rainfall: A pair of cartoony arms encircle the words "A huge hug for you." (huge hug)
People have been recommending Haunting Ground to me left and right. The way RelyOnHorror chose to do it today, however, made me feel like this is really not an experience I want to sign up for.

Trigger warning: rape. )

I feel like this game was recommended to me with very good intentions by people who didn't see it the same way this reviewer did, but his interpretation -- and the people in the comments agreeing with him -- has kind of ruined the game for me. Sorry, guys. Listening to someone glorify this yuck at length just made me super uncomfortable. :(
rainfall: A girl holds a camera up. (taking photos)
Spoiler alert: I might be done with Yahtzee for a while.

I don't understand what Yahtzee wants from a game, and I understand that -- in a way -- that's the point. He's the Unpleasable Critic. He exists solely to slam games for poor decisions. His positive reviews are rare.

But that doesn't mean his criticisms are fair.

Read more... )
rainfall: A girl holds flowers in front of her face and peers through them. (little white flowers)
I picked this out to do some Japanese practice at random, little knowing I was going to be lucky enough to get one of the skits where they talk about how much Flynn also loves fighting. Bonus flusterable Rita. ♥

Unexpected (A skit about Flynn's sekrit love of fighting) )
rainfall: A windowpane from the inside; covered in raindrops, a blur of cityscape beyond the glass (rain on a window)
Apparently if you disable the media servers option on your PS3 (it's in System-->Network Settings), it stops kicking other computers in the house off the internet.

Awesome.
rainfall: A girl stands in the midst of fallen leaves. You can't see her face. (Default)
Cut for spoilers.

Read more... )

UPDATE: Game over. Ending sucks.


I got a really bad piece of advice, so I just want to counter it. DO NOT use Lightning's Army of One ability to build the chain gauge during the final fight. It's a nice suggestion and it's a cool attack, but by dealing all of her damage in a fraction of a second, you lose out. The tiny, tiny pauses between attacks make a big difference in your ability to get the chain gauge full before Temporal something or other wipes it clean.

So: Relentless Assault, auto-attack, get the chain gauge up, heal sparingly. Once staggered, keep up the Relentless Assault until chain gauge is at 999% then swap to Aggression (COM/COM/RAV) and smack the crap out of 'im. Rinse, repeat. I made use of Renew to save time. Lalala.
rainfall: Light refracts through glasses on the grass. (rose colored glasses)
We have a dark elf! Her name is Niah, since that was offered as a default. :|a We plan on playing all the races.

So far, pretty impressed with the initial options. I like the names of the races. I like the fact that even though the dark elf was outfitted like a skank, she's not dressed like one right now. We tweaked makeup / hair / etc, and we have a nice-looking PC.

The "god" options are all interesting and make you want to play around with them and find out which bonuses work best for you. I know I wanted to go with Fate automatically because of mana bonus and mana regen; my instinct is always towards clothies.

I kind of can't wait until we start leveling and gaining access to the talent trees, because they're supposed to be awesome.

We've just barely started the game. We have a nice little quest. We have a horrifying opening sequence and an interesting storyline.

So far: psyched.
rainfall: A girl with a bouquet of flowers holds it up. (live in color)
Side note: I hate Orphan's Cradle. Technicolor maze of repetitive battles with annoying, cheap opponents who riddle you with status ailments and crush your health down to single digits with special attacks. BUT, THAT ASIDE...

Party: Lightning, Sazh, Vanille

This one took quite a while, but I feel like I did well, under the circumstances. (I'm not as ridicuawesome as the guys who wrote the two boss FAQs up on GameFAQs, which both assume you will kill this boss before he deactivates his limiters, but I assume they did a LOT of upgrading and equipment-purchasing.)

GENERAL TIP: Keep an eye on your buffs throughout the fight. If Lightning's Haste or Protect fails, immediately swap to a Synergist form to re-cast them. This will become especially important in the second phase of the fight.

Read more... )
rainfall: A tiny bunny rabbit curled up in a cup. (bunny in a cup)
Since FFXIII is coming out very soon, we're blasting through this game!

