Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Deleted content- Gotham by Gaslight

Well, more like deleted game.  Very little is known about this game - which was revealed through concept art on Julie Farrell's blog- but was is known is interesting.
The game was created by Day One studios and would have been a game adaptation of a "Elseworlds" comic that consisted of Batman in a Steampunk Gotham. According to Wikipedia, the basic story (of the comic) involves Bruce Wayne being accused of the crimes of Jack the Ripper.  Bruce Wayne must escape jail, clear his name, and track down the real culprit.

The game was, obviously, cancelled. So far the buzz for the cancelled game has been positive.  It is really curious to see what would have happened if it was allowed to continue. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Musical Monday - We All Are One (Medieval II: Total War)

Another game that I haven't played but fell in love with some music from it anyway.  This is the credits theme to Medieval II: Total War.  Since it's Lent, we should probably think about those around us. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Nier dialogue

There's some great lines in this game.  This is just part of them.

Anyway, yes, I love NieR.  To the best of my knowledge, these lines aren't really spoilery.  One is a collection of random lines, the other takes place about an hour into the game. I WISH I could find Kaine lines but they can be spoilery.  Sorry.

Anyway, the writing was awesome.  For a game this depressing, it has some really funny lines. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Character Analysis - Kyle Hyde

"Nice name, isn't it?"

Kyle  Hyde is the main character of Hotel Dusk, Room 215 and it's sequel The Last Window.  (Spoilers ahead.  I have not completed Last Window so I will only talk up to the point I completed) Both were DS games released by the now defunct company Cing.  The games are animated via water color backgrounds and rotoscoped characters.  The gameplay is very similar to Ace Attorney.  There is a lot of reading, deducing, and a good amount of problem solving.  However, while Ace Attorney takes place in a particularly zany court of law in the future, Kyle Hyde lives in a noirish 1970's Los Angeles.  (The eponymous "Hotel Dusk" is a roadside Hotel.)

Kyle Hyde is a retired New York Police Detective. Several years ago, his partner, a man named Bradley, began to do some undercover work against a criminal organization called Nile. Bradley beings to act weird and Kyle finds out that Bradley is actually a dirty cop.  Kyle chases Bradley down to the docks and then shoots him when  Bradley wouldn't surrender.  Bradley fell into the water and disappeared. Kyle was fired from the force and got a job working at Red Crown Delivery Services.  It's a door to door salesman job with a side business of finding things that may not want to be found.  It's not specifically illegal, but it's not promoted in their fliers either.  

Years go by, and Kyle finds himself at Hotel Dusk.  In one of those coincidences that only work in pieces of media, every single person in the Hotel has something to do with at least one other person.  Some of those people deal with Bradley, others do not.  

In the course of one night at Hotel Dusk, Kyle finally manages to find out what happened to Bradley.  Nile had found out Bradley was an undercover cop and kidnapped his sister. If he didn't do what they said, then his sister would die.  They killed her anyway.  However, Bradley survived being shot at by Kyle and made his way around the US and eventually lures Kyle to Hotel Dusk in order for him to solve pretty much everything.

Which he does.  In the space of one night, he reunites families, solves almost everything with Bradley (All Kyle knew when he entered was that Bradley was dirty, not why or what happened after) takes care of little girls who can't talk, and solves the mystery of an old painter that isn't really that old.

Then we get to Last Window.  While Kyle has stopped searching for Bradley, he is in a complete funk.  A forgotten job leads to Kyle yelling at his boss and Kyle being fired.    He mopes, distrusts his neighbors, finds out his apartment is being sold in the upcoming weeks and someone personally gives him an order for something to find.  Oh, and someone is snooping into his past.  

Also, in the process of doing this, I realized exactly how much I forgot about Hotel Dusk.  

What do we know about Kyle? 

1) He needs a reason.  Once Kyle lost his reason for living (searching for Bradley) he turned into a laze about.  He was much more focused in Hotel Dusk then Last Window. When he has no reason to do anything, he falls apart.  He just simply doesn't know what to do with himself.

