So earlier today JKH13 posted about a recent interview from eurogamer.net with Treyarch regarding the new game, Call of Duty: World at War. During the interview, Noah Heller took it upon himself to bash Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway a fair amount, going so far as to say...
"We don't want to look at someone who's just making a crappy war game."
Now at first, I had assumed the mudslinging was just standard competition slander and hype for their own game, I find myself at fault for thinking so and would like to apologize to JKH13 for trying to defend the harsh words said in the first place.
In reaction to the harsh words, JD, a community manager at Treyarch, quickly jumped on the situation after realizing what had been said. He made the following post on the Xbox.com forums...
At first, Noah Heller was thought to be a senior producer at Treyarch, but it's now revealed that he works for Activision, not Treyarch. While it was a bad call on Treyarch's part to leave the interview to some random senior producer at their parent company, it was a very good call to take the high road and apologize for his foolish statements.
With a the mutual respect from Treyarch toward their competition I feel that they at least deserve a pat on the shoulder. Who knows, it's a longshot, but maybe this apology is the start of Treyarch moving in the right direction from their catastrophe that was COD3? Lets hope so.
For those of you in the community obsessed with game and/or anime music, you may have heard of a site called Galbadia Hotel or FFShrine. The place is a goldmine of soundtracks that span multiple forms of media. About a month ago, the site went down for quite some time and no one really knew why, however it's once again online, but this time with bad news for many.
Galbadia's owner seems to have been robbed through identity theft, and thus causing the bill of two grand a month to keep the site running to go unpaid. The owner of the site is now asking for donations to keep the site running while she tries to recover her lost funds.
With such an incident occurring and the ability of finding a songs with ease, can the community of audio pirates pull together to keep their site afloat, or will it sink into the deep blue, leaving the lot of them to scrounge for pricey OST's on import sites?
I figured I would just bring this little incident to light, given I'm sure at least a few community members here go over there now and then. I won't be posting a link though as I'd like to avoid getting bitch-smacked (If this type of post isn't allowed here anyways, someone please inform me so I can promptly remove it), but for those of you who give half a damn, you already know where to go anyways.
It seems that this year at Anime Expo I’ll be taking some time off of prancing around in cosplay to sit in a room full of un-bathed, sweaty otaku in the console gaming room at the LA Con Center. I’ll be doing so to get the chance to play a very promising 2-D fighter that’s on its way to being released later in 2008 in arcades and for the PS3.
It all started yesterday, June 23rd, the Anime Expo website had an announcement posted that sparked mine and many others’ interested. BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, the newest 2-D fighting game from Arc System Works, was announced to be playable at AX08 as part of the North American localization test. As said before, according to the website the test location will be in the console gaming room, which raises the question of if it will be a cabinet or not. Whether we’ll get to play the game in a classic arcade style or not is beside the point right now though. I don’t think anyone looking forward to the game will be complaining either way.
For those unfamiliar with BlazBlue, it’s said to be the spiritual successor to the Guilty Gear franchise, allegedly (I haven’t been able to confirm this 100%) taking place 10 years after the end of the Guilty Gear storyline (Which incidentally has yet to actually end). It features a cast of 10 all new characters, all of which seem slightly stereotypical in some way, not too surprising given that the Guilty Gear designer, Daisuke Ishiwatari isn’t on the project
So with all that said, I’m banking on the chance to see some fellow D-toid members at the test location so I can avoid the awkward conversations of some group of Death Note fans that happened to think some character in the game was “Kawaii~<3!”. I’d prefer to have an actual conversation about the mechanics of the game with other fighter fans.
I may be a little slow on this one because the article was released yesterday, but over on 1UP.com, they had the chance to interview Ryan Payton, the assistance producer of MGS4.
A quote taken directly from the article...
Speaking in an interview with 1UP a week before the game's release, MGS4 assistant producer Ryan Payton said there is "still a lot of room for filling in the gaps as far as Big Boss is concerned." When asked about the possibility of a Metal Gear Solid 5, Payton responded, "There are some misunderstandings that this is the final Metal Gear game. But it's really the final chapter of the Solid Snake story. That's all."
