When I was around 7 turning 8 I had great expectations for my birthday, I had a SNES and some great games at the time (Super Mario World, Star Fox, Super Metroid) and already tasted my first RPG (Earthbound) which seduced me into the genre.
I remember I scored that birthday, because I got Mega Man X2 and Donkey Kong Country, some clothes ( you know the usual uncle/aunt that thinks clothes are a boy's dream at that age ), but I didn't get a gift from a specific uncle, so I as a recently 8 year old who was angry for not getting his reward for being born and lasting 8 years in the world, demanded an explanation. To my surprise he said that he would take me shopping when he came back from a business trip which was 3 months long, but as I had two new games and the possibility of getting a new one after I finished them I realized the wait couldn't be bad. I also got money that day so I bought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Turtles in Time and Super Mario Kart to spend the time. Greedy kid, I know.
The afternoon came he picked me up, and we drove to the videogame store near my house, needless to say I was anxious, yes anxious, because so many possibilities lay on my hands. So I took a wild shot and started looking at all the games that lay there, hundreds of different games just lay there for me to pick, it was both enjoyment and anxiousness, because what would happen if I chose the wrong game, one I wouldn't like? I would have wasted that and would torture myself until christmas, but I had to make a choice, and so, as I was looking at the box art of the games, and one stood out the most, a specific box that had a girl using some kind of fire spell, a bad-ass looking monster, a knight aiming his sword towards the monsters, and at the time what I thought was the frog knight henchmen of the monster, but that day they also got in another title I had already heard of, SMW 2 Yoshi's Island, so I had a choice, either go with the flow and chose Yoshi, my beloved dinosaur, or take a journey to the unexpected and choose the other game I had my eyes on, it was chrono trigger btw. After some time my uncle demanded me to choose one, so I did, I chose Yoshi's Island, I knew the name of the other game so I could come and pick it up when I saved enough money, but it didn't turn out how we all expected.
You see that videogame store held a lottery each month, if you bought a game certain day, you would be in a game of choosing out of 100,000 (just to put on some excitement) different colored eggs, and 1 of those had a magic ticker, which would give you 1 free game. I bought my Yoshi and chose an egg, a dark-blue one, as I was opening it I saw the greatest words an 8 year old could read, YOU WON A FREE GAME. So I ran to the clerk, showed the ticket and looked straight forward to Chrono Trigger. Yes sir I owned that year.
Don't think I'm just a Square fanboy who praises each and every single game they make, and I also don't think it's my favorite game because of it being free. In simple words that game sucked me in.
I was chrono, a teenager from 600 AD who by choice of destiny was enrolled to take part in a quest to save my world from a calamity from the skies, I could travel in time, people from different ages would join my part and I was having fun.
What I think is the best thing in Chrono Trigger is the story, sure there were other great stories in game at that time, but I praise CT for sticking out, for being a game I still remember perfectly, it had everything I wanted for an RPG, different characters to choose from, had to level up so my magic skills would grow, and a many, many playing hours.
I was sucked into that game for a month, doing all the sidequests took time, mostly because of the world of CT being huge, a ton of bosses that took me to the verge, and that made me find my guilty pleasure, over-leveling. Ah who could forget Masa and Mune? Two Imps that would blast away my party, and I had to train! I had to become stronger, so I did as any other fighter that wants to become stronger, I went and killed hundreds of monster, that would mysteriously carry around items, food and money. And I would become stronger, and I would defeat the enemy, and then the process would repeat endlessly until I reached the main enemy, Lavos, so I made my army had the best equipment I had, and went on to defeat my enemy.
I would atleast play the game once a year, until I was introduced to the PlayStation, but still hold CT as one of the most memorable games back in the day.
It all started yesterday, when I went to buy a game because I was out of them, having beaten them all. I saw on a special offer Orange Box for $29.99, scored.
While I was thinking that day was going to be fine, new game, no school, and probably an all nighter with orange box, things went downhill, I mean really downhill.
First we start with the f**king ATM swallowing my credit card, I called the mechanic and he said he couldn't come by 5 and he finished his turn at 5. I had to call the bank to cancel it, and to gold dust this I was on the phone 15 minutes with the receptionist because she kept spelling wrong my name, until she realized it was written with an S not Z.
