My name is Billy i.e the Fantastic Super Hobo!
I live in Ireland, a country devoid of all things in gaming, and as a member of the EU, one of the last places in the world to recieve most games.
Now Playing: - Final Fantasy 12
- Mass Effect
Favourite Games (OAT): - Bioshock
- Final Fantasy VII
- Final Fantasy VIII
- Mass Effect
- Dawn of War
- Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat
- Battlefield 2
- Harvest Moon: BTN
- Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow/Gold/Silver
- Super Mario Land
- Final Fantasy IX
Well friends, I have bad news, I won't be able to finish my week in Wizard 101 until some time next week. It turns out that my credit card, which I never use, is expired and I wont get it replaced until next tuesday. I've completed every free quest in the game, but I'd say if I hadn't been so gung ho about it, I probably could have drawn it out another day or two. Ah well, I will finish it though.
Damn. I can't believe how much I miss a game targeted at 12 year olds.
Until then, why not reminisce over the first two days?
Okay, so it's Day 2, and today was the first day I was confronted with the option to pay for areas. I don't have anything against this in concept, after all this entire game is based on Microtransactions, my problem was that it took me about ten minutes to realise that there was still plenty of free content left to explore. The game tells me that it will cost me 1500 crowns (roughly $3) to unlock the three areas I can't reach at the moment. This seems reasonable enough to me, so if I run out of stuff to do before the end of the week, I might just do that. However, looking at the prices of the other
areas , it works out a hell of a lot cheaper to pay a monthly subscription if you want to keep playing.
Please note, I had music from the Harry Potter soundtrack on this Video but it was removed.
So anyway, back to my experiences in the game. At one point, bored I wandered into a building in the Wizard School and found some random player (PC) standing behind a desk, handing out quests like "Go to Old Town and Collect 10 mana spheres" or something. As if it wasn't random enough that a player was wasting their time hanging out and doing this, the game doesn't even let you transfer items to other players, so he couldn't even profit from this behavior. When I confronted him on this he got very annoyed and basically threatened to kill me if I didn't leave. When I proceeded to point out that he would have to pay to enter the PVP arena with me (and anyway, I'd kick his ass), he transported away. I found him again in the same spot later and he started insulting me. Only now do I realise I was probably stepping all over the dreams of some 12 year old.
Day 2 also saw my first defeat (and I mean defeat) against a "boss" character, in this case a giant scarecrow/pumpkin called the Harvest Lord. Thinking that grinding would be required, I spent a fruitless half hour beating on various Ghouls and Ghosts gaining minimal experience until I just gave up and did a few more side quests and gained shitloads of experience really quickly. Apparently the game does not encourage grinding. Fine with me.
Anyone, that's all from Day 2. Check back tomorrow for more tales from my Week in Wizard 101.
The other day, while listening to either Rebel FM or ListenUP (I forget which), the guys were talking about a lot of "free" MMORPGs which rely on microtransactions to survive. Having never played any of these games, and having tried but not liked Guild Wars, I decided I should jump in to one of these for a week and see how I got on.
As far as picking which of these games to play, there wasn't any real science involved: I simply liked the sound of the name of Wizard 101, and seeing as it was the first one I downloaded, it's the one I'll stick with. There is one important point to bear in mind when talking about this game and that is that it's heavily centred towards kids. The whole look of the game is cartoony, the censor all lude language and you will be repeatedly informed that if you are under, you will need your parents supervision. The whole image of the game can turn anyone over the age of 18 off, but behind all of that I discovered that there was actually solid and intriguing gameplay.
Anyway, after downloading and installing the game (an extremely quick operation, minutes only) it asks you to create a character for yourself. This takes the form of a questionnaire which basically asks what type of player you are, as in loner, team player, aggressive, helper etc. It then takes these answers and decides what type of Wizard you are within the world. This is followed by your standard character customization screen where you choose what colour hair, robes etc you have. Again all pretty painless.
Soon after, I was met by the Headmaster of the Wizarding School, a rather cartoonish version of Dumbledore crossed with Merlin who introduced me to the world, as well as his arch enemy, an evil wizard who was the old Professor of Death magic. Parallels to Voldemort and Snape abound. This is all fine and then you are plunged into the game world itself.
Can I just say that I was shocked by how good the graphics in this game were, for a free to play game, it looks as good as Warcraft at times. I suppose cartoony and colourful is easier to pull of than realistic, but still, it's impressive. The only problem I had with the presentation of the game was their insistence on the use of the Comic Sans MS font. I mean, come on people, in this day and age that's unacceptable no matter who or what your target demographic is.
