Sunday, March 31, 2013

Archview #9: Dynasty Warriors 7

 So I don't need an HD TV for this one?(Ed's note: Dat neck)
 Ah, another Dynasty Warriors game, it's the same as the others.
 Still here? Good. I'm one of the few that actually enjoy Dynasty Warriors, and one of the few that's willing to give each entry a chance. I'd mention "what's new", but seeing how the last DW game I played was 4, I don't really know, so I'll be looking at it as an stand alone game, which is how most games should be looked at, even if they are sequels.
 What is Dynasty Warriors? It's the evolution of the sidescrolling beat'em up, the kind that was popular back on the SNES days.You play as a general of your choosing, around 60 for this entry, and are to lay havok on thousands upon thousands of grunts(As a matter of fact, there's a trophy for slaying over 3000 enemies on a single stage.). The game is pretty easy to pick up and play, there's a jump button, a normal attack, a charge attack(I like to call it the "modifier", more on it later) and a Musou attack. Normal attacks can be strung together up to 5 times... but press the charge attack in between the string to perform a completely different move, depending on when you use it during the string. The Musou attack is the screen-clearing special attack that requires a certain gauge to be filled.
 The game takes place on big, open areas, filled with enemy soldiers, in which you must usually take care of a certain general to finish the mission, but it's encouraged to defeat as many officers(Stronger soldiers) as possible, since they drop various permanent power ups. There are a few missions that get a bit annoying, specially in the Story mode, in which you must protect an absolutely brain-dead ally as it makes it's way to a certain spot. They tend to get stuck, or choose to engage even when low on health, to say that they need constant baby sitting is an understatement. Enemy AI is a bit dumb too, but if they were to attack you constantly, you'd be dead in seconds, seeing how it's 200 or more vs 1(The allies deal negligible damage when you are close by, so don't rely on them). By the way, enemy archers are overpowered. They deal a ridiculous amount of damage, always attack from behind enemy lines, and if you jump, can stop you dead on your track.
 There are about 62 characters and 31 weapon styles... which means there are a lot of clones. You can have up to two different weapons equipped(And can be changed just by going to the pause menu, even during battle). Each character has different affinities with each weapon, from getting slow charge attacks to being able to get extra gimmicks with a weapon. However, each character has a single EX attack, unique to each general, with his special weapon. This hardly makes it unique, the only things that differentiates characters are the two Musou Attacks and the EX attack, otherwise most characters can be reduced to clones. Sword specialists are specially abundant, and every character is proficient with swords, so if you are stuck with a character whose best weapons you don't like and isn't proficient with better weapons, you can just fall back to the Sword.
 Story mode is fantastic. Unlike previous entry, where each character would get a what-if-ish story mode, each Kingdom gets it's own story mode, and this time, it follows the Romance of the Three Kingdoms more closely. Voice acting is all over the place, some VAs, like Liu Bei's are amazing, but some of the others are decent at best. The soundtrack is fantastic, filled with the synthetic rock the series is known for, while having some excellent pieces, like the song that's played during "sad moments", proof of this, is scenes like Sun Jian's death, while the VAs try their hardest to ruin the scene, the music overcomes all, fitting the mood perfectly. Props to the Cut-scene director, they are incredible too, in spite of some of the VAs.
 The graphics are great, each general looks awesome, with pretty intricate armor designs. The same can't be said for the NPC generals and the common soldiers, housing less polygons than their peers, but they don't look too bad. The stages are a bit on the simple sad, and the props, like scarecrows or boxes can't be broken, which is a shame, but it's probably the cost of having so many soldiers on-screen at the same time. The FX are a bit on the bland side too, many of the sparks look quite bad, and are prone to clipping through the floor. Not a a huge deal, but it's noticeable, particularily on Sima Yi's EX move.

Besides Story-Mode, there's also Conquest mode. Sadly, for the first time in the series, as far as I know, Free Mode is absent, but Conquest mode is a better alternative... mostly. Conquest Mode provides over 100 different stages, of varying difficulty levels, and different goals. Escort Missions, conquering missions, dueling missions.... it all boils down to killing thousands of soldiers. One thing I like about the mode, is that it incorporates the What If stories from previous games into "Legendary Battles". Each general has a different set of Legendary Battles, they range from historically accurate to ridiculous, with Sima Shi being mad at Sima Zhao for eating his food.
 In both modes, you will amass gold, which is used to buy more weapons. This weapons come with built-in seals, that provides different bonuses. Defeat enough enemies with the weapon, and you'll master it, allowing you to use it's seal on different weapons. Each weapon has a different ammount of open slots, so you can customize your weapon to better suit your style. Grinding for stats is as slow as ever, with enemy general leaving +2, +4, +6, +8 or rarely and only on harder difficulties +16 strenght or defense power ups. Seeing how most generals start with 200-300 base stats, it's gonna take a while. There's also a relationship system with other generals, but it's a very shallow affair, and consists on taking them to you on battles for no rewards what so ever besides some dialogue lines.

 So, how do I feel about Dynasty Warriors 7? A game with untapped potential. Story mode is fantastic, graphics are great, for this type of game, but... characters feel replaceable with each other, they don't have enough differences between each other. Luckily, it seems DW 8 adresses it, since they made a different weapon for each character! And the few that share weapons, use them in very different ways, and the graphics look even better than now... oh yeah, I'm hyped. But enough about 8, this is seven.
 And DW 7 is a 7 out of 10.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Progress Report

 Oh boyo...
 Dynasty Warriors 7: Almost done with Conquest Mode, just a few more stages, and I'll review it. It's really good, and the most involved I've gotten in a non-spin off DW since 2. Near the end of April, I'll get DW 1 and start going from 1 to 7:Empires. Just hope I don't get burned out from all the repetitiveness. It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it.
 Alundra: 20 hours in, just got inside Murgg woods, don't know how much longer 'till the end. Alundra is fantastic, but some of the puzzles are nerve-wrecking, and the platforming is a mess, the latter which is probably what kept it from becoming a classic.
 Megaman Starforce 2 Zerker X Ninja: Oh boy... My interest in this game is fading. Starforce 1 was almost, almost as good as I remembered it. This one is... dissapointing... I mean, it's more of the same, but the story is not as engaging as the first game. Gameplay-wise? It's better. Graphically? A little bit better... but the Skyline is such a tedious affair... I'm 10 hours in, and I can't wait to wrap this one up.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sequels that got it Wrong: Shaman King: Master of Spirits 2

