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1:13 PM on 06.03.2009

FUCK YOU KONAMI! What have you done?

Seriously everyone at Konami just go and kill yourself. After 11 years you finally decided to bring my favorite game series over to the US and decided to turn it into an abomination like this:

First the news about Pop'n Music moving over to the Wii came out a little while ago and I was a bit sad, because I wouldn't be able to use my PS2 arcade style controller. I have been waiting for a new home console Pop'n Music for a long time, because the last one came out in 2007, so I was at least a bit happy about a new Pop'n Music game.

BUT I wasn't prepared for this. A strangely stripped down version with Miis dancing in the background? Seriously? Why Konami? Why is this happening?   read


1:01 PM on 05.19.2009

Rate that dungeon: Persona 3


With this I am starting a series of blog posts about RPG dungeons. While playing Eternal Sonata I realised, that almost every dungeon in that game is shit and I came up with the idea of rating every dungeon in a game on a 1-5 star scale with a small commentary.

So for my first game I chose something easy. Persona 3 has basically only has one very, very large dungeon and some small dungeons on the full moon events. Anyways here we go:

Tartarus:
[embed]132604:19418[/embed]
Tartarus is one big, scary, neverending nightmare. Not only are there 263 floors in this dungeon, but also most of the floors are created randomly. Luckily the random created floors are actually a good thing, because in the game you will have to travel through the same floors over and over again to level up your characters. All in all this is a long and boring dungeon, but there is also nothing to really annoy you while running through it.


Second Full Moon: The Monorail
[embed]132604:19419[/embed]
Although this dungeon is pretty much just a long corridor and although the time limit you face toward the end makes it's pretty entertaining, there is nothing special about this dungeon.


Fourth Full Moon: The Love Hotel
[embed]132604:19420[/embed]
I really like this dungeon. First I thought it would be just running through it and defeating the boss enemy, but after you have beaten the first boss, you are still stuck in there and are being mind controlled. After coming to your senses you have to solve an easy puzzle by destroying the right mirrors before facing the true boss.


Fifth Full Moon: The Weapon Depot
[embed]132604:19421[/embed]
This is just a straight path with a boss at the end. Easy and over soon enough.


The dungeons in Persona 3 aren't great or special, but at least they are pretty straight forward and they aren't annoying.   read


4:24 AM on 04.28.2009

Get your Noby Noby Boy update!

[embed]130156:18943[/embed]
I wasn't expecting too much from the Noby Noby Boy multiplayer update and was really surprised to see that much added to the game.

Of course there is offline multiplayer for up to four people, but there are also different BGMs for different maps and best of all there is an announcer voice (called Fart Boy on the official page!) telling you what you poop out of your rear end in Japanese.
Finally there are also different designs for the BOY house hair.

[embed]130156:18944[/embed]

If you have NOBY NOBY BOY go and get the update. If you don't have NOBY NOBY BOY get it!

EDIT: You can choose your music via left stick to the left and select. You can also adjust the fart volume there.   read


5:22 AM on 04.22.2009

Grandia now available on the Japanese PlayStationStore


Finally my favorite RPG has made it to the Japanese PlayStationStore. Grandia has the best battle system ever and a very cute story without moping emo main characters.

Full list of game archives additions this week:
Grandia
Langrisser I&II
Lunatic Dawn Odyssey
TILK - Aoi umi kara kita shojo -
Gakkou wo tsukuro - kocho sensei monogatari

That are 4 RPGs in one week. Hopefully Sony Computer Entertainment America and Europe will finally start releasing more PSOne Classics soon, so more people can check out those fantastic games.   read


3:47 PM on 04.19.2009

Persona 3 Gaming - The first two weeks (April 7th-19th)

With some folks here on Destructoid I'm doing this project of playing Persona 3 alongside the in-game calendar. Unluckily a project like this is sometimes a bit difficult with a game like Persona 3, because there are quite a few breaks in the game, where you cannot save for days.

[embed]128863:18824[/embed]

April 7th:
Persona 3 starts off with the protagonist experiencing some strange events on his way to his dorm after being transferred to his new school. At the dorm he meets two of his school mates: Yukari Takeba and Mitsuru Kirijo. After a good night's sleep he goes to school together with Yukari. In school you will also meet with Junpei Iori for the first time. Players replaying Persona 3 can see some familiar faces running around town, which is a really nice touch.