2) He's clever.  The puzzles he solves are an extension of the player themselves.  And make  no mistake, the puzzles can get tricky.  And Kyle solves them.  He also solves the plot focused puzzles.  The ones about Bradley, Mila, his mysterious neighbors, all of them.  He was also a detective before that.  He knows how to solve problems.

3) He actually does care about the people around him.  While he may not seem like the ideal candidate, he IS the person who solved several other people's problems and reunited families.  Then there are the side incidents.  He made a Christmas Tree for Melissa and Mila in Hotel Dusk.  He got Helen and Martin to meet up (While not family, they did share a past)  and he got Melissa's father to actually connect with her.  And that's not mentioning him reuniting Dunner and his daughter. 

Kyle Hyde is one of my favorite protagonists.  Unfortunately, I can not do him justice. He can be a huge jerk, but underneath that facade is a very frustrated and very caring detective. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Musical Monday - No More Heroes 2 (Philisitine)

I have no idea why I like this song so much.  The singer is crude and talking about how she murders people.  REALLY not what I like.

And I just have to sing along whenever I hear it. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blog changes

I'm worried that the quality of my posts is getting diminished (and my bad posts pushing down posts that I rather like) I am changing how often I write for this blog.

From now on, I will only write two or three times a week. One of those posts will be Musical Monday, but the other one or two posts will be analysis or commentary.

Thank you for being patient.  Have some music

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Character Design - Mewtwo

Mewtwo is my favorite character of all time.  My love of him was heavily influenced by the movie, but even without the movie, his unique design inspires interest.
Here's his Red/Blue (US) sprite:
And here's his Black/White Sprite
So, just looking at him, what do we know?

Unlike the rest of the pokemon, he's not natural.  He has no basis on things we would see in everyday life (or that we could be reasonably assumed to have seen at least once)  Bulbasaurs are clearly plant based, the legendary birds have enough resemblance to birds we can get it, but Mewtwo?

If anything, he looks like some bizarre, skinless, cat.  But cats don't have a tail, ears, or neck thing like that.

We know from in game materials that Mewtwo is a genetic experiment. His genetic code is a form of Mew's.
(This is Mew)

Mew is... well, I think Mew is cosmic.  At the very least Mew was never supposed to be explained.  It was just some coding put into the game as a joke since they had some space left.  (That being said, Mew was mentioned briefly in the journals found on Cinnabar Island, but that is the only reference in normal game play.)

Now we can see some similarities to Mew, but there are many differences that mark Mewtwo apart.

1) The "breastplate" Mewtwo  appears to have breast plate grown into his chest.  It makes him come off as a bit aggressive, since he has ingrown human armor.

2) The tube that connects his head to his body.  It in no way looks natural.   Again, marks him as different and a genetic experiment.

3) The tail looks too much like a weapon.  I have also never seen a tail like that in real life.

4) Color Scheme.  He's colored in very muted grays and purples (except for his piercing eyes) All of the official art for the rest of the Pokemon have the sufficiently vibrant colors.  He doesn't. That being said, we do find him in a cave and it could camouflage him there.

5) The feet. They look ungainly, but powerful.  If it wasn't for the fact he doesn't have knees and floats everywhere then it would look like the feet of some sort of fast cat.

6) His hand!  Yeah, there is no way those hands are natural or can be used for picking anything up. Even if he is telekinetic, his hands are still one of the most obvious ways he appears unnatural.

That being said, he was not unprecedented.  Many people who worked on Pokemon previously worked on Mother 1. Gigyas, the final boss, possesses a final form in Mother 1 that has a strong resemblance to Mewtwo.  They also have an affinity for being "final bosses" (Mewtwo is the last Pokemon you can find.  He lives in Cerulean Cave which can only be accessed once you beat the Elite 4 and Gary.)  And they both use powerful psychic attacks. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Atlus is an awesome troll

Last night, Atlus sent an e-mail out.  It was titled "_____"  and the only thing in the e-mail was the picture on the left.  Someone did some contrast manipulating and we ended up with the image on the right.

