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11:42 PM on 08.20.2009

Public Service Announcement: How to control your allies' actions in battle in Persona 3

I am so sick of hearing the comment "P3 needs a way to directly control my allies! I keep dying because I can't control my allies!" that I decided to make this quick and easy guide to doing just that in Persona 3. Because you can, and it's very easy to do.



On Minato's turn, select the Tactics chamber on the battle menu. Press X. You will see a list of possible commands. What follows are their names and effects;

Act Freely: This is the default option. Each character will act according to their own set values and will try to take the best possible advantage of their inherent skillset. Most of the time, this option is sufficient.

Heal/Support: The ally will prioritize healing and support spells over any kind of offensive maneuver. If anyone on your team is even slightly hurt and the character under this command has a healing spell, they will use it. If everyone is sufficiently healthy, the character will attempt to use spells like Tarukaja and Sukunda to buff/debuff yours or your enemies' stats. If all support spells are active and everyone is healed to full, the character will prioritize normal attacks over other spells.

Note that this can force certain characters to do things that aren't normally possible/probable for them under Act Freely. Characters like Junpei and Koromaru who have no healing spells will attempt to use Medicine if you are hurt and their support spells have been cast.

Assign Target: The ally will prioritize attacks that will deal the most damage possible to the selected target. Generally, this means they will cast their strongest spell or ability on the selected target. Note that a character will generally not use skills that are known to repel, absorb, resist, or null unless all of their attack types do one of the above, in which case they will attack with whatever style of attack will cause the least personal harm.

Example: You Assign Target Ken to attack an enemy who is resistant to Pierce and Repels Lightning. Ken will always attempt to attack with his spear or will Vile Assault. If the targeted enemy Nulls Pierce, he will do the same thing, he will not Pass his turn under this condition.

Also note that when the targeted enemy dies, the ally will revert to Act Freely.

Conserve SP: Probably the most useless tactic, especially given that you have to earn it by beating the Priestess boss, the ally will prioritize skills that use HP and normal attacks over any kind of SP-using skill. This will force item-using characters to use them in lieu of spells of the same nature(Yukari will Anti-Charm instead of Charmdi, Aigis will use Medicine instead of Diarahan if she has it), and will force characters with both spells and HP abilities to always use their HP-Abilities. SP flows like water in P3, even on hard mode, and stopping the use of SP is often signing your death warrant, as normal attacks rarely win battles by themselves. Stay away from this.

Knock Down: Earned after defeating the Emperor and Empress, this tactic instructs allies to attack enemy weaknesses and to try to get critical hits to knock enemies down. This is probably the single most useful tactic in the game along with Heal/Support. Under most normal circumstances, allies will prioritize hitting knocked down enemies because it's a guaranteed hit and the enemy's defenses are lowered in that state. However, this means that your allies will rarely earn you All-Out attacks, which are the key to surviving for very long periods of time inside Tartarus. This tactic fixes that. Allies will use single-target spells to snipe individual enemies that are weak to the given spell being cast, in an attempt to knock them down and score extra turns. In the case of Kormaru and Ken, if an enemy is weak to Mudo or Hama they will simply attempt to outright kill all enemies weak to their element. If no enemies present are weak to the character's element, they will attempt a normal attack or HP ability with the highest critical hit chance in order to try to score a crit and knock down an enemy. If all enemies present are immune to criticals or to the character's attack type, they will pass their turn. If all enemies are already knocked down and for some reason you didn't make an all-out attack, the ally under this tactic will pass their turn.

Full Assault: This tactic is learned after defeating Heirophant and Lovers during the story. This tactic will cause the selected ally to simply choose the spell that will cause the most damage to the enemy group, and they will cast it. Under no circumstances will the character do anything other than attack. Even if an enemy Repels all their attack types, the character will continue their assault(And they will probably get killed too). However, if the enemy party contains a mix of resistances, the ally will refrain from doing things that will hurt them until the only option is an attack that will hurt them.

Example: Koromaru is under Full Assault. There is one enemy who is weak to Fire and another who Repels Fire, Slash, and Mudo(Koro's three elements). Even though technically Maragidyne would do the most possible damage, since it would hit two targets, it would hurt Koro, so he instead casts Agidyne on the first enemy. On the next turn, if the first enemy is dead, Koro will make a physical attack on the enemy, who will then repel the attack and hurt him. You should have changed the tactic!

