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12 October 2007 @ 01:52 pm
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
t3h m3rz0rzmerchan on October 12th, 2007 08:57 pm (UTC)
I'm working on getting Grimmjow... which is hard because you have to beat Hitsugaya story mdoe, Hanatarou story mode, Shuhei Arcade, Tousen Arcade, Ulquoirra Arcade and finally, Aizen arcade. hanatarou is so hard...
HIDE your facekyonomiko on October 13th, 2007 01:36 am (UTC)
ARgh. I swear I wanted to throw the controller when I was doing Hanatarou's episode mode. I beat it, but ikkaku was so hard to get the timing right on. You just have to do the jab special, where he charges and rolls around on the floor.. Just cheese it out on every stage with that one. The real trick is trying to get the timing right so that it knocks the dude over with the roll, and you get up before he does and can do it again XP
t3h m3rz0rzmerchan on October 14th, 2007 08:24 pm (UTC)
Well, we beat it too, but we did the one where he twirls around a lot.
The Ten Thousand Thingskhet_tcheba on October 12th, 2007 09:54 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah, simulator sickness is serious stuff. So much of the flak back-and-forth in the simulator industry right now (particularly with more realistic modern graphics) deals with how to minimize simulator sickness and fatigue. It makes a lot of sense that an FPS or any game with a lot of camera movement would cause that kind of reaction.

I want to play Eternal Sonata badly, but not QUITE badly enough to buy a 360. :( I did put in an order for the new PSP Castlevania, though. PSP's are comparatively cheap and I've been meaning to get one for a while now...
HIDE your facekyonomiko on October 13th, 2007 01:42 am (UTC)
I figured that would be the case, with the sims. I think that the fancy military ones that move are probably a little better, though, arn't they? Most of the motion sickness comes from the inner ear not detecting the movement the eyes/brain sees.. and I saw a military sim once that moved around, so I imagine that's gotta help at least a little bit.

PsP is an awesome system. Games you will love that you can just buy right away:
Valkyrie Profile
Lumines II
Puzzle Quest (AMAZING puzzle RPG. It's just.. wow)
Really, any of the puzzle games the Q? company has put out..
And if you like srpgs... Janne d'arc& Disgaea port is coming out soon. There's also a Ys game (Arc of Napishtim) out on PSP. That's old school fun. They've ported so many good playstation titles to PsP. It's a fantastic system. And if you don't have a portable DvD player for the travelling you do with business/vacation (ITSEC, Mexico, etc) It's really nice to be able to buy a UMD movie and watch it on there instead of lugging around a laptop or a portable DvD player.

If you want to try out any of the games we have to see if you like them, you're welcome to it next time you visit. I love my PSP