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About
I'm mostly a retro gamer. I don't hate everything after the 90's, but I tend to prefer retro game design. I enjoy alot of indie and portable games, not to mention a blockbuster title every now and then. However, like I said, the majority of my gaming takes place on older consoles.

My Twitter: http://twitter.com/jackal27
My Tumblr: http://jackal27.tumblr.com/

What I'm Playing:
Xenoblade Chronicles
Rune Factory 3
Liberation Maiden
Torchlight 2

My (supposedly) Weekly Posts:

Sound Test- Video game music. I love it, you love it, what more do I need to say?
Super Mario 64: Dire Dire Docks
Zelda: Link's Awakening: Tal Tal Mountains
Suikoden 2: Opening Theme
Dragon Quest V: Ocean Voyage
Katamari Damacy: Lonely Rolling Star
Castlevania:OoE: An Empty Tome
Castlevania: Heart of Fire
StarFox: Corneria
Mother 3:Hard Rain
Chrono Cross:Time's Scar(Opening)

Game Run!- Check out the exciting life of a poor retro gamer!
11/19/08- Batman(NES) and Power Blade
10/11/08- Mystical Ninja and Clash at Demonhead
10/10/08- MASSIVE update! NES and loads of games.
8/12/2008- Killer Instinct, TMNT:TF, Super Tennis
7/20/2008- Inindo, Wonderboy, Crusader of Centy
7/9/2008- NBA Jam, Out of This World

My Favorites:

Keep in mind that these change SO much... I'm terrible at lists...

...5 Consoles
1. SNES
2. DS
3. Playstation
4. NES
5. Wii

...Genre
RPG

...3 Games
1. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
2. Final Fantasy IX
3. Dragon Quest V

...RPG
Final Fantasy IX

...Platformer
Super Mario Galaxy 2

...Fighter
Super Street Fighter 4

...FPS
Unreal Tournament series




Badges
Following (35)  




As I searched for reviews on Suikoden Tierkreis for the Nintendo DS, I could surprisingly find next to nothing. IGN reviewed the game, but I've frequently found that they rate games too high for my taste. Nintendo Power gave the game a resounding "Meh." and Hispanic review site "Meristation" had a review that reeked of teh bias. Therefore, I decided to post my own impressions for anyone thinking about purchasing the game that makes the lofty claim of being "The deepest handheld RPG of all time".

First off, let me say that I like the Suikoden games, but haven't been fully exposed to the whole series or story. I played Suikoden 1 when I was younger, but found it much more confusing than the linear Final Fantasy games and quickly lost interest. However, a little over a year ago, I heard that while the first game was decent, the second could have stood toe-to-toe with nearly any other game in the RPG genre. After playing a good chunk of it for myself, I would have to agree. However, I haven't beaten the game and I've never played any of the Playstation 2 Suikodens. All that being said, I feel like I'm the perfect candidate to jump into this newest entry since it pulls so far away from previous Suikoden games, while still holding on to many of the series best gameplay elements.



I've been pumped about this game for about a year. It was something that I knew I was going to buy no matter what, but mixed reviews made me cautious about investing in it, especially when there are so many other great games coming out for the DS. In the end, I decided to take the leap and buy it. When I got back to my car, I plugged my DS into my car stereo (via headphone adapter) and turned it on to listen to what was sure to be the amazingly EPIC intro music. Instead... I got this...



Had a I bought a licensed Naruto game on accident? Why was I watching solemn anime characters? To give you an idea of what I was expecting to hear, watch the epic intro to Suikoden 2 for the Playstation.



See the difference? One makes you want to play the game and one does the exact opposite. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't the anime characters that turned me off. While I'm not a fan of anime themed games, I would have been fine with the anime opening if it was done right, but it was the spirit of it that irked me. Well... That and the headache-inducing music... However, the nightmarish rape that my ears would experience had only just begun.

When I got home, I began to play the game and was treated to what has to be some of the worst, most over-the-top voice acting I've heard in a while. I frantically searched for a way to turn it off or switch it to Japanese... However, I was disappointed find nothing of the sort. Why? Why Konami? How hard is it to give me an option to turn off the voice acting? Why did we need it in the first place? I would have been fine with none at all, actually, I would have been thoroughly pleased! Within 40 minutes of the playing the game, I was ready to put it for auction on EBay. What had I done!? Why didn't I buy Henry Hatsworth or Valkyrie Profile!?