April 8th:
Another day at school and in the evening the protagonist will meet with Shuji Ikutsuki, chairman of the boards of your school. In the night there is a quite disturbing cut-scene with Junpei.

April 9th:
After another school day the first full moon of the game is upon us. Akihiko-sempai comes home after being wounded by a shadow. To make matters worse he has lead some shadows to the dorm and our hero has no choice but to run away with Yukari. Once he arrives on the roof, he summons his Persona for the first time in an incredible cut-scene. After a short fight he falls into a coma and only awakes several days later.

April 17th:
Awakening in some hospital Yukari is waiting beside the bed and tells a bit about herself and her father.

April 18th:
Of course there was enough rest the whole week so the protagonist goes to school today. In the evening he decides to join the SEES (short for Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad). Also in the night there a strange boy makes an appearance in your bed room and talks about your awakening powers.

April 19th:
In the evening Junpei joins the SEES and moves into the dorm. You now have 3 active team members.

Also note to everyone playing:
You cannot save until April 20th.   read


11:41 AM on 04.10.2009

Loved Shadow of the Colossus? The movie is coming soon!


If action films are my gaming bread and butter, then action-adventures are the video game equivalent -- I love everything about them from the trademark running around and collecting things for people to the well developed storylines. As you may imagine, I was a big fan of Shadow of the Colossus, or Wanda to kyozō as it was called in its original Japanese release.

Watching a film based on Shadow of the Colossus is the kind of thing that I have wet dreams about in the middle of the night, but apparently someone thought it was a good idea other than me. So it's happening. Based on the original 2005 game film and maybe not being worked on by Ueda Fumito, the game's creator, it is being made for the cinema screen.

According to Destructoid, there will be new stuff in the film, you can watch either alone or with friends, and the film is unknown percent complete. I do think a film like this has much hope in being brought here, but I'm going to have to import this one. It's currently slated for a release at some point. Saying DO WANT would be a severe understatement.   read


2:07 PM on 04.06.2009

Collective Persona 3 gaming starts today at midnight

[embed]127713:18572[/embed]
I have already posted about this yesterday and today it already begins at midnight! So if you are crazy like me, load up your copy of Persona 3 in the middle of the night and start playing your first day. Afterwards talk about it in the forum thread.

I'm really happy that quite a few people actually have interest in joining in this.

If you didn't catch what this is all about and are too lazy to click any of the two links, here is what I wrote earlier:


After watching the Persona 4 Endurance Run videos on giantbomb every day, I had the crazy idea, that it would be fun to play through Persona 3 alongside the in-game calendar, that starts in the night of April 7th in 2009 and ends on January 31st 2010. But instead of doing this alone, maybe it would be fun to do it with multiple people. Everbody would play only up to the point, where the in-game date matches the actual date. Then they could post here about what they did or with whom they formed social links in the game. It would be really interesting to hear about the different ways of playing the game and discuss the current in-game events here.

Players, who were interested in Persona 3 but afraid of the enoramous time investment can use this as an easy way to finally play the game, because the playtime would be stretched out over almost 9 months resulting in only a few minutes every day. Players, who already finished the game, can replay the game by using the NewGame+ feature, enjoy the story and maybe help first time players, who are stuck in certain parts.

Would anybody like to participate in something like that?   read


6:20 PM on 04.05.2009

Persona 3 starts in two days.


Two weeks ago I asked in the forums if anybody would love to participate in a simultaniously playthrough of Persona 3 on a daily or weekly basis.

So if you don't read the forums or missed the thread, here's what I wrote:


After watching the Persona 4 Endurance Run videos on giantbomb every day, I had the crazy idea, that it would be fun to play through Persona 3 alongside the in-game calendar, that starts in the night of April 7th in 2009 and ends on January 31st 2010. But instead of doing this alone, maybe it would be fun to do it with multiple people. Everbody would play only up to the point, where the in-game date matches the actual date. Then they could post here about what they did or with whom they formed social links in the game. It would be really interesting to hear about the different ways of playing the game and discuss the current in-game events here.

Players, who were interested in Persona 3 but afraid of the enoramous time investment can use this as an easy way to finally play the game, because the playtime would be stretched out over almost 9 months resulting in only a few minutes every day. Players, who already finished the game, can replay the game by using the NewGame+ feature, enjoy the story and maybe help first time players, who are stuck in certain parts.

