Tag Archives: Games

It’s That Time of the Menstrual Cycle Again…

28 Apr

IMG_2685

…and I feel like promoting TitleCapitalization.com.

Okay, sorry if you found the titles vulgar, but I can’t help myself sometimes. What can I do to make it up to you? Oh, I know! I ‘ll show you disturbing fiction written by not-me! Pretty sweet, huh? No? You don’t like reading about children dying of hunger and dehydration while playing video games? Well, here, read about grown adults dying of hunger and dehydration while playing video games. God, what a way to go, eh? We’re living in something of a retrograde society, degenerating and destroying ourselves at every turn. Maybe we should do something about that, inquisitive-grunting-sound?

Hammered that one in pretty good, didn’t I?

You know, some people don’t find me funny. Lol, jk. Everyone, finds, me, funny, especially commas. HARHARHARHARHARSPACEBAR! Okay, let’s get real. We all saw the trailer for The Leftovers, amirite? No? You didn’t? Here, check it out real quick.

Feeling any déjà vu? Good, that means you’re clicking the links. Don’t click that one. Ugh, you already did? Bad, that means you’re not following instructions. Click that one. Ugh, you didn’t do it yet? Good, that means you’re cautious. Hah, you thought I’d say “bad,” but you were WROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG. Also, feeling any déjà vu? Good, that means you’re reading the text.

Now that I have your attention, I’m going to gawk at the fact that my dad’s watching Veep. I NEVER thought I’d see that sh!t go down. Negat!ve-grunt!ng-sound, those fr!gg!n’ upside down !s are dr!v!ng me !nsane, so !nsane that I’m going to off!c!al!ze doing posts on the 28th of every month.

That probably j!nxed my post pattern, which has been pretty much accidental so far, but that’s okay. At least it fixed the Is, and made them bigger.

I

~D.

#disappearingbears

28 Jan

TFAGODB

*POOF*

You know what really grinds my gears? Bowling piranhas. People seem to be so obsessed with it nowadays. It’s disappointing, a great embarrassment, to say the least. Okay, okay, I’ll stop. Hey guys. I’m going to take a lesson from a good friend of mine and proceed as though I didn’t vanish for an extended period of time.

Now, you’re probably wondering why this piece has received such an infuriatingly relatable/unrelatable title. The reason for this is simple: the Nostalgia Critic has done a review of Wicker Man, and I laughed pretty hard when I watched it.

Click links, for they are your only friends. That’s right, we aren’t friends. WE’RE BROTHERS! And sisters, I guess, if any sisters are reading this.

Paragraphs are fun. So are segues. Bet you didn’t know how “segue” was spelled, did you? You probably thought it was spelled “Segway,” but that’s a company brand name and completely unrelated, just like the title of this post and the content within.

Okay, so for those who’ve made it this far, if you’re expecting some thesis one how the film/writing/gaming/news/political/military/corporate/slash/industry industry works in its entirety, you’re out of luck. You’re also out of your mind, because I would never write something so needlessly complex, so ridiculously comprehensive, and so ripe for tangential diversions that it would make Tristram Shandy look like Medal of Honor: Warfighter. Boy, two Bobby the Tongue references in one post and we still haven’t arrived at the point of this piece? Man, we are on a ROLL today!

Okay, so for those who’ve made it this far, if you’re expecting me not to repeat things for the sake of giving off powerful heat rays of extremely dry, unfunny humor, then prepare for the great reveal of all: “unfunny” is actually in Google’s dictionary. To blatantly steal the joke of another: “We did it, guys. We finally killed English.” By the way, I hate Reddit, and I love it, and I hate it again. I won’t explain why, that’ll be something for later.

Okay, so for those who’ve predicted that I’d start the next paragraph with the same phrase verbatim, HAH! Gotchya!