However, I didn't feel that it would be right to judge a game (especially an RPG) without even knowing what the battle system or story were like. So, I soldiered on, turning the sound off during major cut-scenes. However, one thing I began to notice was that the game's graphics were gorgeous! They featured 3D character models against hand-painted backgrounds. Think a really gorgeous Playstation-era RPG. The battle system really took me by surprise though. It's pretty basic turn-based stuff, but at the same time it feels very fast and fluid. Battles are fun to watch and I didn't mind the fairly high random encounter rate because the auto-battle mode sped things up quite a bit. It seems that this was done pretty strategically too. While you may select commands in a turn based fashion, 2 or 3 characters may start attacking an enemy at the same time as opposed to 1 character attacking, going back, another character attacking, going back, enemy attacking, etc. Like I said, it makes the battles much more cinematic and exciting to watch. Also, when you equip weapons, they show up on you. I love games that have that.

The music in the game is also above average. Some of the earlier tunes could wear on me a bit after a while, but it really is a soundtrack that I wouldn't mind owning. The voice acting continued to take a toll on me though... I continued to turn off the sound during cut scenes, however, the cut scenes with voice acting became less and less frequent. The story also got better and better. Was I actually starting to like this game? A bit later, I looked at my clock and realized that I'd been playing for nearly 6 hours! Not only that, but I was thoroughly enjoying it! Sure, there had definitely been a bit of eye-rolling, but this was shaping up to be a great game. I had also gotten used to the voice acting and stopped turning the volume down at cut scenes.



The game has a very specific PSX-era RPG feel to it and that is exactly what I was hoping for. When I stopped playing, it was at the end of a big battle that resulted in my team owning our own base of operations and being officially recognized as a military company. Sure, it was a bit ridiculous that my character and his rag-tag band of teenagers were now a recognized military force, but like I said, the game has some noticeably anime roots (or flaws, you decide). That being said, the story is good and features some decent twists and turns as well. Suikoden fans may also have realized by now that the whole "You have a huge base, now fill it with people" thing is a staple of the series. Oh, by the way, there are 108 characters to unlock, which should keep you busy for a while.

In closing, Suikoden Tierkreis has some noticeable flaws and will definitely rub long-time Suikoden fans the wrong way at first, but this really is a game that has a significant pay-off for those that stick with it. If you are a Suikoden fan, please don't approach this game expecting the same thing you would from the numbered entries in the series. If you've never played a Suikoden game and like RPGs, this game is certainly a good place to start before moving on to some of the better and more mature entries like Suikoden 2. I really think that's who this game is aimed at, people who haven't played a Suikoden game before. It's apparent that it's attempting to reach a wider audience, but that doesn't change the fact that Suikoden Tierkreis is a great RPG and has something for everyone. Is it a must buy? Probably not, but if you're looking for a good RPG and you've got the cash to drop, I would definitely recommend it.










Hey guys! Sorry I haven't posted in a while! My internet wasn't working for about a week and then I just got lazy... I'll post a new Sound Test soon! I already know which song I'm going to use!

Anyway! Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars! I have recently become a DS gamer due to my fast, exciting life of woman and rock & roll... Or maybe just college. Anyway, I haven't minded in the slightest since the DS is an amazing console with tons of great games. Well ladies and gentlemen, I'm here to tell you about yet another one of those great games. In fact, maybe the greatest.



As of today, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is the best reviewed DS game of all time with a stellar score of 95 on Metacritic.com. I knew the game was going to be good, but I had no idea that it would be THAT good. I mean, the lowest review score it recieved was 90! However, I also know that numbers aren't everything and there are many high-rated games that I can't stand *cough* Halo *cough*. Either way, I went into this game with a feeling of excitement and skepticism. Having now spent about 3 or 4 hours with it, I think that I can honestly say that it's an amazing game. I almost don't know where to start... There's so much to talk about. Let me say this. It doesn't feel like the PSOne GTA games. This was a potential complaint that I heard from a lot of people and I'm here to squelch it! No, it feels more like a mix of the PS2 GTAs and GTA 4.



