Ragin’ Again

The God of War 3 demo is out.  Let’s discuss!

– Dear Sony – screw you.  I understand that you wanted to put a demo out right before the game is released.  Everyone does it (or at least they should do it).  But you’ve got a lot of guts to then go ahead and tell the world that yes, this is the same thing you showed at E3 2009.    I might be reading too much into this one, but I think this is quite a daring bit of marketing psychology.  Sony knows that “core” gamers would kill to be able to attend E3 and feel like they’re actually a part of the industry.  Putting this label on the demo is a great way to convince this audience that, through their benevolence, Sony is giving them an opportunity to be part of the Secret Fraternity of Real Games Journalists, if only for a few minutes. →  Final Fantasy Mystic Post

SNK A-OK

If you’ve ever read any of my reviews of SNK games, you will know that I had an absurd fascination with the firm’s US branch.  For the most part, they were a complete and utter mystery.  The quality and frequency of their releases fluctuated constantly, and since they barely talked to the press, any and all rumors about their status were allowed to fly around.   I finally stopped trying to keep score  sometime last year, when suddenly every SNK game was being released by other publishers.  Ignition handled the localization of Metal Slug 7 and King of Fighters 12, and Atlus just released Metal Slug XX this week.  I figured that the US branch was finally done for, and that the folks in Japan were now just cutting deals themselves with interested publishers. →  Monster Reader 4

Review – Vandal Hearts: Flame of Judgment

Watching a beloved series re-emerge after years of lying dormant is always disconcerting. On the one hand, it’s nice to see developers expand on a world already well-fleshed out and attempt to recapture something that was thought lost forever. On the other hand, it may be worse to have a crappy sequel than to have no sequel at all. Worst of all would be a sequel that’s good enough to look promising and manages to recreate many of the best elements of the series, but ends up being mediocre and only dulls the series in the fans’ eyes. The last, unfortunately, is the case with Vandal Hearts: Flame of Judgment, a western-developed entry in Konami’s strategy RPG series.

It’s not that the game doesn’t have good elements. On the contrary, it’s brimming with promise: there’s an impressively deep skill system that makes leveling transparent and continual; variety in the missions ultimately makes several scenarios better than many in the original Vandal Hearts games; bonus “treasure” maps allow for hidden stages, and skirmish maps let the grind-lovers do their thing. →  Read or die.

Resident Evil 4 Revisited

Recently, a brand spanking new copy of Resident Evil 4 for the Wii caught my eye. Reduced to clear and put in the shop window of a generic electronics shop in London’s laughable ‘electronics mile’, I couldn’t face the heart break over the thought of that particular copy of that gem of a game slowly yellowing and fading in the shop window, destined to be ignored by the people looking to buy new headphones or a replacement ipod nano charger.

So now I have two copies of Resident Evil 4. One for the PS2. One for the Wii. I should buy the Gamecube version to complete the shelf. Feeling slightly embarrassed in my hideous capitalist material ways with the realisation that there are people in this very world who struggle to have potable water or enough food to survive and here I am, Cunzy “two copies of Resident Evil 4” they call me now. →  Tony Hawk's Posting Ground

NISA, no sir

I haven’t played any games localized by NISA, save for the 15 minutes I’ve spent with Disgaea on PSP.  Yet I find myself fascinated with the company, thanks to the many stories of I hear of the mind boggling mistakes and blunders they have suffered over time.  Here are a few that I have heard of, complete with links to disappointed gamers discussing them (warning – links may contain dangerous doses of weeaboo).

– Ar Tornelico 2 features poor translation, loss of vocal work, and a crash bug for one of the last bosses.

– DLC for Disgaea 2 on PSP pulled, then returned after being buggy.

– Disgaea visual novel officially announced with a typo ridden, horribly awkward sounding  comic.

– Holy Invasion of Privacy Badman! (What did I do to Deserve This?) →  Ridge Reader V

Review – Children of the Nile / Alexandria

Children of the Nile is a continuation, and possibly the final installment of the fairly successful Pharaoh series, taking advantage of the excellent setting of ancient Egypt as a basis for a robust city builder. The people of ancient Egypt are civilized enough to be needy bastards– a prerequisite for any builder, and in an era filled with war and great deeds, we’re off to the races of conquest and glory.

COTN’s greatest strength, without a doubt, is the ecosystem of its city. Your people have multiple “tiers” of social standing, with each level having its own behavior and needs. Your job, of course, is to keep those needs satisfied so their efforts can be directed towards doing useful things for you: killing your enemies and building great works in your name. →  One must imagine video games happy.

Armored Princess Review: Part II

Sometime while I was busy writing about how much the PC is awesome and how much BioShock sucks I realized that I was still actively playing King’s Bounty: Armored Princess and I’m overdue in my second review installment. I’m probably about half way through the game at this point. Considering I’ve spent a total of 35 hours so far, part of my brain is telling me to play something else that I have hope of finishing; but I just keep trudging on anyway.

Part 1 was about the world of Armored Princess. It dealt with things that people tend to think don’t matter in games. Whenever a critic rambles on about inconsistent details in fantasy worlds then they can expect insane fans to blow their comment section through the roof with defamatory accusations. →  Max Post 2: The Fall of Max Post

Why I Like Playing Games at my Desk

I like to think of myself as above silly things like console wars, but let’s face it, we all have our certain preferences. When we were kids our preferences came from the fact that our parents would only buy us one console, so whichever one we got was automatically the best. Nintendo’s exclusives were always better than Sega’s exclusives. Sony’s exclusives better than Microsoft’s. Of course if you happened to be the kid who got a Genesis or an Xbox then the reverse became true. As an adult I’m mature enough to understand that each piece of hardware has its own strengths and weaknesses, and each deserve the same amount of respect. But I’m also a human, and I have certain tastes and preferences. They aren’t based on exclusives or brand names anymore, just my personal style. →  Post of Tsushima