Harukai 's blog
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I'm 21 and from the UK, I love all games and own most consoles that came from the SNES era and forward apart from a few I am still wanting to collect.

My favourite game series are the Final Fantasy's closely followed by Metal Gear.

My owned consoles:-

Super Nintendo
Sega MegaDrive
Playstation 2
Playstation 3
Sega Dreamcast
Nintendo Wii
Xbox 360
Nnintendo DS Lite
Gameboy colour
Gameboy Advance
Pc (It isn't technically a console, but I game on it)
Following (19)  

Hey guys I was surfing around the net in a very Zelda mood deciding which Legend I was going to replay and I came across this amazing little comparison that some guys are doing.

It's simply put a project where they take the original textures from the greatest Zelda game with more detailed HD versions and made a little flash application where when you move your mouse over it shows you the difference.

I for one would love it nintendo would implement something like this, because at the moment I'm much happier playing the original Zeldas (apart from zelda 2) than I am playing through Twilight princess again and so keeping them the same but giving them a nice little HD finish would really make my day.

Heres the link so go enjoy it!


When I first heard about the monthly musing topic for this month I racked my brain thinking about which game character had ever strongly effected me in either a positive or negative way that I could share my experiences with the rest of you, at first I thought I'd take the easy route and look for my most hated characters since on almost every game I play I end up shouting at the screen to some stupid girl who has surprisingly hurt her leg and is now useless and needs me to help her for the umpteenth time.

But then it finally came to me that the answer of who I had really related to was hiding in my favourite game, but this is because I relate to him on the side that most don't remember, his chivalrous side . . . .

Ok then, before I get into this I just want to say that even though some of the things he says in the game sound a bit too copy and pasted from a romantic novel I generally related to what he stood for and not the big girls blouse way that he put it.

In the first part of the game Squall is known as the "lone wolf" character, his broody mannerisms and "leave me alone" attitude that keeps him distant from the other characters did nothing but make final fantasy fan boys get throbbing erections at this would be Cloud guy. But no one can relate to that, if you act like that in real life then you should just stay in and play games because there is no reason to ever have to be like that. I remember him saying something along the lines of "If your alone you only have to look after yourself and can't let anyone else down" which is just what wimps say who can't get close to anyone! But I digress, for the Squall I relate to is the one that emerges in the second half of the game when Squall learns that Ellone is in Esthar and decides to go alone carrying her on his back through fishermans horizon.

From that point onwards Squall becomes an almost completely new character, he shows that he's scared and wants to help, that he's willing to go the distance for the woman he loves. I have never to this day seen another game character go that far for someone he loves, it's normally the usual swing in and rescue scene (although that does also happen) or something to that extent but in this instance of character it showed that characters could develop themselves into the hero's they need to be when called upon.

I believe that in todays world there is too much talk of what is politically correct and you can't act a certain way because it is sexist, racist, or both if your really offensive! I strongly believe that men should be men and protect the woman that matters the most to them, I still hold doors for people and offer a helping hand to what I see as a damsel in distress but on more cases that not instead of a gentle smile or thanks I'm awarded with a dirty look or a "I can do it myself" as though every bit of kindness given was a way to undermine the opposite sex! But in games like this where there are still hero's I can still relate to I feel like it is worth doing because doing what you think it right is more important than getting what you think you deserve.

"No matter what happens, even if you become the worlds enemy. I'll be your knight" Moments like this are hard to find in a game, I can't think of anyone else I relate to better other than Squall, he's the hero that distances himself just to enough to see clearly what is going on, but still acts with his heart when he needs to. Thanks for reading, I'll try and make my next post a bit more manlier.

P.S Another great quote from Squall that I just wanted to end with but couldn't find anywhere good to put it:

"Right and wrong are not what separate us and our enemies. It's our different
standpoints, our perspectives that separate us. Both sides blame one another.
There's no good or bad side. Just two sides holding different views"
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5:39 PM on 06.22.2008

I for one at the moment find myself very pleased with the current situation of games, that being the quantity of games worth playing. I found myself the other day wander into my nearest HMV shop and saw both Eternal Sonata and Blue Dragon at a reduced £15.00 each (30 dollars for the rest of you) which is a steal compared to the original 40-50 I would have to pay on release. Upon snatching these two up I decided I'd get going with them and see how the ratio of quality game to money panned out, needless to say I was happy with my purchases and would have been even on release, well maybe not quite as happy but almost.

