November 30, 2012

Suikoden Day

Posted in video games tagged , at 9:57 am by riulyn

Today is Suikoden Day, an event organized on Facebook for Suikoden fans to gather, share stuff, chat, and have fun. To be honest, it’s one of my favorite days of the year. The day pretty much covers the reasons I love the Suikoden games.

  1. A gathering of a huge variety of people with different skills/opinions/personalities.
  2. A big ol’ party.
  3. Banter.
  4. Multiple entries in the same “world”.

Yeah, that was a bit of a stretch to relate the two. I think why I participate in Suikoden Day and wouldn’t do so for most other series is because Suikoden holds a special place in my heart. The Suikoden series kept me in gaming (during my sparse period of 2008-2012 with Suikoden Tierkreis being one of the few games I bought and beat). The Suikoden series motivates me to learn Japanese. It’s certainly fun to transcribe music from it.

There’s just something desperate about this event too. We crave more main series games because we need to know what happens Β in the world post Suikoden III. We gather and rally because if we don’t, we worry that we’ll never know the answer.

Maybe we’re wondering, if we gather together, can we change our destiny? At least there is well more than 108 of us trying πŸ™‚

November 29, 2012

Xenoblade Chronicles

Posted in video games tagged , at 3:50 pm by riulyn

I’m not sure what to say. There’s something very addictive about this game. There’s just so much going on, so much you can do, even at the beginning of the game. The fact that you are freaking exploring the world that exists on top of an ancient robot like it’s the most normal thing in the world. The fact that most battles are quick, avoidable, and scary enemies are all over the place. The fact that there is so much treasure. The fact that the world is huge but there is this awesome thing called skipping that can teleport you if you don’t want to crush monsters and gather treasure on your way around. The fact that the music is awesome.

I don’t think I hyped this game for myself. I really tried not to. But I really wanted to love this game because I convinced my brother to give me his Wii for this game. Because other people loved the game and I wanted to love it to. It’s just so great when you can be satisfied like this.

I’ve decided not to rush through the game and go for about 10-20 hours/week. The only unfortunate happening is being away from the game around Christmas time. I will need to hold back a bit so I don’t die of desire to finish off the game. Maybe when I’m home I’ll finish off Persona 3 Portable run #1. My psp backlog is long after all.

The only downside to Xenoblade-ing right now – I completely dropped the ball on my Suikoden Day stuff. Maybe I’ll get a Suikoden 2 sheet done tonight, but I had much bigger plans…

November 21, 2012

Being Thankful

Posted in life tagged , , at 5:15 pm by riulyn

It’s Thanksgiving week in the U.S. and unlike the past few years, I have taken time off to fly back home to see my parents. Our family has not been together (all 5 of us) for a few years. It’s been nice so far. Tomorrow we are off to see some other relatives that I haven’t seen in over 5 years. Time flies.

There are plenty of things to be thankful about, and since this is my video game blog, of course I’ll be thankful to have video games to play and enjoy. There’s something you can do with RPG-type video games that you can’t do with books or movies. While I enjoy books and movies (books a lot more than movies; I love reading), there’s something about that video game that stays with me longer than any book. Maybe it’s the length, the interaction, the quirkiness, the music…

Maybe I could have found a book community to emerge onto the internet with. Maybe I would have worked more on fanfiction. But the way my life turned out, it happened to be Japanese RPGs. I happen to have Mankow to gift me consoles and games to borrow and for RPG discussion every once in a while. My best friend is starting to get into video games too. RPG music transcription gives me something to do. I can still write fanfiction if I stop being lazy πŸ™‚ I can even practice Japanese with my copy of Suikoden I & II for PSP. I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to choose.

A few months ago I was worried about my parents’ reaction to me still playing video games but they could have cared less. They treated me like the kid I needed them to treat me as. I recently turned 25 and every year that I get older I’m “supposed to” be an adult, a female who wants to act female, but I continue to refuse (on the inside, at least). So I’m thankful every day that I can be me and not get bullied.

I hope all of you guys can be thankful for something. If you can’t be right now, I hope you can be in the future.

