemy drops. Because of that I didn’t have and debuffing skills for long time. None of the enemies I fought dropped them until I had already fought several major bosses that I really could’ve used them for.

In the end, the original FFXIII is still my favorite out of the series but it was so very satisfying to take it to the conclusion. The MMO-like progression with the ton of trivial fetch quests were not engaging, the limited time rushes you to an under leveled conclusion because the game wants you to do a NG+ as early as possible. The dresspheres are a treat and the battles are fun (until the end of game when they are a chore). The CGI scenes are definitely where the money went and they spent ALOT; They’re gorgeous. Most importantly Hope Estheim, the best character in any Final Fantasy, really lives up to the meaning of his name. If you haven’t played it yet, go play dress up.

Nintendo released another  under 3 minute video with a handful of details on SunMoon. It confirmed some details that had previously leaked , and gave some brand new shocking info.

 

  • The previously discovered trademarks “Solgaleo” and “Lunala” were confirmed as the names of the legendary duo of Sun and Moon respectively.
  • Solgaleo (MechaLion) has a Steel/Psychic typing and the ability Full Metal Body which prevents all stat changes from the opposing poke, even from abilities like Intimidate
  • Lunala (MOOON Bat) is a Ghost/Psychic with Shadow Shield which cuts damage received when Lunala is hit at full health (like Multiscale on Dragonite.)
  • The sudden fan favorite Kukui is confirmed as the Professor. His assistant, and our potential rival,Lillie was revealed.
  • The biggest surprise from the trailer was the update to the Podex. The little digital encyclopedia that has been with us since our journey through Kanto will be possessed by a Rotom this time around, speaking to the player directly and giving hints.

Hold on to your butts, fellow Poke’ Maniacs, we just got a ton of Pokemon info this morning.

First off, here’s the trailer Nintendo released this morning. Check it out and come back when you’ve finished drooling.

What we learned directly from the trailer are the typing and names of the New Three starters and we see the Legendaries for both Sun and Moon versions.

Join me in welcoming Litten (The Lit Kitten), Rowlet (the Round Owl) and…Popplio.

We also met the two Legendaries of each game but we don’t know their names yet. But their names aren’t important because I will be getting Moon and naming that gorgeous flying creature “MOOOON BAAT.”

Screen_Shot_2016-05-10_at_11.36.09_AM.0

 

Other Things We Know About #PokemonSunMoon

  • The Alola Region, where the game is located, is designed after the islands of Hawaii
  • The games’ Professor is named Kukui after the Candlenut Tree, the symbol of HawaiiPokoeon kukui
  • Characters in the game world will be illustrated with proper proportions in all instances for the first time. Not just during the the seconds before a battle starts. I am pretty excited for this.
  • Character customization is back from XY. Hopefully the ability to buy and combine unique outfits and get super cute haircuts will also be back. So far all we’ve seen is this image of varied skin tones, which are very much appreciated.

    pokemon sun custom

    Image captured from the Chinese trailer

 

Sun and Moon release on November 18th and preorders are of course up on Amazon.

Like a Squadsighted Sniper on high ground blasting enemies on the other side of the map, XCOM: Enemy Unknown Plus hit the Vita on March 21st surprising everyone with its existence.

I’ve always listed strategy RPGs as a favorite genre of mine but before Fire Emblem Awakening on the 3DS the only ones I’ve ever beaten were the Fire Emblem games on the GameBoy Advance. Advanced Wars, Final Fantasy Tactics, Shining Force all proved too difficult for me. And yet as soon as I saw previews for XCOM: Enemy Unknown it called to me. The creepy Rosewell-y look of the Sectoids, the lifelike environments, the logical approach to strategy, “if you don’t take cover behind that steel wall you’ll probably be shot.” Getting into the Vita release, the game surpassed my expectations and I am really hooked on it. There’s a more direct logic involved in making decisions over the Weapon Triangle of Fire Emblem, but still requires deep thought. You can’t just win by running and gunning. You’ll also have to manage resources, build facilities to upgrade weapons and items and keep the people’s of the world calm by giving them jet planes with canons to defend themselves You have to play with the long game in mind and prioritize all these things.The game has depth and fun, but…it’s not a perfect port.

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As I took this screen cap off my Vita I noticed the text was fine on a normal laptop screen. Just take my word for it. On the Vita it looked terrible.

Right off the bat you’ll notice the limitations of the Vita. All in-game models look somewhere on the level of GTA3 on the PS2. I mean that’s cool, you spend most of the time in battle zoomed out, looking for clear paths to cover and loot to pic up. But it’s especially noticeable when you’re in the base going through the menus and talking to scientists. The game takes a high sci-fi approach when it comes to dishing out info. Everything is displayed on a holographic page that pops out of the background for you to read. However, due to the Vita’s small screen size as the page pops up the text phases back and forth between “illegible microtext” and “If I squint forever I can read this.”