Okay, so for those who’ve made it this far, I think I can start talking about things that matter. Firstly, we aren’t alone. Oh, big concept, huh? Well, we aren’t. I’m sorry, but if you’re still debating the chances of whether or not there is life beyond our solar system just as intelligent as us, stop. I don’t mean to enforce this viewpoint on you. You may reject it, and that’s fine, but know this: when we finally make contact, I’m going to spray you with silly string for five to twenty minutes straight while repeatedly yelling, “I told you so,” and it will be sweet justice, oh yes, sweet, crispy, bacony justice.

And yes, our worst fears have been realized: “balcony” is in the dictionary as well. I wonder who fell for that and actually clicked it without taking note of the fact that I used the word “balcony” the second time, not “bacony.” An interesting test in psychological behavior, indeed.

Ah, but you want to know what proof I have that we are not alone in the universe. Well, why don’t you come on down to Florida and we’ll have a discussion about that.

Okay, so for those who think that was the point of this piece, you’re still wrong. I just did that to weed out anyone who isn’t into aliens. Why? Because aliens are freakin’ awesome. Now, if you’d like to know what the point of this piece and, and you think there is none, you’re still wrong. Why? Because you are, and you are also correct, and you are also a woman of science. What’s that? You aren’t a zebra? What’s that? You’re sick of me beating around the bush?

Well then,

let’s

get

down

to

monster trucks.

I’ve never been to a rally, not one. I’m actually not into that stuff. Well, maybe I’d be into it if I’d seen one. But I haven’t, so I’m not. Just a bunch of big, giant, wheels, hot wheels. Remember Hot Wheels? I remember seeing the loops the cars were able to drive through in the commercials and thinking, “Golly, gosh, can mine do that, too?” Nope. You cars suck Dylan. That’s why you have to buy these ones. GET THEM NOW! I bought them. They couldn’t loop either. Damn snake oil salesmen, always ruining my day.

Okay, so for those who haven’t heard, movies have been shit lately. Pardon my French, but The Legend of Hercules was shit, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones was shit, American Hustle was overrated, Man of Steel was terrigood, Star Trek Into Darkness had an AWFUL ending, and I only saw two of those films. Can you guess which ones? Has my credibility been entirely destroyed yet? If your answer was no,

ROT.

Rotting flesh, burning, peeling away from their bodies after the bombs fell. Why did we do it to them? Are we really so cold, so cruel? One could say we prevented the deaths of many in doing what we did, was it worth the price? We opened Pandora’s Box, unleashed a monster that can never be shut away again. Why did we do that? Is the old saying really true? Will our curiosity be our undoing? Will our thirst to understand all, including Death itself, be our final end, our eternal Armageddon?

What will become of this material world twenty years from now?

Eh, enough of that stuff. Let’s talk about how everything begins where it ends instead. You see, the truth is that everything in the material world will rot away at some point, even movies. They may suck now, but they’ll be gone one day, so GET THEM NOW! Yes, even the ones recorded one VHS. What’s that? They have commercials in them? Don’t fast forward. Watch them. Yes, even the Hot Wheels ones. You’ll thank me later, when you and your friend Gary have something to reminisce about as you watch monsters trucks do flips over whole rows of bushes and zebras. What’s that, woman of science? You’d like to know what the point of this piece and, and yet you also think there is none? You’re still wrong, just as you are about aliens, and Florida, and whether or not we’re alone in the universe. Go stand on your bacony and look up at the stars. You’ll see them, and then sweet, crispy balcony justice will be delivered in the form of me spraying you with silly string for five to twenty minutes straight while repeatedly yelling, “Gotchya!” HAH! I can’t wait!

Okay, so for those who’ve predicted that I’d start the next paragraph at some point, you’re right. What’s that? The last one should’ve ended a while ago? Where the fuck are you from, Reddit? I hate Reddit, and I love it, and I hate it again. And if Reddit is pissed off at me for killing English, Reddit can go look up “unfunny” in the dictionary and discover for itself why breaking that whole thing into multiple paragraphs would’ve given off far too many heat rays of extremely dry, unfunny humor.

