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3:41 PM on 04.28.2010

A "Tales of" fan retrospective

Ahh, the Tales series. I remember the journeys, the excitements, the various platforms it made me buy. A tales games on a console I don't have is not conceivable. I will buy the console for this game alone.

It all goes back to my Gamecube era, in which Wind Waker and Metroid Prime stood king. And with Golden Sun on my gba, I was satisfied. Those games were masterpieces (Still are). The next significant experience was just around the corner. I turned on the tv to watch a rerun of a video game show. Featuring Tales of Symphonia, huh? The first few seconds of gameplay I saw were enough, I needed that game. I ran to my game store, bought it, played it, instantly fell in love with it. The art style, the music, the story. The combination made it perfect. 200 hours? Absolutely.

I didn't have a PS2 yet. Why? I was a kid without much money. You invested in the one console you chose, right? Forward to 2005. I'm starting college. I get access to the internet at school. I begin looking up any Tales related information... Tales of Legendia is coming within the next few months. IMPULSE BUY. A Slim PS2, courtesy of my student loans. :D Again, a great game for me. Not as good as Symphonia, but still good in its own right. By then, it wouldn't matter what Namco Bandai would release, I would buy it day one. Phantasia on the gba, followed by Abyss. I was a big fan that couldn't get enough.

The psp had been out for a while. I wasn't even remotely interested in it. I found out that Tales of Eternia had been released in the UK. Awww, PAL restrictions ................ what? The psp is region free? IMPULSE BUY. A psp 2000 and an imported copy of Tales of Eternia. 20 hours of PS1 goodness. I really was clueless as a kid. I missed almost everything on the PS1. If I could get my hands on an english tales game, I would do everything to obtain it. I say "english", the japanese counterparts of the Tales series were out of the question. What is there to enjoy about something you don't understand, especially a rpg? I wasn't too mad at Namco for not releasing them here, just disappointed.

2008 : Out of college, working a nice job. I buy a 360 for Tales of Vesperia. A-m-a-z-i-n-g game. Lovable characters, colorful world, doesn't take itself too seriously, exciting battle system. This is my best game this generation. 180 hours to get through everything. When I finished playing, the PS3 version had been announced, only in Japan. I have played NIS games, Atlus games, they always release their games overseas. But an established franchise such as Tales, Namco being a whore like all big companies, why can't I get Tales of VS, Graces, Destiny Remake, Innocence, Hearts... ? Fuck? Yes, FUCK! Japanese courses are looking sexier by the day.

I recently stumbled upon a Tales of Hearts translation demo. Somebody released a patch for the first 15 minutes of the game. Needless to say I tried it right away. It's fun. Freaking, fun. I'm left with an even bigger need. Tales of Innocence is being translated as well. It's almost done. We are left to wait for an awesome team to translate everything themselves.

I love the Tales series. Every experience is magical to me. I do hope we can get more titles. But Namco won't care for us. E3 is coming, they WILL announce Tales of Vesperia PS3, AND graces. Otherwise, I will ................................... CONTINUE WHINING ABOUT IT. XD Good going Namco, continue releasing one title here while three are being released in Japan. The fans are loving it. The solution is simple, I would give the license to Atlus. They never let us down.

Is it a rant? A story? Both?

Thanks for reading.

* I did buy the various consoles at first for Tales. Afterwards, I came to appreciate the systems and got a good collection of games for them. Fifteen Ps2 games, seven 360 games, ten psp games (I can't wait for P3P).   read

2:55 PM on 01.05.2010

A holiday experiment

Hi, fellow readers. Happy new year to you all. I came back from a two weeks vacation away from the interwebz. I went to spend the holidays with my family in the middle of nowhere, no computers, no internet. I gotta tell you, it certainly recharges the batteries (In a good way). I'm here to share with you what I experienced during this time. I brought my Wii with me, my project was to make family reunions less of a drag by playing some Wii Sport Resort, or NSMBW, or Mario Kart Wii with them. They're basically what I thought the people would only care about. I don't have a gaming family, at least kids would enjoy it. If I wanted some gaming on my own, I had my DS loaded with Spirit Tracks and Golden Sun.

