Hi everyone- takin' off in a few, and Nai, ethersphere already does an RPG of the week for N20 which he sometimes mentions in here but we don't have an actual videogame of the week... you should definitely take the spot!
And thanks for the help last night man..
And guys, thanks for the tips on KH .. I will definitely benefit from those later
Headin' out to the party now... I'll be back much later tonight!! Enjoy and have a wonderful night!
Moneen, PM me with your mailing address for the 3000th post prize.
Huh thats pretty weird moneen I thought i for sure added you oh well i will add you to my icq account then and we can talk on there sometime. Thanks moneen you seem like a pretty nice person too! Christmas is going to be pretty cool hopefully lol. I am just happy that i do not have stress for awhile I am sure i will be able to finish up the x-ray program when i come back to it in 8 months from now .
Anyways have a great night all see you all soon! *hugs everyone in the coffeehouse*
Edit: ohhhhh i found out the reason when i added you from mtg salvation you spelled your email address with hotmial.com instead of hotmail but i just fixed that just now on my msn. So you should be adding me soon hopefully.
Yeah, I do a weekly RPG column in N20. This week was so hectic that I didn't feel like doing one, though, so nyeh.
Speaking of which, I'm getting back into Xenogears and seeing every little thing that Takahashi wanted his fans to see between it and ep.3. It's really making me happy, knowing that Takahashi cared enough about this series and the people who'd experience it. What pisses me off, though, is that two other Xenosaga games were in production at the same time as ep.3; Xenosaga Next and Xenosaga Exceed. Due to American gamers being generally spoiled on instant gratification and dumbed down storyline and character, I'll probably never be able to play those games. HAPPY DAY.
And now I must own a DS, knowing that Dragon Quest IX is being released exclusively for it. This is great news.
The announcement of Dragon Quest IX for the DS must be a crippling blow to the PSP, because it effectively shows which system Square is supporting. Good for them. Sony is a squatter for trying to beat Nintendo on the handheld turf, and a bad squatter at that. Oh, and speaking of PSP, they're releasing ANOTHER FF7 spin-off for it. Somebody make them stop, NOW. I'm sick of them feeding the beast that is the Cloud fellator Final Fantasy 7 fanboy.
Actually, Wombat, it only shows which console Yuji Horii and the Enix teams are supporting. It was just announced that the PSP will be receiving not only a remake of the original FFTactics, but a true sequel as well. Go figure; I thought the PSP was a horrendous waste of money, but I guess Square thinks differently. Then again, they produced Advent Children and The Spirits Within, so they're not good examples of sound judgment.
I'm happy about DQIX because we can actually afford a DS at this point, and because I can take it anywhere with me. Man...that poor DS battery, hehe.
Despite Sony producing technically "superior" consoles and handhelds, Nintendo's always going to win out due to one simple fact; they still make consoles and handhelds exclusively for gaming. I don't want to pick up a Ps3 and feel like I just bought a half-assed PC, because quite simply that's what they are. With the Wii and DS, you've got this awesome little machine that's made just for your games, without all that worthless add-on tripe. Believe it or not, there are still people out there who buy game consoles for the games and the games alone. Hell, if I had my way I never would've watched one DVD on my Ps2. That isn't what it's for ^_~;;
Yeah who cares about the psp anyway its overrated. My friend paul always talks about how good the psp and i usually get sick of how he keeps ranting about the graphics and the screen resolution since he has one and its usually not that cool for him to do so but oh well. I am totally with the DS myself and i think the psp is good but I would enjoy playing the DS a ton more if i had one.
@ethersphere: i definetly agree with you on that console are meant for games only I would think and that should be it.
For the cave of Ordeals, yeah, you were close. Use bomb arrows, or just a helluva lot of back attacks. And for the Goron, there's a Goron elder in Kakariko, if you didn't know. Just make a break for it when he give you the giant barrel, and you should make it.
Nai: I'm suggesting level 100 w/Ultima Weapon for Omna because she's (mostly) deaf. I beat Sephy at level 80 even on Proud.
