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My Favourite Games:

15. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

14. LittleBigPlanet

13. Shadow of the Colossus

12. Wave Race 64

11. No More Heroes

10. Super Mario 64

09. Super Smash Bros.

08. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

07. Little King's Story

06. Fallout 3

05. Pokťmon Red

04. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

03. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

02: Ōkami

01. Killer 7

Other things I like:

My Favourite Movies:

My Favourite TV Shows:

My Favourite Books:

My Favourite Musics:

Select Blogography:


Ah, Garcian. How long has it been?

A LittleBigPlanet Retrospective


The Top 25 All-Time Best Wii Games

Love-de-Lic & the most talented Japanese game devs whose games I can't play...
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PSN ID:Grethiwha
Wii U code:Grethiwha
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Back in mid-2010 when Monster Hunter Tri came out on the Wii, I was conflicted about whether or not I wanted to buy it. Iíd been intending to try the series Ė it and Dragon Quest these two series that were popular in Japan and not so in the West, I was curious about, and were getting new acclaimed instalments around the same time as one another. But I didnít take too fondly to Dragon Quest IX and subsequently decided against Monster Hunter. I chickened out at the last minute at the idea of its hardcore difficulty (my being someone who generally plays games on the easy setting), and at the idea that I can just lose a 50-minute fight and not accomplish anything (this is why I stopped playing Advance Wars).

But Iíve still been curious about the series. I thought maybe Iíd consider Monster Hunter 4 when that comes out, but seeing as I prefer console games, and Iíd like an excuse to use my WiiU, I decided by and by that I should try 3 Ultimate. And liable as I was to chickening out again, the timing was right, and I ended up picking it up, not knowing what I was getting myself into. I popped it in for the first time about 8pm Saturday night, intending just to play for a couple hours at most, and then watch a movie and go to bed. At about 4am I forced myself to quit. I love this game. (Incidentally, Iíd just got done playing the very Dragon Quest-like Ni No Kuni, and loved that as well. I suppose this is weird Japanese popular games series 2010 games redux year. Iíll work on that title.)

I havenít been this addicted to a videogame since Skyrim. I played Monster Hunter most of last weekend, when I could in the evenings this week, and now that itís the long weekend I want nothing more than to play it some more. ÖAlthough my stupid brotherís playing Lego City Undercover at the moment Ė needless to say my WiiU, which I havenít had anything to play on for the past two months, has gotten more game-time this week than Iím sure it has in all the time since I bought it on launch day.

Anywho, the community for Monster Hunter is awesome and super-supportive. Whenever Iíd comment on some article about how Iím a little intimidated about the game, Iíd get replies from series fans encouraging me to give it a go. And now in the game people have been really helpful in initiating me into it. I met my first Monster Hunter friend day one! Also most people use text and keyboard as opposed to the mic (or donít mind people using keyboard), which is more my thing. So I like that.

But anyhow, I wanted to do my part now in addressing some of my anxieties about the game and encouraging other people to play. The game is not that difficult. Donít get me wrong, it takes practice, and it can be very hard, but online, it all depends on whoís with you. With three other high-level players, an intimidating monster can be a walk in the park; I can pretty much just focus on staying alive, while they do most of the work. With only 3 in a party, and all on the same level as you, a tough boss fight can be a lot harder, and I have lost a fight after 50 minutes, but so what? Iíve now fought that same monster half a dozen times and itís not gotten boring. When youíre playing Monster Hunter, an hour feels like no time at all; itís so fun, and I feel like Iím constantly learning new things about the game and tightening my grasp on what all it has to offer.

The game is not inaccessibly challenging, but my god can those monsters be scary, and so much fun to fight. My first fight against a big monster, a badgery-looking bear, with only my soon to be first Monster Hunter friend, was something darn special. Now Iíve still only unlocked the second difficulty level/set of quests and I suspect the game will become much, much more challenging still. But itís a challenge Iím looking forward to, and expect Iíll be ready for. Catching up on single-player quests has been a walk in the park after the big monsters in the multi-player. And I havenít mentioned all the other stuff: Iíve figured out how to use my farm to get me plenty of the ingredients I need to make health potions, so I no longer have to forage for them; Iíve just forged a badass new electric sword (stubbornly insisting on only using the Longswords with the samurai aesthetic)Ö I could go on forever with this stuff.