But this is actually starting to cause a problem for me now, mainly due to the DS and 360's success, because now I'm not actually finishing my games anymore, I'm getting between half and three quarters of the way through and then switching to another game or buying a new one because it's either become affordable or has just come out (Alone in the Dark my latest problem and soon to be super smash brothers).

Don't get me wrong though this isn't a bad thing, I enjoy having all of these games at my disposal it's a very pleasing change compared to when I was young and just replayed my favourites while waiting for the next big titles or just because it was time to enjoy the classic awesomeness of my old faves. This did used to happen before though, normally around the summer releases or at the big christmas line up, all the best games would come out at once and rather than buy one finish it and repeat i would get all of them start all of them and then pick my current fave to complete first.

This has become a real struggle for me recently, because of having to work and going out with friends I have limited gaming time and find myself going in a routine almost of just getting nowhere on games or losing my old willpower I used to possess that would push me through the annoying parts of games (Lost Odyssey currently being the bane of my existence for it's abundance of annoyance).

My question to you the community is do you share the same problem as me? Do i simply need to start forcing myself to play just one game or is this a blessing in disguise that I have mistaken for a bad omen of too much of a good thing? I keep on wanting to finish GTAIV but find myself just playing Rock Band with friends or grinding a bit further on Final Fantasy III but never really progressing with anything.

I suppose looking at it now, it may just be the way I look at things. That I'm looking at my gaming as a whole like an xbox achievements list and I merely want to whore as many titles as I can. A lot of the time I won't let myself rush through a game, I still hold a passion for my gaming that I believe some new gamers haven't quite gotten yet, where what they see as a goal is to beat the end boss I'm getting lost in Rapture for example looking at the effects and atmosphere (seriously I spent like an hour watching one splicer before, she was nursing a revolver in a pushchair!)

In closing, I just wanted to share this current struggle with the Dtoid community in the hope that you can either empathise with me and agree that due to the fruition of gaming as a business at the moment we are swamped with a great collection of choice and are becoming spoilt so it isn't just me been greedy, but if I am then at least I'll know because I'm pretty sure you guys/gals aren't the kind of people to pull punches. Enjoy flaming me for not finishing games :P Oh and please no spoilers >.>

Thanks for reading

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Hey there fellow Dtoiders, it's been a while since my last post now so with the start of the affair theme I decided I'd give that a go and get back into my blogging ways.

But enough of that, you came here to find out what the hell I mean by playing a game everyone else thinks is good. You're probably sat their on your ivory throne softly swilling the contents of your brandy class preparing yourself to scoff at whatever you read here due to it been preposterous and highly shallow and pedantic. Well those people can eat their scoffs and harumph all they want because this will be an eye opening read that I'm sure fellow games have done in the past!

What I mean by the title is; have you ever heard a group of people talking about a game they love which has a good sized fan base that you always thought "Nah, I'm not really into those kind of games I don't get why everyone is into them" but then due to the hype actually played into it and tried it? I for one have done this many a time, a lot of the time to actually be let down because so many review sites tell me the game is 9/10 and a must have but no where did it tell me that's only if your a fan of the genre or series already!

The most recent example I have of doing this is Forza 2, now before you all stone me to death I do actually enjoy the game, just not as much as I would have hoped. I am not what you would a racing fan gamer, I enjoy to drive my car pretty fast in the real world but that's normally because it's taking me to a food emporium. On games after I get past the soundtrack and graphics I normally start to feel a bit jaded with the concept of having to do the same stuff with different cars etc. But the stuff I'd heard about Forza I just couldn't pass it up, I'd loved Gran Turismo 3 and still have that stand as my favourite racing game (realistic racing game, Mario kart and F zero are the dogs bollocks) and so with it been from what I could see, the 360 alternative I thought I would give it a go. I'd done my research online, great reviews, good looking fan videos, plenty of content and a cheap enough limiter edition version was available nearby. But after about 2 days of playing it just sits on my shelf, the enjoyment I had for those days gone just because the hype and the fan base just meant nothing to me and I had hoped beyond hope I would have gotten into the game gotten really good and raced liked the Stig online (Top Gear joke).