Yeah, we have no idea what it means. Some people are speculating that it's for the Persona 4 fighting game (Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena ) but there is no proof at this point.  This speculation is based on the fact Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena is one of Atlus' most recent releases and because the shattering in the logo matches up to the adjusted image in the e-mail.
(Sorry, I couldn't find an English subbed version)

That being said, Atlus lives for announcements like this.  A significant chunk of their announcements are trollish.

Take, for example, Catherine.  Catherine was released in Japan, did astonishingly well, and then Atlus announced it was not coming to the West.  Immediately after they made that announcement, they released this picture:
A short time later, they announced a Western release.

 And then there's when they announced Persona 2 for the PSP. It was a remake. Atlus released the original on June 24th, 1999.
Yes, they made an entire mock e-mail just so they could write about how there were no games releasing this week at the top... and mock Phantom Menace... and pretty much everything else from the turn of the century.

So, the end result of all of this is Atlus has some great e-mails. They can be frustrating, but in the end not only does it reveal more then we think but it can be quite fun.

... even if they have admitted to feasting on the tears of the fans.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gameplay -Alan Wake


Alan Wake is an author.  This would normally be something mentioned casually as background in any other video game, but not Alan Wake.

The story of Alan Wake only works because he is a writer.   Another version of him is narrating the events of the game and leaving the pages around for Alan to find.  These pages tell of future events or of events that happen while Alan is in a different area.  As a result, Alan (and the player) can predict what will happen. 

It certainly heightens any tension that the player can feel. Quite a bit before we meet a chainsaw wielder, we read about him.  Agent Nightingale is introduced a chapter before he actually appears via a manuscript page.  It's also deliberately a piece of McGuffum. Alan is sent looking for the manuscript by several people as a way to rescue his kidnapped wife. Alan himself notes it makes little sense.

Many other series do have notes from the past - If you don't listen to the audio logs in Bioshock then you'll be very confused at some points of the plot- but because they are written by the literal author of the story of Alan Wake, the pages take on a new meaning.  One that makes you sit up and pay attention.

We can ignore some of the audio ramblings in Bioshock.  We can not ignore these pages.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I can't think of anything today

So I'm going to post a NieR remix.  Since it's great and I really can't think of anything. (video has spoiler images)
Here's the original

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

And, in honor of the holiday, I wanted to talk about one of my favorite couples:
 The Prince and Elika. (Spoilers)

No, they're not my FAVORITE couple, but I do like them and I haven't given Prince of Persia 2008 much love. 

We never learn the Prince's name.  But he drops hints throughout the game about his identity.  He's an orphan who lost his parents in some war when he was a child.  Elika has been forbidden to leave her home.  And yet, we see the two bond together.

The Prince stated in the beginning that he would leave as soon as he could.  He did not care that an evil force was trying to take over the world. Elika found him annoying.

At the end of the game, she hid that fact that she would die in order to succeed.  The prince defied her requests and he brought her back to life in order to give them a better chance to face down the big bad.  This is something the Prince from the beginning of the game would have done.

They have great chemistry, and due to the more free flowing nature of the game, it can be a bit harder to see it develop but there is no denying that the Prince and Elika do care for each other by the end.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Musical Monday - Xenosaga II

I wish my PS2 wasn't broken.  I heard this game was pretty good.  And this music.  (sigh) 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Character Analysis - Master Xehanort

In a series full of nightmare inducing Disney villains, Darkness which can steal your heart and render you evil, Vanitas, and each hero has the very real chance of failing, Master Xehanort is easily one of the most terrifying things in the games.  I've already gone over his costume, but I want to talk about HIM.  (Spoilers, obviously)

Master Xehanort is the cause of everything that goes wrong in the Kingdom Hearts universe.  At some point several years (probably decades) before the game begins, Master Xehanort and Master Eraqus were students together, in fact they consider each other like brothers.  It was at this time Master Xehanort began to get interested in darkness and it's place in the universe.  He disregarded his master's advice and began to travel without the armor that keyblade wielders use to protect themselves.

