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Prota's blog

8:34 PM on 02.01.2011

Namco Bandai making announcement, could be "Tales" related.

Namco Bandai currently has a website up that teases a new announcement that will be made on 02/02/11, which just so happens to be tomorrow. The teaser site, ataleoftworichards, only contains a picture at the moment, but there are many who believe that the image is actually a distorted version of the Tales of Graces F logo. The site being called a tale of two richards, and the fact that an important character in the game is named Richard, further hints at a possible localization. On top of this, there are some people who see the image as a combination of both the Tales of Graces F AND the Tales of Vesperia logos. If these assumptions turn out to be true, then we may be seeing the localization of not one, but two Tales games!

The last game in the series that we got in the states was Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, and that was a little over two years ago. A new Tales game stateside is quite overdue, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who's excited about the possibility. But be the judge for yourself, do the logos look anything like the picture on the site?   read

11:55 PM on 12.08.2010

PSN game Tank Battles on sale for $0.99!

Hey everyone! I haven't been on the cblogs recently due to all my coursework, and I plan to spend more time here once my semester's over, but I had to drop by to let everyone know that Tank Battles (originally known as Battle Tanks) is on sale for $0.99 on PSN. If this is anything like the recent Uno sale then the deal will go fast.

Tank Battles is a twin-stick controlled tank game where you blast through opposing enemy tanks in a variety of different levels. It has a campaign mode, battle mode, and both online and offline multiplayer. Matches consists of up to 4 players, and are pretty fun with ricocheting bullets, landmines, some very interesting level layouts, and power-ups like rockets, speed boosts, and flamethrowers.

And did I mention it's on sale for only a dollar? Seriously, how can you say "no" to tanks shooting each other with ricocheting homing rockets for only 99 cents!? The only issue is if your psn funds are empty, you'll be stuck putting in the required minimum $5 needed to add funds in order to buy the game.

But if you have an extra dollar to spare, why not?   read

5:06 PM on 11.16.2010

Mini Introduction (Albeit a little late...)

Hi everyone. I've been an avid reader of destructoid for some time now, but I've only just started frequenting the c-blogs. I just started posting and blogging here about a week or so ago, but I realized I haven't even introduced myself yet. I'm sorry if that may have come across as rude. I'm posting this small introduction to make up for that and to give me the chance to say hi to you all.

(Hiya! See what I did there?)

The name's Prota. I love video games and have been playing them since as far back as I can remember, starting with the Nintendo entertainment system. Since then I've been going with the flow, playing as many games as I can on different consoles, and growing up with the video game industry. I'm a big fan of JRPGs, but I also like plenty of other genres. I'm also into anime, although I didn't get into that quite as early as I did video games.

Currently I've been busy with graduate school studies, but I've been having the urge to write about games and I figured this would be a great place to start. I really would like to use this opportunity to explore video game blogging and journalism as well as get to know the rest of the destructoid community. I see a lot of other interesting bloggers and members around, so I would like to get better acquainted with everyone. I'm sure there are plenty of fun conversations and discussions to be had, as well as things we can learn from one another.

All in all, I just look forward to being an active member in the destructoid community. You can expect reviews, discussions, random news, and maybe even some videos.

Hope to see you all around!   read

1:09 AM on 11.16.2010

Atlus is having a Super-Mega-Ultra 50% Off PSN Sale!

Aram Jabbari, Manager of Public Relations and Sales at Atlus, just posted on the Playstation blog that several Atlus games are going on sale from today to 29th. And if you couldn't tell from the title of this post, it's called the Super-Mega-Ultra 50% Off Playstation Network Sale. Hey, that's pretty fun to say!

All of the games on sale are for PSP, with the exception of one PS3 title. There are plenty of RPGs on the list, with games such as Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable and Riviera: The Promised Land. But if you're not the biggest RPG fan, they still have you covered with titles like R-Type Command and Droplitz. If you want the full list of games just click on the link at the bottom.

With a name like the Super-Mega-Ultra 50% Off PSN Sale (I like typing that way too much) and eleven games on sale, Atlus sure knows how to deliver! Of course, now is the time I curse myself for not having a PSP!

So while you all look at the list, I'll be in the corner of my room kicking myself.

The Atlus Super-Mega-Ultra 50% Off PSN Sale   read

11:33 PM on 11.13.2010

Tales of Graces F gets Code Geass Costumes

I'm really starting to hate Namco Bandai. They take two of the things I love, the Tales series and Code Geass, and puts them together, but won't release this miraculous union in the states.

Tales of Graces F will feature 4 Code Geass costumes. Asbel dons Suzaku's Knights of the Round outift, Sophie gets C.C.'s signature straitjacket, Cheria has Kallen's uniform, and Richard dresses up as Zero himself. I'm extremely jealous of those in Japan who can look forward to this.

(Cheria wants Tales of Graces F to come to the states too...)

While I understand that sales of the last few Tales games haven't sold that well in the west, there is a strong fan base. But Namco Bandai as made it clear that there are no current plans to bring Tales of Graces F, or any of the other recent Tales game, outside of Japan. This makes me sad since the series has a great combat system and can be really fun, especially when played with 3 of your friends. Add in costumes from one of my favorite anime of all time and it just makes me even more depressed.

I'm just going to keep looking at these pictures and hope Namco Bandai changes its mind.   read

2:53 PM on 11.10.2010

O-Games continues with the giveaways, now offering Gran Turismo 5

I have to say, when it comes to promoting their games, O-Games, Inc. hasn't been pulling any punches. If you haven't heard, O-Games recently released Superstars V8 Racing on PSN. This was a full retail European release, but they decided to release it as a downloadable title here in the U.S. for $19.99.

