Leliana Vess, Defier of Demons

Leliana Vess, Defier of Demons
Black Magic shall rule over all

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hello all.

Finding a lot less time to write nowadays. Not just with work, but with a lot of other things as well. It's in particular to my new interest in Tabletop RPG's, so I'll take sometime now to write about it. Now at 2 in the morning while watching the X-files, insomnia keeping me up at night.

As I previously stated before, I became a very big fan of the Pathfinder Role-Playing Game. It is in my personal opinion that this game, much more so than 4th Edition, represents the new age of DND in just about everything that it does. I became so enamored with the game that even the store owners of my local hobby shop, the 20 Sided Store, took notice. Probably because I bought a copy of just about every single book in the product line. I was asked by them if I would be able to DM for their Pathfinder games, particularly for the Pathfinder Society. Art Lobdell, New York's resident Venture Captain and a great DM whom I've had the pleasure of playing with, unfortunately cannot make it to enough sessions here in the store to keep on a regular schedule or keep up with consumer interest. As such, I've been asked to DM for these encounters by the store, because I am pretty much the only person in the store they know who knows how to DM for the game. As such, I decided why not, and agreed. It was funny to learn afterwards, that they would also need me to DM for the stores weekly DND Encounters sessions for DND 4th Edition. One of the DM's for the store, a friend of mine named Devin, will not be able to DM for these sessions due to piling school work. As such I'm now going to be DM'ing for the store. My life has gotten busy, and quite frankly I am nervous about the entire thing. DM'ing is a very large responsibility, even more so when its for a store. Do I think that I'm up to the challenge? Not sure at this point. I'm more confident DM'ing for Pathfinder than for DND 4th Edition. Its the game I know better, plus the game I'm definetly more passionate about. While I don't completely hate the game, 4th Edition is not something I would choose to run myself.
I'm also thinking about changing the way I do this blog. I've been busier than usual, and I'm not having to time to update this with the big entries I usually do. I think it's time I tried changing it up a little. My only wonder, is how.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

So I’ve been playing a lot of Monster Hunter lately, particularly Monster Hunter Portable 3. Even though I have had the game for months, I never really bothered to play it because I was playing Freedom Unite, not to mention the giant mountain of games I need to play. However, I caught a cold over a weekend, and both me and Neo decided to really gave the game some time and effort. Between help from Neo and his brother Juliano, they’ve gotten me up to Hunter Rank 3. While I’ve always stuck to dual blades from the beginning, I’ve decided to learn Bow and Light Bowgun to give me some range capabilities, because I sorely need it if I have any hope of taking on any of the gargantuan monsters in the latter parts of the game. I’m just a little nervous right now about the Rank 3 missions now because these don’t start you off in the camp; they start you off in a random area. Not to mention some of the later quests in the game have creatures you can’t even fight when on the ground. Some of the creatures will fight you in the air, others will fight underground and others will even surround the only available area in the game, in particular the final boss, which is basically Shenron from Dragonball Z. Overall I sometimes look at the humoungas creatures in the latter parts of the game like “Really? Like really?”.
I’ve been trying to play a little more Dungeons and Dragons than I normally do lately, even trying to play 4th edition, which I really don’t like. I’ve always preferred 3.5 than anything, but its getting less and less supported. 4th edition really is made more for the World of Warcraft crowd than anyone who used to roleplay or anything in 3.5. When I play, I admit I do like combat, but I always strive to make my characters an extension of myself so that I can roleplay them believably. They tend to take certain facets of my personality up to 11. My 3.5 character Lanrinil, for example is easily described as “how I would be as a woman”. She’s shrewed, dark, a bit violent, loves to drink, completely uncaring of other peoples feelings, and a poon hound. My 4th edition character, Shandra, is a drunkard girl who completely distrusts magic due to her mage brother who accidentally struck her with lightning when he was trying to use a lightning spell.
My other characters in my band of characters, the Missing Pieces, also have the same traits. Ragdar represents my dual loves for battle and the Dwarf race. Catherine represents my religious side and my silly side turned up high. Minuros represents the fact that even though I love magic so much, I would never be able to use it in a fantasy setting. Mark the rouge represents me had I become a criminal. Regulous represents my astrangement I feel from my own culture. Kokoro in many ways represents both a character I would like to become as well as the kind of girl I would ultimately go for. Kureha represents my obsession with having my created characters go through endless amounts of tragedy. Every character I consider to be a part of me, and that makes it all easier for me to roleplay as the character when I play dnd.
Anyway, I find it a ton harder to roleplay in 4th edition, not because of the game itself, but because of the people that the edition attracts. It always tends to attract people who play World of Warcraft or other MMORPG’s and that they can go in and beat the boss and leave. No roleplaying, no emotional attachments, no nothing. It’s like playing an MMO, which I really don’t like because it feels like I’m not playing DND anymore.
I’m also looking into reading about the Dragon Age Tabletop RPG as well as Pathfinder and Anima: Beyond Fantasy. Dragon Age is kind of like a simplified version of DND, only with less of everything. I always wondered how it would work to have a Dragon Age type setting. Elves are oppressed as a slave race, mages are feared and controlled, and there’s just a lot of nastiness going on around the world, so it would be interesting how that would interact with players who are used to playing DND.
GM: you come under watch by the town guard.
Player: wait why I haven’t done anything!
GM: Its because you are an Apostate.
Player: what the hell is that?
GM: You’re a mage not under the control of the Circle of Magi.
Player: Wait a minute. So you’re telling me, that since I’m not under the control of some Mage government, I can immediately get arrested?
GM: Well yeah, but only if they find out you’re an apostate.
Player: ……
(Players flips over table and yells “FUCK THIS GAAAAAAAME!!!!!!!!!)
Yeah definitely something like that.
I just don’t see how the game could really be any kind of fun under those kind of conditions, especially me since I almost always play as the elf character. I’m planning on either playing a Ferelden Freeman, which is the human race, or the city elf, which is the closest elves get to being free. I might also play as a dwarf now that I think about it; they’re the one race that has mostly been unchanged from typical fantasy tropes, besides humans anyway. Only problem with the game is that since its still relatively new the game is quite unsupported. Oh well, maybe I can bring the game to Twenty Sided and get some people to play me at least.
Pathfinder for those that don’t know can really just be considered dnd 3.75. Some game designers didn’t like a lot of the things that were done in 4th edition and they also don’t like the changes done in 3.5 edition. Deciding that, they took it upon themselves to make a new version based off of 3.5 and calling it Pathfinder. Its main change is that the early part of the game is made so that even early characters can do quite a bit, whereas the hardest parts of the game in 3.5 is the beginning of the game. Your characters tend to suck at that point of the game and don’t have many good skills available to them. Classes in Pathfinder also get new types of skills early on and they get tons of new shit. Overall, Twenty Sided is supposed to start hosting new Pathfinder sessions, so I’ll definetly be there to try it out.
Another RPG I want to try is Anima: Beyond Fantasy. Anima is a Tabletop RPG created in Spain and uses Asian artwork, so it gives off the vibe of a Japanese anime tabletop rpg (ironic since the game was not only not designed by any Asians, but the artwork was done by a Chinese man). I first heard about it when I bought the card game of the same series back during the New York Comic Con, and when I heard it was tabletop I decided to try to look into it. The classes in there I find very interesting because they offer about two different versions of each class, like warrior and acrobatic warrior, or paladin or dark paladin. Typically they’ll differentiate it further in that each version of the class shows an animated character of a different sex; the paladin is a girl and the dark paladin is a guy, and the warrior is a guy and the acrobatic warrior is a girl. Overall the artwork for the game is great, and is the main reason why the book sold so well in the first place; the book is almost like a giant art book half of the time. I still need to try to get the GM guide and the Monster Manual for the RPG, so right now I’m just reading the book to see how the game is.
I also started finally playing Fate/Extra after it made the surprise jump to English release. That was honestly a real surprise that the game was getting localized since it didn’t exactly sell very well even in Japan, and the entire Fate franchise isn’t that well-known in America. I’ve really wanted to play this game even in its Japanese release due to the Servant’s that are in the game. So far I just had my first servant battle and beat Rider and Shinji. I’m glad we fought against Shinji first round because honestly if I had to listen to his banter throughout the entire game I’d have probably stopped playing.
SPOILERS The game is an alternate world version of the series. The plot in the game pretty much makes no kind of sense, but its all in a digital world, and your protagonist apparently has amnesia and can’t remember who he/she is, depending on what sex you choose. At the beginning you can then choose your servant, but you can only choose between Saber, Archer, or Caster. Personally I chose Saber because she was always my favorite servant in the series, only to find out that this Saber is not Arturia Pendragon, but rather a new servant. Turns out this one is Nero Claudius Ceaser Augustus Germanicus, the son of Julius Ceaser, who was thought of as a tyrant who abused his people and who was believed to bring about the fall of Rome. Not to mention he’s believed to be the historical figure behind not only the legend of King Arthur, but the Anti-Christ as well. I do find it funny though, that the whole reason she looks exactly like Arturia Saber is because Nero Claudius is one of the historical figures behind the King Arthur legend.

