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9:06 PM on 04.27.2008

Paper Nintendo DS

Hey unless I missed a post about this (in which case I'm sorry for reposting) I have to share this video I found on youtube while I was looking to kill time (my gf was watching America next top model).

Well it's some dude that made this with stop motion, well I think that's the name, I'm no animation expert.

And it is still sort of video game related ;) So enjoy the Paper Nintendo DS

[embed]83589:10840[/embed]   read

3:15 PM on 04.27.2008

Dragon Warrior : A case of major retro goggles

Well like I said I would try to complete a Dragon Warrior game every 2 weeks or so. So here’s the first one in the serie.

“The protagonist of the story is a warrior who is a descendent of the legendary hero Erdrick (known in some versions as Loto). Starting in the chambers of King Lorik, the player is made aware that the Dragonlord has stolen the Ball of Light which must be reclaimed to restore peace to the land. Although this minimalistic story presents itself at the beginning, the player will find more minor story elements to the game as it progresses. These mostly occur through dialogues with NPCs that detail rescuing the Princess Gwaelin, the destruction of the town of Hauksness, and the hints about relics needed to reach the Dragonlord.

Although this is the first title released of the Dragon Warrior franchise, Dragon Warrior I is actually the second, chronologically, of a three game series which share a storyline. The story is preceded by that of Dragon Warrior III and followed by Dragon Warrior II.”

Dragon Warrior is indeed very minimalistic, I actually had to put some serious retro goggles in order to play this game. The only that kept me going was the nostalgia and fond memories I have of the game and playing it with my mother (she would translate stuff for me). Dragon Warrior did to me what Zelda did to alot of people, by that I mean the sheer size of the world and the epic quest. Even those rudimentary graphics would trigger my imagination and almost send me to another world.

Most of us that are old enough and played this game when it came out got it as a bonus for being old or new subscriber in 1989-90. But that release in North America was a little too late for the game to really take off because Final Fantasy, which at that time was vastly superior, came out that year also. However Dragon Warrior was released in Japan in 1986 and was hugely successful over there.

When it comes to console RPG, Dragon Warrior was the first one of it’s kind, it brought many concepts that are still common place in today’s games, such as the top-down perspective. It was also the first game to receive the honor of having it’s soundtrack played by a Symphonic Orchestra. It also made the Gamespot’s top 15 most influential games of all time in 2000.

By today’s standards Dragon Warrior would be too minimalistic to be recommended to anyone who never played the serie. Unless you really want to play this game badly for historical value or have a major case of retro goggles, I would just recommend to read the synopsis and skip to Dragon Warrior III. It is no wonder that Final Fantasy had much more impact to the North American public with vastly superior soundtrack and graphics at the time. Would it be much different nowaday if the release was set to 1986 ? maybe so.

[embed]83559:10835[/embed]   read

10:35 PM on 04.22.2008

Dragon Quest, an overview

Castles, swords, knights, princess, dragons, kings, and epic quests are all elements that define RPGs in the medieval setting and are what best describes Dragon Quest.

When someone talks about RPG the first thing that comes to most people’s mind is Final Fantasy but little is known today that the venerable Dragon Quest (also known as Dragon Warrior in North America) is the root of all console based RPGs. This post will give you a general overview of the serie and in subsequent post I’ll review each game independantly as I complete them (give or take 2-3 weeks between each).

Dragon Quest might be the most influencial role playing game ever released for the console, everything after this (even Final Fantasy) takes its roots in it. The top down perspective, turn based fight, random encounter are only a few of the game mechanic that were introduced.

Every game in the serie were always extremely well done, to this day no Dragon Quest game have been tagged as the lesser one (sales figure aside). This might be attributed to the fact that since the first installement the three main designer have always been the same. Such control over a serie is almost unheard in the video game industry.

Yuuji Horii, the scenario and game designer, got the inspiration from Wizardry and Ultima that he discovered after winning a contest sponsored by Enix in 1982. The rest of the team, music designer Koichi Sugiyama and character and monster designer Akira Toriyama (also known for the Dragon Ball serie) met the following year to start the design of Dragon Quest. Yuuji Horii was one of the supervisor of the game Chrono Trigger in which he appeared in one of the ending with the game development staff, he is also owner of the production company, Armor Project, which has an exclusive production contract with Square Enix, a contract established with Enix before the company merged with Square. Given that fact I think it pretty much establish which company (square or enix) is truly responsible of whoring the Final Fantasy serie.