Please note: The game operates under the assumption that status ailments are powerful spells. So if under this command, characters like Mitsuru might forgo casting spells like Bufudyne if an enemy resists Ice, and instead will attempt Marin Karin or Tantarafoo. This also happens under act freely, since the game assumes that an enemy under a status ailment is the same as a dead enemy.

Same Target: This tactic becomes available after you defeat Justice and Chariot. This command is essentially the same as Assign Target, except the ally will attack the exact same target that Minato attacks. If Minato attacks all enemies, the ally will attempt to do so as well. If the ally CANNOT do so, he will attack as if he were under the Act Freely command. This command does not end if the enemy attacked by Minato dies, the ally will simply Act Freely until Minato attacks a new target.

Attack Fallen: Another fairly useless tactic, and the last one you earn. You get it after defeating Hermit. Under this tactic, allies will attempt to hit enemies that have been knocked down, and will always use whatever will deal the absolute maximum damage to them. Honestly, this isn't much different then act freely, as most allies prioritize hitting knocked down enemies anyway, which is honestly something you don't want to do. Ignore this command.

Stand By: The humblest of orders, this command an ally to do pass his or her turn, performing no actions whatsoever. This is a lot more useful than it sounds. Utilized with other tactics, you can perform complex maneuvers, like having one ally knock an enemy down, and the following ally pass their turn, thereby forcing the knocked-down enemy to waste his turn getting up. You can also do this to prevent allies from doing things that would hurt them, like attacking an enemy who has cast Tetrakarn.



And last, but not least, the tactic that isn't really a tactic but kinda is:

Auto-Battle: By hitting Triangle at any point during battle, you can automatically set every single character to make a normal attack. By clicking Triangle again, you can cancel it to revert everybody back to their chosen commands. This can be a life-saver. If an enemy casts Tetrakarn, and you have one ally moving before Minato's turn, you can quickly press Triangle twice to force your ally to attack and get hit, nulling the Tetrakarn, then cancel the Auto-battle so that Minato can make an attack. You can also use this to force allies to stop casting spells, to force an ally who is Heal/Supporting to make an attack that would kill a final enemy, and any number of other useful tactics. Master the use of this.


Ken used tactics to wipe the floor with this shadow.
If you use them to, you can do the same!


And there you have it. By using the Tactics chamber to set your allies actions for the turn, you can 100% predict every action that your allies take in battle, allowing you full control over every minute part of combat in Persona 3. Used in conjunction with Auto-Battle and the turn order viewer, you should never die against random shadows, not even on hard mode.   read


9:22 PM on 08.19.2009

Why I think P3P is a bad idea

Alright, alright. Everybody is excited about a third edition of Persona 3 coming out. Everyone is ecstatic to spend more money on what is essentially the same exact game they've probably already bought twice. Whatever. That's not what this blog is about. As a person who played both releases of the game extensively, and as somebody who loves the games mostly for the ideas and symbology contained within the game, P3P worries me. A lot of the changes being made (And a lot of the "expectations" of the fans) are affecting this part of the game, arguably the very things that made P3 so special in the first place, and nobody cares because OMG THERE MIGHT BE LESBIANS. I just want to get some of my feelings on the matter out into the open. So here we go.

Also, it should go without saying that this is going to contain VERY heavy spoilers for P3, so don't read ahead if you're still playing through.

Now, my major beef with P3P stems from one rather drastic change, and it's the one that's getting the most talk around the internet. It's the one that's getting advertised the most as well. If you haven't guessed, the change I'm talking about is the ability to play through the game as a female character.


IT'S HER FAULT!

Now before you start calling me a filthy sexist, let me say that objectively I have no problem with a girl protagonist. I played P2, and Maya was awesome. I respect that some people would rather play as a girl instead of a guy. In fact, on the surface level I'm intrigued by how they plan to implement a girl into the game as it stands, and in fact I hope I'm jumping the gun on this and everything is going to work out fine with her.

If they can make it work.

