Monday, March 26, 2012

Musical Monday -Main Theme (Beyond the Labrynth)

This Konami game has not been released in the west, but it looks rather interesting.  It involves taking a girl through a labrynth, but she can somehow interact with the player... that is you.  Not much is known right now, but it was released in Japan in January. I hope it does cove over, it looks interesting.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Theatrhythm confirmed for the west.

Final Fantasy is well known and respected for it's music.
Dissidia is a fighting game using the Final Fantasy heroes and villians

Earlier this month, Square Enix combined the two in a game called "Theatrhythm Final Fantasy"

And today it was announced to come to the west.

I'm really  excited.  I LOVE video game music, especially the Final Fantasy music.  After Elite Beat Agents, I'll give rhythm games a shot.  And LOCKE is in it.  VI and VII are my favorite FF's (I'm going to try to play all of them.)  Cyan is my favorite, but SE FINALLY gives VI some love.  (It and IX were the only non NES games kept from gaining extra characters.  VI has the largest cast in FF history.  They couldn't pick ONE person to add?  Especially weird since Locke was almost put in the original Dissidia instead of Terra.  But then they realized Cosmos needed some more girls  non sword users.)  Anyway, this is good news.  SE decided to localize, and it's the MUSIC.

Time to brush up on your latin!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two confirmed!

After months of speculation, the news have been leaked.
Epic Mickey 2 has been confirmed.

 (Trailer for the first game)

It is coming out for the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360. The trailer will debut tomorrow on GTTV.  More details available here.

Frank Welker is confirmed to voice Oswald.  He is a very well respected voice actor with a resume that goes back to 1969.  While he is most well known for making noises (in all seriousness, he was asked to come up with "a lobster sneezing" and he proceeded to do so)  both as stand alone and for characters such as Jimmy Neutron's Goddard and Aladdin's Abu,  but he can and has done "Speaking" roles. Most recently he was heard on Scooby Doo Mysteries Inc. as both Fred and Scooby Doo.  He has performed Fred since it's inception in 1969 and -according to IMDB- Scooby Doo since 2003. 

The one thing I'm not overly happy about is it on other systems.  There were a few complaints about the first game.  One of the complaints was "Since it's not on the PS3 and the Xbox -which has more power- it probably isn't a good game."  As you can see, that is a very large logical fallacy.  The game was originally going to be on JUST the Xbox and PS3, but Warren Spector mentioned that the Wii version would have to be a port from the ground up.  When he was told he could just do a Wii version, he was ecstatic and the rest is history.

So, your opinions?  What do you want to see? How do you think Frank Welker (Seriously, look at his IMDB page.  It's AMAZING.)  will do as Oswald?  Which movies will they cover?  How will they deal with the first game's multiple endings? 

edit: Here is the trailer!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How games end.

Still here? Great!

If you have been following gaming sites since Mass Effect 3 was released, you should have noticed something.  Namely, people are complaining about how no matter what you choose up to that point, Shephard blindly accepts 3 options and each have stock endings.
Admittedly, there are a few minor differences between the three endings, but all in all, they are the same.

However, I was thinking, if the choices were more limited -or the choices were generally acknowledged to have no effect on the endgame- would there still be the complaints?

Bioshock (and Bioshock 2) had several endings, but these all varied on your choices up to that point.
Unlike Mass Effect, these are your only choices in the game. In Mass Effect, almost every bit of the story depends on your choice and your reputation (Paragon, Renegade, etc)  In Bioshock, you can save or harvest Little Sisters.  That is the only time you are given a choice.  (One exception is granted for if/when you kill Sander Cohen, but that has no effect on the ending and it isn't set up as a choice like the Little Sisters are.)

In Bioshock 2, the Little Sister choice survives, but you are also given a choice on how to deal with many of the "Boss" characters.  You can kill or save people like Grace Holloway and Stanley Poole. They are not attacking you, but they have offended you or betrayed you.    If you choose to spare them that also has an effect on your ending.

