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Tug Your God Out's blog

11:33 AM on 08.29.2008

I DID IT (but a different 'it')

Well at the same time michiyoyoshiku is filling his 360 harddrive I've finally taken the damn plunge.

I kept putting it off for so long using the RROD and the original X-Box line-up (which really offered next to nothing that I wanted to play) as an excuse not to get one. Price also factored in but when you looked at the volume of games I was buying and the fact that I have two DS and two PSP, that excuse really shouldn't have flown for so long.

And people say Tidus looks girly, I didn't know Yuri was a dude until the game started.

I also made a vow -- if a Tales game ever came to the 360, I would get one. Who would have thought they'd be a system mover, as the guy at EB (one of only maybe three guys I trust at our five freakin locations found in less than 15 minutes of each other) said that I was one of five 360s he moved this week for Tales of Vesperia. I don't know if he was trying to make me feel better, as he already knew of the vow last year when I was lamenting Bioshock, or what but I figure he was pulling my chain. Eternal Sonata almost came close to selling me one, but coupled with the recent release of Soul Calibur IV and Viva Pinata (only $15) I finally caved for the 60gb.

It feels like a huge relief to get that over with. Now just really taking a good look at the upcoming release list and what I have to catch up on from the past two or three years -- that relief is definitely a bit more uneasy. About two to three dozen titles. Yippie. Thankfully most of those are old enough not to cost full price -- I hope.

I also picked up Kameo because it was $10 and Amanda thought it looked interesting. We actually haven't touched it between Viva Pinata, Soul Calibur and Tales, so is it any good?

And am I finally the last man alive to buy a damn X-Box?

And hey, first blog in over three months.   read

7:18 PM on 06.09.2008

NVGR -- Hockey Fantasy Pool next year? Anyone interested?

Yeah yeah I know -- most of you aren't big sports fans and this isn't the right place for it but I really don't venture into the forums too often and I don't see any sport-ish topics there anyway. I'll post one there in a day or two.

But let's get right down to it -- anyone here interested in potentially doing a fantasy pool for hockey next season? And potentially making it a keeper league? Right now I'm just polling interest but I find its best to nail these things down quickly. I loved trying to put together a football league a week before the season last year. More headaches than its worth.

Ideally I'd love for 12 teams but gotta do with what you can get. Rules will get set up later and ideally a draft is done a little after free agency starts. But nothing's set in stone, and we'll discuss that at a later time (particularly after I come back from my vacation this week).

So there's no commitment. I'm just looking for hockey fans in the community and particularly those hockey fans that have done leagues before. Just hit up the comments if slightly interested. If not, I don't really need a whole bunch of 'hockey suxxor' comments -- though I'm sure that will just invite them there.



3:10 AM on 05.30.2008

If you Love It, Change It: Mega Man Battle Network

I’m sure most of you are thinking that this is an easy one – just turn the games into a damn side scroller and ditch the kiddie show. Mega Man: Battle Network’s detractors are large and vocal in number, despite the fact that the majority of them haven’t touched the games. But I get where you guys are coming from. The majority seems to hate any sort of radical change to their franchises, and well think of one bigger change to the Mega Man franchise than Battle Network.

Yes, I’m that a-hole that buys the Battle Network games. The sole reason Capcom keeps pumping them out at the same rate as Miley Cyrus slips ‘shocking photos’ lately. I’m the person you curse under your breath each time you go by the handheld section at EB.

And yes, they’re not great titles. I’ll admit that in full. They won’t be confused with ‘game of the year’ titles. They won’t be up there with Bioshock and Ocarina of Time. But then again they’re handheld games. And solid handheld games at that, and solid gaming and RPGing value. I never realized that $30 for 30 hours of game was such a horrible deal. Hell, they drop in price fairly quickly. I think I’ve only paid full-price for one of them. Still I think people are expecting too much out of a handheld RPG franchise when the harshly grade Battle Network.

Do I recommend picking them all up? Probably not. If I hadn’t been so busy last month to write a blog, I probably would have done them as my guilty pleasure article. Hate to sound like everyone’s broken record but in tune with the other Mega Man series, the series kind of falls off and stagnates after the third or fourth entry. It doesn’t mean the ones following are bad games, but you can easily burn yourself out on Battle Network if you attempt the entire franchise.

BN4 through BN6 are still solid – much the same way MM4 through MM6 are still solid – but if you want to just get the gist of what the games are about just stick to the first three.
Capcom has recently attempted to ‘reboot’ and mix up the Battle Network formula by changing the perspective of battle and slapping the name Star Force on the front but Star Force is essentially BN7 in the end and is god awful.

So they’ve already tried to change the series and failed miserably. I love the series (as well as the Classic, X, Zero, and ZX series…and Legends) and I’m going to attempt to change it. Attempt to save it.


I love you original Battle Network

I guess I should also add this as a caveat as so many people have either never touched the series or don’t understand why I enjoy it. But I grew up on Mega Man. Like many of you when we were growing up there wasn’t illegal downloads and Netflicks and shit. We had Beta and VHS and even the smallest of towns had some sort of place that rented out VHS tapes. And when Nintendo took off a lot of those places also stocked video games for rent.

Blockbuster would come later but we were extremely loyal to our local guy because it was just a short walk to the old train depot that served as his rental place. Sometimes I wonder what ever became of that mustached man that sat behind the counter almost every singled day. Is he even alive today? Does he know how much his little store changed my life?

Getting back on track – I took a chance on that ugly little box one day. Probably only because I’d rented everything else in the damn store, but whatever the reason I decided to rent it I remember taking it home one day…and probably not even beating a single stage. Hell, I don’t even remember beating any of the stages until I was in my teens.

I returned the game next week and eagerly picked up the second game for some reason.
I believe I equally sucked at that one too. But that still didn’t stop me from asking for Mega Man 3 that Christmas. By the end of the NES cycle I owned 2 through 6 in cart form. I could never find the original but I did at least subsequently get better at the others.
Then Mega Man X came (well, technically it came before MM6) and we were all blown away by the graphics and the soundtrack. Man, the raw power of 16-bit was amazing. The game was simply amazing. But where was Wiley? Where was our Blue Bomber? Where was Rush?

Things were vaguely the same but all so different. It was an amazing new reinterpretation of our hero. It was a new chapter to the mythos and story – a complete re-imagining of the games and I was excited to see where it was going to go and what sort of adventures this new Mega Man would have. If you weren't just flipping out in excitement after finishing Mega Man X, then you just have no soul.

Granted that excitement petered out by X5 but the same sort of excitement crept up when Battle Network came out. I bought it within the first month because it was a Mega Man title but the BN titles all take place in an entirely different (assumedly parallel) universe. It was yet another reinterpretation of the Blue Bomber and it didn’t take long for Gutsman to pop up. After that, I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to see which of our favorite Robot Masters would show up next and where they’d show up. And best of all, Dr. Wiley was back, er well that universe’s Dr. Wiley.

I even started watching the anime and amazingly gained some respect for the usually lame Pharoah Man. And when Bass and Zero showed up for the first time, I shrieked like a school girl. I believe I also ran around my house screaming without my shirt on ala Chad Concelmo.

As I mentioned before, they’re solid RPG titles especially for the GBA and you can’t go wrong with the value. The combat system was (at least when the first game came out) unique and actually kind of good for portable play. It didn’t seem deep at first, and to some degree it isn’t, but there was at least more strategy involved as you dove deeper into the Battle Chip system. The two worlds concept – the real one and the internet one – showed a lot of promise early and hey, I didn’t really mind the “kiddie” feel too much. Sometimes games do tend to take themselves too seriously afterall.


Treat her right and she'll treat you.

The original BN game came out in 2001. Star Force hit stores late last year. I’m shitty with math but I believe that’s one every year. And you’re really updating fewer things than EA generally does with Madden and NHL Hockey each year. Gamers bitch and whine about EA Sports enough for it and some go as far to boycott the giant. So apparently releasing too many sequels in a short period of time with little in the way of updates is a good way to turn off certain people.

I know. I know. Mega Man from the start has always been somewhat of an annual update that doesn’t change much but builds on a strong foundation, but JESUS RAPTOR CHRIST Cacpcom – you CAN take 18 months or even two years in between releases. I’m not expecting a Kojima-esque plot or concept but I’d like you to take some time and try something new.

It’s like the virgin teenager. Slow down, son. You’ve got the girl there. You have your audience and you’re going to get the prize. Just take your time and build up the anticipation. No girl wants a wham-bam kind of night.

Well Capcom – this date at least wants dinner. And not at McDonald’s either, you cheap ass! Take your time and excite me a little. Don’t go – hey there’s a new Battle Network game next month and then just drop it on us like usual. I want to feel some anticipation and build up. Wet my appetite…to sort of continue the…metaphor…er…

Give us time to enjoy the previous title and speculate about what’s going to happen next. I mean half the fun is in the anticipation and foreplay. Lord knows Metal Gear Solid 4 isnt’ going to be anywhere near as good as all the discussion and message board theories and speculation we’ve enjoyed over the past couple of years. Once it’s out and over what do we immediately do? We start speculating and anticipating the next one. Kojima wined and dined us at a 5-star Paris restaurant on this date. The actual ‘product’ might disappoint but at least we’ve had fun up to this point.

True, the speculation and debate over a new BN title would never reach a sliver of the white hot hype of MGS4 but I’ll settle for a 3-star and maybe a handjob er…trailer.
Take your time Capcom and put some more effort into the games – which brings us to the next point, less creepy than the first.


God this looks so familiar...and bland.

Let me preface this again – the first Battle Network game came out in 2001. Put all six BN games and Star Force next to each other and try and pick out which game is which. I’ll sit here and wait while you try. Good luck.