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Why use the fire effect if it’ll look like a PSX texture? Just throw some red lights in there and we’ll still believe this plane can fly.

The controls still take some getting used to. The front screen can only be used to move the  camera around the map, while you have to go to the Dpad to change the camera direction and elevation. You can’t tap on a unit to choose them to move, only shuffle in order with L/R shoulder buttons. Once you select an ability you can’t turn the camera anymore (because the Dpad is now only being used to cycle through your ability list) so if you want a better angle you need to cancel out of the attack, change directions and go back. I only just found out how to check a selected squad mate’s abilities/perks – by double tapping the very small ! icon in the bottom left when that person is selected. It’s very necessary information, knowing who has what passive buffs when in the thick of action. It’s all a bit clunky but you can get used to it

2016-03-25-073612

My #1 soldier, Nightmare the Sniper, got stuck on a table after clipping through a wall. Had to reset.

Then there’s the performance issues and All of The Lag. The game randomly and often sputters when you swap between squad mates to choose your move; there’s lag before the animation to change weapons, there’s input lag after changing weapons so you have to wait a beat before you can target an enemy or move. Small animations don’t load from time to time, like the trail showing the arc of a grenade you want to toss. Audio from XCOM NPCs randomly doesn’t play at all. Most annoyingly sometimes the life bar of your team or enemies will disappear for a round, making deciding who to shoot a problem. There are just a batch of small hiccups that slow the gameplay down but rarely does it impact my enjoyment.

xcomipiad

The Ipad port

I originally thought this Vita port was a port of the Ipad game port that came out years ago. All touch screen controls -> Some touch screen controls seemed like a logical jump to me. Nope.The Ipad version looks and runs way better. So XCOM Enemy Unknown+ seems to have been built specifically for the Vita, and even in the face of the issues, the gameplay is just as addictive challenging and rewarding as any console or PC version.

On 11/12 Nintendo broadcast their first Nintendo Direct presentation in five months. While many things have happened in between that time, the passing of Satrou Iwata and appointing of a new president, and games have been announced and delayed and teased, we haven’t had this form of direct contact since E3. It was a very welcome return and I fee like at least 5 mics were dropped over the course of the event.

You can watch the whole thing above (some intern was even kind enough to bookmark it with each reveal) but let me save you some time and tell you all the stuff important to me, and therefore important to you, as you’re all figments of my Moon Crystal’s imagination.

 

Final Fantasy Explorers 1/26/16

We knew this was coming to the Americas since GamesCon but I am excited for it once again. Right now the only game I play online with my 3DS is FF:Theatrhythm. I can’t deal with Monster Hunter’s controls or Freedom Planet’s..everything.  But this looks really easy to play and customize. I definitely plan on attending any launch event Nintendo will be cooking up for their store in NYC.

Pokemon super

Pokemon SUPER Mystery Dungeon out 11/20/15

I tried to get into the Mystery Dungeon series. An action-ish RPG with filled only with Pocket Monsters? I should be all up on that! But the writing and pacing was just so childish and sluggish that I couldn’t get into it. It felt like reading a novel written by a child. But once again the visuals and promise of playing as each of the 720 pokemon  are nearly tempting enough to get me back.

Linkle Finally Exists! Still not Groose

Beginning as concept art of Link’s little sister, Linkle (female Link) became the internet’s most requested bit of fanfiction for a long time. Lots of people hoping for a female protag in a Zelda game thought she’d be a perfect addition if we couldn’t get the titular queen of Hyrule herself. Well she’s finally here as a playable hero in the 3DS port of Hyrule Warriors Legends. The port also includes the ability to switch between heroes on the fly,mid battle, and let’s you upload your progress from the 3DS game to the WiiU counterpart.

Mario Tennis ULTRA Smash out 11/20/15

I don’t like many of the Mario spinoff things. Mario Party is more infuriating than Monopoly, Smash Bros is just not for me at all but tennis? I can deal with Mario Tennis. The newest iteration of the game is full of power-ups, online play, jumping attacks and supers.

Star Fox ZERO mid-2016

Platinum games has been very busy lately. After their digital-only Legend of Korra game they gave us Slayonetta 2, Transformers Devastation and they’re currently working on a new Nier title with Squeenix and this new Star Fox game. It has the classic on-rails segments and updates them with on-land tank fighting, 3D aerial dog fights and allows your ship to turn into a chicken-like thing to roam around and explore dungeons. Graphics are not stunning but this looks like a blast.

paperjam

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam on 12/10/15

The Mario & Luigi RPGs have eluded me ever since I tried the first on the Gameboy Advance and got stuck doing the jump rope mini-game about 2 hours in. This game has the Mario bros team up with the 2D version of Mario to defeat Paper Bowser and probably some other bad guy we don’t know yet.  Paper Mario has access to a ton of reality bending powers, like, making copies of himself, folding himself into a paper airplane so the Bros can glide on him to safety and more.