The playable Archer in the game is Shiro Archer from Fate/Stay Night, and the Playable Caster happens to be Tamano-no Mae, one of the great female figures in Japanese history who was believed to have been an aspect of the Japanese Sun God Ameterasu.
The other servants are also widely varied. The rider for this war is historical figure Francis Drake. Considered one of the greatest figures in British history, Francis Drake was the first person to successfully circumnavigate the globe, to defeat the then greatest world power, Spain’s naval fleet, and basically allow Britain to become one of the greatest world powers the world has ever known. It even says that because of this, she is believed to live in Avalon along with King Arthur and Britain’s greatest heroes.
The Archer in this war happens to be a young man who became the legendary basis for Robin Hood, the bandit who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Because of this the character fights primarily through the use of gorilla warfare and surprise tactics, something Saber-class Servants can’t stand.
Another Saber class in the war is Sir Gawain, yet another one of the Knights of the Round Table. He is fighting for much the same reason Sir Lancelot was fighting in Fate/Zero; he regrets not being able to help his king during her struggles in her later years, and also can’t let go of his grudge with Sir Lancelot for killing his two brothers.
Another Caster for this war is called “Nursery Rhyme”, who is actually a projected Reality Marble from her master, given the form of Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Because Nursery Rhymes were so well beloved by children all around the world, the rhymes themselves became heroes to the children, allowing Nursery Rhyme to become a Servant.
The Lancer Cu Chulainn returns, this time the Servant of Tohsaka Rin. He is pretty much the exact same as he was in Fate/Stay; still as abrasive, rude, and blood thirsty as ever.
Another Lancer that happens to be in the game is one of the ones that surprises me the most: Vlad the Third, the historical basis for the legend of Count Dracula. Vlad the Third was a famous general for Romania, who was infamous in his brutal tactics, use of gorilla warfare, and his brutal ways of execution. Vlad was a big fan of a method of execution called the Impalement, in which a spear was placed on the ground arrowhead up and the victim was lowered down onto the spear by the crotch. Not to mention they’re was an abundance of legends about how he would bathe in the fallen’s blood, engaged in ruthless acts of torture and violence, and was in general considered to be insane, which led to his feared reputation. Oddly enough though, his people loved him because of how much he had done for his country. Overall, one of the picks that surprised me the most.
The next servant that had surprised me was the one chosen as Assassin: Li Shuwen, the historically recognized creator of Baji-quan style Kung-Fu, even though the one summoned is the younger version as opposed to the older version. Being a fan of the martial art, I was really surprised that they would choose him of all people to be the Assassin class. That pretty much opens for all the martial arts in recognized history, like Bruce Lee for example.
The Beserker for this war happens to be Chinese war figure Lu Bu, which I actually did see coming. Romance of the Three Kingdoms has been popular ever since Ikki Tousen first came out, and Lu Bu has always been the most popular in the series, so seeing him as a Servant was no big surprise. Though I might have also figured him for Lancer as well. Then again in real life history you could probably consider him every class except for Caster, ala Hercules. I’m kind  scared of fighting him though. That dude is scary lol.
I like the game a lot, especially since it plays like a cross between Fate/Stay Night and Persona 3 Portable. There’s a lot of reading dungeon-crawling and good old fashioned battles. The battle system works in a rock-paper-scissors set up. You have three things you can do: attack, break, and guard. Attacks beat Breaks, Breaks beat Guards, and Guards beat Attacks. You choose six actions at the beginning of the round, and your actions must beat the actions the opponent chooses. Reading your opponents patterns and countering accordingly will allow you to beat the enemy while taking minimal damage. This gets harder when fighting the enemy servants however, because they tend to have a lot more hp and strength than you do, so correctly guessing their patters is the only way to survive. Both servants and masters also have the ability to learn and use magic skills to help turn the tide. Servants learn these as they level up and gain skill points, and Masters learn these by equipment. These range from healing magic to attack skills to stat augmentation, and eventually you can even unlock your servants Noble Phantasm once you’ve progressed far enough as a character and through the story. The game plays a lot like a cross between the Fate visual novel and persona 3 portable. Game play takes place in a school setting in which the player makes their investigation to find out what’s the identity of the enemy servant. This goes on for one week before on the last day the player must battle the enemy Servant to decide who goes on to the next round. Discovering as much as you can about the enemy servants will reveal some of their attacks that they will choose each round, easing the memorization involved. Even still, you might want to play with a notebook and pen near you so u can write down some of the patterns, even for the regular enemies. The game is told in the visual novel style that Fate made famous, with the words taking over the entire screen and the game even contains some of the music present in the original visual novel. Overall, this looks like a game I’m going to be playing all the way through, possibly with Archer and Caster as well.
Also got to play some Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. So far, the main character that I want to play right now is Nemesis. It’s the first time that I actually liked playing a big and slow character, as I’m accustomed to playing fast and small characters. The little girls I tend to play lol. Since I don’t own the game, I didn’t get the chance to really take a look at Nemesis’s movelist. The only attack that I found was his quarter circle forward attack. The light version punches, the mid punches then shoots a rocket forward, and the third punches then shoots a rocket upward. He has ridiculous amounts of range in his normals, and his combos are small but so damaging. He’s fun as hell to play.
I am also interested in playing as Jill, though I am still disappointed that its RE5 Jill as opposed to the obviously better RE 1 or 3 Jill. I like her playstyle though. Have to really take a look at her command list, but I like her teleport bullshit. I see a lot of openings to create mixups. Her jumping spreadshot special sucks so much ass its not funny though lol.
I was interested in playing Ghost Rider, but now that I did I’m not sure if he’s really my style. Its sad really; Ghost Rider is my favorite Marvel Hero after all. I don’t understand the whole decision of making him a slow character considering he’s not huge, but even more so because he’s supposed to be the new Omega Red of the game. Omega Red was a fast character that used his tentacles to make huge range and create mixups, which sadly Ghost Rider doesn’t. If I can get the game and try him out then maybe I can get used to the play style, but so far it seems I’m not going to be able to play him.
I absolutely refuse to try out Phoenix Wright on principle. I don’t agree with the fact that against so many classic characters they put him in there. I mean how many characters could have made it in their that would’ve been better? Rouge, Gambit, Cyclops, Cable, Juggernaut, Hugo, Guy, Cody. Fucking Megaman X. How many people wanted X in there for gods sakes? But no, you put another fucking joke character with Phoenix Wright. The characters play style is weird enough as it is, because he actually tries to look for clues in the middle of battle. I admit as a Phoenix Wright fan it is funny to hear the sound effects, but I’m pissed off even more as a Mega Man fan.
Pretty much all the other characters I really couldn’t care about. Shuma I didn’t really care about but I might try out once I get the game. Hawkeye I always found overrated, Doctor Strange I always thought was not as good as he makes himself out to be, Frank West I can’t stand, both his game and his character, Strider Hiryuu is ok but I don’t see him being big, Vergil is his brother so fuck him, Iron Fist is Fei-Long, Nova is a character I don’t care about, and who really gives a shit about Rocket Raccoon. I guess maybe that’s why I don’t really care about the game as much as I do Street Fighter X Tekken, since there’s not enough characters I care about. Most of the characters in Street Fighter X Tekken I really want to play as, but in UMVC3 there’s only 2 characters I really like, and one who I can still technically play as in Vanilla MVC3. That’s also probably why I’m not on my way to buying the game so fast.
I’ve been trying to get into the Weiss Schwarz TCG lately also. Its basically anime in card game form, and includes a lot of really popular animes, like Angel Beats, Fate/Stay Night, Little Busters, Nanoha, and Haruhi, among others. The game is interesting in terms of mechanics, because you can’t play your stronger cards until your near death, essentially making it so that working to kill your opponent makes them stronger. It’s an interesting way of balancing the game out in that its like SF4’s Revenge meter being put into card game form. The only thing I would say I don’t like about the game is that combat doesn’t actually mean too much, in that even if your opponent isn’t attacking you but is attacking one of your characters, they can still attack you directly as long as your cards power isn’t too high. I’m not going to bother putting in the rules, because its extensive. If you’re interested, check out the Weiss Schwarz Wiki. It has up-to-date rules, tutorials, and translations for all of the cards in the game.
 Been trying to improve my Commander Deck as well. It’s a modified version of the Commander deck you can buy which has Kallia of the Vast as its commander. I added a lot more of the good Angels, Demons, and Dragons (oh my) from other sets, and put in creature removals, because that deck sorely needed it. I played two other people with actually GOOD commander decks and was surprised to see just how bad my deck was in comparison. Had to work on that.
The only anime that I’ve been watching this past season are Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, or Haganai as its fans call it, Fate/Zero, and Persona 4.
Haganai, is about a group of high school kids who start up a club in order to make friends, something they are desperately looking for but having the hardest time trying to make. It’s an interesting and funny anime, though it is a little laxing on plot mostly because the main characters don’t do much to change their personalities. My favorite character would have to be Sena, and she’s the character that I hope ends up with the main character. The only problem she has is that she’s a spoiled princess, since she comes from a rich family and her father is the school headmaster. She’s just cute enough in most of her reactions that you can see her and the main character together, not to mention they’res the hint that they were childhood friends since their fathers were best friends as children. Granted, Yozora was also a childhood friend of the main character, but she’s become such a bitch now that its hard to imagine her with anyone.
Fate/Zero is the anime adaption of the light novels that were released around 2004-2005, and which dictate the events surrounding the 4th Holy Grail War. If you go from watching Fate/Stay Night the anime to watching Fate/Zero, you will see almost a complete change in the atmosphere in the story, and it becomes clear the story is in no way going to be the same. Everything in this war is almost ten times more professional and much more clean. Out of all the Masters in the war, only one of them was unaware of what the Holy Grail War actually was, and they all have been preparing for it. A giant change from the 5th war, which not only caught everyone by surprise, but more than half of the Masters in it were not even aware of the presence of magi in the world. As such, that war was much more haphazard and many people only had a vague sense of how the war should be fought. Everyone in this 4th war were all professional, all knew what they were getting into, and all knew what they had to do in order to win. None of them were really that unwilling to kill each other in order to win, so none of them were stuck in moral dilemmas like Shiro was.
So far It’s already obvious that this anime is about ten times better than the last anime, in art, music, direction, pretty much every category. And the 1st anime was already high quality as it is. Glad to see this anime is also getting all the recognition that it deserves.
Persona 4 the animation was an anime that surprised me in that it was being made; didn’t see it coming. I like it a lot though, because its doing exactly what it needs to; staying exactly close to the story while doing everything right. Much better than the shitty ass Persona: Trinity Soul story that was supposed to be the story for Persona 3. I keep watching the Persona 4 anime and just thinking: “Why couldn’t Persona 3 have gotten an anime like this?”. Instead we got the shaft because we got some lame continuation of the story in Persona: Trinity Soul, which is really sad considering Persona 3 has the much better story. It kind of makes sense considering that I believe Persona 4 was more popular than Persona 3, but I’m not sure of that. I think Persona 3 was the better game overall.
  Persona 4 went from being great to being awesome within a few episodes, and I’m glad for it. At least Persona has one good anime going for it. Gets me some excited for what they might do with Persona the Fighting Game. Akihiko and Mitsuro have been announced, so I know who I’m going to be playing besides Chie. I’m just wondering how they’re playstyle is going to be. I can see Akihiko playing as something like a Reka-Ken character like Fei-Long, and I can see Mitsuru as something of a quarter circle character, and might possibly be something of a spacing character like Ryu. He can do sword slashes as forward moving attacks and uppercuts, and use his ice as a projectile. Akihiko can probably even get a Burn Knuckle attack, and might play similar to Makoto in Blazblue. He can get mixups, punches and kicks that move him forward so that he can get in, and it would make sense if he didn’t have a projectile. Maybe he could summon his persona for some small ranged attacks. What I would like to see is that he gains some special in which his persona infuses his fists with thunder, which gives him stun or extra damage, or even godlike chip. That alone would be awesome. I wonder what moves they’re going to give Chie, considering she pretty much only uses kicks. I imagine her getting an uppercut kick, a forward shooting kick, and a somersault kick that she can do different moves out of. In a way though I hope she doesn’t get this because at that point she’s gonna have a lot of Akane’s moves from Arcana Heart. Still, I wonder how they’re going to incorporate her move set with her persona. Her Persona might use her naganata attacks in order to give her ranged moves, but I imagine with Chie she’s going to want to stay close to attack. Something to think about.
So you all might be wondering why I haven’t been posting as much as I used to before. Quite simply put, life. Work got a lot busier over the past months, and I usually type this blog during my down time at work, as I said before. I’ll try to post more but I can’t make any guarantees. Until next time.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I think I should start playing Megaman x4 again. I sometimes like to watch vids of how some people will tackle the game, and that always makes me want to play it again. I almost always have a hard time with the Colonel. I love X4 for the simple fact that even if you know the patterns by heart like I do, you will die if you’re not on point with every move you do. The Colonel is a perfect example of this. I still have a hard time with him sometimes, since I’ve pretty much never been able to get my skills back up to how they used to be. I’ve been playing that game since I was 7, but I’ve never been able to beat Sigma. I can get to his last battle, and I can slightly survive, but I’ve never been able to finally take him down. Makes me sad that even though I’ve had this game for so long yet have never been able to beat it. I should really try to do it one day.
I find it funny how a lot of people insist that playing the game with Zero is harder than playing with X because Zero takes more damage and has to get up close to the enemy. Its weird because in that game, I never play as X. I always choose Zero. So I actually find it harder to play as X, because I’m not used to his gameplay style. Sometimes when playing as X I actually find myself charging in at enemies, or trying to do Zero’s moves lol. It looks retarded when you see it happen.
So later on that day, I then decided I might as well play the game and am now on Iris. In this battle you’re really supposed to use the Shoryuken you get from defeating Magma Dragoon in order to damage the robots she sends out as well as the purple crystal she has, which allows her to use a two prong laser attack you have no real hope in avoiding otherwise. My main problem is that I never seem to be able to damage her enough or kill the crystal fast enough to live through it. Still I just need to practice this battle a little harder so that I can beat her. Maybe, just maybe, I can beat Sigma this time.
To keep up with the Megaman theme I’ve pretty much been playing nothing but Megaman, and started even playing the parts of the series I had previously ignored. First was Battle Network. I had always ignored Battle Network due to the fact it was so different than the other games in the series, along with a gross piece of misinformation. I had been told, forgot by who though, that Battle Network was the only games in the entire series in which they broke the classic Megaman formula of gaining weapons upon defeating a boss and using it to defeat the boss that’s weak to that type of weapon, in a giant immense game of rock-paper-scissors. I had been told that since this series was RPG style as opposed to action platformer style, you don’t learn enemy weapons, and I avoided the series like a plague after that.
  Neo however, who happens to be one of the only friends I know who’s a bigger Megaman fan then I am, loves the Battle Network series, and has put tons of hours into it. Hearing so much about it from him, I decided to give the games a try. Who would have guessed that you do in fact gain defeated enemies powers in the form of Battle Chips -____-
But ended up getting the entire series and have been playing the games for a while since. I’m primarily playing 3 though, since from what I’ve heard, 3 was the best game in the series, and I’m liking it so far. Even started watching the old Megaman Battle Network anime because of it, in Japanese and English.
  Speaking of the game though, I laugh whenever people start to get confused as to the Megaman timeline. People honestly don’t know when one game starts and when one ends. The original Megaman games were the first in the series, and chronologically are followed at least a couple decades later by the X series. Next in the timeline comes the Zero series, in which are chronologically held hundreds of years after the end of X8. People often get confused due to the difference in appearance, but Zero and Megaman Zero are the same person; Zero has simply had his outfit updated. Next in the timeline would be the Megaman ZX series, which is also evidenced by the similarity in appearance and gameplay. The last game in the series is Megaman Legends, which takes place thousands of years after the end of ZX series, evidenced by its 10,000 timeline. People often get confused in the timeline as to where the Battle Network and Starforce games take place because they are so different from the rest of the games. Battle Network takes place in an alternate universe timeline of the series in which as opposed to robot technology flourishing, computer technology did instead. This is why gameplay is about computers as opposed to robot masters. Starforce is the sequel to the Battle Network series, but takes place years afterword. This was done because Capcom wanted to experiment with where they could take the series besides action platforming, and wanted to try their hands at the RPG genre. This was met with mixed results though by fans since some did not like the foregoing of platforming, and some others liked the RPG battle systems and fast paced gameplay.

