My Personal Blog Because I occasionally think about things other than games (I know-- for shame!)
Currently doing a 20-year history of Nine Inch Nails, because apparently I don't have enough projects that are HUGE TIME-SUCKING MONSTERS. Anyway, I try to keep anything that's videogames-related on Gaming Goddess, but there's a little bit of inevitable crossover.
My graphic novel, Sterling There is some videogame-related stuff in Sterling, particularly Final Fantasy, but that's not really the focus. Meant for adults, so don't say I didn't warn you:).
My Twitter I'm very conscious of twitter-spamming, so I try to tweet only when I update one of my blogs or comics. Some people can get away with constantly tweeting charming little witticisms and it's neat, but I think if you have any interest in my twitter at all, it should be useful, never a nuisance.
About the name Gaming Goddess: No, I do not have delusions of grandeur! At least, not about games!
The origin of GG is this: My boyfriend's Mom is REALLY good at Space Invaders and games like that, leading me to dub her the "8-bit Goddess". We decided that 8-bit Goddess would be a really good name for the gaming blog that I wanted to start, except it would be false advertising since I personally suck at 8-bit games. So I changed it to the more general Gaming Goddess-- so I'm good at some type of games, I just don't have to specify which ones:).
Of course, if my boyfriend's awesome mom wants to start a blog, she can be the 8-bit Goddess, and I will bow to her in humble submission.
Favorite Games: Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy Tactics
Tomb Raider II
Resident Evil 2
Metal Gear Solid
Izuna: Unemployed Ninja
X-Men Legends II
Tenchu: Stealth Assassins
Tenchu 2: Birth of the Ninja
.hack (the first batch)
Currently Playing: I have decided to change this section to only what is in my consoles AT THE MOMENT as opposed to every game I'm technically in the middle of. Accuracy FTW.
DSi: Final Fantasy IV (It's amazing! Why did I wait so long?)
DS: ARMY OF MOOGLES, I mean, Final Fantasy VI
PS2: Odin Sphere
PSOne: Azure Dreams, Parasite Eve, Tomb Raider
Latest Fan Art:
Yeah, something new! Rydia's cool, people complain about the graphics in the new DS version of FFIV but I love the way the characters look...well, except for Rosa. The girl could use pants.
I'm a starving artist/freelance writer/comic book artist/insert other vocation that makes very little money. If you're on Destructoid, chances are I am older than you. That kind of pisses me off.
Anyway, I'm working on some projects that I think might be of interest to some Dtoid readers, but I think I'll keep most of that stuff in my profile section, so the Cblogs won't be taken up with self-promotional posts from me. I'll add the info to my profile when I start my new comic and things like that.
Yeah, so I didn’t feel like making a new header this week and just used one of my old fanarts. Wanna make something of it? DO YOU WANT TO FISTICUFFS!?!
This show is late-- normally I try to get them up by mid-day Wednesday-- but stuff was going on today. On the plus side, GoddessCast is almost like a grown-up podcast now and has its own feed.
Anyway, we decided to do an anime episode this week because we felt like it. Every episode will still have the ‘what we’ve been playing’ segment (which is unfortunately kind of pathetic this week), but we may periodically do more episodes on anime or other tangentially related topics. This is still primarily a gaming podcast, but it’s a better show if we’re doing what we want.
For the benefit of you latecomers who haven't been reading the PE series since...last November *gasp*, here are the links to all of the previous entries; they link together, too. I probably should have done this from the very beginning, but I didn't realize it was going to get this long (why do I never learn.)
I think I inadvertently wrote a book; I would say "I hate it when I do that", but that would be a lie.
The good news is, I'm onto Day 5, which means I'm in the homestretch of my PE playthrough; the bad news is that I have no excuse to write 'sperm bank' over and over again in this installment. I think I got a lot more pleasure out of that than I should have.
It's hard to think of things to say about this section of the game in general, since I haven't done the Museum yet-- that's the final dungeon, the end of Day 5-- and a lot of what I've just played involves wandering around in the Chinatown sewers like a damp, lost puppy. An Aya-puppy.
But First, MY AWESOME GUN
As far as effects go, this is about as good as you can get on your first playthrough- at least until the very end of the game. The base attack power sucks, but that matters less than you would think.
One nice thing about playing the same game a bajillion times is that you can try all of those things that seemed far too risky and impractical your first time through. The strategy I originally used in regard to Aya's main weapon, and the most common one, was to keep transferring stat boosts to whatever the newest rifle was. Rifles have the best range, which is incredibly important in PE. However, they fire slowly, so you spend a fair amount of time watching Aya laboriously aim that heavy gun while monkeys start clawing at her ankles. Grenade launchers are designed to be cannibalized, handguns are blah, and the rocket launcher is mostly unavailable(frankly it's unavailable even when it is available, if you know what I mean.)