But in sum: this is a ludicrously addictive and enjoyable game, like nothing Iíve played before. If you have a WiiU, I canít recommend any game more highly for the system. If youíre on the fence like I was: without hesitation I say go for it!

Now I wonder how many months before I stop playing this finally. I really wanna try Lego City UndercoverÖ

Well, with the retail version of The Walking Dead game sold out everywhere, Iím losing my conviction that despite my disinterest in the show and comics and the game itself until it started winning game of the year awards left and right, I need to play it. And with the WiiWare version of Retro City Rampage still not out, Iím thinking of giving up on waiting for that to come out before creating a best of 2012 list (technically it will be a 2013 release, after all).

So letís do this! Here it is, my best of 2012 list! Iím doing it a bit differently than I have in past years because honestly there werenít enough outstanding games to fill a top 10 list as sufficiently as I have the last four years. Donít get me wrong, there were a lot of great games, but many were smaller games that didnít occupy my time as fully, and that ultimately didnít prove especially memorable. It may be my fault, perhaps lately Iíve been too choosy about what I play Ė Sleeping Dogs for example is a game I came close to playing and in past years may have, but I changed my mind last minute (same thing with The Walking Dead). Just know that Iím not complaining. After all, what I will probably remember 2012 best for (gaming-wise) is finally getting a chance to finish Majoraís Mask.

So what Iím going to do instead of a top-10 list, is just to highlight three games that I thought were truly outstanding. For a point of reference compared to my 2011 list, I donít think any of these games are quite as good as my top 3 of that year, but theyíd fit in somewhere between those three and my #4 game that year. Whereas no other game of 2012 did I like quite as much as my #10 game on that list. In short, these three games are what I consider the true must-plays of 2012.

In order of release dateÖ and alphabetical orderÖ and, uh, also in order of scale I guessÖ and obscurityÖ


I only played Journey once. It was two hours long and I finished it in a single sitting. When I finished, despite how early into the year I played it, I said to myself, with the same conviction as I did Ghost Trick in 2011: This will be my game of the year.

When I started playing it, I had sort of forgotten that you meet other players but canít communicate with them, and the possibilities of this mechanic had never dawned on me. When I first noticed another character, jumping around the level, it was a magical moment Ė I immediately got it. And as I followed this mysterious person around the level and he followed me around, and we helped each other find secrets, without actually talking to one another. The bond I felt with this other character, just in this one level, was so strong and so unlike anything Iíve ever experienced before, and immediately I was in love with the game. Over the next two hours, I lost track of partners and other ones showed up, but still I was able to bond with them in this way, and it was truly magical.

The game is drop-dead gorgeous, visually; the music is incredible, and the set-pieces, if I can even call them that, are truly spectacular and one-of-a-kind. Journey was quite a journey. And yet, Journey is not lasting art. It was two hours and I hesitate to play it again for fear that the magic of my first play-through will be diminished on a second go. Eventually, it will get to the point where everyone you play with online knows how to do everything, is just trying to accomplish specific goals, is disinterested in the other player, and that original magic will be lost (before the online community disappears altogether). Iíll have to replay it before that point. I fear it might already be like that, that Journey is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and will never be the same as it was in 2012. But if that may be the case, Iím just glad I was there.


Xenoblade Chronicles impressed me in a lot of ways, with its scale and its world and its energy, and itís the game I put the most time into this year, but there was so much I didnít like about it. That game pretty much devolved into spending hours upon hours running across enormous fields hitting every enemy along the way with your sword to gain the necessary experience to challenge the next boss. Itís probably the most ludicrously time-wasting game Iíve ever played; donít even get me started on the inanity of spending hours in menus to equip the right equipment, gem crafting, or sidequests that are completed by running all over gargantuan levels until a little red Ďxí appears on your radar. With this in mind, I was pretty trepidatious going into The Last Story, expecting something like Xenoblade Chronicles but not as worthwhile.