Dragon Quests VII & VIII Western Port confirmed for 2016

I was sincerely hoping to see these games in 2015, if only to cut leave myself breathing room to play all of Fire Emblem Fates, Bravely Second, Hyrule Warriors Legends and SMTxFE. Alas, it looks like I’ll have to die trying to play them all at once.

Dragon Quest VII and VIII were ported to the 3DS in Japan earlier this year, both with a ton of updates. Job Skill got their point requirements got slashed by half in most cases, new party members have been added to both versions as well as new Super Dungeons and Super Bosses and most importantly, new DRESSPHERES.  I missed DQVIII on the PS2 and very much look forward to this.

Fire Emblem: Fates on 2/19/16

Fire Embleim SPECIAL

This one was a bit tricky to understand, even for me who’s been keeping up with the game since it was announced  over a year ago. Fire Emblem Fates are the latest game in the series since Awakening broke all the records back around the launch of the 3DS. You play as a powerful prince or princess, destined to bring prosperity and military might to one of two countries.

There are two main campaigns that will be released at launch; Birthright and Conquest. The family you join, and so the characters you have access to, story and mission objectives, are different and specific to each version.  Then there’s a third game called Revelations that takes revolves around exposing truths hidden in both campaigns. When you buy one version at $40 you get a discount on the others and they’ll be $20 each. So if you buy the Special Edition you aren’t saving any money but all three games will be on the same cartridge. Not yet sure how I’m going to deal with this one.

And a few honorable mentions:
-No no Footage but Bravely Second: End Layler is confrimed for a Spring 2016 release
-Some Nobody named Cloud will be the next DLC character in Smash Bros on WiiU and 3DS
-The long rumored Twilight Princess HD port was confirmed for March 4th 2016
-Amiibo still suck and are rare but no plans to fix production strategy have been made

I didn’t grow up in a Nintendo household. My brothers and I shared a Sega Genesis and then a PlayStation 1 and 2. So I don’t have the nostalgia that makes so many people go crazy over just seeing these names and characters. But by KOS-MOS that direct was fun and I am more excited for these things to come into my handheld than any other things next year.

Mini Post: SMTxFE News!

SMTxFE (aka the GREATEST GAME EVER) has had some new info drop in recent weeks. While the game, unfortunately, didn’t release a new trailer at Tokyo Game Show, we did learn that it would be releasing in Japan on Boxing Day! This week even more details have come to light thanks to a scan of a Famitsu article and the official website going up. Here are juiciest bits:

Kiria’s Mirage has been confirmed as Tharja; the Gothy, dark-humored, liberally-dressed fan favorite from Fire Emblem Awakening.

Source: http://dengekionline.com

I gotta admit, I never used Tharja in my FE:A playthrough. I made Cordellia a Dark Mage so her child would have the Life Drain skill so Tharja was just extra. However this magic maiden looks amazing. That cape/gown, that floating staff. I’m getting plenty of Magical Girl feels from it.

source :http://dengekionline.com/

On a side note, I don’t really like Kiria’s standard outfit. The whole “thong straps showing above your pants” thing is so 2010. It’s very K$sha.

The scan also revealed that Eleonora, the archer of the party, will have the playboy nobleman, Virion, as her Mirage. Very fitting and he looks very cool.

Source: http://dengekionline.com

There was another party member revealed who seems to be a child idol. Mamori will apparently be partnered with the huge hulking Mirage, Draug.

l_560cf663dace1 Genei-Ibun-Roku-FE-Screenshot-3

But the most important reveal is clearly Barry Goodman. After having nothing but the twinky protag, Itsuki,  and Toma to look at for a year or so, Barry’s burly big-chested body is a wonder to behold. He hasn’t be confirmed as a party member, unfortunately but if there is a god he will be or at least will be in various states of undress. Admire below

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I am so fucking excited

“I hate mobile games.”

“I hate being on the subway and seeing people flick and kick their robots down an infinite temple runner, as they ignore the people who are trying to maneuver around them and the poles and other Bidoof on the train.”

“I hate mobile games because they’re all Match 3 tile games or Infinite Runners or Farmville and I can’t deal with that.”

These are the thoughts that held me back from playing games on my 1 year old smart phone and these are the thoughts that were completely blown away by Steven Universe: Attack the Light.

