(Spoilers ahoy, though if you don't know what happens in FFVII, you've been living under a rock for the last decade.)
Yesterday i finally wiped away the inch thick layer of dust from the top of my PSP and decided to put it to some use.
I downgraded and played around with various custom firmwares before finally settling down with the standard game emulation fare.
My first stop was, of course, PSX games.
See, i've never owned a Playstation in my life. Unless of course you count the PSP. I don't though.
Anywho, due to never owning a Playstation, i've found my self missing out on some of the PSX's greatest games: the Final Fantasy series.
Obviously my first stop was FFVII.
Years and years back, i spent a few weeks one summer at my cousins house where i managed to play through all of Disc 1 and part way into Disc 2 (with my cousins help), before never touching a Playstation again (I find the controllers feel horrible in my hands).
Fast forward a few years and my experience with FFVII has coloured the way i view the Final Fantasy series.
I heard people arguing cases for VI, VIII and X. I ignored them all.
Nothing can compare to the gameplay of FFVII, it's dramatic storyline, it's memorable characters.
I became an FFVII fanboy.
The sort of person that denies there were any good Final Fantasy games before or after my quest to save the planet and destroy the guy who killed one of my favourite party members.
The sort of person that ran into the shop on the day Advent Children came out and couldn't decide which DVD cover to get (i went with the Cloud and Sephiroth one if it matters).
Basically, i became one of them fuckers that favours one game and pisses everyone off with their rants on why everything else is inferior.
However, last year i spent some hands on time with FFVI on the GBA round a friends and my FFVII fanaticism took a dent.
FFVI is, quite frankly, awesome.
It has likeable characters, a pretty grand storyline and fantastic graphics.
The best thing about it is, unlike FFVII, it doesn't even need to be remade. It's perfect as it is. No one wants it remade.
It's because of this time spent with FFVI that i decided to download FFVIII and FFIX for playing on my PSP.
Of course, the first game i booted up was FFVII expecting to be hit with a wave of nostalgia and glee that will put a smile on my face, visible from space.
That, unsuprisingly, didn't happen.
Instead, what i was faced with was a fixed camera in each area that sometimes made seeing entrances and exits a bitch to see, not to mention a battle system that confused the fuck out of me when the enemies kept attacking me if i didn't choose a move soon enough.
My experiences with turn based combat in most RPG's has meant that a game like FFVII knocked me for six.
I spent some more time with it, put the combat setting to 'wait' and though i am enjoying my time with the game, but it's certainly not the game i remember it being.
That said, my heart did break when i met with Aeris for the first time and bought a flower from her. The end of Disc 1 is possibly the saddest thing i have come across in all my life playing games and it's obviously the mark of a great game that it still affects me years and years after last playing it.
However, that was probably magnified by the fact that i used Aeris non-stop in my party way back when and got her ultimate equipment and her final limit break, which, come the think of it, was probably my cousin making sure i made the most out of her while i still could.
Still, i find that i want something different from FFVII and have decided to take on board all of pheonix-blood's anti-FFVII, pro-FFVIII rantings and have transferred Disc 1 of FFVIII over to my PSP and am about to give it a play.
I'm hoping for good things from FFVIII and i need a change of scene.
Now that those rose-tinted glasses have fallen from my eyes, Midgar suddenly seems so gray.
Alright, so i've been up in Newcastle since Friday and only got back last night.
I check my email this morning and find a message from GAME advertising a few new releases but also, what really caught my eye, was a banner stating that if you pre-order Call of Duty 4 instore, you would get access to the Beta starting from today, September 10.
Now, i've been away for three days so pardon my ignorance but has no one come across this yet?
I havn't seen so much as a whisper anywhere about people getting on the Beta.
Are we just ignoring this? Is it false info? Has the COD4 hype-train left the station?
I need answers people!
Preferably before i bugger off to town to see what's what and hopefully get in on the Beta.
Obviously many of you here will have heard of this Jack Thompson bloke.
It is my understanding that he dislikes video games for some reason.
Anywho, a few months back Jack Thompson was taken to court by Take Two for harassing them and spreading false information about their practises.
A settlement was drawn up and agreed to by both parties and meant that Jack Thompson could no longer publicly attack Take Two and their games.
Apparently Mr. Thompson and his crusade against all forms of fun is above the law.
After Manhunt 2 received its M for Mature rating, the following e-mail was sent to Take Two by Thompson:
From: Jack Thompson
Sent: Monday, August 27, 2007 4:55 PM
Subject: Letter to Take-Two’s Strauss Zelnick, Ben Feder Re Manhunt 2
Dear Mr. Zelnick and Mr. Feder:
Congratulations on receiving a “Mature” rating for Manhunt 2. You’ll live to regret it (trust me), so enjoy it while you can.
I want to bring to your attention the fact that at www.rockstargames.com anyone of any age can order Manhunt 2 and receive it, with no age verification whatsoever. Asking a 14-year-old if he’s 17 is not age verification, now is it?
You also know that the use of a bank card as an age verifier is a violation of all bank card agreements, right?
Govern yourselves accordingly, if you can.