Sometimes I feel like I can listen to any Troy Baker character and do an instant Yuri canon review.

Read more... )

ETA: Lightning/Sazh/Vanille might be my new party FOREVER jesus this is awesome, you guys. Suggested Paradigm Deck inside.
rainfall: A chaotic pile of generic crayons. All the colors of a child's rainbow. (crayons)
Disclaimer: I am a fan of Sonic the Hedgehog as a whole. For the record, I also love Silent Hill as a whole. I'm... eclectic, okay? :(

Upfront Confessions

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 was my favorite 2D Sonic game. I enjoyed Sonic Adventure more than Sonic Adventure 2, I hated and never finished Sonic Heroes, and I haven't played a Sonic game since, because I've heard nothing but terrible things! Until Sonic Colors.

Sonic Colors: 9/10 )
rainfall: A girl stands in the midst of fallen leaves. You can't see her face. (Default)
This scene is one of several that takes place in Zaphias, if you return there after the events at after Aurnion. In Kouli's guide, it's the extra event that occurs when you "check the fountain" in the Lower Quarter.

As before: When we go back through the game, I'll add better descriptions of what's going on during this scene. I was too preoccupied on my pass through it copying down all the dialogue, and I know I missed out on the action. :(

Also, note that Hanks drove me a little bit crazy in this scene because he doesn't use nouns. He uses pronouns. It's clear if you squint for a while who he's talking about where, because of context and his word use, but I slotted in names to make things a little easier on you!

Thank you forever to [livejournal.com profile] kupoke, who helped me with a couple of the tricky lines and reassured me about everything else.


Translation! )
rainfall: A pair of cartoony arms encircle the words "A huge hug for you." (huge hug)
In order to get this scene, you'll first need to:
  • cook at least 600 times (with anyone) and MASTER three recipes with Patty
  • stop in at Nordopolica at some point after getting your "airship" and talk to the flopsweating young man near Fortune's Market.
  • head to Zaphias after Flynn joins the party permanently and stop in at the inn to talk to the woman who behind the counter


When we go back through the game, I'll add -- better descriptions of what's going on during this scene. I was too preoccupied on my pass through it copying down all the dialogue, and I know I missed out on the action. :(

Translation! )
rainfall: A girl stands in the midst of fallen leaves. You can't see her face. (Default)
Aselia has a great list up of Flynn's new skills and artes; you can compare them to his Xbox 360 artes, if you'd like. (I've heard that his speed was also improved greatly in the PS3 version, but during the actual battles he and Yuri had in the Xbox version, I was too distracted by their battle dialogue to notice anything Flynn was doing physically.)

The second I had Flynn available to me, though, I switched him into my party and then never removed him again. Below the cut, my thoughts on his AI and the adorable quirks in it.

There are probably spoilers here! )
rainfall: A girl stands in the midst of fallen leaves. You can't see her face. (Default)
It's been a couple of days, but my memory is that the controls were comfortably loose. My only complaint -- I manned Diddy -- is that I wish there were a way, in the nunchuck control system, to differentiate between attempts to hold down B for running purposes and attempts to climb up on Donkey Kong's back. :( You have to hold up on the D-pad to do it in the wiimote control system, and it is REALLY NICE not to just climb up on Donkey Kong every time I try to take a running jump, grab onto a vine, grab onto a barrel, etc.

Otherwise: gorgeous game, especially the silhouette level we saw, and very true to the spirit. I actually liked the blowing aspect I've heard complaints about, I thought it was cute and restful. But I do understand why some people might feel it detracts from the manic pace of the levels in general.
rainfall: A girl stands in the midst of fallen leaves. You can't see her face. (Default)
Extremely pretty. Just, extremely, extremely pretty.

Quick confession: I've got a torrid history with Mickey Mouse games. I've played three, all sidescrolling platformers -- The Magical Quest, Starring Mickey Mouse (two-player competitive, with players taking turns with identical Mickeys in a Mario-and-Luigi fashion), Disney's Magical Quest (two-player cooperative with Minnie Mouse as the second player, in the version I played), and Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse. I remember the second two games as being MUCH shorter than the first one, but I enjoyed all three, and that's what I've got under my belt to vaguely compare Mickey experiences.