Back? How’d you do? Yeah, they all look the same despite debuting on the GBA seven years ago. I know the art style has to stay similar but even King of Fighters has updated the sprites more than this!

Star Force claims to have changed up the look and granted, Mega Man DOES look different and the perspective in battle has changed but outside of using two screens, you could have easily done Star Force on the GBA.

Gamers have no trouble playing the same stuff over and over again. Just fool us by making it look new. Please? At least friggin try! Just a new coat of paint is all I ask. I’m not asking for an overhaul every title out but just a noticeable difference. Make us at least think the games are improving title to title.

Star Force was the prefect chance to break free. With a new, more powerful hardware in the DS and a new main character the chance was there. True, Mega Man looks different and I like the redesign more than most but it was the jump the series should have taken two or three years ago.

Do we really need to wait six or seven titles every time for a jump in quality? I know there are hardware limitations but there’s no excuse that a DS game in 2007 should be on par with the GBA’s late library.


Do we really need 3 of these?

This will be the shortest section of this article and I almost debated making it one line – NO MORE MULTIPLE VERSIONS!

I think we can all agree on this one. It was especially annoying when BN3 (the first game they attempted multiple versions) you couldn’t trade the exclusive chips between the two versions. What the hell is the point? You’re right – there was none. That completely defeated the purpose of having multiple versions or being able to trade between them in the first place.

Yes, Pokemon has been very successful with this model. But you’re not Pokemon. As cool as some of the Battle Chips are, they’re not really cuddly, cutesy looking as Pokemon are. I have a chip collection and strategy that works pretty damn good already. Unless that chip looks like a damn Mudkip, I’m not interested in collecting it.

A long time ago I use to suffer from gotakatchemallistis and collecteveryfrigginthingallus where I felt the need to 100% every game I came in contact with. I don’t know if it was being put on academic probation my sophomore year of college or just the really strong antibiotics of having a girlfriend or just realizing I had to pay for shit now, but I beat the disease and I’m living healthy now.

Yes, occasionally I’ll have a rare outbreak *glares at Rogue Galaxy and Brawl* but for the most part if I reach an end where I’m comfortable with a game I’ll put it down. I don’t need to collect everything in the game.

But some of us still suffer from these debilitating diseases. They suffer greatly enough to seek out little kids on the playground in order to trade battle chips or form Brother Bands. And occasionally they’ll be escorted off the playground by three police officers.

Unless you’re Pokemon, people tend to groan and facepalm when you release two or three different versions of your game. And honestly Team Protoman or Team Colonel? Anyone who didn’t pick Protoman is stupid anyway.


I don’t remember the exact quote or interview but Inafune has talked about Mega Man’s close ties to music before. It’s painfully obvious and because of it the music of both the classic and X series are flat out amazing. A lot of us probably think of the music before anything else when someone mentions Mega Man.

So what happened? Why does the music in BN suck? Ok, maybe not suck but it’s hardly memorable to say the least.

A Mega Man game without amazing music is hardly a Mega Man game at all. What happened to all the creativity we saw when Capcom was limited by hardware?
God that reminds me – I so need to put Mega Man 3’s opening as my phone ringer. I would just let that thing ring and ring and never pick it up. Just stand there rocking out as my phone went off. Never answering any of my calls.

And the sound effects are blah, too. And you ever think to add in some voice samples from the cartoon? And not the annoying menu voice from Star Force please. Or that whole Mega Man 8 ending sequence.

Can’t stress this one enough – the sound has to get better in the series for it to ever be accepted as a Mega Man game by most fans.


It’s always a delicate balance between accessibility and continuity. You don’t want the series to become too complicated that new fans can’t just pick up the next game and jump right in, but usually this seems to come at the expense of serious character development and strong plot lines that stretch from game to game.

Honestly you can pick up any BN game and not be lost. The plots are self-contained for the most part and the characters don’t really change drastically from title to title. The games, like all games, offer a short tutorial in the beginning that really only accomplishes one thing – making the main character (be it Lan or Geo Stellar now) look like he’s a retarded dipshit. How many times must we explain to you how to use your damn PET?

I tend to like my things more self-contained and I lament the near extinction of the single issue comic book, but there’s still no logical reason why we can’t have Lan and friends grow and develop as characters over the course of the series. If you’re still worried about self-containment and continuity, there’s always flashbacks, which don’t seem to be used enough in games. And I don’t get that because games like the BN series tend to come from Japan. So does anime, and anime has no trouble over-using flashbacks and recaps to the point where a 24 minute show only has about 8 minutes of new material. Yes, I’m looking at you Bleach and Naruto.

Again I’m not asking for a narrative on par with MGS or Hamlet, but is it too much to ask for characters we can get invested it? It’s bad enough to keep pumping out the same game with the same graphics with only minor changes but then give us characters that are essentially left unchanged from game to game too? That’s just going too far. Even the X series felt like there was some change and growth in the story. The whole reason I picked up the BN series was to see how the characters were reimagined. And all you did was continue to run them out there one after another. That kept me happy for a while but then nothing happened....

Harry Potter has been hugely successful as we’ve watched those kids grow up over the course of seven books. Kids may be annoying little shits but they’re not dumb. You don’t have to talk down to them for them to make the connection or realize what’s going on. Try just respecting their intelligence for once. This goes for just about everything in every medium lately. Have any of you ever sat down and watched a cartoon today like Yu-Gi-Oh? Jesus H. Christ. No wonder why kids are asshats. Treat them like they're stupid long enough, they actually believe it.

Mega Man has always been Capcom’s big money maker. Let’s use some of that money to pay someone to write a damn script and the localized dialog. It’s always been a bit campy with the internet theme but Star Force is painful. I really can only take Star Force in small five minute doses. Thank God for sleep mode.

Sure, the occasional line of dialog will go over a kid’s head from time to time but did that stop you or I from finishing books or games when we were young? I can’t tell you how many books I’ve re-read from my childhood where I’m just now making all the connections in them. It just encourages you to go back and experience it again when older. How I understood Final Fantasy IV's narrative as a kid and how I understand it now are vastly different in scope. Does that mean we should have dumb down FF4? Why are we so afraid to let children think?

And as a small note – GET RID OF THE DAMN TUTORIALS! Again it makes Lan look like a complete buffoon, but READ THE FUCKING MANUAL PEOPLE!!! Or better yet, don’t make obtuse controls in the first place. K.I.S.S. – Keep it simple stupid. None of the games have had complicated enough controls that they can’t be figured out with a small amount of testing. Most of the menus are self-explanatory and neat. Towards the end BN had been getting pretty good at shortening up the tutorials to what was absolutely necessary. Unfortunately they took a huge step back in Star Force.

If you absolutely need to put a tutorial in the game (any game) who says it has to be part of the narrative? You’re already breaking the fourth wall by telling the player what buttons to push to do what. How about you just have an option to watch/participate in the tutorial at the beginning of the game if you desire to and have the tutorial outside of the narrative structure. If you can’t figure out a clever way to integrate the tutorial into the structure, then don’t even bother. Star Ocean 3 with the Battle Simulator holo-decks while Fayt and Sophia are on vacation – that’s somewhat clever. Battle Network – not clever and a major detractor from the games after BN2.


It's not that bad

I enjoy my portables. As much as I work (13 hours just today) I need something for on the go and I love my DS and PSP. But still there is the stigma around portables. Maybe no one else has this problem but a lot of my friends just aren’t into portable gaming and really don’t think highly of it. I keep trying to sell them on the DS but they’re not buying. They enjoy their gaming while sitting on the couch or a bean bag chair.

Maybe staying away from the consoles is one reason why the series has never been taken too serious or noticed by gamers. True, there was the GameCube platformer Network Transmission, but it was the GameCube and came out to poor reviews. I’d say it’s vastly underrated and worth checking out, but the damage is already done.

Capcom probably won’t attempt to bring the series to the consoles again after the commercial failure of Transmission, but if done right I think a lot of us would kill for a new Mega Man game on the Wii or Playstation 3. You could always use some sort of connectivity between the DS and Wii or the PS3 and PSP to bridge the gap between the series.

But of course, if they don’t provide at least a somewhat strong narrative, a large bump in the production values, and a slight maturation in the series then a jump to the consoles is going to fail miserably. The current product just isn’t console material in the least, but with a small amount of work it really could be. And it should be.


The next Overlooked Video Game Babe entry? You bet!

Look – I love the series despite its flaws. Maybe I’m a bit of an idiot for playing the exact same thing six straight times now. Seven times if you count the 3 hours I’ve put into Star Force over the past four months. But I’ve played a lot of games that were just the same crap as before. But I think if Capcom actually took some time to put some love and care into the series it could be something more than the bastard stepson, the joke of the Mega Man franchise.

People look at Battle Network, usually without touching it, and scoff at how Mega Man has fallen so far. I keep defending the lil’ Blue Bomber but if we’re playing Star Force X on our Nintendo Triple Screen or whatever in ten years, I’m not sure I can defend him anymore.
Yes, I’m part of the problem. I keep buying the damn things. They’re still a good product (sans Star Force) and I wouldn’t touch the battle system too much outside of some minor tweaks and telling random battles to take a hike, but give us something more. Make us feel special. Make us feel like you care about us and Mega Man. You really don't need to drastically change BN. People love Mega Man and they love RPGs and they love action. And robots. All you need to do is show you give a damn. It's that simple.

I keep ripping on Star Force because I really can’t get into it. I’ve had the game for about four months and I think my data’s only at three hours played but there’s some potential in the character designs. So I have a glimmer of hope that if I ever can get through the ridiculous beginnings and dialog to start the game that there’s some potential, but I don’t see them treating Geo and crew any differently than they treated Lan. Which is definitely a little sad, but I still hold out a faint .01% chance of hope that June’s Star Force 2 is at least partially what I’m looking for the series to do and evolve. But with Star Force 3 already announced for release in Japan at the end of this year, I think I can just about crush that sliver. Sorry Capcom but after seven years of this I’m just done. I love the Blue Bomber so much to the point that your lack of care hurts.

