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5:05 PM on 05.05.2008

My gripe with P3:FES

Many months ago when I saw/read about the Japanese getting a Persona 3 "expansion" game, I was green with envy. As great as Persona 3's ending was, it had one of those typical "Vague" Japanese endings where you have no clue what could have happened. So when I heard that Atlus was going to bring FES to the States I almost did a dance for joy at work.

What I didn't see coming was how boring this extra chapter was going to be so far. I will try not to spoil it for anyone but they should have called the game "P3: Tartarus edition" because you spend the majority of the time in "dungeons" fighting your way to the next level and so forth.

Yeah I would do the same if I had to go through Tartarus some more

Tartarus was my least favorite part of P3 but it had plenty of things to divert your attention from it: The relationship mini game, Persona fusing, quests, and going to school. But after you beat "The Journey" in FES and play "The Answer" all that goes away and you are pretty much stuck just dungeon crawling.

Granted when you finally do get to story tidbits it is very rewarding. Luckily the game doesn't fail in that department. Still I was hoping to go into this game with the same kind of Persona 3 feel and instead most of the draws of P3 get taken away and I'm left with just *sigh* Tartarus...

As negative as this post has seemed to be I would still recommend FES for closure on the first game and I would especially recommend it if you have never played Persona 3 before.   read

7:05 PM on 04.15.2008

Waste money on old SimCities to get Spore Creature Creator? SOLD!!

So you may wonder what would be so great about buying the SimCity Box that is coming out? I mean, it contains all the previous SimCity games you most likely played (or tried to play) and the less enjoyable SimCity Societies. So why on earth would you spend $40 dollars to get SimCity Societies/SimCity 4 and its expansions? Because you can get a chance to play with the Creature Creator in Spore of course!

Yes that seems to be the draw of this product slated for June release, according to IGN. You get the chance to create your alien creature from its initial evolution stage and you can evolve it from each of its proper stages so that you may see what options you have to create before the game comes out.

No sarcasm implied but I am sold on this. For me to get a chance at "fiddling" with one of Spores main draws is enough for me to shell out $40 for the enjoyable SimCity 4 that I have played many times and perhaps see what all the negativity is about when it comes to SimCity Societies.

So how about you kids? Are you going to dive into this "publicity stunt" or you going to say "nay" and wait patiently for Spore to come out at the end of the year (that is if it doesn't get pushed back)?   read

7:34 PM on 04.12.2008

YouTube Video of the Week (NVGR)


Hilarity ensues when little sister stays out late to meet a guy she met on MySpace and her brother is there to capture the drama.

Note: Yes I know there is a lack of substance here but I couldn't help it?   read

8:45 AM on 03.31.2008

Online play taking away from the Single Player Experience?

This doesn't make a good game

This thought came upon me when I just got done beating Advance Wars: Days of Ruin (which for some reason the last missions is 15x harder than any other mission in the game).

I am sitting on the train, quick saving and reloading constantly after I make wrong move after wrong move and send my squadron of bombers and groups of tanks to their demise. After many restarts and mild tantrums later I finally manage to beat the mission.

So I am sitting on the train in anticipation, waiting through the ending and the credits to see what great mode or object I might have unlocked. My reward for winning? Calder. Thatís all there was.

I was confused for a moment. "Didn't the other Advance Wars have a hard mode?" I thought. Shouldn't there also be more CO's in the game? So since I beat the game I looked online and saw that the game had none of these. So I was a bit pissed of course to realize that I pretty much have no reason to play the game now except to beat the training missions to get no rewards except to boast to others saying that I have done so.

I brought these points up to my friend and told him how disappointed I was with Days of Ruin and he responded with "Well it's probably because they added online play".

Which finally brings me to the point of my post: Online play should not be a reason to leave out single player content in a game. The last Advance Wars DS had me playing for years with the ability to earn exp for your favorite CO and assign skills. Also, by giving me the ability to play the campaign on hard it made earning the various medals a whole lot easier. Now if I want to earn medals I have to play free maps and the same campaign over and that seems to be the only reason to pick up Days of Ruin again unless you want to play online.

