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More Game Thoughts!

- Watching Aileen play Persona 4 is giving me the willies. I almost feel like I have to jump into P3. Like, soon. I know P3 isn't as good, but it's still quality. And that will tide me over until I get P4.

- We've been burning a lot of Dreamcast games. Leave it to a system that's running a Microsoft operating system, but the damn discs, in the hardware, require NO boot disc unless they're Japanese. It's ironic, it takes more effort to get around Japanese games than it does to get around burned games off of the internet. I could understand the Sega CD being easy to get around, but the Sega CD is also from 1993; the internet wasn't even commercialized by then. That said, here are a few that I've played:

- Tech Romancer is more or less a fighting game for mecha freaks that like to get juggled in the air mercilessly. Granted, it's got a cute little look to it, and the controls are simple enough for the most part, but the movesets are a bit limited, and it's too easy to be caught into a running loop of getting your ass handed to you. Plus, I'm not seeing too much consistency in things like combos. Finally, there's a really, really steep difficulty curve.

It's a fine enough game, but VERY niche.

- I went back and played NBA 2K2 for the first time since my final year in the service. Since I'm writing about Sega's line of sports games for the system, this is as good a time as any to say...

Holy shit. I know now how far we've come. Yikes.

Simply put, NBA 2K2 - and NHL and NFL, as well - are almost unplayable compared to the latest games on the latest systems. This isn't like, say, playing Tecmo Super Bowl after Madden; you can still play Tecmo Super Bowl. But the Dreamcast wasn't advanced enough to really give us the picture-perfect realism we craved, and that we're finally starting to get on the 360 and PS3. It's not just the graphics that are startlingly different (I compared Shane Battier in 2002 - his rookie year - to the one in NBA 2K9. WOW. XD), it's the gameplay. In 2K2, you mainly have to get lucky with contested jump shots, because trying to drive by players is extremely hard. Oh, sure, you can give the ball to a good ballhandler and do a crossover or spin, but if it doesn't go well, it's almost a definite turnover. In 2K9, you have to run a real offense with picks, rolls, cuts to the basket, a real defense (in 2K2, it's not really too much problem to have someone like Shaquille O'Neal guarding Jason Kidd; in 2K9, if that happens - on either side - you need to switch off ASAP). 2K2 felt more like a half-baked arcade game than anything. I remember the game fondly, but that's about it; there's no question that sports games between now and earlier generations are like night and day.

- Giga Wing 1 is as fun on the Dreamcast as it is on a ROM, but Giga Wing 2 is a great shooter. I don't have the ROM because it's a Naomi-developed game (MAME doesn't have that power), but the game itself is A+; they throw a lot of shit at you, I LOVE the reflective laser (versus the reflective bullets; the laser is aimable), and the boss fights are fun. My only gripe is that it's a SHORT game.

- I made some trade-ins the other day; I got rid of Last Remnant and Fable II (This reminds me... does anyone need a strategy guide for Last Remnant? I got the guide, which is obviously no longer useful), and picked up Thresia for Aileen (See Alex!? I'm helping! I got their last copy, too!), the REAL Namco Museum for XBox (meaning it came with the Arrangement games), Dawn of Mana (likely a shitty game unless your name is Helen, but hey, I sometimes take risks that work out), and... Blue Dragon.

So far, I fucking LOVE Blue Dragon.

It's definitely a Toriyama game (who Ed calls a "talentless hack cunt". Gotta love Ed, he debated me on the WRPG vs. JRPG thing again last night, and all his big games were shareware basement games. Sorry, that doesn't fly, even if the JRPG genre has stagnated recently. Reminder to all: don't fuck with me in my wheelhouse). And it's not the prettiest game on the market, but considering it's from 2006, that's understandable, now that it's going up against Lost Odyssey and the other Squeenix games.

However, it's also definitely a Mistwalker game - Toriyama, Sakaguchi, etc. - in that it's got a good, easy storyline that's told well. It'll never win a "best story" award, but considering the games that have won those awards recently - pacing nightmares like Metal Gear Solid and Mass Effect (with Bioshock having a good story) - that's fine with me. But it also has a very nice battle mechanic that is simple, yet works beautifully. That's all I ask! The tutorial for me to be able to use every skill and ability in the game, in Blue Dragon, lasted a minute. Meanwhile, half of Square's RPGs, I'm forced to sit through tutorial after tutorial just to be able to scratch my own ass.