In North America the serie never achieved the status it deserved and was always shadowed by Final Fantasy. However things are different in Japan where it is such a cultural phenomenon that there are live-action ballets, musical concerts, and audio CDs based on the Dragon Quest universe. The London Philharmonic Orchestra has performed for several Dragon Quest music albums. It was the first video game series to have its music performed live by an orchestra. Since 1987, music from Dragon Quest has been performed annually in Japan in concert halls.

With eight main installements in the serie is no real chronology unifying all the Dragon Quest games. The first six installements were divided into two trilogy Dragon quest 3, 1, 2 then Dragon Quest IV, V, VI. Dragon Quest VII and VIII are independant of each others.

Many mangas and anime based on the serie were released in Japan, with only one in North America. 13 out of 43 episode of Dragon warrior (Based on Dragon Quest III) were aired here in 1990.

[embed]82861:10621[/embed]   read

6:39 PM on 04.12.2008

Retro : Origin

Last night I was having a discussion with my mother about gaming and how it was from her point of view when I was a kid and one interesting thing came up that I didn't really recalled. Most of my childhood gaming memories are filled with the NES. But yet I have fragments about older consoles and games that I played but can't really name them myself. Well that's where she filled the blank. The first "console" or platform I played game on was a CoCo2, also called the Tandy computer system or TRS-80, which was sold by radio shack from 1983 to about 1986 when it got replaced by the CoCo3

The CoCo2 ran on a Z80 based processor (think graphical calculator, original gameboy) and had BASIC for what you might call an OS. Games came under the form of expansion cartridge or cassette tapes.

I almost have no recollection about this system, however I was told that I played a game called "cashman" and that there was also a Sesame street tape. Also I had to learn some BASIC commands in order to load the games myself and operate the typing software. We sold the CoCo2 when I was about 10 years old (1992) and replaced it a year or two later by a Macintosh LC-475.

Here's some screen shot and also I would like for people to write in the comments about their personnal experience with similar systems.


12:04 AM on 04.09.2008

Baroque : Yes it is good but maybe you should pass

This post is not to steal the light from Gen Eric Gui But just to some of my thought.

Here are is thoughts about the game : Cblog post

First of all the game is good, REALLY good. But what makes it good for some might make it bad for others and also there are elements that most people won't find good at all.

What is so special about that game is the atmosphere, you really are plunged quickly into a bizarre world that does justice to it's title (Baroque) (check wikipedia for definition on the style). Alot of twisted emotion are felt right at the beginning as the main character is being used as a rat lab for some weird experiment on the mind.

After the cutscene you are plunged in the central "town" with a few npc, that only Charle Manson could dream of, start talking to you about things that don't really make any sense at that point.

Then you have an angel figure that introduce you to the dungeon that you have to explore and there the story starts.

A few things that I like about the game is that everything plays part in developing the story. Even dying (it's not a spoiler, you will die, triggers cut scenes). As you explore the dungeon which has a random created layout you get to entounter other npc that tell you more about the world you are in.

The general atmosphere of steam punk neo gothic is really what got me hooked to the game, also the graphical style well complemented with a industrial soundtrack that brings everything to life.

Now for the bad, I've only played for about 2 hours, but right from the start I had to try not to complain too much about the game engine, the fighting is not bad, it's just not good. I'm glad I picked up a copy for the PS2 instead of the Wii cause I can't really imagine playing this game with the wiimote (I think that's the main reason why nintendo power game a poor score.)

Also the game is a polished port of a Saturn game so it wasn't fully developped with the PS2 in mind and therefore has some limitation that are not expected of a PS2 game in the last few months of the console life.

Baroque cuts down the bullshit, you learn the story as you play, no lengthy cutscenes or bullshit. It's power, load the game, Hi I'm Baroque, BAMMM !! action.

Atlus is pretty much the only distriburtor that could've bring us Baroque and I'm really glad they did.

The game is made for those of us that dig random dungeons, hard fights, don't mind old game mechanics and gameplay, very focused genre. And to those that just want to spend a few hours playing a game that has a bit of similarity to Persona (the random dungeons)

Trailer :


Gameplay :

[embed]80629:10139[/embed]   read

8:02 PM on 04.08.2008

Today is Atlus day

Woo Woo, got 3 good things today.