As for KH2.. yeah, I know. I fight him all the time. I know what I'm talking about. I'm just trying to make things as easy as possible for Omna, seeing as how she's deaf and all.
Nalathni Dragon: I was just yankin' the chain. It's cute and all, but Banding is a pain and a half. And yes.. I will include Crucible. But I'm including a killer combo automatically by including Azusa.
As for the black legend.. Braids.. hmm.. either Braids or Volrath. Volrath makes more sense since I have the Weatherlight crew.. but I don't want all my rare critters to be legends! I can only really afford 3 legends per color (not including gold). I might cut Starke, but Squee.. I want to cut him, but he's so symbolic to the Weatherlight crew. Gah! Flavor v Funciton yet again.
To be honest, Alacar, if you're going for a core set to accompany Academy, go more for function. Academy's got a lot of flavor - you've said so yourself many times. Taking away Squee or Starke won't hurt anything, in the end.
Tales of Symphonia, eh? I've never played it, but I've heard good things about it.
I'm practically all done with my paper. I have to put in a concluding paragraph, finish up the introduction, and put in a bibliography.
Also some more good news: my dad bought tickets for a Devils game vs. the St. Louis Blues on January 10th when I'm home for winter break! He tried to get tickets against the New York Rangers (arch-rivals) on the 2nd, but sadly they were sold out. I haven't been to a Devils game since 2000 when they played their first home game against Columbus. I've been to 4 games of theirs.
Tales of Symphonia is an exceptional game in an exceptional series. The main reason I want to play Tales of the Abyss is because the entirety of the Symphonia team worked on it. Although...no Tales of game will have as awesome a soundtrack as Legendia. Oh my G.
Well my vote definitely goes to Kiki-Jiki. He's just too damn fun, and would have a place in a lot of out there decks. I'm using him in conjunction with Bogardan Hellkite in a mono-red deck right now. FUN.
Arcanis...is insane. Tapping to draw three cards? WHOA.
What tub? I never found it. I'll go looking when I get back into TP in a few days. Stuff like this annoys me too much to keep playing.
Gotcha Alacar. You have a point that she'd have a problem, since his attacks are usually preceded by some auditory marker. However, they are also preceded by visual markers, which might do just as well to fix that.
Edit: Slight change in the Game of the Week, since I need to refresh myself on Tales on a few things. It's been longer for this week's deal, but... I also can't believe you guys saw that post in the three seconds when I accidentally posted and deleted. Yeesh.
And even though it's Wednesday, I'll start up my Game of the Week today. Next week... Who knows? But for this week, we'll have something now. Let's see... Game of the Week will be...
For those that don't care to look at big, centered images, this week's pick is the RPG the Playstation 2, Kingdom Hearts. Many have played it, and it's almost impossible to not have heard about it. But I decided to go with a well known one to start this thing off.
I first heard about Kingdom Hearts about a year before it came out while reading my Game Informer magazine. This was about the time when rumors of Xenosaga II were just coming out, and that's what interested me more. I had read a quick blurb about how a game was revealed that focused on Disney characters, and some character named Sora (GI thought it was a girl, I did too from the pictures) that used a giant key to fight. The game didn't seem interesting back then. When it came out, a friend of mine brought his copy over and we began check it out. I'm glad for this. If it wasn't for him, I may not have played this game.
Enough with the background, time for the real meat and bones of this review.
For those unaware (and I'm sorry if you are, are you living under a rock?), Kingdom Hearts is a joint venture between Disney and Square-Enix, the makers of Final Fantasy, to make a live action RPG. When I say 'live action', I'm referring to combat where you press a button and your character attacks. No wait bars, and definately not turn based. Think Phantasy Star, if you'd like. Eventually what we have is an RPG that plays like a platformer that features Disney characters. Odd combination, no?
Here's a basic rundown of the story: You play Sora, a bit of a goofball kid. He's got two best friends: Riku, a bigger and older boy who is simultaneously Sora's rival and best friend. His other friend is Kairi, a girl who seems vaguely tomboyish, while still being girly (figure THAT one out), and hangs out with the two boys all the time on some island out in the ocean. However, due to a strange incident with a mysterious black-robed man and an odd doorway, Sora, Riku, and Kairi are split up and thrown off the island. The only clue to this mystery is a strange key-shaped sword that Sora got under rather odd circumstances.