Man, we are on a ROLL today! Bobby the Tongue would be proud at the way I’m making Tristram Shandy look like Medal of Honor: Warfighter.  I mean, with this many needlessly complex, ridiculously comprehensive tangential diversions, you must be going out of your mind right about now. What’s that? You’re telling me the title of this post and the content herein are still unrelated? Well, if you’re still expecting some thesis one how the film/writing/gaming/news/political/military/corporate/slash/industry industry works in its entirety at the end of all this, you might as well hop on a Segway and head on over to California. Segues are fun.

So are paragraphs. And sisters, I guess, if any sisters are reading this, WE’RE BROTHERS! That’s right, we aren’t friends. Click links, for they are your only friends.

Your reaction to all of this is priceless. I’m laughing pretty hard while I watch it, the way I did when I saw the Nostalgia Critic’s Wicker Man review. At this point, you’re probably desperate to know why this piece has received such an infuriatingly relatable/unrelatable title. Well, in response to that, I’m going to take a lesson from a good friend of mine and proceed as though you and I never met today.

Hey guys. Okay, okay, I’ll stop. Honestly, this is all probably really disappointing for you, and, in that regard, a great embarrassment for me, to say the least. Ugh, you’ll all likely obsess over this failure of mine for weeks, they way you did over bowling piranhas. Speaking of which…

…you know what really grinds my gears? When people don’t just get to the fucking—.

*POOF*

TFAGODB

~D.

A New Chapter

1 Nov

It's down.

Okay, we’re here, the start of the next bit. A lot’s coming up, so I’ll keep you posted, you’ll keep me posted, and we’ll do great and all.

Firstly, I’ve been featured on Sci-Fi Bloggers twice! This is really exciting, and you should check out not only my articles, but those of the other writers (one, and another) as well. It’s great stuff!

Secondly, I recently saw Ender’s Game, and I’m here to tell you, as a reader of the book, the director did a great job with the film’s second half. While the first part was rushed, the games and the simulation section worked very well, creating an intense, dark atmosphere that I enjoyed immersing myself in. It wasn’t as good as the book, but that’s no surprise. Honestly, I think if had been an hour longer, maybe even three hours long, it would’ve been perfect, maybe even a T.V. series. I’ll have a full review up at some point.

Okay, that’s everything for now. Keep thing moving on your end, and remember, the enemy’s gate is down.

 

~D.

My Top 12 Favorite “Game of Thrones” Moments

20 Jun

Forever, my father.

We all love it. We all hate it. We all want more. We all wish it would just end. We all got our friends to watch it, then reconsidered our decision to do so after the Red Wedding. We love it because it’s intelligent, because it’s real, but mostly because, unlike most stories told these days, it’s a game.

There are many players in the Game of Thrones. Once they enter the Game they have two options, as disclosed by Cersei Lannister early on: win or die. Opting out has been tried, but proven unsuccessful thus far. My advice? Don’t join unless you plan on being the victor.

Game of Thrones has been an exciting, powerful series thus far, filled with highs and lows, twists and turns, incredible battles and unforgettable characters. Today I’m going to talk to you about my favorite moments in the show hitherto. Note that I’m writing this prior to the release of Season 4. I may update it, I may not. For all we know the fourth chapter in the series could suck thanks to rising egos in the cast and crew (I’m not saying it will happen, I’m saying it could).

In case you’re in the middle of watching the show and are worried about spoilers, I’ve labeled each moment with their respective season and episode. That being said, let’s dive right in with…

Don't worry, you'll be possessing fucking wolves soon.

