A survey of 2007s role playing games

Last year was a fairly interesting one for RPG fans. Some of the biggest names in the genre finished their PS2 swan songs long ago, and went off in search of new platforms. This left 2007 as a year for new ideas and lesser known series to take root and grab the hearts and money of fans. 2007 may not have had a big new Final Fantasy, but perhaps that is a good thing, as it allowed these other games to stand out, rough edges and all. While it comes a bit late, the following is an assessment of some of 2007’s biggest RPGs from both Chris (vl’s resident RPG expert) and Christian (who continues to look for the genre’s masterpiece).… Read the rest

Gamestop and the Classics

Despite the title, this blog post is another update on the (awesome) shenanigans going on with Atlus USA. About two or so weeks ago, Atlus quietly reprinted some copies of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. It was so quiet that not even Atlus employees that often float around the Internet knew the details. The only reliable retailer that seemed to have it was Play Asia, but now we know quite differently. Turns out that a reprint was done for both Nocturne and Digital Devil Saga, and according to some Gamestop employees, almost every store was getting one copy of each game, brand new but labeled (and stickered) as used.… Read the rest

Non-Review Footnote – Persona 3:FES

Last week marked an interesting release on American shores, as Atlus shipped out Persona 3:FES. FES is both an expansion pack and a revision to the original P3 – it mainly serves as an epilogue chapter to the story, but was also served with the original game as a “director’s cut” that added new goodies to the entire quest.

This kind of release is very rare on consoles. For example, whenever Square releases an International Edition of a hit RPG, you can be sure this nation won’t see it. Yet for whatever reason (likely due to success of P3 last fall), Atlus decided to grace us with more of this excellent game, rather than leave Western fans out in the cold as happens so many times.… Read the rest

Review – Spider-Man: Friend or Mere Acquaintance

In another installment in my untimely series on finding something to hate while surrounded by the best games in years, here’s another look at games that ate shit in 2007.

Until recently, the Spider-Man franchise had been the only comic book license that somewhat translated into an enjoyable gaming experience. Next Level Games, a company that specializes in cramming a licensed properties into games that have nothing to do with the license they are based on, must have won some sort of raffle to be awarded the development of Friend or Foe. Any company that works solely in licensed games is going to suck worse than a circus put on by disabled veterans.… Read the rest

Vic Ireland selling off all his games?

So it would seem. He will even sign them for you but they don’t come cheap. From the eBay auction for Popful Mail:

“Still cleaning out my closets, and I’ve found this brand-new, still sealed copy of Popful Mail for the SEGA CD. As the USA Director/Producer/Writer, I can even autograph it if you wish, making it truly collectible. It’s your choice, with or without the autograph.”

After seeing what a sealed copy of Chrono Trigger fetched on eBay recently, these sealed games may be a good investment. Popful Mail and the Lunar’s are solid titles, but Albert Odyssey, Sega Ages and Shining Wisdom are hard sells, and this is coming from a Sega/Camelot fanatic.… Read the rest

Are you ready to rock? … well you can’t.

Way to go EA / MTV. Way to f up the launch of what should have been your biggest title this Christmas season. Rock Band launched today, or so gamers were told. In reality it seems like there were only a handful of units shipped to retailers with little or no warning about the shortage. The only press release I’ve seen even hinting at production shortages was unearthed yesterday, in which the EA spokesman said that there might be a little supply crunch … until MARCH OF 2008!

Best Buy held midnight launch parties at about two dozen locations across the US and reports are coming in that a large majority of those stores got shipped a paltry number (one store in Kentucky received two PS3 bundles, and that’s it) or no games at all.… Read the rest

Time to Give to a Good Cause

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We all know Gary Coleman. How could you not love a 4′ 8″ guy that appeared in one of the 80s most iconic shows, Diff’rent Strokes? Back in the day, he was a veritable one-liner machine, churning out gimmicky quips in the blink of an eye. Lately though, it seems that Gary has fallen on hard times and is forced to part with his Gamecube. Hard times for Mr. Coleman means an Ebay auction for us and an autographed Cube for the winning bid, which is currently just over $500.

Just looking at that pitiful mug makes me want to bid a few bucks just to help the guy out.… Read the rest

Do bad games get better as they drop in price?

Game Revolution gave Excite Truck a C, partly because it wasn’t worth 50 bucks. Does this mean that when the game sells for $20 they will change the review score to a B?

Factoring cost into a game’s review has always been something I try to avoid. It is very difficult to do. As much as I pretend games should be considered as stand-alone pieces of art and should not be compared to other things you could do with the money, this is at least partially idealistic bullshit. If a crappy $10 downloadable game is a waste of time, maybe it wouldn’t be at $1, and part of the reason it’s a waste of time is because an episode of Sam & Max is only $8.… Read the rest

Retail Woes

In this post, I must air some grievances I have with certain retail companies. Someone call me a waaaaambulance, because I might need it.

– Why does Blockbuster suck so much when it comes to game rentals? Every store I’ve encountered always seems to be cleaned out of its new, and even 2-3 month old releases. It took me a good month or more to find God of War 2, and at a trip to my brother’s home, we couldn’t find any Wii games aside from the absolute dregs of the licensed pit. We couldn’t even try Chicken Little out if we wanted to.… Read the rest

Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 2.23.07

New Virtual Console consoles
It looks like Wii owners will now have the chance to download Neo Geo and MSX games. I’d like to see the original Metal Gear, which is supposed to be significantly cooler than the NES port, and Master System favorites (that were ports from the MSX) Miracle Warriors and Golvellius. Of course the West may never get the MSX emulator because most (or all) of the system’s games are in Japanese. Maybe after Nintendo translates Fire Emblem 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 I will believe there’s a possibility they translate super obscure Japanese computer games on a system 99.8% of Americans have never heard of.… Read the rest