Attack the Light

                                                 Steven Universe: The Party

This wonderful game is a fully fledged RPG, based on the hilarious and subversively progressive TV show, Steven Universe. The revolves around Steven, who is the child of a legendary warrior woman who lead a team of immortal fighters who have pledged to defend the Earth from invaders. That team, Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl use flashy powers, goofy attacks and science-y lasers to defeat foes on TV and you control them, and Steven in the game.

Attack the Light opens in a 4th wall-breaking bit, Steven is bored at home after his game console dies, but thankfully the gems show up and whisk him off on a real adventure to collect some anthropomorphic beams of light that have gotten loose. Steven embarks on a real life adventure and whimsically remarks to the gems that they are in a real RPG as he checks for loot and healing items. The team travels across 5 worlds fighting and returning the light creatures to captivity.

You start each round with 5 star points and every action (besides using items) cost some points.Saving points to use a bigger attack next round is very important. Besides that battles play out like a classic turn-based RPG: The gems attack foes directly (bonus damage is awarded to well timed screen taps), Steven plays the cleric by healing and buffing. But the whole thing is coated in Steven Universe imagery that would make any fan happy and gives it a very distinct charm. Steven heals by complementing and boosting the ego of the gems, he buffs by playing his father’s guitar; Amethyst can lower an enemy’s attack and defense by morphing into a huge muscular wrestler and elbow-diving them;  Pearl can crowd control and force enemies to skip turns using her holo-Pearl ability, and Garnet has a Rocket Punch! Items include things like Cookie Cat pastries and Together Breakfasts as nods to the show as well.

Every RPG needs evil Scorpions

                                                                     Steven Universe

There’s tons of room for strategy and customization but it never feels overwhelming. Each gem can equip up to 2 badges to augment their status, give stat bonuses or immunity to debuffs, as well as getting traditional level ups. I myself chose to give Pearl bonuses to her attack with every level and a badge that heals 5 HP each round and since her attack uses 1 star she became a Glass Canon that killed 3-4 mobs a turn. Garnet tanked with the most HP and debuff protection and Amethyst got all the Luck to get debuffs on multiple enemies with her whip attack. You could go through the game anyway, without using any badge or with a more balanced team than mine and still have a great time.

Demon Goddess

                                                              Demon Goddess

This game is amazing, perfect for my 30 minute or for an hour in bed or anywhere. You feel like you’re accomplishing real things and it’s funny and heartwarming just like the show. At only $3 in the app store you really have no reason not to get this game if you like RPGs or good things.

Lifetime Game List

An idea stolen from Punk, as I admitted to having trouble coming up with entries for a list of my favorite games and characters, I will list here all the games I can remember buying and playing in my life. Also games I am playing or am telling myself I will play will be here on top

~Currently Playing~

Child of Light – Vita 2/16
Final Fantasy Explorers – 3DS 1/16
Vanquish – PS3 1/16
Lara Croft Go – Android 1/16 Probably won’t finish. Not really felling it.

2016

3DS

  • Final Fantasy Explorers – Bad fake MMO. No need to finish

PlayStation 3

  • Drakengard 3 – Didn’t get ULTIMATE ending but gonna youtube that shit
  • Final Fantasy XIII Lightning Returns – Wished I played on 360. I missed out on 2 dresspheres
  • Tales of Xillia -My fave since TotA

PlayStation Vita

  • Child of Light – Gorgeous, but needed 3 party members to make battles better.
  • XCOM Enemy Unknown – absolutely LOVED this game! Made me feel so smart

 

2015

Android

  • Steven Universe: Attack the Light! ❤
  • Alphabear

PlayStation Vita

  • Dragon’s Crown – beat it once then sold it.
  • GuacaMelee
  • Final Fantasy X-2 HD- stopped in the final Farplane dungeon. Got bored after I got my perfect Dresspheres and the bosses were still kicking my ass.
  • Final Fantasy XHD
  • Persona 4 Golden ❤
  • Persona 4: Dancing All Night ❤
  • Plants vs Zombies
  • Thomas Was Alone

N3DS

  • Codename Steam (sold it after Chap 3 or 5. Difficulty spikes and you don’t level up and can’t grind. Boo)
  • Final Fantasy Curtain Call ❤
  • Final Fantasy Theatrhym
  • Fire Emblem Awakening ❤
  • Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance
  • Legend of Korra – terrible Fire Emblem clone.
  • Pokemon Alpha Sapphire
  • Pokemon XY ❤
  • Shin Megami Tensei 4 ❤
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3D ❤ (My new favorite/Best RPG)
  • Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