Most of us knew that MGS4 was not the definitive end of the series, just Snake's story. And with this having been said now, it becomes very apparent (If it wasn't already) that Big Boss is more than likely to be the star of yet another Metal Gear Solid. Although the big question in my mind right now is where/when will MGS5 take place if it does in fact have Big Boss as the lead? We've already had Portable Ops, which filled in a few gaps of the immediate time after MGS3, so will Konami go the route of continuing from there to try and fill the time-line up until the beginning of Metal Gear 1? Will they remake Metal Gear 1 from Big Boss' perspective (Doubtful as a whole game, but would be cool if it was at least a single act or the sort)?
No one obviously knows the answer to any of these questions at this point given that MGS4 was just released in the US 9 days ago. But one can't help but wonder what the next installment will be like...And if it will have Kojima heading it for that matter. But that's a whole 'nother article for a whole 'nother time.
Also, I know this is my second C-Blog based completely on assumptions. Trust me I'm well aware about what they say about making assumptions. I promise for my next C-Blog I'll try really hard to do this again. But I really was never good at keeping promises...
Famed producer Koji Igarashi was recently interviewed by Gamasutra about the splendiferous world of 2-D gaming, and what his thoughts of its future were. The short interview was an interesting read, but one thing that IGA said stood out from the rest.
“This time, I announced a DS title, but I definitely want to grow the franchise. It's something I'm really focused on. You guys will probably be hearing something from me.”
It’s a leap, but with a statement like that, one could assume the possibility of Castlevania being made for a console once again? Up until now it was a complete pipe dream to think that we’d have another console Castlevania that wasn’t a 3-D abomination. Not to mention the series’ long-winded streak of being released solely on handhelds.
So with the ever so slight glimmer of hope that we may get to see the Symphony of the Night of this generation, is anyone else besides me giddy as a schoolgirl at the idea of it?
Mugen no Frontier: Super Robot Taisen Original Generation Saga, it's quite a mouthful, but that doesn't negate the fact that it's one of Banpresto and Monolith Soft's latest releases for the Nintendo DS over in Japan. The faux-real time RPG, abundant in guns, swords and fan service (Oh-my!) recently caught my attention after I'd heard that it had a battle system similar to Namco x Capcom, which I've been interested in for some time, although never had the chance to play. So, despite my lack of knowledge of the Japanese language, I decided to try it out.
Starting the game I was greeted by two completely unfamiliar faces, Haken Browning, a white haired cowboy that looks straight out of Wild Arms (Did I mention he has a rifle with what looks like a bastard sword blade shoved into it, pocket-knife style?), and Aschen Brödel, whom if I didn't know any better, would assume was a green haired, fur-less, cyborg version of Felicia, who happens to change personalities whenever the under layer of her suit rips off. I wish I could really say more about the character's personalities and the sort, but I'm confined to assumptions. A quick note though is that Aschen's personality swapping is made very apparent by a change in voice tone, in addition to her clothing vanishing.
Aschen getting ready to kick someone's face in.
Being bombarded with a handful of pop-up tutorials within the first couple steps I took, I tapped the "A" button as rapidly as possible to blaze through and get to the part of the game I really wanted to play. A few steps later I was found waiting more with a small cut-scene between Haken and Aschen breaking into a facility of some sort. Only moments after I walked through the facility doors was I enlightened by the sudden burst of light as the transition of a random battle! I was overjoyed to see the two main characters on the screen parallel to two oddly shaped robots, so much that without thinking I jammed on "A" multiple times. Without delay Aschen burst forth toward the upper robot I'd selected and unleashed a flurry of kicks, then punches, then kicks, then punches and some more kicks. As boring as mashing "A" to attack may sound to some, I was absolutely hooked to the game from that point on.