 I'm so cool, I've got a sister featurette to STGIR.
 On the other end of the spectrum, we have sequels that got it wrong. The kind of sequel that fixes nothing, maybe even makes it worse(Yes, I speak of Xenosaga episode 2, but there are other such sequels, albeit not as impossibly bad as that one). I'm not gonna start with Xenosaga 2, no, that'd be too easy. Instead, I'll save it for a... day in which I'm with a crappier mood, that game deserves no sympathy. So today, dudes and dudettes, we be talking'bout:
 Yay! Metroidvanias! I love me some Metroidvanias. Wait, it's also made by Konami? The Metroidvania creators themselves?!(You could argue that Nintendo were, since they did make Metroid, but I'm more fond of Castlevania romps), just what could go wrong?! Eh, a couple of things. Shaman King: Master of Spirits was a good game. It wasn't amazing, and it had some very tedious mechanics, but it was fun. A tad short, clocking in at around 5 hours(With 92% complete to boot). Then came the sequel...
 Most "good" sequels(Not the ones that "got it right", I'm referring to the lesser, but still good kind) simply tend to be "more of the same". On their defence, most games that get sequels are usually good enough to warrant and allow a sequel to be greenlit. Not in this case. All Konami did was add more of the same, while fixing nothing.
 Annoyance number 1: Travelling. Master of Spirits 1 wasn't your average Metroidvania. It was divided in many short sub-stages, but like every Metroidvania worth it's salt, they were filled with areas that you couldn't reach unless you had the right power up. This also means loads of backtracking. However, you couldn't just go from point A to point B, oh no, you had to go through EACH substage in between A and B. Yeah, near the end of the game you get an ability to bypass the stages, but you still have to enter the stage, then wait as the Dragon takes it's sweet time to get into the screen. And then you have to wait for it to carry you out of the screen, while taking his sweet a$$ time. Again. What did Master of Spirits do? They added a few Warp Zones here and there, not nearly enough to alleviate it. Even worse, it still takes a long time to get the Dragon again.
 Annoyance number 2: "Get the Dragon again". Yup, all the old abilitiees are back. Master of Spirits has a total of 90+ different spirits(Equipable power ups or skills). Guess how many of them are new? A measly 24. They are mostly overshadowed by the old spirits, however you likely won't get to use them, because...
 Annoyance number 3: Cumbersome abilities. Y'see, you can only take about 2 "Field abilities". You can have 4 presets, interchangeable with Select, but y'know what's fun? 8 slots are not enough. There are more than 8 types of obstacles, and you also need a combat setup, to fight bosses or enemies. These problems were already present in Master of Spirits 1. This means going to the menu, to swap spirits quite often, everytime you fail to predict what obstacle is next. Now couple this with the obnoxious amount of backtracking. Going through so many stages, and you will also need to change abilities accordingly, so that you can proceed. Other Metroidvanias don't have this problems, since they integrate your new abilities into your exisiting moveset. Maybe a second jump just by pressing jump again? How about sliding by crouching and pressing jump? No, that's too easy, Master of Spirits 1 and 2 want you to go through as many menus as possible. Fun.
 Annoyance number 4: If you clear the game, you can fight any boss, either from MoS 1 or MoS 2. Pretty cool, huh? A nice extra? During the Story-mode, you face 17 out of the... 19 or 20 total bosses. You copy me? 17 out of 19 or 20. Yup, you(probably/hopefully) guessed it... bosses are recycled from the first game. There are only 9 new bosses, and the returning bosses? Behave exactly like they did in MoS 1. Even in Castlevania, known for recycling most of the common enemies, they have the decency to make new bosses. Not here. But what's even better? You have to get the SAME abilities to get throught the SAME obstacles from MoS 1. It's basically the same game!
 Annoyance number 5: All the equipment pieces are from MoS 1. Yup, you go through the same 3 swords, which you must find again. You must go through the same 4-5 same armor pieces, which you have to find again. Did they even try....?
 For what it's worth, they did add a couple of new abilities, done with button combinations. There's also a couple of new enemies(Just a few). The stages are all brand new(As far as I remember) And there might be new music, I'm not much of a music guy, and I don't really remember.... Also, the game looks pretty good, it does use the Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow engine, but then again, most of the assets are reused. Back when I played Cardinal Syn, for as bad as it was, at least I could tell that the developers tried. Konami didn't even try with this one. Shaman King: Master of Spirits 2 is a sequel, a Sequel that got it Wrong.

Sequels that got it Right: inFamous 2

 Could it be...? An actual feature?
 So, umm... yeah, a feature, pop the champaigne and bring forth the trombones. Oh, and don't forget the confetti. As the name implies, here I will write about sequels that I feel almost completely overshadow the previous installment of the franchise. I'm not talking about a good sequel, say, God of War 2, Onimusha 2, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's chest(It was good), but something that goes beyond what one would expect of a sequel. Something that most people would agree that puts the previous installment to shame.
 And what better way to... debut this feature than to mention a game that surprised me...
 Ah! inFamous 2, probably my favorite PS3 exclusive so far. What makes it so much better than the prequel? It's actually... hard to say. It has a certain je ne se quois that makes it feel so good... but I will try to dissect some of the improvements.
 For starters, the city itself. inFamous 1 was set in a very urban area, comprised of three big areas. The whole game was very heavy on greys and browns, and while each area had a couple of distinguishing landmarks, be it the seaport, the park or what have you, it felt a bit samey. Then came inFamous 2, with a much more tropical look to it. The game uses many more colors, and it looks amazing. The city feels alive, and it's a joy to explore. Not to mention, that while still consisting of three big areas, each area is completely different, one is a normal town, with a few jungles on the outskirts, the second area is a flooded town, which means Cole has to take to the skies and rooftops, lest he wants to die, and finally, the third area is an industrial one, with power plants and what have you.
 Another thing they did right, Cole's powers. While Cole gets de-powered at the start of the game, he gains his old powers back shortly, and then some. See, in inFamous 1, the unlockable powers were mostly little gimmicks. Like the electric missiles, if you were Good Cole, you could direct them by shooting electricity close to them. If you were Evil Cole, you'd get two mini rockets alongside the big one. Oh yeah, being Good Cole sucked, you'd mostly get precision upgrades, and Evil Cole would get destructive ones. Here, while Cole doesn't upgrade his powers, and doesn't get "new" powers... he gets new variations. For example, instead of a Shockwave, you could use a slimmer one, but that'd travel further. Or one that would make the enemies float, instead of pushing them back. And Good Cole can get an ability that makes electricity do minimal damage to innocents, alleviating the need to be careful that one had to have in inFamous 1. It doesn't end there, the idea here is "expanding", midway through the game, you get a choice for Fire powers or Ice powers. For example, remember the shockwave? Now you get an ice version, in which Cole produces various ice shards and blasts them with a shockwave, not only is it as awesome as it sounds, it feels oh so satisfying.
 Cole got a new voice actor. Yup, they recasted the main character. I can't remember the reason why, but it proved to be good. Old Cole seemed to be trying hard to sound gruff, dark and tough. New Cole sounds a bit... dorky, initially, but eventually it grows on you. Not only does New Cole have a better voice acting overall, the voice ends up fitting him quite nicely and has some very badass boasts, taunts and lines, and as a result of his new voice, he becomes much more relatable.
 inFamous 1 story wasn't really all that amazing, but it had some great moments and an amazing plot twist at the end. While inFamous 2 doesn't have such a plot twist, the overall story is much better. There's more side characters involved, and they are much more than just "voices". Cole directly interacts with them a lot more, and the dialogues are quite interesting.
 So everything got better. Graphics? Prettier. Sound-design? Better. Gameplay? Better. Story? Better. But topping all those additions is... controlling Cole. Yeah, it's part of the gameplay, but something that shocked me was... how much better it felt. Parkouring in inFamous 1 was just a means to an end. In inFamous 2, I can't pinpoint why, maybe the fact that the city is much more interesing? Dunno, thing is, controlling Cole feels better. Tighter even.
 inFamous 1 was a good game. inFamous 2 is an amazing game. In fact, inFamous 2 is so good, it makes inFamous 1 worth playing, just so that you can get the full gist of the story. inFamous 2 is a Sequel that got it Right.

