Currently a 23 year old male, Christopher Allen, aka Urashima, has been gaming nearly all his life. Quite partial to RPGs, Urashima has been known to dabble in many JRPGs, especially any and all tri-Ace releases. He's also been known to play a bit of World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XI. Currently working two jobs, he whiles away his free time either reading up on games, playing games, and when the mood strikes him, he has been known to write a blog post or two, only to then delete those and start over, hampering the actual posting process.
It should also be noted that he holds a big interest in Anime, Figures, Drawing, and Self-deprecation in the name of humor.
Did I mention he's fat and very, very white?
Anyway, he's clearly getting tired of writing about himself in the third person, so relax, enjoy the blog and watch some Lucky Star, if you fancy that sort of thing.
It's April Fool's Day. I'm aware of this. Sadly, my fanboy-ism refuses me to simply dismiss this, though the website address screams "FAKE!!!" fairly loudly. At any rate:
The site reminds me of Valkyrie Profile. A lot. I would love to get a Current Gen Valkyrie Profile console game, though I do need to play the DS game. I was hoping for some Valkyrie Profile cameos in the Star Ocean: The Last Hope bonus dungeons. Sadly, this didn't happen. Also, notice the PS3 and 360 logos at the bottom, so the PS3 might get some tri-Ace love if this pans out to be true.
Anywho, not much to report beyond the site and my speculation.
Since the release of Star Ocean: The Last Hope is about two weeks away in Japan, and a little less than a month away here, I was hoping to see some more Videos displaying the game's battle system come out. Square Enix has seen to this by releasing 3 new videos showing off different aspects of their Battle system on the Japanese Star Ocean: The Last Hope website. Now, for some reason, my computer cannot run any videos off of this flash site without lagging all to hell, thankfully Gametrailers has captured and uploaded these videos into a compact size my computer can actually play.
Since the US Star Ocean 4 website is very slow in releasing any new info, I like to watch these videos and see what I can glean from watching them...well, that and the fact that I have nothing else to do at the moment. I can't wait for the weather to get better and work to pick up again... So, without Further ado, here's the first of three videos featured on Gametrailers.
This is the longest of the three videos on the SO4 site. Lets see what I can find:
- You can chain together encounters, sort of in the vein of Tales of Vesperia, just without lumping all the monsters into one big encounter. If you look at the results screen, it would seem that you also get bonuses to Experience, FOL, SP, and HP/MP restoration, though that could be from something else.
- Symbology seems to be sort of slow paced again, though it's always been that way.
- The Battle Theme in the background seems to be an Orchestrated remix of the original Star Ocean's battle theme.
- Linking your special attacks together gives you a Damage bonus, similar to Star Ocean 3.
- Bacchus D-79, the Green Cyborg fellow, seems to be an interesting fighter. I have a feeling that everytime I see him use his skill "Saint Blaster," which sounds like what he yelled when he used it, I'll be think of Iron Man's famous line in Marvel Vs. Capcom 2: "HERE'S MY SUNDAY BEST! PROTO---------N CANNON!" I wonder if he'll have a "War Destroyer"-esque ability...
Now for the next video, showing off SO 4's "Sight Out" feature:
Fairly straight forward video. Not sure who the Scythe wielding character is, but seems cool enough. The "Sight In/Sight Out" feature is a part of SO 4's BEAT system, which, according to this little Star Ocean Wiki, characters can customize their fighting style to be more offensive, more defensive, specialize in sneak attacks via "Sight Out," etc. The RUSH system seems to include the addition of being able to Jump in battle, allows players to switch out characters in combat with reserve characters mid-battle, and also lets the party chain together a huge combination attack.
Last One, shows off the RUSH combo system:
The RUSH combo system is basically like something I've seen before in Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology, I think. Basically it looks like a series of special attacks done in succession, one at a time, and the success or failure of chaining together attacks depends on doing certain timed button presses. I'm not sure how long you can chain these attacks together, nor if they lead up to some other huge attack at the end. Oh, I should also mention that all Special Attacks use MP again, meaning they probably got rid of the rather annoying system in Star Ocean: 'Till the End of Time in which physical Special Attacks used HP and Symbology used MP, and if you ran out of either HP or MP, you died.
Anywho, glad to see some more vids showing off the battle system. I'll do my best to make my next post about something other than a tri-Ace product. :x
It's been a long time since I've made a blog, and as my last one was about Star Ocean: The Last Hope, so shall this blog be as well.