That's the part I'm a little worried about. A lot of the major themes presented in Persona 3 require the main character to be male to make their impact. Even without delving deeply into the background themes present in the game, a lot of characters and a lot of scenes are going to need to receive massive overhauls for them to even make sense. Pharos and Ryoji as characters can't exist as they are in the game anymore. They were designed the way they are because Minato had held them inside his body for 10 years, and their physical shadow bodies had adapted pieces of his humanity, which is why they look like Minato and why they're male. Removing Minato and putting a girl in his place would change their entire characters, and not just physically. We have to remember that the mother of the shadows, Nyx, is a female. And the role reversal of a Male carrying a female around inside him for 10 years and then "birthing" her as a male child has implications that don't exist when you reverse the roles. Nyx's entire design changes, and a large part of the meaning behind the battle changes too.


These three were designed with each other in mind.
It doesn't work when you remove any one of them!

And let's not even start with how so much of the story hinges on how the SEES team interacts with Minato. As a retelling of the Fool's tale interpretation of the Tarot deck, changing the male lead for a female lead destroys most of the themes that were so masterfully woven into the original script, not to mention all the events that hinge on the guys vs. the girls or simply how the characters react to one another as friends and classmates. I can't go into every single instance used in the game, because that would take about 100 blogs more then I have time to write, but a good example that jumps to mind is the scene of meeting Aigis on the beach. A lot of people have suggested that, oh, well instead of going on operation Babe hunt, as a female protag you would simply go on the nature walk with the girls instead. Which is fine, but it means that ultimately she wouldn't even MEET Aigis, because it was through going to the beach that day that Aigis even sensed Minstao's presence. The scene would have to be changed dramatically for the event to take place, and it wouldn't be nearly as powerful as it was in the original script. In fact, the interactions with Aigis in general would be much more strange and forced unless they were completely revamped, but as I said before, I don't even begin to ahve enough time to delve into all THAT.


With Junpei and Akihiko as the only guys, this scene would have never taken place.
Remember, it was Minato who ultimately got Akihiko involved.

And while we're on the subject, most of the S.Links don't make sense if Minato isn't present. The most obvious change is in the romances, which really don't make sense with a female lead. And I know, I know, HURF DURF THEY CAN MAKE HER LESBIAN, but again, what kind of effect would that have on the outcome of things or the very characters themselves? That kind of change would have drastic effects on how the characters would have to act, as well as on the references made to the Fool's Journey. A lot of people have also suggested that they could just "switch the S.Links around", which again doesn't work! Junpei can't become a datable character because a HUGE part of his story is the fact that he falls in love with Chidori. And besides, he's the Magician link, which Kenji already fills. Akihiko's spot is already covered by Hidoshi(Besides there not being enough extra story to cover him on an S.Link path), Ken is covered by Chihiro(See Akihiko), and a Koromaru S.Link would just be silly(Despite how awesome and amazing Koromaru is). Besides that, the current roster of S.Links already makes sense in terms of the Fool's Journey; altering them in any way would destroy that part of the meaning behind the experience. Even if nothing is swapped around or altered, we're also presented with impossible situations, like the Chariot S.Link which involves the -BOYS- sports teams. Kazushi can no longer be the Chariot, Mamoru can't be the Star, Kenji isn't interested in girls his own age, Nozomi's using you to emotionally replace his dead younger brother doesn't work, Chihiro can't overcome her fear of boys if she's hanging out with a girl, and so much more. In fact, nly a small handful of S.Links actually still work properly with a girl MC. The entire system would be turned on it's ear and wouldn't make sense.

Anyway, I've rambled on for long enough, and I think I've made my point. I know it sounds awful, I really do, but unless Atlus plans to load two completely different scripts and event trees onto that tiny UMD, inserting a girl MC option into the game is going to damage what the game stands for, and a good part of what made the game special. I love Atlus, and I love P3, and if they somehow manage to pull this off, I'll eat my words. But until I see otherwise, I have a problem with this version of the game.


Oh, and while I have everybody's attention, I'd really wish people would stop complaining about not being able to control your party members in P3. You have perfectly solid control over them, it's called the commands tab. When you set a command, you prioritize your character's AI settings, and for everybody but Mitsuru this means that they 90% prioritize a single specific spell. If you don't want Akihiko to use debuffs, set him to All-Out attack and he'll spam Zio spells or Phys attacks. Alternately, if you want him to debuff or use healing spells, set him to Heal/Support. The ONLY character that is difficult to control is Mitsuru because the game prioritizes Tentarafoo as a powerful spell(which it was in all the previous games where enemies could be weak to Nerve), so you can only guarantee her to use Bufu spells if you set her to Knock Down, which is a strategy you have to unlock through the game.