Monday, March 25, 2013

What is wrong with my Dynasty Warriors 7? Part 3

 It's 6 AM, just came back from the hospital. I'm shaking, I'm too scared to go back to my room and I don't know what to do. My friend came home to play this "cursed DW" as he mockingly called it... We booted up the game, and it skipped al cinemas and got right into the game itself. My friend doesn't play DW, so he didn't find anything odd, meanwhile, I knew something was gonna happen so I... I smiled. I didn't know this was gonna happen, I feel... I feel so stupid, so bad. I was such an idiot.
 Let's see if I remember it right, my mind is still a bit foggy, and I'm getting goosebumps all over. Heck, I just locked my room's door, just in case... Anyways, I think my friend was made to play as Xiahou Ba, and it was on one of the jungly stages. Everything was fine, allies weren't attacking him nor anything, so I went into the kitchen to fetch food, and when I came back.... My friend he... he was  convulsing frenetically on the floor, and I could tell he was bleeding from the nose.
 I called an ambulance, and while it got here, I unplugged the PS3, while the Cao Cao-Lu Bu on the screen was laughing in the creepiest, most hollow-like voice I've ever heard in my life.  Once in the hospital, the doctor started questioning me, and I didn't know what to say. My friend had never had any problems with convulsions, as far as I knew, and if I told them "A videogame did it" they'd think I was some kind of idiot, so I just stuck to "I don't know, we were just watching TV".
 Thing is, I don't know what I'm gonna do. I'm scared. I'm too scared. Every now and then I peek into the doorway just to check. Please, help me. Help me.

Help me. Help mendskohfahdshfkjasndkjsabdkjashdhgags dhasbjkdsa

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What's wrong with my Dynasty Warriors 7? Part 2

 I tried to play again after a good night sleep, and... oh man. I picked a random mission, and selected my tuned up Cao Pi. As soon as the mission started, my allies started HITTING ME. I tried hitting back, but my moves would go through them. I figured the game glitched, so I paused the game, to pick "End Mission" but as I went to pick the options I noticed... the game wasn't paused at all and I was getting hit!. Worst part? After I picked End Mission, the game just... unpaused. I tried again and same deal. I figured I'd just kill the enemies and be done with the mission, right? Wrong. Both enemies and allies were had it in for me, and  I was managing pretty well, untill I noticed... whenever I killed one of the enemies, my Kill counter wouldn't go up, and their HP would refill.
 It gets weirder. I started running from them, and Cao Cao appeared on top of a Black Red Mare. Weirder yet? It was Cao Cao's face on Lu Bu's body. He signaled at me, the PLAYER, with his sword and emitted a sound... the same sound from the glitched room from yesterday. Then a "Failed" popped up and I was allowed to exit the mission...
 Guys, I don't believe in supernatural stuff, but I'm pretty weirded out right now. I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about this. Should I keep playing or throw away my disc?

UPDATE: Koei's response:
Dear Ignacio,
 Thank you for purchasing DYNASTY WARRIORS 7, we recieved your inquiry, and this is the first time any of us at the offices had heard of anything like it. I asked the translation team and they said that no such line was recorded or even put into the script. My co-workers at QA said that your console might've overheated, and you probably thought that you had heard it. If problems persist, send us your disc, and we will send you a new one.
                                                      Chip Soon Sun, Community Manager at Tecmo-Koei
 Right, 'cause sending them my defective disc is totally posible from where I live. Regardless, I'm sure, SURE that I heard what I heard. Since my friends kept egging me on, and just to prove Koei wrong, I will play again tonight, when one of my friends comes over to check this out.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

What's wrong with my Dynasty Warriors 7?

 Hi guys, today's entry will be a little different, 'cause honestly, I'm incredibly creeped out right now. Y'see, my family just left for the holidays, but I stayed at home, so right now I'm completely alone in my apartment. Due to the LoL EU tournamente, I kinda haven't slept in like... 35 hours or so, so every now and then I start getting sleepy.
 Anyways, here's the deal, I was playing Dynasty Warriors 7, a game I love, and I was playing Zhang Liang's legendary mission 3. I noticed my conciousness started slipping every now and then, since I'd find myself on top of my horse running towards a wall, but as much as I tried to muster my energies, I was playing half asleep.
 Suddenly, I come to my senses and I'm stuck in a room, behind locked doors. What's funny, is that the sky is red, the clouds are black, and the walls surrounding me, including the big door are white. And for some reason the music got glitched, and started making funny noises. I tried hitting the walls, jumping towards them, searching for switches, mind you, DW 7 has no switches, but I was desperate. Also, the green arrow signaling my position was placed OUTSIDE the map. I don't have a capture card, but I taped it with my phone, so I'm gonna try to upload it on youtube after adding some words with Video Maker.

I dont even holy shit. I was editing the video, and while trying to get the damn program to unfreeze, I played it back... the sound WASN'T GLITCHED, and a perfectly clear voice could be heard saying "stop killing us or youll regret it" Holy fucking shit, english isn't my native language, so when I figured it out I shat bricks, literally. Im still scared.
Worst part?
The video got lost. The file on my cellphone got corrupted. Im freaking out right now. Maybe Im so tired Im messing up? I mean, right now I know im on my senses, but it doesnt make any sense otherwise. Dammit, my fingers are still shaking, so sorry if my typing is a little wonky. I'm gonna send Koei an E-mail, maybe I got into a debug Room, or it's some sort of joke? The voice was in english, so Koei's american branch is in the know.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Archview #8: Trauma Team