Instead, with The Last Story, I got one of (if not) the most enjoyable and brilliantly paced JRPGs Iíve ever experienced. And it makes Xenoblade Chroniclesí excess of filler seem all the more offensive by comparison. Of course, most people seem to like Xenoblade Chronicles more, and I can understand that. The Last Story has much less depth, it is only a little over 20 hours long. The two games are ultimately for pretty different audiences. But for people like meÖ The Last Story is an action-RPG, and that means something. This game has an auto-equip button, that lets the computer decide who gets what equipment. Yes, this is the JRPG for people like me. No fiddling around in menus. No grinding. Oh yes.

I find The Last Story has much more depth in terms of the range of approaches to combat. The combat is also more enjoyable; I really feel like Iím controlling everything my character does, but the combat system is also unique, in effective ways that add strategy to the game. The bosses are awesome. The music is great. And I ultimately became quite endeared to the characters. And I already said this, but I canít help saying it again: the pacing is so great! This is a total class gaming experience. Read more in this blog I did about it.

and finally...


Way of the fucking Samurai 4, oh my god I love this game. Why oh why did no one tell me about this series when I did my blog about how I wished there was an open-world samurai game? Sure itís not exactly the Red Dead Redemption of the samurai genre, but in its own, incredibly silly way, itís almost as good. This is a game where you can run up to the local magistrate and call them ďstupidheadsĒ, beat up old ladies within an inch of their lives and then recruit them into your dojo to train and fight for you, and seduce random women (or old ladies) with lines like ďYou have a nice, firm assĒ. Thatís just the tip of the iceberg.

When I first started playing, I thought perhaps this game was so little-known for a good reason. The ugly graphics and screen-tearing, and the repetitious clanging of the swords in the background into my headphones while I was reading tutorials was giving me a headache, and I was discouraged by the initial lack of clothing options (I opted for nearly naked over the ugly kimono). But then I clicked something to surrender a battle and suddenly I was tied up on a trolley track engaging in this ludicrous dialogue with a man to help save me, which I liked. And then it was late at night and I really wanted to save and quit and I couldnít figure out how to save and then I went up to a guy with a camera, who could save my game by taking a photo, and his explanation for saving and the subsequent dialogue choices were amazing. And then he was getting ready to take the photo when suddenly he got hit by the trolley and died. And I was incredibly amused and annoyed.

Anyway, it took me a while and some research to understand and get used to the gameís structure Ė this is a game you must play through multiple times to get anything out of Ė on subsequent play-throughs you can side with different factions and get different endings, and, crucially, everything you did on your first play-through is saved. Itís really interesting, and back when it first came out, and Destructoid wasnít really covering it much, I was planning to do a review of it in my blog until Josh Tolentino finally wrote a great review of it, highlighting that the gameís weakness is in its failure to communicate its strengths, and it takes effort from the player to get into. But gosh, that effort is rewarded tenfold in silliness. I ultimately played this game over 30 hours, and I have so many good memories, from recruiting geisha to my dojo, to opening the language school so I could understand English, to lowering my crime rate so the stores would stock more clothes, to going fishing inside a bucket (and catching the Ďlegendary fishí in there, no less), to completing ludicrous sidequests for the local vagabonds, to playing as an old man dressed in cat ears and cat paws who specializes in martial arts and performing the hilariously creepy sex mini-game. To following the path to the true ending, which, as stupid as the story of this game is most of the time, is actually kind of cool. No, itís not a serious triple-A samurai open-world game (and you might need to visit its GameFAQs page a bit), but if you like somewhat unpolished open-world comedy games, like, say, Deadly PremonitionÖ this was perhaps my favourite game of 2012.
Photo Photo Photo

2012 was one of the weaker years for gaming, for me, in recent memory. There was nothing I played that came close to my top three of 2011. Most of the most worthwhile games of last year were short, downloadable games; there was little in the realm of full retail type experiences that I could get anywhere near as immersed in as the likes of Skyward Sword and Skyrim. Anyway, I still need to play The Walking Dead, to find out what the fuss is about on that one, and Retro City Rampage, when it finally comes to Wiiware, before I finalize any kind of personal 'best of 2012' list (maybe I'll count the latter as a 2013 game). But for now, a most anticipated of 2013 list! If some of the games on this list pan out (not to mention, some of the games not on this list, like Killer is Dead), I see 2013 being quite a bit stronger a year than '012...