Now make me another Mega Man ZX and I might come out of my ball and stop crying enough to enjoy that.   read

7:13 PM on 05.25.2008

NVGR -- A Championship To Remember


yeah I know there's not too many hockey fans on this place, or fans of Canadian Junior Hockey but that's just hilarous. I almost fell out of the chair when it happened.

To Spokane's credit they played amazing and Dustin Tokarski's draft stock has just shot up a couple rounds. 53 saves. Not bad for a kid that was on no one's radar before the season really. They beat Kitchner twice in Kitchner's own building. That alone deserves the title.

And man, it's a 90 year old championship. It's not the first time it's been broken or banged up -- but this is the first time since YouTube's been popular. Sorry, Burton. You're forever captured.   read

3:25 PM on 05.20.2008

Yeah, I'm not dead and online gaming is 'meh'

Yeah. I'm not dead. Believe it or not. I've just been the busy bee of late moving to a new place and getting some things in order. Plus this is the time of year for graduations and a lot of family things. Hell I managed to attend two graduations in one day. It was a horrible amount of sitting without a DS.

But I think things will be settling down now for at least a couple weeks -- outside of a planned trip to Kansas City the second week of June. So hopefully I can get back to posting a bit more.

And I do have new 'features' coming soon but dang, pretty much everything I come up with has or is being done by someone else at the moment. And now Ghost does Destructoid: The Collectable Card Game. That'll be hard to top. But just shows the strength of the community here -- all the great ideas.

One of the things that kept me busy the past couple weeks is my best friend moved away and helping him do so. I'm talking my best friend. Like no one's even close on the scale. He's like the brother I never had and in the few days without him, it's felt quite weird and empty. And not a whole lot of fun. I love the guy as much as a guy can love another guy in a non-homosexual way.

I've never enjoyed online gaming. I hate prick kids and I don't have the time to game where as those spoiled fuckers have just about every hour that they're not in school to 'train' and I just wind up realizing how much I suck. I think we all have lamented how awful the little turds are on Halo and XBLA. If we're leaving the world in the hands of their generation, I almost hope we blow it up before they get the chance to. Ugh I'm sounding old, but yes, I stay completely away from all online aspects -- although I have recently started to go online with Mario Kart and Brawl lately because there's no voice chat. Too bad there's enough lag that a match I started last week in Brawl is just about now finishing.

But I've also never have had to online game. The people I love the most and want to game with well -- I do it next to them and it's just amazing. There's nothing like getting a group of people over for a gaming party. I haven't been to any of the NARPs but I imagine they are 10x more amazing, and these gaming parties are pretty damn amazing in their own right.

But now I'm one of two people in my little 'clique' (for a lack of a better term) that has decided to stay in the city we grew up in. Everyone else now has moved on to forge new paths in new cities. It took seven years after high school but the group finally has disbanded. The only other one remaining really isn't into gaming much beyond Dr. Mario and MVP 05. And he also works some hellish 60 hour weeks as a big time manager. Really the only time I see him is Tuesday nights.

So I finally turned to online gaming this weekend. The dredded Halo 3, which might be where my problem stems but it was the only game we all had (me having to jack a co-worker's 360 for the night. To that he's like the most awesome person I've ever worked with. Too bad he is in fact a douchebag when it comes to game choices) and well it was fun -- and I still suck when the game involves shooting something....but something just felt flat.

Granted we didn't have to bother with split screen or the stupid mechanics of Mario Kart and Mario Party, but there was something missing just not having everyone in the same room. It was great to hear some people's voices again and to catch up on a few people, but I'd rather do it over Contra or at 3am ass-drunk at Denny's.

Though on a side note I learned two things I probably would have rather not have wanted to know. Two people in the group are getting married. One I have known for 20 years....and its this weekend and I was never sent an invite and I assume its because of his fianacee, even though I've only met her probably less than a dozen times. I was invited after it came out but its short notice to travel up there (granted its only three hours away) and I was incredibly hurt at the time.

The other one getting married -- is getting married to another friend's sister. Which is weird enough as it is. But then you throw in the fact that we were like 8 when she graduated high school....yeah. And Ben's two years younger than the rest of us. So double yeah. I'm not freaking out about it as much as I was when I heard the news but somewhere in the back of my head I just ask myself -- when we were running around the house and terrorizing this girl when younger, did she know she was that one of us was going to be her husband someday?

But yes, they're both mature adults now and have developed a special relationship as two adults. Twelve years difference in age shouldn't matter and I can't be more happy for them. Hopefully I'm at least invited to this one.

But in the end, the whole online experience just isn't as forefilling. Or maybe it's the fact that after the night was all said and done, I had fun but just missed these people from my life too much. I'm happy that they're all off being successful finally and are happy in their own lives -- and I'm not saying I'm not happy in my own life -- but I just got caught off guard by how much I miss the 'good ole days.' Having this little get together and having my best friend leave, just they hit pretty hard.

At least most everyone will be up for Memorial Day and to see my new place, so I've got to start setting up the entire weekend's list of games, as well as the food list.

Though I have the general list already -- the same shit we always play -- I'm going to leave the floor open for suggestions for both games and food.

And should I be mad and hurt about being left off the invitation list? Because that one is still really bothering me.   read

8:06 PM on 04.19.2008

Picking the DC side of this

Ok, I'm sure we're all tired about talking about how much its going to fail. But now that I'm over that, I'm kind of interested to see who will be represented by the two sides. Which DC heroes are going to make the cut and which Mortal Kombat guys no one cares about will be thrown into this thing.

Back when I was a computer science major I attempted to plot out a DC only fighting game, and my love (at that time -- my current "love" for DC is a whole other story and fuck Dan Didio and his Crisis-es) for the DC line I was hoping to squeeze an ungodly amount of characters into the thing. Who cares if essentially all three people to wear the Flash mantle (at that time) would probably play the same? Who cares if Impulse and Interia and Jesse Chambers and John Fox would be exactly the same too for the most part? I wanted clones. I wanted people to see which Green Lantern was superior. Granted there's only one answer to that -- Hal Jordan -- but Kyle's come a long way.

I think, after all the obscure characters, the list was somewhere near 250 characters. Which of course is impossible enough before you factor in not having a license or any artistic talent to animate that many characters.

From the looks of it, Midway is starting off small with apparently 16 characters. You'd expect this number to be split down the middle 8 and 8 for each side. Of course, seeing as it's a train wreck that I can't seem to advert my eyes from, I'll buy the first one despite not buying a Mortal Kombat since II hit the SNES. And I'm assuming no matter how bad it'll be, it'll still sell a buttload of copies and we'll get an update that will still suck but expand the roster and they'll happen to throw in a DC character that will tempt me just enough to buy the damn thing.

Seriously, if Ollie isn't in the first game and he's in the second -- sorry guys, I'm going to have to buy it again. Oh, Red Arrow in the third game? Fuck....well, maybe it'll be a nasty circle.

But let's face it -- it can't be any worse than the last attempt at a DC fighting game, Justice League: Task Force. And I had hours of fun with that.

I was hoping for at least maybe a roster of 32 to play around with when I originally started thinking of who I wanted in the game. Hell the last MK game had around 62 and 98% of them even Mortal Kombat fans didn't give two shits about.

Eight makes it difficult, because there's the Big Seven from Morrison's JLA sitting right there.

Of course the given is Batman because everyone loves Batman -- and he's in the trailer. I want one person to actually speak up honestly and say they hate Batman and why. You can't because the character is just that awesome. Uber-Bats is a bit of a dick but I can't imagine much Morrison plotting in this game. He's very much the face of DC as Superman is. It's kind of amazing how Batman has caught so many people's imagination when overall, through most of his publication run, there really haven't been too many great Batman comics. And if you liked Hush -- GTFO.

Superman, obviously the face of DC and the second pillar of the Holy Trinity, has got to be in there. People worry about his 'invicibility' and strength. It's always been the problem in making a Superman game, because you either make him too powerful or you completely castrate him. It's the same deal with the comics -- you put a poor writer at the reigns of a Superman comic and either one of those two things happens.

Overall I think they'll be alright with a toned down Superman. No one expect this to be perfect afterall.

The final pillar of the Trinity is Wonder Woman, who I could care less about but she's important enough to the DC Universe and recognizable enough outside of the media in large part to Lynda Carter, who even after all these years I would love to "put a baby inside of."

Those three are pretty much locks. Giving you only five slots to play around with.

Despite all the horse shit they turned the Parallax into lately, it's nice to see Hal Jordan back a hero. I loved the fallen hero idea a bit better but it's Hal fucking Jordan, who really is popular enough with fans they should call it the Big 4 instead of the Big 3/Trinity. Despite the fact that my dad use to collect Green Lantern comics, he's really not that recognizable or popular outside of comic geekdom it seems. But if you're going to appease that geekdom, Hal Jordan better be there.

I'm afriad they'll put John Stewart in here because they need the token black character and he's in the Justice League cartoon but no, it's got to be Hal. Kyle might be acceptable, as he's once more a Green Lantern and not Ion, but save him for a future installment, ok? In the end, I think they'll go with Stewart but let's just put Hal in the fourth spot.

Martian Manhunter. J'onn J'onnz. I don't like the character but if this was the JLA v MK then he'd be a shoe-in because for some reason DC thinks J'onn IS the League and he's a part of essentially every JLA to date. Except that silly one formed during 52 for like a week. And the current version, but I don't expect they'd tell him no if he decided to stop hanging out with Batman's Outsiders and come back.