 A must-have Wii exclusive .
 Trauma Team is so unexpectedly good. I went in expecting another by-the-numbers motion-based Wii game... it was anything but. Trauma Team tells the story of 6 different doctors(kinda) and their exploits at Resurgam Hospital. Each doctor has a different speciality, there's Maria Torres, who deals with first-aid, she gets the easiest operations, but has to juggle multiple victims at once, Gabriel Cunningham of Diagnosis, in which you have to question and study the pacients to figure out what's wrong with them. Hank Freebird deals with Orthopedics, he gets to fix up bones, Tomoe Tachibana has the Endoscopy missions, which are the worst of the bunch, CR-S01, a criminal who lost his memory, but is a gifted surgeon gets the more complex operations, and lastly, Naomi Kimishima, who gets my favorite missions, forensics. You have to study the corpses, personal effects and crime scenes to determine the causes of death.
 Unlike most Wii-games of it's ilk, Trauma Team gets motion controls right. They feel good, and the game wouldn't be the same without it. The Endoscopy controls are a bit cumbersome, and there's some positioning annoyances with it, other than that, these motion controls work. As stated before, there are many specialties, but they can be divided in two kinds: Operations and Exploration. Diagnosis and Forensics deal with exploration and deduction. They only require you to point at places or dialogue boxes and investigate. Operations, however, have you pointing with the Wiimote in order to use the various tools, selected with the analog on the Nunchuck.
 The story is told via some amazing artwork. There's not much animation, but with such a detailed and colorful art, you kinda don't mind it. The graphics during the operations are very simple, but they get the job done. It's easy to tell what is what, and they also use bright colors, keeping in line with the art. The music I found to be appropiate for the game, and the ending theme is a bit addictive, albeit a bit cheesy. Voice-acting is...variable. There is some great voice acting on some of the characters, and others are a bit weak. The dialogue is as cheesy as it can get, with Tomoe mentioning "The path of honor" at least 1 per episode, or Hank speaking of "Justice" every chance he gets.
 The game lasts a good 15-20 hours, if you don't skip cut-scenes(Which you shouldn't). You can tackle the story-mode either by character or following the timeline, eventually all the timelines meet for the 13-chapter long finale. There are about 8-10 different operations per character, 3 different difficulty levels(Not applicable for Diagnosis and Forensics) and multiple challenges per level, so there's a bit of replay value, but not unlockables of worth(Unless you enjoy the art-less "Extra" audio quips).
 Albeit initially jarring, the game mixes some very dark storylines, like the sweet old lady whose tumor made her hallucinate, which in turn, made her kill her daughter and attempt to murder her spouse, with some light-hearted elements, like Tomoe being a Ninja(And having a ninja buttler to boot!) and one of the doctors moonlighting as a hero(He dresses in spandex and acts the part!). Surprisingly, it works, and the game will make you care about some of the characters!
 What can I say? The game is amazing. I wasn't expecting that from a "Doctor's game", but it's really good. The gameplay is fun, the story is engaging and it proves that motion controls don't necesarily suck. Trauma Team is a must-have for any Wii-owner, even if not a fan of the genre(Is it even a genre?), they should give it a try. I did, and I was not dissapointed.
 It's a 9 out of 10.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Archview #7: Cardinal Syn

 It was bad.
 Cardinal Syn is not your typical fighter. In fact, it has more in common with Power Stone than anything. Matches are 1 v 1, in a big arena, filled with hazards and items, you even get a run button for 8-way movement around the arena.
 You have 3 types of attacks, Low, Horizontal and Vertical, certain combination provide... strings(more on this later), and characters get a couple of special moves. Blocking is done with a button, which is also used for parrying enemy attacks. Jumping is also done with a button, you get pushes and grabs with another button and then there's the free run button. Options, the game provides in spades, much more than your average fighter of it's era, it's a shame the gameplay itself sucks.
 Y'see, strings are not like the Strings from other 3D fighters. Here, the oponent can block after the first hit hits, what does it mean? There are no true strings. After the first hit, it's a guessing game, a guessing game in which the CPU always has the edge, since it knows what's coming. This game should be played with another person(If you can convince anyone, maybe put Tekken's cover on the case?). There are only two ways for the strings to work 100%: attack from behind or juggling. Oh yes, there is juggling, but it feels awkward. Sometimes, when the jugglee is too close to a wall, his position will "reset" closeby, it looks really odd, like most of the game!
 The game also has items around the arena.... which is an oddly half baked system. There are chests around the stage, and they may contain one out of four items: A sword, which enhances you strenght, an Orange potion, which restores HP, a Blue potion, which lets you use your special and bombs, which explode on contact.... Four items? it feels unfinished, you are better off turning off items. Yes, the developers had the foresight to allow you to disable hazards and items.
 Character designs are bad, and the graphics are bad too. Surprisingly, the stages themselves look good, and a couple of them are really cool. The game has many little details, like characters getting hurt(They will show cuts on their bodies) and blood spatters stay on the ground. Also, hitting a wall will make your weapon bounce off it(leaving you open for an attack). It's little things like these that show that, at least, they tried. There are also some really crappy intros and endings.... for each of the 18 charactes. They tried.
 The Single Player mode is hard, even on easy, due to the CPU's ability of knowing how you are gonna attack next. It doesn't help that there is are no movelists in the game, forcing you to look up the moves online. Each character unlocks another one, which sounds cool, until you realize that they are mostly clones of the unlocker, like Kensei, except that these character designs are worse. At least they each have their own intro, ending, stage and fatality.
 Cardinal Syn is a bad game, it has some very dumb design decisions, like blocking during strings, but the little things show that they tried to make a good game. They tried.
 It's a 3 out of 10.

First ArchImpressions: Alundra & Cardinal Syn

 Who holds a sword like this?
 Yeah! Filler! Before the Trauma Team review!. Anyways, Alundra, it's awesome. Seriously. I'm 2-3 hours in, and while I'm not a Zelda fan, and this is a Zelda clone, I love it. I have a few issues with it, though, first of all, no map. The Dungeons, so far, are small enough as not to need a map, but the overworld? It's easy to get lost. Also, I know Working Designs cut some their HP, but bosses still have too much HP. Enemies too. Can't wait to get a new Sword!.
 Props to Working Design for their translation, they always keep the same flair and humor in their translations. Bonair's chapter was a riot!. Speaking of Bonair, that's the last thing I played, so I'll be picking up from there.
 Yes, I bought this game. My quest to own each and every PS1 fighting game demanded it. And.... it was better than I thought. Maybe it's because I expected an unresponsive disaster, judging from everything I had read and seen before buying it, that I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe because I played it with a friend, which might've made it more tolerable. But after selling him on the idea "This game is gonna be so bad. I knew it was bad before I even bought it", we both agreed: It's not THAT bad.
 Oh oh oh! And and... Progress Report! I'm about halfway done with replaying Megaman Starforce 2, this time I picked Ninja(Instead of Saurian). I remembered it as the weakest in the trilogy... and I was right. Starforce 1 is great, Starforce 2 is just... more of the same, slightly refined. I can't wait to get to Starforce 3(Which I remember as being the best Starforce game). 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Archview #6: Earth Defence Force: Insect Armageddon