Now this just led me to wonder, does anyone else build up their hopes for games they here everyone else loves to only give it a go because of that? Or am I the only one and most of the time everyone is a fanboy of everything good nowadays? I know my friends definately do the same as me, one imparticular (who even though he doesn't read this I won't mention his name). He buys everyone new game the day it comes out that has any sign of hype or has heard from me I can't wait to get my hands on it. But then after 2 days playing and telling me that it's such a good game and he's further than me because he has no job, he stops playing it and never speaks of it again. He did this about 4 months ago in a huge way that I could not believe, he had just sold his 360 in order to buy a PS3 because he wanted a more powerful expensive console to brag to his friends (mainly me) that he owned. But when Halo 3 was coming out and he heard people were pre ordering it, he asked me "Mark what do you think to this Halo 3, it any good?" and I simply told him "It's going to be mint Joe, should have some awesome multiplayer for sure", he went out the same day bought a 360 and halo 3, played it for about 3 days this time but then . . . . . . it just collects dust in his room. He owns all 3 of the best current consoles now and not one of them does he play frequently, he gets roped in by the hype and advertisements and believes he needs them to be a true gamer.

Now most people aren't this bad, but what say you? Have you ever tried to force yourself into a game or has a fanbase for a game sold you a game that otherwise you wouldn't have tried? I'm not saying this is a bad thing mind you, I'd never played Halo till Halo 3 so without the hype I wouldn't have enjoyed such a good game. Thoughts anyone?
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Final Fantasy VIII was not the first game I played, nor in my opinion was it the most finely crafted one I have experienced. But it was definately the first game I played that made me start to really put my time into games as a form of entertainment that could do so much more than just watching tv or in some cases reading a well written novel. Not saying that all games do this of course but for me it was a few certain series that "started my affair" and I've become a better person for it ever since.

Final Fantasy VIII came out in 1999 and I was actually unaware of the series at the time and of this games particular release, I had just recieved a playstation off my uncle who had gotten me into computer games originally by giving me his old Megadrive (Genesis) when I was younger and had shown me the awesome enjoyment involved with holding the right button to win every Sonic game (which I still love). He gave me some of his playstation games that he had around that time, Crash Bandicoot and Porche Challenge, and a latter of enjoyable but standard games. There had been nothing in this collection that made me think video games had really gotten anywhere they were still just something fun to play with when there was nothing else to do. I'd just finished Crash Bandicoot and decided it was time to purchase a new game for my system something I could say "Woah look at the graphics" to my friends when a cut scene came on. The actual reason I chose Final Fantasy VIII was because when I looked at the games in "Game" it had such a sexy back of the box and I just thought "god damn this is some hot shit" although been 11 at the time I probably thought something different like "Ooh da lally this will be splendid!".

I knew this was going to do something for my love for games once I saw the beginning cutscene, to this day I find it hard to find a game to have an intro that can compete with that. The CG cut scene was beautifully rendered and it had such great action, good direction and actually had foreshadowing I came to find out. In previous games I had seen nothing like this, it had always just been the cute cool retro games I remembered which with this been my first rpg didn't really give me much depth other than "Your princess is in another castle".

When I started playing I felt new emotions for games that if the game strikes me just right now I can feel again (Lost Odyssey gave me some tingley feelings), I had never been so emotionally invested into a game. The characters seemed so alive to me and yet it wasn't the same as just watching the events unfold I was really part of this. Sure I didn't feel like I was Squall or anything like that but I felt as thought I was somehow the narrator who was overlooking on the situations they were been put into.

