Friday, December 9, 2011

Gift Ideas for Christmas 2011

It's that time of year again. People flock in droves to buy gifts for Christmas and spend all their hard earned cash to please loved ones and friends. It can be tough to think of gifts for fellow nerds, but fear not, I will help a bit. Here some ideas for your beloved geek or geeks...

Console Games

  It is hard to imagine Skyrim being a bad pick for any gamer. It is one of the most beautiful and in-depth games ever made. Even the Japanese praised it with Famitsu giving a perfect score, a rare feat for a Western RPG. This game provides hundreds of hours on content and endless customization. If you get this for a spouse don't expect to see them for a few weeks after unwrapping Skyrim...the addiction is instant.

Catherine is one of the most unique games of 2011. The story is adult themed and very unusual. Aside from the sexy art and great story, the puzzles are challenging in a fun way. There are several endings and bonus puzzles for the hardcore. This is a must for Japanese gaming fans.

The King of Fighters XIII is the best fighting game of 2011. Top notch graphics, killer music, and a great fighting engine make this a treat to play. As a bonus, the game includes a music CD with 100 tracks spanning the entire series.

Portable Gaming

 Solatorobo is a beautiful looking RPG with tons of details. The world feels amazingly live and as charming as a Ghibli film. I would suggest grabbing this one before it becomes rare and expensive. It also includes a music CD. This could be the last hurrah for the old DS.

One of the greatest games ever made in portable form. Nuff said.

While the PSP is on life support in the US, XSeed saw fit to release one more awesome RPG for Westerners. Legend of Heroes Trails in the Sky comes from Falcom makers of Ys. Of course, this game has the trademark awesome music that Falcom is known for as well as a cool story with great writing. The limited edition includes a CD and map.

Other Gifts to Consider

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Capcom Trollin Us Again

Capcom loves to troll the fans. Mega Man isn't slain or apprehended. They know how much people wanted Legends 3, so why not tease them with this background poster in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3? The poster is a reference to a comic cover for X-Men's "Days of Future of Past" story arc. Maybe this a hint at future DLC. I want Mega Man, but I will not hold my breath for the Blue Bomber. It's just Capcom being as usual. Here is the famous X-men cover for reference:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Random Screenshot 37: Persona

Revelations Persona (Playstation) Atlus 1996

The Persona series has become a well known RPG franchise in the US. However, the series was obscure and super hardcore in it's first installment, Revelations Persona. The game follows a group of high school classmates as they enter the demon world to save one of their friends from an evil corporation and her own insanity. The game was brought to the US with some substantial changes from the Japanese version. First, one of the main characters Mark (pictured above) was changed into an African American. This didn't sit well with many folks as Mark seemed more like a mix of negative racial stereotypes than an actual character. Aside from this goof, Atlus also cut an entire second storyline in the game. It was called the Snow Queen quest and followed the students as they adventured around a frozen school to save their homeroom teacher from an evil mask. The game has a reputation for high encounter rates, long dungeons, and strange conversations in battle. Underneath these flaws, it is a descent RPG with a very cool storyline and fantastic music. Atlus released a PSP port last year, which returns Mark to being a White guy and includes the Snow Queen quest. Sadly, the old soundtrack was axed and replaced with a J-pop flavored one. The new music is unfitting and really takes away from the game's weird atmosphere. Although the Playstation version is far from perfect, it is still superior to the PSP port. If you can read Japanese, do yourself a favor and find the original version with all of the cut content perfectly intact.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Ace Attorney Series Fan Art

I love the Ace Attorney series. At the moment, I am playing the Miles Edgeworth Investigations game at a slow pace since new DS games are few and far between. The game is fun and it is really cool to use the attorney skills outside the courtroom. I don't think the sequel will make it to the US, so hopefully it gets a fan translation in the future. To show my appreciation for this series, I collected some great fan art from Pixiv for my Ace Attorney tribute. I can't wait for to see how Phoenix Wright plays in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Awesome Box Art of the Week: Maou Golvellius

Bad Box Art of the Week: Ghost Lion

Random Screenshot 36: Bioshock

Bioshock (Xbox 360) 2K Boston 2007

Bioshock comes from the old PC series, System Shock. For the evolution of the series, the game was changed into a first person shooter. The story involves an undersea city called Rapture. Rapture is free of the artistic and scientific confines of the surface world. This element plays greatly into the overall morality of the Bioshock world. Since science can make anyone into a mutant demi-god, why settle for being a normal human? Thus the occupants of Rapture became obsessed with genetic alteration and kill for the means to obtain their splicer fix. You take control of a mysterious man who washes up inside Rapture. As the story unravels, you learn that fate led him to the city and he can become it's savior or a monster hellbent on mutant is the player's call. Aside from choosing your moral path, the graphics are beautiful and the overall world design is amazingly detailed. The city truly looks like a 1950 resort vista, if it were submerged and overran by psychotic freaks. The main enemies in the game, Big Daddies, are formidable and their weird anguished sounds echo through the dark chambers they inhabit. Bioshock has an amazing atmosphere and the story is uniquely dark. The game is pretty cheap to own these days, so give it a shot even if you hate FPS titles. The elemental power up system is so cool that is worth the price of admission alone. You will never feel the same about the phrase "Would you kindly."

