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C2C Shiro's blog

3:21 PM on 01.30.2009

Autosave: a double edged sword for RPGs

For a time I thought that manual saving was an obsolete relic of times past. Though I certainly did play many games during the pre-PS2 eras, most of my gaming experience comes from the PS2 era where autosave games were starting to get quite common. Many of the games I played (mostly the arcade kind) had autosave saving me from spending time actually trying to save. But it always bugged me that most, if not all, the RPGs that I played at the time didn't come with this awesome feature.

Almost anyone who has played some kind of RPG that required you to save has some kind of horror story of losing hours of progress on an RPG just because they didn't save. This situation isn't even exclusive to RPGs, I think I just attribute it more to them because of how time intensive those kind of games are. It is the worst feeling, having to retread old ground in a game simply because you didn't save the first time around. This anti-manual save stigma grew to the point where I thought that every 360 were the game without autosave would annoy me to some degree. Cue in Fallout 3.

Fallout 3 would have been good game had it not been so janked up with so many glitches and problems. In an ironic twist though it wasn't a glitch that made me hate Fallout 3, but the autosave feature that I so highly viewed. In Fallout 3 every time you enter an area the game autosaves. Late in the game I entered an area, a building in this case, where I wasn't supposed to be and angered the wrong kind of people. So I got turned into Swiss Cheese. "No biggy, I'll just load up the save and get outta the building", I thought. Nope, the people outside were pissed too; seeming to telepathically know that I pissed off the people inside and proceeded to tear me to pieces. I then came to the realization that the autosave screwed me over into a situation that I could not win nor escape. The last manual save was 16 Hours before this.

I stopped playing Fallout 3 since then.

I have now grown to appreciate manual saving and no longer view it negatively. Both autosaving and manual saving have their advantages and disadvantages. Manual saving puts you in charge of saving and only you are to blame for any progress lost because you didnít save often. Autosave spares you from having to remember to autosave but can royally screw you over if it saves you in a horrible situation. But I had to re-learn a basic lesson from RPG Playing 101, save and save often.   read

10:31 PM on 01.06.2009

Goodbye 1UP podcasts

As many of you know, 1UP was in essence castrated today by UGO, this included podcasts and all that was basically cool with 1UP. I was gonna write a really long article about the good quality of the 1UP podcasts and such; but I'll bore you instead with an image of the 1UP podcasts I subscribed to on the brink of deletion.

Yup, about 1/3rd of my podcasts had their final episode not too long ago. Oh well, at least most of them ended with a really good episode; a fitting end I guess for some good podcasts out there. In an ironic twist though most of these were year-end episodes that looked towards the future. I guess I'm podcast hunting now.

Goodbye EGM, Goodbye 1UP. It was good times while it lasted.

EGM 1989-2009

1UP 2003-2009   read

10:25 PM on 12.22.2008

Review: Dash of Destruction

When I barely got my X-Box 360, I remember watching some of the free promotional videos for a make your own video game contest. There was some good ideas here and there by some contestants, I remember some dude describing what was in essence Audiosurf but with a more race-car feel to it that sounded neat. I knew though that this would not end well after simply because it was Dorritos sponsored. I remember the last time a game came out by a non-game company and that game was Yaris. The result is better than Yaris, but that is not saying much at all

The premise of the game is your either a T. Rex going after Dorrito Delivery Trucks, or youíre the truck delivering Dorritos while avoiding the T. Rex. To balance out the gameplay, trucks handle better than T. Rexes but the lumbering oaf of a dinosaur can tear through buildings.

The premise could have made for a fun game, somehow, but it is no good predictably. The controls are horrible in this game. Playing as a T. Rex is a chore and not fun, and controlling the truck is only marginally better. The game also decides to throw in another truck/T. Rex combo on some modes which only causes utter chaos, in the bad way.

Normally this would merit a score of 4 (subpar) by itself but the game decides to get cute and throw some jokes between rounds. Wit is a good addition when done right and enhances games in certain cases. Just ask Valve. The comedy in this game however falls flat on its face. It uses the kind of jokes that make you cringe. It made me cringe even more because the person writing this garbage probably thought it was funny.

There are really only two justifiable reasons anyone should download this game:

1.) Your broke after buying your Xbox 360 and you download all the free games available,
2.) Your going after the easy achievement points.

And even then there are better options out there for both reasons, at this point your just scraping off the bottom of the barrel.

Score: 3.5   read

8:14 PM on 12.21.2008

Yakuza 2 Review

Yakuza is a very well known series in Japan. From what I hear, the newest Yakuza game that came out in Japan is considered a PS3 seller. If you look towards the west, the Yakuza series is still relatively unknown. The latest Yakuza game to come out in the west is Yakuza 2.

Yakuza 2 is in essence a 3D brawler. The combat isn't deep at all at first and only adds depth later on with some new combos and techniques. Yakuza 2 is very combo-centric and sometimes Kazuma, the main character of the story and the dude you control, will keep punching air if you wiff a combo. You can also pick up weapons in this game to use against opponents. The weapons, while generally really effective against regular enemies, are useless against bosses and are cumbersome compared to regular hand to hand combat. The real highlight in the combat is what is called heat moves. Heat Moves are basically the equivalent of a super move in a fighting, once your heat gauge is full you can perform heat moves that do huge damage. Most heat moves look absolutely brutal when performed, something that never gets old.

Yakuza 2 also has some RPG elements to it. After every fight you gain experience points that you can spend on improving some aspect of Kazuma. These improvements range from increased health, learning a new technique, to doing more damage while your heat gauge is full. You can also equip Kazuma with weapons and armor before a match starts with some special effects. These are varied and are usually very helpful.