12. The Fall of Bran (Season One, Episode One)

If one could pinpoint the exact moment when Game of Thrones announced itself as “the show where anything can happen,” it would have to be Bran’s fall at the end of the first episode. I remember seeing him break his promise to Catelyn and thinking, “Good boy,” not at all aware of the potential negative ramifications of him doing so. Suddenly, as he drew closer to the tower I thought, “Wait, the music changed. Something important’s about to happen.” And then there they were: Jamie and Cersei  Lannister getting busy. I wasn’t all that shocked that there was incest going on, nor that it was incest between those two. However, I was shocked when Jamie grabbed Bran by the collar and uttered, “The things I do for love,” before tossing him the ground far below.

In most stories, especially in the case of TV shows, children are left undamaged. It’s sort of an unspoken rule regarding television, cinema, etc. Game of Thrones doesn’t play by conventional rules, it has its own.

"What is dead may never die."

11. The Dreadfort Assembly (Season Three, Episode Ten)

Let’s face it, as pissed as we all were at Theon for betraying Robb, cutting off his “favorite toy” was a bit much. I was among his many sympathizers during his time with Ramsay Snow, and even now I hope he’ll be okay in the end. My hope was strengthened after the most recent episode in the series, wherein his prized possession was sent to Balon Greyjoy, his father, as a threat.

Balon was asked to give up the lands he’d invaded recently in exchange for his son’s safety. He refused, calling the boy a disobedient “fool” who should’ve followed orders. Theon’s sister, Yara (called Asha in the books), doesn’t give a damn whether Theon made a mistake or not.

“I’m going to pick the fastest ship in our fleet,” she began. “I’m going to choose the fifty best killers on the Iron Islands. I’m going to sail up the Narrow Sea all the way to the Weeping Water. I’m going to march on the Dreadfort. I’m going to find my little brother…

…and I’m going to bring him home.”

"That was all I wanted."

10. A Golden Crown (Season One, Episode Six)

To me, this is the moment where Daenerys became a badass. Throughout the entire first season, up until this point at least, Viserys had been a real dick to his sister, and I mean a REAL dick. He’d beaten her, threatened to have the entire Dothraki Horde and their horses have sex with her, by force if necessary, and done all sorts of things that just left me thinking, “When does he die?” Seeing sweet justice exacted was more than appreciated, especially in such a gruesome form.

But the pouring of gold wasn’t what made this moment terrific. It was Daenerys saying, “He was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon.” And then I understood how important she actually was, for she was the dragon Viserys claimed to be.

I miss him.

9. The King in the North (Season One, Episode Ten)

After a very significant event occurred (further on down the list), the Northerners were left without a Warden. And so, because of this, a new nation was formed, with a new king chosen by its people: Robb Stark. Robb is probably one of the top five best characters in the entire series, and his “badassery” skyrocketed after his new title was granted.

"Valar morghulis."

8. Everything with Jaqen H’ghar (Seasons One and Two)

I know this is kind of cheating, but, pardon my French, I really just don’t give a fuck. Jaqen H’ghar is a baller the like of which has not been equaled in the series thus far (I’m sorry, I think he’s cooler than Daenerys). His stealth and precision are unrivaled and his ability to change faces the way he does is literally perfect. I hope Arya trains under him next season. And by the way, nobody send me anything about it, but I think Jaqen and Syrio Forel are the same person, for various reasons which I’ll talk about another time.

Valar morghulis.

Spiders and Ladders

7. Everything with Varys and Baelish (Seasons One, Two and Three)

Okay, okay, this is the last time I’m cheating. But honestly, it’s so hard to choose the best of these back-and-forths between the two. The Spider and Little Finger always have the best discussions regarding the condition of Westeros. If I had to choose one that stood out, I might pick the “Chaos is a Ladder” speech that Baelish gives Varys. In every other discussion, they are equal to one another. In that one in particular, Baelish actually outwits Varys, a character I personally believed to be invulnerable.

All in all, these two always steal whatever scene they’re in, unless Tyrion’s in it. Speaking of which…

What is dead may never die.