Hellgate: London to me also seemed to fall under this category. I pre-ordered this game expecting to get a great Diablo-like single player experience. What do I receive in return? Bland story with no voice acting or good cut scenes and somewhat broken game mechanics. Eventually patches would come out but to my surprised the majority of them were geared to the online play. More content and extra gear and special dye kits if you were to play the online experience. And if you pay monthly you get better maps and all other sorts of goods.

Why? Why should those who just wanted to play the game for the grind get rewarded online while the single player community gets shafted? If this was their intention they should have just released it as a MMORPG that has a optional monthly fee.

I've seen many other games over the years that seem to use this same philosophy as well. Companies and developers seem to sacrifice features for the main game just so that the multiplayer experience can exist or for the online to be a better experience.

Although I haven't agreed with Bethesda recently on how they handled Oblivion and how Fallout 3 is looking, I respect how they say no to online/multiplayer play so that they can concentrate fully on the main game. I wish more companies would take a cue for Bethesda or just put forth the effort to make a complete game and not just skimp on some features so that they can tout an online play.   read

9:48 AM on 03.24.2008

ID Softwares business manager says Console FPS>PC FPS and Tragic Hero is Outraged

Command Keen is on my side on this one...

It is hard for me to do so but even I will admit that console gaming is at this moment a much stronger platform than the PC. Many companies are switching from developing on PCs to Consoles and most games that were once thought to be PC exclusives or first releases are now dual released on the console or released with the console in mind (Oblivion and Fallout 3). It sucks to admit this but unfortunately it seems to be a fact.

But to state that PC gamers, especially those who worship the FPS genre are moving to the Xbox360 or the PS3 is simply moronic. Who out there can state that they prefer the 2 or 3 great FPS on the 360 or PS3 over the majority of FPS on the PC and that they prefer to play it with a Controller than a mouse and keyboard? Well Id Software's business development director (and now top class douchebag) Steve Nix believes so. Here is what he had to say about the issue:

March 20, 2008 - According to, id Software's business development director, Steve Nix, thinks that hardcore PC gamers are moving to the consoles. He believes that the first person shooter genre on the consoles have become too big to ignore.

"I know that I have friends who are considered core gamers, who years ago were just keyboard and mouse guys. Now, when a game ships on all platforms, they buy the console version, even though the PC version is sitting there and they have a PC that would run it perfectly well," said Nix.

Greg Stone of Nerve Software, who is porting Enemy Territories: Quake Wars to the consoles, concurred with Nix's sentiments, "I'm a guy that used to play on PCs, and now I'm totally consoleÖ It's so much money to keep up with the bleeding edge of technology on the PC, and it really just is easier to take a console and say, well, this is good enough. I think that's the way it is for me and for a lot of people at this point in time."

My mind was just blown when I read this. His supposed "Core" gamers prefer to buy a FPS on the console over the PC? Either Counter Strike was too tough for these guys growing up or Stevie's friends aren't true PC gamers. Perhaps I'm being stereotypical a bit but I don't know any PC gamer who would prefer to play any FPS with a controller and I can say that with all honesty.

Then his buddy at Nerve Software goes on to stating that PCs cost too much to keep up with. I can understand any console gamer to make this statement and I could understand where they are coming from. But both men work in the PC industry and have been for quite some time so the fact that both of them have fallen into the "PCs are too expensive" crowd just baffles me. Any PC gamer knows how to built a PC for around $700 to $800 and make it last for 2 to 3 years and apparently two guys in the industry don't?

Maybe I am overreacting here but it is guys like Steve Nix who keep forcing the stereotypes of PC gaming when they have no business making comments about it at all. Steve is a business development director and despite him and his so called "core" gamer friends having pro console opinions (which is fine) doesn't give him the right to go to IGN and proclaim the console as the "New King of FPS gaming".