But I like J'onn's style in a Mortal Kombat game. I think he works with the world of Scorpion and Sub-Zero and Reptile and uhm....yeah...Johnny Cage...and the guy with the hat. I think he'd have an interesting move-set, too bad it'd be more interesting in a Street Fighter-esque game, sorry. Overall, he's one of two MAIN characters in the DCU that I look at and say, they have to be in an MK game.

The other being Hawkman. It'd be nice to have someone on the roster that isn't in the League (yes, I know Katar Hol was in the league but ugh, the retcon'd that to be Fel Ander) but Hawkman I just see as fitting in much nicer than say, the Flash. Though I wouldn't be shocked if they threw in Hawkgirl instead for sex appeal. And honestly, I'm not sure I'd mind in the long run. Still give Carter some credit.

That unfortunately leaves two spots left. And there's nothing saying that they all have to be good guys. The 'bad guy' I hear mentioned the most for this game is Doomsday just based off raw strength and seeing him and Goro go at it would be great. And all things considered, he might just be the best villian choice. He's big, scary, powerful and well known to those even outside of comic circles.

The Joker -- possibly if he's sadistic enough but the acid flower move just doesn't fit and it wouldn't be Joker without it. Lex Luthor -- even in battle armor doesn't make me shake in my boots in a hand to hand fighting game. Darkseid -- maybe but I'm not sure he'd visually mesh well with MK. Count Vertigo -- as awesome as that'd be he's too obscure for most folks. Gorilla Grodd -- would work but again, prehaps a bit too obscure. And well there are dozens and dozens of villains but outside of me and a handful of people, I don't think anyone else would be excited to see Sam Scudder or Signalman.

Of course that then leaves one spot for two of the Big Seven. Flash and Aquaman. Of course, a lot of people think this one would be fairly easy. No one likes Aquaman. Except me. Orin kicked so much ass in the comics. Too bad he could never shake the whole Super Friends and what it did to crush public preception of him. Joseph, the new Aquaman, sucks so hard. We want the real King. As much as I'd love to beat up on Artie-Joe and rip his spine out, I'd say leave him out.

And the Flash, certainly he gets the last spot, right? You know -- call me crazy but I don't like how he fits. His super speed in the game would either be completely nerf'd or too powerful. Might be interesting with the dail-a-combo system.

But I love the Flash. He's easily my favorite superhero from growing up. If he's not done right, I don't want to see him done at all. And I feel the last spot is probably Green Arrow's anyway. DC loves their Green Arrow. I love Ollie too but I never remember him being a huge part of the DCU before Identity Crisis. Now he's at the core of the DCU and thrown on Smallville and the lot. Judd Winick has essentially ruined him but that's pretty much the only thing Winick's good at (though I still enjoy Outsiders for some stupid reason.) Didio seems to be a huge fan and while I know it's not Didio's decision in this matter, I'd assume he'd love to see Ollie in that last spot.

I'd love to think maybe there are hidden characters because you can't forget the Flash. I'd also love to throw in Rex Mason and maybe Black Canary so Sonya Blade would have someone more on her level.

Phantom Stranger or Zatanna would be great. I'd also love to see some of the JLI team members in here but without fatalities I'm not sure DC would bother (for those that don't know, it's seemingly a running gag that Didio hates the JLI characters because they've essentially been killing them all off lately.) Doctor Fate would look so bad ass.

Too bad Captain Marvel would once again be quickly labeled another Superman clone.

Booster Gold would be fun to beat up on. Too bad him and Ted (Blue Beatle) would probably be too goofy even for MK. Ditto goes for Buddy Baker, Animal Man.

The Ray and Atom are probably too obscure and maybe not fit as well. Power Girl, however, would work with the big boobs but you already have Wonder Woman -- just give increase her mammories.

Zauriel? Anyone? Plastic Man? Please? Jason Blood? You know he'd work great!

But seriously, let's up the cast list to 12 from 8.

Give me Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Hal Jordan, Hawkman, Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow and Orin Aquaman.

With the final two spots give me Black Lightning and Doctor Fate or Spectre. Black Lightning for the token black character and for a current member of the JLA cast. He'd also counter Raiden, although having two lightning guys might be overkill.

Doctor Fate to me is too cool to pass up and could be a way to connect the two worlds together. But so could the Spectre, who looks like he could fit in with the MK universe. Though it would have to be Jim Corrigan for me and not Crispus Allen.

And shit -- Deathstroke....he's got to be in there.

Ugh...ok give me fourteen spots making Deathstroke and Spectre part of the cast.

But wait.......

*four hours later*

Ok give me 270 slots with the inclusion of Psycho-Pirate, Tanaka Rei, Peek-a-Boo, Bibbo Bibbowski, Comet the Superhorse, and Mogo.....

Fuck -- just make me a damn DCU fighting game already damnit. Screw those Mortal Kombat guys.   read

12:53 PM on 04.10.2008

Overlooked Video Game Babe #2

First an update on the promised Mana Khemia review. I finally got the damn game, 11 days after Amazon promised me a copy. What the hell is the point of 'pre-ordering' a game if they don't have enough copies to send out to people. Amazon's a big company, I preordered my copy about two weeks before the release date when it looked like my EB wouldn't be getting the game at all. They got the stategy guides but not the game itself...anger rising.

I wanted to play through at least chapter 7 before making a full judgement call. I'd rather play through the entire thing once and then do the review but that may take a while longer and it looks like every option should be opened up by the end of chapter 5. I'm currently on chapter 4 but reset it once because I got a B on the first course. Apparently an A is tricky to get and you only need a B to get the full free time -- didn't know that at first.

Second update is on my NHL picks. Those took a while to write and outside of Gray Fox there was little interest and hell it didn't even make the c-blog recaps for that day or the next. I believe that's worse than fail, correct?

Third thing -- this wasn't my first choice for the second entry in these but I want to play through the game again seeing as its over a decade old and I was fuzzy on things. Mana Khemia is taking up all my at-home gaming and Crisis Core all my on the road and at work gaming so I haven't exactly had time for my refresher so I instead defaulted to this somewhat well known girl but one that's still never talked about all that much.

For those of you who missed my first entry in this series on the absolutely hot, but overlooked Captain Rose, it can be found by clicking this link -- now.

A small excert from that post to set the 'idea' --

Of course video games have their 'first ladies' in Lara Croft, Samus Aren, the DOA cast, and so forth. Mia Shinranui may have been the source of my first fapping actually. But everyone's already talked about those girls and for good reason. They're at the top for a reason. But there are some girls that just fall through the cracks and I'd like to highlight one of them every now and then. Maybe make it a bi-weekly thing, or what not.

This won't be a tirade on how badly women are protrayed in video games. Other people have done that article and the industry just doesn't get it anyway. Honestly, if the industry wants to be taken seriously and seen as a legit medium, they may want to actually protray women in a real way (though I guess that's really not that much fun and entertainment should always come first.)

I'm trying not to veer off into that tirade even though its bubbling up. But for now, it's just going to be a cutsy look at some pixelated babes I love that I don't hear get talked about much. I'm not saying these characters are deep or memorable -- hell most of them are about as shallow as can be, but it's not like the pickings for deep, original female characters is there in video games. You can count them on one hand -- even if you've been in a freak accident at some old tyme factory. Or some farm equipment. Or you didn't listen to your dad and blew most of your hand off with a firecracker. Or just insert your own gruesome way that fingers can be rend from the body. And please share.

The second girl to be enshrined is Quistis Trepe from Final Fantasy 8. I'm sick and tired of no one giving her a second thought. Hell she's even forgotten in the very game she stars in. Everyone was super excited when Kingdom Hearts was going to do the super-hyper-Nomura-Final-Fantasy-Disney-crossover and ....we get Selphie....and Waka....fuck off. And you change our little flower girl's name to Aerith and give her shitty voice acting? Grr.

Ok, before I get too far into why I hate Kingdom Hearts on just about every level, I probably should get back on the task at hand....


Quistis Trepe is one of the instructors at Balamb Garden, a military school, despite being only 18, the same age as everyone of the other characters. She's also Final Fantasy 8's Blue Mage, and until FFX-2 came along had no competition for sexiest Blue Mage in history.

She intially joins the main character Squall (or Leon...fucking Kingdom Hearts) on his field exam to beat up Ifrit but is later demoted because she apparently lacks leadership qualities. Doesn't help her case that she's probably one of the most insecure characters ever and she opens up to Squall about her demotion. And then it's promptly forgotten about once Rinoa shows up. And then they just decide Quistis's feelings for Squall are merely sisterly in nature or some crap -- A misunderstood love. Which is good I guess -- could you imagine the serious brooding in that relationship?


Well she's from Final Fantasy 8, prehaps the single most polarizing game in the history of games. Sure people argue and fight about FF7 more but you either love FF8 or you absolutely hate it. There's no in between. It took me all the way until 2005 to friggin beat FF8 and it sort of redeemed itself in the end and now I support it although I will still never understand what they were thinking with the junction system and the Orphanage story line, which was a little too convienent for my tastes.

But she also has two other female leads and she's pushed into the 'sisterly' role. You have Selphie with the short skirt and the 'tee-hee I'm cute but soooo clumsy (ie ditzy)' attitude and then you have the uber-hot Rinoa who Squall is 'destined' to be with.

I have nothing against Rinoa other than the fact that I barely used her in the game at all, but ugh Selphie -- and they let HER pilot the big friggin airship? Are you kidding me? She also looks like Nomura just put female hair on Squall and gave him overalls and a skirt. But I do admit -- skirts do divert most attention away from "problem areas" such as personality and face.