Personally I just really want them to continue the X series, especially since X8 ended the series on a bit of a cliffhanger, and since the X series has always been my favorite part of the series in general, though I haven’t really played 7 or 8. They’re a lot harder to find than the rest of the series, since I can’t just go online and download them, and since they weren’t included on Megaman X collection, a game which I fucking love! Lol. While I have heard numerous amounts of bad things about 7, I did hear that 8 made up for that. Might try to see if I can finally get them.
Also been watching that great ass new anime, Carnival Phantasm. For those who haven’t heard about it yet, Carnival Phantasm is basically an anime celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Type-Moon, and is a straight up comedy anime featuring both the characters of Fate/Stay Night and Melty Blood. I specifically say Melty Blood because Melty Blood exclusive characters like Shion, Riesbyfe, Minako, and Neko-Arcuied are all featured in the anime. This anime is completely fuckin hysterical. I mean really, really, really hysterical. I think the only thing bad about it is that if you’re not a fan of Type-Moon or you are but never played the visual novels and only watched the animes, the show is not going to be as enjoyable. This show was obviously made for all the fans who have played the visual novels and have devoured everything related to the series in general. The whole series is like all the fanart on Safebooru.com related to the series turned into an anime for my pure enjoyment. The fact that every single voice actor for both series return just makes it even better.
The entire story is based off a series of omakes that were released a couple of years ago, and there is no real general plot to the madness. The whole show is simply based off the characters of Fate/Stay Night and Melty blood meeting each other, something totally possible since both series actually take place in the same universe. The first episode shows what would happen if the 5th Holy Grail war was changed into a game show, and the second show is all the girls playing volleyball at the beach, in which the MVP will get to spend an afternoon alone with Shiki. The series is amazingly funny and I highly recommend everyone who’s ever played either games to watch this. Not to mention the art is awesome.
Also finally finished Amagami SS after taking a long time to download the rest of the series, and it was as great as I knew it would be. In terms of storytelling and believability, this anime was definetly one of the best dating sim animes I’ve ever seen, simply because it didn’t use much of the typical tropes associated with the genre. I especially like the main character. For once we have a character who’s not a complete social prude or a complete pervert. While he does have the pervert tendencies of collecting gravure books, he does so in a way that many average boys do so. Not to mention he is completely bold with some of his most insane requests. Nothing about him is overblown like in other anime. Not to mention, because each girl is given four episodes in which they and the main character fall in love, they avoid the harem trope in which all of the girls are in love with the main character. Makes sense because its more believable to have one girl fall in love with him than to have a multitude of girls fall in love with him. The series overall is very heartwarming in how it treats its relationships, and makes it to a somewhat believable yet unbelievable. My fav relationships would be Morishima-Senpai, Kaoru, and Tsukasa. I loved Morishima-Senpai because she had a great personality on top of her amazingly good looks. I liked Kaoru mostly because I thought she had a great character, and because I found her so damn funny. Finally, I liked Tsukasa because her little two face demeanor was awesome.