If you use the command tab properly, you can get every character to do exactly what you want every single time. In before somebody responds with "But I hate setting commands, I'd rather just select the spells myself" without realizing that both take exactly the same amount of button presses to do.   read


8:19 AM on 07.17.2009

RIZ-ZOAWD confirmed for US release

First, the link.

Looks like XSeed has struck again, this time picking up Media.Vision's DS game "RIZ-ZOAWD" under the name "The Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road." As a fan of Media.Vision's other work (aka: Wild ARMS) and of pretty much anything related to the Wizard of OZ, this announcement has made me very excited. With this, Fragile, Avalon Code, Retro Game Challenge, Ragnarok Online, Flower, Sun, and Rain, and Ju-On all getting stateside releases thanks to them, XSeed is quickly making a rush for my favorite publisher, even above Atlus.   read


11:56 AM on 05.28.2009

Fragile confirmed for US release!

http://www.rpgamer.com/news/Q2-2009/052809a.html

IT'S COMING IT'S COMING IT'S COMING IT'S COMING OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD

*hyperventilates*


The look of this game has had me enchanted since I first laid eyes on it, and it was soul-crushing to know that it was likely never going to come out in the states and at the same time was far too text heavy to enjoy in Japanese. AND NOW IT'S BEING RELEASED I LOVE YOU XSEED. <3 <3 <3   read


9:16 PM on 05.11.2009

First gameplay footage of the SaGa 2 DS remake

[embed]131771:19254[/embed]

I came. I love this game to pieces. I want to hug it and squeeze it and love it and call it George.

The remake looks to keep everything I liked about the old version but with a beautiful new coat of paint. Everything looks absolutely stunning; the scene near the opening where the party is running through what appears to be a giant stone aqueduct was breathtaking (especially given that this is a DS game!), and the new character models look just amazing in-game. I love the designs too, and it looks like you might be able to edit some of the appearances? I see at least two different iterations of the Male human, a Blue and Blonde haired one, and they both look pretty different. I guess that would make sense, so that you can tell your characters apart if you have multiples of the same class. I wonder if it's just set things or if you can actually edit the appearances.

And do I see skills? The battle clips show a Male human making multiple kinds of attacks with what looks like just a collection of swords; I have to wonder if they added a console-SaGa-style skill system or if that's just preset animations to the kazillion different weapons that were in the original game. One screen also shows what appears to be a SaGa combo? Color me excited.


A couple questions I have about the video though. Where is Dad? Dad was one of the best parts in the original game, and I'd think he would get showcased at least once in the video. Or at least Mask would, since Ashura shows up about halfway through and Mask was the entire reason you could beat him.

Also, what's with this whole "3 Goddesses that look suspiciously like the Moire sisters" thing? The original game only had two goddesses, Isis and Venus. I'm definitely intrigued by this development.   read


10:53 AM on 04.09.2009

Will you people shut up about not getting Fatal Frame 4? The hope isn't lost yet!

I've seen numerous blog and front-page posts about "THE US ISN'T GETTING FATAL FRAME 4" over the last few days, and I'm statrted to get sick of typing the sasme reply over and over, so I'm making this blog to hopefully shut everyone up.

http://www.gamegrep.com/rumor/16143-fatal_frame_iv_is_coming_to_the_us_sometime_soon/

(Please note, this is not my only source, it was just the first one I grabbed because I don't have much time here)

XSEED was asked multiple times if they would publish Fatal Frame 4 in the US. They looked into it, and found out that somebody had already bought the rights, but they couldn't reveal who it was.

Nintendo nor Tecmo has the rights to this game because somebody else already bought them. They just haven't chosen to reveal who they are yet, or to use the rights yet.