 Now this game is right up my alley....
 EDF is an arcadey third-person shooter, and like most arcadey games, that means it's just the game I like. No frills, much thrills straight to the point action, and that's the way I like it. The game is very simple, Aliens have manipulated insects genetically, making them enormous and able to spew damaging liquids(Or damaging cobwebs in the case of spiders), and are using them to invade and ravage earth, and it's up to the Earth Defence Force to stop them.
 You get to pick from one out of four different classes. Each class has different weapons avaiable to them, and each one has different perks. The Battle Armor is slow, but has a Shield and some Energy Attacks, and can take damage like a sponge. The Jet armor grants flight, but flying and reloading now share a regenerating Energy Bar, which if depleted, takes a long while to recover. The Tactical Armor provides different kind of turrets, and lastly, the Trooper, which has no special gimmick, but gets faster reload and reviving speeds. Before each missions, you get to pick two different weapons, but since this is a very arcadey game, ammo is unlimited, with the tradeoff that reloading takes a while. If your timing is good, you can halve the time by pressing reload at the right time.
 Visually, it looks like a PS2 game, which is to be expected from a budget game, but then again, PS2 graphics are not bad. On the plus side, there's little to no slowdown, even when the screen gets crowded with insects. Most of the structures in each stage are destructible, which is awesome. The music is serviceable, and the voice acting is passable. There are loads of cheesy lines, and they sometimes tried to add some funny lines... but they are not too funny. Sound effects are a bit to low, so it's a good idea to temper with the sound settings. They should have added subtitles, since most of the dialogue gets lost amidst the explotions and the gunfire.
 Something that got on my nerves a bit was the lack of damage feedback. It's hard to tell if you are actually hurting or hitting something, since there are no audio cues and the little blood spatters from bullet-based weapons are hard to see, the enemies don't even flinch, so they proceed to move as if nothing.
 The game is quite short, with a total of 15 levels spread throughout 3 chapters. The game lasts about 2 to 4 hours on Normal, but higher difficulties will take more time, since enemies get harder to kill, even with higher tier weapons. This, being an arcadey game, was made with replayability in mind, and after you beat it, you unlocked remixed mode, with different enemies on the levels. There's also a Survival Mode. Oddly enough, while Campaign and Remixed Campaign allow for Online or Offline Co-Op, Survival Mode can only be played Cooperatively online. It also has loads of weapons per class. Classes also level up, but it takes a long time to level up each one, perhaps a bit too long. The few enemy types do get a bit repetitive after a while.
 There are quite a few different Vehicles and Turrets on some levels, which help alleviate the repetitiveness, but on higher difficulties, your weapons will probably be much more usefull. This game is better played on Co-Op, since the AI is a bit dumb. For example, they won't sprint to revive you, instead settling for running while shooting. Also, even if they have an enemy right on their face, they will still use explosives and harm themselves. And both of those things don't mix well together, they will die before getting to your corpse! 
 Earth Defence Force: Insect Armageddon is a very good game, but it could've use some more time in the oven to iron out some quirky bugs, enhance the AI and maybe add 5 more levels. Regardless, if you are looking for an action packed game that is not trying to be something else, you can't go wrong with it.
 It's a 7 out of 10. 


Monday, March 18, 2013

Archview #5: Punch-Out!!

 I don't like it, but it's a great game...
  Punch-Out!! is a bit hard to describe... it's not your typical boxing game. For starters, you don't get to move around the Ring, being limited to side steping and ducking, there's also blocking, but latter oponents can't be blocked, so it's better not to rely on it. For offence, you get left jab, right jab, righ hook and left hook, and fulfilling certain conditions(They vary from oponent to oponent) you get Stars, up to three of them(Which are lost upon being hit), that allow you to unleash "Star Punches" for, excuse the expression, massive damage.
 The game is very arcade-like, fitting, seeing how the Punch-Out series actually started on the arcades. It consists on going through different oponents, 13 of them, to become... number 1? There's no real story to the game, befitting of an arcadey game, but there's no real need for it either. You do get some really good looking picture-slides before each oponent, giving them a semblance of background, and every time you clear a circuit, a "Little Mac training" cut-scene is played. Each boxer is completely diferrent from the other, with different patterns and moves. The game is... quite challenging actually, but memorization and reflexes are key. You can defeat each boxer through trial-and-error, figuring out what and when to dodge or counter and how to aquire stars. It's been a long time since I last had to take notes for a game, but learning the patterns will net you victory.
 Graphically, the game looks amazing, one of the best uses of cell-shading I've ever seen, and each boxer is incredibly expresive. The models also show damage, from bruises and band-aids to their rattled hair. It look awesome, but it's the least it could do, seeing how there's such a few amount of things needed to be modelled for the game. The music is very lively, and a very neat touch is how each boxer speaks in it's native tongue, and with the appropiate accent.
 The game also packs a lot of content. There's 13 different boxers, and once you beat them, you unlock Title Defence, where those 13 boxers get a makeover... and so do their movesets. Some of them are completely different from their normal versions. Each version of each Boxer has 3 different challenges to complete, adding further replay value. There's also a hidden 14th fighter, unlocked by meeting him in the incredibly challenging Last Stand Mode, where after 3 losses, the mode becomes unaccesible unless you start a new game. And they say Nintendo only makes kiddy games!
 The game does almost nothing wrong, and it's very hard to find flaws with it. One could argue that 12 out of the 14 characters are taken from previous games, and there's only one real new boxer, since the 14th is a guest character. Some could also take offence on how some characters are a bit racist in their stereotypical designs. One could also complain about how basic the Multiplayer mode is, which it is, but it's the first Punch-Out!! to ever feature multiplayer, and it was never meant to be more than a diversion from the Single Player mode.
 All in all, Punch-Out!! manages to do everything it set out to do perfectly. There's no real flaws with the game, which is a shame, since I didn't really like it!(Not my type of game). However, for fans of the genre, Punch-Out!! is a must have.
 It's a 9 out 10

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Getting Reacquainted: Punch-Out!!

 This game is hard as balls.
 After an extended hiatus from playing this game, I finally picked it back up... and it's so not my kind of game. It's completely reflex-based, so if you have a keen eye and lynx-like reflexes, you shouldn't have any trouble with it. The rest of us are cursed to forever hover over the "Retry" button in order to somehow salvage our record.
 For what it's worth, the game looks gorgeous, I know I said Metroid OM was the best graphics I've ever seen on the Wii, and while I do stand by it, when it comes to character models, Punch-Out!! takes the cake. They look shiny, colorful and lack jaggies. They also have some very expresive faces, and they take combat damage! Seeing bruises in their abs, from Mac's hammers of justice is quite satisfying.
 Worth noting, while Nintendo tried their darndest to make it easy... it's still quite hard, at least in Title Defence mode. Sure, you can mash 1 and 2 while your oponent is on the floor to heal a bit. You can press "-" in between rounds(Only works once per match) to restore some health. And you even have the chance, by mashing 1 and 2 while falling to the floor, to get a "second chance"... but it is still hard.
 Well, this time, however, I plan on finishing the game before ejecting the disc, I just wish I get to unlock Donkey Kong. Game's so hardcore, during Mac's Last Stand, you only get three tries, no "Quitting" or "Retrying" if the match isn't going your way, and if you don't meet DK during your run, you'll need to start a new file. I hate this game.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Archview #4: All Kamen Rider: Rider Generation