And Oh my god this entry took a long time. I’ll stop here and get to work on the next one -__-

Friday, August 5, 2011

  Recently bought a copy of Spider-man: Shattered Dimensions. While I stopped being a fan of Spiderman due to his overexposure after the movies, I heard a lot of good things about this game. For those who don’t know, the game’s story involves Mysterio intending to steal an artifact known as the Tablet of Order and Chaos, from a museum when he is busted by Spiderman. During the battle Spiderman punches the tablet into pieces, and it turns out the artifact is in fact real, and destroying is throwing reality out of whack. Madam Web then contacts him and tells him he must gather all the pieces of the tablet before Spidermans villains use it for evil purposes, and he will have the help of Ultimate Spiderman, Spiderman Noir, and Spiderman 2099. You then play through assorted levels, each one taking place in one of the Spidermen worlds, and each with its own brand of gameplay. Spiderman Noir uses more stealth as he must stick to the shadows to regenerate health, Ultimate Spiderman focuses more on combat due to his use of the symbiote suit from Venom fame and its resulting rage powerup. Amazing Spiderman focuses on the stylish combat evident in that comic series, including transforming your web into weapons. Finally Spiderman 2099 focuses on using the special powers only he has, like his accelerated visions or gliding capabilities, on top of the futuristic setting.
Quite frankly, I think this game is awesome. Its just pure unadulterated fun, with a great sense of humor behind it all. Spiderman, like in the comic books, is constantly making wisecracks throughout the level, from how Electro doesn’t wear pants to playing off of Madam Webb’s lame jokes. The game will keep you laughing indefinetly, especially if you used to watch the Spiderman animated cartoon from the 90’s. I especially like how Jim Cunnings comes back to voice Kraven. For those who don’t know, Jim Cunnings is famous for being one of the most prolific voice actors in the American cartoon industry, from doing Winnie the Pooh and Tigger to Scar in the Lion King, and even the Tasmanian Devil. He really helped make Kraven such a cool character in the cartoon, and he makes Kraven come alive in this game. Overall I’m having a lot of fun with this game, and will most likely play it all the way to completion.
  Another recent purchase is the Game of the Year edition of Borderlands. My friend Miguel introduced to me this game a while ago, and we both literally spent an entire day playing the game, taking my level one Siren to level 16. She’s level 19 now, and I finally managed to beat that first boss, the leader of the local bandit gangs. I’m still too low level to really take on the next mission, so I’m planning on doing a couple of other quests to level up. The game is fun in that sense that even though it offers near endless amounts of gameplay, its still well-suited for just quick bursts of gameplay. Problem with the game is that this is a game that survives on its co-op. I’ve been doing single-player due to no Xbox live, and its been slow going. Its not the difficulty either; the game uses a system in which the challenge is tied to the level of the quest as well as your current level, so mission don’t get challenging unless you’re like 5-8 levels below the recommended. Its slow going just because the game isn’t as fun if you’re only playing single-player; the game is basically nothing but fetchquests at that point. But if you play with another person, every quest becomes a memorable experience, especially if you work together to complete a quest in which the two of you have no business completing. Miguel and I had taken on this mission in which we had to kill two of these Skag leaders, one who could control lightning and one who could control fire. The mission was at least 7 or eight levels higher than us, but we were able to do it after we died like close to 20-30 times, maybe even more. We never gave up no matter how quickly or how many times they killed us, but man, did that feel good when we finally killed them both. Its those kind of moments that you just can’t make in a single-player game. While admittedly the RPG aspects are barely there, it’s a really fun time. Depending on how many people still play this game, this would be a game where I would consider getting xbox live for. Maybe even internet.
  For some reason, against my better judgement, I went and decided to buy Agarest Senki Zero, or as its known in America, The Record of Agarest War Zero. While I did buy the first game, I didn’t enjoy it too much. I wanted too. I really wanted too. But I didn’t. The game was too long. It took about 10 minutes for every regular battle in the game. You progressed through the game map by going to spaces, and those spaces inevitably had a battle. This thus means you’re spending more time having random battles than anything else in the game, and with the battle system in the game being so slow paced and uninteresting, it bogs the game down. Thus, I never really progressed past the first generation. Seeing as how this is an improved sequel, you figured they would improve the battle system. But no. They didn’t. Its exactly the same. What did they improve on? They added the feature they had from Trinity Universe and Hyperdimension Neptunia, and added moving portraits of their characters. Which look terrible due to the artists art style, which while awesome, does not work in motion. They only good thing (depending on how much you like the series) is that this game is only 2 generations as opposed to the first game’s five. What made me laugh though is how the first games generations all started the same way: main character is in the army, fights an enemy, enemy pwns the shit out of him, he dies and gets resurrected. When I played Zero, guess what? That’s exactly how Zero starts. These guys are so original they ripped off themselves. Typical. I wonder about Compile Hearts games sometimes, because I own almost all of them. Cross Edge, Trinity Universe, Agarest Senki one and zero, Hyperdimension Neptunia, most of their games that have been released in the US. While I really REALLY want to like the company, its hard too when they seem so content to just release rehashed trash instead of trying to make something original, or even trying to improve their shit at the very least. Half their games all feel the same, with characters I don’t even really like, unless they are guest characters, like Morrigan or Etna or Flonne. Anyway, yeah. Agarest Senki Zero doesn’t seem like its worth it yet. At all. Don’t know if I can play this until completion seeing as I didn’t so with the first game. Might also give up on the company’s games if the Neptunia sequel doesn’t amount to much. At this point all they’re games are pretty much kusoge.
  Also recently got Yu-Gi-Oh! Tag Force 1 on a deal. I played Tag Force 5 a lot before, but I always wanted to play 1 because I didn’t get to deal much with the GX series. The American dub of it is famously horrendous, and the Japanese series is very hard to find nowadays, unlike its sequel 5d’s. I actually really liked the characters in GX, like Asuka, Judai, and Rei. Yeah they weren’t nearly as good as say Jack Atlas, Yusei or Aki, but still, they were interesting characters who garnered my attention way more than anyone from fucking DM did. A lot of people say that DM was the best season of Yu-Gi-Oh. No. No it wasn’t. They’re letting they’re nostalgia get the better of them. DM had some of the worst characters in the series. Jounouchi, Honda, and Anzu were completely ineffectual in just about every single capacity, Mai completely failed on being any kind of character with any importance, and all of Yugi’s rivals completely failed not only of providing him any challenge but of having any sort of meaning or significance. The only character who mattered in the show is Kaiba, and even then all he really did was screw the rules ‘cause he had money. At least the characters in 5D’s were actually interesting, and even in GX the characters were more interesting if you watch the Japanese dub, due to all the things that happened in the Japanese dub, like the big reveal of who Judai really was. When the English dub was made they completely took out a lot of the shit that really happened originally, to the point where for a long time they removed the last season of the show, giving many viewers the impression that Judai had died until they finally brought the last season over here. Not to mention they completely skipped over season 3, resulting in tag force 3 never being ported here to the States since it was based on that whole missing season. Overall Yu-Gi-Oh gets fucked over here in the states, since 4kids continually tries to market a series meant for teens to adults, to kids. Wake up guys; its not like Yu-Gi-Oh is popular with kids anymore; all anyone does is play the card game anyway. Still trying to get somewhere in Tag Force though; until you get all the cards needed for your deck, the game is really slowgoing.
  Also got a copy of Spiderman Web of Shadows. This one is a recommendation from Neo, who liked this game a lot better than Shattered Dimensions, because it has his one favorite feature from every Spiderman game: Being able to websling around town. That shit alone is so much fun; it really makes you feel like you are Spiderman. Gameplay in the game is mostly sandbox, and is reminiscent of Spiderman 2, the movie based game on the original Xbox. You are free to choose to do whatever you want to do and the game only progresses by choosing the missions you can get from various in game characters. The story involves Venom trying to take over New York by sending his symbiotes all over and possessing people, even getting Marvel heroes like Wolverine and Luke Cage infected. Spiderman, who gets his black suit from the beginning of the adventure, can switch between the two on the fly, and must choose in some of the pivotal missions whether or not he wants to make good or bad choices. Making good choices allows him to resist the temptation of the black suit and get help from the Marvel superheros, like Wolverine, Luke Cage, Daredevil, and Moon Knight. Making evil choices means he succumbs to the powers of the black suit and has the help of the Marvel villains, like Vulture, Black Cat, and Rhino. While regular Spiderman focuses primarily on combos and stylish combat, Black suit Spiderman focuses on short attack strings which deal tremendous amounts of damage. You’re free to choose either suit for the missions, as it’s the choices you make that decide how you go about the story, whether you will be going along the evil route or whether you will be going down the good route. While I make most of the good decisions in the game whenever they come around, I am still more on the bad path because I chose Black Cat over Mary Jane the first time. I can’t help it; I think Black Cat is a far more interesting character than Mary Jane. You can also do small things to raise your evil or good meter, such as rescuing civilians or failing to rescue them, and breaking up gang wars and stopping Kingpin’s hitmen. The only thing you can’t do is outright evil things like killing police officers or civilians. I was stuck for quite a while on Venom until I started to realized I could glitch his patterns into repeating one over and over, which let me get through that hard ass stage. Now I’m just stuck on the boss immediately after: Electro. While creating electrical walls that will bounce you off if you hit them, he will be sending all kinds of electrical projectiles right at you, so I kept getting bounced off the walls into projectiles and onto the walls on the other side, repeating the process. I literally got turned into a Spiderman pinball. That was embarrassing. Felt like I was doing the Dr. Octopus boss battle from Spiderman 2.
  Also started playing Catherine over the weekend, and beat the game relatively over the course of one afternoon (4 hours on Friday, 2 hours on Saturday). I had played the game also when it came out in Japan months ago, but the game was way too hard, imfamously so, and I pretty much gave up out of frustration on the 2nd boss. The American version of the game includes the patch that was made later on which eased the games difficulty, including adding an easy mode. While Normal mode in the Japanese version felt more like it should’ve been Hard, the easy mode in the American version feels easy. I got gold all the way up to Stage 7 in my playthrough before the game started getting hard. While I totally predicted the final boss of the game from the first few hours of playthrough, the story still surprised me by just how mature it is. While there are a lot of games that deal with relationships as a focus, very few of them ever do it in a mature, life-like situations. Typically they are the backdrop for some greater conflict, or are given birth as a result of a greater conflict, ala Final Fantasy 8. Catherine however has everything take place around not just Vincent’s relationship problems, but around the relationship problems of all the main characters as well as the minor characters. Every part of Catherine asks the questions of why is marriage important or should a cheater be forgiven, all done in a very mature tone that speaks to those who have gone through similar situations. Every part of the game has some kind of metaphor that speaks to the overall theme of the game. Lots of people feel that the game was way too hard considering most will be playing for the story, never realizing that the difficulty speaks to the main message, in that the climb a man takes to adulthood, when he begins to take responsibility for his actions, is never easy and is always frustrating, a puzzle in itself as the man tries his best to understand women.
Anyway, enough gushing about it. From the beginning I automatically went for Catherine, because I though Katherine was way too much of a bitch. Catherine to me seemed not only more of a more interesting character, but a better match for Vincent anyway. Even the game says that Catherine is more his type than Katherine is. The only reason he really is going with Katherine is because she’s the safe bet since they’ve been dating so long, not to mention she was supposedly pregnant. It leads to a whole other theme of the game: Will you do what society views as right even at the cost of your own happiness, or will you do what you want to do, at the cost of being shunned by society? This is what leads to the games morality meter, which can barely even be called a morality meter. On both sides of the meter lie one side representing law and the other freedom. Unlike other games, you don’t get to choose Vincent’s decisions from a list at an important juncture, and the meter shifts. The meter shifts when you are asked seemingly unimportant questions by random people in the bar or in the nightmare world, and the meter will choose how Vincents reacts in certain scenes, as well as deciding your overall ending. It’s a unique system in that people who are used to this kind of thing will get their heads spun.
  Actual gameplay is the puzzle game that everybody knows. You are on a puzzle stage in which the bottom is constantly falling and you must push and pull blocks in order to make it to the top. It can be fast and frentic, especially when a stage involves traps. You’re encouraged to go through the stage fast in order to have high points at the end, in a sort of high score type motif that ends up being rather addictive. I’m actually considering trying to gold everything. Either way, I’m probably going to play this game until I get all the different endings, though I doubt any of them are going to top Catherine’s Freedom ending. Highly advise everyone to go for that one first because it was way too funny.
  Also been playing the Megaman Battle Network and Star Force series. I’ve heard a ton of good things about this series from Neo and Chico. Apparently the Battle Network series owned Jose and Neo all throughout high school, as I kept hearing stories of how they used to play this series to extreme heights. They were telling me about all the crazy boss battles that are hidden in that game, like one where you can fight the Colonel from Megaman X4. Apparently the character actually has a raging demon special. Crazy.
I’ve been playing a lot of games lately, so I’m going to this entry here for now, or I’m going to just end up typing nonstop. See you guys next time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