Regards, Jack Thompson
The best part however, is that Take Two's Vice-President Gena Feist decided to fight back and show Thompson what is what:
From: Gena Feist
To: Jack Thompson
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2007 2:47 PM
Subject: FW: Letter to Take-Two’s Strauss Zelnick, Ben Feder Re Manhunt 2
Mr. Thompson, Your statements regarding our practices are false, as you know or should have known.
The Take Two website verifies age in two ways. First, consumers who purchase M or RP rated games certify that they are at least 17 years of age. Numerous websites use the same method for verifying age in connection with sales of movies and games. Second, we verify age through the use of a credit card number in connection with a transaction. Such transaction based verification is acceptable to both credit card companies and the FTC (see, e.g. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/coppa.shtm).
We demand that you cease making these false statements about our online sales practices. Your dissemination of knowingly false statements for the purpose of adversely affecting Take-Two’s business is actionable and we reserve all of our rights under the settlement agreement and state and federal law.
Not only are your statements clearly false, but they were made in an email publicly disseminated to both the FTC and the press. Please be assured that I am happy to answer any questions you have concerning our practices in a private communications. It is for this very reason that our settlement agreement designates a legal contact for you at Take Two.
If you continue to make false statements to an audience of press and public officials, however, we will have no choice but to take action against you.
Looks like old Jacky Boy is gonna get a court case slapped on his ass again.
The e-mail exchange between these two people continues for a long, long time and gets funnier, and can all be read here
- How i don't want it.
- How i have it and love it.
And now, to complete my trilogy of BioShock CBlogs i'm going to have a little whinge.
Basically, I've been playing the game, spreading it out carefully so as not to rush it and basically take my time exploring and collecting things.
So it comes to my last play time which i have just ended, having noticed my 360 was kicking out some unhealthy amounts of heat to the point where i turned it off to prevent a RRoD situation.
In this play time i fought my way through Olympus Heights, Apollo Square and Point Prometheus before saving the game at the start of the Proving Grounds.
Now, i already knew no tapes were present in the Proving Grounds, and, having not been awarded the 'Historian' achievement i hastened over to my PC to determine which tapes i had missed out.
Turns out the culprits were 'Impossible to build anywhere else' by Andrew Ryan and 'The Vita-chamber' by Dr. Suchong.
So, i hop in a Bathysphere and return to Hephaestus.
I grab the first tape no problem (turns out i hadn't gone all the way down to the bottom of the walkway in the Core room).
Ah well, on with the second. Or so i thought.
Turns out, the section before you hop through the hole in the toilet wall way back in 'Welcome To Rapture' isn't the only section in the game that you can't get back to, as i painfully just found out.
Yep, the last tape recording i need to obtain to receive the 'Historian' achievement is located on the desk to the left of the entrance in the Control Room before Andrew Ryan's office.
Now, fair enough, i have a save file i can go back to so no big deal right?
Just boot that one up and play through the rest of the game picking up tapes again.
I want the achievement and will likely end up getting it eventually but this has left me really disheartened as it was just sheer bad luck that meant the one tape i am missing is in an unobtainable section of the game at this point.
Which, to be honest, is very annoying considering i hunted everywhere so i could obtain the two hardest achievements, 'Historian' and 'Tonic Collector', during my easier run through so i don't have to do it when i play the game on Hard mode.
What really frustrates me is that i can't think of a reason why i shouldn't be allowed back into the Control Room/Office area.
It didn't blow up as far as i am aware and wasn't destroyed in anyway.
Now, if by some chance this area does open up once i have finished the Proving Grounds then we can all disregard this little moan. If it doesn't, i hope the DLC opens it up again for me.
BioShock is a fucking awesome game but damn, this little problem really blows.
Some of you might remember my last foray into the Dtoid blogging community in which i basically outlined the fact that i was not impressed with the BioShock demo and would not be buying game for various other reasons.
I now stand corrected.
Having come into some money, £50 to be precise, during the aftermath of my A-Level results, i ventured into town with the intention of buying Blue Dragon.
I complete the required bus journey into town, trotted over the bank to transfer the cheque into my account and then hopped along to GAME, temple for all of my gaming needs.
Making my way over to the Xbox 360 section i quickly spy Blue Dragon on the shelves. However, my eye soon moves over to, and lingers on, BioShock.
After about five minutes of deliberation (a long time considering the short attention span most teenagers possess) i decide i that will get Bioshock, play it and on the whole enjoy the standard FPS-fare encoded within the disc.
The moment i hit the Medical wing i was hooked.
Bioshock is simply amazing.
Yeah, another BioShock blog. Whoop-de-fuck right?
I guess the point i'm trying to get across is this:
I played up to Arcadia and enjoyed every single fucking minute of a game i had almost written off completely.
Then my parents decide to take me up north to visit relatives and i havn't touched BioShock since.
I'm back now but over the last three days a feel like i have experienced what most of the Dtoid community felt for the last year or so.
I needto play BioShock.
I've got a lot of gaming to catch up on tomorrow and after three days of nothing but Sudoku on my mobile phone, you better believe tomorrow is going to feel like the second coming of Christ.