Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mobile formatting added

OK, so now when this is pulled up on a mobile device it should reformat to fit. OK. More updates to come.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sorry I've Been Absent (new reviewing jobs)

Sorry I've been absent for awhile. I got new writing positions and I'm cranking out a new blog to cover it.
It is the first time I ever had work here in Hawaii, as opposed to all my other jobs in the mainland and beyond. So this weekend I'm woeking to get my first month article out this weekend to the Editor.
I'm still waiting on permissions to start working. I am already preparing my first batch of content to turn in ASAP once I get cleared.

Once I got the Nintendo page up I'll post the link here, then I'll post new review.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance on Game Boy Advance

How can a game be good, and yet still have it all ruined by such a thing as a plot driven device like in this game? Yet here we are, a game with detractors for the fact of a simple plot element.

It all starts in the normal everyday world, where you learn the game's combat system through a snowball fight, as well as meet the gang. Once you do the story begins as a mousy boy, possessing a magic tome, wills the world to change somehoe turning the world into Ivalice from Final Fantasy Tactics of which I'm still trying to review.

You must join a clan to survive, and find the world your in dominated by chocobo riding beings called Judges, the one reason why lots don't like this. Really. Are the judges that bad? In the game they throw their weight around bullying everyone, but that's part of the story (they're with the mousy boy who turned the world, apparently being manipulated by a woman who is probably not his dead mother.

Speaking of dead you seem to be cast in the role of the destroyer of worlds, ready to tear Ivalice apart in order to return home... especially since this isn't really Ivalice but a hollow reflection created by a sad boy who only wants his family whole again.

The gameplay is solid, of course, and the judges add an element of difficulty even if you are not a fan of judges, and yes you are eventually armed with means by which to neutralize judge's orders, or change them to suit your needs if I remember right.

I think critics of the judge thing are way too harsh. I don't like them either, but not enough to score down the game. The game doesn't deserve to be ranked down for an element like the Judges, and all my memories of the game are fond ones, so I'm scoring it a nice solid 4 positive judgements out of 5.

Once I played it long enough I'll review Final Fantasy Tactics, then I'll get in the Fall Final Fantasy Tactics War of the Lions for review. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Casual and Core Gamers in 2012

2012 may be a landmark year, the merger of the casual gamer and the core gamer, when Nintendo rolls out the Wii U. Made for the core gamer and next gen, a first for Nintendo, but not forgetting it's casual gaming roots. So, under the banner of Nintendo, casual and core may finally gather under one banner and one console... in the meantime that's why I put together two blogs... one for the casual and one for the core... so please enjoy and new reviews coming shortly. Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Replaying Dragon Warrior III again

That's why I didn't review it right away. Anyway next up is Poke'mon Crystal (Game Boy Color) on Friday.

Anonymous Notes From the Abyss Chapters 1 to 2

The problem with Nintendo's newest console, the 2012 Wii U, is the balancing act that Nintendo itself doesn't realize is coming. They're out to pursue the core gamers with their long overdue entry into the next gen cycle... but they need to leave a place for the casual gamer... which seems to be assured with first gen games like Pikman 3 and LEGO City Stories (seemingly a tongue in cheek parody of the Grand Theft Auto Stories franchise for the PSP).

But while we wait what is the latest entry into the vast scape that is bridging the gap between the casual gamer and the core gamer? It might be this, Anonymous Notes From The Abyss Chapter 1 to 2... almost, but not quite.

Split into bite sized real time combat RPGs, you play a different person each chapter, discovering the Abyss Hall for whatever reason depending on each character in question.

The dungeon diving is bite sized. X amount of exploring and creatures to fight. You gather gear, potions, gems and spells which carry over to the next chapter. Your ultimate goal is to uncover the boss of the Chapter, beat it, and then wait for the next chapter.

Story? Barely. You interact, barely, with the female guardian of the Abyss Hall who stores your extra gear (the only way to rid yourself of weaker gear as the game doesn't have a store to buy and sell stuff in) and she saves your game. That's it.

Could this game be better? Yes. It could stand a shop so you can sell weak gear you don't need, and the fame could stand to have free downloadable content to give the game a little distance between chapters. Then again this is a $2 a pop download game so I guess it is too much to ask for free dlc... sigh.

So this small bite of rpging is great for casual gamers... but unless your a fan of the From the Abyss series this might not be the greatest for core gamers... well, at least it is one more game to slowly seduce casual gamers into core gamers. Too bad though. While a great many games exist to gradually turn casual gamers to core gamers, only a few games (Professor Layton, Ace Attorney, Pikman, Mario Party and Mario Kart, etc) brings core gamers into the realm of casual gaming... sad. Anyway Anonymous Notes gets a 3 out of 5.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wii U for hardcore gamers?

Will the Wii U be the welcome back gift bringing core gamers back to the Nintendo brand? Every month in Wii U Life we'll try to answer those questions, even as we count down to the launch of the Wii U.