So can we stop it with the sob story blogs?   read


7:49 PM on 03.20.2009

Suikoden: Tierkreis initial impressions

I'm pretty much the biggest Suikoden fanboy on the planet, so when I found out they were making a new entry for the DS, I was ecstatic. When I found out it was coming to the US, I just about had some kind of attack. When I found out they were removing a lot of the elements that I liked about the series, like unique weapons, runes, and the continuous world story, I was slightly disappointed, but I held fast and kept my hopes strong. The Suikoden team could do no wrong, and I was confident in this assessment.

I was pretty close, anyway.

There are a couple of things I dislike about the game, but for the most part I'm really enjoying it. In the interests of my laziness and the fact that I want to get back to playing ASAP(because srsly this game is just incredible), I'll just toss out some bullet points of things I liked and didn't like.

-The music is amazing. Suikoden has always had great music, and even the relatively "lackluster" soundtrack of S4 was still heads and tails above most other RPG's. And this game does not disappoint. Each town has music appropriate to the area that the town is located in, from jamming salsa music in Salsabil town, to music with a somewhat arabic influence in the Magedom of Janam. A lot of the music will have you bobbing your head along with the tune, because it's just so catchy.

-The voice acting is atrocious. Most of the characters I've encountered speak as though their sound files were sped up to 1.5x or 2x speed to save space on the DS cart. Or at least that's what I thought until I met a character who...spoke...so...slowly...it...ruined...the...emotional...impact...of...his...entire...section. Of course, I've never been a proponent of voices at all, and I usually turn them off in my games because I prefer to come up with my own voices. But of course, Tierkreis doesn't allow you to turn them off. WTF Konami, really.

Luckily, most of the voices are sped up so fast that they're over before they begin. So it's very easy to simply ignore them, and just listen to the great music.

-The characters have beautiful designs. Yet another thing the Suikoden series is known for, the character designs in Tierkries do not fail to disappoint. I have yet to see a character design I didn't like, and I don't really expect to see any in the future that I don't like given the wonderful artstyle being used. The Magedom of Janam in particular has some fantastic costume designs and characters.

-The graphics don't match up. A lot of people I know were really bothered by the designs of the characters in FF4 DS, because the super deformed design didn't match the image of the characters they had in their heads for so many years. But personally, it didn't bother me at all. They used the same models for up-close cutscenes, for the battles, and for the map exploration. You got the same level of detail and the same model in all the areas, so it all flowed together rather nicely. But after playing Suikoden: Tierkreis, I think I get what they were talking about.

Each character in your party has a beautifully drawn character bust that shows up in the status menu and when the characters are talking. However, for map exploration and in combat, Konami decided to use a super deformed polygonal model to represent the characters. And the difference in quality between the two is huge. Now, I'm not saying that the 3D models are bad, far from it. They're very impressive for a DS game; all the characters have a fairly high level of detail and it's easy to clearly distinguish who is who; an enormous feat for a DS game featuring 108 hero characters plus various villains and unique NPC's. However, when you have these absolutely incredible character portraits and then cut away to the significantly less impressive 3D models, the effect is jarring. Personally, I wish they had gone with sprites like the one of the main character that appears when you're saving the game. Even if the quality wasn't as high as what's on the 3D models, the change wouldn't be so completely jarring.



-The story is very much Suikoden. I was worried that with the changing of the worlds and the elimination of so many classic series elements, that Konami would screw up the storyline with some generic animu crap. I now feel bad for doubting them. Without revealing any spoilers, the story seems to be following a very interesting and very -different- take on the original 108 heroes legend that the games were based on, and it's managing to be as fascinating now as Suikoden 1 was back when I first played it. Each time I have to leave my DS to eat or go to work, it's a herculean effort. I've literally stopped playing all other games in my que, I have to know what's going to happen next.

-I still miss my runes and unique weapons. :( One of the things I loved about the older games in the series was the rune system, if only because it worked so differently from the other JRPG's that go around. The older games used a D&D style spell level system, in addition to the ability to freely equip magical "runes" that gave your characters new skills and magic. Through mixing and matching various effect and spell runes, you could give your characters all kinds of extra abilities and uses in combat. It was also a neat way of making the characters different; some character had unique runes that gave them special powers, or certain combinations of rune slots that allowed them to equip some types of runes but not others(For instance, certain runes could only be equipped to the head, or to certain hands). Replacing all of that with a generic MP system and per-character spell lists feels a little empty after so much depth.