(Example: Ven's armor)
Xehanort and Eraqus both passed the exam and became Masters.  But while Eraqus was allowed to take over as the main master and  to teach at the Land of Departure, Xehanort was not allowed this privilege.  He instead went off to travel and find himself.

Just before and during this time, he did a lot of research into Darkness, the worlds, and an incident known as the "Keyblade War"  He eventually theorized that 'Kingdom Hearts' existed and should be brought out for the sake of the universe. To do THAT he needed a clash of light and darkness in order to make the X-blade (pronounced keyblade) which would summon Kingdom Hearts and he could unlock it.  He would presumably gather that power for himself.  He mentioned his plans to Master Eraqus but... it didn't go well.
 (Yes, that's Spock and Luke Skywalker arguing)

The two split, Xehanort realized he was getting too old, took Ven in, and then proceeded to split him into Light and Dark (which created Vanitas).  During this time,  Eraqus took in Aqua and Terra, and then Birth By Sleep happened.

In Birth By Sleep, Master Xehanort appears in the beginning of the game.  He drops Ven off on Destiny Islands to die, then the game cuts to years later.  The next time he appears he manipulates Terra's Mark of Master Exam so Terra loses, proceeds to badmouth Eraqus to Terra before offering to be his new master and to teach him how Darkness can be used for good.  At the same time, Vanitas has been sent to drive Ven out of the Land of Departure.  Xehanort shows up a few other times to drive Terra to submit to darkness. He calls Vanitas his greatest mistake.  He arranges his own kidnapping by Braig.  And when Terra finally relents and willingly uses Darkness against his master, Master Xehanort kills Master Eraqus in front of Terra before disappearing.

Which means that Master Xehanort won at the end.  He seduced Terra towards darkness, cultivated Terra's anger then took over Terra's mind and body, giving Master Xehanort a new body of his own. Vanitas and Ven did merge to make the X-blade in a clash of light and dark.  Ven managed to break it back apart but he almost died in the process. Aqua saved Terranort before vanishing to the Realm of Darkness, but doing so caused the entire rest of the series to happen. 

What do we know?
 1)  He's inquisitive and intelligent.  The ENTIRETY of Kingdom Hearts so far started because Master Xehanort was curious about Kingdom Hearts and the Keyblade War.  He also figured out Terra would be a good replacement body for him. He managed to reconstruct a large part of the history of the worlds, Kingdom Hearts, and the Keyblade War, all of which were considered lost to history.  This is partly due to his ability to look at questionable sources, but considering how one of those sources was Maleficent and he not only survived meeting her but managed to set her up for Kingdom Hearts 1 does indicate his intelligence.

2) He's manipulative.  Master Xehanort has been missing for ten years before Kingdom Hearts 1 starts.  He almost succeeds with his plan during Kingdom Hearts 1, despite not actually being present.  Kingdom Hearts is almost unlocked.  In fact, it would have done so if not for the fact Sora (possibly because of Ven who is living inside his heart) managed to stop Ansem: Seeker of Darkness at the last minute. The entire plot of Kingdom Hearts 1 happened because ten years ago he talked to Maleficent about the Princesses of Heart.  Then other parts happened because Ansem: Seeker of Darkness (who is more Master Xehanort then Terra) talked Riku into using Darkness. Did I mention that Ansem: Seeker of Darkness didn't have a body until Riku submitted to Darkness?

And that's not touching on Birth By Sleep.  He goes through almost the entire game without using his weapon.  The only time he uses it before  the Keyblade Graveyard is when he kills Master Eraqus, and the act is hard to see while the Keyblade itself doesn't even appear.  This means he manages to doom the entire universe while only lifting his weapon twice.  He manipulated Maleficent, Braig (turning him into one of the most dangerous and knowledgeable Nobodies as Xigbar), Master Eraqus, possibly Vanitas (their relationship is... complicated and we don't get much insight into it), Terra, Ven, and Aqua.  Even if VAT managed to stop the worst of it, they still are out of commission until Sora rescues them... 12 years later.

