Leliana Vess, Defier of Demons

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

Thursday, July 22, 2010

More shit is going down

So in terms of games, I recently bought the video game Heavy Rain. Played it for almost two days straight, and managed to beat it. It was actually really good. The story had me on the edge of my seat almost the entire time. Still doesn’t hide the fact the game is basically a ps3 tech demo hidden around a murder mystery story with quick time events. The graphics look absolutely stunning, amazingly real. However I’m disappointed, as are many fans of the game, with Sony’s decision as to the DLC. If you haven’t heard, the game is going to release a patch come September so that the game will fully utilize the Playstation Move. Really, Sony? I hope everyone realizes that since this is going to be the first game to utilize it when it comes out, that there will be numerous problems with movement detection. I mean, movement detection in a video game has never worked out correctly. Not even Nintendo, with their huge amounts of money, are capable of making it work with the Wii. Let alone are we going to be able work on the first try. Funny thing is that the controls for the game were bad enough. Seriously the game had pretty wonky controls when you were not doing a QTE portion. I don’t plan on getting the Move, so I decided there was no reason for me to wait in purchasing it, unlike a lot of other people who are holding off on buying the game so that they can use the Move. I plan on going through the rest of the game to see the other ways I can take the story and try to see if this might be the first game for ps3 where I get all the trophies, since this game isn’t too hard anyway. I’m not going to spoil anything about the story, since that’s pretty much the main reason to play the game, but I really don’t like the reveal of the origami killer because it really hurt me. Oh well, at least the reveal was sufficiently shocking, if a little head scratching. You can see his motive, it’s just the gameplay aspects of the whole thing that I won’t get into to avoid spoilers.

I’ve also been playing more Tales of Vesperia, and just got past the ruins after Aspio, which means I now have Rita in my party. Rita is an awesome and funny character, and having all the skits (finally!) voiced really adds to the game. All the skits are fucking hysterical and most will make you laugh out loud. The game is a huge level grind though. Sometimes it feels like you take forever to level up; thankfully the battle system is really enjoyable and makes you want to get into random battles. The surprising part was the ruins you have to explore to the east of Aspio. In this stage, the end boss is your standard “really strong guy that will take apart your health in a few attacks, doesn’t take much damage from physical attacks, but takes a ton of damage from magical attacks, which is perfect since you just got a new mage in your party” type boss that’s usually in every rpg as an excuse to try out your new party member. The funny thing is that going by some Gamefaqs faq I’m using, it says the best level to take him on at is at 7-11. Since I was level grinding for so long, I had my party at 16, so I figured this boss was going to be a cakewalk. Problem was that since unlike Abyss you can’t change your individual party members tactics, Rita went charging at the thing like she was Hercules while Estelle would only heal when someone was at the brink of death. Long story short, my ass got handed to me. So I had to change the setting so that Estelle could only use First Aid for a spell and Rita could only use Splash. This time, I managed to survive but the asshole took a ton of my Life Bottles with him. Now I learned how to use the analog shortcuts for spells. That will help out a ton. I left off on the game after that since I had to sleep for work, but wow I seriously can’t wait to play this game again. This game is completely awesome and might usurp Abyss as my favorite Tales game.

In anime, I’ve finished Ikki Tousen: Xtreme Xecutor. I would also say that this was an awesome series, however, I did not like the reveal of Kentei as actually being Shiba-I. I mean really? They gave so many hints that it was her that you almost wanted to believe it wasn’t her. I was hoping for something completely out of left field, something that no one would have thought of as a surprise twist. But no, it actually was her. It wasn’t anything bad, and it didn’t hurt the story at all, but I was really expecting (or hoping) for something completely unexpected, something that would shock and amaze me. Unfortunately that just didn’t happen this time. Oh well, I’m still happy with how the season turned. Probably the best season since Dragon Destiny, let’s hop they due a fifth season with this level of awesomeness.

