Tuesday, March 20, 2007

FFVII, oh the memories!

Today's featured article on Wikipedia is Final Fantasy VII.

I still own my copy of this game and have very fond memories of playing it in high school. I always think in the back of my mind that it'd be fun to pull it back out and run it through it again after all these years. I never do though. But I should soon, really. It was an awesome gaming experience, probably what really got me interested in RPGs. I even managed to do all the chocobo breeding to get the Knights of the Round summon spell. Ah, those were days--when all I had to worry about was maybe finishing my homework and levelgrinding with Cloud, Barrett, and Yuffie (though in my version I renamed everyone with Greek/Roman gods; I think Cloud was Zeus, Barrett was Odin, and Aerith was Athena, but I can't remember the rest). Does anyone else love this game as much as I do? Please, share your thoughts.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

It's all about the games

Even though this "wassssup" joke ran its course back in the late 90s and early 00s (early 00s?), this still made me laugh. I credit it to Lara Croft...

Friday, March 02, 2007

Review - Beyond Good and Evil (PS2)

It's always a shame to see a game deserving of such attention and love fall through the cracks of the market and slowly disappear into nothing more than half a blip on the radar. That blip is Beyond Good and Evil, and goshdarndammit it should have been a blasting kaboom for what it's worth.

I had purchased this game a year or so ago for no more than $20, played it like a rabbit in heat, and then...well, forgot about it for a bit after other things came along. Regardless, I've been working on trying to finish some old games before purchasing new ones (a sort of attempt at a resolution for 2007) and so I popped it in over the weekend, got myself readjusted to the controls, and quickly beat the game within a couple hours.

The Basics
The plot for Beyond Good and Evil goes as follows: The planet of Hillys is constantly attacked by members of the alien DomZ army. The citizens are protected by a military group called The Alpha Section, which put a stop to these attacks once they happen. I grow suspicious already. And for good reasoning: turns out that the Alpha Section are working with the DomZ to kidnap folks from Hillys to perform evil, scientificky (yes, it's not a word but it should be) science experiments on them. It then falls upon the many shoulders of the IRIS network, a hodgepodge of journalists bent on exposing the truth of things, to save Hillys from further attacks. How Jade becomes a member of the IRIS network is pivotal to the plot, and quite fun, so I will not spoil it here. But as she gets further and further into her investigations, even more horrible truths begin to flourish.

The Good
The single reason I bought Dark Cloud 2 was I'd read a lot about how much fun taking photos in-game was, and though you can't make cool armor from frying pans and barrels in Beyond Good and Evil, Jade's photojournalism skills do add a lot to the game. During your hop/skip/sneak around Hillys, Jade has the opportunity to photograph some of the natural wildlife. This isn't simply for some zoo yearbook though. Hillys is a world consisting of a wide variety of people, including pigs, birds, walruses, cows, and rhinos, among others. There's also a plethora of non-sentient animal life, such as reptiles, fish, and insects. So there's plenty of things to snapshot.

A large chunk of the game is spent in your boat/spaceship, which opens up exploration in otherwise inexcessible locations. It also allows you to enter races, which aren't actually all that exciting, but do give you something else to do if you're stuck on a certain part. The boat controls nicely, and from it you'll see some of the best visuals in the game: shimmering water with the sun setting in the distance, moonlight buildings at night, a purple sky twinkling away as you lift off and out of the planet...

The Bad
The fighting system is a bit bland. Jade's arsenal of attacks is very limited, and the autolocking system can be frustrating at times. I wished there'd been other moves she could learn for battle, or, even more so, that there'd been less fighting. The focus should have been on sneaking around and reporting. Also, it would have been nice if you could actually create a photobook with shots you'd acquired during the game. Instead they feel like one-time things. Take correct picture, get reward, forget about said picture, take next correct picture.
The game's ending leaves things open for a possible sequel. Why is this in The Bad? Because a sequel will never happen. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever. And that's just sad.

The Fugly
Towards the end of the game, something went wrong. The voice acting and subtitles did not match up to the cutscenes. Sometimes it looked as if another character was saying someone else's lines, which, when one character is a chick with green lips and the other, well, a pig, makes things seem a bit off. Even more so than it already is. Other than that, not much fugly.

The Overall Vibe
It's a great game that went severely unnoticed, but that shouldn't put you off if you're the least bit interested in it. It's got a lot to it. There's action, racing, stealth, mystery, treachery...you name it. I wished the game had been longer, and I wished there was some sort of New Game+ system or whatever that allowed you to play in the game world after completing all the missions, but really, that's just small stuff. Get it. Surprisingly, I've seen it on shelves in a bunch of different stores. Well worth the twenty bucks (could be less by now!) and your time. This gets my official approval.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bad me

Oops, been neglecting the videogame blog. Bad me, bad.

Still playing through my current RPGs though I'm going through them much slower. That's usually how things go with me. I get real excited about a game, play it nonstop for as long as I can, and the moment I sort of stop playing for a bit my obsession dies like a wounded zebra being hunted on those grassy plains of the wild.

Anyways, I did, however, beat a game recently. Stay tuned for a review...I know you all are just sitting there pinned to your chairs, clicking refresh over and over and over...

Monday, January 01, 2007

Looking forward...

Happy New Year!

I'm really looking forward to God of War 2 and Rogue Galaxy in 2007. That's about it for right now, but hopefully more games will come out to grab my interest. Here's to a new year of gaming.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Level treadmill

Well, lately I've been level grinding on Final Fantasy XII. And normally I hate when I have to spend hours running around, hunting mob after mob after mob, but for once I'm really enjoying it. There's just so much to this game, it's crazy.

I was romping around one underground dungeon, just raising my stats, when I stumbled upon a rare monster that was way more powerful than my team. I had to use everything I had at it, but it was worth. I just like stuff like that; it completely surprised me.

And soon I have to fight an ancient dragon along with some walking trees. Ahhh...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

More Zelda drooling...

Please. Someone just buy this for me.