October 12th, 2007


New Videogames:

Janne D'arc for PsP
Bleach for Wii
Soul Nomad for Ps2
Eternal Sonata for X360

WTF is up with this summer? I mean, since it's Oct, it's now officially fall, but we're still seeing the trickle of the end of the great 2007 summer RPG rush. Granted, only Soul Nomad & Eternal Sonata on the above list are RPGs, but 4 games in a months is way more than I can play. There will probably be a two year long RPG drought, though, so I have plenty to tide me over :P

Janne D'arc
Janne D'arc is a strategy/tactics RPG for the PsP handheld system. It's made by Level5, the people who brought us Dark Cloud, Dark Cloud2, and DIDN'T bring us that MMO for Xbox like they promised. It's ok, though, because it had a lame name. It was seriously named somthing like "Super Ultimate Fantasy Online." Anyway.. back to Janne....
I didn't pick this game up when it came out. I kept hearing about how awesome it was, but I was busy with all sorts of shit. Mostly Arshtat and to a lesser (and latter degree) Persona 3. By the name, you know roughly what it is about. Some French dudes fighting with some chick who thinks she can talk to god, and is later burned at the stake. Consider this the rough guideline for only the first 1/3rd of the game XD After the unfortuante stake-burning incident, Janne donns a new outfit, the purple frog with a curl of hair starts to talk and picks up a sword, and everyone gets super henshin armor powerups to make their existing super henshin powerups better.
The game is very silly. But it's also very good. The graphics are wonderful, with full 3-D backgrounds, automatically fading foreground obstacles like trees/buildings, fully rotational map screen, etc. The characters themselves are SD and cel-shaded, very much like how they did things in the Dark Cloud games. Coupled with a strong black outline, it really makes them pop and look detailed on the handheld screen. There are many animated cutscenes to emphasize how silly everything is, and it's all very well done. IMO, there are some sound problems with the cut scenes, as the background music broadcasts way louder than the voices, and you have to turn the PsP's sound all the way up to figure out WTF is going on. While you can't do anything about the cutscenes, you can remedy it in the regular gameplay with the options that allow you to balance SFX, music, etc. The controls are also very intuitive, and overall, this is an awesome game. It's the one that's currently sucking up all my time.

Soul Nomad
I haven't even had a chance to open Soul Nomad yet. It's still in plastic, staring at me. I guiltily tell myself I'm busy with a different SRPG, and it's not cheating because if you've played one Nippon Ichi SRPG, you've played them all. (Even though they're all fun)...
I'll get to it eventually :X

Bleach: Shattered Blade
More Bleach than a Wiitard can shake a controller at!
You swing the wiimote like a sword. There are a bajillion characters to play, and a ton of stuff to unlock. It's a lot of fun, but I haven't unlocked my creepy guy yet. I will be happy once I get Mayuri. Apparently, I have to beat arcade mode with Ishida, which is why it hasn't happened yet. I was systematically going through story mode, but a lot of characters can't be unlocked by just doing that. BTW- Stories in fighting games=always silly and lame.
It's a lot of fun, though, and it's somthing I can work on gradually. It's fully voiced by the US voice cast. People have been bitching about that, because you can't swap to the Japanese voices. But people.. this isn't an RPG where they care about your feelings and bow to fan pressure. This is a fighting game. It has shitty sound, fun controls, a bad plot, and lots of screaming. What did you expect? Guilty Gear is the only fighter I can think of with kickass music, and almost all of them have sound/balance problems. Bleach is hot right now. They're just churning out ports for a quick buck. Be happy we're getting any of these, fantards XD

Eternal Sonata
Matt's been playing this one. It's an honest-to-goodness quality Japanese RPG on the X360. HOLY FUCK! It's made by Tri-Crescendo, the people who brought us Radiata Stories and who are dubiously connected to Tri-Ace releases, as far as I can tell. It's VERY cute. The graphics are great. It has an in-depth battle system... and I don't really know anything about it other than I watched Matt play through the last part of the tutorial and had no idea what was going on. yay! I'll get around to this one later too.

Right now, I've been working on Bioshock and Overlord for the 360. Overlord is retarded fun. I just like making the goblins zerg and hearing them get super excited about breaking things. I'm not even past the first boss in Bioshock, because it makes my physically nauseous. It's not the plot or the graphics or anything, though. That game makes me motion sick, so I have to play it in short bursts. It's really cool, though, so it's one I'll keep coming back to. I'm not going to punish myself with nausea just to play a videogame, though, so it'll always be short 15-30 min stints every couple weeks. At least I found out I'm not a complete freak. The military has documented cases of many of their test pilots feeling ill while training on video simulators. A later study by like.. the University of Michigan or some crap.. had a ton of people play Halo. And a good 40% reported motion sickness after 30 min of Halo. There's more than one reason FPS games are niche XP