Here is the link to the IGN article about this   read

8:39 AM on 03.20.2008

Loss of Gaming Drive: Does it happen to everyone?

I remember a time when I was able to "play the hell out of a game". For example, not only did I get all the endings in Chrono Trigger but I played the game til I maxed out everyones Speed, Magic, and Power with the proper tabs. I would play the Kings Quest games over and over to try to get the max points. I would give myself goals in games such as Rock N Roll Racing where I made myself stick with the starter car to beat the game.

Now things have seemed to change. Playing a game through more than once nearly kills me of boredom. Unless something has a special unlockable or multiple endings (not crappy ones like Bioshock) I usually play a game through once, possibly skipping over some missions and items and then putting the game away for good.

Persona 3 for example. Fantastic game but I could only play through it once. I could go back and get all the persona, go through the "hard" doors in Tartarus, beat all the quests, and max out all my social links. But just the simple thought of doing so just bores me. I can't think of any reason to play it again when I am just going to get the same ending as before.

When I was younger I was able to create little intrinsic goals for myself and now I need something physical (in game terms I guess) to keep me playing a game if it isn't a sports game or a multiplayer one.

Does this happen with anyone else? And if so is it a maturity thing or just simply "Gaming" yourself out?   read

12:23 PM on 03.19.2008

A look back at Ultima 7: The Black Gate

There are many reasons to hate EA. They tend to destroy everything and anything that is good in the video game world and just leave it to die like some mule that has done its service and has no more work to do. During its feeding frenzy of video game companies though, EA manages to eat up and destroy one of my favorite companies, Origin.

For some of you that don't know Origin and founder Richard Garriot (who I heard still goes by the name Lord British) were responsible for the RPG series Ultima. A lot of the Ultima series was either hit or miss but you had to respect what Garriot had accomplished as a self-made programmer. His talent would come out in full force though with the creation of the 7th Ultima game.

Ultima 7

The story, surprisingly, was a rather deep one. You, of course, are the avatar who once again returns to Britannia to fix what has be wronged. There has been strange ritualistic murders and apparently most or all of Britannia's magic users have either lost their minds or simply can not cast magic anymore. As the Avatar, your job is to investigate these phenomena's and save Britannia once again. I would delve more into the story but there are so many little facets to it that it would take up this whole blog to go over it.

The first thing one might notice when playing U7 is that the game looks a lot more violent. When you first step through the moongate into Britannia you are greeted to a corpse in a barn that has pretty much been mutilated. Although the graphics barrier pretty much held back on what one could consider "gore" in a video game, Ultima 7 starts the game off by greeting you to a bloodied corpse as if saying "Theres more where that came from".

What a way to start an adventure...

Which leads to the next startling revelation about the game: It is extremely open ended. How extreme? How about going into a farm town and killing everyone, including children, and then ransacking the town afterwards? May not seem like that big of a deal in today's gaming age but back in 1992 I would say it was pretty revolutionary. Like most open ended games, you were allowed to go about the game at your own pace and choosing. You could explore Britannia's many dungeons and forest or just go reagent hunting instead of doing the main story. Even if you chose to do the story it didn't give you a set mission rather than just an objective that you had to solve in one or many ways. Quite the change from the old Ultima and many RPGs of its time.

The action, although nothing too innovative, was fun nonetheless. Combat was done in real time with left clicks of the mouse to attack and hot keys to cast spells. As I stated even though this wasn't anything really new when you combined it with the ability to kill anything and anyone (even children) it made the combat a lot more entertaining.

The user interface was done with the "Paper Doll" system. The player would use the hot key to open up the paper doll of the avatar and equip items and weapons by clicking and dragging them on said hero. Also, the game featured the ability to search drawers and chests by a simple double click of the mouse and a chest would appear on screen with the items inside it. This would be a feature adopted by many popular RPGs such as Diablo and The Elder Scrolls Series.