We start out in Epic Mickey with the villain from The Mad Doctor, a fantastically-creepy Mickey Mouse cartoon that was also made into the second level of Mickey Mania. I was actually a little bit disappointed that it was in color because I thought I remembered the Mickey Mania level as being in black and white but uh yeah. I checked out a YouTube video and it turns out my memories of SEGA Genesis-era platformers are a lot kinder than they should be. SOME of Mickey Mania's levels were in black and white, but The Mad Doctor was not one of them, nor was it particularly creatively-handled.

So far, my favorite parts of the game are its "cut scene" story segments. They're -- kind of like watercolor...? plus collage...? Like you might expect of a children's storybook, almost. Kind of hard to describe. And all the characters have "voices", but these voices are limited to expressive noises. It's not Zelda-like noises, or Okami-like noises, just... noises.

Also: we found a projector and went into it and Mickey found himself in the "Mickey and the Beanstalk" cartoon, sort of. This level is 2D, unlike the Mad Doctor sequence, and it has cute projector film animated at the edges. I'm watching Kay bounce around on springy lamps and ride beds being lifted around by vines to get to higher areas. Looks like the platforming is a wee bit imprecise, but she's also new at the game. (She's reached another projector at the top of the area now that is taking her to "Slalom". Back in a 3D area again.) ...This is weird!

If that's all we see of Mickey and the Beanstalk, it was still kind of an interesting little visual excursion, and I was thinking, probably more faithful to the cartoon than the Mickey Mania version I barely remember. (See, I can be taught!)

One other item of weirdness for me at least is the Gremlins. I vaguuurely remember characters that look like them but I thought they were from, like. Bugs Bunny cartoons. (They also look like taller cousins to the alien that showed up in late seasons of the Flintstones.)

The paint mechanic is interesting; I'll admit I was hoping we'd be able to paint EVERYTHING and get a reaction, bu t that's never how videogames work. And the wiimote is always a little bit frustratingly imprecise. (I wonder if Wii motion plus would help -- we don't have it.) I kind of love the way you can either defeat enemies with the "Thinner" or befriend them with the "Paint". Both options require equal skill, but befriended enemies will defend you until they take enough damage. (It's a visually-interesting thing to watch, where the paint you sprayed on them comes off with each hit they take.) And, of course, you can also spin attack or bounce on them repeatedly to squash them that way.

...Cannot really get over the concept of Mickey Mouse having a "spin attack"...

Also, you can apparently use "guardian wisps" in combat too, and... idk. Requires more thinking on, later. We bought our copy but I'd say it's at least worth a rent. See what you think!
rainfall: A chaotic pile of generic crayons. All the colors of a child's rainbow. (crayons)
Finally posting this, zomg. I beat this game like two months ago and this has been sitting on my harddrive ever since. Since I'm picking up my dreamwidth journals and dusting them off, I thought I'd go ahead post it.)


Yes, I know it's not technically called that, not having received a States-side release. The name is Zero~Mask of the Lunar Eclipse~. (And not Project Zero. That is the development team and for some reason the European name! In Japan, it's just Zero. ...Anyway.)

--As an aside, they also don't have numbers in Japan. It's not Zero, Zero 2: Crimson Butterfly, etc. Just Zero, Zero~Crimson Butterfly~, Zero~Call of the Tattoo~...

BUT ABOUT THE GAME. Thoughts to follow.

I tried to avoid spoilers, but I do refer to the final boss by name, and make a couple of very vague references to past Fatal Frame games; read at your own risk, this is a comprehensive review! )
rainfall: A girl stands in the midst of fallen leaves. You can't see her face. (Default)
A review is eventually going to go here, probably along the lines of my SILENT HILL: HOMECOMING review. For now, just know that I really liked it, that it's sort of the antithesis of HOMECOMING (which I also liked), and that I might hesitantly recommend waiting for the PS2 port, if you're in no rush.