Parties came and went. The Wii did not garner as much attention as I thought. It served as a 30 minutes entertainment before everyone got bored and moved on. Even kids. I remember wanting to play consoles so bad as a kid, I would not have budged an inch the entire party. I was dealing with 3 groups :

A) Unknown 6 years old boys, most were brats.
B) People that never cared about video games. Parents, older parents. They only want to drink beer, pump up the volume and fight between relatives. It almost happened.
C) Younger people, casual gamers. I was aiming for them with my wii. If I can entertain some people, cool.

Group A : There was a NES in the house. They were more interested in the NES than the Wii. Omit the fact that I bought those NES games for my Wii. It's party time, no time to explain. I thought NSMBW was simple enough. Just dying and turning into a bubble, they were all lost. What do I do? Why can't I play? Ok let's explain, pouf, they're gone. That other kid didn't have a controller, got frustrated, took one of the accessories and threw it against the wall. That crowd is tough to handle. No supervision, no way I'm letting them play. I learned something interesting though. At some point in the evening, I was bored and I took out my DS. As usual, they all come running to check what you're playing. I played some Golden Sun. I drove them away in 15 seconds. That's a trick I'll remember.

Group B : Not much to say here. They don't play. They're not interested to try. Honorable mention : my mom tried WSR bowling and enjoyed it. Cool.

Group C : They were interested a bit, but like I said, 30 minutes and everybody stopped playing.

My family treated the Wii like a toy, the same way they'll play a game of cards, except cards were a lot more popular. There's not much for me on the wii, I think I only got interested enough in Mario Galaxy. And my family didn't really care either? I don't know what to do with my Wii, really. There's Tales of Grace who can save the day, but it's Namco Bandai, I am not getting my hopes up. Of course, this is me, and I understand why other people love plenty of good games on the wii. My gaming interest lies elsewhere.

P.S : I would have kicked those brats. :P


3:22 PM on 12.04.2009

Take care of your controllers.

Something that always bothered me throughout the years, is how some of my friends destroyed their controllers overtime. I would go to a friend's house, we'd sat down to play some games, take the second controller : "Wait, the joystick is busted, what'd you do with it?" Overuse is natural. We have a constant stream of games coming our way every month. I understand some controller are built weak. I too am guilty of having destroyed N64 sticks, because Super Smash Bros demanded abuse.

My first gaming systems were for the whole family. Controllers were left lying around, stepped on, abused a lot. N64 controllers finished. SNES controllers no longer responding. Ok, that last one is my fault. As a kid, Street Fighter 2 made me twist the controller as my eyes twitched from pure anger. Bison is a bitch, what can you do. That's pretty much why I rarely play fighting games. They always bring out the worst in me.

Back on topic, from the point I bought systems for myself, the lifespan of my controllers increased tenfold. Limited money meant your gaming system was your greatest treasure. Some friends on the other end, even if the system was their own, they would break the controllers. I guess they played games too intensely. Jumps won't be higher if you press that button into the ground, nor will the car turn more when you tear off that stick. Relax.

Please people, your controllers demand respect, as they are your tools to live great moments. Use them nicely. There's nothing more satisfying than having the same controller from day one and still working. And if you do break one, be humble and have a moment of silence to think back on all the great sessions you had with it. The maker will be grateful.

What inspired to write this is the fact that when my Gamecube memory card died, the only memory left was the controller itself. I cherish it even more so now.   read

3:04 PM on 10.10.2009

RIP Gamecube memories

The wii comes out, I eventually buy one and ditch my gamecube. I can play me games on me wii anyway, right?

The only gamecube games I had been playing were zelda titles, worked fine. Today, I was in the mood to play some Resident Evil : Remake. "Your saves are corrupted." Pull out the memory card (1019), put it back in, still corrupted. Wait, don't tell me .....

I take out my whole gamecube collection, try them one by one. No luck. The only saves I can keep and copy before formatting are Zelda Twilight Princess, Wind Waker, and one save from Tales of Symphonia. The rest, RIP. let's give a moment of silence to the following losses :

- Resident Evil 0, 1, 2, 3, CV, 4.
- Zelda Collector's edition
- Smash Bros Melee
- FF Crystal Chronicles
- Paper Mario : Thousand Year Door.
- Pokemon : Gale of Darkness.
- Metroid Prime 1 and 2.