10. Fantasy Life (3DS - TBA)

This is a game that hasn't been announced for a release outside of Japan Ė it just came out in Japan like a week ago after like three years of development Ė but my fingers are crossed for it. It's a JRPG, but you don't play as a hero, rather, a peasant. There are tons of different occupations you can choose and I'm seriously enraptured by the idea of playing an RPG as a postman. The game looks to capture the simulation game addictiveness and delightfulness of stuff like Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon, and I have high hopes for it.

9. Grand Theft Auto 5 (PS3 - Q2)

I laud Rockstar for taking their immense talent and resources to original settings in riskier games like Red Dead Redemption and L.A. Noire, these last few years, the former being, I think, their best game. But I'm ready for a new GTA now. And they've earned their right to make one. It's been enough time that the game can be a true sequel, not just a new iteration. I had some problems with GTA IV, but I look forward to this new game blowing that one away.

8. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS - Spring)

I haven't gotten much use out of my 3DS lately. Why hasn't this come out yet? Since the launch of the 3DS, I've seen this as perhaps Nintendo's biggest first-party title - or at least the most intriguing, since I never played the original Luigi's Mansion, and am interested to see what the green brother's personal series is all about.

7. LEGO City Undercover (WiiU - Q1)

This looks like easily the best LEGO game in years, if not ever. It's not a franchise cash-in, it's its own thing, and it looks awesome. It appears to be a true open-world game Ė a silly GTA clone, in the tradition of The Simpson's Hit & Run, and I'm frankly more excited for it than the actual new GTA game.

6. Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS - Q1/Q2)

It's been many years now since my addiction to Animal Crossing on the DS finally wore off. But now, as I've seen more and more of the new game, I'm starting to feel it again... the craving. Yes, I see myself playing this every day again. And now, I'll have even more motivation to keep with it, since my brother (who played the Wii version until the disc broke) will no doubt get his own copy of the game. Aaarg, I really hope I don't get to that point again where the game just devolves into me logging in every day to spend twenty minutes picking and selling all the fruits that have regrown on my trees...

5. Rayman Legends (WiiU - February 26)

This was to be my big launch title for the WiiU, before it got delayed. Having played a little bit of New Super Mario Bros. U, and the Rayman Legends Demo Ė Rayman Legends is just so much better. This is the WiiU platformer to be; this is the WiiU game to play with friends. This game is where the fun and creativity is.

4. The Wonderful 101 (WiiU - "Launch Window")

This is a game where you draw circles around unemployed Superheroes to recruit them to form together into a giant fist and punch robots. Yes. This game for me represents the next generation of the kind of unique niche Wii games that made that system so special. The gameplay is immediately intriguing to me, being another new take on the Pikmin style of gameplay that's made for some of my very favourite games. Yeah, this is definitely one of my most anticipated WiiU games.

3. The Last Guardian (PS3 - TBA)

Okay okay, The Last Guardian has been at the top of my most anticipated games lists every year since 2010. So it's getting difficult to include it with a straight face. But c'mon! It's gotta come out this year, right?!

2. Pikmin 3 (WiiU - Launch Window)

This is Nintendo's one big triple-A WiiU game, and it's the long-awaited next instalment in one of their best and most under-loved franchises. The Pikmin games are soo fucking good. I am enormously excited for this game Ė it is certain to be incredible. And what better way to establish Nintendo's first foray into HD gaming Ė this game will look glorious.

1. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (PS3 - January 22)

I debated the order of these top three choices. But, despite some trepidation regarding the turn-based combat and possible grinding that's why I'm not often a big JRPG fan, I'm giving Ni No Kuni the top spot. I mean, the game looks deep and unbelievably beautiful, and I can see myself being absorbed into its world the way only a few of my very favourite games have ever accomplished. The fact that Studio Ghibli is behind this project lends credence to this possibility Ė the worlds of their films are charming and endearing and beautiful. And seeing these worlds through their films is great, but I'm getting this feeling, that that will pale in comparison to the experience of actually being in one of their worlds. ...And it's coming this month!