I was under the assumption that Chinatown Wars would remove a lot of things from the GTA games in order to be fitted to the DS, but in fact, it has added more than it has taken away! The ways that touch screen is used are awesome and don't feel gimmicky what-so-ever. There is also a new way to bring your wanted level down by causing cops to crash Burnout 3 style. It all feels natural and just... Fun! Also, I haven't experienced a single frame rate drop, which is very surprising to me, especially considering how great the game looks! There's day and night as well as weather effects!



The game even has a physics system and different vehicles handle in different ways. Did I mention that the city is the same size as the Liberty City of GTA 4? Yeah. It's huge. Did I mention that you can drive boats, motorcycles, and helicopters? I know that I'm not even scratching the surface here, but I mean, how do I else can I say it? You need to go buy this game. It's Grand Theft Auto on the DS. There's hookers, cars, guns, drugs, side-missions galore, and a story that will have you guessing at every turn.



My only complaints? No voice acting during cut scenes and no licensed soundtrack, but both are understandable with the DS' limited capabilities. Especially when you consider everything else that has been crammed into it as it is. That's really all I have to say about the game. It's a Grand Theft Auto game and as such you already know what to expect and how good it's going to be. So, I think I'm just going to cut it off here. Also, I can't stop thinking about getting back to playing it and the best news is that I can now play it anytime I want! Also, keep in mind that this is only after about 3-4 hours of gameplay. To own a DS and to not own this game is a sin. Plain and simple.



Check back tomorrow (hopefully) for my impressions of Suikoden: Tierkreis!
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The DS certainly has no shortage in the RPG department, but the anticipation of waiting for some of the bigger DS titles has been killing me lately. I've really had to fight against my inner impulse buyer and keep in mind that I'm on a tight budget right now. However, while checking over Joystiq's DS release list for this week (Destructoid really needs to do something like that), something caught my eye.



I thought to myself "Black Sigil? What the heck is that?". It certainly sounded like an RPG, but I'd never heard of it. So! I decided to do some research.

It turns out that Black Sigil is indeed an RPG, but not just any RPG. It's a low-budget game created by first-time game makers Studio Archcraft. The underdog story of it's development reminds me of the ill-fated Game Boy Color RPG, Mythri. It was originally developed for the Game Boy Advance, but has now been moved over to the DS for obvious reasons. The story involves a main character who lacks the ability to use magic, unlike everyone else in his world. Because of this he is distrusted and ridiculed by just about everyone. Especially since the last person they knew who couldn't use magic became an evil, power-hungry war lord.



The game boasts vivid environments that create a realistic yet imaginative landscape with 40 to 50+ hours of game play and tons of side-quests. As well as the ability to strategically customize a 3 person party from up to 8 unique characters, and the addition of 100+ different physical and magical skills/combos, 100+ different weapons, and 200+ different pieces of armor. Quite an accomplishment for a small, first-time developer.

RPGamer.com certainly seemed impressed with it and stated that the entire style of the game, from the graphics to music, feels like a Super Nintendo RPG. After watching the an early trailer of Black Sigil, I'd have to agree. The graphics, while simple have an amazing amount of detail to them and the music sounds great. The battle system is apparently very reminiscent of Chrono Trigger as well, which is fine by me!



I've become very excited for this game and if it truly is being released tomorrow, it certainly hasn't been getting very much press attention. However, the game's website says that it's being released in April and other sites say that it's not coming out until next week, so who knows. Either way, Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled looks like it has the potential to be a great game and I thought that I would just try and get it some more attention. I've always been a sucker for small-time and indie game developers and I would hate to see a game that's obviously had so much time and energy poured into it simply flop due to lack of publicity.

Please take the time to watch the trailer below. I wouldn't ask you to go out and buy it without reading a review or two first, but I feel like this game at least deserves some consideration.

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Huzzah! For many years I have waited to play this game. Dragon Quest 3 is probably my favorite game in the series (but may be soon be cut down by DQ5) and while I have played it on the NES and Game Boy Color, I've always wanted to play the Super Nintendo remake. However, the game was never released in English... Until tonight!

If you love Dragon Quest or RPGs in general this is one that should NOT be passed up. This remake has been given a lot of care and is easily one of the best looking RPGs on the SNES. Below are some comparison screens and a video of the SNES game's intro in English. Once again, this is a stellar game that should not be passed up. Please enjoy!