November 12, 2012

Finally Finished – Star Ocean: The Last Hope

Posted in video games tagged , at 12:30 pm by riulyn

I finished Wild Arms 5 faster than I expected, so after a few days to finish up something for a friend, I decided with a week and a half before vacation, I would finish off Star Ocean: The Last Hope. I had stopped after about 26 hours in and managed to put in another 20 hours in about 3 days. Though to be fair, one of those days was a Saturday, so I figured, if I’m at the end I might as well finish it off.

This is a love/hate game; most people are either proclaiming it as a wonderful game or a terrible game. And this is due to the plot and characters. I happen to fall more on the “hate” side. In short, the combination (and requirement) of Lymle, Sarah, and Meracle absolutely killed this game for me.

It’s a funny thing, because of all the Star Ocean games, this game tries the hardest to put together a coherent plot and characters, but it’s my least favorite. I guess it’s because Star Ocean games are supposed to be ridiculous and while this one is ridiculous, it isn’t ridiculous in a humorous way. There are ridiculous cutscenes prolonged with incredibly impossible spaceship maneuvers or obviously inserted character dialogue that just turned me off. There are 3 characters that act younger than their age, have annoying voices, and act incredibly stupid. There are 2 late-game characters that end up playing a role because they can pilot and shoot things, but they are also look like fanservice.

It doesn’t help that the characters (especially Lymle) look like dolls and that the music isn’t exactly good. But while I love videogame music, nothing has been bad enough to turn me away from a game yet. And the real reason why I finished it up so quickly was because of the scarcity of save points. In the final dungeon, I wasn’t able to save for over 2 hours and I didn’t get lost or anything. And this is a game where when you lose a battle (all characters dead), it’s game over.

The battle system is fun, though I’m more of a Tales fan. It’s the reason why I made it through this game. It’s the best iteration of a Star Ocean battle system, except I never quite figured out the best way to switch targets. Probably because I had such a long break between starting and finishing the game.

Anyway, it’s experiences like these that make me cautious before diving into the next in the series. I had my issues with FFXII so I watched videos of FFXIII. Of course, those games are completely different from each other, but when suddenly a series you follow does something you don’t quite like, it’s hard to throw money at it as freely. I do hope for a Star Ocean V, but I will probably watch videos before starting it.

November 9, 2012

Why I wish I got into Wild Arms earlier

Posted in video games tagged , , at 2:30 pm by riulyn

I finished Wild Arms 5 a few days ago. It was definitely a fun game. Recommended unless you hate any type of platforming or simplified platforming, somewhat predictable characters, a growing-up story, lots of cutscenes, a bit of nonsense. Pretty much it hit a few points that annoy people in “modern JRPGs” as if they were absent from older ones. Yeah, queuing the sarcasm…

Anyway, I really liked the game so I was on GameFAQs message boards looking into the ending and bonus stuff, when I read a bunch of threads of people saying whether they liked this particular Wild Arms, stuff on the series as a whole, etc. Seems like the series did some major shifting in gameplay over the iterations. The charm of the story has also varied as well.

Still, I’m not sure exactly how to compare Wild Arms 5’s charm with something else. I think it presents another unique flavor, though maybe more story-wise in the lines of a Tales game and more gameplay-wise in a…no idea. I think I’ve played something else with a Hex-like system that wasn’t tactical, but I’m forgetting it.

Also, the music in this game is very traditional JRPG. Town themes are “homey”, battle themes are “moving”, themes are simple and soaring rather than hidden or complex. I really enjoyed the music of this game and supposedly music is a good part of every Wild Arms game.

The next Wild Arms game on the menu is Wild Arms 1, since I have a used copy on me. I’ve heard platforming is actually serious in Wild Arms 4, so I may save that for last. Wild Arms 2 may be next since it is on PSN, and hopefully the other Wild Arms games don’t go up too much in price.

It is sad, though, playing what is probably the last main Wild Arms game ever. I know the market has changed and everything, but these types of games will always have a place in my heart. If that means I never grow up, well then I don’t care πŸ™‚