Later on, Sora finds himself in an odd town, and meets up with Donald and Goofy, Disney characters both, and later meets (though doesn't travel with) Squall and Yufi of Final Fantasy fame (say that one five times fast). More events occur, and soon Sora is blasted off into a fast-paced adventure through worlds based on well-known Disney movies, fighting strange creatures of darkness while trying to find his friends, Riku and Kairi, who dissapeared during the event on the island.
So now you have a story. That's the barest I can get while letting you all know what's in store for you in this game. The story itself operates on a multitude of levels, and is rather interesting considering it's being played out by a rather young and naive protagonist. Then again, considering Sora is being accompanied by two Disney characters and meeting up with such notables as Hercules, Alice, and Aladdin, that's not all that bad. As well, the story is something you can really believe in. By the time the game (not the story) ends, you become attached to the characters. You want to see at least the ending, just to see what happens. The fact that, somehow, this entire story unfolds while winding through Disney story arcs is a, for lack of a better word, masterful script.
Look at the concept, too. Combining Disney characters with Final Fantasy? An RPG tumbling through worlds most of the players know from childhood? That's some odd things, you have to admit. Somehow, though, S-E pulls this off. Part of it is the linear action the story and levels go through. While you are allowed to roam as you will, you still generally go in a straight line about it, in terms of the story. Another part of it is that many people, with storytellers at their hearts, might have wanted to see if they could play out those famous Disney movies. Now they get their chance, though in a slghtly different fashion.
So the story is excellent, from my point of view. Next, let's take a quick jaunt at music, before heading into gameplay. The music for this game is not Academy Award winning. I'm sure we have all played at least one game that would deserve a title such as that (certain Zelda games, for example). However, it doesn't get old, which is a good thing. Some of the score is downright good. The instrumental from the pre-menu movie, Simple and Clean by Utada Hikaru (which the instrumental is based on), and the start menu screen song is pretty catchy. Elsewhere, the songs are just long enough to not be annoying, though they DO loop, and endlessly. Sure, you might get a bit irritated if you stay in any particular area TOO long. Agrabah comes to mind.
There's also sound and voices to keep in mind. Now, if you go and look at the credit list of Kingdom Hearts, you'll see many big names. Haley Joel Osment, star of such movies as The Sixth Sense and Second Hand Lions, is the voice actor behind Sora. That's a decently big name right there. As well, if you cross reference the cast for most voices in the game, you'll notice that many actors reprise their original Disney roles in the game, lending it that much more credibility. Of course, in some cases, that's impossible, as the actor is deceased, or too hard to get to. But the list still has many big names, and many of the originals. Almost the entire game (minus 'overworld' talk between character and NPC) is voiced over, with voices that sound believable. The sound effects are not completely repetative and have decent variation, but really are no more than you'd expect.
Now to gameplay! Kingdom Hearts really has a bit in it for everyone. It has distinct platformer style of fighting and action, which attracts folks of that fandom. All of the fighting is in real time, with no 'wait' bars, no turns. While, yes, some actions take time, it's not a horrendous amount of time, and many fights will keep you on your toes. The game ALSO has RPG elements. You will level up in the game, up to level 99 if you so choose. The casual RPGer can go ahead and play as they will with no real regard to stats, and still enjoy themselves. Heavy duty gamers can mess with the stats to their heart's content. Armor and weapons are customizeable, and the weapons DO change the avatars of the characters on screen. There are also several spells (which will be familiar to Final Fantasy players), many abilities for each character, a plethora of different equipment to collect and use, among other good points of the RPg aspect.
As I said, fighting is in real time. While it isn't a huge fighting engine like, say, Dead or Alive, it still requires a fairly active participation, which makes the battles seem fun, exhilerating, and keeps them from getting boring. While, yes, X is jump, Square is hit, etc., as opposed to combo moves, you DO get your abilities in a quick-to-use menu, you have spells you can use in menu or hot-key, and otherwise you have fun fighting enemies, learning their actions, and then beating the absolute heck out of them until they are eventually defeated.