But yeah when you're bringing the 'teacher' look with glasses to a party that contains Rydia, the dancer in FF4, Faris (remember I love pirate wenches), Celes, Terra, Tifa, Aeris, Rinoa, Selphie, Princess Garnet, Beatrix, Yuna, Paine, Rikku, Lulu, Ashe, Penelo, Fran mmm's kind of hard to get past the bouncer and through the door. Only Maria can challange Quitis for status as the least talked about girl in Final Fantasy history.

Oh and she's a damn Blue Mage. Who the hell ever used Blue Mages? Quite lying because filling out a blue magic list was a pain in the ass and stupid. You spend all the game trying NOT to be hit by these weird ass spells, and now all of a sudden you want to be hit? And hell, half of them didn't even work most of the time.


You're pretty much going to learn all of my fetishes throughout the course of these entries (and the simple answer is ALL OF THEM) but who didn't have a teacher they just wanted to show you were a graduate capable of teaching her a thing or two? My first was my seventh grade teacher, who's probably disgusting looking and old by now, and I'm sure if I could go back and watch how I acted around her -- I'd call myself a douchebag. And then duct tape myself to the flag pole...naked.

The only other one was my 'government' teacher senior year. I put government in quotations because we didn't learn about how 'government' worked. We learned how the US government was supposed to work and memorized a good chunk of the US Constitution. She was a complete bitch but man, the things I would eat out of her ass. Damn.

But cripes lets like bullet point this shit.

She's a teacher
She looks so amazing in her glasses
That blonde hair with the weird just killer
She looks damn seductive in her potrait
She has her own fanclub of the game...not in real life.
She's been successful early in her life
She's adept with a whip
Did I mention the glasses already?
How about her being a teacher?
Or the whip?

And while she got the longer skirt compared to the brat, you combine it with the boots, the belt, the exposed naval, the seperated sleeve thing she's got going on, and the entire pink motif -- and the whip -- she blows Selphie out of the water. Its odd but true, sometimes more clothes adds to the imagination. Look at her blue SEED outfit. You can't tell me you don't want to be all over our little librarian wanna-be? There's a huge sex-kitten waiting to be let out there.

Also, as a Blue Mage -- she knows how to take a hit. Yeah, I went there.

But Quistis also happens to be one of the more 'real' Final Fantasy characters out there and incredibly easy to relate to as she feels all the pressure applied with her almost glorified position. Who doesn't fear failure? Or coming up short in the expectations others have in you? For most of us, fear of failure is what motivates us every day.

She's also rejected like you or I. Rejected from her position and rejected by Squall, who's cold demeanor and anti-social 'tude throws her even further into her depression and insecurities. A Misunderstood Love my ass. She's mature enough to step out of the way because she realizes what Rinoa means to Squall -- which is impressive for a girl that's still a teenager. Although I can't be the only one that deep down inside wishes she'd act a bit more like a vindictive teenage bitch and at least put up more of a fight. Grab Rinoa by the hair and bitch slap her a couple times. Save the Queen? No, she's going to Fuck the Queen Up.

She's expected to be an adult while still being a teenager, unblossomed. She tries to be mature because that's what is expected of her at this point. She gets to use Ellone's departure as an excuse and way out. Yet she still yearns to be acknowledged by one person more than any other -- Squall.

I honestly wish they did so much more with her. She's about a hundred times more interesting than the other two girls she competes with, and maybe the rest of the FF series as well. Square, how about you stop with the FF7 spin-offs, the mining of Ivalice and the planned whoring of FF13 and spin-off a couple of the other fablous worlds you have? And do something with Quisits.   read

3:00 PM on 04.07.2008

NVGR - NHL East Picks Part 1 of 2

Ok, yeah this isn't video game related unless I throw in a reference to NHL 08 or something but oh well, a lot of the blogs on here not only fail but fail on top of not being game related too so I figure this is ok.

I love hockey. I think it and video games are the only things that keep me sane with all the other shit out there. I have a TV set up right next to the TV that is attatched to all my systems and 9 times out of 10 in the winter months it has hockey playing on it.

I don't know how many other hockey fans are out there on these boards beyond NJSykora, he's the only one I can tell by the name that he's a hockey fan. So maybe this will all go for naught but its what is on my mind and this is my blog.

As some of you may know, the NHL regular season ended on Sunday and Wendesday the first round begins. Today I'll be looking at the four match ups in the West while Tuesday will bring the four Western Conference match-ups.


This series should be prefaced by the fact that Montreal won all eight regular season meetings against the Bruins, but you'll hear it about thirty times in the first game that the regular season and the playoffs -- they're two different seasons. Still it's a hard stat to get out of your mind when you're picking the winner here.

Also the Bruins have only won 6 of the 18 all-time playoff series against the two going back to the 66-67 Expansion season.

At the season's start I picked the Bruins to finish 5th in the East, and a lot of people thought I was crazy. But when you look at the man games lost and the injuries they've fought through this season, it's amazing they made it into the playoffs with the last spot.

I think the main story in this series is Montreal goalie Carey Price, a rookie and the goalie Montreal believes will take them to the promised land once again much like Patrick Roy and Ken Dryden did their first seasons. They felt so strongly about Price's ability they dealt veteran Cristobal Huet away at the deadline. Of course the Capitals dangling a second round pick for a free agent-to-be also made the decision easier.

I'm sure everyone will point and say he's only 19 and he has no playoff experience and the Bruins should eat him apart. What most people forget is how he came into the AHL (the main feeder, development league for the NHL and considered the second best professional league in the world -- although yes, the Russian Super League and the Finnish SM-Liiga will make their own cases) and led Montreal's farm team, the Hamilton Bulldogs to the Calder Cup championship in a stellar preformance. He was money in Junior hockey and yes, the NHL playoffs are always a different story but its not like he's void of a track record. Remember, no one really looked at Cam Ward's track record either and look what happened there.

Let us not forget that his fellow goaltender on the other end of the ice, 2008 All-star Tim Thomas, has zero games of playoff experience as well. Thomas is the kind of guy you root for though. Completely unheralded and everytime he's been told he's not good enough, he's found a way to prove people wrong. His path to the NHL took a lot of twists and turns and he bloomed extremely late. I'd love to see him set the world on fire and prove people wrong again and I have a feeling he won't go down without a fight.

The other story that could come out of this is Patrice Bergeron, who's season was prematurely ended on a bad hit by Flyer's dman Randy Jones. At one point we thought maybe Bergeron's career would be over from the resulting major concussion but there's now rumblings that he may try to suit up at some point during the playoffs. Will it be in this first round? Probably not but his comeback would do wonders to inspire this team. Couple that with them upsetting the first seeded Canadiens and Boston would be dangerous.

Unfortunately the Bruins will also still be missing their top scorer in Marc Savard, listed day to day still despite breaking a bone in his back. Savard has become one of the very best centermen in the NHL and it was a shame that he went down so close to the playoffs. They'll also be without Chuck Kobasew, out with a fractured leg in what would have potentially been a surprising 25, maybe even 30 goal season. And just to note, goalie Manny Fernandez is out with knee surgery, but most Bruins fans would point out its addition by subtraction in this case. Although Fernandez is apparently cleared to go for round one. It'll be interesting to see if Thomas faulters if they'll make the switch or just shut Fernandez down for the entire year.

Also recall it was Montreal's Steve Begin's hit that injured Marc Savard. I expect that this one could start off ugly.

Offensively the Bruins will have to rely on Marco Sturm (their remaining top point getter) and Glen Murray, who was supposed to be traded by the Bruins in training camp. Neither are particularly hot of the moment, nor is second year Phil Kessel. They'll have to turn it on and look for someone else to step up if they want to have enough scoring. Rookies Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Vlad Sobotka and Petteri Nokelainen didn't score a lot during the regular season but the Bruins need one of the kids to not be afraid. Sobotka only produced one goal but was a huge spark plug for this line-up after being recalled. Look for him to be the one to step up.

Defenesively the Bruins are led by one of the best in captain Zdeno Chara, the league's tallest player at 6-9 and 251 pounds. I know a lot of Bruins fans are critical of Chara and the contract he received to lure him away from Ottawa but he's easily one of the top five dmen in the entire league and they'll need him to be playing close to 28 minutes to shut down Alexei Kovalev, who gave Chara fits during the regular season. My solution? Put Andrew Alberts on Kovalev and let Chara take out the secondary scoring. He may be one of the best but Kovalev has his number, let's see what Alberts can do.

The rest of the blue line corps aren't particularly amazing but they know their roles. Dennis Wideman may have cost Brad Boyes but his 13 goals and 36 points from the blueline wouldn't have come from anyone else in the system. Montreal shouldn't worry too much about him but it would be nice to at least pay attention to him. Andrew Ference is banged up but should be ready to go. Aaron Ward is on his last lengths but he has a wealth of playoff experience in the form of three Stanley Cups.

Montreal's powerplay will be where they get it done in this series so the Bruins PK unit needs to step up, clicking in at a dissapointing 78.6%on the year. Kovalev, Tomas Plekanec, Andrei Kostitsyn, Chris Higgins, and Andrei Markov all finished with over 10 goals on the powerplay. If the Bruins don't improve that number, it'll be over quickly no matter how much Thomas stands on his head.

Montreal's captain, Saku Koivu missed the last four games of the season with a fracture in his foot and he's questionable for the start of the series but I expect him back shortly but they have enough offense to get away with him missing some games. However, dman Mike Komisarek, who missed the last seven games, needs to be in the line-up and looks like he will.

Who could be a sleeper in Montreal? I don't think they need one but look for Mike Ryder to step it up again. His season was well below his usual mark and rumours of him being traded across the league started to get into his head. He's also sometimes not the most likeable of people.Those rumours are now gone and its a new season. Like him or not, Ryder's been one of the most dangerous men on the power play since he came into the league.

