We don't always like being nonplussed

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Soundwave 092: Starcraft 2 Tourneys, plus: What the HELL happened to Metroid!?

I'm back on this week's New Soundwave, and even occasionally visible! This week JD Church gives us the low down on the big Starcraft II tournaments, we talk more about the 3DS price drop, and I exhort everyone to play pretty much any Metroid game that isn't named Other M, and lament that the extent of Nintendo's 25th anniversary plans for the franchise seem to be using it as one of the 3DS' Early Adopter Apology Gift games.

And don't forget to check out all the TF Radio Network's podcasts, on subjects ranging from Super Sentai to Transformers to Comics to weight loss!

Demo Review: Final Fantasy Type-0

Well here I am again, though I'm sure you'll be pleased to note that I'm not doing a full review, but rather a demo review. What does that mean? That means I'm playing a demo in Japanese because I hate myself, and I'm a whore. Why do I say I'm a whore?

Please ignore that NES emulator lower on the screen. *AHEM*
Yup, it's Final Fantasy Type-0, or as you might have known it, Agito. It takes place in the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy mythos, or series, or whatever you want to call it, along with FFXIII, FFXIII-2 and FFXIII Versus, because Squenix HATES throwing shit away, as evidenced by the bad ass male, and hamster-cheeked vulnerable girl there. In him, I see a cross between Sephiroth and Vincent from FFVII, and in her I see Yuna from FFX and FFX-2. Already I'm filled with amused dread.

Autosave warning!
It warms my heart that they bothered to put the 'ok' in English, it really does. I then get a warning in Japanese for... something. I dunno, pudding rats. I'm treated to a surprisingly blurry/grainy intro, that I have to admit I'm somewhat disappointed with the quality. The intro did however tell me there's really only one annoying high-pitched bitch voice to deal with, so that's a plus. I picked out a number of Squenix standby VA's, but I don't really have any problem with any of them. In fact, there was a fangirl squee when I heard Demyx's VA. Beyond that, what I glean from the intro is that M. Bison has taken over a country (shock and gasp) and it's up to a group of school kids to save teh dayz!!1! Also there are crystals, summons, a moogle, a chick with GIANT KNOCKERS, more copypasta faces than you can shake a stick at, and, from my limited repitoire of Japanese, Vinceroth's brother did something bad. And the troupes go marching two by two, hoorah. The second intro I sit through is better, which is likely because it's the trailer, and in it is revealed Cloudroth, male!Tifa, Quistis, and pretty much every other face in Squenix's limited repitoire, except Fang/Terra (from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, not FFVI), but I expect to see that as an NPC.

After the first intro I'm treated to a screen with a bunch of symbols, and then in large English text the phrase "Bump of Chicken." I... what? Is... is that a suggestion? A descriptor? Of what? What... what exactly IS a 'bump of chicken'? Exactly how much chicken comprises a bump? Shit, I dunno.

Down to business, I start a new game.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dragon Quest VI/6 - Day 27 (Big Friday Update!)

And we're back for a hopefully long, hopefully interesting, if not informative, Friday update. This is also a special installment, because it's going to cover the question: "Is That Guy brain damaged?" You'll find out why, soon.

Let's start with a few things I've figured out, first.

Max level Monster Tamer! Nice!
Do you see this? This is apparently my class level screen. All of those gold stars mean that I maxed out this class some time ago, and only just noticed it. That's not all, folks! It turns out that as we went along, most people leveled out their classes! Isn't that great? But now this begs the question, how did I not notice?

Because all of the new abilities? They're one screen over from where the powers I normally use are. Yes, you heard me, I didn't know I had mastered most of the classes I've picked, because I didn't scroll one screen to the right.

So I think it's safe to say yes, I do have brain damage, thank you.

But at least all of the characters were not fully leveled out in their classes, so I took the time to go back to the last dungeon I was in, and fight the monsters inside for hours on end till I had leveled... and by that, I mean about 20 battles.

Let's move on, and pretend I'm not dumb, ok?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dragon Quest VI/6 - Day 26 (GOD DAMN IT!)

This battle did not go as well as it did the first time... FUCK! You know what's awesome? A resurrection spell, that FAILS 9 OUT OF 10 TIMES YOU FUCKING CAST IT! WAIT! WHAT THE HELL IS HE DOING OVER THERE?! GODDAMN FINKLESTEIN SHIT KID!