Patch Download:

http://www.dqtranslations.com/downloads/DQ3%20English%20Translation%20RC1.zip

Screenshots:

NES:




[b]
Gameboy Color:[/b]





SNES:





Video:

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Music is relative. It effects us in such a personal way that we can't possibly hope to describe the extent of that effect to anyone. It's why we are so protective (and sometimes even snobby) about it. Your personal taste in music will always be better to you than anyone else. So it's best to probably just accept that.

Here I will weekly (heh...) choose a piece of game music that I love and share it! Then talk about it. Not too complex, but I hope it's something you'll enjoy!

Sound Test: Super Mario 64- Dire Dire Docks



(Sorry, a little bit late with this one. Maybe I'll make it up with a second post tomorrow.)

I was 10 years old. My parents had just gotten divorced and I was now living with my mother. In the process, I had been forced to switch schools and had also been held back a grade. My mother worked long hours and was also putting herself through college. I was completely and utterly alone. It was one of the worst times of my life and this song constantly reminds me of the escape that I discovered in video games.

I never played video games before then and I never stopped afterward. I started out on my neighbor's NES, but he received an N64 one Christmas and along with it came this game. The main thing that I remember about playing it with him is this level, Dire Dire Docks. From those stupid, chomping clams, to the treasure chests that electrocuted you, I barely remember playing any other level until I bought the game myself. Also, what about that huge freaking eel!? I remember wondering what it was, swimming in to get a better look, and then having it lunge out to attack me! I was terrified of that freaking thing.

Anyway, like I said, this song always reminds me of a very hard and lonely time in my life. It seems sad now that I look back on it, the fact that I felt so scarred and alone as a child that I sought out an escape. However, those times are over and now and I can look back on those bittersweet memories with a unique type of fondness.

The song itself brings so many descriptive adjectives to mind that it's hard to put it all into words. It's dark, yet relaxing, haunting, yet simple, sad, yet inspiring. If you pay very close attention, there is actually a lot of expansion as well. As it plays, more and more instruments join into it's simple theme until it becomes a beautiful, resounding chorus. This song is one of my favorite video game themes of all time. If I was to compile an actual list, it would surely be in the top 10. Please enjoy this song and feel free to think back on the place in your life that you were at when you first heard it.
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Music is relative. It effects us in such a personal way that we can't possibly hope to describe the extent of that effect to anyone. It's why we are so protective (and sometimes even snobby) about it. Your personal taste in music will always be better to you than anyone else. So it's best to probably just accept that.

Here I will weekly (heh...) choose a piece of game music that I love and share it! Then talk about it. Not too complex, but I hope it's something you'll enjoy!

Sound Test: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening- Tal Tal Mountains



This week's choice was totally random! My good friend SupraDarky uploads his (extensive) list video game music favorites to YouTube, so I just used the last song he uploaded! Fortunately it happened to be this one!

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening was my first experience with a 2D Zelda game. It's such a strange game that I remember playing it and feeling slightly... Disturbed. I was used to the serious realism of Ocarina of Time, so to start playing a Zelda game with Mario characters, self-aware NPCs, and talking animals was quite a shock. I also hadn't caught onto the idea that every Zelda game was a stand-alone story so I was even more confused. Going back to it though, it's definitely one of my favorite Zelda games. Something about it just rubs me the right way... Maybe it's the island setting since I loved Wind Waker so much as well, who knows.

My favorite thing about this game has to be the music though. Koji Kondo is a master of his craft isn't he? This is one of the few Game Boy soundtracks that I actually listen to the music outside of the game. Every track in it just sounds like K.K. had a lot of fun composing them, which is probably the main reason why it's such a fun game to play. There are even some hidden tracks here and there if you know how to find them.

Tal Tal Heights is one of my the best songs in the game and maybe even my favorite. It's such a masterfully executed take on the famous Overworld Theme and just gets me pumped to go kill some Moblins everytime I listen to it. It's very energetic. Also, is it just me or is the music in this game super complex? I mean, what other Game Boy games have like 5 or 6 instruments playing at once? There's so much going on there that it boggles my mind.

I'm sure that I'll be posting more music from this wonderful game at some point, but for now enjoy the Tal Tal Mountains them or the remixed Super Smash Bros. Brawl version below. I don't think it's as good as the original, but it's still great. Enjoy!

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