This should obviously go without saying, but don't go into Yakuza 2 expecting really great graphics. Even for a PS2 game the engine Yakuza 2 uses shows its age and even the PS3's upscaling doesn't help matters much. That being said, stylistic point of view Yakuza 2 is great. When you walk around the cityscape, it looks as though you are walking in a real city. Yakuza aims for a realistic yakuza feel and it does, all the people and locales fit within the feel. As far as presentation goes Yakuza 2 is almost at a MGS4 level as far as story-telling is concerned, it is just limited by it engine.

The story is really good and could easily be in a yakuza themed action-movie. If you missed the first Yakuza (like I did), Yakuza 2 puts you up to speed with the events that happened in the first game. The story is very much mired into general Japanese and yakuza culture, so all the Japanophiles out there will get an immediate kick out of this game. The only complaint I have with the story is that a couple of the final scenes have too many twists that were not really well executed. The story as whole more than makes up for this though. The reason I don't go too in depth of what the story is about is because it is that good.

If you just play through the story and pay little attention to anything else, the game is a tad on the shorter side of things. The story should last about 14-18 hours depending on how hellbent you are in finishing this game. To remedy this Yakuza 2 has many kinds of mini-games to pad out the time. The most infamous of these are the hostess bars where you can play a dating minigame. Most of these are hit or miss, and I didn't really bother with most of them since I wanted the story to keep on going.

Overall though if you want game with a great story that isn't the usual "Save The World from the Nazis/Demons/Aliens/Evil Twin" on the PS2, it is really hard to do better than Yakuza 2

Score 8.5   read

12:21 PM on 12.16.2008

You pick what I review

I want to try my hand at reviewing some games. The problem is I don't know what you guys want a review of. So instead of taking a wild a guess and hoping for the best I'll let you guys decide what game you want a review of (taking the general idea from Pliskin's blog). You get to choose 1 game for each category of review I'll be doing. Voting for the games I review ends on Thursday.

Future Game Review:
This review will come as soon as I beat the game (I haven't beat any of the games on here), with impressions of the game as I go along.

ShinMegaTen: Persona 4
Valkyria Chronicles
ShinMegaTen: Devil Summoner
Lost Odyssey
DJ Max Portable Clazziquai

Quick Game Review:
All of these games I have beaten (or have gotten far enough where I can review it), and will post a review 2 days after voting closes.

Wartech: Senko No Ronde
ShinMegaTen: Persona 3
Yakuza 2
Call of Duty: WaW (360)
DJ Max Portable 2

Retro Game Review:
Lastly, these are retro games that I haven't played and will post a review as soon as I beat the game with some impressions along the way.

Megaman 2
Earthworm Jim (SNES)
Comix Zone
Phantasy Star II

*My lack of retro gaming must really show right about now :P

Remember voting ends on Thursday.   read

12:46 PM on 12.10.2008

Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine impressions

When I heard that the Shin Megami MMO was getting translated into Enlgish, I signed up to get into the closed beta in an instant. Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine sounded like an MMO that could actually be different because of what is expected of a Shin Megami game. It seems this is a beta that wears the Shin Megami license on its sleeves.

There are a lot of disconnecting issues in this MMO but this is ok since itís a beta. The combat reminds me a bit of Sword of the New World's combat system since you can control more than one person at times (yourself and your demon partner). The talk system is back from the older ShinMegaTen games to recruit demons this time around. For those who haven't played these games, you talk to the demons to recruit them into your party, give you stuff, or just plain give up the fight. It's kinda like Pokemon in a sense, but satanic.

The pacing is a little bit off since the rate at which you get money here is a little on the slow side of things. This means that you can't even get the beginning armors/weapons without grinding a bit. This MMO also has more of the original Shin Megami Tensei vibe than the later Persona games everyone loves so much. You have to talk to the demons to recruit them instead of just picking one up randomly after the battle, and this is set in a post apocalyptic Tokyo instead of the somewhat close to real life Tokyo. This actually also brings another point. It doesn't do anything really different though aside from the demon recruiting when you compare it to any other MMO. You still grind when you want better anything and combat feels mostly the same, with the exception of perhaps some counter moves. It's not a bad MMO by any means, it just isn't that good either.

If you like Persona but have no experience with the other ShinMegaTen games, pass this up since it caters to a different audience. If you liked Nocturne or any of the retro ShinMegaTen games, give this a go. As for me, I think I'm done with the beta and I'll wait for the full release to see if some of the stability issues resolve.   read

6:30 PM on 12.08.2008

An introduction to C2C

Hello Dtoiders! I've been commenting a bit here so I thought I should properly introduce myself. I'm C2C Shiro and I'm kinda new here.

I'm 19 years old and I am predictably a gamer. I'll start with an image that has the games/series that probably describe my tastes the best. (They're not in any order)

As you can tell I lean towards the arcade side of things on video games mostly, but I enjoy most genres. The only reason I don't put up a list of my top ten games is because it changes depending on what mood I am in. I also like to know exactly what is going on in the video game industry so naturally thatís how I gravitated towards Destructoid.

My other hobbies include writing in general, and listening to many kinds of music. I generally tend to like all kinds of music though my favorite genre is definitely Drum n' Bass. I also play the saxophone and piano once in a while for laughs and giggles. A also play Magic Gathering using my old deck with my friends sometimes. My favorite movies are Gladiator, 300, Sin City, AppleSeed, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

That about sums me up, I'm looking forward to my time here at Destructoid.   read

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