This is Chinatown: I kind of gloss over it here because there's only a few screens of it before you have to jump down a manhole into the sewers. I wish that were reversed.
Now, machine guns are made to suck in PE-- they come with abilities like Random Shot (horrible for obvious reasons), or a high rate of fire, which is deceptive. A higher rate of fire is actually bad in PE; the more shots Aya has to fire at once, the more time she spends standing in one place, out of your control. Plus, the damage doesn't go up at the same rate as the R.O.F.-- the more shots, the less power there is behind each shot. There's some arcane math involved, and I believe you will do more damage overall if you fire multiple shots, but altogether it's just not worth it. However, machine guns have the fastest firing animation in the game. If you take the crappy abilities off of the machine gun (and I had a bonus Supertool thanks to my mixedman hijinks during Day Four), what you essentially have is a handgun that fires three times as fast as a handgun.
Switching to a machine gun seemed like a huge mistake at first, since the loss of the range of the rifle was extremely noticeable (my attack power briefly went down as well). However, after boosting the gun's stats a bit I was very happy with my speedy custom gun. I don't know if I could ever go back to a rifle now; I ride the MP5K express.
Forget Dante's Inferno: This Is True Hell
If I ever make good on my ongoing threat to set fire to the Fox News building, I might end up in hell. I think it looks a lot like this.
In the Chinatown Sewers, you fight in cramped, dark quarters; you don't have much room to maneuver. However, if you don't maneuver right, you will get poisoned by the snakes and blinded by the bats, often at the same time. The poison isn't that bad, but the darkness is a killer: the attack that casts it takes up a huge amount of space, meaning it's often virtually impossible to dodge it, and once you're stuck with darkness, you can no longer shoot any of the things that are blinding and poisoning you. You spend most of your time in this area attempting to dodge attacks that are almost impossible to dodge while waiting for negative status effects to wear off, and the moment they do, you usually get nailed again immediately. I don't understand why anyone on the PE team thought that anything about this level was okay.
I like these psychedelic frogs, I'll bet these are that special kind that you can get high on.
That said, objectively I realize that it's terrible level design, but I actually kind of enjoy it. You do feel like a real badass on the rare occasions when you dodge everything, and there are a lot of cool pick-ups in the sewers to reward your toil. Specifically, you get the shotgun with the Burst effect, which is cause for celebration.
A Burst of Salvation
I was going to try to explain this screenshot, then the thought of what I would have to say started doing funny things to my brain, and then I realized that these captions shouldn't be that frickin' long anyway.
When you add Burst to your weapon, suddenly the terrible level that is the Chinatown Sewers becomes a blast to play, because everything that's been annoying you out of your mind for the last hour has been toned down significantly. See, what Burst does is makes every shot you fire an area of effect attack. In the claustrophobic surroundings, you can often nail every single enemy with one shot; it's amazing how much less frustrating it is when you can nail all those middling little enemies in one or two shots without having to take them out individually...like they think they're IMPORTANT or something.
It's crossed my mind in the past that this level was designed with this feature in mind- that you would really be struggling until you got Burst, and then it would be like Christmas and your birthday all at once. If that was their plan, it definitely worked, but the level remains poorly designed in other respects. This is, by the way, the only part of PE where I whip out the strategy guide so I can check the map. Considering that I have all of the other maps in this game memorized, that's saying something.
The Crab, the Warehouse, and the Useless Piece of Useless
I swear, I totally want to eat something like this right now. Seafood would be awesome tonight.
The Warehouse is an optional area, but there are a lot of great items- with the exception of the rocket launcher. It also has the hardest boss in the game; a cross between a hyper-powered mangrove crab and Cyclops from X-Men. I'll bet Eve was proud of herself when she thought this bastard up.
In the interest of full disclosure, I tried to do the Warehouse before Chinatown just to be sassy, but due to a combination of being under-leveled and careless, I actually saw the game over screen. That may be just as well, because I'd forgotten what it looks like...no, seriously, I'm not just trying to be cute, I literally forgot what a game over screen in PE looks like. It's nothing special, by the way.
The only thing of note about the Warehouse is the Crab Battle(!), at the conclusion of which you get the rocket launcher. I find this strange, because there's that video game tradition of awarding, after a boss fight, the exact weapon that would have been best used fighting that boss. In this case it's the opposite- going up against the speedy crab with the slow-as-hell rocket launcher would be tantamount to video game suicide. The crab would look at you, blow some bubbles, toss it's giant claws at you, read an interesting article in Vanity Fair, sip his coffee with a slightly bored expression while thinking about existentialist concepts far beyond the comprehension of normal delicious seafood, and do about 12,000 points of damage to you while Aya stood there waiting for her ATB gauge to fill. It barely does more damage than your main gun, which is unforgivable. As a final insult, you have a stupid Rocket Crate taking up space in your inventory for the rest of the game. I wasn't prepared to go this far, but you know what? I think it might be the most useless weapon in video games. I think this is yet another reason why PE is so special.