 That was fast....
 All Kamen Rider: Ridener Generation was a game I was pretty hyped for, and it didn't dissapoint, for the most part. KR:RG is a side-scrolling beat'em up game in which you take control of your Kamen Rider of choice and a CPU-controlled ally. It's a very simple, very short and quite solid affair.
 The controls are very simple, Y is a weak attack, that can be mashed into a 4-5 hit combo, X is a stronger attack that pushes back the enemy and can be comboed into with Y. Then you have A, that provides 3-4 special attacks,  B is your jump button, R is an special ability(Unique to each Rider), L is block and L+A unleashes the Hissatsu Attack. You can also carry Health Pills, which by touching the lower screen completely refills your HP. Very basic, yes, but it works and provides more options than your average Sidescrolling Beat-em up.
 There's a large amount of characters to choose from, 29 in all, and most of them have very unique moves. All the main Riders up to Fourze are in the game, and there's a couple of "sidekick" riders, like Birth and V2. One issue, is that certain characters are much more developed than others. Some characters have 3 A moves(Jumping, Neutral and Side), but some of them have Up+A specials. Each character has a "Special Ability", but some of them are quite useless, like gaining a power-up when low on health... while others get extra moves by pressing R. Speaking of extra moves, most of the latter Riders had many forms in the TV Show, and this forms are used for ther Special moves.... except OOO and W, by pressing R, gain access to those forms, meaning that OOO is basically 6 different characters(Even different Y combo between each form!) in 1 and W is 3 in 1. It's sad, because other Riders have enough moves in the source material to permit them form changes, but they only get to use them in their special attacks.
 The game is very short, 3-4 hours tops. It's divided in 5 worlds, each with 4 levels and 1 boss level. There are also 2 extra stages per world that get unlocked via passwords(16 digits passwords), it's annoying to type 10 different 16 digit passwords, and it was a dumb decision to make them password only. There's a couple of "obstacle" courses, they are not very fun, but they are short enough. Most levels are very easy(Normal difficulty), and quite short, which makes the game easy to play on the go. Surprisingly, the last boss is pretty hard, so you might want to level up a bit and clear some missions to raise the health pill limit before tackling him. Ah, yes!, missions, the game has replay value in the form of missions, they range from using a certain character on the level to not using Health pills..
 The presentation is top-notch, featuring big, well-animated sprites. The Riders themselves move like they did on their shows, which is a great plus, and most of the bosses are taken from the show themselves. It's a shame there's so few of them, 'cause they up the "Kamen Rider value". On the other hand, backgrounds are very plain and unexciting, you might as well play on a white void and you wouldn't notice. The music serves the game, and while I'm not sure if all the original voice actors are in(Kiva doesn't sound like Wataru...), the sound effects are legit. I never get tired of "Midnight Fever!" from Tatsulot!.
 All in all, it's a very solid game, it's a shame it's so damn short.
 It's a 7 out of 10.

First Archimpressions: All Kamen Rider: Rider Generation 1

 It's what I expected, mostly.
 And that is a good thing. AKR is a side-scrolling beat'em up in the same vein as Final Fight or Streets of Rage. While not overly complicated, it does offer more options than those games, presenting players with a Weak Combo Attack(Y), a Strong Attack(X) and the Special Attack(A), that coupled with the directional pad nets you two or three special attacks. The animation is superb, but the backgrounds are kinda lacking.
 So far, I'm enjoying the game a whole lot, it's fun, BUT, you will need a guide of sorts, since this game was never localized, and in order to unlock some of the Riders, you need to know what the mission objective is, other than that, it's smooth sailing.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Archview #3: Xenoblade Chronicles

 Spoilers: It's the best JRPG I've played since Persona 4.
 Grab the big, open spaces of your favorite Western RPG, add the narrative focus of your favorite Japanese RPG and mix it with the battle system of an MMORPG and you get Xenoblade, and that's the fastest way to describe it.
 Xenoblade tells the story of two giants, who were locked in deadly combat, until eventually they killed each other, and life was born on both of them. Mechons on Mechonis and Homs(Humans) and other races on Bionis. For many years the Mechons have been attacking the Bionis, and the races of Bionis had no means to defend themselves but the Monado, an ancient sword that hurts the wielder, but allows them to destroy Mechons. This sword finds it's way into Shulk hands, granting him the ability to see into the future, an ability that he will need in his quest for vengeance. The story is very good, with a marriage of original ideas and stablished tropes, told via excellent cut-scenes that never fail to impress.
 The game play like a western RPG in that the enviroments are huge, and you can reach any place that you can see. Waterfalls in the distance? You can reach them. Towers? You can reach them too. Nothing, absolutely nothing is out of limits. The game has a great sense of scale and has some amazing views from some of the highest points in the game's world. It has to be said, that since it's so huge, travelling is slow. You can make it a bit faster by inserting gems into your equipment, but it's not enough. Swimming, in particular, is very slow, and some of the high-level areas can only be reached by swimming, making it a chore to reach them. The game does allow fast-travel to many Checkpoints in each area, and you can fast travel anytime you are out of combat and to any place, regardless of where you are, making it quite convenient.
 Another problem with the huge areas are towns. Getting quests can be a bit of a hassle, since you need to find the NPCs on the town... NPCs that may be avaiable only at certain times. So you need to comb the city both at night and during the day just to search for quests. And there's no way to know if new quests popped up, and the map only shows you the Quest Symbol if you are close to the NPC that has a quest, so be prepared to return to the towns after every major plot point and comb the cities. Again. And search the cities after completing quests too, since each quest completed raises your affinity with the town, which in turn, opens up more quests.
 The Combat system feels out of an MMORPG. You control one character, in a party of three, and autoattacks are automatic. You can move the character around to reposition him, and on the lower part of the screen you have a customizable pallette with all the Arts you brought. There's no mana, so Artss are ruled by Cooldown only, also, there are no items, so combat is based solely on Arts. Unleash many Arts, and you'll raise the three-segment tension bar, which allows you to revive fallen comrades or use the Chain attack. Chain Attacks freeze the enemies, and allows you to use one Art per character, though if you raise the affinity between characters, you may get the chance to use more arts. Shulk's ability to see into the future affects battles too, so when a enemy is about to use an attack that'd kill a ally, Shulk gets a vision of it, granting you time to stop the enemy or make it change targets.
 The game looks amazing, while character's faces are a bit emotionless, all the areas in the game look incredible, and the character are well animated. Different armor pieces actually look different on the characters. There are about 9 different looks per armor piece, with different colors, and most of them look really good, and they are are reflected in the cut-scenes! The music is fantastic, and the voice acting is excellent. The britsh voice actors also bring a certain freshness to the dub, since it's usually American VAs who dub games. And the game has lots of little details, like the characters speaking with each other during and after combat, and optional "Heart-to-Heart" spots, where you can watch a short cut-scene between two characters, adding depth to their personas.
 Xenoblade is a LONG game, it's not your average 40 hours RPG. If you are gonna play Xenoblade, get ready to make a commitement with it. The game has a lot of content, be it sidequests(There are over 450 different quests.), the world itself, the optional Heart-to-Heart moments or even secret areas.
 It does have a few shortcomings though, mainly, some of the "gathering" quests. Everywhere you go there are blue spots on the ground, these spots are Items that can be collected, and "what" item they are is completely random. Some quests task you with gathering a certain amount of a certain item, and finding them can be a real pain in the a$$, you might find yourself going from one end of the area to the next multiple times just praying to find that last item. Then there are the rare drops. Some quests task you with gathering certain enemy drops, and sometimes, it'd be a quantity of a rare drop from a rare enemy, so you are gonna have to rereturn to the same area to make the enemy respawn until it drops the damned item. And with Unique Monsters, you are gonna have to soft-reset in order for it to respawn. This is not fun. My last gripe would be with the amount of HP monsters have, normal battles can last a wee bit longer than needed, having level 20 enemies endure more than 4 autoattacks from a level 60 character is not amusing.
 Luckily, it's few flaws don't put a damper on the whole experience. Xenoblade is a game that was worth the wait, and quite probably the best JRPG released this generation. Right now, it sits among my favorite RPGs, a feat I never expect from Monolith Soft, creators of Xenosaga and other underwhelming games. If you have a Wii and like RPGs, Xenoblade Chronicles is a must have.
 It's a 9/10