And as for the weapons, well, it just strips away a little of what made the old characters so fun. One of the reasons you brought along the crappy non-fighter characters in your party was the watch the funny animations of them using non-weapons in combat. Hai-yo with his Wok and Ladle, Lester and his Pot, Tuta and his handful of River Pebbles that were inexplicably able to be sharpened, or Mel and her chauvinistic hand puppet(Yes! That was a weapon!). The Doctor shouldn't be able to fight with Brass Knuckles and Swords, he should have some kind of weapon suited to his profession, like a bone saw or sharpened tongue depressors or something.

Personally, I've remedied this by only allowing each character to equip whatever type of weapon they came with, but it still feels a little hollow compared to crazy shit like BRANKY WHO LIKES THE LADIES IN THE BATH.


HELL YEAH IT'S BRANKY



Wow, that went on for a lot longer than I wanted it to. But ultimately, while I had a lot of negative things to say about the game, these thing are ultimately minor and only even relevant to a longtime series fan such as myself. The game on it's own merits is a lot of fun and I really enjoy it, I just hope that the next game goes back to the old storyline, or connects the new world to the old one in some significant way. I want to know the rest of the True Runes storyline, you know? It's not like the story doesn't allow for at least one character or concept crossover to show up.   read


9:58 PM on 03.01.2009

Exit 2 XBLA comments

I did a review for Exit DS a little while back, and well, this game is basically more of the same. 250 more levels of Mr. ESC helping stupid people escape disaster areas for money and coffee. You can literally read my old review and get a gist of what the game is about, so I'll save some time and just list some of the things that are different/special about Exit 2. You can also go to my old review if you want any pictures, because I'm lazy and I'm not going to post any here.

1 - Mr. ESC changed clothes. In the original game for PSP and XBLA, and in Exit DS, Mr. ESC wears a dapper suit with a stylish hat and scarf, and wields both with exotic flair. In Exit 2, Mr. ESC has gone for a classic noir look, sporting a fancy long trench coat along with his classic hat and scarf.

Yeah, it's a small change, and totally insignificant to the gameplay, but he looks pretty cool in the trench coat.

2 - The basic game follows an actual story. It's barebones as hell(I mean, we're talking you can see the organs through the skin here), but it's nice to see that a little bit of effort was put in to make all his adventures flow together. Instead of just sending Mr. ESC on random missions throughout the world and have him re-meet some of the more interesting characters in the later levels, Mr. ESC follows a Professor with a large mustache as he attempts to solve a set of ancient riddles which constantly land him and his group of students in trouble. Of course, you'll also meet some rather...colorful people who just happened to be nearby as well.

Yeah, it's basically the exact same thing as it was before, but they tried and I have to give them a little credit. It's a damn puzzle game, who needs a real story.

3 - There's two new evacuee types. In addition to the returning cast of "Skinny Person", "Fat Person", "Child", "Injured Person", and "Alien", we now have the "Dog" and the "Macho Person". Now technically, the dog isn't new to the US, since we got Exit DS first and it had the dog, but this game came out in Japan first, so this is technically the debut of that character. ANYWAY, with the addition of the new character types, the puzzles are even more diverse than they were before, and that's always great news.

Also, the Machos are totally hilarious. I know a lot of people got annoyed by the evacuees randomly saying the same couple phrases over and over(HELP HELP I'M OVER HERE HELP HELP), but I don't think I'll ever get tired of hearing the machos proclaim "I AM SO BUFF AND GOOOOOOOOOOOOD LOOKING!" and "THIS IS BETTER THAN A REAL GYM!" in their goofy voices.

4 - The translation got fucked up. I don't know who is to blame for this, but somebody royally screwed up somewhere. The help menus and character profiles are in incredibly broken English, such as many of them barely make sense. As well, character portraits in the profiles are all mixed up, and rarely actually match the person they're talking about. I've seen Machos depicted as dogs, dogs depicted as aliens, men depicted as women, aliens depicted as Injured people, and all sorts of just silly mistakes that should have been caught long before this game went up for download. It just screams laziness and sloppy work, which is bizarre given my next point.