Would anybody like to participate in something like that?


So if anybody else is interested, go over to the thread in the forums or leave a comment here.   read


11:42 AM on 04.05.2009

White Knight Chronicles - Why did you have to be so shitty?


I was actually really excited about White Knight Chronicles and could not wait to get my hands on the game. Although the game was released at the end of December last year, I only got it at the end of February, because the friend, who was supposed to send it to me, was busy and didn't find the time to post it. So when I finally got it, I played it for about two hours before going back to Persona 3, because I was obsessed with Persona 3 at that time. So finally another month later at the end of March I finally sat down and finished the game two days ago.

The game starts of with you creating your avatar in this world, who will from this point on follow the main characters party without ever saying single word or taking part in the story in the least tiniest bit. I am not sure, why they even included this into the single player story, because it doesn't make any sense. Of course it is nice to level your character for the online play a bit before going into that, but it looks strange to have a random user-created character following the story of characters, that actually have some kind of personality.

After creating your avatar the story follows the main character Lenard, who after completing a small escort mission (Yes, the first mission is an escort mission.) and seeing the circus come into town sneaks into the castle, where a huge party is going on. Of course the party ends with the circus people actually being evil people and attacking the castle and killing both the king and the invited guests. Lenard, who falls in love with the princess at first sight (Although I already had a crush on her as a child), protects the princess Shizuna and escapes with her into an underground passageway only to end up in an old treasure hall. Of course the enemies are following and a giant monster drops through the ceiling, leaving Lenard with no other choice but to pick up the Arc of the White Knight, transform into the White Knight and fight this monster.

At this point a lot is going on and quite a few interesting characters are introduced. Sadly this part is the best part of the story and afterwards it all only goes downhill. Of course defeating the monster alone isn't enough and the princess gets captured anyway. Lenard and his gang of course tries to get her back and he catches up with the evildoers countless times. Of course those encounters always end up with a boss battle and the princess taken away anyway. Along the quite short story not very much time is spend with developing the characters, but instead they try to spend time with talking about legends and myths, that add a bit of depth to the world, but since they are very JRPG-cliche listening to them isn't very fun. What makes matters even worse is the terrible ending, which stops in the middle of the story and comes out of nowhere. Perhaps it would have been more appropriate to call the game White Knight Chronicles - Episode 1, because that is what the game actually is.



The battle system isn't very fun either. In battles you take control over one character of the party, that you can change on the fly, with the rest of the party being controlled by the AI. There are quite a few attacks to be learned in the game, but the differences between them are rather small making learning most attacks rather pointless. The battle system also has a combo system, that chains together multiple attacks, but consumes ActionPoints. Unluckily you will need those ActionPoints to transform into the White Knight, so it is better to use normal attacks than to spend your ActionPoints on combos. So in most battles you just wait for your action circle to be full and press a button to execute the attack, making the battles extremely boring. For bigger enemies you can transform into the White Knight and completely destroy most enemies without problems. What is really strange is, that a lot of giant enemies in the normal dungeon take way more damage than boss enemies. But of course if you have no ActionPoints left for a boss battle you are more or less screwed and can reload your game.

In addition to the single player mode, there is also an online mode, where you can do special quests with up to four other players. Although you can finally take advantage of the combo system in this mode without having to care about ActionPoints being spend, the quest take place in the same areas you have already visited in the single player with the same enemies running around. Access to quests is limited by Guild Rank, that raises after earning enough points by doing quests. Really annoying is the small number of quests, that are available for the low Guild Ranks. The first few Ranks only have 2 quests each, that you will be doing over and over to achieve enough points for the next rank. Adding in some more random quests would have helped a lot.

I was expecting a lot, because Level 5 usually makes really great games, but sadly White Knight Chronicles turned out to be quite a shitty game.   read


7:15 AM on 01.14.2009

dress for PS3 is out in Japan.

Yes, I know. You have all been waiting for this "game".
It's 2000 Yen, which is certainly way too much money for a simple dress up thing.
Apparently in the future dress will be supported by home, so you can actually wear the stuff from dress in home.




Also 4 new PSOne games in the Game Archives:
- Pop'n Pop
- G-Police
- Monster Farm Jump
- Tantei Jinguji Saburo - Mikan no Lupo   read


2:56 AM on 01.14.2009

The second week with my XBOX: Microsoft are control freaks!