8:07 PM on 12.13.2012

Today I got my PS3 back from repair. This whole thing has been quite a nightmare. A little over a week ago it crapped out on me while I was watching an episode of The Boondocks on DVD. I got the dreaded "Yellow Light of Doom". And the PS3 would turn on no more.

My initial research informed me there were two ways of going about this situation. I could send it in to Sony for $150 so they could take 4-6 weeks to send me back a different refurbished PS3 (at which point I'd be better off just buying a refurbished PS3), or I could give it to some sort of sketchy unauthorized console repair guy in my area and that way I wouldn't lose my hard drive (but the repair might not last).

But I wasn't too worried about losing my data, because I upgraded my hard drive three Augusts ago from the original 40GB to a 320GB. So I could just send in the old one and hang on to the good one, data intact. And, as it turned out, the price to service it wasn't quite so steep; here, for my model, it cost about $112 after tax. And it didn't take long either; I got the thing back, what?, four business days after I sent it in. Swell.

And here my troubles began...

So my 40GB hard drive has been cleared. And the PS3 will not accept my 320GB hard drive without first reformatting and clearing that. It must only work with my original console. And though I'm pretty sure they sent me back the same console, it doesn't recognize it any more. And because the backups that the PS3 accepts are encrypted in some special way, there is literally no way I can back up the data on my 320GB drive. In order to back it up, my PS3 would have to never have been broken in the first place.

So I'm screwed. I have all my data on the hard drive in front of me, and I have no choice but to erase it.

Back up your PS3 hard drives, folks! My sole consolation is, I still have my backup from two and a half years ago. So I don't lose all my data... Just the last two and a half years of it. Ugh. And god knows the headaches I'll get even trying to recover what is backed up! Apparently certain games have 'locked' save data and can't be recovered (still holding out hope for my Fallout 3 and most of my LittleBigPlanet data, at the very least). I'm going to have to redownload so much DLC and so many PSN games it'll probably be more than my monthly internet usage allowance, all at once. So much crap to reinstall. This is assuming the back-up even works.

I remember the headaches when I first upgraded the PS3's hard drive. Here's a portion of a blog post I wrote, way back then:

Now, I was always under the false impression that an external hard drive would add space without the need to actually go through the potentially arduous task of replacing the internal hard drive. So one of the things I got for my birthday is an external hard drive. I formatted it to fat32 and added the folders and plugged it into my PS3, only to find that it's only good for pictures and videos. That's no good, it's the game data and psn games that take up all the (40GB of) space. I had a bunch of money from my birthday, so I went out and bought an internal (320GB) hard drive for about $60, followed Chris Roper's tutorial on replacing it, and had difficulty every step of the way. From waiting like 40 minutes for the Best Buy guy to check the back room to see if the one I was looking for was hidden in the back somewhere (He couldn't find it; I ended up going to PC cyber, a computer specialty store and getting a good one for cheaper than any at Best Buy with no difficulty whatsoever) - to the tray my hard drive is in being designed differently than Chris Ropers - to the PS3 not starting up the same way - to, worst of all, the backup utility restore failing. I had backed up all my stuff to my new external hard drive, but whenever I would restore, after an hour of restoring it would fail. A lot of my files would be back, but the PS3 wasn't completely back to normal. I ended up switching back and forth the hard drives and spent the better part of two days on this before deleting as much of my game data as I could stand (I kept Rock Band and LittleBigPlanet - I ain't redownloading all that DLC) on my old hard drive, creating a back up, resetting my new hard drive and then restoring again. Finally it worked, names didn't have asterisks beside them, my brother's theme showed up, and I began reinstalling all my games. Thank God that's over with.

God knows if I even by miracle had backed up my hard drive before the console crapped out on me, if I would even be able to transfer the data, with all my game data on there, which wouldn't transfer back then! Fuck, this is all so frustrating!

