Leliana Vess, Defier of Demons

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

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:
Dwarves:
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:
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:
 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:

Pro’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.

Cons:
      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.
DANGER!!!
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.

Monday, June 6, 2011

 This is the prolouge to my DND characters backstory that I was talking about. I might post more as I finish them. Let me know what you all think. 


  All that she could remember of that cold night was a solitary figure. His armor was coated in the deepest night, a large black plume of unknown origin resting on the top of his helmet. In his hands was a horrible black blade, something about the length of a longsword, but was in no way made of any metal on this earth. The blade seemed as though it oozed the dark itself, a black smoke of unknown origin breathed out from the sword, and she could see its cold gleam outlining the blade. The man was staring down at an older man dressed in kingsley robes. He had for certain come to know many years than the average man, but that was because he was not human. His moon-pale skin and pointed ears gave away his identity as a Moon Elf, and a wealthy one at that. She knew this man well, for it was her father, the king of the kingdom that they had come so far in building. He was on his knees, his arm bleeding profusely from an earlier wound, but he did not care about that now. All he cared about was the beautiful moon elf woman that lay at his feet, a monstrous gash revealing her stomach to all. The now cold organs inside were stained an evil black, a curse given to her from being run through by that unholy sword of night. Tears ran down her face as she saw her mother lie there dead next to her soon to die father. She didn’t know what in the world caused her to think something like that, but something told her deep down that her father would not survive to see the morning. She looked at the black knight with nothing but anger in her eyes, but deep down she wanted to run. It was cowardly of her, yes, but she was still very very young. Every nerve in her body was telling her to run away, to put as much distance as possible between her and that horrible abomination of the night. Still, something was causing her feet to stay rooted to the spot, causing her to watch as her parents were slaughtered by this evil monstrosity.
  The Black Knight raised his dark blade above her fathers head, and she could hear her father cursing at the creature in Elvish, calling every god the elves prayed to, so that they might smite this creature where it stood, so that they might send this abomination back to the Nine Hells, were its kin Asmodeus, Belial and Glyssa called home. The creature stood there with its sword raised high, as unfeeling as the cold dark steel in his hands, not feeling, not caring about the man’s curses, or the dead woman who lied in his arms, or the flames that surrounded the entire scene from this horrendous play. Quick as death the figure dropped his sword down and buried it in the skull of the king. She was watched as the life left her fathers eyes, the body slide off the sword with a sickening sound, and the body fall with a dead thud. Tears filled her eyes as she saw death come for those who gave her life, and her heart ached with the loss. Now the child laid there, the heat from the flames reaching out towards her, the smoke threatening to choke the air out of her lungs. But more than anything it was the grief and despair that truly gnawed at her soul, the loss of her parents piercing and painful like the cold blade. Suddenly, the creature turned. Perhaps it was attracted to the scent of despair emanating from the girl, or perhaps it had always known she was there. Perhaps it could even hear the soft sound of her tears dropping from her face over the tremendous roar of the flames. Suddenly, a new feeling gripped her. Now it was fear that replaced the grief and kept her rooted to her spot. A ball rose to her throat, she gasped for air, and the familiar feeling ran through her body. Every fiber of her being was telling her to run from this terror, to get away before it came any closer. She fled back, moving backward and backward, backward and backward away from the beast, as it slowly stepped toward her, each step ominous and deliberate. Finally she retreated straight into a wall, and could not go anywhere else. Tears streamed down her face, her lungs hurt from lack of breathing, and her nerves were completely shot. The beast looked at her with those same horrible eyes. It raised the sword again. Her life flashed before her eyes, such a short life that it was. Despair reigned in her head; her time had come, and nothing would stop it.

The sword came down.



Lanrinil awoke with a start, grabbing her longsword before finally realizing where she was. Another horrible dream of that night when her life was changed forever. She hadn’t had the dream in quite a while, and she dreaded what it might mean. She looked around her; she was in a forest clearing, her companions sleeping soundly beside her. A surly dwarf, her oldest friend slept soundly, snoring deeply and loudly. She looked at him fondly; out of all her friends, he was the one she had known the longest, and the one she most understood. Next to him were two elves who were sleeping in the same bedroll, a elf couple who had been married for longer than most men lived. On the far end of the clearing slept a young dwarf and the only human there, two of the newest members of the company. These two were untested and were relative newcomers. It fell to the four to make sure these two became competent in short time. These were a group of people that had all come together because they had all lost something dear to them. Tragedy makes to bring many people closer together. Lanrinil thought to herself. Even if my family is gone, I still have them. She clutched a necklace that hung on her neck. It was of a gold dragon, tall and majestic. The group had made a pack one day that they would all slay an elder wyrm gold dragon together, just to see how far they had progressed as adventurers. Lanrinil clutched the item fondly. May we live that long, she thought to herself. Then she laid herself back to slumber. Tomorrow would be a long day.