Hundreds of hours down the drain. Thank you Wii + GC memory card 1019. Now I look back at my GC collection and I feel a little empty inside. I thought I'd be more pissed than that. The truth is, I always finish my games. One way or another, I'll always start at the beginning. I lost all new game + stuff though.

Old third party memory card has RISEN FROM THE GRAVE.   read

7:14 PM on 08.28.2009

Mana Khemia 2 impressions

I loved the first Mana Khemia, and I played the psp version................ yeah. Even with all the technical bugs and game crash, I enjoyed it a lot. So, I was pretty excited to play the second one, this time on PS2. It is actually a sequel based in the same universe, compared to the Atelier Iris series. In the package you get a somewhat big poster, and the soundtrack. Neat.

You get to go back to Al-Revis academy, years later. If you enjoyed your first trip, you're gonna love the little details. Old characters making a come back? Flay, OMG FLAY. Zeppel, teehee, he has a moustache now. Like the first game, you choose classes, you earn grades. You synthesize items to expand your grow book and with the fighting experience you gain you can level up based on what you have synthesized. It was a winning formula, it still is. The grow book is a lot simpler now. No need to scroll back and forth.

Combat wise, the system remains the same, but the looks have changed. It actually makes sense to me now, I dunno, the old card based system didn't sit right with me. There's surely more to it. I haven't played enough yet.

HELL YEAH, I WON................. a plant?

The gathering system changed. There wasn't much to it before, so adding depth is a good thing. But, a slot machine, really?

My impression so far is this : <3. You just wanna the game by the cheek like : "Daaaawwww, you're so adorable!". I fell in love with the details, the usual art style. It's a world I enjoyed before, and I won't mind going back. If you liked the first one, chances are you'll get this one. It's not for everyone. But I consider this game to be the last good PS2 RPG. Don't miss out on this one.

Thank you NISa.   read

10:15 PM on 08.13.2009

The sun will shine again very soon.

Golden Sun

The RPG that made me fall in love with RPGs. I got through both games 6 times, and I plan to do it again soon.

With the announcement of Golden sun DS, I want to look back, as a fan, at what made me love this game so much.

The djinns : the search that spans two games.

I had a game on emulator just before Saturos and Menardi.

I wasn't using much psynergy, except healing ones. I was depending on Djinns to battle. It was an addicting challenge to use them, making yourself weaker temporally to get a lot more attack. You had to predict the outcome and the danger of your choices. Did you choose to keep Mia with full Djinn so she could heal more? Or did you use them anyway? I loved that way of battling.

Exploring to get them without a guide? That's a satisfaction right there. Exploring every corners of the worlds, random battle.......... a DJINN !!!! OoO Priceless. Kinda like rare pokemon hunting.

What were your favourite Djinn(s)? Across the 2 games, I choose Flash. Best. protection. evar.

The summons : Pretty but deadly.

Getting yourself vulnerable to unleash deadly attacks, it's awesome. The summons are great, especially in the Lost Age. I'd have to say I prefer Eclipse and Haures, they're easy and fast to summons. And the more you use them, the more powerful the attacks get. Iris KICKS ASS but she's more risky to unleash, as you get very weak in the process.

During epic battles, like Dullahan, safety comes first. If you gamble too much, you'll get Charon on your ass, expect a couple deaths. XD

What are your favourite Summons?

What else? It's charming, it's beautiful, satisfying to play. You care and wonder about the world when you leave it behind. Does Alex come back? How's Weyard going to change? Will it expand? I want to know if Lemuria will shine again. There's so much we all need to know. It actually pisses me off when I find lots and lots of used copies at Gamestop/Ebgames. How can someone not like this game? Then It hits me, I'm a Golden Sun fanboy. Well, a fanboy that STFU about it, so I'm good.

The sun will shine again very soon. The wait is almost over, wait, wut? The true wait starts now.......... wait, wut? Exactly, you know we will have wait another year before getting our hands on it. Time passes SLOWLY when you wait for something.

Damn, just talking about it makes me want to play right away. Screw sleeping, I need my nostalgia pill. :P   read

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