6. Ned (Season One, Episode Nine)

I don’t think I have to say much. To some, he was a fool. To others, he was the last honorable man in Westeros. To me, he was both. He didn’t play the Game properly, but he was a good man nonetheless, a strong man, a courageous man. Too trusting though. He didn’t walk softly enough. He didn’t control his pieces the way Daenerys and Tywin did. He played it the way a soldier would, and, unfortunately, soldiers don’t win the Game.

Long live Ned Stark, the true King in the North.

"Halfman!"

5. Halfman (Season Two, Episode Nine)

Although he isn’t my favorite character (and I know he’s everyone else’s), Tyrion has had some of the most epic moments in the series, the Battle of Blackwater being full of them. One of his best scenes involves a speech wherein he tells his soldiers very simply and bluntly, “Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let’s go kill them.” Soon after, chants of his alias, “Halfman,” resound through King’s Landing, immortalizing Tyrion as a legend of Westeros.

500,000

4. Jamie’s Redemption (Season Three, Episode Five)

Okay, now I know most people still hate Jamie, but there are those out there who, like me, have forgiven him for his acts of evil in the past. After hearing what he did for the people of King’s Landing, how he saved five hundred thousand people from being burned alive, I was absolutely blown away, realizing that everything Jamie ever does, no matter how ruthless it may seem, is done because he truly believes it’s for the best.

It’s not just the story itself that makes this moment so incredible. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau should win an Emmy just for this scene on its own. He tells Jamie’s tale so beautifully and brings it to life in such a powerful way that I, a former die-hard Jamie HATER, was able to sympathize for the man I believed to be one of the main villains of the piece. Congratulations, sir.

Sorry Bran, but I have to give credit where credit is due. The Kingslayer is now a hero in my book.

Fucking dragons.

3. Birth of the Dragons (Season One, Episode Ten)

After Ned’s death I was certain there was nothing bigger they could throw at me this season. And then I remembered those eggs, and how our girl here can’t be burned, and although it didn’t surprise me all that much, the birth of the dragons was one of the most impressive bits in the series. It’s the first real appearance of magic in Game of Thrones, and it gave me hope that things would get better from here on out, that the bad guys were toast and that, soon enough, all would be well in George R.R. Martin’s world.

And then, of course, Robb Stark had to go and break his oath…

Fuck the Freys

2. The Red Wedding (You Know the One)

Okay, if you seriously don’t know what this is, stop reading, because you’re about to read what I think may be the biggest plot twist in a television series, EVER. On the night of a beautiful wedding merging the Tully and Frey houses, Lord Walder Frey executes what might be the most sickening, dastardly, gruesome, villainous betrayal ever put on a screen. I know that sounds like an overstatement, but if you’ve seen it, and you watched every episode prior and grew attached to—nay, to love the characters involved, then you probably agree. The Red Wedding is messed up beyond belief, with the loss of Robb, his wife, their unborn child, and Catelyn all in less than ten minutes.

But, as horrible as it was, you have to admit…

I BET she's going to die.

1. The Unsullied Liberation and Mhysa (Season Three, Episodes Four and Ten)

Yeah, remember what I said before? Well, I never said “I promise,” so I’m not worried about my choice here. I simply couldn’t decide between these two because, in a sea of depressing moments, these two are some of the more inspiring scenes in Game of Thrones.

The first is the liberation of the Unsullied, which me and my brother TOTALLY CALLED the week before (I take credit for calling it first). Daenerys makes what appears to be a stupid trade in order to acquire an army for the taking of Westeros. What ends up happening is a badass coup wherein all of Astapor’s slave master’s are killed and the army of Unsullied soldiers is liberated. When given the option to live as they choose, they all decide to serve the Stormborn Queen, and a great bit of symbolism occurs when she drops the whip that once controlled them and they march over it, their chains shattered.