So why was this game great? Simple answer is that the game just had so much to it. You could buy horses or carriages for transportation, you could rob people or just murder everyone you saw and still be able to complete the game, and the story was long and thorough and yet not complicated enough to make you just give up on it and freelance the whole game.

In short, it is a great game in an open ended environment and to anyone that should equal a good game. It is just unfortunate that this and Ultima Online were the last great titles by Origin before the big EA bought it out and turned the great name of Ultima to a joke.

And here is some video of the game. Unfortunately I could only find it in the form of a speed run.
[embed]76533:9398[/embed]   read

3:36 PM on 03.14.2008

Dawn of War Wednesdays? (And Kids in the Hall Videos)

I have noticed over time that there is a lack of RTS games being played as a community here on Destructoid. There of course is plenty of FPS action going on all platforms and of recent there is Brawl and DS games being enjoyed by many here.

But would anyone be interested in playing some RTS on Wednesday nights? I was thinking perhaps in the form of Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War? I have a couple of other RTS games in mind but Dawn of War seems to provide the most players in a multi player game and it is quite enjoyable (theres nothing better than 8+ armies meeting at one point having an all out battle for one relic or capture point).

So yeah if anyone would be interested in playing some Dawn of War on Wednesday nights or perhaps any other RTS let me know via this post or PM and perhaps I will get the motivation to set something up?

And now some kids in the hall:


[embed]75604:9195[/embed]   read

5:04 PM on 03.13.2008

Pro Evolution Soccer 2008: A Goal of a Time or a Header of Fail?


Now before I start this review I am going to mention one thing. I refer to soccer as football. I do this not only out of respect for the sport but also it makes more sense to call a sport you play with your feet football whereas the American version requires the hands to play.

On that note lets begin. Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 has finally hit stateside and it could not have come at a better time. With Arsenal eliminating AC Milan in the Champions League I needed something to quench my football thirst. Sure I could have bought FIFA 08 but who wants hamburger when they can have steak?

The game play is a lot better this time around than from the previous Xbox 360 installation. There seems to be more fluidity and finess to it that I found missing from the last game. Sending people on a run for a through ball has become normal again and doing short lobs have actually regained a purpose. Also, the manual does a great job listing all the moves and "tricks" which is something that I really wasn't expecting.

Master League, the reason why I buy these games, is back and with a nice facelift. Different changes to the interface provides a flashy arcade feel and the introduction with a popularity meter to your players and team helps show you what kind of clout your club has. Of course this said clout determines what kind of players you can pick up and who is actually interested in your club. No clout=No Big Name players. Other than that there isn't too much new with the Master League but as the saying goes "if it ain't broke don't fix it".

Konami also brought back a couple of other missing features. Being able pick your starting team, for instance, has returned to PES2008. The Winning Eleven Store has also been brought back as well, which is nice since the last Winning Eleven/Pro Evolution game was truly lacking in the unlockables.

Graphics, although noticeably crisper, hasn't changed a whole lot. Plenty of the generic faces and such but this can be forgiven since with so many registered football players in the world it would be quite insane to try to capture each ones individual look.

The bad thing about the graphics though is how even on a "next-gen" system the frame rate will drop terribly during the intros. At first I thought my 360 was dying out on me but it turned out the system couldn't handle the animations of all the fans cheering along with the players running out on the pitch. I would expect such a thing from the Playstation 2 but not a Xbox360.

I am a bit torn on the soundtrack though. It has a good mix of your typical techno/pop which half of it is enjoyable while the other half wants you to plug your ears with crazy glue. Rest of the game audio is as expected: same old crowd cheering, commentators commentate like expected to, and so forth.