  In Dragon Age Origins I’ve made it to the end of the game with no real way of beating it. While I defeated the first general who is helping the arch demon I have no way of defeating the second general in the alienage who uses Magic. Apparently I’m very underequipped to take him on, but once the ending battle starts you have pretty much no way of going back to buy items or level up. Apparently, I should be on my way to level 30 at this point and I’m only level 18. So I’m basically cluster-fucked >_>. Since I still have the ps3 version, I’ve decided to make a new character in that game, starting with the Dalish elf storyline. Let’s see if I can beat it with that one.
  I also started playing Dragon Age 2 along with one. Normally I won’t play a sequel without having played the first one, but the story in one has just about no bearing on the one in 2, and you can transfer over data even if it’s not completion data so I said why not. Dragon Age 2 is an interesting game from Origins, because you wouldn’t know the two games are even connected without actually playing. Unlike 1’s battle system, 2 is more of a action rpg. Instead of choosing to attack an enemy once and watching your character constantly attack like in most MMO’s, you make every single strike like in Gauntlet. While its jarring in just how much the battle system changed, this was done because the battle system in one was more suited to PC, the platform the game originally came out on, while this new battle system is more suited to the console crowd. That’s not the only things that’s changed in the sequel. Conversations are more like Mass Effect now, with a dialog window and a speaking protagonist, easily the best change. The art style is completely different, with more bright colors and elves and dwarves getting a makeover.
As opposed to playing another Grey Warden like with Origins and Awakening, you play as a character named Hawke, a Fereldan refugee who travels to Kirkwall in the Free Marches in order to escape the attack on Lothering from the Blight that happened in Origins. While you can’t choose your character’s origin story or race like you could in Origins or Awakening, you can still choose Hawke’s class and gender. The story is basically you shaping how you want Hawke to go from his or her journey from a poor mercenary to the eventual champion of Kirkwall. While some people didn’t like the idea of going from saving the world from a great evil to rising up in the world, my only real complaint is that you’ve gone to a rag-to-riches storyline. Another reason why you play as Hawke in this game is that Hawke eventually becomes, “the most important character in the world of Dragon Age”, according to the creators. SPOILER this is probably because Hawke accidentally incites a war between the Circle of Mages, the Chantry, and the Templars SPOILERS END. My guess is that Hawke’s role is going to be more expanded upon in the third game. For the third game, I personally would like to see you end up playing as The Hero of Fereldon (the Origins hero), the Warden Commander (the Awakenings hero) and Hawke all at once. I would also like to see everyone get a voice like Hawke did. I really envision the Hero of Fereldon as a selfless hero type, like Optimus Prime, and the Warden Commander as your average hero thrust into extraordinary circumstances. I personally think Hawke should be the snarky, quick-quipping hero. I played my Hawke as such, and to me she sounds way more natural that way, like that’s how they meant it to be. She gets along really well with Varric and Isabella because of it. It would certainly be a nice dynamic to see the three of them deal with the situation in there own way. In fact, all three could play apart in helping the main character out, if they decide to make a new one for 3, and each character can have the help of some of the party members of their games, depending on which characters lived or died. The Hero of Fereldon could have Alistair, Morrigan and Leliana. Hawke could have Varric, Aveline and Isabella, and the Warden Commander can have Ohgren, Anders and another party member (I haven’t really played Origins, so I don’t know the entire party). While I almost immediately didn’t like Dragon Age 2 because it was so different from the first game, I have to admit that the game has really grown on me in the time that I’ve given it. The characters are all as interesting and multi-faceted as you would expect from a Bioware RPG, and the battle system, while a lot less tactical and way more fast paced, is still fun, exhilarating, and does require strategy at some points. Both games have character I hate and love though. In Origins I loved Morrigan, Lelianna, King Cailin, and Ohgren, but I hated Alistair and Sten. In 2, I loved Isabella, Aveline, Bethany, Varric, and Meryll, but I hated Fenris and Alders. Like I’ve said before, the characters determine everything for me, which is probably why I think this anime is only ok as opposed to world changing like a lot of people make it out to be. A lot of magazine reviewers were actually thinking one might have been one of the greatest games of all time, but I thought it was just ok. Now where’s my Jade Empire 2, Bioware?
Sidenote: I am at the end of 2, and like 1, I still can’t beat the game, once again for the same reason: I’m fantasically underleveled. I should be level 30 but I’m only at level 16. Once again, cluster-fucked.
Speaking of Bioware, I’ve also been playing a lot of one of there other biggest RPG’s, Mass Effect. I bought Mass Effect 2 along time ago, and didn’t like it and just let the game sit and collect dust. Since I gave Dragon Age a chance, I decided maybe I should try this one again, and I also bought one, since the story connects way more than it does in Dragon Age. While I don’t think it’s as amazing as people make it out to be, I do think it’s a great shooter. Yes I said shooter. I don’t see in any way how there is an underlining battle system in the game that relies on die rolling, and it plays just like a shooter. Everything else but the battle system is RPG’ish though, especially in how dialogue and the story play out. Dialogue plays out very naturally in the game, from how everyone reacts to what you say to how Shepard reacts when they talk back to him. It really helps to add to the believability of the characters. Once I get past 1, and carry my data into 2, I’m going to try to get Tali as my girlfriend. Joe plays the game in front of me a lot, and seeing how she is in 1 and 2, I just find her so adorable, especially the accent. Unfortunately there’s next to no possible romance’s possible in 1. There’s only 3 possible choices, 2 being humans and I being with an alien race that always reproduces with other species. Not to mention that species has no real gender. A little too ambiguous for me. I am definetly not going for Ashley, though I believe I can’t even go for her since I’m playing a female Shepard. Actually, now that I think about it, can I go Talia when I’m a female Shepard? Oh god.
I’ve also been playing an old ass game that I’m sure I’m late about: the first Assasin’s Creed. I never really wanted to bother with the game mostly because its another one of those popular games that I am sure are not worth all the hype. I tried playing Joe’s copy of Assasin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and found out the main character of one’s real name: Altair ibn La-Ahad, or in Arabian, Flying One Son of No One. The name alone made me want to play as the character, so I bought one, and actually like Altair’s character more than Firenzo. Maybe it’s just because I prefer Middle-Eastern accents to Italian accents I don’t know. Wow that sounded racist 0_0. I didn’t mean it that way!! So I found and started playing the very first Assasins’s Creed, to find that I actually really really like the game. Its actually pretty fun figuring out how to go after targets by gathering information. The one thing that I immediately noticed about the game is the well-done pacing. I never really noticed the pacing in other games until I played this game, but this game has some of the best pacing in any videogame I’ve ever played, especially coming off of Brotherhood. As you get better at playing the game and as Altair gains more and more of his Assasin tools back, you’re enemies become stronger and stronger, with them going from easily losing you to chasing you all the way across the city. In Brotherhood you don’t see that gradual progression of your skills and the enemies; instead you and your enemies are all at max right form the beginning, and its just you versus them. I like seeing that gradual progression of your assassin skills rebuilding and you’re enemies getting used to your tactics and playing you accordingly. Eventually enemies just start to notice you out of nowhere and you have to run for god knows how long to get away. Maybe the white cloak has something to do with it?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ninja Souls

