Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lego Marvel Heroes trailer!

It is a nice trailer, and Deadpool over there made me laugh.

So, now we start finding out about the roster, eh? 

I liked how Lego Batman did it, while the story included mostly Batman, Robin, and Superman, the rest of the Justice League appeared in the end and the other heroes could be found scattered throughout the world.  While it could get very frustrating, Traveler's Tales did NOT release the full roster.  Lois Lane, Black Canary, Alfred, and Captain Boomerang, (among others) were surprises.  If it's keeping with the DC system, there will be two packs of five characters of DLC. 

So, who do you want on the Roster?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Musical Monday: Lady Tears II (Shadow Hearts III: From the New World)

Another one of those games I really should play.  This is the final battle music.  It's discordant, and yet oddly triumphant. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

GOG FINALLY has Nancy Drew games!

When I was a lot younger, I used to play the Nancy Drew games, until I messed something up, I exploded, and that terrified me from coming back to play... until I decided to try again and found my data was saved on the computer and we had just replaced it.  (Sigh)

Fortunately, GOG has started to put the Nancy Drew games up on their website.  So far it's only "Curse of Blackmoor manor" but it's a start!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Deleted Content: Dissidia (Playable Cosmos and Aerith)

So, as time goes by for Final Fantasy's first real fighting game, people start looking into the code.  And, when you look into the code, you can find some interesting things.

Like Cosmos was going to be playable.

While there is no playable model, or even text, three in game portraits are assigned to her.  If they are ever summoned, they appear as darkened Zidane portraits, but the coding indicates the are actually Cosmos'.

And in the second game, Aerith has slightly more coding than you would expect.  She has outfit and weapon data and you can hack her to appear in quick battle, but the game will crash once the battle loads.   Admittedly, this may be necessary for her to be an assist, but it is interesting...

Who would you like to have seen in Dissidia? 

((I would like to have seen Final Fantasy VI's Cyan.))

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Exactly How Phoenix Wright worked in Marvel Vs Capcom 3

Phoenix Wright is from the visual novel series "Ace Attorney".  The most Phoenix has done in those games is a few errant punches, getting knocked out, breaking down an ancient and strong door, and falling from a burning bridge into a river that routinely kills people but he only emerges with a cold.

So, how does he work in a fighting game?

Well, they treat it like a court case.  At least for him. Phoenix searches for evidence, he talks his opponent to death, and can convict Galactus himself!  (As proving his client innocent in game means proving someone else guilty, it works for a defense lawyer.)

The end result is a very unique take.  It fits into the world, and it still marks Phoenix as not quite in sync. After all, in his world, battles are fought in court.

And they are AMAZING.

But, well, the other games aren't as legally focused.  The Marvel universe has a lot of fighting.  Ryu's from a fighting game, and then we have Zero who is a bounty hunter.  Oh, and Rocket Raccoon.
I'm not going to explain.

So, with the Capcom people being clever, and not using Franziska Von Karma (who uses a whip), they somehow made legal fighting work.  They use evidence to shatter the opponents Psyche and therefor win.

And, that, after all, is kind of what Ace Attorney is about.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My issue with Grey and Grey morality Open World RPG.

I have long had an issue with Grey and Grey morality games.  I was always generally frustrated that there was no "right" side.  In Skyrim, the best people are a group of blood thirsty assassins, in Demon Souls, power is drawn from the death of others, and Mass Effect is profoundly complicated.

I just never liked them. Why couldn't anyone just be good?

Then I read this article here.  And it all made sense.

You see, I'm Catholic.  And, as a Catholic, I believe there is no evil.  Instead, there is an absence of good.  ((Much like how there is no cold, there is an absence of heat.))   

What does this have to do with Gray and Gray morality games?

Well, it turns a game into a cop out. 

It's declaring that there is nothing good in the world.

(See Kefka's "Why must you build when it will be destroyed" speech)

It's saying that no matter what anyone does, no matter where anyone goes, no matter what face they put in front of the world, they are lying and are more than likely to be either obviously or subconsciously dangerous and evil.

This is not only a world I don't WANT to live in, it is a world I CAN NOT live in.  I can NOT believe that there is no one or nothing purely good.

And that is all that Gray and Gray morality presents.  Nothing can be purely good.  Either you join the league of assassins or deliberately become a serial killer in order to save the world. 