On the blue line Markov leads as always and may not be Chara but the next 6 guys down probably trump their counterparts in Boston. Roman Hamrlik might be slowing down a bit but I think he's still capable of keeping Sturm and Murray in line for most of the series. And there's always Komisarek too.

PREDICTION -- Montreal in 5. I'm giving the Bruins one because it's tough to beat a team 12 times in a year. The last two times the Habs met the Bruins in the playoffs, the underdog Habs upset the mighty Bruins. I just don't see it being versa this time around.


We've seen bigger collaspes but Ottawa was atop the East half way through and hit a free fall that saw a very good coach in John Paddock lose his job (oddly enough to the guy he had replaced, Bryan Murray, who had stepped aside to concentrate as the GM of the club) and the Senators almost not make the playoffs. It's hard to imagine they'll defend their Prince of Whales trophy as the Eastern Conference champion this year. Especially as this is a Penguins club no one wants to face.

Even more 'especially' is the fact that the Senators are like a wounded animal. Captain Daniel Alfredsson is out with a knee injury, thanks to Toronto's Brendan Bell. No one knows what exactly the injury is. Some say Alfie will be back for the first round, others say he's done -- stick the fork in him and the Senators. Don't be shocked if they go down 3 games to none or one quickly, if he's not suited up to get the club going, although I doubt he'll play serious minutes in this series unless he's truly healthy.

The Sens are also missing key penalty killer and shut-down checker Mike Fisher. The jobs of the Penguins forwards just got a whole lot easier.

The Senators' goaltending was so inconsistent down the stretch that Murray almost dealt both Martin Gerber and Ray Emery at the deadline. It would have been a contraversal and unprecedented move but he stuck with the date he brought to the dance. I don't know if it'll be a good move but this is definitely Gerber's last shot to stick in the playoffs. I've always been a huge Gerber fan since I saw him play for Switzerland in the World Championships. He's capable of being dominiant and stealing away games he has no business in winning but it just hasn't happened in the NHL playoffs as much as one would like.

It wouldn't be shocking to see Emery get another shot at redemption if Gerber faulters. After all Emery led them to the Stanley Cup finals last year while Gerber struggled. I think the situation with Emery has been blown out of proportion and it's time to just let him get back in the net and tell him to run with the job.

In the Penguins net is Marc-Andre Fleury, who's been criticized since about day one. Actually since about he gave up that bad goal in the World Junior Championships. He's still only 23 folks, he's learning and of course he was going to do stupid things in the net. He fought off a high ankle sprain most of the year but went 10-2-1 after getting his job back from former Green Bay Gambler Ty Conklin. He's looking good and now its his time to win a playoff series (he lost his only one to Ottawa last year.) If he struggles it's not like Conklin's been a slouch this year. He's not your best option for going far but I think Conklin can come in and win a game or two if Fleury needs a game off to get his head straight.

This might be the highest scoring of the playoff games. Of course the Penguins are well known for their young mega-stars. Second year man Yevgeni Malkin finished second in league scoring and Sidney Crosby is hands down the best player in the league even at 21. He missed 28 games this year and still isn't 100% but even an 80% Crosby can be dangerous if Alfie and Fisher are out of the line-up. Some people thought the Pens paid too much for Marian Hossa at the deadline but let's just say it wasn't -- they got to keep Kris Letang after all. Hossa had a down year with all the trade rumours and then the injury after he came to Pittsburgh but Hossa, the former Senator, isn't the easiest guy to check and stay on. He needs to assert himself in the playoffs though....which is the only thing that could make this deal be a bust.

Even after those guys Petr Skyora, Ryan Malone, Jordan Staal and even checkers Pascal Dupuis and Max Talbot can be dangerous. If ancient Gary Roberts is ready (he broke his leg just after Christmas) he could slot to the left of Staal and rookie Tim Kennedy. If you forget about any of these guys, they'll make you pay. So concentrate on Crosby, Malkin and Hossa but don't forget the secondary scoring.

On the blue line Sergei Gonchar, people seem to still forget about him despite being one of the most dangerous guys from the point in. 53 assists, 12 goals. And he has tons of options. Outside of Crosby he might be the most important player on this team to keep an eye on. Ryan Whitney will take whatever opportunities Gonchar can't, while Brooks Orpik and Hall Gill will try to make life miserable for the Ottawa forwards down low. Bruins and Maple Leaf fans will always rag on Gill but the truth of the matter is, he's really not THAT bad. I think they have Robert Scuderi playing a little over his head but he keeps his game simple and its been working for him. I'm a huge fan and believer in Kris Letang but this is his year to sit and watch and learn for the playoffs. At 20 he still makes too many mistakes to be left running around.

Ottawa's not without help up front. Dany Heatley may have lost a lot of time this season but he's healthy now and still one of the most dangerous scorers (and drivers) in the NHL. Jason Spezza is no slouch either with 58 assists but I wasn't expecting another 34 goal season out of him. He's definitely becoming a more dangerous player a lot quicker than I expected.

This is pontentially Cory Stillman's last season but he's always been vastly underrated. He was painful to watch at times coming back from his massively wrecked shoulder but was having one of his better offensive seasons before the trade to Ottawa. He was on pace for his first ever 30 goal season. With Fisher out of the line-up it's time for Antoine Vermette to step up. He developed along nicely this season with 24 goals and 29 helpers while staying strong defensively. He's going to be a key if Fisher misses significant time during the series.

Rookies Nic Foligno and Cody Bass will probably see action game one and better be ready to be thrown into the fire. Of course neither one of them are strangers to the atmosphere from their Junior hockey days.

You look at the Senators defense corp and you wonder how they ranked 24th in the league in goals given up. Of course a lot of it has to do with the troubles of both Emery and Gerber but in the end, the corps needed to be better. Chris Phillips was a bit of an odd first overall pick way back in 1996 and up until this year was criticized of not putting it all together for an entire season. This year he only missed one game and I thought did real well in silencing people.

Wade Redden has been slipping a bit but still is servicable and right now, isn't as bad as people make him out to be. Anton Volchenkov provides a problem for some of the Penguins forwards but both him and Phillips will have to play smart with their reach to shut down the shiftier Penguin forwards. Andrej Meszaros was in my top 4 for the 2004 draft and I thought they got a steal at 23rd. Three seasons in the majors and he hasn't dissapointed, nor missed a game. He has to rely on his positioning a lot more than Volchenkov and Phillips, but might be a better option to shadow some of the secondary scoring with his smarts, mobility and transition game.

Mike Commodore is/was probably one of the most improved players in the league this year. He turned himself into a bit and role player into a legit NHL dman that can eat up minutes. But he seemed to take a step back after being traded to the Senators. That worries me. Is Commodore a great player on a bad team (not that Carolina is THAT bad) but only a medicore one on a great team?

Rookie Brian Lee and the ancient Luke Richardson round out the Ottawa blue line and with the Penguins being rather speedy -- I'd expect Lee will get the nod over the experience of a Richardson. It'll be interesting to see if Lee adjusts to the playoff atmosphere quick enough.

PREDICTION -- Penguins in seven. I know a lot of people are looking at the Senators as sitting ducks and the Penguins will avenge their opening round defeat to the Sens from last year, but I think this is still going all the way. I just have this gut feeling that it won't be over too quick.

Part two will be later I guess. Probably will be shorter. Depends on how many hockey fans we've actually got on here.   read

12:42 PM on 03.31.2008

Strategy Guides

Ouch. this weekend brought me my first blog to not score a single comment. I guess it can be attributed to a couple factors -- it being a weekend post and nothing coming out this week being the main contributors.

But I encourage you to look back at This Week's Releases post and check out Mana Khemia this week.

But there's more Mana Khemia for today, hopefully that's not what scared people off last time.

But Saturday I happened to wander into the godforesaken land named the mall. Weaving in and out of the congragation of punk teenagers outside the yet to be opened new American Eagle outfitter (hey, kiddos -- the thing isn't open yet. Won't be for another month. Move along, there's other places to spend your parent's money on preppy shit) I finally ducked into EB.

I usually don't go into that one seeing as its in the mall and it's one of five less than twenty minutes away from me. One of three within a square-mile of each other in fact. But I was there and can never pass up a chance to be parted from my money for a piece of software.

But the first thing I noticed was that they already had the strategy guide for Mana Khemia on the shelves, despite the fact that it doesn't ship until today, and for only $19.99 while Amazon retails it for about $5 more plus shipping. I snatched it up and rushed out of the mall almost forgetting to find my girlfriend first.

It's kind of small, although it's about the same dimensions most of Double Jump's guides are (sans the monster they put out for Rogue Galaxy.) And because of the structure of Mana Khemia's narrative the walkthru is easily the smallest part of the book.

Now I know the internet gaming community is almost entirely anti-stragety guides; the common agrument being that there's nothing you can find in those guides you can't get for free at a site like gamefaqs or whatnot.

Now I guess this is true, but I've always been a fan of guides and I somewhat collect them. Though I've yet to buy one outside of the RPG genre. It's definitely a silly thing to buy for a platformer or a fighting game. And don't get me started on the Madden guides. Why they make those I'll never know. EDIT -- Take that back I did have one for the original Jak and Daxter, albeit I don't recall ever buying it or using it. Yet its here in my collection.

But I've always been a "book guy" -- right now there's dozens of boxes in my parent's basement filled with books waiting for me to once again have room for them. I love the feel and the smell of books. I love being able to hold something in my hand that's tangible.

I don't know about most of your set ups but my computer is fairly far away from where my systems are set up and it's just easier to have everything you need in hand, a few thumb flicks away, instead of running between rooms or with a burning laptop sitting atop your legs or on the ottoman.