The second is the ending of the recent season finale, which I honestly think is a beautiful thing. Hope is what I wanted out of the last episode, and hope is what I got. Even though I personally think Daenerys is going to die this coming season, she still makes me think that, even now, this story might have a happy ending.

One of the other great things about the Mhysa scene is how perfectly it symbolizes everything about the show. We have a hero who, because of the potential dangers of the world, is forced to surround herself with shields and pikes. Even when the friendly slaves arrive, there’s this tension about whether they can be trusted, whether anyone can be trusted. The look on Jorah’s face is what I’m talking about. He knows that even the kindest of fellows might stab someone like Daenerys right in the back. But Daenerys isn’t willing to let that sort of thought process go on. She knows that in order the end the clash between fear and love, she must take a leap of faith. And so, when she walks into the crowd, knowing fully well she might be beaten to death right then and there, she is testing whether all men are evil, whether all men must die. And, in the end, she proves that all men aren’t evil, and that there is still good to be found in the world.

That’s why I love Game of Thrones. That’s why you love Game of Thrones. That’s why we love Game of Thrones. Because it isn’t just about betrayal and blood and horror and death and hopelessness. It’s also about righteousness, truth, heroism, love, and freedom. And it will have a happy ending, one way or another.

"Build it and they will come."

And to those still mourning the Starks, just remember…

…what is dead may never die.

~D.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

27 Dec

Hey everybody! I know it’s been an enormously long time since I’ve posted (mostly because I’ve been busy writing), but I’m back for a while with great news: CHRISTMAS WAS AWESOME!

Okay, so first there’s the gifts my siblings got: my little brother got a brand new Toshiba gaming laptop with a slick screen and top of the line graphics card, Fable III Collector’s Edition, some other really cool video games, an ultralight, extremely durable remote controlled helicopter (from yours truly), and a lot of candy!

My younger sister got an incredible amount of toys, an amount way too high to count. I mean, it’s unbelievable how many toys she got, it’s ridiculous. You know that awesome toy you saw the last time you were at Toys ‘R’ Us, that one? Yeah, she has it. Oh, and she also got her first bike!

Then there’s my parents, who got some cool sci-fi books, some cookies, hugs, tools (from sis’, for Dad), cooking supplies (from me, for Mom), and some video games (Mom got Mass Effect 2).

My grandmother received some nice presents as well, one of the key ones (also from me (sorry)) being her Steamboat Willy snow globe, as well as Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (incredible book).

Lastly, there’s me. I got a new Toshiba gaming laptop (awesome), tools (awesome), a new basketball (awesome), Shutter Island and Inception (I’ve reviewed both on the blog, go look for those write-ups), Fallout: New Vegas (decent, so far), an Epic Mickey t-shirt (but not the game), Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II Collector’s Edition (haven’t played yet) and some other stuff that I for some reason can’t remember off the top of my head. Ah well, it doesn’t matter. I’ll have reviews of Killing Floor and New TF2 up soon. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

My Thoughts On Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles

17 Jul

I dug through my garage recently and found something rather interesting: my old Nintendo Gamecube. For those of you who don’t know, this was one of Nintendo’s most popular game systems of all time (it came just before the Wii). My Gamecube was a bit dirty, but I had a Wii to play Gamecube games on so why did I need it anyway, right? Well, to be able to save your game on those Gamecube games one must have a Gamecube memory card. So when I found the Gamecube with both cards in tact, I got quite excited. Soon after finding the cards I ordered an old game I used to love over eBay. Now one thing I’ve noticed about most of these old games I used to play is that they’re never as good as I remember them. However, the game I ordered has proven me wrong. In fact it has proven me very wrong. The game I ordered is better than I remember it being. This game was Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles.

Let me start with the opening. You start a new game, and then one of the most beautiful opening scenes you may ever see in a game plays out. You can find it on YouTube, but let me make this known: it’s not the same on a tiny computer screen. And when I had it going on my big, flat screen TV, that has HD picture and a BOSE surround sound system, holy crap did it look and sound incredible. It was like a dream, only it was actually happening right in front of me.