KOS-MOS being KOS-MOS...sy
That was all about 7 hours in the game ago. At this point I've learned all the basics, and some of the advanced techniques/combo setups of the battle system. It plays a lot like Tales of the Abyss/of Symphonia's (Completely free roaming) battles combined with a combo system similar to God Hand's (The ability to mix and match available attacks into combos), minus the character movement and hundreds of attacks to choose from. Each character gets about 5 (That's my estimate given the amount of space on the combo setup screens) different attack strings to set up in their combo. Each one is executed in battle simply by pressing "A", and each one uses up a certain percentage of COM. I won't go too far into detail about COM, but essentially it's the stat that governs how many attack strings that character can use each turn of battle. It's also noteworthy that if a character is next in line for the attack turns, you can shift right to him or her to continue a combo, as well as calling in characters from the back (unused) line-up to assist.
Besides the entertaining battle system, the rest of the game is fairly amusing as well. Sure it's fairly boring to go through walls of unintelligible text, but once you get past that and figure out the basics of navigating the menu screens, things can get quite interesting. As stated previously, you're able to set up what attacks you use in each combo and then be tested in a practice arena, allowing you to check if your combos are up to par or just completely worthless duds that wind up letting your enemy hit the ground and block, or worse, go into force break defensive mode (Your turn ends and the remainder of your attack does absolutely no damage). There's the basic equip/unequip menu, letting you adorn your characters with a weapon, armor and two accessories (Ooo...Ahhh). I've just been equipping whatever makes the numbers next to my stats go higher, although I'm sure there's some equipment with some amazing abilities that I'm missing out on because of that barbaric route. Then of course you have the spell, item, status, formation and sound menus, each of them being just the basic RPG staples.
Navigating the dungeons can be a blast, all thanks to Haken's bastard-swiss army rifle. Pressing "A" near certain objects will cause Haken to drive the blade of his gun into whatever stands before him, most of the time it's rocks, but it differs on occasion. Busting things open isn't just for personal amusement either, as it can net you some spiffy equipment and items, helping you to save your hard earned cash.
Haken's special sounds like Klondike Node, I can't be the only one who wants to go out and buy a chocolate coated vanilla ice cream bar right now.
Despite all the positives around the game though, it isn't without its flaws. There are times where the enemies are just downright cheap and go into force break mode before you even have the chance to get the second attack in your combo off (It's happened to me on multiple occasions, even if the first attack is a launching type that sends the enemy flying into the air). Other times the fodder you face in a dungeon isn't even worth a second glance at compared to when you get to the actual boss. The fourth dungeon in the game is a perfect example of that, tossing measly Alice in Wonderland card knight ripoffs at you before you go to fight a small lolita dressed in red who proceeds to decimate your entire party with status ailments before you even have the chance to attack. Although that situation can be remedied with a large dose of grinding, it's agitating to say the least (Especially since I'd fought every random battle up until that point).
Mugen no Frontier also suffers from DoA syndrome, heavily playing on the fact that nearly every girl you encounter is well endowed and then some. Special attacks for the female party members and enemies range from raunchy to laughably odd. but the one factor that most (2 so far have been the exception) of them share is that they're just perv-service. I'm aware that this sort of this isn't uncommon in Japan though, so I can't criticize it too much.
As far as negativity for the graphics go, there isn't a lot to gripe about. The one thing that does get to me is the world map and dungeon sprites, they look as if they were ripped straight from an early SNES RPG, very bland and standard. The in-battle sprites is another story completely though, those are incredibly smooth, detailed and gorgeous for a DS game.
And of course the most horrific point of all, the fact that we will probably never see this appear stateside. Although ATLUS managed to bring over the first OG for the GBA, this installment of the series has KOS-MOS from Namco's Xenosaga as one of the playable characters in the main storyline. So unless Namco actually decides to bring this over here, it's a slim chance that ATLUS will be able to shell this out.
Almost half way through the game, Mugen no Frontier has been a positive experience. It's minor demand for knowledge of Japanese makes it playable with little aid of a translation guide, which is a huge plus for those who don't have constant access to the web on the go. If you've already blown through the rest of the DS's RPG lineup and are itching for some more, pick it up.
Current Verdict : 8 out of 10
A Quick Note: This is my first blog entry here at Destructoid, I don't write long-winded things like this regularly, so I apologize for any shoddy grammatical mistakes, typos, etc. I hope to better my writing as I go on here.