3) He's ruthless.  He tried to destroy the universe, split Ven's heart, and killed someone he  loved as a brother in order to restart the Keyblade War just to find out what happened. 

4) He's charismatic. Maybe not quite as much as some other characters, but the fact is, the only person who knows that Master Xehanort is evil (Before he killed Master Eraqus) was Braig, who Master Xehanort had filled in on the entire plot.

I really can't wait until Master Xehanort returns.  He's so utterly evil, but that is what makes him so terrifying and so much fun to watch.  You want to strangle him, you KNOW he's the ultimate villain (partly from costumes, partly because the opening of the game used the Kingdom Hearts II FM ending which was the climax of Birth By Sleep)  and yet you can not help but watch him destroy everything.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Deleted Content: Mother 64

The "Mother" series debuted in Japan in 1989.  The first game never made it to the US.  It was going to, but by the time it debuted, the NES would be pretty much dead.  While we know there is at least one beta cart floating around on e-bay (or there was at least, and it was confirmed to be legitmate)  the game was never published.

But Mother 2 (known as EarthBound) was released in Japan in August 1994, and the US in July 1995.  The game did FANTASTIC in Japan and is still very much liked. In the US it was marketed everywhere as "This Game Stinks" (and ignoring basically everything that has made the game so popular, like Ness, the amazing translation/localization, the weapons, etc), came out near the end of the SNES and...well...  the only acknowledgement Mother fans get in the US is through Super Smash Brothers and music on iTunes.

Mother 3 was originally known as Mother/Earthbound 64.  It was to be released on the Nintendo 64DD, but when the system was canned Mother 3 was transferred over to the GBA. Much like Mother 1, it came out at the end of the GBA cycle and with EarthBound's lackluster sales, Nintendo decided against bringing Mother 3 to the US.

This trailer and a few magazine scans are all that exist of Mother 64 now.  While people have managed to link Mother 64/3 scenes together there is enough differences (especially with Lucas and Claus) to wonder what could have been.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Level Design -Bioshock's opening

I finally bought Bioshock today!

So let's talk about what first made people sit up and take notice of the game. 

The game's opening

It's been a few years, but it still is quite stunning, and in less then then minutes we are not just suspicious of the world but we know for a fact that it will try to chew us up and spit us back out.

Let's get started!

We start off with a date, 1960.  This should immediately relax us.  It's in the past, we shouldn't have to worry about any high tech weaponry.  We see that we're in an airplane.  Well, unusual but our PC is fine.  The tattoos are a bit odd, but he's got a picture of his family in his wallet and a present.  It should be all okay.  We get a suspicious voice over, then turbulence.

When we wake up, we're underwater.  We see debris fall until we come up to the surface and we realize one thing.  We're probably the only survivor.  The game herds us towards the lighthouse.  The fire blocks off the other paths and it's the only significant thing that we can see.  While this is all odd, it's not really unusual for a game.  We don't start getting really disquieted until we see the slogan in the obscenely ornate hallway.

"There are no gods or kings, only men"

It's an interesting idea, not unheard of, but it's still disquieting.  What's more disquieting is why is there a gold head in a lighthouse in the middle of the ocean and why is does it have THAT in it's hands.  Unnerving, but let's continue.

We enter a Bathysphere which is still unusual and enter into the actual world of Rapture.  

Something we should note is that before we see Ryan's speech, we see a commercial for INCINERATE! Plasmids.  It's a little detail, but it's a hook into the commercialism focused world of Rapture.  In their world, only the rich succeed. It is also holds two clues that getting out will not be as easy as it seems.  1) (obviously) we're in a bathysphere going deeper underwater.  We don't know how we're going to escape.  2)  Whoever lives where we're going has developed the ability to shoot fire from their fingertips.  If nothing else, it's a warning.