When the ending does come around, Eleanor spells out why she is doing what she is doing, and names your treatment of the Little Sisters and people like Grace  as shaping her philosophy on life.  While the choices are limited, you do feel like they have some effect on the ending.

(2K has admitted to dropping the ball on the Bioshock1 ending by making it an "All or Nothing" type of ending, but the end result still applies.  Killing the Little Sisters gives you a worse ending then saving all of them.)

In Final Fantasy 7, you can make several (non gameplay) choices through out the game, but all of them are minor.

1) Your party when you enter certain areas.  The only thing you miss is character reactions.  They may give some additional backstory, but no matter what, the story still continues unchanged.

2) If/when you recruit Yuffie.  This only effects the availability of one side quest (possibly two. I don't know if the Turk sidequest is triggered if she is not in the party), her weapons, some late game materia (as prizes in the sidequests), character chatter, and she has a Gold Saucer date with Cloud.

3) If/when you recruit Vincent.  Except for the Gold Saucer date, his effects are the same as Yuffie's.

4) What you do during the flashback in Kalm.  When Cloud's party arrives in Kalm, he starts to narrate the story of how Nibelheim was destroyed.  This flashback is not mentioned again until Sephiroth starts to tear apart Cloud's psyche.  When he does so, Cloud lists what he did in Kalm.  Other then what is necessary for the plot (such as visiting the mansion)  everything else is dependent on choice.  (So, yes, Cloud can boast of stealing Tifa's bra.)  This flashback is only mentioned once again, but the choices in it are not mentioned. 

5) The second to last Sephiroth fight.  Like Bioshock, this is based on what you did previously.  Whether or not you recruited Yuffie and Vincent, what level you are at that point, if you picked up the strongest materia, how quickly you beat the final Jenova, and if everyone knows their final limits all influence which version of Bizarro Sephiroth you face.  The general idea is the same, but how you defeat him slightly varies.  (If you fulfill most of the requirements, he has more HP and he has a more complicated pattern to beating him.) This choice has the most effect on the ending, but it is still simply one of the final boss fights.  This does not effect the story in any way, nor does it effect the ending.

6) The Actual Golden Saucer date. Much like Bioshock, your date is picked based on how you treat the other characters during the game.  Unlike Bioshock, this has absolutely no effect on the ending.

As a result. there is only one ending.
No matter what you chose, no matter who is in your party, you get that ending.  (Admittedly, this is partly due to the fact that SE could not program the four endings that would be required to deal with Yuffie and Vincent, but the point remains.)

So, getting back to Mass Effect...

One of the main issues is that your choices through out the three games are completely abandoned when it comes to the ending.  (Other issues include the copy and paste ending, the lack of dialogue, and plot holes.)

If the game had made it clear your choices would not have effected the ending - such as Final Fantasy 7 - or shown how they effected the ending - such as Bioshock- would Mass Effect 3 still receive the complaints?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Musical Monday -Sweden 3 (Minecraft)

I'm pretty much the only person who hasn't played Minecraft yet. Looks quite interesting though.  When I get the chance (and my computer can handle it) I'll give it a try.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Character Analysis- Sofia Lamb

Please understand that like all I've done, this... is an act of love."

Sofia Lamb is the villain of Bioshock 2.  Much like Andrew Ryan, we never fight her.  Unlike Andrew Ryan, her death is entirely due to our choices in the game.  (See here for more information)

Sofia Lamb is never mentioned in Bioshock 1, but plays a large part in it's backstory. Before Rapture, she worked as a psychiatrist.  She grew up under her father, a physician who believed in a "Triage" philosophy.  Namely, things should be done for the greater good. Later on, she worked in Hiroshima as medical personnel during World War II.  While she survived the bombings, her friends did not.  Around this time Andrew Ryan came to her.  She believed the world was going to Hell and was in the process of destroyingitself, so she accepted his offer and joined him in Rapture.