Now, please note I'm not saying I want everything to be utterly black and white.  I understand we as humans are not perfect.    We as humans try to succeed, and we fail.  Our White Knight can have some Knight Templar Tendencies;

Justice League Superman:
Justice Lord Superman:
Despite what some people at DC think, the story of Superman is about how someone so powerful, someone who could rule the world if he wished, decides to live as a normal human and use what he can for the greater good. Justice Lord is what happens when that man snaps and decides lobotomizing every type of criminal is the greater good.  The end result?  A society without crime and living entirely in fear. A man who complains about his order and refuses to pay because of his dissatisfaction is dragged off to be dealt with by Justice Lord Superman. 

And we can acknowledge that heroes can be good people, but not perfect and with something to work on in the future. After all, a literary hero with no faults can  be a bit bland. Part of the journey of a hero is watching them struggle against outer and inner demons in order to succeed.  And why shouldn't a villain have a happy childhood with a pet?  It humanizes them and makes them a bit more interesting to read about too.  What happened to make them like this? 

But when we consider each side to be something where there is no good or evil.  Where a great evil must be committed to accomplish a good and good can not be done without a little evil on a side.  Where whomever we admire will always be secretly and profoundly corrupted. Where any plea for something good will find it squandered in garbage. Where any villain will be found to be doing the right thing all along.  Where death and violence are the only ways to solve any problems. 

That is where I can not go.  And now I know why.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013

Why I love the character, Hershel Layton (Spoilers)

Hershel Layton is designed to be the perfect gentleman. This man is quiet, polite, respectful of everyone (especially ladies) and much prefers to use his brain to solve problems instead of his (canonically considerable) brawn.  His main job is an archaeology professor.  But at the slightest hint of his friends being in trouble or just something being dramatically impolite, Layton will drop what he can to help out.

And this is on top of his crappy backstory.  He thinks his best friend dies and it's his fault, the love of his life dies in his arms (and after that finds her in the future were he solves one more case with her and then she goes back to die)  He has someone chasing him for unknown reasons, Luke has to leave, and Emmy DOES NOT APPEAR in the chronologically later series.

And you know what?  This guy keeps on smiling, keeps on trucking, saves the world/city on a repeated basis, and rarely raises his voice.

He's a huge breath of fresh air.

We live in a world where some of our greatest Video Game heroes are testosterone fueled anti heroes full of piss and vigor.  They fight to get what they want, consider diplomacy a waste, and to save the world leave behind a swath of bodies.

This isn't Layton.  We KNOW Layton's an excellent fencer, but the few times we've seen him use it, it's to save his life and others without hurting the person attacking him.  He listens to everyone's problems and tries to solve them.
And through it, he's made some lasting changes.  He's saved villages (And the city of London), he's rescued people not only from others but from their own hate.  He's taken care of people who people have ignored. And, in turn, he asks for nothing.  When the day is over, he thanks the people, goes home, and drinks some tea.

We need Layton.  We need gentleman like this.We need characters who (if they were real) would sit down next to you, to let you cry into their shoulders, and as they console you, they help you up.  They do not judge, they only listen and help.  Someone who doesn't consider manners a weakness, instead the ability to care for everyone is a strength.  A game where you have a loving teacher, not an angry sociopath.  A character who's every celebration is for you as you rejoice in solving each brainteaser and when you fail they only offer help, but always just enough so you can solve the main part by yourself.

We need more Laytons.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

So, that Nintendo Direct....

... WOW.  Let's go over what went on.

The biggest thing?

This game has been long sought after.  The quirky SNES game was released earlier this year or last year in Japan on their Wii U virtual console, but possible legal issues kept this game from America... for now.

Anyway, it's coming out, but there is no word on what has or will be changed for the legal US release. 

The Oracle series from The Legend of Zelda will also arrive in the US for the first time.  While the originals were available separately on the Gameboy Color (I actually almost beat Oracle of Seasons, I got stuck on the final boss, and I made it about half way through Oracle of Ages at one point)  this time the two will be linked together, getting rid of the password system the original used.

Speaking of that,
Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 2 is coming to the 3DS!  I never played the first, but it should be available on the 3DS VC.  Or the Wii VC.  Either way, I should play it soon.  Did you ever play it?

Level 5 is releasing 4 games.  So far, no word on Phoenix Wright vs Professor Layton (BRING IT OVER PLEASE!!!!)  but Guild 02, among others, will arrive in the US.  As will the LAST Professor Layton game ever. (barring Wright vs Layton)    I don't know if I can handle that.  I'll miss that gentleman.
((I believe I read it will be released in the US Next year, so we will have hope!))

SMT 4 also has a release date
((The function on this blog is keeping me from finding the English trailer)  It comes out July 16th.