1. Japanese import of Shin Megami Tensei 2 for super famicom
2. Cubivore for the gamecube
3. EBgames called me for Baroque

So yeah my little collection of Atlus's game grew up today. However it means that I now have to make more time to play game and also start learning japanese ;) that should be an interesting task.

I've been playing Cubivore for about two hours now and as like alot of people say; it is an "interesting" game. Very quirky and light. There's isn't much of a story line other than you are born as a little piggy and you are trying to make your way up the food chain by eating meat of different colors. The game is very simple yet very fun. You can play an hour or two then leave the game for weeks, months and just pick up the controller and start where you left it without having to think about what you've done so far or what you have to do next.

The graphics and sounds are very N64 (I think it was suppose to be for that console too) but good enough that it won't hurt your eyes. However like alot of early 3D games the camera is not really up to par with some more modern games or even games that were released around the same time frame. The graphic style actually reminds me of Katamari Damacy.

As for Baroque I have yet to play it, but once I find some time I will but I am sure that in it's genre it will be a terrific game.

screenshot courtesy of IGN.COM


9:36 PM on 04.07.2008

Second language gaming

Seems like I have inspiration for posts today. Again today I was thinking about gaming and more about how I grew up as a gamer. More precisely how I grew up with french being my primary language and only learned english with the basic courses I had in school (started in grade 4).

Language is not an issue with most games. I mean I started with Mario Bros, not much in terms of text. But in 1990 came my first real challenge. My mom (who's first language is english) decided to subscribe to Nintendo Power which we were buying already. As some of you might remember there was a promotion that year. Subscribe to NP and get a free copy of Dragon Warrior. Alot of us did find Dragon Warrior to be a challenging RPG at that time but imagine having to add another layer of difficulty in the fact that the game is written in quasi-Early Modern English style but you can't even start reading english. That game proved itself gruesome for me. However I was determined to beat it. On the funny side, it took me about an hour to go out of the King's hall (where you start the game) trying every possible combination.


But After trial and errors and small progress at first I got involved in a game genre that wasn't much explored, even by native english speakers.

After that came games like Final Fantasy, Zelda, Star Tropic, and many other RPGs on the NES that I had to play with very little understanding of the story. Equipped with a dictionary and cross reference to previous games I played I learned english and discovered a passion. Who said video games were useless ;)

Now if you want an idea of what I was going through, you might want to pick a copy of let say Zelda : A link to the past in french and try to play it (in the case that you never played it before)

Another problem was games that were badly translated like Castlevania 2 : Simon's quest, that game proved itself excruciating for me I had to try every possible combination of things in order to figure out how to finish it. On and off I think it took me several years before I finished it, I actually remembered one of the password by heart until a few years ago.

oh you mean that I have to kneel for 5 seconds in front of the wall...

For a few years language in game wasn't much of an issue until not too long ago (in N.A.) the french part of Canada (Quebec) started complaining (read whining) about games not being translated in canadian french (French from France wouldn't do). Now not all game are translated in french here, only a few titles mainly from Nintendo. However if you ever purchase a game in Canada notice how sometimes there's two instruction booklets on in the case and one outside, or the back of the game with description in both languages.

So yeah over the course of the last 20 years of gaming there's been some progress in trying to make it easier for the young population of poutine eating wine drinking population of north america to access gaming.

Games back in the 8 bit era were not easy, even more so for us that couldn't understand english.   read

7:29 PM on 04.07.2008

Atlus news : Under the knife 2

One of the first game on the DS and one of the greatest, trauma center is one of the game that really took advantage of the console and it's touch capabilitie. Now-a-day Trauma center is getting harder to find, I know for a fact that I haven't been able to get a copy for a while.

The good thing about trauma center was the level of challenge, most of us were able to pass a few stages but at some point it got crazy difficult and well that was a great thing about that game.

Well today Atlus send us news about what could be a good sequel. I don't expect much change in the story structure, graphics or game mechanics however it should still be a very solid title.

We still have a while to wait, the game is not coming out until July 1st oh and it's for the DS too ;)

From Atlus :

Take out your scalpels and flail them around wildly! Wait, wait... sorry, your VIRTUAL scalpels. Whew, hope you weren't standing next to anyone just then.