360

  • Anarchy Reigns
  • Asura’s Wrath – really fucking ambitious and fun
  • BioShock Infinite – Fuck this
  • Borderlands 2
  • Castlevania Lords of Shadow
  • DARK SOULS ❤
  • Dark Souls 2
  • Dead Space
  • Dead to Rights
  • Final Fantasy XIII ❤
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2
  • Gears of War 3?
  • Halo umm… 3? ODST?
  • Left4Dead Meh
  • Marvel vs Capcom 3 – sold that shit back after 3 days, hahahaha.
  • Mass Effect ❤
  • Mass Effect 2
  • Mass Effect 3 ❤
  • Metal Gear Rising: REVENGENCE ❤
  • Slayonetta ❤
  • Xmen: Wolverine Origins – THE BEST BEAT EM UP I’VE PLAYED!  The movie might suck but this was amazing. Plus Logan’s design was sexy ❤

~College~

DS

  • Castlevania Order of Eccelsia ❤
  • Castlevania Portrait of Ruin
  • Dragon Quest 5. Didn’t Finish, cousin stole my AceKard
  • Dragon Quest 9 (My first DQ game. Hated it, stopped playing 3 towns in. An RPG with no important protags and an annoying Beyonce Fairy who does all the talking? Fuck you)
  • Golden Sun 2 – didn’t finish (see my time with Star Ocean)
  • Kingdom Hearts re:Coded
  • Kingdom Hearts: 355/67 Seconds
  • NEW Super Mario Bros (Didn’t get past word 3. Fuck All 3D Mario games. Yes, even those that exist on a 2d plane)
  • Pokemon Platinum ❤
  • Pokemon Soul Silver
  • TWEWY ❤
  • Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume – TERRIBLE
  • Zelda – That one on the 3DS with the 1 main dungeon you keep going back to

PS2

  • .hack//GU1 (beat it, never played any sequel. I gave up when the Dog Mage cried)
  • Arc The Lad
  • Bujingai – this game needs a sequel
  • Dead to Rights
  • Dead to Rights 2
  • Devil May Cry 3
  • Godhand
  • Kingdom Hearts 2
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance ❤
  • Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
  • Persona 4 (the best)
  • Psi-Ops
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time
  • Soul Calibur 2 (Dance! Entwine! Strangle! Wind, guide me!)
  • Space Channel 5
  • Tales of the Abyss
  • Valkyrie Profile: Silmeria – TERRIBLE
  • Viewtiful Joe
  • Xenosaga Ep 3

~High School~

PC (+Emulator)

  • Aladdin
  • Castlevania Circle of the Moon
  • Castlevania Lament of Innocence
  • Castlevania Symphony of the Night
  • Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow
  • Chip’s Challenge
  • Comix Zone
  • Contra 3? That one with the Werewolf
  • Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy)
  • Final Fantasy 4
  • Final Fantasy 6
  • Fire Emblem Sacred Stones
  • Gauntlet
  • Golden Axe
  • Jade Empire
  • Kingdom Hearts: COM
  • Maple Story (for like 3 days)
  • Maximum Carnage
  • Melty Blood+
  • Metroid 2
  • Phantasy Star Online ❤
  • Power Rangers
  • Resident Evil
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Sacred
  • Shining Force
  • Shining Tears
  • Silent Hill 1
  • Star Ocean – didn’t finish. ROM was not great, controls were crazy and that 90s RPG thing where you never knew what to do pissed me off.
  • Super Mario RPG
  • Super Metroid
  • Tales of Eternia
  • Tales of Phantasia
  • that One Good Star Wars game on the Genesis
  • Terrinigma
  • Tobal No 2
  • Typing of the Dead
  • Valkyrie Profile
  • Xenogears (didn’t finish. Boring)
  • Xmen Arcade
  • Xmen Legends 2. Really Awesome Diablo/Bauldr’s Gate clone.
  • Zelda Minish Cap

PlayStation 1/2

  • .hack//Infection
  • .hack//Mutation
  • .hack//Outbreak
  • Bauldr’s Gate
  • Bloody Roar 3: The NEW Breed ❤
  • Castlevania (on the ps2, with the spirit Pokemon)
  • DDR (Max, Max2, Extreme, Extreme 2, Disney Mix, SuperNova, Supernova2)
  • Devil May Cry
  • Devil May Cry 2
  • Dragon Valor
  • Drakengard ❤
  • Ehrgeiz
  • Einhander
  • EverGrace (piece of shit)
  • Fighting Force
  • Final Fantasy 9
  • Final Fantasy Tactics (Didn’t Finish. Too much grinding possibilities and lack of knowledge of SRPGs)
  • Final Fantasy X
  • Final Fantasy X-2
  • Gekkido
  • Grandia 2 (Very Important)
  • GTA 3 (only one I’ve liked)
  • Guilty Gear
  • Kingdom Hearts
  • Legend of Dragoon
  • Marvel vs Capcom 2
  • Parasite Eve 2
  • Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (didn’t finish, too fucking ridiculous)
  • Ratchet and Clank (only played the first game..)
  • Secret of Mana
  • Shadow Hearts
  • Shadow Hearts: Covenant
  • Shin Megami Tense: Digital Devil Saga 2 (got to last dungeon by the skin of my teeth and all the mobs were too hard)
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga
  • Silent Hill 2
  • Silent Hill 3 ❤
  • Star Ocean 2: Second Story ❤
  • Soul Blade
  • Summoner 2 (So Good)
  • Threads of Fate ❤
  • Tobal No 1
  • Twisted Metal
  • Vagrant Story
  • War of the Monsters
  • XenoSaga 1
  • XenoSaga 2 (the worst?)