I've never lost save data like this before! I loath to lose data like this! I have 92 save files in Skyrim, lost. All that time a couple months back I spent acquiring all the clothing I could get in Way of the Samurai 4, just to have it. And now I don't. That's the kind of thing I do in all sorts of games. I have no choice now but to adopt a 'well, I probably wasn't going to revisit those games in a meaningful way anyway' attitude. But truly, save data is important to me.

And here's where I need to go on a bit of a Jimquisition-style rant. Because fuck Sony! This bullshit where the hard drive can only work with one PS3, or where the backup data is encrypted so only that PS3 can back it up, is not at the service of the consumer but rather is some bullshit anti-piracy measure. And the 'locked saves' are for what, to make sure people don't cheat at trophies? Fucking trophies? I see no sign that Sony gives a shit about people being able to recover their save data. That's not important to them. They're interested only in preventing piracy, at the expense of the consumer.

And now I can't help but like Nintendo even more. My Wii broke a couple years back. It cost half as much to repair (a third of the $150 it costs some PS3 owners), and took half as long (a fifteenth of how long it took some PS3 owners), and they saved all of my data. I wanted to improve my Wii's storage space, so I got an unused SD card that was lying around the house and plugged that in, end of story, how does that compare to my story above about switching the PS3's hard drive? It's all so easy with Nintendo, and they seem to actually care about seeing you keep your save data.

And now, as we begin a new console generation, I don't see myself buying a Playstation 4. It's not just because of this. My first console was the N64, then the PS2, then the Wii. It wasn't until 2008 I first became a multi-console owner. And now, for real life reasons, I have less time than ever to play games, and I've been thinking I'll just stick with the WiiU for a while. But after this disheartening experience I am more convinced to stick with just the WiiU.

I don't actually identify myself as a fanboy, like the title of this post suggests, but in the coming years, I'll probably be resigning myself, in the realm of games, to being a 'Nintendo guy'. The Wii was my favourite console, but I think now, increasingly, I'm finding Nintendo is the only console manufacturer I can really respect.

I just hope the WiiU starts getting some freakin' games already.
Photo Photo Photo

...written while I wait for the WiiU to update.

I was so in awe of how long it was taking that I just had to write about it. Actually it finished downloading, and that's what took ludicrously long, so it's installing now and shouldn't be long.

So I got the WiiU! Hooray! Okay, it's been a lot more headaches than fun so far. I just spent nearly two hours getting the internet to work on it. And before that I was transferring all my Miis from my 3DS, painstakingly one by one. I don't want to transfer all my data from my Wii since I'm keeping it, so apparently this is the only way to get all my Miis in there.

Oh hey, it's finished installing.

Anyway, I was visiting my grandmother's house right after I picked it up this afternoon, and so I set the thing up there first. Had no problem connecting to the internet at her place, although it gave me an error when I tried to update the system. Probably for the best considering how slow the update is. Spent way too long creating a Mii for the fact I ended up just using my 3DS Mii. Also, the first time I quit NintendoLand, the WiiU menu was loading for so long I had to unplug the system. And the load times in general were pretty frustrating for how much going through menus there was at first.

So I played some NintendoLand. First I played the Game & Watch themed dancing game and it was shite. And Sterling was right about that robot-lady; she's super annoying. But I later played with my brother and cousin some of the multi-player games, and they were quite fun!

Alright, let's see what this update's done...

Ah! There's that Mii Wara Wara! Okay, creating a Nintendo Network ID, now we're talking. Good, "Grethiwha"'s not taken. The more I post on the internet, the more I fear someone will steal my bullshit unique username just to annoy me. Friend me!

Anywho, I have more to check out, and it occurs to me writing the blow-by-blow here as I go through it won't be very interesting.

So yeah. Hopefully this didn't sound negative; I'm pretty excited to check out what all else the thing has to offer. And the controller's pretty rad. Just forgot the amount of headaches that can occasionally come with first setting up a new console. How have everyone else's first experiences with the thing been?

Holy balls crap this game is beautiful! FUCK!