There's also the platforming bit. While you don't get all the versatility of a platformer, there IS a lot of movement. You won't be restricted to the land-based, isotopic view of games like Final Fantasy VII/X/XII. You have a fully useable camera (though it is a bit glitchy at times), and you can interact with most items in your environment that you'd expect would be useable. You can jump, grab ledges, interact with switches, investigate odds and ends, swing on vines, swim... Puzzles are involved in the game, as well as general exploration.
The fights themselves are a bit novel. Each realm has its own set of enemies. While some enemy 'species' do recur, as you'd expect in any RPG with lots of enemies involved, they do get different facets depending on the world. Each enemy has their own attack pattern, their own attacks and defense, as well as attributes. Each boss is completely unique and generally has a strategy you must adopt. They have unique attacks, of course, but they also have weak spots you must find and exploit. Think a Zelda boss, just without the 'recently found item' weakness. Each boss has a strategy you must use to beat them, and you have to find it first. Some are obvious, some not so much.
Gameplay takes about... I'd say at least 30 hours, if you go through the entire game from start to finish without skipping any cutscenes and such. FULL completion can take up to 60 hours, by my estimate. Keep in mind, it's been a while since I played, so I'm not quite sure if these numbers are accurate. However, you'll get quite some time out of this game.
Kingdom Hearts has been known, now, for its minigames, and rightly so. It has a plethora of minigames for you to play. From the 'gummi ship missions', which are on-rails-shooters (think Starfox with a ship you build yourself) as you move from realm to realm, to the simple minigames you enjoy while searching places like the Hundred Acre Wood, each game is amusing, easy to learn, and can keep you entertained for some time.
There's also plenty of side quests and other non-storyline content. I can name at least two bosses that are hidden. There are 101 dalmations to find in all the realms. There's a Colosseum with multiple contests to beat, including beating the all powerful Sephiroth with his half-the-arena-long-sword and an attack that will insta-kill you unless you have a specific ability equiped. Theres a synthesis shop, full of recipes (provided by Moogles, no less) to learn, make, and master.
I think I've just about covered this game from the start to the finish, minus, I believe, any grand spoilers. For more information, I recommend (should you have the PS2) that you grab this fantastic game. It's hit the "Greatest Hits" list for the PS2, and did so within, I believe, a year of its release. Since it's a fairly old PS2 game by now, and with the PS3 out, it shouldn't be hard to find, nor that expensive. Considering it already has one full-fledged sequel out on the PS2 (which I'll review in the future), a Gameboy Advanced interim game to play, and a further future sequel hinted at, there's plenty of reasons to pick up the game ASAP.
And now for an overall score. Without any glaring issues that I can recall (and I'd remember), and achieving so much with itself, this game has to get a 10/10 in my books. This is one of those games that deserves its publicity, deserves the hype, deserves the franchise, and deserves the sequel.
Tonight was almost a nightmare for me. I tell my mom not to pick up the phone until you're absolutely sure you know who it is (either screen on the answering machine or Caller ID) because of a scam that's been going around this town for the past 6 months. Involves a person calling you claiming that you owe a certain credit card company (never naming the EXACT credit card company) over 4000 dollars in past due money then asking you to give them your social security number to verify that you are indeed the right person. Mind you they always claim you live at the wrong address so you have to go thru the verification process in the first place.
Well my mom almost caught me AND her into this scam. Thankfully its almost but still my mom made me have a cow over this because I keep telling her and telling her this. Second call we've had like this in the past two weeks. Police can't find out where this stuff is coming from either... But if I hadn't grabbed that phone and hung up when I did it would've been big trouble.
@KH: Played it. Killed it. Very fun game for sure. Good choice!
From a few pages back, about that list I put up, it wasn't so much that I was listing all the Apocalypse stuff... instead i was just going thru two-color combos in enemy colors. That's all the good stuff. Mind you there were only about 4-5 cards in each enemy color combo before Apocalypse tho... hence why the lists looked so odd.