Next we have this awesome detail of the gamestore not having any xbox live cards until this sunday, which sucks because I been out of it for 2 weeks, which is hell now that I have free time to play it, but had no time while it was working. Which sucks because the last days of live I was drowned on term paper and final exams.
To end this wonderful rant, I lost my wallet that night, along with my ID and $60, which where going to be spend on the swimming gear and Contra 4.
Sorry about that, I just had to get it out, on the good side The Orange Box is probably my favorite game right now, Portal and Half Life great games, haven't tried Team Fortress 2 but what I read in here I have my hopes up.
My only issue is Half Life's control, I know it's easier to handle than other games but I just keep confusing them, that's just me. The story is interesting, trying to find a copy of Half Life 1 to know the story completely cause I'm having trouble understanding it, but for 5 hours of playing and 17 out 99 achievements done, I'll play this game some more.
Haven't blogged for a while, sorry about that, seems finals just have a way of sucking the fun out of life, I only failed one so I guess it wasn't that bad, could do better, but it GTA4 and Advance Wars made me do it.
Now on the main topic, June is right around the corner and with it some good games.
To begin we have Ninja Gaiden II.
I was a truly big fan of Ninja Gaiden back in the day, proud owner of a NES version, but I think with the new era I was blown off. From what we seen we know this game has what most people like in games.
1. Lots of violence, which'll give the media tons of material to work on how games turn normal kids into blood-thirsty ninjas.
2. The demos tell that the control is easy to use and won't be as annoying as other XBOX games that just made wanna throw the controller into the tv. This isn't a surprise since I find that the controls in NG are easy to handle and not annoying at all.
3. Ninjas, which are the epiphany of every nerd around the world.
The trailers also show some great graphics, what appears to be a great story, and a melee setup of weapons. I guess this is what I'm most anxious for, I don't I'll be disappointed, but we can never forget Dragon Sword.
We also have Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2.
I am a big fan of the series, and I know FFTA wasn't everyones cup of tea but I think it does approach a nice stand to the FFT. The story from what I read is okay, not a masterpiece but something you'll say "ok". I think what I'm looking forward to is the battle systems. They have a ton of jobs I'm looking forward to using, a good amount of the skills comes from the weapons so the tradition didn't change, which is good, because I liked the battle system.
The battle system isn't that different, you get the usual turn to move your units and make them perform a skill, the opponent gets another turn and so on. Building up units is the complicated part, you get different races and different jobs with each one, so you can build a lot of unique characters knowing a little bit about the game. I personally didn't find FFTA hard at all, annoying sometimes due to waiting, but a good game.
And we conclude with for me, is going to be one of the best games in 2008, and 2009. Metal Gear Solid 4.
We get to play the beloved Snake, who recently jumped into popular media by being included in Super Smash Bros Brawl, one of the most elaborated characters in games. The Metal Gear Solid trilogy is respectable and truly great games.
First the gameplay elements this game has are addictive, a stealth action game that has a truly acceptable gameplay. And above all we get to finish the MGS storyline, one of the best I have stumbled upon with. I'm truly hyping this the most out of all 2008.
We has some previews on who's coming back (Raiden the androgynous menace) and some bosses, which I think would be memorable boss fights, since MGS has some of the best fights in the world this game will surely develop some new interesting battles. Who can forget the sniper duel with The End? My worries stand with the camera and control, sure MGS 3 wasn't that bad, but I had a hard time getting the grip, some moments I was frustrated with it and the controls, well they surely have fixed what MGS3 was.
Above all June promises to be a memorable month in the sequels department, and also hell to my monetary fund.
When dealing with games where you level up and gain goodies, I'm a whore for over-leveling. I mostly do this on RPGs, I like exploring everything available up to the points where I am.
I guess this problem started on Chrono Trigger, when Masa and Mune owned me for a while I started leveling up, and then leveled up some more, raped them, then advanced more and over-leveled some more and by the time I realised all the bosses just flew like the wind.
