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Thursday, September 23, 2010

FGSFDS

So, my Asus monitor came in today. It was beautiful. It was light. It was sleek. It was... DEFECTIVE. Yeah, nothing I didn't kind of expect, but it was shipped with a stuck pixel. I did a screen flasher for about an hour, to no avail. So, I've decided to just return the monitor for a replacement, which, if I'm damn lucky, should come in on Saturday. Well, at least I got to try it. I'll tell you all right now, it's a DAMN AMAZING monitor. It looks like a piece of art, plays like a piece of art, and has a sleek interface. The menus is a bit hard to use, but hey, it looks damn beautiful.

So consider this my temporary review for the monitor.
I still highly recommend purchasing it (Asus MS238H), and doing it through Amazon, as their customer service is THE BEST I've yet encountered anywhere.
I'll put the full review up as soon as I get a non defective product.
Thanks for your patience guys!

Also, much thanks to Thoraxz for accompanying me in the set up and for removing all my wires on my desk.

UPDATE
Amazon has ALREADY processed a replacement order! So I will most definitely do a comprehensive monitor review on Saturday night, along with a few game reviews! Look forward to it!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

YAYIFICATIONS!

Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale

Developed by: EasyGameStation
Localized by Carpe Fulgur
Released: 9/10/10
Systems: PC
Genre: RPG

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As the title implies, this game tells the tale of an item shop. Our heroine, Recette Lemongrass, is essentially pressed into service by a fairy named Tear. Recette must work off a debt that her father has incurred through his failed adventures and attempts at making it big. As Recette, you run your shop as you like it. Buy your stock wholesale and sell them at a markup, or hire one of several adventurers seek your goods in the depths of a challenging dungeon. Your shop, your goods, your methods- all things for you to play with. But mind the weekly debt, or you’ll soon end up in naught but a cardboard box!

Gameplay and Control: 4/5

Extremely, and I mean, EXTREMELY ADDICTING.

This is a game that when you initially pick up, you’ll be hard pressed to put it down (I’ve had many a late night and a tired morning at the campus thanks to this game). The concept is simple enough. Buy low, sell high, or adventure around, collect items, and sell them for 100% profit. Managing your shop is easy, and general gameplay is a quick learn. Unlike most economic based games, this has little/no learning curve, though play strategy can take a week or so in-game to figure out. Market fluctuations add some depth to the buy/sell aspect, as it forces you to think if you should gamble on buying a lot of a certain good during a price drop and hope that the good’s price normalizes before you need to pay back part of your father’s loan.

Controls are smooth and simple. Actions are mapped to Z, X, C, V, ESC, and the arrow keys. Of course, you could customize it, should your hands prefer a different layout (the writer of this review’s Second Opinion has custom mapped keys. Weirdo.)

Graphics 3/5

First and foremost, this game is not trying to be innovative with graphics at all. If anything, it’s a throwback to the top-down RPG’s of old. Despite that, everything is draped with color, and there’s not a single dull shot in the game.

Many of the dungeons are simply copy-pasted rooms (if you look closely you can actually see the dividing line between some of the templates). It’s nothing you wouldn’t expect of a relatively low-budget game. The usual clusterfuck of enemies is enough to keep you on your toes and your eyes off the repeating walls behind you.

2D sprites will be what they are. 2D sprites. For a game like this, they’re pretty well made, with animation fluid enough to tell what each is doing. Clearly, there wasn’t much attention given to the enemy sprites, as most of them are palette swaps of the weakest version.

The character sprites themselves are of a bumper quality, each character receiving specific attention. Recette receives major treatment, with many subtle animations you’ll hardly ever recognize, especially during the management of your shop.

Sound: 2/5

Typical top-down RPG fare. The music can get a bit monotonous at times, especially when you’re grinding out a dungeon for all its worth (which could probably run you 10 minutes towards the tougher dungeons). I play with the music off for the most part. There’s minimal character voicing, and the speech that is there goes completely untranslated. Which is great, since a translation would completely butcher the gaming experience. ‘Nuff said.

Story and Characters 3/5

Well, let’s be honest. The story is about as deep as the kiddie pool… when it’s DRY. You’re a girl who’s dad owes a large debt, and you pay it through a shop you open. Simple as that.

The characters are pretty well made, designed, and thought out.

You’ve got a few clich├ęs, of course: =AVAST, MILD SPOILERS BE AHEAD, MATEY=

Airheaded Heroine: Recette

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Tsundere Partner: Tear

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The rookie adventurer who becomes bosom pals with our heroine: Louie

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Runaway Princess Thief: Charme

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Polite Young Lady: Nagi

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Tough guy with a heart: Elan

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Kindly Elf: Tielle

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Grim and Mean Assassin: Griff

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Scamming Merchant: Euria

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Quiet RoboFriend: Arma

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Conceited Mage: Caillou

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FINAL JUDGEMENT: 3.5/5

All in all, this was a very enjoyable game for me. It’s good to see that there are games that stress fun over achievements, graphics, or general ePeen wagging still. I’d definitely recommend this game to any of my readers, even if you’ve got a problem with the art style. It’s cute, get over it.