So, as you probably know (by scrolling anywhere on my blog), Ōkami is one of, if not my single favourite game ever. I also consider it, on account of its art design, the best looking game of all-time - better looking than any game this generation has produced, despite the dated graphics.

So, naturally, an HD update should make it an even more beautiful most beautiful game ever. It should do, but I have a healthy scepticism when it comes to HD remakes. The ones I've played include:

- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and ICO, which are fine, but they look a little weird, like they were obviously meant to be played on a CRT television. Seeing them in HD doesn't flatter them.

- No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise, which features broken Move controls, a rubbish new art style, and a wealth of exclusive technical issues.

- and Metal Gear Solid 3, which is pretty ace.

So I thought Ōkami HD had potential to be the best thing ever, but I figured there was a good chance it would let itself down in some way. Anyway, I've put a few hours into it, and it's completely blown away even my most optimistic expectations.

I literally can't find fault in this new version of Ōkami.

So I guess the first thing I have to talk about is the visuals. Here's my academic analysis: HOLY SHEEEEET IT LOOKS SO FUCKING GOOD!

Totally blown away by how good it looks, and I think that's saying a lot considering I already thought it was the best looking game ever. How much better than the best can it look? A LOT APPARENTLY!

Also, you paper-filter obsessives will be happy to know it's now offered in your choice of three intensities! I like "normal". The sky and water have that subtle papery texture to them... Fuck it looks so good! It all just looks so handcrafted and amazing!

Okay. Now controls. Here's where I was most sceptical. Because I liked the Wii controls and I think the Move is rubbish. I figured I'd just use the DualShock controls, and that's what I'm doing. But it's totally fine! This is Ōkami's original control scheme, from the PS2 version, and I'm liking it just fine. The Wii controls made the game faster, but there were a few little issues where you could tell it wasn't the game's original control scheme - like, for example, it was absurdly hard to cross monster's names off your list thingy when you were expected to make a perfectly horizontal line. Now there are no such problems. This is the way the game was originally meant to be played.

And I don't miss the motion controls in combat, nor the incredibly sensitive dodging ability which made it so whenever I scratched my ear holding the Nunchuk while loading a new room, it'd finish loading and I'd dodge back into the previous room and have to load two more times. (Speaking of loading, I'm pretty sure that's way way faster now...)

That said, I did try the Move controls (which was frustrating, because the two halves of the controller both lost their charge from disuse and needed to be charged separately, though I only have one charging cable <_<), and I was... really impressed! Except for I couldn't figure out how to draw thicker lines, drawing works perfectly with the Move's pointer controls. And as far as I could tell, there was no motion control at all - all that's still done with the buttons. Which is great, because the Move's motion control capabilities are shit-house as far as I've experienced, and the Wii version's waggle control was never its highlight.

Still... no fault of the developers, the button layout on the Move, I've come to realize, is a worthy addition to any list of reasons not to like the Move. It just doesn't feel good to press those little face buttons, and I'd sooner just stick with the DualShock.

Anyway, the Move controls are still a lot better than I was expecting, and if you're intent on using them, I don't strongly recommend against them! And besides, just the fact that the game offers both control methods, I'm pretty impressed with.

So, uh, if you haven't figured it out, I think this is the definitive version of the game. Easily. Despite my trepidation regarding HD updates. This is the best HD update I've experienced. And it couldn't have been for a more deserving game. I may find myself replaying through the entire 50+ hour thing, shortly - I'm that excited to own it. It feels less like playing a port of a videogame, and more like having my favourite movie - and incidentally the movie I think is the most visually stunning I've seen - be released on blu-ray and given a flawless transfer. I am awed by it. (speaking of: Lawrence of Arabia comes out on Blu-ray this week and is being called "a revelation and perhaps the definitive Blu-ray catalogue release, if not the format's finest presentation". :DDDD)

If you have a PS3, and haven't played Ōkami yet, you're in for a treat (and you WILL buy it, versteht ihr?). If you have played it before, and you liked it enough to buy it again for the sake of owning a more definitive version... you will not be disappointed.

Ōkami HD is perfect.