Ok here is a secret I hoped to keep away for a bit longer but it was this game that created my dark past, when the first random encounter happened and the battle screen came up I shouted "Oh my god it's a fighting game too!" and began to mash my controller in an attempt to slice up my enemies or through a hadoken at them and had no idea what the bars on the screen meant, luckily since I was mashing everything so much I hit X a few times and attacked them, then I slowly began to realise it was only when "that box" came on the screen that I could just choose my actions. To this day I think the turn based ATB RPG fighting system (dont try saying that drunk) are the best way to have a good balanced fight in an RPG. With these games there all about choices and the characters been individual and affecting the story, even though I like Eternal sonatas combo attack system and think it works great I don't think I can really give it too much strategy other than when to heal.

This game started my affair for gaming for one main reason, I wanted to play it more than anything once I had started. In todays gaming I find it hard to just play a game straight to finish, I normally have about 3 on the go because I get sick of them after a few hours and need a change. But with this it just kept giving me just enough challenges, story, enviroments and character development to keep me hanging on and fighting for the next outcome of my actions.

This is far from a flawless game but for me it was all I needed to show me there is more to games that points and coins, that a video game can do more than a movie and make you feel more invested than if you starred in your own film! (Or read one of those books where you make choices and turn to certain pages). It may have been an affair that started a long time ago, but my flame for games still burns brightly and every year I will replay Final Fantasy VIII,, sometimes twice if I have no other games left it just brings back so many good memories for me and even made me buy the soundtrack since the magic Nobuo works can be re-created wherever I am and still make me feel all warm and unsocial even when in a crowded room.

Sorry to rant for so long I just hold such a huge erection for this game I had to fap about it sometime, I could have gone further but I spent too much time talking about how I bought the damn thing so you don't get to hear about how the love story in this game actually made me try romance movies! Thanks for reading my embarrassing story from my youth.
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7:31 PM on 02.25.2008

After all these years of success and great games is it time Nintendo should change the formula?

Before I get into this here is my opinion: I love Zelda games and think they are all great (apart from the second one, that kind of sucked) and do not want them to start changing them drastically.

The reason I have created this post is because earlier today I was with my friends watching Gametrailers retrospective videos because they are so well done and my friends hadn't seen them. After going through the Final Fantasy ones and been shouted at since they now wanted to play all the Final Fantasy series again we moved onto the Zelda franchise.

Only one of my two friends who was with me had played most of the Zelda games and enjoyed the series, my other friend is a much more "casual gamer" and finds it hard to get into games and finish a lot of them, after going through the retrospective my friend who likes Zelda games said that "Ocarina of Time is definitely the best Zelda game all the new ones are just trying to remake that games greatness, I wish they'd do something different because their not really getting any new fans like this" where as my other friend said "I don't really see why there is such a hype over Zelda, I can't see the attraction they should make a different one for the Wii otherwise I'm not going to bother with it and I doubt anyone new to Zelda will either".

After this I was pretty stunned but then thought back to many reviews I saw for Twilight Princess, that hadn't been such a huge hit even though I loved it to pieces even though it didn't beat Ocarina of Time for me (but most games can never beat their best title, e.g. Final Fantasy VII) I thought it was a great new Zelda game to add to the series. So perhaps it's just me who still loves the new Zelda titles because I'm such a huge Zelda fanboy but I don't think that my love for the series could make me think a boring game was enjoyable.

I take their opinion though and agree not really too much has changed over the years with Zelda games apart from the jump from 2d to 3d and so they could do a lot more than make me shake my hand to attack so I don't get fat (instead I get arthritis) and let me point to aim my bow at foes. Now don't look at me for ideas I can't see what could make these games much better other than maybe a deeper story in the next title, but I think I like the Legend, being reborn as the new hero collecting things to beat other things and eventually fighting Ganon with my new gained power that collecting things have given me. It gives me a nice simple story like the Mario and Sonic series do in a different way, it's simple brilliant and fun but it could always do with a bit more.

But what do you guys think? I'd love to hear from people who haven't tried Zelda (and have taken their fingers out of their ears and removed themselves from the cave in which they reside) and see if they think changing the game drastically would make them want to try it. I'm happy keeping the game the same as it is and just giving a few new items, locations and story per new game but I understand I'm not the majority of the public. Over to you . . .