Then we get to the famous part, Ryan's speech. (Video is speech only)

The first part, about whether a man is entitled to the sweat of his own brow, is phrased in a way that we should say "YES!" We've done our share, we want our due.  But there is always something slightly out of tune.  Is he suggesting abandoning the poor, God, and everyone else and only focus on ourselves? Or is he saying that we should work on our own due?   However, it's all swept under the rug as we finally get to see the world of Rapture.

It's a beautiful place.  It's a working city under water!  But as Ryan keeps on talking, things turn slightly sinister. Specifically, the line "Where scientists are not bound by petty morality".  Please keep in mind that this speech was probably made right after WWII, when the horrors of Auschwitz were revealed.  By having something not be bound by "Petty Morality" scientists could do whatever they wanted.  While it could lead to amazing breakthroughs, the price could be too high. It would also allow for other experiments to go through, items like mind control, methods of genocide, and so on. With nothing to hold scientists, back, what would they pursue?  And how would the great not be constrained by the small?

But, we're not really listening.  We're too enraptured by the sights below.  We see whales, and someone in a diving suit sealing a tunnel, and there still is the fact that massive buildings are thriving here under the sea.  All of our previous worries are washed away by the scene. Then the sense of uneasiness returns. 

There is someone on the radio.  That's good, we know someone else is alive.  Two other people, actually.  They are discussing our arrival, apparently it's impossible that we should have arrived, the plane was destroyed and we are in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.  Well, that's fine, but then we hear a word. "Splicers".  We get no context, other then the non Irish guy should be quick since the Splicers are coming. As their conversation ends, a light goes out on the signs.  While the place feels a bit abandoned, we're under water.  It's natural that no one is around.  But the lights crackling out like that gives us back our sense of foreboding.  Coupled with the talk of "Splicers" we know it's not good.

Every ounce of assurance vanishes once we actually arrive in Rapture.  There is someone out there, someone who we heard on the radio.  And as we watch helplessly from behind the glass, the man is torn apart by hooks before that creature sets upon our ship.  Obviously, we know that whatever Rapture was SUPPOSED to be, has failed.  We don't know why, we don't know how, but there is at least one crazy hook handed person wandering around killing people.  Whoever it is is also deformed.  We could see lumps and bandages from the brief flashes of light.  Any suspicion of it being only one person vanishes when we hear Atlas talking about "Aiming to keep you alive"  there's still trouble out there.

As we exit, we can see placards on the ground. "Rapture is Dead"

While there is a lot to be said about the rest of the level, I'll just leave it here for now.  What do we know?

First, it's impressive.  Seriously, props to the programmers.  We have fish, squid, a whale, the outside of an entire city, and we are moving through it all.  It's only a few minutes but it's really impressive on a visual and technical level. 

Andrew Ryan is charismatic, intelligent, and selfish.  He has built and entire functioning city underwater, he has apparently convinced enough people to forsake everything up above to live underwater -if the fact they have built a waiting area and recorded an intro video for a bathysphere is anything to go by- and his speech is all about the serving of one's self.  It tastes a bit of a cult of personality, but only enough to unnerve the listener, not actually scare them away.

The city used to be well run.  Running a city is hard, running a city underwater is even harder.  The city is huge, is full of lights, and they are still up keeping the city, but it fell apart not due to outside forces, but inside ones.  Luggage and "Rapture is Dead" signs are not notes of an invasion, but rather of political controversy. We don't know what happened or who won, but just one crazy hook handed person can not be the sole cause for the city falling apart.  The person, probably a splicer, unnerves us but whatever else is out there is worse, or at least there is more of it.

We still go on, but we are stuck with the two dichotomies presented in the opening.  Yes, it looks amazing and it's impressive on a purely technical level, but the inside is completely rotten. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012



Okay, still here?   Great!