Because the Wii controls are more immersive, etc., and I don't think they're at all dumb or tacked-on, but I think they make the nightmare chase sequences actually physically exhausting. I wound up with muscle ache from the Wii version of those sequences, and I'm sure a button-mashing Quick Time Event will take the place of those flailing sessions on the PS2.

Also, a piece of advice for all chase sequences: GO FOR THE FARTHEST DOOR. It's amazing how often this simple directive works: if there's a door on your immediate left and a door visible at the end of the hallway, go for the door at the end of the hallway. (It's also worth your time to check your GPS at the very beginning of chase sequences so that you can make a point of "heading straight, then left after a while". But the "farthest door" axiom rarely fails you.)
rainfall: A girl stands in the midst of fallen leaves. You can't see her face. ([aizen+gin] caramel dansen - dooork)
SILENT HILL: HOMECOMING
a recommendation

I really, really enjoyed this game. I was thrilled to play it, and, with the exception of some brutally difficult pieces sprinkled throughout, I continued to be thrilled by it until the credits rolled. I have noticed that many of the people reviewing the game do not seem to agree with this estimation, but, while some of their criticisms are not totally without merit, the vast majority of them are -- I would venture to say -- unfair.

In this review, I would like to repudiate those criticisms.

WARNING: I've tried my best to avoid it with HOMECOMING, but there are several spoilers for previous SILENT HILL games sprinkled throughout, especially SILENT HILL 2.

A response to other reviews -- most specifically, the one on Zero Punctuation. )

I think that about covers it. ♥

Basically: Play the game. But if you really have complaints -- if you seriously think this is anything but a step forward from past efforts, or that the series producers did anything but serve up a slightly flawed* masterpiece with a lot of potential for future SILENT HILLs -- then I don't think you've been paying attention to the series. End of story.

*There's an enormous amount of detail and thought put into things up until about three fourths of the way through the game, at which point you pretty much stop getting non-combat Quick Time Events and other little details similarly fall off, but it's an amazing game for first-time developers.

Omg ow.

May. 12th, 2008 08:48 pm
rainfall: A girl stands in the midst of fallen leaves. You can't see her face. ([sora] breaking through my chains)
Kingdom Hearts, Final Mix. (Not to be confused with FM+, yo.) My hands are throbbing a little, but for anyone else who ever feels like replaying, I have a very solid strategy for you when you reach Maleficent's dragon form:

Tinkerbell + Aero magic + spamming the attack button.

And yes, that's it. That's all you do. It's a bit crude, perhaps, but it gets the job done.

Now me, I've never really used Summons before. I only grudgingly used them in KH2, because they were a requirement for Jiminy's psychotic journal. So I'm not especially "down" with them. But from what I can tell, Tinkerbell essentially uses her pixie dust to keep you alive. She'll heal Sora and his party members all throughout the battle, with no especial time limit -- she'll only leave if Sora gets KO'd, and only after saving him from death.

In case you hadn't guessed yet, the use of Aero is to make Tink's job a little easier, and so keep her around for the entire battle -- Aero is a neat and somewhat underrated little spell that reduces or entirely nullifies a lot of the damage Sora would otherwise absorb himself.

With these simple steps, I was able to defeat Maleficent's dragon form with (more or less) ease -- it just takes a while. I think my battle was somewhere between half an hour and forty minutes, though of course your mileage may vary.

(I'm also on the quick-leveling path, choosing the staff and sacrificing the sword, and I swear this seems to have made the game a little harder than I remember it, but it could just be that all those Triangle Reaction Commands have spoiled me. :( )
rainfall: A girl stands in the midst of fallen leaves. You can't see her face. (Default)
I have, I'll readily admit, always been more of a SEGA girl than a Nintendo girl. For some reason, mascots like Sonic the Hedgehog and NiGHTS just held more appeal to me. I like their sharp angles, their slight alien fierceness, the odd, unfriendly quality to them. It appeals more than Mario's marshmallow design and cheery personality. I don't know why.

(And yeah, I know Sonic Team was responsible for both these games, so maybe I should just say them.)

And now, more Sonic the Hedgehog talk. I am a fangirl, you're warned. )

/babble?

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