Lately I’ve been playing a lot of Demon Soul’s and Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2. I was playing both games hard last year, so playing them again is like a blast from the past. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to play many games lately due to responsibilities, plus dnd taking any time that I DO have spare, so my little commitment to hard games has been waning lately. My skills in either games hasn’t diminished much at all thankfully, but I don’t have the sense of awareness I had when I was playing them last year and I had the hightened senses usually associated with these types of games. They are two different beasts though, NGS2 is more fast paced and heart pumping while Demon Souls is more strategic and foreboding.
In Ninja Gaiden 2 I’ve beaten the chapter where you can play as Ayane, and wow this chapter can be a bitch. I don’t know why, but gameplay wise for some reason the girls all feel slower than Ryu, which is weird since usually in videogames the females are fast but weak while the man is slower but stronger. It makes sense for Rachel and Momiji since they have a giant hammer and naginata, but Ayane is using two short swords! Why does she feel slower in movement?! Anyway, fighting against Obaba can be annoying since one little fuckup will lead to a loss of more than half your life. It doesn’t bother me so much since I’m used to that from Demon Souls, but still it’s annoying to watch when that lady is as big as a house, literally, and she can move faster than an eye can blink. I’m now up to the chapter where Elizabet is sacrificing something to Dagra Dai and it’s causing the stage to rain blood constantly. Its funny because I know what a ton of Slayer fans were doing when that shit happened. If this is the part of the game where I have to fight almost nothing but fiends, I’m going to get annoyed. The way fiends are in this game, they can kill you very fast and the only way to kill them with any sort of quickness is to try to disarm them and use an obliteration technique. If there’s any sort of problem with the game that I can find is the fact that the enemies use throws so heavily. While they did have throws in the first game, in the second one they made the AI use throws just about every encounter. More than anything there are a ton of enemies that pretty much just focus on being annoying. The enemies have a focus of working together sometimes. Smaller melee enemies will try to distract you with relentless attacks while in the background there will be archers, ninpo casters, or enemies who perform grabs pecking you off, which thus opens you to attacks from the melee enemies. Then sometimes when you think you’re done, there goes a disarmed opponent who performs a suicide. Lols.
I also came to find out by complete accident with my friend Joe that I can access the Master Ninja Missions in Mission mode without having beaten the game, and I tried doing one that he thinks is impossible: fight the four greater fiends all at the same time. That fight is funny because the way it is you die almost immediately. One combo from Volf literally took me from full life to death. The game drops you in practically right in the middle of all them with no way of knowing the first time you play. I have to look up some vids online and see if anyone has actually been able to finish that mission and how they did it. Typically if I’m stuck in one of these games that’s what I’ll do so I can pick up on some possible strategies. My second strategy is to go on gamefaqs, which I hate because its gamefaqs.
  In Demon Souls Neo, who had already beaten the game, beat the stage 1-1 boss, the Phalanx, for me. He then also made a character on my ps3 as a Royal, to show me just how easy mode that class is. You can literally just lol throughout the entire level. I thus also made a character with that class so I can say that I beat the Phalanx myself. I died right after crossing the bridge with the dragon because I didn’t know that right after that corridor were two zombie knights, who then proceeded to rape my ass both ways. Sadness. I do like the Royal class though. It is easily one of the most broken I have seen in the game, since I always used the knight and thus never really got to use magic. While the game can still be tough as hell if you’re not careful, its a lot easier when you have some broken spell like Magic Missle to help you out (lol dnd humor).
  Another game I’ve been playing is surprisingly Dragon Age Origins. After quite a while of Joe trying to convince me to play the fucking game I finally decided I would give the game a shot. I didn’t really want to play the game because quite frankly I’ve never really liked any of Biowares games. The only game they’ve made that I really liked they had made was Jade Empire. Its weird considering that I play DND and love the D20 system, and the majority of their games use the actual D20 system. Going by that logic, I should actually love their games, yet I don’t. Currently in Dragon Age, I am in the city of Orzimmar and am trying to get Belhren as King of the Dwarves. After hearing what were the rewards, I decided I want the mace Belhren gives you more than the staff the other king gives you. I already completed the mission to gain the help of both the Circle of Magi and the Templars, which I think is awesome. Thinking about it, I may go after Leliana for this playthrough. I’m the human noble woman warrior, and I was originally going for Morrigan as my love interest, until a few days ago when I found out that Morrigan doesn’t play for both teams. Leliana does though. So going by that logic I may pursue her. I’ve actually grown to think she’s rather cute anyway. Her origin story with her former lover Marjoline is also pretty interesting. I’ve also unlocked Morrigan’s backstory in which I have to kill her mother Flemmeth. That should be pretty interesting, since when I fight her she turns into a large dragon ala the witch from Sleeping Beauty. Plus I think I have to fight her alone. If that’s the case I may have to make my party Leliana, Alistair and Ohghren just for the sheer attack boost Ohgren and Alistair give you, with Leliana pelting Flemmeth with arrows from afar. That just might work, since I can’t use magic due to me killing that Circle witch and Morrigan can’t join you for that fight. I also actually killed that elf assassin that can join you as well; do you really think that I’m going to let someone who tried to kill me join my party? No, no, no, you die. You go to hell and you die. The circle witch I killed because I was planning on getting the templars on my side, which meant I had to kill the Circle Mages. Come to find at the end of the quest I’ve gained the support of both the Templars and the Mages! Awesome!
  I also came to discover that there is a Dragon Age tabletop RPG. Got the books required for it and I really want to try this game. Judging by what I’ve read of the players handbook, it seems like the game plays like an easier version of DND, with a focus on cool and stylish combat, which should be interesting. The only thing I don’t really like about the world of Dragon Age is how it turns standard fantasy tropes on their heads. Here, the elves are an oppressed slave race, mages are relegated and feared for being popular hosts of demonic possession, the world is primarily mono-thestic for the human race and the majority of the world, and orcs and most monsters are all placed together in one species known as the DarkSpawn. Not to mention that the leader of the Darkspawn is a black dragon that was worshipped as a god. Honestly for a game called Dragon Age, there aren’t as many dragons as I expected. I think in the entire game you only encounter two full adult dragons: Flemmeth, the Archdemon, and one other I haven’t fought yet. Not to mention I believe all of them can be characterized as mere adult black dragons.
  The tabletop RPG also is very simplistic. There are no real myrid amounts of skills like in DND 3.5, and the game only involves 3d6 as opposed to the huge amount of die that will come with a standard game of DND. I miss my d20’s lol. Still, Joe is interested in it, and Neo might be as well, so who knows; I might take this one seriously. The only thing I don’t like is that the class system is the same one used in the video game: there are only three classes (rouge, mage, and warrior) who each branch out into three other classes. As an example, rouges can become bards, assasins, or rangers while warriors can become templars, berserkers, or another class who’s name I forget. While you still get the benifets of the other classes, I still don’t feel right about how I have to be a rouge in order to be a bard. Somehow that doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe its just me though. I just hope the game is not too much like DND 4.0. I’m just so used to 3.5 that playing anything more simplistic is annoying. Plus I actually like to roleplay in my games, even in Dragon Age. Joe was asking why I never bother to raise my characters Cunning or Intelligence for my Warrior character. I told him because my character’s a bit of simpleton, like almost any character I roleplay. For example, my 4.0 character, Shandra, loves to drink and hates mages, “because they’re so damn complicated when all you have to do is swing a sword to kill anything”. She even has her own warcry: “Burn the Witch!”. Anyone who gets that reference gets 2 points. My 3.5 character, Lanrinil, isn’t as blantantly afraid of magic though. She’s actually a bit more quiet when it comes to work, though she does enjoy the company of good ale and a fine barwench. Once she’s had some liquor she changes a lot. I don’t know what kind of character I want to create for Dragon Age. I don’t think I want to be an Apostate, since they have so many restrictions placed on them storyline wise, and I don’t think I want to be a circle mage, since I hate the Circle. I definitely don’t want to be a dwarf. I don’t like the dwarves in Dragon Age. To me, they stray too far from the typical presentation of my most favorite fantasy race. To me, Dwarves must have a Scottish accent. Gimli in Lord of the Rings to me represented the best example of how dwarves should be. Also I find it funny how in Dragon Age there’s so many dwarven women, and how they, and even some of the men themselves, don’t have thick beards. It’s been well established in fantasy lore that all dwarves, even women, all have thick beards, the thicker the better, and that there are very few dwarven women, which explains why there race is dwindling. Another common fantasy trope is that the dwarven women are some of the best fighters in their race, which I’ve always found funny.
  Let me just explain how I’ve always viewed the races in fantasy:
A race of people living underground with the stone, dwarves are a warrior race at home with the battle axe and war hammer. They love to drink, fight, and fight some more. There mortal enemies are the orcs and Duergar. Dwarven women are very rare in their race, explaining their dwindling numbers. Dwarves believe that there ancestors are always watching over them, particularly those who become legends. Dwarves don’t get along with elves sometimes because they view them as haughty and stuck up. Dwarves are secretive and don’t tell people much about their personal histories. Dwarves are also some of the finest metal workers in the world, making amazing armor and weapons, sometimes made of the rarest mineral in the world, Mithryl.
Elves are a mystical race of people born with an innate sense of magic. There are immortal, light, almost airy, and are well suited to ranged combat, either with magic or a bow and arrow. They are well learned, scholarly and look at the bigger picture of things, however, they are also haughty, prideful, and absolutely furious in battle. They don’t get along with dwarves because they view them as barbaric and bloodthirsty, and not too fond of humans because they believe them to be a noble but flawed race with a longing sense of control. Elves are as secretive as Dwarves, preferring to live closer to nature by living in forests and generally don’t allow people of other races into their main homes, for fear of possible attack. Elves are also very strict on preserving their ancient lore, and feel that there knowledge and history must be preserved for all time.
 Humans are a proud and noble race of people that are numerous. They have the unique talent of being suited for almost any task put forth to them, and are very quick learners. They prefer to be noble and civil in most situations. While they may not be the most suited for battle, they are the most resourceful and are skilled at thinking on their feet. Many times humans have won battles that others would have thought impossible. However, humans also happen to be the race that is most attracted to evil. While humans are capable of great heroic feats, they are also capable of unimaginable evil, with tyrants, criminals and monarchs easily capable of burning whole villages or committing mass genocide simply because they are angry or want vengeance. Humans are also extremely territorial, and their kings hardly think of anything beyond expanding their own kingdoms. Many humans live in oppression, and no other race thinks more of fighting against their own kind than humans.
Halflings or hobbits
A happy and jolly race of people who love nothing more than eating and partying. While in some stories they are a happy-go-lucky race of people, in others they are simply more of the race that tries to stay out of trouble. It’s rare for a halfling to want to, but they do like going out on adventure, and some actually do eventually go out and explore the world to make their fortunes.

