Archive for Rantings

7th Saga, Revisited

I find the vast majority of things that Toastyfrog/GameSpite comes up with to be well-written, comprehensive, and correct.  Parish & co., who I have much respect for, consistently create good publications that I spend actual money on – a rarity when the internet is full of people who will tell you their opinion on video games for free (prime example right here).

However, Journal #10’s 7th Saga segment, posted just today, has in my view wronged a game.  I do not protest the overall treatment; I agree fully with the overall premise that 7th Saga is bad.

However, since I played the game to completion for the first time just a few months ago, I feel obligated to point out some incorrect or overblown parts of Jake Alley’s article.

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Thoughts on PAX 2011

I attended PAX Prime again this year.  It’s a good chance to get in touch with (somewhat) local friends, and to visit Seattle, which is a pretty cool city to just walk around.  And, of course, there were games there.

I don’t usually visit the big booths on the Expo Hall floor, since – by and large – the same content is out in a few weeks, and coverage on it is out in a few days.  I did try out the intro for Mass Effect 3, which was fun enough, but not worth the 2-hour wait.  The best under-the-radar game I saw there was Shoot Many Robots – a co-operative, 1-4 player shoot-em-up, which feels like a post-apocalyptic, hick-themed Metal Slug.  Some brief bits follow:

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In Which I Dwell on PAX East

I had the opportunity and motivation to go to PAX East this year – one I think I took full advantage of, more so than either attendance of Prime thus far – and it was a blast. Took first place in an Earth Defense Force tourney (thereafter referred to as “The Blue Guy” due to my stylish DQ9 shirt and Junpei hat), my team took 3rd in a 64-team League of Legends tourney (my main account is lv 24/30, indicating I don’t play enough to deserve it) and overall had a great time.

I’d apologize for not covering it yet (after all, it’s been three whole weeks!), but honestly I doubt enough people read it who care.  Might sound a little crazy, but this is more an outlet for myself – writing on my own interests – than out of a particular desire to share, which is a nice enough side effect.

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Biggest Gaming Disappointments of 2010

2010 was a good year.  We saw tons of innovative games, some solid entries in existing franchises, and (as usual) the slow, plodding approximation of “progress” that Koei and Natsume put into their Warriors and Harvest Moon / Rune Factory franchises.  It may not have been a great year, but then I’m not much interested in the mainstream games so much – if I’m disappointed, it’s just that the obscure games I found  (or the few mainstream ones I played) weren’t quite as good as I’d hoped, not that the gaming industry has suffered some setback it will never recover from.  Here are a few highlights.

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A Few Quick Reviews

In the past few weeks I’ve started playing a few more games… as usual.

At release, I picked up Etrian Odyssey III. I finally started it up and the class variety is much better – and class choice more significant, it seems – than in the original.  I never played II, but I don’t think I’m missing out on much for not having played it.  If you’re in the mood for a long dungeon-crawler with lots of cute art and frequent frustration, it’s probably right up your alley.  I think it’s parallel to mine, but not quite exactly right.

More recently I picked up Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.  Most any franchise that is inspired by Journey to the West (or Saiyuki, or whatever you’d like to call it) has at least the core of a good story.  Enslaved has three decent characters, a lot of frustrating gameplay, and the occasional beautiful view.  I finished it, and I’m convinced it’s really not worth release price.

Finally, I found a cool thread at NeoGAF that discussed an iOS game called Game Dev Story.  Although it was briefly tempting to pick up an iPhone (why yes, I will consider it seriously for a dinky $4 game), there is a free-to-download PC version.  The thread calls it a “sequel”, but it seems to be the same game with a slightly different feature set.  Given it’s incredibly awesome (devoured most of a weekend), I made a quick guide for the layman English speaker.

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