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Romance of the Three Princesses

 Or how I learnt to like Twilight Princess.
 It's no secret that I'm not the biggest of Zelda fans, but I do enjoy the series. Searching through online stores, I found Twilight Princess, used, at a decent price, the owner said no scratches, so I bought it, turns out "no scratches" meant "quite a few". Still, I didn't notice 'till I got home, so I was screwed. I hoped for the best and played the game, but it was annoying. Every now and then, be it gameplay or cut-scene, the screen would go dark and "Problems reading the disc" would appear on the screen. I had to remove it, and insert it again, praying it'd work. At 35ish hours I finished the game, missing 3-4 heart containers, and only using a guide to find the bugs. My final conclussion? "Overrated, the game is bad, how can people like it?", regardless, I kept in mind that I had to get a new disc, since I want working discs on my collection.
 Days went by, and I found another used Zelda. Once again "No scratches", according to the seller. Guy lived so far, I had to go by bus(I like walking) to get the game. Got the game, returned home and... More scratches, same condition as the previous disc. I even tried it, and it presented the same problems. Bummed, I cursed the destinies, since I needed a third Zelda disc. For what it's worth, the Twilight Princess discs allowed me to install Homebrew on my Wii, so it wasn't a complete waste.
 Then, Nintendo announced it's "Player's choice" line, among them, Zelda: Twilight Princess. It was my chance. However, I decided to buy a slightly more expensive vanilla Twilight Princess, to get the white box, new, so that it'd have no scratches. Since I was gonna buy it again, I decided to replay it, as not to waste so much money, again, just for a ornament. This time, I used a guide to get all the heart containers, since I already went through the game once. 31 hours in, I finished the game with everything done. Only this time, the fact that it didn't have any "Unreadable disc" annoyances, I played the game straight, and.... I enjoyed it a lot. This was the "darker" Zelda I've been craving, while still retaining the more lighthearted elements of the series. It's a shame Link lost some of the expressions he had on Wind Waker, but the weirdness Zelda is known for was intact.
 I managed to sell the other discs, but branding them as "Slightly scratched"(Hey! They ripped me off first). The first sell was a bit odd, the guy thought I was selling the Gamecube version of the game, and they(He came with his kids) wanted to try the game. They didn't seem to friendly, so I faked " Oh, sorry, I don't live here, it's my friend's. I live further down the street". Initially they didn't want to buy the game, so I went to the university... only to get called midway, they changed their mind, and wanted to buy it, as to resell it later. I went back, only that I went further away from my house, as to return from the other side, since I was going to my "real" house. Sold the game, got the money. The second sale was nothing remarkable, so no funny stories there.
 And so ended the era of the three Zelda discs, and my hate for Twilight Princess.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Online Adventures of a Kid and Dial Up Internet