I managed to snag a copy of a Thai movie called Chocolate, directed by the same director for Ong-Bak and the Protector, two of my all time favorite martial arts movies. I happen to be a huge fan of Tony Jaa, because I think he is the only martial artist in the entire world that would be capable of taking on Bruce Lee. Yes, he’s that amazing. I especially love how every single move he does looks like it has an insane amount of power behind it. There’s so many points in all his different movies that I could show where you can clearly see all the power he has in his blows.

Anyway, Chocolate is the story of a girl named Zin who is the daughter of a Japanese Yakuza boss and his Thai girlfriend. The twist is that the girl happens to be autistic. Thus she then spends her days exercising and watching Muay Thai movies on TV. When her mother then becomes bed-ridden from cancer, Zin goes on a quest to get money for her mothers operation and runs afoul of some gangsters. The funny thing about the movie is that the actress playing Zin, unlike Tony Jaa, does not have actual Muay Thai or Muay Boram experience. The only martial arts experience that she has is in Taekwondo. Thus, she needed to be trained in the art for two years before the production of the movie and another two years during the movie. Sadly, this means that for the whole beginning of the movie, the actress clearly is doing Taekwondo if you actually pay attention. However, later on in the movie she then begins to do the Muay Boram we’ve all come to know and love & actually does a great job of it for someone that had to learn it in such a small amount of time. The movie is very impressive in it’s martial arts and also in it’s stunts, and includes the fight scene that makes the movie for me: near the end when Zin must fight a retarded young man with the twitch that fights for the mafia. This scene made it for me just because of it’s originality. I mean, what other movie have you ever seen shows two martial artists fighting that also happen to have mental diseases? Sadly the fight scene was pretty short, but it was still memorable. Unfortunately, my main gripe with this movie is just the actress. While everything in the movie is amazing and the actress certainly has skills, she just doesn’t have the charisma of Tony Jaa. Tony Jaa just grips you in every fight that he’s in with his fight skills, ferocity, and utter unpredictability. This girl sadly does not. It’s not bad for her first movie and I would tell anyone this is must-watch martial arts movie, but that would have to be after Ong-Bak 1 & 2 and the Protector. Once you watch those, then watch these. Ultimately while this is a great martial arts movie, it just can’t compare to the director’s previous efforts.

Also managed to get a copy of Resident Evil: Degeneration along with Chocolate. Resident Evil: Degeneration is the CGI movie for the Resident Evil series that was made as a prequel for Resident Evil 5. The plot involves Leon and Claire teaming up yet again to fight off the zombies in an airport and to fight the new global threats from terrorists using Umbrella’s viruses. It’s a pretty interesting movie that offers a pretty fresh take on the Resident Evil story. Also, Capcom really wants to turn Leon into a badass. I’m sorry, but for me, the only badass allowed in the series is the immortal Barry Burton. He’s my whole reason for playing Resident Evil 1 and why I don’t like the remakes as they changed all the voice acting from the original. I actually happened to like the old voice acting from the original, Capcom, thanks a lot for screwing me over on that one. I’m just kidding though I probably would play the remakes if they weren’t so damn expensive everywhere I go. I’m also going to try to buy a copy of Tales of Symphonia. I have the enhanced ps2 remake, but I would like to play the game in English, which I’m only going to be able to do on the Gamecube. At least it will give a justification for my Gamecube, which I haven’t done anything with since I got it. There aren’t any games for that system that I want and I refuse to ever play Super Smash Bros. I played that once, and never again, because it was horrible. Anyone who thinks that game can be played on a competitive level should have their head examined.

Speaking of Resident Evil, I made a couple purchases over the PSN network today, my very first purchases. I was going to purchase Persona 3 Portable because I had heard it was cheaper, didn’t consume as much battery life, and loaded faster. Turns out that the download is the exact same price (49.99). So yeah, I’m buying the game with merchandise, not no silly digital. Instead though I purchased some games off of psn:
Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 3
Super Street Fighter 2 HD Remix
Final Fight Double Impact
Gundemonium (I think that’s the name lol)

And got some games from my friend:
Marvel vs. Capcom 2
Super Puzzle Fighter HD remix
Megaman 9
Plus some downloadable content for disgaea 3.
Damn, that’s a lot of games to write about (cracks fingers)

