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Ichigo Style's blog

7:30 AM on 06.08.2008

So, Persona 3: FES? Or: How I learned to love RPGs again.


First off, I'd love to say that I'm really REALLY not up to par with following what's been released for my PS2, and I haven't been for a year and a half since I left my job in hell (Gamestop). I hate myself for not picking up on Persona 3 any earlier though, I really do because I'm actually quite impressed with how it turned out. I've put 30 hours into the game in the last week (lol summer vacation), which is something that's a big turnaround for me and RPGs.

I used to absolutely love RPGs, back when my Sega Saturn was my primary console, Shining Force, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Albert Odyssey. These games were all I ever played (outside of Virtua Cop 3 and X-Men Vs. Street fighter) and all was good with my life. Then I got a PlayStation, and the que of Generic RPGs just lined up, and I died a bit inside. I do vaguely remember playing Persona 2 for the PSX, and finding it enjoyable- for a PSX RPG. Final Fantasy Tactics was a bad version of Shining Force 3 to me, with replaceable characters, and no other RPGs broke my balls as much as Albert Odyssey or Panzer Dragoon Saga. I started to drift away from RPGs as a whole when the Dreamcast was released, and even more so when the PlayStation 2 was released. Every "Shining" game released for the PS2 dragged my hopes of ever getting a new Shining Force down even further, and while Phantasy Star Online/Universe were fun, they weren't the same as the games that I loved for my Genesis. Don't even get me started on Disgaea or the vast majority of NIS games, all I can say is enjoy your level grinding (the same level grinding that you had in the last NIS game). RPGs were dead to me.

About a month ago, I was musing around the internet, and stumbled upon the opening cinematic for Persona 3, and I was interested in it- then I remembered it was an RPG. knowing this I went and read a few reviews, all of which claiming this game as the second coming of Christ. Eh, I thought I'd give it a shot.

This game does so many things differently than your standard RPG and that right away was a gamble. Atlus pulled it off though, from the story telling, to the snappy battles, the game flows. The social interactions and their contributions to your status and the fatigue system that prevents you from just blowing through dungeons, it all helps you swallow the fact that the game requires you to level grind. The voice acting is well done, the menus and presentation, they're all spot on and original. This game gave me faith in RPGs again, and moreover, that Japanese developers can make an original game, and not just Final Fantasy X-2:OMG DRESSUP Special Edition (that's the one that comes with the special dvd!)

What other RPG's am I missing that actually do something new for the PS2? There have got to be some others out there that aren't garbage.   read

1:05 AM on 06.01.2008

Retro-Stores near Philly?

Sup Dtoid? It's been a while since I've posted here, getting a tumor excised from my back (it was benign, thank god), trying to finish up a semester at Penn State, followed by coming out of an engagement (at Comic Con NY, none the less, oh how that killed my weekend, best news ever is to know that you're being cheated on with three guys!) has really killed me, and any creative motivation that I've had. Things are going great now though- and I feel up for a little trip, to buy some retro-games?

I live near Philly (bout 20 minutes east), and I was wondering if anyone else in the North East knew of any store-fronts I could go to to pick up some retro games. I'm willing to drive out east/west/wherever about an hour and a half, and I'm really looking for some sega cd/saturn stuff. Out in my area (and hell- even in the city!) There's not jack shit i've found. Anyone know of any stores around?   read

7:51 AM on 03.11.2008

Super Smash Bros. Brawl - Off to a bad start?

Note: This isn't quite a "review" or anything of the such, it's actually something more of an open question to the community here :) I've got a few burning questions, and glaring faults here that I'd like to bounce off you guys, your feedback would be great here!

Not a week ago, Nintendo finally released Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii, after much delay- you'd have to have been blind to miss it. There were a lot of expectations for it, and everyones hopes were very high. What comes next is a something of a mixed surprise to me.

Shortly after the Japanese release, we learned of a certian issue with consoles failing to read the disc, Nintendo gave it some fancy name, and blamed smoke, and other pollution for the issues- let's be honest. Nintendo shipped out dud drives, that aren't strong enough to read a Dual Layer disc, the least they could have done was be honest and admit this. I've had CD based products for a long time now, and have two Sega CD's (one first gen that sits under the Gen. and one of the side loaders), both of which have been under heavy use since I've had them (the second gen for over 10 years now...) and have had absolutely no issues booting up Snatcher, Shining Force CD, or Sonic CD. Hell- I have a 15 year old Laser Disc Player that has no issues reading my copy of Blade Runner or Char's Counterattack. Granted, neither of these technology depend on a dual layer reader, but for Christs sake- they're over 10 years old, and have been exposed to dust, and everything else my Wii has been exposed to. To add insult to injury- the Sega CD's lens is completely exposed, as opposed to the Wii, and I've not had a single issue with my Sega CD's lens. Nintendo shipped a bad product, and everyone seems willing to turn away just because it's Nintendo.