In Rapture, she began to make a name for herself.  She offered free psychiatry sessions to the poor, intentionally lost poker games so the person with the most to gain got the money, and set up a place for artists to work.  While these would normally be good things, things quickly escalated due to the interference of Andrew Ryan.  Andrew Ryan believed that the harder you worked, the more you were rewarded.  If you had trouble financially, it was your fault and you should suffer for it.  In addition, he had no use for art.  Andrew Ryan arranged debates to weaken her position.  But in the increasingly stifling atmosphere of Rapture (due to Fontaine, the discovery of ADAM and it's side effects) Andrew Ryan instituted rules and methods that were increasingly draconian and betrayed his ideology.   During this time, she took genetic material and had a daughter.  
 (watch Eleanor's Progress, but the other videos do explain her ideology.)

Her supporters began to organize into a religion, and since religion was illegal in Rapture, Ryan arrested her.  He made evidence of her existence disappear, but the poor never forgot her.

In 1958, she escaped from the prison colony "Persephone" and used the confusion of the attack on Kashmir Restaurant to take back her daughter, Eleanor, who had turned into the first Little Sister.  To do that, she had splicers sacrifice themselves so that Delta would be hit by a "Hypnotize Big Daddy" plasmid.  She then ordered Delta to shoot herself in the head in front of Eleanor
Eleanor is taken back to Persephone and injected with ADAM so she can possess the entirety of Rapture in herself.  Everyone's thoughts, memories, powers, Lamb believed that her daughter was the "Utopian" who could possess everyone within her.  She would work only to help other people, she would be compelled to.

As Delta journeys through the game, he finds out things about Sofia Lamb.  She murders anyone who attempts to flee Rapture.  She uses both the Splicers, rogue Big Daddies, and Big Sisters as weapons.  As long as their ADAM is returned to the cycle, she does not care about what happens to them. She kidnapped Mark Meltzer and turned him into a Big Daddy.  She also kidnapped an unknown number of girls  to become new Little Sisters once the old ones grew up and became crazy.

In the end, she smothers Eleanor because she knows that will slowly kill Delta (therefore he will be unable to revive)  and then she detonates Persephone because she realized that she failed.

In the end of the game, Eleanor uses the freedom of choice that Delta gave her to either forgive Sofia, ignore her death, or actively murder her

What do we know?
1) She originally started out as a good person.  "The Greater Good" is something that has been desired for years.   She sincerely wanted to help people when she arrived in Rapture.  Her ideas were good, but Rapture sickness gets to everybody and she very quickly went to the absolute extremes

2) She's uncaring. All Mark Meltzer wanted was to be with his daughter.  All other people wanted was to escape.  She denied all of these.  She ordered Splicers to go on suicide missions to stop and/or control Delta. She turned Sinclair into an Alpha Big Daddy against his will.  She suffocated Eleanor Lamb.  She does not care about other people.

3) She does not care about choice.  What Bioshock 2 emphasizes throughout it's gameplay and story is the ability for people to choose their fate.  Mark Meltzer did not get much of a choice, but he still chose.  Sofia Lamb eliminates all major choice from life. Instead of asking if Eleanor wanted to be the utopian, she forced it on her.  

People often despise Sofia Lamb more then Andrew Ryan or Frank Fontaine. It's not due to  love of capitalism. Instead, it is the horror at how she twists something so good and turns herself into a villain.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Musical Monday - Ezio's Family (Assassin's Creed II)

Because of the new Assassin's Creed Trailer  I decided to focus on Ezio's Family this time.  I haven't played the Assassin's Creed games.  ( I have an issue with playing as a character who's life work is killing random people and historically significant people. I know they are just ones and zeroes, but I'm still uncomfortable) so... here is some music. 

I will say something good about the games though.  The Assassin's costumes are beautiful.