Yeah, I guess you could say that my views are heavily based on Lord of the Rings, but I’ve always believed in high fantasy stories. My sense of fantasy also happens to be heavily influenced by the Forgotten Realms, which I already spoke about a while ago. Woah, I just went off on another complete tangent.

So far, I am actually having fun with Dragon Age. I don’t know why, as I have never liked any other game this company has made, and this one is pretty much no different. Maybe I just like this game and that’s it? Who knows. I’ve had my character become a Templar as well. I like the ability to just shut down magic like that; it helps in certain situations. I’ve decided to roleplay as a noble woman who prefers to fight and slay creatures than have someone else do it for them. My character doesn’t care how she does it, but she is determined to gather an army strong enough to fight off the oncoming blight, even if her actions are not considered right or just. She is not a beacon of light and hope for the world; she is a Grey Warden doing everything she can to make sure her army is strong enough to save Fereldan. My character is straight forward and true, and focuses only on the Blight, and doesn’t let anything distract her (which explains why I’m not doing any of the side-quests). She is rather simple sometimes, and her personal crusade against the Blight has sometimes led those around her to forget that she is a woman; every now and then though, she will do something to remind them, such as gossiping over shoes with her girlfriend Leliana, or play fetch with her pet dog Cujo. She gets along well enough with Alistair, though she does tease him quite a bit, and tends to think of him as a younger brother, even though he is older than her and her senior in the Wardens. She gets along well enough with Morrigan because they agree on a number of points, including the Circle, the Templars, The Chantry, and how fun teasing Alistair is. She tends to not get along with Sten due to his rough and surly demeanor; she is very friendly to all people and doesn’t think it is right she is not treated the same. She has just recently met Ohgren, and hasn’t gotten a good idea of his character yet, but can see he is a strong warrior who’s heart aches for his wife. She finds it sad to think that his only comfort is at the bottom of a bottle. Leliana is a girl that she has slowly fallen in love with; she had some reservations about her due to her belief in the Chantry, but she has fallen in love with her honesty, compassion, strength of her belief and the little shows of silliness that pop out from time to time. Finding out that Leliana felt the same way was just the icing on the cake. My character decided to originally side with the Templars because she knew how great a threat the abominations were, and knew they needed to be contained while it was only in the tower. She also thought the Templars abilities to cancel magic would be useful against the Blight. She then eventually decided to also side with the Mages because she knew magic would be a determining factor in the war, and because she had found out the cause of all the madness was due to the machinations of a single Blood Mage. She has now decided that the King Beleren of the Dwarves should be the rightful king of Orzimmar because, being nobility, she recognizes he possesses the ruthlessness and take-hold attitude that is required of a king, and knows King Harrowmont would be not be a great ruler. While he may not be the popular candidate, she knows Harrowmont won’t do much to change the dwarves current situation. While her duties as a Warden come first and foremost, she tries her best to help people in certain situations and not leave too much of a bad impression of the Wardens. Her and Alistair are the last in Fereldon after all, and they must build the Wardens back up themselves, so she must make sure the people don’t come to think of their order as monsters or meddlers. Giving the dwarves a good king is the first step to improving relations with all the creatures of Fereldon. She especially wants to try to help the Elves. She feels they are too great an empire to be subjugated and disrespected as they are in the current Fereldon, and as such she wishes to leave them in a situation in which they’re lives can be improved. She wants to be a great leader in the vein of her dearly departed father.
  Ever since I started playing DND I roleplay like this in RPG’s. Especially one’s in which the player is supposed to be the main character. I don’t really like playing as men in my games, but next playthrough I may play as a man so I can go for Morrigan. In that one I may play a mage. Want to see how that class is.
  I’ve also been looking into World of Warcraft. Not playing, just looking into the story. Neo is a big WOW fan, and from time to time he shows me some of the trailers for the game because he likes my reaction to each one of them. I find each trailer awesomely epic. I like watching really well made trailers because to me they’re amazing. From the action to the music to the cinematography, everything is usually top-notch, especially with the WOW ones. A sign of a really good trailer is that it will make you want to play the game so badly after you watch it, and that’s how I feel when I watch the WOW trailers. Each one usually tells at least some part of the overall story for WOW, particularly relating to whatever expansion the trailer is for. I think out of all them my favorite race would probably be blood elves, for obvious reasons (blood elf chick is hawt! Lol) and I don’t have a favorite class yet. Neo says that I would probably become a warrior, since in role-playing I tend to take a fight first ask questions later approach to things, especially when my character is drunk. In fact, similar to my actual persona, when my role-played characters get drunk they get downright comical. Lanrinil will start hitting on just about every woman in her immediate vicinity, and Shandra starts stumbling around yelling “burn the witch” at anyone she thinks may be a magic caster. It’s a little something I do just to break the mood and for a couple of laughs, and it usually works.
  If I had the internet in my home I probably would start playing WOW right away too. My main problem with internet is that I want something besides Verizon, Time Warner, and Optimum, because I’ve had bad experiences with all three companies. All three of them have shitty customer service and provide shitty internet. Maybe once the U.S. starts catching up with the rest of the world in terms of internet, I’ll finally decide to make the jump, but right now I see no internet that I would likely get here in the states. That’s pretty much the only thing keeping me from playing WOW. The 15/month doesn’t even bother me, that’s very reasonable. The other thing keeping me from playing WOW is the simple fact that I think the game would probably own my life if I were to allow it to. I’m pretty simple like that where I would let my life get taken over by a videogame, especially one with as much content as WOW. I’d probably even be one of those people that roleplay in it lol.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dead or Alive: Dimensions

So lately I’ve been playing a ton of Dead or Alive Dimensions. Got it as soon as the game came out. This was the game I originally bought the 3DS for haha. Quite frankly, the game is amazing. It feels and plays just like its console brothers. Here are my pro’s and con’s:


1)      The game literally has no slowdown unless you turn on the 3D effect.
2)      It plays exactly like its older brothers.
3)      Japanese voice acting WAS included in the NA version.
4)      Chronicle mode hugely expands the story.
5)      Gives us the options of playing as all the bosses throughout the series.
6)      Gives us just about all the modes that are featured in the original.
7)      Gives us a few kick ass remix’s on some of the best themes in the series.
8)      Portable DOA action. Come on now, that is definetly a plus.
9)      All the characters ever featured in the series are all playable.

      1) Probably due to size constraints, every character only has 1 intro and outro sequence.
      2) The game uses the DOA4 system, which might alienate the fans who didn’t like that game.
      3) Chronicle mode focuses almost exclusively on the ninja main characters, so everyone else is almost background.
4)      Chronicle Mode, while being easily the best part of the game for a DOA fan, was way too short and left you wanting more. Easily my biggest complaint.
1)      Shiden ended up being almost a Hayate rip off.
2)      The English voice acting, which is really rendered mute due to the choice of switching out for JP voice acting.
3)      Some players don’t like the flash effect added to each hit, but honestly I didn’t notice it in combat so whatever.