Why pray tell, should you do this? Well, because Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2 is coming to a Nintendo DS near you on July 1st (hopefully yours)

What's so cool about Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2? First off, Derek and Angie are back and have to face the aftermath of GUILT. Enjoy new enhancements and a new easy play mode as you follow your favorite Trauma Center surgeons on an all-new adventure. Secondly, you ask too many questions.

Link and screen shots :


7:52 PM on 04.02.2008

ESRB : Violence in games and realism

Well today I was really bored, and I started thinking about the ESRB, how lame it is etc etc, then I wondered : which console has the biggest proportion of M+ rated games. Of course I knew that Nintendo is out, they've been known for being kids friendly. So I did this little table from data I gathered from

The ESRB was created around 1994, from controversy created by games like Mortal Kombat and Night Trap. There were previous violent games on older consoles and games that made reference to sexuality. But the transition from 8bits to 16bits made those reference much more realistic but still at that time there wasn't that many games that were rated Mature and above.

The last generation of console (PS2, GC, XBOX) brought even more realism and therefore more games that got Mature rating. Maybe to a point where we don't really care about it anymore (when is the last time you heard controversy over a game rated M+ ?) last time there was an issue with a game was GTA : San Andreas which had a A+ rating cause of the Hot coffee bug.

That made me wonder, would games like Mortal Kombat for SNES would still get a M+ rating ? And is there a point when games are going to be so realistic that the ESBR will just become useless cause the rating should be done by the MPAA (CARA). Or does the interactivity brings another layer toward the rating of a game. Then would games on the Wii should have a more sensitive rating due to the recreation of certain motions ?   read

5:15 AM on 03.28.2008

not Emulators and Controllers

This post is for all the people that not emulate. I am sure that most of us have tried emulators and found that the keyboard makes for a very very bad controller and well the PC controllers are really bad too, bad buttons but especially bad Dpads. Wouldn't you wish that you could use your dear SNES controller ? Well I'm sure most of us are aware that there are adapters but in case some of you are not aware here's the answer to your problem

Those adapters are simply amazing, they cost about 22$ on the web from this website

they works extremely well with both PC & MAC and well the SNES controller is good for anything prior to the playstation, so whatever you do not emulate that is retro, the retrousb adapter will meet your need.   read

4:20 PM on 03.27.2008

Another Atlus strategy game : Spectral Force 3

Seems like this week Atlus keeps announcing new strategy games, and above all, the past two announcements for consoles have been for the Xbox 360. Seems like the RPG dry spell is over for the 360.

Well this time around it's not about werewolves and nazi but a more traditional setting (Swords, Armors and fighting cats)

Here's the story from Atlus :

Neverland... A world where gods reside in Heaven, the dead in the Underworld, and humans, demons and various other races struggle for dominance amongst each other the earth.

War was constant between the races, and as each conflict came to a close, the rulers would change.

The year is Magic Era 996...
Janus, Overlord of the demons and ruler of Neverland for countless ages, was defeated by human heroes.

Soon afterwards, Hiro, daughter of the late Overlord, raised the banner of a new nation: the “New Overlord Army”... And so, the Great Neverland War began...

Conflicts causing conflicts... Endless fighting... In this war-torn world, small bands of warriors known as mercenaries began forming. Not restrained by the bounds of race or nationality, these mercenaries would grow to become a ubiquitous factor in the intensifying battles...

With about 40 playable characters and 100 different missions, Spectral forces seems to be a pretty deep srpg that some of us will crave while others are going to hate. The games seems to be your standard fare in terms of srpg but at least it's better than nothing on the 360.

Screenshots and trailer :



5:03 PM on 03.25.2008

Atlus new game : Operation Darkness

Being the little Atlus bitch that I am I had to post about this new game. Unfortunately (for me) or not for a lot of us, this new game is going to be release on the Xbox 360. The game is called Operation Darkness and is schedule for release on June 24 2008 but there will be a demo available on Xbox live arcade starting may 5th.

From early looks the game seems to be about a mix between history and fantasy, as it's sets in World War II and is about Nazis, vampires, zombies, and werewolves. It will be a strategy game playable with up to 4 people in co-op mode over XBLA.

I know that Atlus is soon suppose to make a really big announcement, and it was mentioned that this is not it. So hold on and just be patient for a few more days.

Here's some screenshots :


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