On the issue of "defective" systems, the Wii hasn't been exactly perfect, there have been accounts of early firmwares bricking systems (Mine bricked after the second one), Launch Titles not booting, sounds kinda like the Xbox 360 Launch, doesn't it? I remember people flipping shit over the later. Oh, and the Wifi Switch? The reason it won't work on populated channels is because of the fact that it's underpowered, I don't remember Nintendo giving me any reason that my Wireless Router needs to be on Channel 10-11 to connect to the Store in a timely fashion (granted it already ran on that Channel :P). I'd be lieing if I said that I didn't go and test the Wifi switch against different access points in my area that my PS3, PSP, 360 and Laptop can connect to in the exact same location. It found two, my home router, and my neighbors, wherein my 360 and PS3 found an additional 10 APs. Weird isn't it?

Let's actually talk about the game now. It's Smash Bros. what did I expect? It's a party game and nothing more to me. My real cup of tea are the King of Fighters series. That aside, let's look at the Story Mode. Firstly, putting aside that I feel that the story was stripped right from, let's look at the core gameplay. The game trys to pass itself off as a platformer, by giving you incredibly wonky controls, and a camera that is too close to your character to actually see something. It feels like Megaman 7, you know, the Megaman game where the sprites were too big for the screen? Only Megaman 7's Multiplayer mode (yes, it has one) didn't punish me for trying to move. Trying to play this mode with two players is a huge pain in the ass, with the second player never safe from unnecessary damage from trying to move and go off screen. Oh- this is still the greatest game ever, isn't it? I'm sure if any actual platformer featured such a rediculous system they'd be reamed for it.

The other two issues I have are the controls and the Online Play. The control stick (on both the Classic Controller and Gamecube Wavebird) are entirely too sensitive, and I wish to god I had access to to map my D-Pad to move. This is a small issue, but let's compare it to Ratchet & Clank Future for the PS3, people wouldn't stand for it. Online Play, our first encounter with you was Jim Sterling's absolute disgust in the lack of any voice chat, and the limitation of preset text. This is the least of my concern, I would have to be able to connect to a game without lag for any of that to be in the least bit helpful, or hell- even connect to a game period. If Halo 3 was released with this much lag (which I can assure you it wasn't, because I was playing the game in Online Co-op an hour after I picked my copy up), there would be people seriously pissed.

But with Smash Bros. it's different? I've seen a sickening amount of "Oh, well... no one gets everything perfect!" in reviews for the broken features that other games would be absolutely destroyed by, and I fail to see how this game escapes that gravity. It's the same game that we got 7 years ago, with a few more characters and different textures (note how I said they weren't amazingly different.) Are people really content with changes that are as marginal as going from Madden 06 to Madden 07? Because as I see it, this game is nothing more than a roster update, with a few bug fixes that break the same amount of things in different areas. Did I fail to mention that the game was pushed back a few months?   read

5:12 AM on 03.05.2008

Microsoft was a bunch of asses about my 360 repair *rolleyes* (Or How my 360 won a Cancun Vacation)

Okay, so about 2 1/2 weeks ago, my 360 finally kicked :(, which was world shattering. This is the TERRIBLE story of the HELL that I had to go through to get my 360 repaired, GOD Microsoft is a bunch of fucking assholes!

Right, so my 360 finally kicked the bucket, and got RROD'd to a point where unplugging it for an hour wasn't going to fix it. (I had had it since launch, and was honestly hoping this happened soon, so I can get it fixed in warranty). So I go onto microsofts website WHICH WAS A COMPLETE PAIN IN THE ASS, I HAD TO LIKE, ENTER IN MY HOME ADDRESS AND SERIAL NUMBER. Shit took me 10 minutes. Ten minutes too long I say.. 4 Days later (too late) a box comes, with some Styrofoam and some papers that said "haha, your 360 is dead, give it to us so we can send it to Texas, where it will then disappear- but reship from Mexico magically". I packaged my baby begrudgingly and took her to the Fed Ex store and shipped her off. Shit, how was I going to watch my DVD's now? I had to use my Ps2, I can't turn that off from my couch!