5 - Physics changes. This is one I'm rather impressed by. Instead of just porting the exact same physics engine to all the games(Which they easily could have done), Taito actually changed it each time. What follows is an incredibly technical explanation of the new abilities, so if you aren't familiar with the game's physics you might want to just skim it or skip it. But suffice to say, they reprogrammed the system and didn't leave it the same.

START INCREDIBLY TECHNICAL BLABBER

Exit DS had a weird feature that allowed you to jump towards certain walls and latch onto them as if there was a platform there(And one puzzle in particular actually required you to do this AFAIK). Exit 2 added two new little touches(That I've found, anyways) and they're really neat. The first is that they shortened the time it takes before Mr. ESC goes into his "latch onto platforms" animation. He is actually capable of latching onto platforms almost immediately after he starts his jump, which means he can now make jumps -up- one level, as opposed to only being able to jump perfect horizontals and declines. Another addition is sort of also reliant on this new feature. If you -run- off the edge of a platform, Mr. ESC will now move forwards a slight bit. This is normally useless, but it allows you to totally bypass ladders going down, via running off the ledge and "latching" onto the other side, then dropping down. Since ladders only go down 5 spaces, and you can drop-fall 5 spaces safely, this shaves about 5-6 seconds off your time.

END INCREDIBLY TECHNICAL BLABBER

Have I mentioned I REALLY like Exit?


So anyway, the game is essentially more of the same. If you didn't like the first Exit, you probably won't like this one either. If you did like the first one, this is more of the same great stuff Taito has put out before, with a few cool new twists and big additional helping of the series' humor and charm.   read


8:21 PM on 02.27.2009

Pangya PSP announced for US release; yes, I'm aware I'm the only one in the world who cares

I love Pangya. I've never really gotten to play it's original online version, but I saw something about it in a rogue issue of Nintendo Power, and saw it compared to Mario Golf, a game I loved on the N64. Always on the lookout for something interesting to play on my Wii, I checked it out, and I've never looked back. The game is fantastic, and this is coming from somebody who detests sports games, and who finds golf in real life to be the most boring sport even, beneath even curling.

I mean, seriously, the game has a demon from hell as a playable character, and you're encouraged to play Golf with all kinds of hilariously inappropriate objects like swords, paper fans, squeaky mallets, and baseball bats. The character design is just fantastic as well, if you like cutesy Korean art and loli pirates.

I've been watching some trailers for the game, now that I know it exists, and I'm getting really hot and bothered over here. I'm really digging the new redesigns. Scout and Kaz, who were already my favorite characters, look absolutely amazing. Azer looks absolutely badass with his new golfball gun(instead of like a fat doofus that he's been in the last few games), and everyone just looks generally more impressive and amazing then they did before. They've really done a lot to distinguish this version from the Tecmo-ported Wii iterations, from vastly improving the character animations and overhauling a lot of the little things in the game. And with (apparently) UFO's publisher backing it, I can say I'm fairly certain it'll be getting the treatment it deserves here.

ANYWAY, Silconera, GameFAQs, and Gamestop agree that the new PSP iteration of the game is going to be hitting US shores in late May.

[embed]123117:17808[/embed]

Christ, I'm going to need to take out a loan just to buy all the great games coming out this year.   read


11:45 PM on 02.01.2009

10 things about Gen Eric Gui that you couldn't care less about

EVERYONE ELSE WAS DOING IT AND I WANTED TO BE COOL TOO.

10 - I'm a self-defeatist.

I hate everything I have ever done in my life. I am a perfectionist, and I have yet to come even remotely close to meeting my ludicrously high standards. Oh sure, I might feel proud about something just after I finish, but within a day I'm looking back and regretting I ever did it in the first place. Which will probably happen re: this post about five minutes after I make it public.

That said, I've never let my self-defeatism get me down, and I'm still one of the most jovial and happy people you'll ever meet.

9 - I actually -liked- Final Fantasy Mystic Quest.

In fact, it's one of the only Final Fantasy games I like, with the others being 1, 4, and 6. Something about it's lighthearted nature and unpretentious, simple story just cause me to feel unbridled joy every time I play it. Plus, the enemy graphics CHANGE and you can jump! Badass shit right there.

Plus, awesome music is awesome. The battle themes from this games are some of my favorite of all time.


The Bone Dungeon is the best dungeon idea ever. FACT.