After posting last week I started with Lost Odyssey which is a great game. Unlike Blue Dragon this game actually felt like a Final Fantasy game. I really enjoyed the game from start to finish (although I still have some side quests left), but the game has some major problems.

First of all the boss battles: Because you cannot level grind in the game, you more or less will always have a certain level fighting them. Unluckily some of the bosses aren't well balanced and if you are unlucky and they use a certain attack too often, it's game over for you. I would have had no problems with hard boss battles, but those boss battles simply rely on luck and losing them only gives you the feeling, that it's the game's fault and not your's for fighting poorly.
Second there is the start of the game: The beginning of the game is terrible. I tried the game shortly after release and hated it very much. At the beginning there is nothing to like about the main character Kaim or any of the other characters you have control of. On top of that the beginning is very cutscene heavy with a lot of characters, that aren't important for the story later on. Especially the council meeting scenes are rather long and pointless filled with unimportant characters.
By far my favorite moment in the game is what became one of Chad's Memory Card moments. The whole scene near the end of disc 1 and all the events afterwards were really emotional for me. Especially the collecting things after the scene, although you would rather not and just cry for yourself, was really clever. I was a bit sad, that the emotions in the game peaked so early in the game, because after that scene I actually wanted more of that.
Anybody know if the DLC dungeon is worth the Microsoft points?
Other than sinking 50 hours into Lost Odyssey, I played a bit of XBLA games and also tried out Lips.

Although Lips sounds like a really good idea. Everything besides the singing in the game doesn't work very well. The motion sensors in the mics are pretty bad and often don't work. Making sounds in the game via motion sensors or pad is stupid and sounds bad. The scoring for important songs has nothing to do with the song at all. Also using anything but the original music video looks incredibly misplaced. All in all it's a beautiful SingStar clone with a lot of useless stuff added unto, that adds nothing to the game but rather disturbs the game.
What really angered me with the Lips experience is the fact, that there is no easy way to import mp3s to your 360 via USB. Although the manual of Lips says, that Zune, iPod and other mp3-players are support, ONLY Zunes and iPods are supported. Unlike the PS3, where you can easily copy mp3s or videos from any USB device to the internal, Microsoft decided to not allow players to easily copy things over, which is annoying. Anybody who says, that the 360 is more user friendly or a better media center than the PS3, is stupid.

After finishing some more side quests in Lost Odyssey, I may try out Infinite Undiscovery, although all I heard about the game was really bad.   read


6:32 PM on 01.08.2009

The week in PSN updates: QOREtastic

After last week with no update at all. We actually get two new games.
And also new QORE:
[embed]117397:16861[/embed]
Qoretastic may be one of the worst words ever.

JAPAN:
Jan 5th:
* Naruto trailer

Jan 8th:
* Cross Edge custom themes (will they ever stop?)
* BIOSHOCK demo
* Bounen no Zam'd 2nd season trailer
* Demon's Souls trailer

EUROPE:
* Lord of the Rings: Conquest demo + trailer
* Tom Clancy's EndWar "Faction Elite Pack"
* Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm "Storm Pack 4" (free)
* Tekken 6 trailer
* Brain Challenge trailer

US:
* Qore episode 8
* Cuboid full game ($9.99)
* Mahjong Tales: Ancient Wisdom full game ($9.99)
* Mercenaries 2 "Blow It Up Again" pack ($1.99)
* Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm "Storm Pack 6" (free)
* Tom Clancy's EndWar "Faction Elite" pack ($3.75)
* WWE Smackdown Vs Raw Roster Update ($4.99)

* Rock Revolution - Pantera Pack Track Pack ($5.50)
- "Cemetery Gates" ($1.50)
- "Mouth For War" ($1.50)
- "This Love" ($1.50)
- "5 Minutes Alone" ($1.50)
- "I'm Broken″ ($1.50)

Rock Band:
* "Space Truckin" - Deep Purple ($1.99)
* "Funk #49" - James Gang ($1.99)
* "Hymn 43" - Jethro Tull ($1.99)
* "Take Back the City" - Snow Patrol ($1.99)

Guitar Hero World Tour:
European Track Pack 02 ($5.49)
* "Por La Boca Vive El Pez" by Fito & Fitipaldis ($1.99)
* "Johnny" by Di-Rect ($1.99)
* "Degenerated" by Backyard Babies ($1.99)   read





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