~Elementary School + Junior High~

PC

  • Amazon Trail
  • Final Fantasy
  • Number Crunchers
  • Oregon Trail
  • Some Typing Game

PlayStation

  • Bloody Roar 2
  • Brave Fencer Musashi ❤
  • Chocobo’s Racing
  • Croc
  • Final Fantasy 7 ❤
  • Final Fantasy 8
  • Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (Didn’t finish. Too Spooky)
  • Mortal Kombat 3? 9?
  • Nightmare Creatures
  • Nightmare Creatures
  • Parasite Eve ❤
  • Resident Evil (couldn’t finish. Too spooky)
  • Street Fighter Alpha 2
  • Super Puzzle Fighter
  • Tomb Raider
  • Tomb Raider 3
  • Tomba
  • Twisted Metal
  • Xmen vs Street Fighter

Game Gear(stole the console from a classmate :-/)

  • Xmen

Gameboy

  • Pokemon Blue
  • Pokemon Gold
  • Some Shitty Platforming Game with a Night
  • Wario’s Woods
  • Zelda: Link’s Awakening ❤

Genesis

  • Jurassic Park
  • NBA Jam
  • Some Football Game my older brother got
  • Sonic 3
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Splatterhouse
  • Strider
  • Sunset Riders (a lot of S games)

SNES

  • Battle Toads X Double Dragon
  • Cold Shadow
  • Killer Instinct
  • Mario’s Missing
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Primal Rage
  • Super Contra?
  • Super Mario World
  • Super Street Fighter 2

Arcade 

  • Michael Jackson MoonWalker
  • Street Fighter
  • The Simpsons Game

~Pre-School~

NES

  • Contra
  • Gradius
  • Karate
  • Some Space Shooter  that was alternatively side-scrolling and vertical-climbing, where you use B to shoot freezing bullets that you use to take over an enemy ship
  • Super Mario Bros
  • Super Mario Bros 3
  • Xexyz
  • Zelda (Unfinished. Cart had problems)

I have a very strong feeling that I came back from the future, after learning to code a video game and speak Japanese, and became the director of Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem. After reviewing the evidence, and ruling out that a Dream Genie granted this one wish and overlooked all the others where I beg for a husband and a real Silver Imperium Crystal, I came to the time travel conclusion because how else can a game that so perfectly encapsulates everything that I love and put into one gorgeous, Japanese package.

As a fan of both the Persona and Fire Emblem games I was interested in this game as it was announced 4 years ago and then when we got our first actual visual of the game I was hit with a wave of excitement and video-game-desire that I haven’t felt since…Pokemon Platinum. I knew that I wanted this game in my life and I knew I would be buying a WiiU just for it but I wanted to understand WHY I needed it. So I analyzed all the things it does/has that make it like coke to me.

Elements of an RPG/anime that I love

*DRESSPHERES
Let’s get this one out of the way early. I like dresspheres. Alot. I have since I saw my first Henshin sequence in Sailor Moon up until my most recent in Kill la Kill. Explosions of light, rainbow beams colors and starscapes rolling over characters and changing them into their Battle Outfits are never a bad thing. If I could get ready for work every morning in a 25 second stock footage sequence you better believe I would.

Dresspheres

Dresspheres

SMT X FE: Dresspheres? Check

*Songstresses
Music is really important to me. I can say more things about myself with a playlist than I can with words. I can be more empathetic and sympathetic to a terrible situation in a music video than one in real life. So when music is used by a series, or even more rarely, used directly by a character in that series, to bring about change in the world then I am 100% into it. Formative examples include:

  • Myself from Full Moon Wo Sagashite Full Moon is an anime about a terminally ill girl meeting angels who try to grant her wish of becoming a pop-star. Emotional music abounds.
  • real Emotion opening FFX-2. Yuna changes her Dressphere and does a Jpop performance. There’s really nothing else that needs to be said (YES, I know it was actually Leblanc using Yuna’s GarmentGrid but that’s not the point)
  • Every song The Three Lights sang in Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars. Holy crap. Just listened to Todokanu Omoi (My Best Friend’s Love) and goddamn. I’m flooded with emotions. I want that to happen in a video game

*Dancing
Similarly to music, I think dance can be used to communicate alot of passion and emotion that words just fail to capture. But also its just hella fun! I want my characters to have fun, it makes me happy.