So I watch my tracking number, like, every 20 minutes. Poof, my 360 goes to someshithole, Texas and is delivered to a small town right across the boarder from Mexico. Hmm? My 360 went to Cancun!? Hot Damn! Either way, a week passes, and I receive a phone call from some tool at Microsoft telling me that blah blah blah my 360 was done and was being back out to me. Fuckin' A? No :( Because I had to wait another 4 days for it to get to Philly. You're probably asking how I know that my 360 went to Mexico... well that's easy, because the 360 left from some place in Mexico on it's drive back from Cancun! 4 days later (which was excruciating. I wanted to play.) I get my 360 back, now here's the thing that really grinds my gears! I had sent them a Xbox 360 CORE unit, with the crappy not chrome button and tray? Why was my tray chrome!? ALSO- I was clearly missing one of the Rubber feet from the bottom, and upon closer inspection I HAD ALL FOUR RUBBER FEET! Oh, I also took note that Microsoft replaced my USB ports, because I told them the front two were dead (Which is true about one of them), and had marked them with a sharpie. Nope, I had brand new USB Ports. What I didn't have was a new Shell, it was still my old loveable Case, with the same old serial number, and the scratch through the barcode which was like that when i got it. So effectively, I almost got a new System, I'd love to open it and check, but I don't feel like voiding my warranty, it runs much more quiet though.

Now, this is the worst part about it- Not only did these assholes have the nerve to fix and replace parts that may (or may not...) have been broken on my Xbox 360, they give me a "free" month of Xbox Live Gold! First I get Undertow for free, and now I get a free month of Xbox Live Gold Microsoft!? What the hell is wrong with you, you fucking bastards, learn some fucking Customer Service!

NOTE:Yes, the above was mostly sarcasm, incredible sarcasm. Don't come and bitch me out because I'm complaining about fantastic customer service I received. I'm well aware of how well I was treated in this time of need. I'm also aware of the horror stories from people who haven't had such luck with their 360 getting repaired. That sucks, and I guess that everyone has a different experience.

I would like to thank Microsoft, for their awesome service, and for sending my Xbox 360 on it's most amazing vacation ever, to Cancun.   read

12:59 AM on 01.22.2008

Dtoid Gods of Computer and Laptop hardware, halp!

Alright, dtoid. I've been looking at buying a new notebook for the last two or so months, and really been thinking about what exactly I want out of a laptop. Right now I'm using a 15 inch compaq, it's nothing terribly fancy, and it does what I want it to do. the battery is shot, and the motherboard feels like it's going (I get random shut-offs every so often...) This is a laptop though, and I can't help but feel that I even want to go smaller. After looking in stores, I've found (and fallen in love with) 13.3" displays, they're small, portable, but they're large enough that I can do my stuff on it, if I need to, I've got a 23" screen hooked up to my PC :P.

The problem is that the industry doesn't quite agree with me, and thinks I need a 17" display... The only two manufactures of 13.3" laptops are honestly Sony, and Apple. Sony being incredibly expensive for sub-par hardware, and the Macbook looking like it's right in the sweet spot, which bugs me a bit. The macbook is white, which is my color, which is a really big bonus... the only two things that are a big disadvantage to me are the lack of right click (remedied easily though, so I'm told when in Windows.) and, well the hardware. Personal experience has told me that Apple isn't quite the most reliable, on my iPod I happened to have three battery failures and two hard drive wipes in a year, I understand that this is un-usual... but personal experience is something that you carry with you.

So, any dtoid posters use a macbook? If so, would you recommend it to me? (Keep in mind, I will absolutely be dual booting in XP, and using XP 9/10 times), can anyone else point me in the direction of another 13.3" laptop, preferably in white and not as gougehappy as Sony? I'm open to any suggestion, and yes I'm aware that macs are for fags, but I've gotta carry this thing around campus with me, smaller the better. (On that note, I'm not buying an EEE.)   read

10:22 PM on 01.18.2008

Let's have a civilized talk about "How Microsoft aren't being a bunch of pricks about the Xbox Live outage"

Is it just me, or are people being ungrateful? Microsoft, who has been completely forward with the issues and outages on Xbox Live, and seem to have finally gotten things under control, are offering you all a free game. No if, ands, or buts. Microsoft. Is. Giving. You. A. Free. Game.

Can anyone argue against that? There is a game, for free, that you are receiving for the loss of service on Xbox Live (let me just add that I only received disconnects on two or three days following Christmas). Do people pull these hissy fits when WoW goes down for service? Everyone arguing why Microsoft needs to pony up and give us free points, I have one question. Why? Why should Microsoft give you free points?

I've been a member of Xbox Live since day one, Day One. Only after this holiday season have I witnessed Disconnections that I wasn't able to blame on my terrible Internet connection, and outside of the three days where I was having issues, the service has always been reliable, fast, and convenient (The users are a whole other story).