I've talked about DLC before.  When I did, I mentioned that SE had basically just found out DLC existed.  The previous DLC content (not including their MMO's) consisted of alternate costumes for Dissidia.  When Final Fantasy XIII-2 was announced, they also announced there would be some DLC for the game.

Alright, so the game is released, people unlock all the endings and.... it ends on a To Be Continued. I'll note that they did register a XIII-3 trademark a few months before the game was released, and they claimed it was to pre empt any filings, but it's easy to assume they were lying after that ending.  But there is one thing that really bugs me.

Like I said, they just found out about DLC.  Their first foray into DLC was in Dissidia 012. The DLC consisted of extra costumes and songs on top of their already expanded in game content. However, the newest costumes and songs were only available if you paid.  A large number was released in Japan, a lesser amount was brought over to the US (I don't know why, some of those would have been great! Look!)
And that is fair enough.  The original game only had 2 sets of costumes, default and alternate.  While it was annoying some of it was tied into preorders and so on over here (I only got KH Cloud, which is fine.  I love that outfit)  it was hard to get all of it before, and then SE just stopped bringing the costumes over even though they had already been made.

Then we get to XIII-2.  It ends on a complete cliffhanger, In fact, we see Lightning turn to Crystal on Valhalla, Serah dies, and it's all confusion (even more so for me since I haven't played the game, but I have heard about this)  Now, before the game was released they did talk a bit about DLC.  There would be costumes (Pre order based. I HATE those.) and then they talked about a Sazh episode.  Now, that makes sort of sense for me.  It would probably be a minor or pointless side story. Don't get me wrong, I love Sazh  I'm annoyed it wasn't in the full release, but it could have been cut but instead it's DLC.  Unless Sazh ended up actively involved with the plot and changed it due to him being there then DLC works.  It fills us in with some minor details, some fanservice, but won't cause alot of headaches if we miss it.  There is another DLC, the coliseum battles between Serah, Noel and various monsters so that you can catch the monsters and use them later.  Okay, I can see how that could be used. I would like to have it in there already, but it works.

It's the last piece of DLC that I've heard about that makes me mad.  LIGHTNING'S STORY is going to be DLC.  I don't know if it will cover her side of what happened in XIII-2 or it will be a continuation of the game, but that is a MAJOR part of the plot and it SHOULD have been put in the game.  Other games switch players around all the time. In fact, Final Fantasy has done it before!
So, why did this have to be DLC?  If it's a side story, it's probably going to explain a HECK of a lot.  If it's a continuation of the story, then that SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE FINAL RELEASE.   And then they're going to do it again with Theathrythm, it's getting some Day 1 DLC of songs that could probably have actually been on the cart. Unless they are giving it away for free, it's a complete rip off.

Game companies, clean up your act.  It's not just Square Enix who does this.

DLC can be a VERY wonderful thing, as long as you are NOT cutting things out of the actual release and/or restricting it only to people who buy it new.  I'm sure it brings in a lot of money now, but people are getting sick of it.  Sooner or later, that revenue stream will dry up, and people will stop buying the games.

Please, just give us the whole game. You may have to delay it, but I'd rather pay sixty for it later then pay 100 dollars in installments for something I'm not even sure I own.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Psychonauts 2 rumor

Psychonauts was one of THOSE games.  The ones that are brilliant, but get very few sales. 

People have wanted a Psychonauts sequel for a while.  There was a problem though...

The budget. To make Psychonauts, they needed a larger budget.  A budget they couldn't really muster by themselves. In a recent interview with DigitalSpy, Tim Schafer (the main man behind Psychonauts) said "So it is hard because fans often don't know how the business works, with the difference between a developer and a publisher, it's hard to explain that. "I'd love to do that game, but I'd have to convince someone to just give me a few million dollars, that's all."

Now, this is where Notch comes.  You see, he made this game called Minecraft
And in the process of making a game that revolves entirely on building things and surviving attacks, he proceeded to make a lot of money.  When he read that interview, he tweeted at Tim Schafer Okay, let's make Psychonauts 2 happen

So what happens now?