Ok. I'm better now, I swear. I just needed a moment or two to catch my breath is all. If you hadn't gathered, this kid is annoying the hell out of me in ways I had never thought possible, even from children. That's ok, though. Let's move on.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dragon Quest VI/6 - Day 25 (SON OF A WHORE!)

And we're back for our... What day is it? Wednesday. Our Wednesday update, which has a lot fewer dates in it than you might think.

Anyway last time we left, we were bored to tears with the town we're in, so we were going to leave, and find something interesting. I'm guessing that I haven't been given an adventure hook yet, so there shouldn't be anything worth note around here, yet.

Magic Key Door! Always a good sign. (But couldn't you just bust through the walls?)Aside from a small house in the middle of nowhere, that seems to be magically sealed by a Rabbi, since that's a Star of David on the door. Curse you, Seals of Solomon! Curse you! Well at least I've found somewhere that I'm sure will be important later, and that should count for something. Unfortunately, it does not, so we continue.

So we move on and look for the trigger, and to be honest, I get a good feeling from this place here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dragon Quest VI/6 - Day 24 (If that cave had a priest in it, I wouldn't go in.)

And we're back for Tuesday, where we found the trigger, and it not only rested up the party, but brought the dead back to life!

I want to find a place that offers the Nap of Ressurection.
And that's what I call a power nap.

In any case, I'm a bit stuck where to go next, so I'll check this steering wheel, because I think I'd enjoy the chance to drive an island around for a while. I'll bet that I can't though.

Looks more like a peanut than a cupcake now...
Apparently it's my week to be wrong about everything. That's cool, though, because I have a girlfriend, so I'm used to being wrong. She's editing this for my, by the way, so I just thought I'd let you all know that I'm a doodie head. {Ed note: It's not MY fault I'm always right.}

Monday, August 8, 2011

Dragon Quest VI/6 - Day 23 (son of a bitch!)

And we're back for Monday, where if you'll recall we were about to hop onto a sea-bound cupcake. This is likely the next big event, because I've never heard of a giant floating cupcake not being important.

I wonder if Yuji Horii knows that Coney Island is not, in fact, a giant ice cream cone?
Ohhh, it's an island. Well, that still sounds pretty unusual to me, so let's see what happens, shall we? But look at that guy at the bottom of the picture. How the hell do you even sail an island? Does this thing have a motor? Sails? Magic propulsion system, or something? Well, when I speak with him I hear something that sounds like a deep, resounding fart, and the island begins to move... Left. The person at the wheel is facing the wrong direction, and can have no idea if there's anything in its path.

We're off to an awesome start, aren't we?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Editorial: Cheating, busywork and perfected tedium

This week I'm writing a quick editorial instead of a full review of anything, because it's been a busy damn week as I mentioned yesterday.

That Guy and AngeliqueDaemon's gamer friends have occasionally gotten on them for using cheat devices in their day-to-day offline gaming. If they don't feel like level-grinding or searching for that rare weapon? There's an app for that, and it is called the Action Replay or GameShark or Code Breaker or, if you go far enough back, the Game Genie. They save hours of their lives, and they hurt absolutely nobody.

The argument against has gone that if you're cheating, you're not meeting the challenge the game has offered, and you can't actually say that you've beaten the game at the end. My response was: so fuckin' what? If you want to meet the challenge, that's great, I'm all for it. There are people who've actually beaten Battletoads, and I'm proud of them. But it is a game. It's recreation, and if somebody wants to do something that does no harm with a single-player game they purchased- by all means do it! We all have greater challenges to meet in our non-gaming lives, frankly.

The real issue, as I see it, is this: the game should be fun, and if there's one aspect of the game that is fun, and you can remove or streamline the parts that aren't fun, why shouldn't you? You're essentially doing something that developers should've done for you long ago. I've mentioned before that I feel the genius of Pokemon is that it took one of the most-hated aspects of JRPGs- level-grinding -and made it into the game itself. Made it into an artform. Disgaea does the same thing for level-grinding and stat-tweaking. Monster Hunter essentially does the very same thing with the optional boss: every major monster fight in Monster Hunter plays like the kind of protracted side-boss battle I'd come to dread in a Final Fantasy... and it works!

So to my way of thinking, this is one of the only circumstances where it is actually appropriate to bust out the old excuse "Don't hate the player, hate the game." The old standbys of this genre can be refined, perfected, and made fun instead of being an obstacle to fun. I'm not trying to make excuses for cheating- on a non-multiplayer game no defense is required because you're basically cheating at Solitaire. But if a game isn't making the most of its systems- making every aspect of the game enjoyable, which is obviously more than possible -whose fault is that?