And then there’s the first moments of the actual game. Now I must warn people that if you don’t like walls of text you will not like this game. Because even though they’re few and far between, when they show up they are long. There’s a lot of reading to do in the game, especially at the beginning. But if you endure it, you’ll find the game is well worth however much you paid for it (I got it for $23 on eBay. It is still, to this day, worth $40 to me).

In the beginning you get to create your caravan (more on that later), which can be up to eight characters. The four “tribes”, which I think we should just call races in this game since two of them aren’t even human, are unique in design and all have very aesthetic characteristics. There’s the Clavats who are essentially your generic humans with cool armor and swords, the Selkies who are basically your hot humans with little clothing on (although I think the males look a bit too much like women), the Lilties who I swear to God must be some of the most badass “little people” I’ve ever seen (they’re essentially the beardless dwarves of this game), and then there are the Yukes. I don’t really know what to say about the Yukes since they’re the more mysterious race. You never get to see their faces because they’re always wearing helmets, their bodies are covered in fur, and that’s about all I know about them. They’re very mysterious.

After creating your caravan you get to learn the story of the game. Okay, so the world is covered with this stuff called Miasma, a dark energy that slowly kills anyone who is among the four main races. All other creatures are either immune to it or have become one with it and turned into evil monsters that you’ll fight throughout the game. How the four main races defend themselves from the Miasma is with the power of the crystals. Every town in the game has a giant crystal that shields the people from Miasma. These crystals are powered by a resource that they need again once every year, called myrrh. To find this myrrh, crystal caravans must travel into Miasma covered lands and recover the myrrh from myrrh trees. To get to these trees without being taken out by the Miasma, the people in the caravans bring along a crystal chalice that not only holds a small crystal to protect these people, but carries myrrh for them as well. And lastly, each  myrrh tree is defended by an evil boss monster, which is usually at least four times your size (or in a Lilty’s case, eight times).

That’s a brief version of the plot. Remember, even after all these years I still haven’t beaten it, so expect other surprises throughout the game. Before I get into a few more good things, I want to talk about the only thing that I feel is a flaw in the game: the multiplayer. Now I’ve heard that a lot of people had fun with multiplayer in this game and that’s good for them. However, I think that the developers tried way too hard to “innovate” with this system. To play with friends you actually have to go out and buy multiple Gameboy Advanced systems (the handheld before the DS) and Gamecube connecters for each of these Gameboys and use these friggin’ things as your controllers. The excuse for this is that everybody has to have their own personal menu, but you’re telling me I have to go out and buy multiple handhelds just so I can play one game with my friends? I don’t think so.

Anyhow, that’s my one complaint. Other than that, the game is great. One thing that I forgot to mention earlier is that each race has an advantage in combat that the others don’t: Clavats have good defense, Lilties have good offense, Selkies are really fast runners, and Yukes are good with magic. And that’s my way of segwaying into combat. The combat in Crystal Chronicles is unique to Final Fantasy. It isn’t turn-based, it’s real-time combat that requires you to actually be strategic on the spot. You can’t just spam the attack button the whoe time. You have to be ready to quickly alternate between using regular attacks, to firing off spells, to using items, to targeting special attacks, etc. If you don’t like thinking, this isn’t the game for you. Crystal Chronicles requires you to actually think about what you’re doing, not just sit there button mashing all day.

After collecting three drops of myrrh you’ll return home and celebrate your victory, which is always cool to watch. The game’s art style makes it cool just looking at the characters. And while we’re on the subject of art I should mention that the music in this game is superb. Every time you go somewhere you know you’re going to get music that fits the environment, the characters, etc. Especially the boss fight music, I really love that track specifically. It’s great.

Overall this is a great game, and at this point in time it is worth double what you’ll probably pay for it. Crystal Chronicles is charming, powerful, and if you own a Wii and a Gamecube controller (and a memory card) you should definitely pick it up.