Now here's the thing, aside from releasing it as a cheaper non-disk based game, O-Games held a contest on facebook to give away 25 download codes for the game, increasing it to 50 if 1,999 people "liked" their page. They reached their goal, and 50 lucky winners, including myself, snagged free downloads.

I already thought that was a pretty sweet deal, but apparently they're not done yet. A new contest is going to be held and 10 winners will receive a copy of Gran Turismo 5 when the game goes on sale. While some people may think a contest for a competitor's game is odd, I actually think it's a great move. O-Games, Inc. is catering to the same audience, why not have a contest that helps promote both games? This helps increase online activity and general buzz with their game, and helps hype up Gran Turismo's release as well. Everybody wins, and that especially includes the gamers.

Starting November 12th, weekly in-game challenges will have players competing for one of the 10 copies. Because the competitions will be leaderboard-based, an internet connection is required. A facebook account is also needed since competitors must "like" the facebook page. For more details, check out the link at the bottom.

All in all, I'm really impressed with how O-Games is reaching out to gamers and I'd love to see more publishers follow their example.   read

10:30 PM on 11.08.2010

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 Review

It's been 16 years since the Sonic's last 2D adventure on the Sega Genesis. Many games have followed starring our favorite blue hedgehog, but after the jump to 3D there were fans who missed the gameplay of the original series. Fans wanted a return to Sonic's roots, and apparently the Sonic Advance and Rush series weren't enough. Now we have Sonic 4: Episode 1, an episodic game that claims to be the successor to one of the most cherished franchises the Genesis had to offer.

Does it live up to it's predecessors?

Once you get control of Sonic and start running through the first zone, you're bound to notice the blend of new and old. You still have features like the spin dash, rolling into a ball, and jumping on enemies, but now there's a new addition to Sonic's arsenal. He has the homing attack, which locks-on to enemies while you're in mid-air and, with another press of the jump button, homes in on them. At first I wasn't too thrilled about this, but as I played the game, I could see that Dimps and Sonic Team tried hard to make the homing attack feel right in a 2D Sonic game. But even though it feels like a natural gameplay mechanic, it definitely could use some polish. Also, I worry they tried a little too hard incorporate the homing attack into the game.

Let me explain. When Sonic runs up a slope and into the air, he always goes into what I like to call the "whoa!" state (just because of the pose he makes). That would be perfectly fine if it wasn't for the fact that this also happens if he spin dashes up the slope. Yes, he actually uncurls. So if you happen to bump into an enemy on the way down, unless you homing attack it, you're going to get hit hard. My other gripe is that if you run and jump with Sonic, and for whatever reason let go of the direction you're moving, he will come to a complete halt and drop. This definitely feels weird and will take some getting used to if you grew up on the Sonic games of old. It also was the cause of my death quite a few times.

And speaking of dangerous, the game is actually fairly challenging the first time through. There are plenty of traps and deaths you won't see coming, and while there were a few times I got mad, it wasn't that I felt the game was unfair, it was more like when a friend gets you with a clever trick.

Now I have to admit, as much as I love 2D sprite based graphics, Sonic 4 does a very good job at impressing with the visuals. While there have been quite a few games that take on the 2.5D approach and fail to deliver in the graphics department, I think Sonic 4 managed to get it right. And if you've played the old games I'm sure you'll recognize quite a few things as you take in the scenery. This game pays plenty of homage to the previous games, mostly to Sonic 1 & 2. A lot of acts use many of the themes, gimmicks, and enemies from those games. Splash Hill is going to remind you of Green Hill Zone, Casino Street has plenty of Casino Night references...basically every stage has a little something from the previous games.

And that includes bosses. Every boss is from either Sonic 1 or 2, with a few extra moves and surprises for each. Even the special stages are a tribute to Sonic 1 but with a twist (literally). It's great to give us some nostalgia, but at the same time you can't solely rely on it to carry a whole game. Thankfully, even though the game is nostalgia heavy, it does plenty of things to keep it fresh. And while I'm sure there will be some new things people may feel are a little too different (I'm looking at you Lost Labyrinth Zone Act 2!) I think that all Zones were done quite well. I've actually played through each stage at least 2 times, and actually a few almost ten. The levels have plenty of different paths and short cuts to find, which makes replaying them and trying to beat your previous time pretty fun.

We also have an entirely new soundtrack on our hands. There are plenty of mixed views on the music, but I have to say, there are some really catchy songs in this game. Not every song is great mind you, some like the Casino Street Zone's are quite forgettable, but there's still some good stuff in store. Some of my favorites are Splash Hill Zone Act 3, Lost Labyrinth Zone Act 1 and Mad Gear Zone Act 2. You might not like all of it at first, but strangely enough you may eventually find yourself humming the theme of several tracks.

Overall, I have to say Sonic 4 was a surprise, and a pleasant one at that. It doesn't feel exactly like the old games, and I'm okay with that. For Sonic Team's and Dimp's first try it was close enough. The game was challenging and actually felt like Sonic finally did go back to his roots, focusing on both speed and platforming. And the mixture of old and new elements made for a very well rounded experience. With 4 Zones containing 3 Acts and a boss each, as well as seven special stages, the game has a good amount to offer. To be honest, I'm looking forward to seeing what's coming in future episodes (the teaser after beating the game with all emeralds does show you one thing). Despite it's flaws, I had a lot of fun playing it, and it's been awhile since I've been able to say that with a Sonic game.

Score - 8.0   read

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