My question? Why are you complaining? Microsoft has been very open about "yes, there are issues with people being able to connect, and we're working on them, we're very sorry for the issues, but we're working on them.", and they offered you a free game. That's like your best friend offering you food for throwing out your lunch, and you turning around and shoving it back in their face, because fuck food, you want 500 microsoft points, not a fucking sandwich.

You could have gotten nothing, but honestly now, is microsoft really being all that unreasonable by giving you a free xbla game for your trouble?   read

4:08 AM on 12.27.2007

Nights: Journey of Dreams [Mini Review]

I liked this game much better when the context was much more vague...

NiGHTS, everyone who owned a Sega Saturn knew about this game, for better or for worse, and it came with a really bitchin' 3D Controller. It was a surreal little game, in which you flew around a Rail and- hell. I don't even remember, some crap about collecting balls, and you could make vortex's or some shit like that when you flew in a circle. Look, I don't even know the back story to NiGHTS, partly because the game offered us some FMV that featured background music, and that's it. The game was fun as all hell, and that's all that matters.

Fast foreward to 2007, right before Christmas, and this little nostalgic game "NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams" is released, for the Wii console. Well duh I'm going to buy it without any investigation, a.)Sega b.) Sega Saturn. I don't think I really need to expand on this idea.* After skimming over some reviews at work, I gleamed that the Wii Remote controls we're pathetic, which was no sweat off my back, I would only assume this much after my previous journeys into the world of guiding characters with the WiiMote (Point in Case: Red Steel)
When I got home, I quickly ripped open the case and jammed that fucking disc into my Wii as fast as I could (not helped by the Wii not wanting to give me back my copy of Ghost Squad, understandably so.) and was delighted to hear a vaguely familiar soundtrack, I pick my save files name, and this is where things go downhill.

Upon being presented with my selections on screen, I couldn't help but notice how sluggish the WiiMote's responce was to my motions, which seemed peculiar to me because my cursor was fast and chipper when I was on my main menu, either way, I make my way into the Main Game, and am presented with a nice looking FMV, wow that hair looks nice! Following the FMV, I'm now shown the actual game graphics.

Oh... is this what I was looking at 20 seconds ago?

The game looks... well... aged. You can tell immediately that the characters are probably based off the exact same models as their FMV counterparts, only the Wii couldn't render as well, so we're stuck with less vibrant, less lively characters (Animations do look jerky at times). Beyond the graphics... what the hell- some owl's talking to me or whatever, and I can't skip it. Agony. Honestly, thats the only word to describe what I was feeling. My childhood memories were... well... a hell of a lot less creepy. The game just has a much less mysterious, much more stupid feel to it, it was much better off as a silent film, as far as I'm concerned. Point of the matter: I don't care what the owl has to say, I want to fly around and kill shit.

On to where the game actually matters, and thats gameplay. It's... NiGHTS? That's really the only way to describe it, it shares much (if not all) of the exact same elements that we were treated with, even down to that crazy A-Life system :) Nostalgia at it's best! Where this game falls flat on it's face is the "default" control scheme. Everyone was right, controlling NiGHTS with your WiiMote sucks. Ass. Lucky for us you can use your nunchuck, or if you're so inclined, the Classic Controller. Either works well, and the option to switch to a use-able control getup is presented to you immediately (almost as if the dev's knew that no-one was going to use the native controls? Weird, ne?)

Conclusion: It's creepy, but if you liked NiGHTS, or are up for something new(?), give it a shot, it's a fun little game, if even for just a little while.
*(Note: I have a hard on for all that is Sega Saturn)   read

10:35 PM on 12.17.2007


Alright, this was sent to me in GTalk by a friend
This link, has details of Mario Kart Wii lifted from Nintendo Power (supposedly), and pretty much states this:
We don't need any fucking details for this game, the game is "fuckin' wicked"!, and thats all that we really need to know. I personally, think this is hilarious. Anyone else on this?   read

8:12 PM on 12.05.2007

Hey Destructoid! Where should I buy my R4DS from?

It dawned on me today, between classes when I looked in my school bag that carrying around 5-6 DS games cases suck (I carry them in the cases because they're tiny). Fitting them on one nice little flash cart and strolling around with just me and my little DS Lite would be much easier than the extra bulk.
R4DS' site is no help whatsoever, and you guys are up in arms about this product. So who wants to recommend somewhere to buy this? :D Personal experience is a perk, I like to hear that you actually got your product from these places ;P   read

7:46 PM on 12.03.2007

Yeah, I only write about Rock Band here, shove it! *Replacement Guitar Came~!

When I feel like posting something else, by god, I'll post about something else. But I already wrote a 8 page paper for Psych today, so you guys get shafted.