 You can take the Kid out of a Troll, but you can't take the Troll out of the Kid.
 Ah, yes, Dial-up internet, how I don't miss thee. Going online was more expensive, and you'd occupy the telephone line, so everyone would be on your back. "Get off! I need to make a call" and all those party-pooper lines trying to cut short my adventures. Nevertheless, adventures I had, and adventures I'll tell, starting with...
  Dark Ages was my first foray into online-gaming, I read about it in a GamePro magazine, and I liked what I saw, so at the first chance I got I searched for it and found it. The game had a level cap of 10 or 14, and afterwards you'd have to pay to keep playing, but, for some reason my main character(I made smurfs) Archile got bugged, and I could keep on playing, granted, I couldn't level up, but the game was awesome, so I didn't mind. To be honest, I don't remember much about the game, but I know that I used to be that guy. Yes, the guy that would shout "FREE EQUIPMENT PLEASE" and the like, luckily people were friendly and they'd drop stuff. For what it's worth, I gave out some equipment to beggers too. My fondest memories lie with a pink-haired girl avatar, being young, I assumed girl avatar=girl, so that was my first internet crush. We'd quest together, me being the Warrior, and she the healer, but eventually she stopped playing, but I kept going on.
 I remember one night in particular, where I partied up with 4 other Warriors, and we went to tackle the upper levels of a cave. Whenever one of us died, since it was a hardcore game, all of your stuff would drop when you died, we'd stand in a cross, around the fallen items, so that other players wouldn't steal their stuff. Even though they protected my items when I died, I do remember stealing a pendant from one of them. Nobody noticed, not even the owner. Ah! Five-finger discount, always reliable.
 Not an online-game per-se, but this is the site that made me. Funny thing, since I was a minor at the time, I wasn't allowed to create an account, so I faked age, and as soon as I turned 18, switched the birth date to the real one. I don't remember why or how, but I got hooked into the Forums, and had all kinds of adventures in there. My greatest achievements was being in the top 10 users with most reviews and Blams, but eventually I grew up and decided to make better, longer reviews( I did mention that this site molded me, right?) since I enjoyed writing them so much, and my previous reviews were pretty bad, one sentece reviews are lame after all!. I had a nemesis in here too, Tanner, a mod. For some reason, I developed a strong animosity towards him, so I'd make Topics like "Tanner the Banner", "Tanner the Faggot"(I was a kid, cut me some slack), "For Tanner" and the ilk, and proceeded to insult him. Or his mom. For some reason, even though he closed the Topics, rarely would he ban me. If I got banned, it was from other mods, Tanner himself probably found it amusing.
 While I wasn't a household name in the site, I was one of the first members of the LatinGrounds "spinoff" site, where Spanish-Speakers banded together. I made loads of online friends through LatinGrounds, among them Nacho-GS, my namesake, which whom I'd spent hours speaking and trolling with. Sadly I fell out of touch with him, but my god did we troll. He wasn't too keen on English, so I'd usually translate for him, and he too joined on my Tanner posts. One Troll that got us temporarily banned of LatinGrounds, was when one of us pretended to be Oscar, the mastermind behind Latingrounds, and fooled another member. It was so worth it. We were awesome.
 But all of these memories pale when compared to my Master Troll. The was this guy, Phantasmal_lx or something like that. I liked his Signature Banner(An animated gif), so I stole it.... and placed it under my sig. Since I was a young troll, and I wanted to troll, I copied all his personal info into my personal page, images, links, everything, and then changed my name to something similar, I guess it was "_Phantasmal_lx". Thing is, I started to stalk him, and post wherever he posted. He, for some dumb reason, changed his name to something different, and then I had my chance. I STOLE HIS NICKNAME. Next step in my Troll Gambit, was to search his post history, and I found it... a Photo of him, posted by him. Back then, the "Photoshop me" Topics were quite popular, so I made one with his photo. Many users chimed in, Wade Fulp, Admin of Newgrounds and Brother of Tom Fulp, the founder, made a photoshop too. It was glorious. Later he made Topics talking about me, he even e-mailed Wade Fulp about me, and was pretty pissed that even Wade photoshopped him. He cried that using his photo wasn't permited(Which many users corrected him, once you make it public, it becomes public.) and that he changed his name so that he wouldn't be associated with me. Of course, it didn't make sense, so most users, Wade Fulp included, didn't believe him. I had an earlier join date after all, so if someone was trying to ape someone, it was him. Some users, the minority, actually reasearched the case and figured I used to be named Archile, but it didn't make a difference. I had officially stolen his existance. I actually wrote in one of his Topics, saying "Why would someone do that((Steal his nickname))?", I was having a riot.
 Last thing worth mentioning, this is the site where I created the Archile persona(Oops, I think this segment should've come before Dark Ages. My bad), but before Archile, my first nickname was War_Striker. I came upon that nick name while trying to name myself "Cloud Strife"(Lame, I know), Strife became Strifer, then Striker. And Cloud somehow turned into War. Funny!
 One of my favorite game franchises( Part III is part of my backloggery at the moment, but after playing the Demo, I can say that it's a game with the name Dungeon Siege, but not a Dungeon Siege game. It's still fun though) ever, Dungeon Siege. The first game had an online component, and I trolled the sh!t out of it. The first step into my Dungeon Siege legacy was getting the Hacked spell, "Of Agony Of Agony". This spell would raise your stats way past the limits of the game, turning you into a killing machine. After enough begging in PVP game, some kind soul gave it to me, and afterwards, there was no going back. I'd make "hardcore" PVP rooms, which meant that if you died, all of your items would fall. I bid my time as people came, and I'd slay them, Kick them out of the room, grab their items and sell them. I was mean. I remember one guy in particular who kept coming back "Please, I need them". Poor fool, I'd let him join, kill him again(This time he'd drop nothing), taunt him, and kick him again. One surefire way I had devised of getting victims was naming the rooms "Noob Helper", "Agony of Agony for everyone!" or "Double Experience mods".
 There was one guy that had a complete hacked armor set, and when I hit him, his armor would reflect the damage. I'd do so much damage, that said blow would kill us both. All of our items would fall out, and even though I kicked him out of the room, he kept coming back, and having to grab my items from the huge pool of items was a daunting task. Still, I kept some of his hacked items, since they were better than mine. By this time, I had already dipped my feet into the world of mods, so I had a x4 inventory size mod, which allowed me to keep the Freeze and Molten armor sets, and grab everything my victims would leave behind.
 For what it's worth, before finding out about the For Agony For Agony spell, I had played a lot of multiplayer. I had made some allies which whom I'd play after my bed time. Heck, that's how I found out about the hacks, one of said friends lent me a hacked Sword so that I would have an easier time on the harder dungeons. Thanks to him I found out about Rejuvenating potions too!
 My adventures in this game are many, so I'll just mention the highlights, starting with my own code of rules. Yes, I am a troll, but I keep it as a rule not to rage at teammates. Unless they rage at me. Enemies, on the other hand, are fair game, so I always keep a finger over the Shift Key, for a swift "/all lol @ [insert enemy champion's name]".
 What made me infamous was Twisted Fate. I had two topics made in my... dishonor?. Y'see, Twisted Fate was redesigned at that time, and he had some bugs... like TF's skills working on turrets. That made him a Turret Killing Machine. Nothing could stop him, if you built him right(Which I did). I'd be the team carry, even if I ended 3/28/2. Every time I ulted towards a turret, the enemies had to stop whatever they were doing in order to stop me, otherwise, their tower would fall in seconds. Seconds. One game lasted more than an hour, since an Enemy Cho'Gath decided to stay at the nexus, protecting it from me. I'd ult in, damage it a bit and get killed. We were at a deadlock...'till I bough Guardian Angel and destroyed their Nexus. Cho'Gath got so mad he actually wrote in the forums, and while he didn't say my name, he was talking about me. I had fun. Until TF got nerfed.
 My next grand Troll was... the Smurfing. I made loads of smurfs in order to reap the rewards of referals, but one smurf in particular... "El Presidente". While playing as El Presidente, I'd play as Nunu, and would shout in the /all chat things like "I'M EL PRESIDENTE AND I'M GOING BOT". I spoke the truth, so they had no reason not to believe me when I said "I'M EL PRESIDENTE AND I'M GOING B".... except I didn't, and hid in the bush. They thought my lane partner was alone, so they pushed onwards... only to be greeted by an angry Nunu, and after the massacre? "I LIED". El Presidente was the most fun a troll could have without taking his clothes off. But it's better if he does.
 I have more League of Legends stories, but I'll keep them for another time....

Monday, March 4, 2013

First Archimpressions: Dynasty Warriors 7

 Spoiler alert: It's good.
 Just played some Wu missions, and... it's really good. While the lack of Free mode is an unforgivable omission, I'm willing to give Conquest mode a try. Meanwhile, the new Story mode is great, loving the fact that it's more faithful to it's source material. Graphics are great, but slowdown is frequent. This is probably my favorite set of character redesigns, but I'm still not feeling Zhou Yu's... luckily DW 8 gave him his old head back, but that's another game.
 Gameplay-wise, it's your typical Dynasty Warriors game, while I haven't played 3-6(Yet), I had no problems whatsoever getting into the game and bashing helmets. If you like DW, you'll like entry number 7, if you've hated it all along... just skip it.
 Moving on, since I hate to keep my posts short, what's the plan for this blog?
A) Dynasty Warriors: The retrospective -> Starting with 7, then going back to 1 through 6 to see just how we got to 7.
B) Xenoblade Review: It's a long game...
C) Megaman Starforce Spectacular.
D) First Book review of the blog!