Well, that’s that.

Thanks for reading! Expect another review soon!

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I'd like to dedicate this review to the following people: Langston, Elizabeth, Thoraxz, and Psytemplar. Thanks for your support guys, I love you all!

Monday, September 20, 2010

WHY THE HELL IS EVERYBODY SICK?

I've noticed something. Everyone's getting sick. I feel a bit under the weather, a good chunk of my friends are out, my sister was sick over the weekend...

http://www.itstartswiththeflu.com/

Then I remembered this. I'm not one for conspiracies or end-of-the-world things (besides zombies, of course), but this came to mind.

What the hell. Is going on.

Review Format

My good buddy Thoraxz has brought it to my attention that I was being a little partial during my last review. I do definitely agree with him, so in a week or so, I will do a re-review of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger WITHOUT my "Just Bought a New Game" goggles on.

I'm going to establish a review format here, for my reference and for yours:

TITLE
Pertinent information

IMAGE

Gameplay/Related Video

Summary of Subject

4-5 Areas of review (Games 5, Anime 4, Other 4)

Final Judgment: x/5
Explanation

Second Opinion (From others, of course)

Ending statements



Confirmed for the next few reviews (Not in any particular order)
  • Recettear
  • BlazBlue: Continuum Shift
  • BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Re-Review
  • High School of the Dead
  • Bayonetta
  • A Few Android Games and Apps (About 3-4 of them per review post)
Please look forward to them!


Good Morning, Three Hours Early, World!

Mornin'. It's a bit early, I know. I forgot my cellphone alarm buzzes every fifteen minutes between 5 and 6 AM, so here I am.

I know I said I'd DO some reviews, but it's more fun if I have you, the audience, request something done. So, if you're still following this tiny spit of a page, please do try to leave some kind of request.

Also, I'll have a review for the game Recettear up by tomorrow. Though I'm not 100% done with it (Currently in endless mode), I've formed enough of an opinion to write about it.

Well, look forward to that everybody! I'll probably post in a few hours when boredom strikes once more, or an idea hits me.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger




BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger (US)

Developed by: Arc System Works
Localized by Aksys Games
Released: 6/30/09
Systems: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC, Arcade
Genre: Fighting

BlazBlue




Story
    Prior to the events of BlazBlue, humanity was on the verge of extinction from the “Black Beast”, a creature of Darkness. The world was saved by six heroes who wielded magic. They helped humanity create “Armagus”, a fusion of magic and technology, to defeat the Beast.
    After the war, the Novus Orbis Librarium Armagus (the Library or NOL for short) was created to govern the world with the use of Armagus. A great deal of dissent was caused by the Library, partly due to Armagus’ use in nearly every facet of society, and the widening socioeconomic gap between those who could and couldn’t use Armagus. This dissent would eventually form years later into The Ikaruga Civil War, when the Ikaruga Union openly rebelled against the Library. After the war, the Library imposed a harsher rule on the world, punishing any rebellion against the Library with the death penalty.
    In December A.D. 2199, several years after the Ikaruga Civil War, a branch of the Library was utterly destroyed by an SS-class traitor named “Ragna the Bloodedge” also known as “Mr. Grim Reaper”, in an attempt to destroy the entire Library. The Novus Orbis Librarium Armagus, hoping to stop him, immediately put the largest bounty ever for anyone who could capture him. Interestingly, Ragna possessed a powerful form of Armagus known as the “Azure Grimoire” , also known as the BlazBlue. This led to the Librarium, as well as the Ikaruga Union and other fighters, to be after not just his bounty, but also his grimoire.

Gameplay and Controls: 8/10

   BlazBlue is a anime-styled fighting game. It shares great commonality in terms of gameplay and controls with its older cousin, Guilty Gear. That being said, it is NOT a Guilty Gear clone. The controls for BlazBlue are much smoother and have a better flow. There is very slight learning curve for this game: it's something you can pick up from the store and play almost immediately.

Most, if not all, fighting games will get repetitive after some time- there can only be a certain amount of combos and buttons to mash. BlazBlue, however, is something a little deeper, though its outsides may not show that. It's your usual fighting game fare when it comes to buttons: X, Y, B, and A, being your weak, normal, strong, and special attacks. The "special", or Drive attack, is used by characters to unleash whatever unique ability or gimmick they have. For example, Noel Vermillion. Using Drive will activate her Chain Revolver ability. This makes her glow a certain color (default color scheme gives her a brilliant blue silhouette). From here, she can unleash a deadly (and often times overpowered and broken) set of moves in a lightning quick combo. Other characters have different Drives which are related in one way or another to their special moves. Other features, such as dash canceling and Barrier blocking (100% prevention of health damage) add a level of gameplay lacking in many of today's fighters.
You can choose between the analog stick or the D-Pad to control your character (I personally prefer the D-Pad, growing up on Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter). Up is Jump, Down is crouch, and L/R do their respective movements. Double tapping U, L, or R will cause a dash or a double jump. Standard stuff, nothing too special here.