The game in my opinion is one of the best games in the series. It plays exactly how you want it to play and sacrifices nothing in gameplay. Easily one of the best games I’ve seen on the system.
From hear on out I’m going to be speaking about the story for the game, so if you don’t want to hear spoilers, skip down.
Well, after playing through Chronicle Mode, I can safely say they added a lot to the story of Dead or Alive without really putting way too much into it.
Chronicle Mode features five chapters and a prologue, each one taking place during each of the four games throughout the series.
The prologue shows the aftermath of when Raidou attacked the Mugen Tenshin clan and nearly crippled Hayate. We also meet Shiden in this chapter, and also find out that Kasumi knows the Reppujinkusatsu, or the Rip Torn Sky Blast, that was previously only mentioned during the expanded opening of DOA:Ultimate on the Xbox 1. In this chapter when Kasumi and Ayane are about to fight, Christie rescues Kasumi on a helicopter, which was the scene shown so commonly in the trailers. This was how Kasumi was taken to and found out about the DOA tournament. As Kasumi fights through the ranks and finally fights Raidou, she was really about to defeated once he turned all raging Akuma status. As the two unleash the Reppujinkusatsu on each other, Raidou began to get the upper hand until he was struck on the arm by a kunai. It’s implied it was Ayane, but in reality they never show. This was the distraction Kasumi needed to finally kill Raidou, as she blasts away her uncle to obscurity.
  The next chapter then goes into Dead or Alive 2, in which we are introduced to the eventual Kasumi cloning project of Project Epsilon. After Hayate was captured and an attempt at making a clone was done on him, he was left with amnesia and was under the care of Hitomi and her karate sensei father. After that, Kasumi was captured by Doatec to try making a clone of her, being that she was the strongest ninja of the Mugen Tenshin. After she is captured, its revealed that Kasumi Alpha, her first clone and the midboss in DOA2, was the one that let her escape as a way to kill her. Kasumi Alpha apparently has become the total mass of Kasumi’s evil, as she has become obsessed with Hayate. It’s revealed that she wanted Kasumi dead as a way to eliminate the competition for him in a sense. As she and Kasumi are battling, they are interrupted by the head researcher for the Epsilon project, Lisa, a.k.a. La Mariposa. She detains Kasumi Alpha with a sedative, and as she’s about to capture Kasumi, Ryu burst through the window with the help of Irene, and they both save Kasumi. Once far enough away from Doatec, Kasumi and Ryu begin to discuss their next course of action. Kasumi immediately wants to go rescue her brother, even though she is injured from her battle with Kasumi Alpha. Ryu reprimands her for her foolish thinking, and Kasumi runs off to find her brother. While this is going on, Hayate is being rehabilitated by Hitomi, and begins to train in German Karate as Ein, quickly becoming a master of the art. Not soon after the second tournament is announced. Here the player mostly plays as Hayabusa, since he is the canon victor of the second tournament. Hayabusa quickly mops the floor with most of the competition until he finally fights Bankotsubou, more well known as Tengu. It is then revealed that in fact it was Genra, already under the control of Doatec, that had released the seal keeping the Tengu in check. At the conclusion, he also places….well , I guess the best thing to call it would be a mind control jutsu, bleh…on Ayane. To make matters worse, Kasumi Alpha also appears, both to take Ayane with her, and also to see Hayate. At this point, the tag team of the newly revived Hayate and Hayabusa must fight against Ayane and Kasumi-Alpha. Upon defeat and setting Ayane free from her mind control, the main characters now begin to wonder just why is it that Genra has decided to turn nukenin, not knowing of his capture and brainwashing.
Once we go through DOA3, the game opens up with the Shiden discussing with Hayate and Ayane about the end of the 2nd tournament and why Genra has gone insane. During the discussion, Shiden decides that Hayate should take Kasumi’s place as leader of the village. Hayate is reluctant to take the position because he doesn’t want to kill his sister. Ayane gets angry at the fact that Hayate is still reluctant to kill her even though she is a nukenin, and in his rage Hayate smacks Ayane across the face and threatens her with banishment. This saddens Ayane so deeply she nearly commits suicide until her mother Ayame steps in. This is where we find out why is it that Ayane has seemingly let up on her hate for Kasumi since 3 and 4: Ayame has basically asked her to stop going after her sister and watch over her instead, since Kasumi is the type to try to do every thing herself. Ayame, trying to show herself to be her mother, comforts Ayane about Hayate and recent events. They also seem to hint that Ayane really does have feelings for her older brother, and Ayame seemingly knows. Its also shown another reason why she is jealous of Kasumi: she’s always been the one that has had Hayate’s attention. It’s an interesting scene because it really epitomizes the fact that the series is trying to take a more story-focused approached to the series as a whole, because this type of scene would probably never have come out had Tomunobu Itagaki still been at the reins. Here there was a scene that not only had drama in it, but also showed the point of motivation for one of the key characters in the story as well as setting up for potential plot lines for the future. In other words, its like they’re actually trying to create a story lol. Not to mention it also happens to be one of the only times where we see Ayane truly emotional, crying even. For this chapter we take control of Ayane for the most part, as she and Hayate enter the tournament together to figure why Genra has gone Nukenin. During this journey we begin to meet more of the characters from 4, namely Lisa, Kokoro and Eliot. Hayate and Ayane have a tag battle against Eliot and Gen Fu as part of Eliot’s training, Kokoro protects Kasumi as Ayane searches for her, and Lisa is still in talks about the Epsilon project. Brad Wong also has a hilarious cutscene where he pretty much molested Ayane completely. I laughed my ass off at that one haha. Finally, we also see that the entire ending to Doa 3 was completely changed. In this one, Hayate and Hayabusa have a sparring match to decide which one of the two is more capable of defeating Genra. Originally Ayane wanted to take her father on herself, but she was defeated soundly by Hayate, who told her that if they were going to defeat Genra, they would have to do it together. As Hayate and Hayabusa have their sparring match, Ayane and Irene watch on until Irene is captured by Christie. Hayabusa gives chase, but Hayate senses something wrong. After casting a jutsu, he sees that Genra is standing on the tower, waiting to challenge the two now that Hayabusa is distracted. Once Hayabusa is finished fighting with Christie, he looks up to see that Genra has casted a genjutsu, which explained the special arena he was fought in during DOA3. Hayate and Ayane prove to be a match for Genra until he unleashes a jutsu that decimates the duo. As he’s about to finish them off, Hayabusa flies in to the rescue, and slashes Genra across the back, and as Genra falls, he stabs him in the gut. While Hayabusa has him pinned, Ayane and Hayate cast their joint ninjutsu and blow Genra away. We also get to see a cutscene in which we get backshots of Victor Donovan, the man who’s been behind pretty much everything in the series, conversing with both Christie and Kasumi Alpha, who refers to him as her “father”. Yeah, I see what you were doing there Donovan, you sick fuck -__-
  Afterwards we then continue on into the dead or alive 4 storyline. Here, the player once again plays as Kasumi, once again coming full circle from the prologue chapter. Here the plays through just about the same story that was played through in the 360 game, with the Mugen Tenshin clan launching their all out offensive against Doatec in the midst of the Dead or Alive 4 tournament. Kasumi is increasingly worried both about her brother and the fate of Kasumi Alpha, while Ayane has become the new leader of the Hajin-mon after defeating her father. She now leads her ninja to support Hayate in the fight against Daotec with the support of Ryu Hayabusa. The fighters are also shocked to learn that Helena Douglas, who always openly hated her position as the head of Doatec, now apparently is openly taking the position and was continuing work on the company. At the Doatec Tri-Tower, where not only is the finals being held, but the main offensive of the attack is being launched, as Daotec’s soldiers fight against the ninja. It is in this location where the player finally confronts Helena, who reveals that the work on the Kasumi clone, Kasumi Alpha, never ended. Alpha was continually experimented on and modified until she became the ultimate killing machine, Alpha 152, the annoyingly cheap final boss from 4 that became famous for the controller throwing rage she induced in people. After Ayane gets split up from Hayate, she meets up with Hayabusa, when Christie jumps in and Ayane holds her off so Hayabusa can help Hayate. He then bumps in to Kasumi and Helena talking together. Kasumi considered herself decent friends with Helena, enough to know that the primma donna hated the company with a passion. She can’t seem to understand why is it that she would want to take over the company after all this time. Helena then reveals to Kasumi the existence of the Alpha project, and as Kasumi is shocked from the news, Helena holds her at gunpoint, telling her she has nothing to do with it. As she’s about to fire, the gun is knocked out of her hand by none other than Hayabusa. Kasumi and Helena then fight, Helena is defeated, and Kasumi must go to fight her clone. Meanwhile, Hayate and Ayane have already charged into the deepest depths of the lab as the Tri Tower is not set on flames, Doatec’s soldiers still trying to get rid of the ninja threat. While Hayate holds the guards off, Ayane begins to cast her greatest ninpo skill, and blows the whole lower half of the tower apart. As they brake threw and make their escape, they are then met by a presumably escaping Alpha 152, and they are soundly defeated. The Tri Tower is destroyed, Doatec is finished, and Alpha 152 continues making its escape.
However, you may be surprised to see that there is another chapter in this game. At first I was thinking, what else could they have to cover? Unlike a lot of other people, I had no delusions that this was in any way related to DOA5. Do you really expect Tecmo to just release that unannounced? And on a handheld even? Please.
No, this chapter continues the story only slightly by basically being Helena’s story path through all four games, including one, even though she actually was not in that game. It shows her rise to power from a girl who did not want to take over the company, to the head of Doatec itself. Funny thing is this chapter really doesn’t change much in the story all the way until DOA 4. Everything up until then is mainly repeats of the same scenes from the other chapters that involved her, except primarily told from her point of view. The story doesn’t really become anything new until about when 4 starts, and even then its not nothing new if you’re like me and have played every game in the series. Here we discover that Helena took over the company and released Alpha 152 because she knew the ninja were coming to attack, and was planning on “going down with the ship” so to speak. The young woman then finally stays in the building as the ninja attack, Ayane’s ninpo blast, and Alpha 152 cause the building to collapse and explode. Here however is where she finds Christie and learns that she is the one who killed her mother, not Ayane like she had always thought. After this revelation, aside from a last battle with Christie, we don’t really learn what happened after that, except it goes straight into the primary ending of DOA4, with the building exploding and falling around her, right up until Zack flies in on a helicopter and saves her. Afterwards, we then get a small cutscene where Helena is looking out to the sea on her yacht and says “the curtain has just risen”, her old 2 win quote, and Victor Donovan is seen walking into a dark room that has a single pedestal. He then takes a mask, the same one Genra had worn, and puts it on. His face glows in purplish energy, and he begins to laugh maniacally.

Overall, Chronicles mode was exactly what I was hoping it would be: a great way to really explore the world of DOA and do something with the great story that Tecmo has had for quite some time. Dead or Alive has always had a great story, but do to Tomonobu Itagaki’s leadership, they’ve never been able to do much with it. He had said himself that in reference to Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive, he never cared about making a good story because he was a game designer; if he wanted to make a good story, he’d have become a writer. and then he wondered why so many fans didn’t like him personally. Overall, depending on what work Tecmo does with DOA5, I’m going to start wondering if in fact Itagaki was actually holding them back instead of being their driving force. Who knows? That could be exactly it.

Dead or Alive: Dimensions is in my opinion a great addition to the series, though some people may be put off by its handheld nature. No matter what though I think it is definetly the best game on the 3ds so far. The game is head and tails above Super Street Fighter 4: 3D Edition in any case. Hopefully the story can really be made something special now that Itagaki isn’t involved. What I would like to see is an anime adaption released for the series. Even better, I want the anime to be serious; with just about no fanservice, just so Dead or Alive can brake free from that reputation. If anything I would want the people behind Ikki Tousen to handle it, since they do decent work on their fight scenes. But yeah, I would actually prefer they didn’t include fanservice. It holds the series back in my opinion. If anything, make some OVA’s that are nothing but fanservice, like the ones they released for Ikki Tousen. It would only make sense.