Made some new purchases for my PSP.
They are four games that I have been dying to play as of late: Star Ocean: the First Departure and the Second Evolution, as well as Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth and Y’s Seven.
It’s kind of funny that I went and bought the first two Star Oceans when I still need to beat 3 and 4, lol. 3 I’ve actually been right at the end of Star Ocean 3 for quite a while (since last year), but never had the desire to finish; something I really have to do sometime. 4 as I’ve said I am still near the beginning, and I’m continuing to play that as well.
Seeing as it’s the only one that I’ve played so far, I’ll talk a little about Star Ocean: the Second Evolution. The second game in the Star Ocean saga and the first in the series to reach the United States, Star Ocean the Second Story was one of the biggest selling, and highly regarded RPG’s to reach the Playstation during the 1990’s. Unfortunately overshadowed at the time by the Final Fantasy series, the Second Story was a marvel as to exactly how big an RPG can get, offering hours upon hours of game play, along with 80 different endings that took in account everything from what you did and didn’t do over the course of the game, to how well you got along with the other characters. Star Ocean the Second Evolution rebuilds on the original by using improved graphics, an improved engine, voice acting, and a redone translation, all for the Sony PSP. I’m still in the beginning of the game, but if there’s any one complaint that I can bring up now, it’s way the voice acting is done. It’s not particularly bad; I’ve heard way worse voice acting before. It’s more that when the voiced part kicks in, there’s no way to skip it. You have to wait until the voice acting is done before you can advance to the next part. This is all well and good except that it slows the game down tremendously when you have to wait for everything to finish before you can go on with the game. And when the characters are just having inane, dumb conversations, it’s enough to make you want to throw your PSP through a window.
Another complaint that I have with the game is that this is one of those rpg’s that let you name the main character. Now, I don’t have a problem with this, that’s all well and good. The problem doesn’t lie in that. See, when I play a game that lets me name my main character, I typically name my male characters Tatsuya or Tetsuo, and my female characters Kokoro and Yoriko. In this particular game, I named the main character, Claude, as Tetsuo. So I’m just playing through the opening intro of the game, cursing the game for it’s lack of Japanese voice acting as the (self-admittedly decent so far) English voice acting continued to play. Then the characters father says “come on Claude. The text says Tetsuo, but the voice actors calls him Claude. What? Why? Why would Square Enix do this? Why give me the damn choice to change the main characters name when the voice acting is going to call him Claude anyway? Any RPG in which you can name the main character never mentions his name. As an example, this happens in the entire Persona series, in which the main character is never named, it happens in Final Fantasy X, and even in Dragon Quest. Why would you have the voice actors say the main characters name when you can change his default name?!?!?! The worst part is that Square Enix made this blunder when they obviously have done this before, with Final Fantasy X! So why would you guys do something that you know is a mistake?! Yeah, it’s a small mistake, but its big enough for me to notice. Its horrible when the text says “Let’s go, Tetsuo!” and they say “Let’s go, Claude!”. Grates on the nerves.
I’m still at the beginning of the game, but the game is still a lot of fun so far. It’s like every other Star Ocean game you’ve ever played, but the battle system happens to be in 2D rather than the 3D used in Till the End of Time and The Last Hope. I’m planning on playing the First Departure after I’ve gotten a little more play time with Second Evolution.
Lately all of my time has been spent playing Monster Hunter Freedom Unite and Pokemon Platinum. I’ve finally managed to beat my main nemesis, the damn Giadrome. It was a long fought battle, but I finally managed to do it. It got to the point where now I can kill his Giaprey cronies without breaking a sweat, and I just need to focus a lot more when I fight Giadrome. I’m so ridiculously happy that I stuck with the game; it’s so much fun once you get past your wall and can dig into the meat of the game. I’m just dreading the day that I have to fight the damn Tigrex. Ugh. I haven’t had this much fun with a game since Demon Souls!
In Pokemon Platinum, I’m actually pretty sad right now. My sister, after all the years of trying to convince her, has finally picked up the series after I bought her a copy of Pokemon Pearl. The best part about it was that she fell in love with it instantly. She’s even watching the anime and the movies with me now, and wants to see my old tapes with the first season. She’s even asking me to battle with her. Bad thing is, I’ve had Platinum since March of this year, but I was so busy playing other games (namely Castlevania at the time) that I didn’t have much time to get into it more. Long story short, my sister has logged 130 hours in pearl, and is at the Elite Four, while I only have three badges and am getting ready to fight the fourth. I tell you my ten-year old self would have been crying about how lame I got. It’s not even like I’m having a hard time with the game; I just have a ton of other games I need to play, and I’m busy with other responsibilities, like cooking, cleaning and work. My sister, on the other hand, had nothing to do almost all summer, so she had all the time in the world to go at the game hard body. Then I got her Soul Silver since she wanted to play the other Pokemon games, and she’s now got 7 badges and on her way for the eight Johto badge. I tell you, I am so sad right now. My own little sister can whoop my ass in Pokemon, what the fuck. I think one of the problems that came from playing this game is that the game is so fucking slow. Since I haven’t played a Pokemon game in a while and since I’ve been playing a lot of noticeably faster games (Ninja Gaiden, Shinobi, Monster Hunter) the game just feels like it’s going at a snail’s pace. Still, I don’t think Nintendo could ever create a Poke’mon game that’s not fun. No matter how you look at it the Poke’mon games have always been nothing but non-stop fun from beginning to end, so I could totally see the series continuing for a huge amount of time.
In the game my main team consists of my Empoleon (who just evolved J), a Staravia, and a Eevee, which is I still don’t want I’m going to evolve it too. My sister also traded me her Alakazam so that I could use it against some gym leaders and so that I could level it up for her. What makes me laugh is that in pearl she has 130 hours logged in and hasn’t faced the elite four yet, whereas I now have 5 badges (got two last night J) and only have 10 hours in. At this rate I’m gonna beat the game in maybe 15 hours. Yeah for speedrunning lol. Once I beat the elite four I’m going to about building my official team. For Eevee, I’m considering evolving him into either a Jolteon or a Flareon, since I primarily like to use Electric and Fire types. I could then try transferring my Electrode from Sapphire into Platinum, for another strong electric type. Then again, can I even do that? I’m also planning on getting a Magneton, as he was one of my favorite electric pokemon. The dude used to learn just about every Electric attack in Red/Blue, but I don’t know how he is in the newer entries. I might also try to get his evolved form, Magnezone, as he also seems really powerful. I don’t like the new evolution for Electabuzz, Electavire, so I might not try to use him. Though it depends on how good some of the moves he learns are. If he turns out to be a decent Electric type then I’ll just try to give him a shot. I often sometimes choose my Poke’mon based on how strong or how cute they are, quite frankly, so if he doesn’t have some good things going for him then I’m pretty much going to drop him. From what I heard though, Thunder and Zap Cannon are not the strongest electric-attacks in the game anymore too, which is sad, since they were some of my favorites. A lot has changed since the good old days of Red/Blue, and many of the things that were once concrete knowledge in my mind no longer apply. Oh well; it all feels like a whole new game now, so that just adds to the fun of the whole thing.The funny thing is that now all players, whenever they complete seriously in something like a Poke’mon League, they all tend to mix up the types of their Poke’mon so that they can all cover each others weaknesses. An obviously sound strategy, but I miss the days when everyone used to only use one type, like actual gym leaders. Increases the challenge anyway so whatever.