This story on Kotaku, informs us that the US release date for the highly anticipated release of Star Ocean: The Last Hope has been moved....in the good way. It's now set to release on February 27th, a week before it's initial March 3rd release date. Granted, it's not much of a move, but a week can seem like an eternity when a game you've been anticipating for, oh let's say, two years is finally close to being released. This is awesome news in two ways: This game is closer to being released, and there's a bigger gap between this and Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2's release. It should be mentioned that only the US release date has been changed.
I'm a little worried that, with the game's release so close, I might be attaining over-inflated expectations of Star Ocean: The Last Hope, as was my problem with Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. I mean, I enjoyed it, but even so, I feel my expectations led me to not enjoy it as much as I could have. Then again, SO3 seems to receive quite a bit of flak, which I can understand I suppose. The story wasn't all that strong, but then again, neither was Star Ocean: The Second Story's ....story....
As the game get's closer, though, I find myself anticipating the Bonus Dungeon more than the actual main game. Weird, I know, but it was the same with Inifinite Undiscovery. The thought of being able to go through another tri-Ace bonus dungeon was what got me through IU's pretty craptacular main scenario. My fondest memories of playing through Star Ocean: The Second Story were mostly in the Cave of Trials.
Another thing I wonder about are the Achievements for Star Ocean: The Last Hope. Till the End of Time had a battle trophy system for completing different objectives, and there were 300 in all. While that's a lot of shit to complete, it made the game a bit more entertaining. It was nice hearing the little chime and seeing the trophi----.....well, I guess anyone who has a 360 knows what it's like. Still, I'm not aware of any limitations when it comes to the maximum number of achievements a game can have, but it'd be interesting and hilarious to see if there are 300 achievements in The Last Hope. Achievement whores would probably loathe this game were that the case.
Looking forward to hearing more news about Star Ocean: The Last Hope as it's release draws ever closer.
P.S.: ([SPOILER:] Having Faina be the Ethereal Queen in IU's Seraphic Gate was genius[/SPOILER])
So I haven't seen any posts or media on Star Ocean 4, so I thought that I'd remedy that for the good of Destructoid! Cause what good is TGS 2008 without the juicy SO4 media? (Although most of what I've been able to find are of low quality, but still better than nothing!)
Battle Video (Via Gametrailers / Video taken by a camera and at a terrible angle):
Some Exploration and a Small Scene (Via Gametrailers):
I haven't found a good quality video of the Microsoft Keynote Trailer, though I have a shaky cam Video of it:
I like what I've seen thus far, but one thing that does worry me is the fact that the trailer shows the character's ship crashing on an underdeveloped planet. This has happened in one way or another in every single Star Ocean game, though the citizens of the planet bowing to them as some sort of gods is a bit of a departure. I've heard that there will be several planets to visit, so hopefully this will be only one part of a larger story arc spanning several planets.
Anyway, I'll post more media as I find it!
Also.....I fucking hate the main character's name.
(The original Nibelung Valesti! I still get goosebumps when Lenneth yells, "IT SHALL BE ENGRAVED UPON YOUR SOUL!")
So it's been a hectic couple of weeks here, but it's been all for the better. I finally have a new job at my local Golf Course that will be a bit more stable for me for the next couple of months, but I'll have to find something during the winter season. It's basically grunt work, but it's really not that bad. Working outside all day, getting plenty of sun and fresh air, there are a lot of really awesome people that play at the course, and a group of very awesome people to work with. With this, I'll finally be able to stabilize my finances, which has been my biggest worry for the past couple of months. That and I can stop selling my game collection on Cheap Ass Gamer.
Selling my games something I never thought I'd have to do, but when a situation dire enough calls for it, it has to be done. I've gotten about $350 total from all the games I've sold thus far, and basically all I've sold is a few sparse PS1 RPGs and my "Tales" collection. I still have a few staple PS1 RPGs that I refuse to sell, such as Star Ocean: The Second Story, Xenogears, and both the complete Lunar: Silver Star Story and Lunar 2: Eternal Blue releases. While financial stress is never a good thing, it did force me to make a decision on a lot of things, one of which was what game series I wanted to collect stuff for. I decided to settle on collecting all I can for the Star Ocean series. I was going to keep all tri-Ace releases, but sadly I did have to part with my Black Label copy of Valkyrie Profile, which is the one game I had the worst time parting with. Oh well, I still have the PSP release of VP, along with Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria.
Speaking of Silmeria, I've really been missing my PS2 lately. I traded my old PS2 in for a 360 months ago. I would have never done it if it weren't for the fact that I got $100 trade credit for it. I've had this strong urge to play Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria for a while now, feeling the urge to Nibelung Valesti enemies into oblivion. Not only that, but I've also had the urge to replay Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, if for nothing else than to get more battle trophies. I've contemplated selling my Wii more than once these past few weeks, but I just have this feeling that something, ANYTHING will come out and make me want to keep this console. Though, I've felt this before, after selling my DS, and I still haven't gotten another one, nor do I want to, at least not until Valkyrie Profile: The Accused One is released here in the states.