One of the most interesting, and positive aspects of this game is the battle system. It's really good. Like, really good. As in, too good for a game made for kids. It's equal parts Final Fantasy (turn based, summon monsters) and Yu-Gi-Oh (decks of cards) and it's all the better for it. The monster/summon animations are great and the whole thing flows very well. Perhaps the most important thing introduced by this battle system is the fact that you can join these battles while they are in progress. It's hard to explain, in a world where one can easily join a battle in Warcraft, but it's not like that. Think of it more like joining a battle mid-way in FFVII. It's pretty cool, and most importantly seamless.
Anyway, that's enough to talk about for day one. More tomorrow. Oh, and just before I go, I think it's worth mentioning that I've been playing for over three hours and have yet to be confronted with needing to pay for something. Woot!
At long last, I am soon to be picking up a DS Lite for myself (and just in time for the Night shifts I'll be doing over the holidays), and was wondering if any of you communitarians have advice on what to pick up. Here's what I'm already planning on getting.
- Animal Crossing: Wild World
- Final Fantasy A2: Grimoire of the Rift
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
- Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations
- Phoenix Wright: And Justice for All
- Ace Attorney Apollo Justice
- Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
- Professor Layton and The Curious Village
- Brain Training
- More Brain Training
- Trauma Centre: Under the Knife
- The World Ends with You
Anything Else I should definately be picking up. Also feel free to throw in any GB Advance games that I really should play too, I sold my Advance years ago along with all of the games and only recently picked a second hand one up for €20.
I picked up Pokemon Fire Red. The clock is at 43:26. Oh dear.
I remember when I was about nine or ten, when Pokemon Red and Blue had just come out here in Ireland. These games were the talk of the school yard, and I begged my mom to buy me one. It was coming up to the end of November, my birthday and because of the Xmas rush, these games were nowhere to be found (Ireland tends to get the raw end of the stick when it comes to stock). An epic search was launched, from Dublin to Cork, Limerick to Galway and none could be found. I was resigned to my fate of being the last kid in the world to play this game when a miracle occurred.
My Aunt, who seems to have connections in just about every industry and sector in the country, told us that she could get us a copy of "that Pocketmon game". This was too good to be true, so I waited about two weeks and then a Parcel game to my door and of course I knew what it was. I ripped open the packaging to find a box not Red, not Blue but... "Yellow?! What the fuck?! Yellow hasn't even been released here yet!". Yes, in fact, not only did I get Pokemon Yellow before just about anyone else in the country, I got it almost a full year before anyone else (because of shitty European release dates.) Needless to say I was the most popular guy in school for those brief ten months, where I was the only one who had a Pikachu following me, the only one who could battle the "real" team Rocket, from the anime.
My love for Pokemon continued to a lesser extent when I picked up Gold, but soon after I finished it, I forgot about Pokemon. There were new things in my life: Girls, Secondary School (High School to you americans) and of course Final Fantasy (of course thats another story altogether.
Anyway, back to my story, I hadn't played Pokemon in about seven or eight years since then but last week I saw Pokemon Fire Red in the bargain bin at my local game store and picked it up. I'm hooked again, trying to fill my Pokedex (which I never will, having nobody to trade with). Anyway, I just thought I'd share my tale of Pokemon addiction.
Wow, those folks at CVG seen to be really on the ball today. In a recent interview with Miyamoto, they managed to drag such comments as:
"I'm afraid we cannot confirm what we are doing today, but the fact of the matter is that technology is evolving all the time and in Japan, for example in the year 2010 all the analogue broadcast will be stopped and shifted into the digital broadcasting. So many things are taking place and we are working in terms of the changes of the technologies all the time."
"... When it comes to specific points such as generating high definition graphics we might appear to be rather relaxed and soft on graphics, however, the fact of the matter is that Wii is capable enough to cater to the needs of these hardcore gamers in terms of gameplay content as well as the graphical content, so I really don't want people to be concerned about that kind of attitude."
and then went on to extrapolate that this means we'll have a HD Wii in two to three years. Wow, really? A HD Wii in two or three years. Gosh guys, I sure never would have seen that coming. Cop the fuck on. No matter what happens in between, Wii console sales will almost certainly have slowed enough by 2011 to justify bringing out a Wii 2. And considering the fact that Japan, America and most of europe will have gone fully digital by then (and the resulting sales of HD TV's which will inevitably go with such a switchover), it makes sense to have a new console be HD. Anyway, by 2011, SD games will be almost as backward to the majority of consumers as Black and White TV's are to us. CVG, captains of obviousness.