Next time, the second half of Day 5, with the Museum of Natural History-- can you believe that I'm almost done? I mean, yeah, there is a Day 6, but it's really short so I'll probably just write a paragraph about aircraft carriers and mutant babies and call it a day.
After reading stewie's cblog on the question of why Bayonetta is hot, I got to thinking a bit about the character. She's the last character I ever thought I'd want to draw, but after thinking about it, I realized that I do like the fact that her design is so different. I don't see why a lot of guys seem to find her so sexy, but I get that all that stuff is subjective; if it weren't, every time my bf says "You're so beautiful", I would have to correct him with "Actually, by any objective standard I am merely okay-looking", and like fuck is that going to happen.
I tried to draw her in my style without losing the characteristics of the original character, and while I'm not sure if I like how it came out (I need a few days of not looking at it first), she still looks a bit like Sarah Palin, so I must be doing something right:). The uncropped version is below.
On GC #5, we talk about the original Playstation in all of its pixelated glory. Wilson is fairly quiet during this episode while Micronesia and I take a happy stroll down memory lane. Games mentioned include: FFVI, Travian, Fate/Stay Night, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil 2, Tenchu (series), Tomb Raider, Ehrgeiz, Parasite Eve, Jet Moto, Xenogears, Vagrant Story, Ghost in the Shell– alright I can’t remember anymore. There are a lot, okay?
Errata: I say "Move to 3D" at one point when discussing the Tenchu series; it should have been "move to the PS2." Also, everything Micro says about me sucking at games can be considered errata, and should be stricken from the record.
I just wanted to note that I haven't replaced all of the sundry, bloggy-type-things I do with GoddessCast, it's just kind of worked out that way for the last few weeks.
Okay, GGCast sounds funny so I’ve just decided to call it GoddessCast and get it over with. Doesn’t really sound like a gaming podcast, but then again Rebel FM doesn’t sound like one either, and that seems to work out okay.
This week, old friend Micronesia joins us to break up the love nest that is Wilson and I, which is probably a good thing. The theme of the show is Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness, and we dutifully spend the first segment actually discussing it (I think Micro is a good influence on us.) The second segment we get into Golf video games, Starcraft, Starcraft characters playing golf, the kind of game you would have to make in order to get sexual favors from GamingGoddess (or other girl children of the ’80s), and which Tekken characters might need to ride the special bus. Also, I give my weekly update on my progress in FFVI, although this is not my best week in Final Fantasy gaming prowess.
In Day Four of Parasite Eve, Aya races to St. Francis Hospital to get to the sperm bank before Eve does. I have decided that, at least for the purposes of today, I am actually twelve years old and the whole concept of a sperm bank is hysterical. I'm going to try to mention it as much as humanly possible.
The hospital is a fun little area, in part because it's the most Resident Evil-esque part of the whole game. Like the early RE games, you have to spend time tracking down keys and fuses and other puzzle pieces so you can progress through the building, but unlike RE instead of being needlessly complex and annoying the hell out of you, in PE it takes like an hour and then you're on to bigger and better things. Now I quite liked Resident Evil 2, but seriously, how many plugs and keys does one really need to look for in one game? Come to think of it, a true lock-picker (and not a crappy one like Jill) would pretty much be God in RE. "You think I need the fucking ROOK PLUG? Well, aren't you misinformed, stupid police station."
There is Nothing About This Situation That Sperm Would Not Improve
As the NYPD struggles to maintain some semblance of order after the attack of the previous day, Maeda finally starts pulling his weight by figuring out Eve's next move. Reasoning that Eve can't handle the stress that the mitochondria are putting on her body for much longer, she must be looking to give birth to a new being that can withstand it, as the previous incarnation of Eve tried to do in Japan. For some reason, Daniel knows that there's a doctor who specializes in artificial insemination at St. Francis' Hospital, so off our intrepid heroes go. Daniel stays behind to watch the station and play deputy police chief (he sticks to this plan for all of two hours), and Aya and Maeda head to the hospital. Apparently the plan is for Maeda to stand outside and look pitiful while Aya goes in to take care of business, so I kind of wonder why he bothered to come in the first place. You never know though, it's possible he might be needed for SCIENCE! reasons.
Aya and Maeda in the car together without Daniel to act as a buffer to absorb the awkwardness; would be really funny if Aya would stop asking questions like this.