@DS: Having the Castlevania portables helps that system a lot in my eyes. However I'm a console nerd. Still hoping to pick one up eventually cause there's a lot of good games on it.
Edit: Also, Nai, you might not wanna image leech. If you're not keen on Photobucket or any of the other image posting I can always post something on my site for you to put up here.
Mr. Stuff, that's an AWESOME banner. If I didn't like my own banner set as much as I do (as homage to the creators, and to the Colo), I'd probably use it.
Two more things, one not really important (me being pissed about something on Twilight Princess), and a question for those that... Care?
First of all, I'M SPOILERIZING THIS STATEMENT ABOUT TWILIGHT PRINCESS! IT'S NOT A BIG THING, BUT DON'T READ IF YOU ACTUALLY CARE! SINCE I'M MAKING A BIG DEAL ABOUT THIS, YOU READING IS YOUR OWN FAULT!
1. Thanks for the complement.
1. An answer to your question:
Talk to the Goron elder inside the shop in Kakariko Village. He will ask you about rebuilding the bridge. Later, he'll be standing outside the shop. Talk to him, and he'll give you a barrel of water to transport to that guy. However, you can't drop it or set it down along the way, so good luck.
3. Wolf's Rain is REALLY good. The music is just pure sauce - around the third episode, I checked the credits to see who did it, and who do I find? Yoko Kanno, of course. AMAZING. I love that person to death. It seems like it's been a while since I've seen an anime that is this plain good as well. Tsukuyomi moon phase was, well, less good than most, and Twelve Kingdoms felt like it dragged on for a while. This reminds me a lot of Cowboy Bebop - just plain cool with a good pace. I can't wait to see the rest of it.
Geez, why do people have to post so much when I'm not here? I was on for hours last night, and there was like 10 posts, but then I am gone for the day and there are 7 pages ;).
I'd just like to say, Moneen, that I know how you feel about the whole post count thing. I feel like my posts are nice, easy to read, and thoughtful (most of the time), but I think that since I do not have too many posts, people tend to ignore many of the things that I say. Not everybody, mind you, there are some people in the Coffeehouse that reply to my posts, but the majority of people tend to ignore me. I don't mind that much, because I know I am new and everything, but sometimes I do wish that people would reply to my posts more. Luckily, my post count is going up fast, and I will probably reach my goal of 500 posts my the end of the month. And I will be your friend if you want :).
@Alacar: I don't know all the votes you've had, but I wish I had been here earlier, because I love Meloku. I'm not really one for tournament play, but I have happened to open two of them by luck, and I made a really awesome deck with them that is really fun to play with. It has Vinelasher Kudzu, Azuza, Lost but Seeking, and a bunch of other really cool combos. Anyways, you probably won't put it in, but I really want it. It is such a cool card.
@Crimson Avatar: Wow, that's weird about the phone calls. I hope the guy gets caught soon, because that sounds pretty scary.
@Nemcon: Congrats on the PSAT. That is a really good score. I think it is equivalent to a 2000 on the SAT, which is very good. Good job :).
So, anyway, onto my day. Luckily, my chemistry test was very easy as it did not contain the stuff that I was having a hard time on. I think I got a good grade on it. My math test, surprisingly, was very difficult, but I'm pretty sure I did well on it. I just was not prepared for that hard of a test. Well, luckily, I don't really have anything more due this week, but I have a huge history research paper due Tuesday that I haven't started, plus studying for finals, so I'll have my hands full.
Yea...i really dont care much about post count, the only time I really did is when I came like 40 away from 1k, and I kept getting custom ideas...so I wanted to get those 40 posts...so I posted quite alot those three days or so ffrom 950-1k. I really am not a big fan of having short posts, unless I get stuck with only answering one question that I need to answer in that post, which doesnt happen much, but that can warrant at least a paragraph from me on average from posting a reply. I try to get to as many replys as possible, but now in the school times its a bit harder, as my four crazy hard subjects all are teaming up on me it seems this semester. I will have like a week of no work almost, then a week of projects and major assignments all at once. Thats what really irks me, the consistenly bad timing of my assignments.