A bit of the way in, I want to continue playing Blue Dragon, and I also have a renewed interest in Lost Odyssey - another Mistwalker game - whereas lately, I'm instinctively flinching on anything that says Square-Enix unless it's 1) Dragon Quest (an Enix property) or 2) The World Ends With You. They cannot figure out the latest hardware at all, which is what killed Last Remnant and makes me a bit wary that they're going to get FF XIII right.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 11th, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC)
If I had money, I'd take up your Last Remnant strategy guide offer, but it's not like it'd do me any good since I can't afford the game now anyway. (That and the 360 is in my brother's room and whenever he's not using it, he's gone to work and left his game paused.) :/
Jan. 11th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm not looking to sell the guide, I'd be looking to give it a proper home. That said, if your brother is pausing his 360 game while he goes to work, he's going to kill that system.
Jan. 11th, 2009 08:57 pm (UTC)
Then it would match the rest of his systems. He's managed to kill both his GBA SP (buttons don't always work) and his DS (top screen died). And just today, his computer stopped booting up. That boy! -_-

(That said, he doesn't pause it every time he goes to work. He's not that stupid... Usually...)
Jan. 12th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
You mean the GBA SP and DS can be killed by anything short of a sledgehammer blow?
Jan. 12th, 2009 02:48 am (UTC)
My brother is taller than a sledgehammer.
Jan. 11th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
If you intend to play Persona 3 ever, I'd do so before playing P4 anyway. Because if you go backwards, the flaws in P3 will be that much more apparent. And annoying.
Jan. 11th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
That's what I'm banking on. I figure once I go black P4, I'll never go back. So if I can get through P3 first, with the guide, then I'll be all set.

(That's one aspect of P4 I don't really like; since you're relying on the weather to get into the TV, I don't like the time limits)
Jan. 11th, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
I didn't have much trouble with the time limits, but I'm told that if you fail to meet one, Igor zaps you back in time a week to try again.
Jan. 11th, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
Wait, I thought it was game over? How does that work? Do you get one chance to fuck up before Igor goes "to hell with you"?
Jan. 11th, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC)
I don't know, it's never happened to me. It's just what I heard.

Personally, once I got some levels in the Hermit social link, I was doing my dungeons in one day anyway.
Jan. 11th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
I loved Tech Romancer.
Jan. 12th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
*high five*

I still do!
Jan. 11th, 2009 11:48 pm (UTC)
*coughs* Actually I will be fair here. Dawn of Mana hasn't been released here, but though I've really tried, the only Mana game I've ever managed to get into was Seiken Densetsu 3, warts and all. Plus, Heroes of Mana, which I still have to get around to trading in, really honestly and truly broke the series for me.

(Yes, I know, it's rare that I find a game there there is NO good in, much less a Squeenix game, but HoM came DAMN CLOSE IMO.)

I'd also like to say that being a SaGa fangirl (proving a point about me and shitty games), I really wanted to see The Last Remnant do well in the west based on the Akitoshi Kawazu's involvement alone ... until I heard about the technical glitches. It's almost enough to make me throw up my hands in defeat and go back to playing Ouendan (and other such games).

*shuts up*
Jan. 12th, 2009 02:24 am (UTC)
I'd also like to say that being a SaGa fangirl

*high five*

Right on. Knew I wasn't the only Sa Ga fan out there. :-)
Jan. 12th, 2009 02:30 am (UTC)
– *looks at shelf* Persona 4 will arrive here in due time; I still need to get FES, and, indeed, I absolutely need to revisit P1 and P2.

– Sega Dreamcast is love. I'm sure I've already gushed about it being my favorite console.

– And surprise, surprise, I love Tech Romancer. You're correct that it's a niche title; there's a ton of jokes in there that only hardcore mecha fans will get, and, indeed, the machines are all based on famous mecha. You might be interested to know that Wise Duck, the big ol' tank-looking mamma-jamma with a big crew that can't fly, is actually a nod to America's Battletech tabletop mecha strategy game, though I'm sure it also owes a lot to, say, Votoms.

– I have NFL '97 for my Sega Saturn. It came with the console when I bought it. ... Good for the occasional chuckle.

Giga Wing, hmm? *makes note to research; can never have too many shoot-'em-ups*

– Good to hear that Blue Dragon is a winner in 'Busville. As far as Western RPGs versus JRPGs, that ... is a very deep topic that I ought to reserve for a separate post. I got my start playing the former on my Apple IIC, but you know where I am on the latter, these days.

Dissidia: Final Fantasy will be turning up here in the near future. -_- Milady wants to give it a shot; I'll reserve judgment 'til I see what they've done with the characters from the pre-merger games.
Jan. 12th, 2009 02:50 am (UTC)
Samu, they're all pre-merger characters (well, with one exception). Final Fantasy XII was the first post-merger game in the series.
Jan. 12th, 2009 03:26 am (UTC)
Hmm. You're right. *applies Magic Eraser ™* Let's try pre-Nomura Era characters instead. ;-)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


Mr. Met
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