Actually, nothing.  The two are just discussing it right now.  Don't expect anything at all right now, but the fact that this is even on the table is nice.  In the meantime, go buy both!  Minecraft is very cheap and Psychonauts is on both Steam and GOG.com.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


So, I haven't talked about Skyrim before.  This is because it just didn't interest me.
It still doesn't.  But something else does!

Valve posted This today.

You're going to get the Space core as a companion!

I have no idea how that will work, since he can't really fight... but it's THE SPACE CORE!
(and he has new lines too!... though some are old)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Musical Monday - Gray Matter

Gray Matter was released in 2010/11 for the PC and the Xbox.  It's a point and click puzzle game that apparently had great atmosphere.  All I really know is this song is great.  I hope I can pick it up sometime so I can talk some more about it.  Enjoy!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


First: Happy Super Bowl day!

Second: I was replaying Apollo Justice when I was again struck by one of my favorite parts of the game:  The Sprites.
So, what are sprites?

Sprites are basically pictures.  Each picture is programmed to appear when doing certain things.  They all string together to create something in motion (much like hand drawn animation)

While this is neither better or worse then 3D animation used today, I happen to prefer Sprites.  They seem a bit more impressive to me.  While they may not visually wow, you do have to see how smooth and detailed they have become.  Let's look at the first Castlevania.

This is a sheet of Simon Belmont's movements from the first game:
And here he is in action:

The opening is impressive, especially for an NES.  Look at those backgrounds.

Now, let's look at the most recent sprite based entry:  Order of Ecclesia.
Here is a sheet for Shanoa:

It's much bigger, isn't it?  I want you to look specifically at her hair and her clothes.  The two constantly move when she's in motion... or when she's not.  She also has much more animated abilities.  Simon failing only has him on the floor.  With Shanoa, we get to see her knocked around and get back up.  Okay, let's actually watch her in motion.

See how much smoother she is then Simon?

I'm not denying that 3D has it's place, but there is something really special about Spriting. It just has this really special quality to it, and it's nice to see how far we've gone.  Do you like Spriting?

(I got the sprites from Spriters Resource Here  It's a useful tool, and just interesting to look at if you want to see all the detail that goes into spriting. Check it out!)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Something fun

Capcom understands one very important thing.

It's really important to make fun of yourself sometimes.

Yoshinori Ono (head of Capcom)  went to 1up offices. This was the result.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Deleted Content - Sly 2

It is prfoundly frustrating when you KNOW you have seen video of deleted content, but you can not find it.

Anyway, Sly 2 had deleted content.  For a while, there was to be a level that took place in Monaco.  At one point Bentley would have rammed a dock with a ship.

From what I remember, everything (except the PC character model and a few guards) was in the "Grayscale" stage. (It was just the basic buildings, nothing was colored or textured)   The area was very open and was not textured.  There were guards from interpol around.  There was some sort of director commentary over the stage too.  I think one of the guards was a cat of some sort.  There was a guardhouse on the docks. 

I really wish I could show it too you.  I wonder what would have happened in that level and why it was cut.  Any ideas?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Playstation Exclusive Characters in Street Fighter X Tekken

And then Megaman and Pacman sort of came out of nowhere.  While Capcom showed their sprites at the end of the first trailer, it was assumed this was more of a "Company" thing then any real teaser.  Cole had been announced around when the game was announced and the two cats recently won a poll in Japan.

So, why aren't there any Xbox characters?  It turns out that the developers simply ran out of time.  They were talking with Microsoft but "Differences in timing" kept them from picking a character.  Some of the options on the table were Marcus Fenix and Master Chief. 

(By the way: The reason why it's Box Art Megaman is because Capcom asked the main people involved with Megaman, Keiji Inafune, which Megaman he wanted for the game.  He suggested Box Art Megaman) 

Which Xbox  characters would you want to see in the game?  (Alan Wake anyone? Anyone?  I guess that's a no.)  Do you think they still have a chance as DLC?