Anyway, Resident Evil 2. Hot damn this game is hard. Like wow. I think it’s partially just the controls, because I have a hard time getting used to the old controls because I haven’t played in so long. I’ve been playing the game mostly on my psp because I had a hard time playing with the ps3 controller. The game is seriously scary though. Especially when I play the game with my headphones and the sound turned up, with nothing else in the background…gives me the effin chills lol. So glad I can play this. Now I can play these awesome games before Capcom butchered the series with 4 and 5. Not to mention they were only 5.99 each. Awesome. If I can get reused to the controls and deal with the difficulty, I’ll probably play both games to completion. I’m going to play 2 before 3, however, to kind of go through continuity.

Super Street Fighter 2 HD remix is really good, and I highly recommend anyone to get it. It retains all of the original classics controls and game play style, all with redone graphics made to match the UDON comics style. Funnily enough, they even retain the originals classic sounds effects. Problem is months of playing SSF4 has made my execution go to the pits. As most people know, unless you have had excellent execution throughout your life, your execution will go down as a result of playing SSF4. The easy inputs in the game really allow you to just be completely sloppy with your execution, which hurts in a game like this, where your execution needs to be spot on completely perfect. Negative Edge helps slightly, but it’s better to have your execution high for obvious reasons. Due to this, I’m going to be playing this game slightly more so that I can raise my execution back to what it used to be. If anyone wants to play me, my PSN tag is fr49200.

Final Fight Double Impact was kind of a disappointment because I thought they would also change the game around, or added HD graphics. Mostly the only changes have been a rearranged soundtrack and added online co-op. I could understand not changing the game around because it would probably upset most of the hardcore fans who want the game just like the original, but here’s the thing: I have the original on MAME. I was able to play the whole game for free. Thus, when I spent 14.99 on this game, I was hoping for something new: new enemies, maybe a new stage. Instead I just get a remixed soundtrack, online co-op, and unlockable extras. I’ll play it simply for the fact that I’m bitter about having spent the 14.99 on it, but man Capcom, you could’ve done so much more with the release. Not to mention that all you have to do to get your hands on the game is buy most Capcom classics collections to get the game (and those are like, what, 9.99 now? Lol). It was pretty disappointing, but the simple fact that it’s Final Fight kind of allieviates the pain.

Gundemonium is basically a bullet-hell shmup that was released on PSN a while ago that I got for…9.99 I think. It was mostly just to spend the extra money that I had. It’s a pretty decent shmup with some story about anime magical girls stopping some great threat or other. The story is completely throw-away, like most shmups out there, but what I find funny is the game-advertising: They continually hype the game’s “anime” graphics and character design. The reason why I quote “anime” is because it’s that American anime style where you know it’s not Japanese. It’s really obvious. It doesn’t stop the game from being pretty entertaining though. This will definetly not keep me from playing Deathsmiles though. It’s a very good game for being an indie. I think you could tell that the creators of the series played shmups a lot, particularly bullet hell shmups. I have yet to really give the game some of my time, but I will in the future.

Lastly I also got Marvel vs Capcom 2 from my friend, and gave that a bit of whirl. It loads a hell of a lot faster than the ps2 version that I have and usually play, and the graphics look like they have been beefed up a bit. I never really wanted to play this game because I heard that it was imperfect from the arcade version. Apparently they had removed some of the more popular glitches from the game. In the end though, you get online play. Plus it’s not like the ps2 version is exactly arcade perfect either; that version also has some glitches removed. Anyway, I’ve been practicing a little on it, but I’m going to try asking around and finding out what are the removed glitches and changes. The problem is that even though it’s “universally recognized” that the ps2 port of MVC2, besides the glitches, is arcade-perfect, a lot of fans say it actually isn’t. I’ve heard a lot of people claim the port is slower, faster, or laggy. With all these different feelings on it, I personally think all of it is subliminal. It’s just how people feel at that time of the month. Hell, it could even be an excuse when someone drops a combo and loses their match.