BlazBlue boasts 5 modes of play: Arcade, Story, Versus, Score Attack, and Network. Arcade is essentially the arcade version of this game for one player, running through a set of enemies for a high score. Story immerses the player in the world of BlazBlue, and its intricate and surprisingly complex story for a fighting game. Each character has their own route, and in those routes are multiple paths. Versus is what it is: You and a buddy pummeling the ever-living crap out of each other. Score Attack is a chance for you to run up the score and show off to your friends. Now here's the kicker: Network Mode. Yes, it is just you fighting others online, but there's more to it than just that. Network mode allows you to track down and play the best of the best BlazBlue players on your given system. Instead of waiting for some big gaming convention to gather the greatest, you can now chum online and watch your favorite character beaten to a pulp by your idol gamer.


Graphics and Sound: 10/10

Whoa now. Back up the awesome bus. We missed a stop. BlazBlue is a 2D fighter. Being a 2D fighter, I find it to be of common opinion that it FAR outstrips 99% of 3D fighting games in visual appeal. The color scheme on all menus are absolutely eye catching. The character designs are beautiful and very easy on the eyes. Before anyone says anything, yes, I know they do resemble the Guilty Gear cast. The backgrounds have a prodigious amount of detail for being... well... backgrounds.

Fighting games are not usually known for their soundtracks. There will be the occasional cult classic BGM's (Mortal Kombat theme, anyone?), but nothing much else. BlazBlue boasts a soundtrack of epic quality. Every character has their own unique theme song, and some characters, such as Ragna and Jin, have theme songs specifically for their match up. The opening, which I pasted above, is your standard J-Pop, by KOTOKO, who are by no means a small-time musical group. The music was so good, it seems, that a Limited Edition with a two-disc OST was released. I will tell you that it is worth the extra effort and money to obtain.

Story and Characters: 8.5/10

The background to the story is at the top of this review in italics- I won't recap. I also won't put any/many spoilers in here, so those of you who have not played the game won't have the fun of Story Mode ruined for you. I'll just say that it's the deepest and most intricate plot I've yet seen in a fighting game, and I've played quite a load of them. It just pulls you in and entrances you, sucking you deeper into Story mode.

The cast of this game is mainly made up of twelve unique characters: Jin, Ragna, Noel, Rachel, Tager, Litchi, Bang, Arakune, Hakumen, Nu, Carl, and Taokaka. Each character (except for maybe Carl) brings their own back story and personality to the main story, and make it the amazing plot that it is.


FINAL JUDGMENT: 9/10

In summary, this game is one that will never truly get old. You'll grow sick of playing it for 8 hours in one day, but pick it up the next time the sun shines upon your system.
In the words of Jin Kisaragi,
Chill.
SolemnStargazer.

Oh, I almost forgot

There once was this pitiful shit of a little blog I made a few months back that promised reviews of games and whatnots. Unfortunately, up until now I've been pretty busy. However, now I'll make good on that promise, if slowly.

Titles of games/anime/whatnots that are coming down the pipe are:
-Bayonetta
-Deathsmiles
-BlazBlue: Continuum Shift
-The ENTIRE DoA series
-Bakemonogatari
-Saint's Row 1 and 2
-Legend of Heroes III
-Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
-(When I get it) Fallout: New Vegas

I'll move the Calamity Trigger review I did over to here, for your viewing pleasure.

Sick as shit

Well would you look at that. There's a bug going around the area and I caught it. Goodness, life sucks.
However, there is good news. My worthless brother is a cash cow, as always. I woke up this morning with a head full of mucus and ideas
Why not repair his formerly 4000 dollar laptop for my own uses? Sure, it's two years out, but it's graphically more powerful than mine. It'll set me back 300, but it's worth it, no?
I'm not sure what model it is, but it's an Alienware that's rocking two 512 MB video cards.
What do you guys think?

Friday, September 17, 2010

First Post

FIR-
No, not really. Well, Hello, World!
Let's get to know each other, shall we?
I'm a Computer Game and Simulations major at an unnamed community college, seeking transfer to an unnamed university.
I farking hate weaboos. Sorry.
But, being a... dare I say? Otaku, myself, it's somewhat hypocritical. Whatever, I'm a walking contradiction, anyways.
I value what little money I earn on odd jobs, since my schooling takes up far too much time to let me have a proper job, part time or otherwise.
So, that's about all I'd wish to disclose.
I hope we get along, world!