Monday, November 17, 2008

Castle Crashers Demo

From the creators of Newgrounds comes another classic game. In this game you play a knight who seems to be retrieving some sort of crystal that was stolen from your king. This game plays like old time classics like Guantlet Legends, Golden Axe, Final Fight, etc with very cartoony and crude looking graphics.

The graphics comment is not meant to be a slight against the game. I actually love the graphics. I'll be one of the first people to say that good graphics don't make a good game (i.e. Final Fantasy VIII or X). What does make a good game is great game play, and this game has it.

The only thing I don't like about this game is the hit detection. While this is a 3-D game, the hit detection is very 2-D. If you're not aligned perfectly with the enemy, you won't hit them, even though you're swinging a weapon the size of yourself. This is especially evident on the first boss that I came across. He takes up half the screen, but unless I was lined up properly, I couldn't touch him.

Even with the poor hit detection, it doesn't take away from the game. It's a quirk that you learn early and adapt to. It reminds me a lot of Alien Hominid (mainly because it's made by the same guys) and I absolutly loved that game. If you have Xbox Live, download this game, you won't be sorry. As soon as I get the money in my budget, I'm getting the full game.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles My Life as a King

I've decided that I have way too many Xbox 360 demos in here, so I decided to add something from the Wii. FFCC:MLaaK is a game by Square Enix released in WiiWare on the Nintendo Wii. In this game, you play a young king trying to rebuild your homeland. You are accompanied by your loyal servants Hugh Yurg and Chime.

You are travelling, looking for a new place to start your kingdom when you come across a blank slate with a gianormous crystal in the middle of it. The crystal bestows upon you the magic of Architek, which allows you to create buildings from your memories of the old kingdom. When you build houses, it automagically adds people into them.

To build these buildings, you need something called Elementite. To gather it, you must commission the adventurers that live in these buildings. To commision adventurers, you need to pay them. To pay them, you need to collect taxes from your citizens. It's a vicious cycle. You start off with three houses, which is more than enough to pay three adventurers and start off your kingdom.

As you progress, you're able to build more buildings and hire more adventurers. You're also able to upgrade your kingdom through morale spheres. You gain these by talking to your subjects and raising their morale. With each one, you gain more stuffs.

This game plays one part Final Fantasy, two parts Sim City, five parts fun. It's a great game that's bound to keep you entertained for hours. I think it's well worth the 1000 Wii points it costs to download.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Final Fantasy Update

I think it's about time that I update my status. Yep, that makes job number 8 at 75, number 7 for a Maat's cap. Now to buffer Warrior to 10k, take the remaining jobs to 37, and fully merit what I do have and I think I can take Smn to 75 next!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fracture Demo

Finally, a shooter demo on the Xbox that isn't first person. Fracture seems to take place sometime in the future. You're some sort of super soldier sent into Alcatraz to make some sort of pickup. While you're there, you get to play with some nifty weapons and gadgets that just seem to be lying around. After you're done playing, you're told to apprehend some guy. This is where the fun(?) begins.

Remember those nifty weapons and gadgets I previously mentioned? Yea, you put those to the test. Now you get to see if you actually paid any attention to the tutorial. You run through some ruined buildings with a bunch of people shooting at you, trying to stop the bad guy.

In the end, the bad guy seems to get away, and the demo ends. This is more of a teaser than a demo. Like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, it is just there to fill a five minute void in your life. It was kind of hard to get a feel for the game with this demo. With Star Wars, I thought I had a pretty good feel of the game. This just felt clunky. I don't know if it's because I've been playing Final Fantasy XI all day, but it just didn't feel right.

I may check this out again in the future, but I don't know. It didn't really get my interest. At least with the Star Wars and Battlefield Bad Company, you got an idea for the story. With this, it's like, whoopidy doo! Between your small tutorial, and the actual fighting, you don't really get an idea of why you're there in the first place. If the story of the game is actually this flakey, I can't recommend it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

This game shares a lot with the original Final Fantasy Tactics on Playstation. It is a turn based tactics style game on a map grid. It features several jobs, each with their own abilities. You can mix and match abilities (to an extent). Both games take place in the land of Ivalice. That's where the similarities start to fade.

Tactics had ninteen different jobs to choose from for your characters, but only one race to choose from. Tactics Advance has added four new races to choose from. Each of the five races has a limited amount of jobs they can choose. There is a total of 42 race/job combinations in the game. I liked how they added a lot more jobs, but I didn't like how they made the jobs race specific. I think if you're going to add more races and jobs, you should allow all races to learn all jobs. I can see why they made them race specific (balancing reasons), but I'd like the added challenge of turning a magic using race into a melee character. Not really a strike against the game, but more of me being a little anal and liking a lot of choice when I'm given it.