Megaman 9 was really cool to get. I had wanted the game a lot back when it first came out, before I had a next-gen console, then when I put money on my psn account I completely forgot about it. But man does the game kick your ass. This game might also qualify for my hard games commitment. It’s even harder because I haven’t played a real Megaman game in years. I think the last one I played was Megaman X4. Come to think of it, I’m still stuck on that game, at the point where you have to fight all 8 bosses before you fight Sigma. If I practice for a day and watch vids on boss patterns and how you can avoid getting hit, I can pretty much beat all 8 bosses with minimal hits, but Sigma is still a bitch. Megaman 9 might be the hardest megaman game I’ve played since 2. I’ll still play it though, soon as I find out the proper boss order.

Last was Super Puzzle Fighter HD remix. I was thinking about buying this for the HD graphics and remixed music, but I decided not to because I already had the game on MAME and learned my lesson with Final Fight. Ended up being a good decision because I got it that same day from a friend. Anyway, from what I played the game isn’t really that different from the MAME version I have, but it does look pretty. I’m going to have to wait until I have some friends over to play this game more because this is a game that needs more than one person to play with. It’s not as fun just playing by yourself. This would make a great party game though. Probably going to try to get my sister to play with me, seeing as how she usually likes a good puzzle game every now and then.

The Disgaea 3 DLC apparently is only accessible post-game. This means that I have to actually beat a Disgaea game, something I’ve never been able to do. Yeah, I know, sad. The extra content seems to be some extra maps and some new characters from previous Disgaea titles. My friend told me that the content ranges from pretty fun to game-breaking, so can’t wait to try that.

Actually, now that I think about it, I’ve also downloaded some extra content for certain games. I downloaded the Joker maps for Batman: Arkhum Asylum which I have yet to try, as well as the five ps3 exclusive fighters for UFC undisputed 2010, which I also have yet to try. I also downloaded some bonus content for Cross Edge, which apparently is new stage maps. My friend also allowed me to download the alternate costumes from Street Fighter 4, which means I can now use them in Super. I’m probably going to download the new alternate costumes for the Super characters, but I’m going to wait for them to release the batch pack at the end of the month like all the other smart people are doing. Will probably also get the Blazblue: Continium Shift DLC once that finally hits. Can’t wait for that. I wonder if Makoto, Valkenheim, and Platinum the Trinity are going to be allowed in tournaments, since their DLC only. I see no reason why they shouldn’t, which tells me we are going to see a ton of Makoto’s and Valkenheim’s once they come out. I don’t know if Platinum is going to be very popular though. She might get popular with the Arcana Heart crowd since she looks like she would be from that game rather than here. I’m going to give all three a fair shot seeing as how I have to pay for them, but I’m still going to be maining Noel. The only other characters I would probably try maining are Tsubaki and Makoto, but that depends on how I like them. Since I’ve been playing only Noel since the arcade release of Blazblue: Calamity Trigger, anytime I play with someone else the game feels completely weird.

Games I looking forward to besides Continuim Shift:….none lol. Maybe I’ve just been out of the loop but there’s no games out right now that interest me. Everything I’ve been playing has been old games that I wanted to get a long time ago or games that I don’t care about. I think the only game that I would say I am looking to get is Mutsuhime-sama Futari, and that’s because a copy showed up locally. How much you wanna bet it’s gone by now?

Either way, I did get four new games; one for my ps3, the other three for my 360. These are Tomb Raider: Underworld, Tomb Raider: Anniversary, Ghostbusters, and Star Ocean: the Last Hope International. Also decided to buy a Play-and-Charge Kit for my 360, because my batteries would always die during a game and get me killed. I don’t like the fact that Microsoft feels they have the ability to charge 20 bucks for something that should rightly be included with the damn controller when you buy it. The controller can suck up juice like no one’s business, so the play-and-charge kit becomes almost essential, thus they feel they have the right to charge for it. Look at the ps3 controller; that comes right out the box without having to buy anything separate, and it doesn’t use some weird wire like the 360; it uses a regular USB wire like most HDD’s. Not to mention that it comes with every controller. This means that if I want to buy a new controller for my ps3, it will cost me 50 bucks. If I want to do the same with my 360, it will cost me 50 bucks for the controller, and another twenty bucks for the play-and-charge kit. That comes out to seventy bucks all together for the 360, as opposed to 50 bucks with the ps3. What a scam.