(Hrist's, Lenneth's, and Alicia's Nibelung Valesti's, along with Rufus' Blinding Blaze.)
Anyway, thanks to this job, I think I'll finally be able to get a head start on things I've been meaning to do for a long time now, such as:
- Working on Self Discipline.
- Getting a DAZZLE and being able to Capture my own footage from games.
- Get a book or two and studying the basics of Japanese.
- Get some drawing supplies and get back to Drawing again.
These are just a couple things that I know I can get started on in the next six months, and that shouldn't put too much of a strain on my wallet, provided I can find some holiday work to supplement my lack of work at the golf course when the weather turns for the worse. Granted the Self-Discipline goal isn't really one that requires money, but financial responsibility lends itself to being more disciplined. Hopefully these small steps will lead me to better times next year.
(Alicia's first version of Nibelung Valesti. Not really as epic, but when I first saw it my jaw dropped, to be honest. It brings back fond memories of my first playthrough.)
So this year's E3 was semi-exciting for the week leading up to it, but the event as a whole was sort of "meh." I was excited to see Final Fantasy XIII on the 360, but for that being the biggest announcement at the conference, the whole event was a let down, not to mention the fact that Squeenix's FF XIII announcement has me wondering exactly what kind of delays that's going to put on the US Release. My guess is that, in 2010, we'll see FF XIII, and it's either going to be a big money maker for Square Enix, or it's going to be a huge waste of money.
Really, FF XIII aside, the only announcement that got me excited was the release dates for the PSP remakes of Star Ocean 1 and 2, which came out in the days leading up to E3. The conference itself seems almost meaningless now, besides the big three's events. After reading Atheistium's blog post asking "Is E3 Failing it's most important demographic?," and the subsequent comments by other C-Bloggers (especially Tubatic's comment), I came to realize that E3 has become a day for game developers to get out in "bigger" publications that, what most of us would consider the more "casual" gamer, read more of, rather than us "hardcore" players that read news sites, blogs, and blog about games and such ourselves on a daily basis. I guess it's pretty much always been this way, but the huge influx of information and leaks we've gotten over the past few years has sort of amplified this point. I suppose we could still have huge announcements from the big 3 at some point in the future, but moments like this are a rarity, these days. All we have now is charts, graphs, and giant enemy crabs.
Also, I really hate using the words "casual" and "hardcore" to describe gamers. I mean, I play Call of Duty 4 on my 360 quite a bit, I log on World of Warcraft just about everyday, but I also play "casual" games like Wii Sports and Brain Age every now and then. Does that make me a "Hardcore Casual," or am I just "Casually Hardcore?" Why can't people just be gamers? If you play Bejeweled during your down time at the office, you're a gamer. If you log on World of Warcraft and wipe on Kil'Jaeden and M'uru attempts for 4 hours straight, you're a gamer.
I don't like putting labels on people, like "Casual Gamer" or "Hardcore Gamer" or "Tasty Coma Wife" because they just tend to invoke something negative in people. The "hardcore" looks down on the "casual" and makes fun of him playing Imagine Fashion Designer, and the "casual" makes fun of the "hardcore" for not getting laid because he spends the majority of his time playing World of Warcraft. The "Tasty Coma Wife" on the other hand is just hot and makes fun of the two arguing geeks.
Anywho, back to E3. So the conference is about over and the journalists and bloggers covering it will probably go to after parties and get drunk while Mr. Destructoid and his Harem of Booth Babe wives will just head back to the hotel for a little Jacuzzi time. Even though it was disappointing, I consider it a win that we got more Star Ocean: First Departure and Second Evolution info, including the first english screens and a subtitled version of a Japanese Trailer I've already seen like 10 times, though it's nice to finally know what it says beyond character names.
That's really all I care about, nowadays. Tri-Ace releases and other RPGs like Tales of Vesperia and Valkyria Chronicles are the only things that get me excited. I still look forward to the Tokyo Game Show later this year. Hopefully they'll have my Skies of Arcadia 2! Until then, I'm off to celebrate my birthday on the 19th, which will partly be spent watching the Dark Knight! Bah, 23 already. I feel like an old man. :/
BTW: The World of Warcraft video I linked earlier was my guild's first time beating Ragnaros, long before the Burning Crusade expansion. That's my guild leader yelling "ORANGE HAMMER!!!" Good Times. Axiom For Life, baby. :P