This has its pros and cons, since sometimes games seem to easy and I don't enjoy em that much, but I guess that's just a tidbit I can pass. I can also thank harder modes for making over-leveling worthy sometimes.
I just finished Super Mario World, didn't have nothing to do on my afternoon and picked tmy GBA, and was reminded how much I played this game back in the snes-era. I remember getting frustrated when I couldnīt find the way to get to Soda Lake, or how excited I got when I first discovered the star world. This is isn't an angtser post on how old consoles are better, just a nice reminder on some games that we played religiously (at least I did).
I already talked about the father of many gamers, SMW, now I'm going to some games I remember back in my snes days.
Who can forget Super Metroid, I got this for my birthday and remember at first it seemed boring, after I got the Morphing Ball the game just got better, the bosses, finding all the power-ups, man I had a blast playing this game. After that I became a Metroid addict, and yeah I have enjoyed every single game of Metroid. All do some people argue they are repetitive, I guess I like how they add complexity to the games yet keep some old elements.
Next we have Donnkey Kong Country 2, yeah I already made a post on the forums saying how much I love this game, but seriously, I do. I bought it with my savings and remember that DKC was so awesome, and was hoping DKC 2 would be just as cool, and it was better. Setting apart the pirate theme, plenty of secrets, kick ass animal partners I can always play this game ( all do knowing every secret does make it boring sometimes ) and enjoy it. Everytime. DKC 3 was also good, but not as good like it's predecessors but enjoyable.
If you are doubtful about acquiring this games on virtual consoles, I strongly recommend them. I plan on expanding this list because the snes has more than a hundred great games that IMO all people that play games should play atleast once.
On the next issue we explore Chrono Trigger, Act Raiser, Super Mario Kart and Kirby Super Star.
I know that FF7 is not everyone's cup of tea, for some it's the epiphany of rpg games, for others it's a meh, and for some it's a good game. I'm more on the great game side of it, for sentimental and playing reasons, FF7 is a game with a good story, great replay value, and above all some of the most memorable RPG moments. ( I'm looking at you Aeris ).
And since FF7 came out it had it's ups and downs, some very regrettable spin-offs, Dirge of Cerberus, and some okay plot continuation such as Advent Children , (yet of course we could mention Before Crisis, but like most people have done with this, we can forget it.) And FF7 fans were left to wish for a decent sequel/prequel.
When the rumors started around Crisis Core I was, honestly, happy as fuck, because maybe this would be a decent sequel, then more rumors that Zack would be the main character, with these news some people wet their pants, I proudly did to. And yet they revealed it will also feature Cloud and Sephiroth, and that it would be about the story of Zack and Soldier, for the moment this was great, some people were pessimistic and thought it was yet another FF7 cash-in, I didn't want to jump to conclusions so I waited, more screenshots, information, and finally a release date. I had some money saved for the game, and the moment it went for sale on America, I got it.
The game starts as an ode to FF7 same enemies, same location, but what is this, a different battle system, at first it seemed weird, innovating of course, still weird, you get a spin-wheel like system called Digital Mind Wave, and it resembled something alongside Kingdom Hearts meets Devil May Cry, but this is where it shoots off. At first impression it seemed boring, but once you get ahold of the DMW and the game mechanics it's a worthy title, indeed.
The game mechanics centers around missions, which if you do the main storyline you'll find it is very well done, don't except FFT, but still something good. Materia is back, thankfully, doing the same purpose as before, using magic attacks, using physical commands, and yes sir, summons are back, not the same way, but back.
Talking about graphics this game serves justice. The places, characters and CGI are very well done and serve justice to the PSP, not only will you get some good CGI, I found the entire game to be well rendered.
The battles at first seem to be a normal hack and slash, but once you advance into more complex mission, the battles become entertaining, and complex. You'll need to use not only the buttons in a maniac style, but also knowledge of materia, making Zack a great warrior, or a wimp. There are also some characters to bring back the nostalgia, some places that'll bring memories, and in perspective, a great FF7 vibe in it.
Not a usual RPG, but SE did a good job with this. For anyone looking for a different kind of game Crisis Core brings a great new theme to RPG. Yet there are just some things SE can't fix.