Review – Persona 3 FES

Atlus used to be rather stingy about bringing games over. We received the first Persona, sure, but it was missing a large sidequest and the story was changed to make it take place in the US. We didn’t receive the first half of Persona 2, although the second half came introduced us to Atlus par: a good translation, but a small release that could not match demand. They are finally making up for their earlier slacking with Persona 3: FES.

FES contains the original Persona 3 (called “The Journey” here) with tweaks and improvements as well as an epilogue in the form of “The Answer.”… Read the rest

Murdering children does not grant you magical powers – More thoughts on good and evil in games

I started to write this as a postview of one of my favorite games, Beyond Good & Evil, when it occurred to me that there has been a lot of talk over here at videolamer recently about, well, good & evil. Shota seems annoyed both that so many games are overwhelmed by universe destroying, Pure Eeeevil, and also about the preponderance of good characters that restore our faith in the good ol’ dependable U.S. of A. and its various institutions. I largely agree with his frustrations, but this post is an attempt to complain and moan about the recent spate of games that ham-handedly try to explore good & evil within the plot and structure of the game: such as KOTOR, Fable, and Bioshock.… Read the rest

My First Import

As much as I love this hobby, the truth is I have never bought import games before. I’ve been given one (as seen in picture), and played quite a few, but never did I lay out my own cash. The main problem was finding a way to play them. I just didn’t want to spend extra money for a Japanese console/fliptop/Freeloader disc in addition to premium price for the game itself. As for the Dreamcast, I didn’t realize its import friendliness until it was too late. It hasn’t been much of a hindrance, as localizations for worthy games have become more common (even for fighters).… Read the rest

Eve Online: Second Life for Hardcore Gamers

I hate Second Life. I don’t understand it. I already have a job. I already have a house. I understood Sims because the part where your Sim went to work (at least in the versions I played, they put out so many expansions my view is probably distorted) was skipped and my Sim just showed up home with money. Periodically he’d play on the computer or play chess and get smarter and get promoted. Then he’d come back from work with a bonus and I’d spend his money on nice shit. It wasn’t bad; in fact, I wish my life were like that, where I’d step outside my house, 8 hours go by and I’m home and playing video games again.… Read the rest

Metal Gear Solid: The Settle Collection

As the PS2 winds down, it has become quite popular to release cheap three game collections for it. Until now, the best one out there was the Devil May Cry pack, but now it has been usurped by Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection. With the first three MGS games for $30, this is the perfect way for MGS newbies to experience the series before it signs off with its fourth and final entry. Whether it is worth it for long time fans is a tougher question to answer, as this package is shy from perfect.

The content is the toughest question.… Read the rest

Better Late Than Never — Tyson Reviews the Xbox 360

I showed up a couple of years late to the party that has been the Xbox 360. Thanks to my cheapness and the joys of region encoding, I held off getting Microsoft’s newest system while I was in Japan, vowing to grab one mere minutes upon my return to the United States. Over the past two years I have had bouts of jealousy, smug satisfaction, and concern as I watched the trials and tribulations of the Xbox 360 owner. From red rings of death to the release of Halo 3, I have quietly observed from the sidelines and bided my time.… Read the rest

Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 2.1.08

New game from Parappa masterminds
Well this sounds promising. A new Wii game from the creator and lead artist of Parappa the Rapper. What’s this, Majesco is publishing it? That’ll be ok, a good idea doesn’t need 10 million dollars to work. Err, it’s a marching band simulator? That… sounds cool. I mean, I’ve always despised parades and anyone who likes them and walking around while playing music makes as much sense as reading while performing ballet, but… Kick, punch, it’s all in the mind?

90% of American DS owners pirate games
This comes from the Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association and is wrong.… Read the rest

Review – Growlanser: Heritage of War

The third Growlanser game we’ve received stateside, Heritage of War, is actually the fifth in the series. We received Growlansers 2 and 3 as the last games of the late Working Designs (what is Gaijinworks up to, anyways?) in the Generations package. This game is a more than adequate successor.

Similar to the third Growlanser, Heritage of War is a Strategy RPG with leanings toward the RPG side. You move around the world exploring cities and caves, but when a battle starts, you enter a sort of active-time strategy mode in which you can pause anytime to give orders to any of your allies.… Read the rest

Review — Eternal Sonata

I dislike bullet point reviews almost as much as I dislike people who smile too much and eat pasta salad. And yet, there are so many different aspects of Eternal Sonata that bear commenting on that I find myself gravitating towards the wretched format. So, instead of cleverly disguising a bullet point review with the absence of bullets, let me simply reassure myself that “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and dog-gone it, people like me” and dive into the shallow depths of sound bite commentary.

Quick review: Eternal Sonata is a truly beautiful but ultimately flawed game that delivers barely enough substance to warrant my recommendation.… Read the rest

My little piece of gaming sentiment for the past two years

October of 2005 was a severely messed up time for me. I was newly divorced, living with one of my best friends, and had just found out that in several months time I would be moving to Japan. My life has always been kind of weird but the Fall of 05 was the pinnacle. Back then, gaming was an escape. My real life kind of sucked and games were an escape for me. I had an Xbox I had modded, a PS2, and a Gamecube. What I lacked in a love life, I more than made up for in pixilated goodness.… Read the rest