After some puzzle solving that isn't worth going into in any great detail, Aya learns that she can take out the sperm bank by turning off the supply of liquid nitrogen that keeps the sperm frozen. I want more games where my objective is to take out the sperm bank. Stupid sperm, swimming around like they own the place... anyway, Aya keeps seeing apparitions of Maya, and possibly herself, throughout the hospital. She also finds some medical records that have been rummaged through, presumably by Eve, which include information on her mother and sister. Apparently the extended Brea family, critically injured from a car wreck, was admitted to the hospital on the same day as one Melissa Pearce, a.k.a. Opera Singer of Death. You just know there was some organ-swapping shenanigans going on there.
Eve messes with Aya by cutting the elevator cables, something I have been terribly afraid of for my entire life. Scariest part of the entire game.
Not Broken, Just Awesome
Gameplay-wise, there are some very interesting enemies in the hospital. All of them have projectile attacks, meaning that you have to do a helluva lot of dodging if you want to earn those bonus points. One particularly interesting enemy is the mixedman, a strange crab-like creature that shoots balls of rock at you out of one of its orifices (I'm not speculating on which one.) The cool thing about mixedmen that I'm pretty sure 99% of the people that have played this game don't know, is that they will not shoot at you indefinitely; after a certain amount, they will actually run out of balls. I'm not sure what the exact number is, but after about 10-15 minutes, they will just stop firing them. The benefits of this are twofold; one, if you defeat a mixedman after it's run out, whatever item it was going to drop is upgraded to the next tier. Since mixedmen often drop Tools, this means you can get virtually unlimited Super Tools before even going into the Ex-Game. Furthermore, you earn a few bonus points for every ball you shoot, meaning you get loads of extra BP that you can then pour into your stats. I only bothered to do it once this time around, and I still got about 800 extra BP and a Super Tool. I think I'm going to use my bonus Super Tool to properly mod a machine gun, just because I can.
I'm doing it wrong here: I got a Super Tool anyway. So there.
Unfortunately, Eve makes use of a sperm sample before Aya can stop her; you actually see the empty vial on the floor. See, if only the NYPD had a zero-tolerance policy on sperm banks, liquid nitrogen, and opera, this whole sad situation could have been avoided. It should be about prevention.
I hate it when sentient blobs of blueberry Jello get all in my face on my way to the sperm bank.
Twins: It means they are THE SAME
This boss likes to trap you with webs: this Aya likes to cast Haste on herself to avoid the webs and then use Energy Shot on you. This boss does not like this Aya one bit.
I'm actually slightly confused about an aspect of the plot here, and I'm really not sure if that's due to the writing, the translation, or my own misunderstanding. After defeating the Boss Du Jour, Eve and Aya have one of their disjointed little chats and confirm that Eve is, at least partially, Maya, Aya's twin sister. The thing I don't get is that no one seems to understand the significance of the fact that Maya was Aya's TWIN sister. Eve merely refers to her as "your sister", and everyone else seems to gloss over the fact that Aya and Maya were identical. I mention this because people still seem confused about the source of Aya's powers throughout the rest of the game, and they even provide a different explanation at the end: that Aya had a cornea transplant from Maya at the time of the accident, which is why she too has Maya's powers. But why should she need a transplant from Maya to have the same powers? Genetically, she already IS Maya. I guess I'll never know.
Eve, who has apparently decided that she's tired of waiting for Aya to get her act together and join her on the crazy side, tries to kill her by crashing a jet into the roof of the hospital. Aya gets away, and apparently Daniel has materialized in the interim to save Maeda's ass from the scary exploding hospital. They meet back at the station and hear new information gathered by the other policemen; apparently Eve and Klamp have been in cahoots for a long while, even back when Eve was still called Melissa and had better hair. I guess Melissa must have had a Jekyll and Hyde thing going on, because she seemed to maintain her original personality until the events at Carnegie Hall; if she was Eve before then, she didn't know it.
Race Against the Womb
Silly Daniel, Klamp is a part of EVERYTHING. Clearly he's one of the Knights Templar...or the Knights of Malta, they're cooler actually.
In a quaint touch, Daniel gives Aya and Maeda walkie-talkies so they all can keep tabs on each other. Walkie-Talkies? I know this game came out in '98, but I'm pretty sure cell phones existed back in the 90s. Oh well. The group vows to find Eve before she can give birth to an ultimate being, and that's it for Day Four. I guess it's just as well that they don't find her during the birth of the ultimate being, because that would just be awkward. Would they deliver it, then kill it? Or would they get so involved in the whole "breathe Eve, you can do it!" process that they would get too emotionally attached to the baby to kill it? Actually, I think Aya could probably just kill the thing without a second thought, chasing down mixedman balls for a half an hour has probably taken its toll on her limited supply of patience.
Next on Day Five: Why I never go to Chinatown, the dinosaurs in the Museum of Natural History come to life (go Eve!), and the most useless rocket launcher in gaming. Seriously, it's worse than the knife in Resident Evil; at least the knife is a amusing in a masochistic, I-could-beat-the-game-with-this-but-I-think-I'd-rather-kill-myself sort of way.