Anyway, Ghostbusters is actually very fun. It really captures the feel of how the Ghostbusters movies used to be and is very fun to play if, like me, you used to watch the movies all the time as a kid. The game is rather dark though. And not dark like scary and macabre; I mean dark like I can’t see a thing in front of me. It can get pretty hard to see anything with the puny flashlight that they give you. I haven’t played a game this dark since Doom 3. The game also can get pretty scary, since the ghost’s like to try to scare you a lot by popping out of scenery or shooting out from the walls. The game off-sets these frights by loading up the game with all the comedy seen in the movies. Peter Venkman and the rest of the cast are all just as hilarious as they were in the movies, and trapping ghosts has never been so much fun. Like most people have said about the game, it really does make you feel like you are a ghostbuster. From using the PKE meter to shooting the proton packs, everything feels like it should feel: like the ghostbusters going out and getting to business. Getting to take on the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man was also really epic since you’re hanging off a ledge while he climbs up the building toward you, shooting marshmallow minions the whole way. Then while you’re trying to get to the building he’s attacking, you have to dodge his feet and the marshmallow’s he’s throwing at you. All while Dan Akyroid is cracking jokes. Problem is I don’t think that the newer generation is even going to know who these guys are. Ghostbusters isn’t exactly famous with the kids anymore. Hell, when I first saw the movie it was old. Kids aren’t even going to know these guys were Saturday Night Live, are that Dan Akyroid was in Coneheads (loved that movie as a kid). I hope that by playing the game it encourages a whole new generation to sit down and watch the movie, giving the franchise a whole new generation of fans. These days kids don’t ever want to sit down and watch something unless it has amazing special effects, which is really sad, because some of the best movies are those with only middling special effects, like Star Wars. I’ve been trying to get my sister to sit-down and watch the original, but she won’t, saying the movie looks way too old. She’s the opposite of me in that I don’t care how old a movie is I would still watch it. Oh well, maybe when she gets older she’ll change.

The other two games that I got were Tomb Raider: Underworld and Tomb Raider Anniversary Edition. I got these game mostly because they were cheap and because I had always wanted to play them. Since I never got to play any of the ps1 entries, it always felt like I had missed a part of gaming history. Then of course the series has seen a bit of a resurgence now that the newest entries were returning to “the series former glory after a ton of shit games”. Glad to see that in any case. The only one I’ve played was Underworld, so that’s the only one I’m going to talk about. Underworld I’m still on the first stage of the game and I’ve managed to take out the giant kraken. Don’t know if that’s the last time I’m ever going to see him. The game is pretty good, though the camera goes bonkers some times. Will keep playing it; I haven’t played it enough to formulate a clear-cut opinion on the game.

Star Ocean: The last hope is a game that I’ve been wanting for a good while now. I played Star Ocean: Till the end of time almost to completion, and even though the game had a ton of bad things about it, I still thought it was decent. Hopefully this game fixes the mistakes. So far, I’ve been playing for about an hour. My gripes:

1) Enemies give piss-poor experience, thus requiring huge amounts of level-grinding to get anywhere in levels.
2) Environments are huge to the point where you can easily get lost. You might need a guide for this.
3) The camera can get completely spastic in closed spaces, like your ship.
4) The music drowns out the characters voices 90% of the time.

My likes:
1) The graphics are some of the best I’ve ever seen in any ps3 game ever.
2) The battle system in the game is extremely fun, even though it reminds me a little too much of the Tales series.
3) Blindsides and the Board system reward strategic and skilled gameplay by increasing experience gained and other little goodies.
4) Battles are frequent, making it not hard to level grind.

It’s still way too early to really make any judgements on the game right now, but I’m going to stick with this game because it’s really good. Will post my feelings later on.

Wow this is a long entry. I typed a damn essay. Anyway, see you guys next week!

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