So what is my final verdict on the game? Well if you are a football fan or a Winning Eleven/Pro Evolution fan I would say go ahead and give this a buy. You shouldn't be disappointed with it. If you are one of those people who hates "Soccer" and plays sports games for the sake of playing sports games then you should rent before you buy. In the end it is the same type of game that Konami seems to release, but that doesn't mean itís a bad thing.   read

1:39 PM on 03.10.2008

Before there was Worms there was Scorched Earth

The year was 1991, I was a 9 year old Tragic Hero looking for a new computer game to play. I had already beaten Kings Quest 3 and 4 and I had just completed Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. So now I was without any games to play on my Packard Bell computer. X-Com: UFO Defense and Doom weren't to come out for another couple of years and being as young as I was I had nowhere to go to find a new game. I almost had to turn to going outside until my friend introduced me to the "Mother of all Games"

Scorched Earth

Before there was Worms there was Scorched earth, a turn based 2D tank battle game. Released in 1991 as a shareware title (as most PC games were back in the day) this title might not have been the mother of all games but it certainly was the king of its genre.

The game play is simple, you pick your tank and color, buy yourself specific weapons/powerups/shields/etc before each battle and then try to be the last tank to survive. What makes this game so much better than the rest are the many options you have to go into the battle field with.

Weapon choices range from napalm to megaton nukes, to homing rounds and even rounds that will create dirt hills and rounds that will eat away the dirt, causing an enemy tank to plummet to its demise. Unless of course your enemy decided to buy parachutes so that it can survive such falls.

Graphics didn't get better than this...

Another great thing about the game was how the enemy tanks could taunt you before they shoot. Tanks spurting one liners out before they drop napalm on you never got old. Beauty of it though was how all the quotes were stored in a text file that you could alter to your own liking.

Unfortunately though like many great shareware games of its time, it never took off. No one ever felt the need to buy the full version for the little extra features it provided and eventually the creator of the game never got around to making a more complete version.

Of course games like Worms came along to fulfill this hunger for Turn based 2D tank games but it just isn't the same.   read

11:26 AM on 03.08.2008

Winner of the Tragic Hero Contest

So after looking over the entries many times over here at work I have decided on a winner. Before I reveal said winner though I would like to thank everyone who entered the Tragic Hero contest. I knew that the contest wouldn't be too easy since finding a proper tragic hero in the video game realm is difficult but all of the contestants were surprisingly creative and did an excellent job finding their own tragic heroes.
Kudos to you all.

And now for the winner of the Tragic Hero Contest...

CaffeinePowered with his Entry on lThe Vault Dweller.

As you can tell from his post, he did an excellent job going in to much detail of the trials and hardships of the Vault Dweller and how his amazing and painful journey is rewarded with him being cast out from the community he saved.

Initially I was thinking of excluding his entry since I used the vault dweller as an example in the initial contest rules but after reading Cafs post anyone could tell he would have done the Vault Dweller anyways even if I didn't use him as a example.

So congratulations CaffeinePowered for winning and congratulations to GAMEGOBLIN, Mix, Passionate Styos, ScottyG, and Anus McPhanus for participating as well.   read

5:41 PM on 03.07.2008

*Repost* Final Day to Enter Tragic Hero Contest (Upright Citizens Brigade Video included)


Classic Upright Citizens Brigade

Today is the last day to submit an entry for the Tragic Hero contest. Further in depth rules can be seen here but mainly the contest is to pick your favorite video game Tragic Hero and write about him or her and explain why he or she makes the best tragic hero. Winner of said contest gets a free game from the steam store from Destructoids very own tragic hero.

So far here are the other contestants and their entries:

GAMEGOBLIN with "The Boss" from MGS3

Mix with Aerith from FF7

Passionate Styos with Ryu from Breath of Fire 2

ScottyG with Ark from Terranigma

CaffeinePowered with The Vault Dweller from Fallout

Anus Mcphanus with Soap MacTavish

And that is it for the time being. The winner will be decided on Monday. I was going to throw a parade for the winner but Mayor Daley would not give the proper permit. Good luck to all of you who have entered and good luck to those wishing to enter.   read

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