SMT X FE: Dancing? 2 of your party members are singing idols and you better believe they dance. Check.

*Laser Beams
I’m a simple guy. I think good should triumph over evil and Light should beat Dark (unless they can live in harmony). And the most direct expression of this, I think, are some good old fashion laser beams. Not boring, pew pew, shot from a little space pistol lasers, but spectacular light shows that blow up bad guys or transform nations.

Sailor Moon x Beryl 1

Friendship triumphs over everything

  • Beryl turned into Negadust

Beryl turned into Negadust

Nanoha Befriending Fate

Nanoha Befriending Fate

Befriending everyone in the Ocean

Befriending everyone in the Ocean

SMT X FE: Lasers? I haven’t seen any of this caliber yet but there’s magic and that kind of counts.

*Strong Independent Women

Lastly, and possibly most important, the connecting thread between all the things that I really love are fierce ladies. Ladies who kick ass AND aren’t afraid to cry. Ladies who dance and scowl. Ladies ladies ladies. Some very important examples

Lightning (pre-Goddess)

Lightning (pre-Goddess)

Korra fire

Avatar Korra about to wreck shit

Avatar Korra about to wreck shit

SMT X FE: Fierce Ladies? So far half of the playable party members are fierce ladies, and the manager who helps train the party to attain their idol dreams is also a women. Between Tsubasa falling out of a portal in the sky and landing on her Pegasus and Kiria being an established pop star who can cross dimensions…I think this game  has fierceness covered.

So upon analysis this game hits every single pressure point in my heart. I mean you play as a group of Jpop and Jdrama AND POWER RANGERs in training! Who WOULDN’T love this? NIow I just need to time travel a few months to the future to when this game is released so I can enjoy it.

Check out the E3 trailer below and preorder by giving me some money via Paypal

How to Create the Best FF7 Again

On Monday night, June the 16th, in the year of our lord KOS-MOS, 2015, the world as we know it came to an end. We previously lived in a world where Final Fantasy 7 was a game a treasure from the far distant past of the mid 90s. It was a game that crashed through the walls of many  American and European children who had never played a JRPG before, like a giant spiky-haired Kool-Aid Man. Then it became a legend that brought us salvation and pain all at once as we pleaded to deaf ears for its return. “It would take too long to remake this game,”  “We are focusing on new projects” and other such excuses were all we were told. And the game was lost forever in the graveyard of smartphone and PSP side stories. And other Nightmares.

Then during Sony’s E3 conference this past Monday the heavens opened up and Ragnarok befell that world, tearing it asunder and ushering in this bright beautiful world where prayers are answered and the Final Fantasy 7 remake is happening.

As a disillusioned fanboi turned believer I will very likely be playing this game in the future whenever it comes out. Until that day I will over analyze all bits of info that come out and more importantly I’ll imagine all the changes I would make to the game if I were in charge. Please follow me on this journey as we create the perfect FF7.

Everything I Want to See in Final Fantasy 7: HD Hardcore Remix

  • Tifa with Long, Insane Anime Hair

Yes, I do love Tifa’s Advent Children/Dissidia black and white leather outfit with amazing butt-cape. But more than that I love seeing long anime hair flowing in the wind or on waves of magic. Few things in this game brought me as much as joy as casting a spell with Tifa and seeing her ridiculous fish fin hair go flying out behind her as she released her energy.

I MADE THIS GIF

I MADE THIS GIF!!!

  • A Battle System Revamp, Introducing Classes

As I grew up and learned there were humans that didn’t like FF7 (weirdos) and one of the complaints they had was that there was no difference between the characters because of the Materia system. While I didn’t feel that way at the time  I can see where they’re coming from. Aside from some characters being able to stay in the back row with long range weapons everyone could kind of do whatever anyone else could do. I would love a change to this system to the point where you might choose your party based on something more than who your faves are.

A simple way to make characters feel different would be to limit who can use which Materia. Maybe Cloud can’t use Cure but he can use All the attack spells; maybe only Vincent and Yuffie and Cid can use debuffs (of course they’d need to fix all the glitches that make a lot of status effects useless);Barret can use support materia like Cover and Wall, Cid is supposed to be a Dragoon…he needs to be able to use Jump innately. Aeris could be the Jill of All Trades and use all the magics..until, well..ya know. She runs out of MP forever.

  • Materia Glowing When You Cast Magic

As a tangent to the last point, I’d love to see individual Materia radiate energy when used in battle. In Advent Children when Materia is used you can see each orb shine when activated. I think we’ve reached a point where the PS4 could do that, even change where the glow comes from when different armor/weapons are equipped.