In any event, My Rock Band replacement Guitar came today, and appears to be very much similar to the original, except that the strum bar feels much less... how should I put this... like it's sitting in pudding? It's got some strength behind it, and so far, I've been rockin' pretty damn hard with it, instead of going to Com 100. So yeah.

Just because I got my guitar nao (which is shit because I ordered it last Sunday. with the 2 day shipping), I best not be left out of this whole "Free EA Game" ordeal, because I want fucking Madden in Spanish, fuck- I don't even LIKE American Football.

And with that, I'll leave on the note that Manchester United won against Fulham, and Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice, brilliant!   read

9:16 PM on 11.27.2007

Hey Guys! :D Remember those really long steps that were posted to get your 360 Rock Band Drums to work in Windows?

Well whoever "figured out" this "great mystery" needs to be smacked. Smacked for making me think that I was going to have to actually do work to get my Rock Band Drums to work in Windows. I'm gonna show you ladies and gents a little picture.

Whats that? Why thats the "Controller (Harmonix Drum Kit for Xbox 360)" that Windows recognized within 10 seconds of me plugging it in!

How, you ask? Because I have the Xbox 360 Controller Drivers installed! (I have 1.0 because the later ones have given me lag with my wireless controller, but any should work). I'd really like to know why no one tried this before, because I'm seriously happy that I no longer have to copy/paste/edit anything. Shouldn't this have been peoples first step? I mean seriously people...   read

10:37 PM on 11.25.2007

Rock Band, the Ups and Downs.

I figure, now that I've had Rock Band for the Xbox 360 for almost a week now, I can safely give my two cents on the release without any hesitation. In core, the game play is much like you'd expect. It's "Guitar Hero" with different shaped notes, and guitar lines that don't look like a 12 year old just kind of took the Lead Guitar and Rhythm Guitar lines and took the most prominent parts and mashed them together. Oh, and you can actually play the Bass Guitar on any song, along with the option of Singing or Playing the Drums, and those are fun and all, but I'm going to go on here about how great and terrible it is that Harmonix was gobbled up by EA, and separated from Red Octane/Activision.

Lets start with the first of their old partnerships, Red Octane. A mighty fine company, and if you're going to make a music based game, I think there is no finer company to go to for your peripherals. They've been making quality products for as long as I can remember the name, and they're built to last (their DDR Metal Pads are second to Cobalt Flux, but you're also paying out the arse for a Flux). Which could mean one of two things for Rock Band. EA would either do a bang up job on the controllers, or they would choke and die. The drums have been rockin' pretty hard for me, at a pretty consistent rate on Hard/Expert, with absolutely no issues, the guitar, on the other hand, has been an absolute nightmare. Much like everyone else, I've been suffering from the "Red Strum of Death", I.E. my down strum is shot to ballocks. From what I've read, It's a really stupid issue, and something that EA should have known better than to do, and put the proper craftsmanship into, I'm pretty impressed with the Drums outside of the flimsy unrealistic Bass Pedal. I've heard people complain about the Mic, but let's be completely honest with ourselves- if you REALLY want a good quality microphone, you're gonna go out and buy a USB Mic. I've had no problem playing around with the Mic. EA has been very responsive about the Guitar issue, and I'm currently awaiting a new Controller (Free 2 day shipping!), let's just cross our fingers that they've made the connection stronger.
I'd love to give EA points for effort but it's quite apparent that they didn't put the necessary play testing into it, or any at all (It appears that 4-6 hours is the average life span of these things...)

Lets move onto the change of publisher, EA compared to Activision. I feel like it was a good move. You've got a talented team, now backed by one of the largest video game companies in the market, who seems to be willing to lets Harmonix have their creative freedom. I fail to see how this can be bad. I could turn out to be wrong, and EA could turn into the big terrible monster that kills games, but as of yet, the downloadable content for Rock Band done much more to impress me than Guitar Hero's bundling of different songs, and forcing you to buy bundles. I'm thinking this was by choice of the publisher, rather than developer, means we're seeing pick and choose individual songs downloadable through Rock Band. Also with the variety of downloads, and vast selection so close to launch, it's only more fuel to the theory that EA is a better publisher for these kinds of things, I mean, c'mon, when was Atreyu "indie"? Big kudos to EA for giving us the freedom to pick the songs we want, along with releasing packs of songs from different artists.

I'm going to end on a note, a completely irrational complaint. Where is my Ska, bitches? I want a Keasbey Nights download. NOW (the Streetlight Manifesto one, not the Catch 22 one. Much MUCH cleaner.)

Oh, and HAI DESTRUCTOID!   read

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