Another difference from the original is that the tone is much different. The original Tactics was about betrayal, corruption of the nobles, corruption of the church, fighting for what's right. It was very serious, and the decisions you made helped shape the history of Ivalice. In TA, it has become more childish (which is apparently from the T rating on FFT, and the E rating on FFTA).

In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, you start off as the new kid in St. Ivalice. To get aquainted with the battle system, the first thing you do is have a snowball fight with other kids in your class. During the course of the fight, you're introduced to two other main (unplayable) characters, Mewt and Ritz.

Things turn out bad, people make fun of you, people make fun of Mewt, people make fun of Ritz. You're a real popular bunch. The three of you decide to hang out at your house with your sick brother. Mewt brings over some magical book that he bought on the way over. Little did the four amigos know, but things were about to change.

You find yourself in some weird place. You have lizard men, huffalump men, cat girls, and cute little bear looking things with a pom pom on their head running around. You find out you're in some place called Ivalice. You hook up with a nice moogle who helps you start a clan and he shows you the ways of the land. You've already gotten your nice little tutorial from the snowball fight, now you get to play for real.

The game play is exactly the same as it was in the original Tactics. Turn based movement upon a grid. There's a few tweaks done to the turns (such as you can actually take back moves if you find out you're too far away to land a spell or ability), but the game remains basically the same. The one huge difference is that of the laws.

Judges can either be your friend, or your enemy. Every battle (except in the lawless areas called Jagds) has a Judge. These guys enforce the law. I don't have the instruction booklet, and I"ll be honest, I didn't pay much attention when the explained the Judge thing, but I think this is how they work. If break a law, you get a yellow card. A yellow card is basically a warning, and you're fined when the battle is over. If you kill someone with that ability, you're given a red card, which instantly sends you to jail. I'm not entirely sure if that's how it worked, but I liked to keep my parties a little varied to make sure I didn't break any laws.

You might be thinking, these laws are a bunch of crap! I want the lawlessness that was present in Tactics! At first, I thought the same thing. When I realized that any character that had died in the battle is automagically raised at the end of the battle as long as you're not in a Jagd, I changed my mind. I don't have to worry about wasting Phoenix downs on dead characters. I don't have to worry about having a White Mage (or someone with Whm abilities) in the party at all times with Raise. I just leave them dead. Where do I sign up!

At first there's one law in place. You cause some trouble, get the judges on your back, they add another law, cause more trouble, get another law. If you balance out your party, this will never become a problem. I recommend at least one of every race, and levelling at least two of each race. Maybe alternate them between battles. I levelled basically the same party, and had troubles completing some missions because I need ot use certain races and I'd be shorthanded because they only people I had levelled were off fighting some solo battles.

There's one huge thing that bothered me about this game. It's a huge step down in the maturity level of the game. In the first one, you're a warrior trying to fight for your family's honor, then your honor. In this, you're just a kid trying to find his way home. I'm not saying that I didn't like this game, I enjoyed it very much. It's just that the story is, well, for a lack of a better word, lame. It was a lame story.

The first one had this wonderful story that kept you captivated. It was a blockbuster of a story, which a lot of FF games seem to lack nowadays. You wanted to know what was going to happen next. You felt sorry for Ramza, and everything he's been through. This, I just couldn't help think that Marche was just a whiney little brat. It was his way, or not at all. The story was good, just not Tactics good. It kept you going, but it was mainly to see if it got better. It wasn't so bad that I couldn't keep playing, but it wasn't that great where I couldn't put the game down.

Overall, I liked the game. If you've played the original Tactics, this is a decent buy. You're not getting the great game that was before it, but it's still a good game. It starts off a little slow, but once you get into it, you'll keep playing it. Like I said, it's not good enough to keep playing till you fall asleep of exhaustion, but it's good enough to fill in spots in a boring day. If you like turn based strategy, this is a good buy.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Battlefield Bad Company Demo

For some reason, I thought that this was going to be a third person shooter. I was wrong, it's another dreaded FPS on a console. I'm starting to get the hang of the controls, but I just can't do it. It just doesn't feel natural.

From the little of what I played, I like it. I'd be very happy with this game if it had a PC port. It has the Battlefield gamplay that I love, and a story to go with it. I'm more than likely to play some more of this, to get used to FPS controls on a console, but they're just so fucking awkward.

I can't give a definitive recommendation now. Maybe as I play it more I can do that.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Good at Halo, Bad in the Sack?

I figured This Link is relevant to this blog.