Emo Sephie and Elvis Sephie using Materia

Emo Sephie and Elvis Sephie using Materia

  • Honey Bee Whorehouse Revisited 
Presented without comment

                       Presented without comment

Let’s be real, The Honey Bee Inn was the best part of the game. Once you get key to Midgar back by searching the Forest of the Ancients I’d love you to be able to take each party member here for some real fun and hilarious scenes. And of course let Cloud relieve some stress.

  •  Full Beastiary & Cutscene Viewer ala FFX 

Do you remember when FFX came out and Square was so proud of its graphical prowess that they put in a way for you to view all the cutscenes in the game at your leisure? I’d love for them to do the same with this remake. That scene when the party steals Shinra’s junkie car and motorcycle as you leave Midgar in Disc One, when the baby Phoenix is born at Ft. Condor and of course the most iconic scene where Palmer is hit by a truck in the middle of the battle in Rocket Town. Maybe Plot Device it so the hologram room in Cosmo Canyon is where you go to view them. Because of Life Stream, somehow.

I’d also like a full beastiary, accessible via the menu, where you can look at the models and stories behind the monsters and machines you kill for all the hours of the game. FFXIII had a great system where you got a bio and could see all the enemies weaknesses too. I think this game has some of the most interesting monster designs in any RPG and I really want to take them in and appreciate them even when I leave that area. Maybe even be able to fight powered up versions of them in the arena

Corvette_FF7

This guy (Coverette) was my favorite thing to kill in Midgar.

The guy on the left (Coverette) was my favorite thing to kill in Midgar.  And WTF is the thing on the right?!

Bunny Angel?

Creepy!

Creepy!

But why are we killing blonde women in bathing suits?

But why are we killing blonde women in bathing suits?

Giant Ostrich with hands!

Giant Ostrich with hands!

  • DRESSPHERES!!!

It’s 2015. If you show me a JRPG with no costume changes I’ll show you an unfinished game. As this entire game is a nostalgia factory I want them to just go all out with dressphere options for everyone. I want the retro outfits, the new looks from Advent Children, maybe hold a fan art contest like they did for XIII-2, cross brand that shit with some Dragon Quest outfits, pay a little extra to get Tifa a Chun-Li dressphere, Yuffie in a Sakura fuku. Imagine your whole crew dressed up like the Turks!  I want to kill Jenova dressed as Lightning and then kill Sephiroth dressed as Miss Cloud. Give me ALL THE DRESSPHERES!

LR_Garbs

I want them to finally acknowledge that Cloud is just a male version of Lightning

  • A More Clear Explanation of…Well, The Whole Damn Plot

I have played Final Fantasy 7 to completion at least 3 times. I’ve played it to the point where I lose interest about midway through another 4 times. Each time going through I learned another fraction of the plot that made me go “Ohhh! that’s why that happens later on.” I’ve never gotten to the point where I feel I understand the full story even now, 11 years later. It wasn’t until last winter talking with PunkRawkBbob that I even understood what Sephiroth himself even was! Just make it clear when we’re dealing with clones vs people who just have Jenova Cancer. Really hit home that all the crap happening in the plot is happening because Jenova is controlling everyone. Maybe focus more on that fact that Jenova is A FUCKING ALIEN and Aeris is HALF ALIEN! She can be all cute and call herself a Cetra but nah girl, you from space.

  • Make Crisis Core available ASAP, for PS3 and PS4

After this E3 I finally understand that EVERYONE including SONY understands that the vita is dead. I get it. I will happily buy my P4D and never need to buy a bigger memory card for the system. So I know that porting FF7:Crisis Core to it isn’t viable. But it’s still a game I want to play and I’m sure many others would love to pay money for it. Don’t redo the graphics the way you “upgraded” Type0, just do the bare minimum amount of work needed to make it a PSN game on the PS3 and PS4. We all know we’re looking at at least 2 years waiting for the HD redo of 7 and so this would be a great way to keep hype up, keep us happy and get some money, Square.

  • Some Shout -Out/Tribute to Monty Oum

This last one is definitely a personal request that will neither make nor break the experience of the game as a whole but it would certainly warm my heart. Monty Oum, before turning Red vs Blue into the kick-ass action series it became and before getting his own webseries, made a set of unofficial videos, called Dead Fantasy, that pitted the women of Dead of Alive against the ladies of Final Fantasy. Tifa makes quite that entrance in the second episode where she beats down 3 DoA stars mostly by herself.

On Feb 1st of this year, after being a in a coma for a week, Monty died. While he didn’t do any work with SquareEnix themselves he was definitely a fan of their work and I’m sure many younger fans of his learned about the games from his work. It’d be very nice to see some reference in the game to him.

These are things I think would make our return to Midgar the best. What are some changes, omissions or additions you all want to see?