My Thoughts On Mass Effect (1 & 2)

12 Jul

Gaming is an art form. It is, like films and books, a way to tell stories that people love, or hate even. The greatest thing about gaming however is that the viewer participates in the story and doesn’t just sit and watch as things happen. And the greatest thing about gaming these days is that many times the participant is able to choose his/her path in the story. Prime examples of this are Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Heavy Rain (which I review recently). Both of these games have you make decisions that have a crucial impact on your story, including how it plays out and how it ends. These go from choices such as what to say to somebody, to which direction you’ll go in some area, to whether or not somebody will live or die, to even (in Heavy Rain’s case) whether your own characters will live or die. It truly is wonderful. And when you start playing a game like Mass Effect, and its sequel as well, you realize how incredible it really is.

In the Mass Effect games you play as Commander Shepard (whom you can customize in many ways: male or female, skin tone, etc.). You can choose his/her origin story, his/her profession, and many other things that actually have an effect on the story of the game and where it goes. Commander Shepard could be a ruthless, cold, calculating leader who does what he/she needs to in order to get the job done, or he/she could be a valiant hero willing to give his/her life for his/her team and willing to do anything to save the galaxy. It’s your choice, and that’s what makes it great.

The games both have their own stories that are somewhat separate yet somewhat linked. The big difference between the two is that the first one focuses on the big epic storyline and the sequel focuses more on you and your crew’s relationships with one another. An interesting feature that Mass Effect 2 has is the ability to import your character from the first game into the next game, so the choices you made and side-quests you completed will come back to either please you or haunt you. It’s really cool when stuff like this is featured in a game, and should be used more often (maybe in a Heavy Rain 2?).

The big epic story of the first one is that a deadly A.I. civilization known as the Reapers has returned from hiding after about 50,000 years. Just before their first disappearance they wiped out an organic civilization called the Protheans and were never seen or heard from again. It is now Shepard’s duty in this game to stop the Reapers from doing the same thing to the rest of the galaxy, which faces extinction. It really is quite a wild ride, especially because of how many people you meet along the way, what they have to offer to your tale, and the twists and turns that can be caused by your actions.

The sequel, which honestly is the better of the two, involves you continuing your fight with the Reapers. This time they’re using another race known as the Collectors to do their evil bidding. This game gets a bit more intense since the only way to reach the Collectors’ base of operations is through what is known as the Omega 4 Relay, a massive teleportation hub that warps ships to an unknown part of the galaxy. No ship had ever returned from going through the Omega. You plan to be the first. Here’s the catch however: the decisions you make throughout the game can determine whether you, or any of your crew, make it back alive. That’s right, you can die in this friggin’ game and not be able to load your Mass Effect 2 character into Mass Effect 3. Talk about a lot of pressure. And any characters that die in the “suicide mission” are dead because of your choices. It really makes the game much more intense than any movie you’ll ever see for quite some time.

One might wonder how you can save yoursef from certain doom. Well, the trick is to gain the loyalty of all of your crew members. If their resolve isn’t strong enough, they will fall. Trust me on that. Also, upgrading your ship would be wise, since it has an effect on who lives and dies as well. I’ve cmpleted both games and after beating the second one I’ve lost only one crew member, and it was the one I liked the least so it’s all good.

Essentially what I’m trying to ge across here is not what I thought of the nitty-gritty parts of the game, such as mechanics and what not, just how I felt about the tale the game told. And let me tell you, I thought it was told beautifully. I could not have asked for a better role-playing game to hold me over until The Old Republic (another BioWare game) comes out. I recommend that anybody who loves story in games, and loves a good action packed sci-fi adventure go pick up the games right now. And play the first one first because the character import sytem makes it so much better, honestly.

Well guys and gals, thanks for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day. I’ll be posting much more frequently from now on, so stay tuned!