Wii U Life July 2011 is coming July 31st 2011, stay tuned for more info as we draw closer to the cast's premiere release!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Crystal Defenders (Sony PSP)

The first thing I have to scold Square Enix about is the mislabeling of this game. It says it has 300+ levels, but in reality it has 300+ waves spread out amongst a dozen maps (4 per world). But I guess I should have realized that given this game is a port of a mobile phone game so go figure... an overly ported game. Here, the Wii, I think even XBox360... and each has its own quirks... for instance you have to buy the Wii worlds seperately while this version is all the worlds and has more characters I think (they're from the DS Final Fantasy Tactics A2 release if your wondering).

Each world has a set of character types you use to defend the path to the crystals. Besides the core units similar to each world, fighters and mages and archers and thieves, there are unique classes each world loke time mages, dragoons, tinkers, and so on. Each have their abilities to fight ground, air, or both with special abilities at times to boot.

And having a balanced field of defense is key since monsters come with special restrictions. Aerials are immune to ground attack types, some monsters have resistance to physical or magic attack, while some steal multiple crystals or move fast or can only be attacked by magic casters.

Tower defense games are pretty addictive, if you understand their limitations. They are good, but kinda limited at the same time. This game features only a dozen maps, so in terms of tower defense games it is abit limited in scope. Still, even with that limitation it has the gimmick of the worlds. W1 maps are for beginners to get you started. W2 worlds add crystals that enhance your characters which can make a big difference in passing the four maps. Finally W3 is for experienced players looking for a challenge to chew on.

So the game is abit limited, but it does give you abit to challenge you too. So overall, if you embrace the limits and enjoy the quirks it is a rarher good game. Overall a solid 4 out of 5.

Wednesday - Dragon Warrior III for the Game Boy Color

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Reviews of the Week - July 11th to 15th

Upcoming reviews of the new week

July 11th - Crystal Defenders (PSP)

July 13th - Dragon Warrior III (Game Boy Color)

July 15th - Kingdom Hearts 358/2 (DS)

For the podcast versions of the reviews listen to PSP DLC Life Episode 3 and Retro Game Boy Life Episode 1 for the first review. Stay tuned to 3DS Life for my upcoming review of KH 358/2'

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A podcast for RPG and Strategy gaming?

I don't know, but if there is sufficent interest in such a thing I'll work on it. So I'll keep an eye on comments, post a voting poll later and watch how many followers the page gets. The more interest the better. Stay tuned.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Legend of Zelda : Link's Awakening DX

The first, and one of the greatest Zelda games ever, Link's Awakening is now available from the Virtual Console of the 3DS Shop, most timely given the fact we are now celebrating the Legend of Zelda's 25th Anniversaet... the first yet hopefully not the last we see in terms of Zelda games from the Virtual Console, but more on that shortly.

Link, which kinda reminds me of the Link from the odd rare non Nintendo released Zelda CD games, is shipwrecked on a seemingly time lost little island seperate from the rest of the world. Saved by a girl named Marin, who looks strangely like Zelda, Link is told by a talking owl that the only way to leave the island is to gather eight magical instruments from eight dungeons, and awaken from it's egg the sleeping Wind Fish.

Thus begins one of the greatest Zelda games ever told. Journeying across a nicd sized island domain in classic top down Zelda gaming style you quest to wake the Wind Fish, gathering gear both traditional and premiering for the first time in this game. You have a myriad of people to meet, monsters to slay, dungeons to dive into, many many gear to play with, fantastical bosses to slay (each getting stronger and stronger with each victory), side quests and your first mini game aka the crane game. Lots and lots to do... yes, the game is only 20 to 30 hours depending on your skills, but considering we've fallen in love with games half to 1/3rd shorter than this, aka God of War, 20-30 hours is a ton of gaming.

New to this Game Boy Color version as opposed to what you had in the original Game Boy version is a ninth dungeon, and a camera man to take advantage of the old Game Boy Color gimmick of the printer... wow, show of hands if you remember the old Game Boy Color Printer!

Otherwise it's all here, it's all cool... and it even sports cameos by Yoshi, Princess Peach and Kirby (as an enemy) so where can you go wrong reliving your Game Boy past picking this game off the 3DS Shop! You can't go wrong, you can't! A lovely 5 master swords out of 5!

Now to say that we're happy with just this classic, however, woild be just wrong. Hopefully within a matter if weeks the eshop releases Legend of Zelda Oracle of Ages/Seasons from the Game Boy Color era. An oft overlooked rare gem of a Zelda game great for any collection... once Nintendo puts it out on the Virtual Console... but I guess this is a "To Be Continued" topic isn't it... so stay tuned.

Next Review : Crystal Defenders from the Sony PSP
See you Monday!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New address for new direction!

New address!

First review coming up later today. We will review RPG and Strategy games for...

Mobile phone (virgin mobile)
Nintendo DS/3DS
Sony PSP

Adding the Nintendo Wii during the Fall.

2AM in the Morning

That's what time it is. 2AM.

I'll be back later to put up the first review... see about reviewing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday... night.

Oh well...

I honestly can't remember the last time I was in Kingdoms of Camelot, but I do remember leaving the domain this group was associated with because of crazy psycho thruster... and I still think it sounds like the name of a porn star... go figure.

Going to change this into full time coverage and reviews of RPG and Strategy games (and if I ever return to Facebook the review of soccial media mmostrategy.

So time to change over... since I am sure nobody visits no more.