What about printing things out? When gamefaqs first started I remember printing out the entirity of someone's guide on Final Fantasy 6. It numbered in the 300 page range. I kept feeding the printer paper for hours and even changed the damn ink once in the middle of that. Had I been smarter I probably should have hit cancel but once you get 100 pages in you kind of get determined to just finish the damn thing.

And ugh plain text formats? There's just something about a computer screen where words start blurring together and I lose my place. Usually strategy guides tend to have pictures and more interesting backgrounds. There's a huge difference between looking at a list of Persona's in a certain tarot class in the Persona 3 guide and on gamefaqs.

Although its becoming less and less the case, strategy guides use to be chaulk full of great artwork. It's kind of dissapointing to flip through the Mana Khemia book and see artwork used over and over again that's probably in the manual itself. But I've definitely see worse in the artwork department. Artwork, at one point in time, was my main defense of RPG strategy guides and it is a great shame that a lot of guides are forgetting great artwork.

Of course the other big complaint with guides are those people that think they're so noble and don't like to 'cheat.' I usually flip through a guide I buy once or twice, play the game and never look at the book again until my interest in the game wanes or until I'm done and I need to find some of the subquests that aren't blatently obvious. Seriously, a lot of things they put into games you almost need the guide to figure out they're even in there. Maximizing your relationships (and thus Personas) in Persona 3 almost requires a damn guide on its own to do. And I don't know about you, but I don't quite have the same amount of time that I once did to blow on figuring out how to unlock some of the best Persona's in that game on my second go through.

I'm not saying its not cool that you don't use guides. I understand fully. I'm not saying I need them to beat RPGs, especially the ones that come out today. Just don't act so snooty or noble when you declare that you don't use guides. Good for you. In the long run, no one cares.

And maybe this one is just me but I'm fascinated by tables. Bestiaries make me sweat. The Frog Logs in the Rogue Galaxy probably excited me to the levels porn could only hope to acheive. And just the raw data of character growth? Don't even get me started on level charts.

I've never owned it (mainly because its in Japanese above my level and goes for over $200 now) but Xenogears has a 300 page guide book that goes into a lot more backstory of the world of Xenogears. Not the game but the world the game takes place it. The evolution of the society and its social structure. The geography of the world. Its science. And the characters are explored further. Chaulk full of artwork. Its definitely one of my Holy Grails and I wish more guide books would attempt to be that. I think if there were more of these 'companion' books or the Ultimania guides were released in English they'd be huge hits with fans.

They're just another collectible and for a guy who collects books, they're my thing. I can see the reasons why they are a waste but in the long run, what collectible isn't a waste? The reason to buy them is for your own personal reason. I'm probably not the only one on here that collects guides, so c'mon and speak up. Who else buys them just to have them?Who else buys video game art books?

PS -- Once I have my copy of Mana Khemia in hand I'll start writing a review. From the guide it sounds like I can't give the battle system a complete, fair shake until chapter 5 so it may be a week or two before I get to that point. I'd also like to complete it one time through before then but we'll see how it goes. The fact that it has a New Game+ is encouraging so I can rush through it once and then expand at my leisure later.   read

6:10 PM on 03.29.2008

New Releases: Mana Khemia edition: Week of March 30th-April 5th

A day earlier than I usually do...or well did last week, but with Wrestlemania tomorrow and still having to do some work I figured I'd get this in while I still could.

These are the releases for March 30th through April 5th, for all consoles. Remember release dates are subject to change at the last minute so a game or two on this list could possibly (and probably will) be pushed back. If I'm missing anything just let me know.

Also, from last week Plushess (DS), Emergency Mayhem (Wii), MiniCopter: Adventure Flight) were all pushed back until later in April.


Professor Brainium's Games
Toy Shop

Not an amazing haul. Ok, that's an understatement I guess. Professor Brainium serves little purprose unless you can't get enough of Brain Age and Big Brain Academy. I'm assuming not too many people here fall into that crowd.

Toy Shop could be interesting with a $20 price tag and Majestco's name on it. Apparently these two grandchild inherit their grandfather's toy store, but on one condition: they have to make it successful again within three years or they'll lose it. It's a sim-tycoon game so if that's up your alley, this might be worth checking out.

You got to build the toys, figure out how much to charge and how to advertise the toy. And when to restock. How to cater to your costumer's needs and wants. So there appears to be some depth to it but maybe not as much as some other sim games. Still it could be the perfect DS game for someone you're attempting to get into the genre.


Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Enjoy Brawl and don't forget No More Heroes, Excite Trucks and Endless Ocean still love you so don't let them collect dust. Or if you haven't finished Twilight Princess or Galaxy *raises his hand* this is the week to do it.


Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis

Now here's what I can't wait for this week and I don't really know why. I wasn't a huge fan of the Alelier Iris series but the whole 'campus RPG' feel appeals to me. We need more Japanese Dating Sim elements in games over here. Not the whacky fetish elements but you know -- if you never played Thousand Arms on the Playstation, go find a copy now. Just do it. Well maybe not -- the combat left a lot to be desired.

Yeah, yeah a lot of people are sick of overly Japanese RPGs but as long as there's not a lot of brooding and zippers I'm all for them. But getting a game that actually does something different in terms of how the story plays out I'm all for. Persona's 'class room' setting was refreshing, I think we can all agree to that. In Mana Khemia you choose which classes to enroll in and its in these classes where you learn your specific skills. You have one assignment per week that you must complete and depending on how well you do with the assignment you'll be graded. If you don't make your credits to pass, you're going to have to do some make up -- these courses being much more difficult. Good grades thus allow you to have more free time to do whatever you like around campus.

Of course 'Alchemy' and synthesizing plays another huge role in the game so if item creation rows your boat, there will be a lot for you to do. And the system sounds to have some depth to it as well as a lot of time occupation outside of the main game.

Battles will be turn based, but not random so you can potentially skip any battles you don't want to participate in.

I'm fucking pysched for this one. Once it hits my doorstep I should be doing my first review for this place.


The Eye of Judgement: Biolith Rebellion (Set 2)

More cards for your Eye of Judgement apparently. I'm steering clear of this game. Not just because I don't have a PS3 but because frankly, there was a point in my life where I was addicting to collectible card games and spent too much money collecting cards for games that I really never had anyone to play with. It took my girlfriend literally slapping me in the middle of the comic store to stop me from buying like 10 starters for the Bleach TCG.


Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Crisis Core better last you until at least June apparently.

X-BOX 360

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Game of the Year Edition

Just in case you don't already have it -- here's the Game of the Year edition. Yippie?

So yeah. I might pick up Toy Store if I see it and am thinking about it. But Mana Khemia is coming straight to my door step and I can't friggin wait. Outside of that -- man this is a slow, shitty week. Better hope the DLC this week is good. Wouldn't want people to actually not spend any money.

So anyone else picking up Mana Khemia?

If not, what are you picking up this week that you missed in previous weeks?

Mana Khemia Videos



[embed]78425:9768[/embed]   read

7:28 PM on 03.27.2008

Quick Musing on HP/MP: Is the system so perfect it can't be changed?

Ok, this write-up turned out quite differently from what I had originally intended but I'm shooting off the hip and don't mind where it went. Although maybe it does prove the point that the HP/MP mechanic is definitely difficult to get away from.

Like many of you here at Destructoid I spent the majority of my childhood absorbed by Role-Playing games, usually of the Japanese variety, but it all started with Rogue, moved on to Bards Tale and by Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy I was hooked. I ate everything up from Phantasy Star to Chrono Trigger to Grandia. Anyone remember Secret of the Stars? Today I gleefully geek out at the slightest hint of a jRPG coming across the magical sea and await next weeks Mana Khemia perhaps more than the lot of gamers awaited Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

When it comes to the RPG genre Ive played about all there is worth playing the past twenty-plus years. Looking at my pile of games still to finish, which features about a dozen RPGs ranging from Grandia 3 to the newly unleashed Crisis Core, it appears Ill be playing RPGs for another two decades. But also looking at that pile you can tell that Im not finishing them with the same fever and at the same pace as I once did.

Yes, as weve all grown up weve realized that other obligations come before aiding our plucky hero in his journey to save the world and get the girl. Saving the world is important but apparently not as important as the customer that berates you every single day. Lady I dont care what you think about the price Alex cant become a Dragonmaster and defeat the Emperor without me. And if that magic Emperor wins then its not going to matter much if you can get that Chinese piece of crap cheaper down the street or not.

As a convention I really dont mind the whole save the world plot outline, even though you would assume that it got tired a long ago. As interesting as it is for an RPG to do something different in terms of story, only a handful have ever attempted it and Im not sure Valkyrie Profile was that overly successful. So somethings got to be right with saving the world. Sorry, but I cant find myself engaged in bringing grandma a cake by traveling throughout the land. Who the hell is going to stop you in delivering that cake? Maybe the Big Bad Wolf but how did it end for him?

Hey, you know that doesnt sound half bad. Why because theres conflict. Saving the world and bringing grandma that cake might be the furthest things on the scale of importance but either way limbs are going to be rend from their bodies by steel. Be it Big Bad Wolf, Big Bad Empire or Big Bad Mentor Turned Bad.

Combat. Its the one thing we cant escape in RPGs. Something always has to oppose us and we always have to smash it over the head with a mallet. Or stab it with a blade. Or kill it with fire. We have to have our bloodlust fulfilled in white numerical values. It really doesnt matter the plot I sat through Kingdom Hearts II after all. Save the world. Save grandma's cake. I just need a battle system to be happy.

Coming up sometime in the future I would like to explore non-combat possibilities in RPGs, but just for right now I want to look at combat in RPGs. Specifically I want to look at HP and MP.


Now all RPGs may require you to smash an orc-thing to death (or until it vaporizes,) but that bludgeoning can take on many different forms.