8 - The worst injury I have ever sustained I got while baking cookies.

Seriously. My brother had haphazardly stacked clean dishes in a cabinet, and as I opened it up to get out a bowl to mix the cookie dough in, one fell on my hand and wedged a piece of white pyrex into my left ring finger knuckle almost all the way through my hand.

It's not impressive or manly, but it's a funny story anyway.

7 - I actually got started gaming because my parents didn't want me to go outside.

When I was old enough to finally start playing outside by myself, the house we were living in had no actual yard. To play outside meant to play in the street. My parents, bless their souls, decided that was just too dangerous, so they bought me an NES and some games to keep me firmly rooted in front of the TV where I wouldn't get hurt.

And then years later they wondered why I generally kept to myself, never got interested in sports, and didn't ever want to go outside to play in our large new yard.

6 - I was a project manager and editor for Doublejump Books for the better part of a year.

My name is in their guides for Persona 3, Soul Nomad, and Operation Darkness, check it out. I also edited the hell out of some articles for Hardcoregamer.com.


The opening to this, where it talks about all the Japanese customs and what?
My idea. Not my writing, but my idea. Which is still pretty cool, imo.

This job was awesome while it lasted(They hired me because of a crunch, and when the crunch was over they let me go like a dried leaf on the wind~~~). I got to chat directly with Yu Namba at Atlus, and several of the people at NISA back when they were still cool. I also have copies of pre-release code for Soul Nomad, which I don't have the equipment to play but which is still pretty awesome. I also have hand-signed letters from NISA that I'm going to get framed at some point.

5 - I have a habit of picking up on the eccentricities of the people around me and mimicking them.

I have a friend who likes to flips quarters in his hand when he's idle. I never used to do it, but ever since I've known him I've started doing it too. Another friend raises his voice at odd points during sentences. I never did it before, but since knowing him, I now do something similar. It's not something I do intentionally, the action is totally unconscious on my part, and luckily I don't think anybody has ever noticed it.

It's kinda creepy, when I think about it for too long. So I try not to.

4 - I've written game fanfiction.

And I'm not afraid to admit it, or link to it!

I figure it was good practice for writing real fiction, which is something I'd like to do at some point in my life. Or if I ever get to do my dream job of producing videogames, it was really good practice for writing those too.

3 - Of all the books I've read in my lifetime, my favorite one was a children's book.



PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH REPRESENT.

2 - Despite the fact that I identify myself as an old-school gamer and love older games, I still believe that newer games are generally better.

I mean, really now. SMT: Nocturne is -leagues- ahead of any oldschool RPG I can name. And I can name a lot of oldschool RPG's. I've had more fun with Guilty Gear XX and Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom than any fighter made before 2000. Games like Theresia make old text-adventures look like jokes.

That said, I still loves me some Megaman 3 and Kid Icarus. Yessir.

1 - When I go to the gym and run on a treadmill or elliptical runner, I -always- listen to Megaman theme songs and pretend I'm running the levels.

Yeah, I really do.   read


5:27 PM on 01.27.2009

Atlus needs to fix their faucets: more possible game leaks

http://www.siliconera.com/2009/01/27/incoming-flood-of-atlus-game-leaks/

I've never heard of Dokapon Journey or Crimson Gem Saga until just now, but Knights in the Nightmare, Super Robot Taisen, and Devil Survivor have made my pants tight. CAN'T WAIT. ATLUS I WILL GIVE YOU ALL MY MONIES.   read


5:55 PM on 01.14.2009

SaGa 2 remake announced for DS, I am in awe

http://img194.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=42279_saga2_122_22lo.jpg

Back when this was only known as "Final Fantasy Legend 2" and I still actually played Final Fantasy games, I rented the game from a Mom and Pop game rental store that rented out GB games. Almost instantly I was in love with the strange game that played nothing like the other games that shared it's name. No Exp? Weapons that had to be taken care of or they would break? An RPG that was actually difficult? I was amazed and stupefied by the game, and it arguably is the game that really got me truly and utterly hooked on off-beat JRPG's.

Years later, I actually bought my own copy from a Gamestop, and to this day I consider it one of my favorite GB games of all time.

And it's being remade. For DS.

Glorious. Don't fuck this up, Square.   read


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