The Blog Isn't Dead

Hey readers, sorry for the lack of updates around here. I have been super busy with school, work, and other shit aka Xenoblade Chronicles. The lack of comments also occasionally makes me think that nobody is reading anything I post. However, I promise to start making some regular updates soon,so check back within the next week. In the mean time enjoy this very random picture of Stubbs the Zombie killing some dude.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

New Games for the Hardcore

If you are like me, then this Summer has been kind of a drag for new Japanese games. Sure we got Catherine and Super Street Fighter 4 Mega Hyper Arcade Fighting Lord edition, but I can't recall much else. In the coming weeks and months, there is some hope on the horizon. Here is a list of games to consider purchasing if you are fucking hardcore:

Solatorobo is a Mega Man Legends-esque action RPG from CyberConnect2. The company worked for nearly 10 years on this game, as a follow-up to the obscure PSX classic, Tail Concerto. Why should you care? This maybe the last good Nintendo DS game that hits American shores. Everyone who has played it says the game is pretty great including 1up's perpetually bitter, Jeremy Parish. Pre-orders get a soundtrack, which is also pretty nifty. The game is coming out 9/27/2011.

Persona 2 Innocent Sin will finally reach the US in the form a PSP remake. The game was originally released in the late days of the PSX, but some issues such as a homosexual party member, kept Persona 2 in Japan, with the US only getting it's follow up Eternal Punishment. If you ever questioned what the hell is going in the back story of EP or simply wandered why Tatsuya is so damn emo, then get this game. The game will be released 9/20/2011.

 The King of Fighters 13 is finally coming to consoles after rocking Japanese arcades for the past year. After the abysmal KOF 12, I wasn't sure what to think, but I have heard only good things about this sequel, so I will give SNK one more chance. The story finishes the Ash Crimson arc for people who actually follow the story in fighting games (all two of you.) The pre-order offers an amazing bonus, a 4-CD soundtrack spanning the history of the KOF franchise. Get hyped. KOF 13 is coming 10/25/2011.

 El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron looks insanely cool. The graphics are sort of in Okami's style, but instead of medieval Japan, you go through different angel's versions of an ideal earth, all of which are visually striking. The combat seems lacking from the demo I played, but something this beautiful can't be ignored. El Shaddai arrives 8/16/2011.

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Top 25 Games of All Time

As an avid game for over 21 years, I have often pondered what if I could only play 25 games for the rest of my life. The list is a tough one, as I have played thousands of games. However, certain great games to come to mind almost immediately. Here is a list of my favorite 25 games of all time, in no real particular order.

25. Dynamite Headdy (Sega Genensis)  Crazy Treasure developed platformer that is too weird not to love
24. Dungeons and Dragons: Shadow Over Mystara (Arcade) Great brawler, like Golden Axe on steroids
23. Metal Gear Solid 3 (PS2)  Metal Gear + the Cold War = one brilliant game
22. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega Genesis)  The best Sonic game ever also has a wonderful soundtrack
21. Street Fighter 3: Third Strike (Arcade)  Still stands as the best 2D fighter, seems to be made for combo and parry experts
20. Super Street Fighter 2 (Arcade) Almost as good as Third Strike, great for nostalgia
19. Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)  My favorite game as a child that made me a gaming nut for life
18. Final Fantasy Tactics (PSX)  Maddeningly deep strategy RPG with an epic story and great cast
17. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PSX) Greatest Castlevania game, Alucard is such a badass
16. Final Fantasy 6 (SNES)  Excellent Final Fantasy with some of the best graphics on the Super Nintendo
15. Chrono Trigger (SNES)  Great story, beautiful music, cool bosses, and plenty of replay value
14. Mother 3 (GBA)  Quirky game with an oddly compelling storyline and many emotional moments
13. Mushihimesama Futari (Xbox 360)  Bullet hell shooter from Cave, masterful stage and boss design
12. Mega Man 2 (NES)  Tough as nails, but so satisfying...I also love this soundtrack for some reason
11. Marvel vs. Capcom (Dreamcast)  The original one felt so perfect and kinda balanced, I still love the graphics
10. Gunstar Heroes (Sega Genesis)  The greatest run and gun shooter on the Genesis with a unique sense of humor and a flare for the dramatic
09. Powerstone 2 (Dreamcast)  One of the best multi-player games ever mad, so many items to be crafted
08. Guardian Heroes (Saturn)  Beat-em up with multiple endings and tons of characters to choose from
07. Earthbound (SNES)  The precursor to Mother 3, hilarious and endearing plot, another 16 bit triumph
06. Super Metroid (SNES)  The best Metroid with one of the greatest final battles of all time
05. Mega Man X (SNES) The natural evolution of Mega Man 2, the perfect Mega Man game
04. Persona 4 (PS2)  Teens going inside of a television to find a mad serial killer, count me in
03. Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360)  Life on the frontier was hell, but man was it pretty, best video game ending ever as well
02. Super Mario World (SNES)  The Mario game that introduced Yoshi and the cape, it has so many secrets
01. Final Fantasy 4 (SNES) The first real J-RPG in my opinion, a classic in every possible way
Honorable Mentions: Suikoden 2, Lunar Silver Star Story, Persona 3, Snatcher, Policenauts, Sonic CD, Ninja Gaiden, Shenmue, Crazy Taxi, Final Fantasy 7, Deathsmiles, Sexy Parodius, The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past, Mass Effect 2, Valkyria Chronicles, and Gitaroo Man.