Dragon Quest dolled out the doom via a very basic menu system.

In the early Ys you rammed Adol into the enemy until either you or the monster died.

Final Fantasy introduced the active-time battle system to keep us on our toes.

Games like Shining Force, Tactics Ogre and Disaega put a slower tactical spin on things.

Grandia showed us a nice twist on the formula with the IP guage and canceling out enemy attacks.

The Tales series took a page out of Street Fighter 2s book and keeps tweaking the Motion system into one of my favorite real-time RPG systems.

Final Fantasy XIIs gambit system offered automated combat for better or for worse.

I essentially could go on for quite some time on the different systems out there but thats not going to help the point. If you think about it all of these systems are what could be considered a new coat of paint over the old tired and true RPG convention the HP and MP system.

How do you define an RPG? Well most people start with the words Role-Play a game where you play a role. Well you do that in every game which essentially means every game is an RPG if you look at it that way. But as I tell my girlfriend (who happens to not be the biggest RPG fan) if you see the letters HP next to any numerals or inside a life-bar theres a good possibility its an RPG.

Alongside this measurement of health you usually have another that represents that number of times you can use certain special abilities, be they magical attacks or special attacks well above normal attacks in strength. Occasionally youll see magic and special attacks get their own separate battery, but there is always some numerical limit placed on attacks outside of the norm.

It is these numbers that everything in an RPG is based upon. It is these numbers that determine if you make it from point A to point B and how big of a baddie you can bludgeon to death. The entire goal is to reduce the enemys HP to zero while preserving your main stats. HP/MP theyre practically inescapable when playing an RPG and any battle system built around them is just a new coat of paint on this basic system. You can throw in all the other stats you want to make the system seem more complex but in the end HP and MP are the only things that matter.


Of course Im not trashing that fact and I for one will seemingly never get tired of Tales games. Ive played the original Final Fantasy from start to finish at least a dozen and a half times. I consider Grandia Xtreme, which threw away that silly thing we call plot and focused almost entirely on the Grandia combat system, to be the proverbial bees knees.

Im fascinated in level grinding just to watch those numerical values grow and grow and grow. A new coat of paint doesnt bother me so much, but can we think of something better and still have an RPG? Is the current HP/MP system just so damn good that theres no way to truly do it better beyond minor tweaks on how HP/MP is used?

It's not 'bad' persee as the mantra of "if its not broke, don't fix it" rings clear. But that's just it -- do we need things to be broke before we try something new? Are we going to be playing the same type of RPG twenty years from now? I'm not sure I'd mind it as long as we get over this teenage angst, bishonen, Nomura-putting-zippers-everything hump we're in.

Its certainly flexible as it can be used in so many different ways. Its easy to understand if your HP reaches zero youre dead and if your MP reaches zero you can no longer use special attacks. It can be expanded on through things like Breath of Fire 3s Master System or Personas well, Personas. Jobs, Materia, Guardian Forces, Sphere Grids and anything else you can think of have helped to keep the system from getting too stale.


What alternatives are there? Just about every game has some value to measure health, and those that dont, like Animal Crossing, dont feature combat usually.

Obviously with the level of combat featured in your typical RPG a one-hit system such as the one we use to see in old arcade games like Pac-Man and Asteroids wouldnt fly. How many battles did you fight in the last RPG you played? How many battles do you think you fought your first time through Final Fantasy IV? Could you imagine what that would be like if your characters were KOd every time they were touched or hit with a spell? You better stock up on Phoenix Down.

Even Super Mario Bros. power-up system wouldnt be practical where you could survive a hit only if you had a certain item. That item would be lost after being hit. It works magically for platformers as we saw Sonic modify it slightly using rings and I always sort of felt a bit angry when they decided to give Mario a life meter (or life-pizza as I dubbed it) in Super Mario 64.

Life bars and life meters like you see in other platfomers and in fighting games are really just another way to represent the same data that the numerical values of HP does. And I remember people freaking out when Mystic Quest used a life bar instead of numbers to show your health. Yet whats that there in Crisis Core? Sure theres numbers but that appears to be a bar too.

You can't escape it if you have some sort of combat in your game, and that's 98% of games out there, you need some way to measure how much damage you can take.


But then we come to what I think could be a possibly interesting way to measure HP in an RPG. And honestly, Id hate to bring it up as theres already enough posts about Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the internet but what about the damage multiplier as a way to measure your damage in an RPG?

For those living under a rock lately Ill explain. Smash Bros. uses a percentage meter to measure a characters vitality. At the start of a regular match that meter reads zero and as he/she/it is hit by an attack that percentage goes up. And as that number increases the further attacks send your character flying off the stage. The percentage can go higher than 100 but as long as you can make it back onto the stage and arent smashed into the background, then you can continue fighting on.

How about this system for RPGs? The lower your number, the less likely it is for your character to be KOd but hitting 100% doesnt automatically result in a KO, making it possible to survive devastating hits. Maybe you survive to fight on. Maybe you do get "smashed" and require a Phoenix Down.

Remember in Earthbound where your HP was on a rolling counter? If you were hit the damage wasnt automatically subtracted from your HP but the counter would roll down to that number. It was possible to have been hit for fatal damage but if you could finish the battle before the numbers rolled down to zero you could eek out a victory. It was exciting and some battles put you on the very edge of your seat. How much would this put you on the edge if you never knew exactly when you were going to bite it on a certain attack?


As you probably have already pointed out, there still are some flaws to this idea. The first being that it is still another coat of paint in a way, just slightly more random.

And the other flaw is in its randomness. Gamers love when random occurrences give them the edge. I cant be the only one that gets pumped up any time one of my characters delivers critical damage to an enemy despite the fact that it was completely random. On the other hand we all curse the screen when critical damage is dealt to our characters or a random status aliment hits our entire party. We hate not being in control.

Its fun for Smash Bros. because its wild and silly and funand you usually have another stock or are playing a coin match. You also didn't just trek all the way up the Slyx Tower to get creamed by five of the most pain-in-the-ass bosses in Final Fantasy history -- all with your last chance to save being the enterance to the Slyx Tower, forty-five minutes ago.

But RPGs are so steeped in cold mathematics where everything is controlled and displayed numerically. Its ok when something positively affects a gamer's cause but watch out when something out of their control adversely affects them. How much of a fit would your typical RPG gamer (or gamer in general) throw if they were KOd by a move while they were only at 85%? It happens from time to time in Brawl.


This same system from Brawl could also be used for MP (or even a third bar such as SP.) Safe, low level spells would raise your MP percentage only a tiny bit, while a giant spell rivaling Ultima or a summon like Shiva would shoot the percentage up considerably. The higher the percentage the more chance a spell has in failing or even backfiring. Stronger mages have their percentage go up less and thus can cast more spells before risking backfire or massive failure. Your typical ether or gummy would result in bringing down your percentage of backfire much like your potion or herb would bring down your percentage of being KOd.

As I said the system is just another coat of paint but there is potentially more wiggle room that what weve explored in RPGs since their humble beginnings. And yes, that sort of magic system was explored in Mage: The Ascension but thats one RPG in a sea of thousands that at least attempted something different.

And of course the biggest flaw to this system, and to any system that attempts to mess with the standard HP/MP formula -- people hate different. Look no further than SaGa or the leveling system used in Final Fantasy 2.

So I posit this to you fine people here at Dtoid is the HP/MP model flawless without any room for improvement?

Is there another model we can use to breath some fresh air into the genre?

What RPGs do you feel at least attempted something different when it comes to the HP/MP mechanic? Maybe one of the SaGa fans could shed some light on what they may or may not do differently.

Would you be interested in a Smash-esque RPG or do you need to have everything calculated?   read

3:48 PM on 03.26.2008

Yes, I really did buy Harvest Moon Cute

Well while all of you are playing THIS

Amazon has decided not to ship Crisis Core to me in a timely matter.

However, I did pick up this

Yes, that's Harvest Moon on the DS. Yes, that's the Cute edition. The one where you're a girl.

But I did manage to get this with the game

Kitty profile

Kitty and game tandem

Kitty and booklet tandem

Back of the booklet has chibi chickens, cows, pigs and ducks. Ducks are cool. And raising ducks I'm definitely all for. Sadly every pictture I took of the booklet's back turned out too blurry.

Still wanted Crisis Core so I told amazon to cancel the order and picked it up from case you couldn't recognize the desk in the first picture.

It's alright, so far through two missions. Zach's voice and attitude are grating and they couldn't just wait to throw Sephiroth in there couldn't they? Not a fan of the combat but again that's through two missions, I need more time to adjust and figure out this DMW reel better.

As for Harvest Moon Cute -- it's Harvest Moon. But you're a girl. I can't seem to get any real nice pictures of the booklet's inside to show you but the Bachelors all are stupid. Carter's too friggin old, Grifin looks like a folk singer, Gustafa is just a freaky looking leperchaun (who HATES sashimi), Marlin looks like Jethro, Rock is a pussy that would never know how to satisfy a woman, and Skye ....ugh don't get me started on Skye, the lamest of bishos.

If you insert Friends of Mineral Town into your GBA slot (or the butt slot as my gf refered to it as today) all is saved as you can court the manly men of Mineral Town. Well except Rick, who can just fall off a building. Cliff, Kai, Gray and mmmm Dr. Trent.

And a free fucking stuffed kitty. How can you not pick this game up and live out your farming fantasies as a girl being courted by the men of Mineral Town. And well the other douchebags. Sadly to save the Harvest Goddess you actually have to choose one of the losers and marry them. Score one for male dominance.

I should have another blog later in the day that's not full of this suck and well, I fucking suck at taking pictures so that's why you won't see too many picture topics out of me.   read

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