A lot of people are excited about this one:
Most people thought this game would go the way of Type-0
Where despite it's heavy lauds in Japan, it wouldn't come over here.  Happily, Square Enix proved everyone wrong and we'll receive it soon... in 2014.  It's kind of a sequel to Four Heroes of Light so pick that up if you haven't already.

On the Mario side of things, there is a new Yoshi's Island, Super Luigi U DLC (to continue the Year of Luigi), and Mario and Luigi: Dream Team is coming to the US and Europe.

There where others, but these are the ones I'm most excited about.  (Though I am debating on Animal Crossing, I've never played one before.)

1) FREAKING EARTHBOUND, THE HOLY GRAIL OF VIRTUAL CONSOLE GAMES, WILL BE AVAILABLE.  We'll see what and how much gets changed, but this should be great.

2) I adore Legend of Zelda games.  This should be a lot of fun.  The game has a simple formula, but it's very concise, the worlds are fleshed out, and it always works. 

3) The Professor Layton games are great challenges, but more importantly we grow to care about each of these characters.  Plus, in a world of violent anti heroes, to have such a gentleman like Hershel Layton and his apprentice, Luke Triton, is so refreshing.

4)  While I have played one SMT game (Devil Survivor 1... I still haven't beaten it)  I know a lot of people are interested and I DO want to give it a try.

5) Bravely Default is a Square Enix RPG... I'm a total sucker for those games. 

6) I'm most excited from Dream Team.  It focuses quite a bit on Luigi and it's an RPG. 

So, all in all, a very successful Nintendo Direct conference. 

What did you like the most?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Elizabeth and Booker's relationship and how other relationships need to be re evaluated. (Major Spoilers)

Elizabeth Colmstock is actually Anna, Booker's daughter.  However, we don't find that out (conclusively) until the last few minutes of the game. 

While it does provide a wonderful and interesting dynamic, especially considering their age and how they react to eachother for the first time, the game never provided any large romantic hints for each other. 
(Yeah, this never happened in game)

And when the game dropped the reveal,  some people were happy.  Others felt disgusted.  They had grown quite fond of the two as a couple and father/daughter pairings are generally agreed to not be a good thing.  Other people just said screw it and continued to think of them as a couple. 

However, the problem lies in the assumption.  If you have a male and female character together people are often to assume that the two are to be romantically linked unless they are early on announced as family.  

This is something we need to change.  (And we need more mother and daughter/son games but that is a different story) 

Platonic loving relationships (also known a Zucchini's, QPP, or Queer Platonic Partner) need to be more of a thing.  There is a glorious beauty in relationships that offer companionship without any romance.  They are also just as valid.

Let me direct you to Elementary.
Elementary charts the evolving relationship between a Sherlock Holmes and a (female) Joan Watson.  The creators have said, repeatedly, that the relationship will stay platonic, and as a result the series is an incredible breath of fresh air.  The two share a house, Joan has changed in the room with Sherlock (undercovers with his back turned for her privacy)  and the two argue over chores.  It could be romantic, but it's incredibly platonic and very sweet.  There are no kisses, some rare hugs, and a lot of calling eachother out on Sherlock's problematic behaviors and Joan's level of deduction (Both of which are improving.  Sherlock is behaving better and Joan is deducing more)  and we are never doubting how they care for each other.

Games need more of that.  We need to talk to characters without wanting romantic outcomes.  NieR has every one of his companions in love with him.  (Seriously, Emil is canonically Gay, Kaine is in love with him, and  Yonah is either his sister or his daughter depending on the version)  Cloud gets every girl (and Barrett) on a date with him.  Jack and Doctor Tenenbaum are not friends, just allies.  Rudy falls in love with Princess Cecilia.  The Kingdom Hearts trios are... complicated.

This turns relationships that could be complex one dimensional.  Romantic attachment leads only to an attempt at marriage or sex down the line.  When we view a relationship in only romantic or familial terms, we strip it of any extra nuances, or deny that a love can exist between friends.  These extra nuances are what make someone more fleshed out.  These relationships are NOT there because they because they "Have" to (I.E. family)  or out of hope or knowledge of some sort of payment (Romantic love)  these people are doing this because they want too. They are doing this out of love with no expectation of anything back.  And, this is happening on both sides.  Neither the boy nor the girl expect any sort of romantic repayment or familial devotion.  They are doing it because they have something in common and like each other in such a way all they want is this companionship. 

Think of what the writers can do with that!  At what point could it become too much?  Could one support the other at home or separated?  Would one die for the other?  There are so many untalked about subtleties in this kind of relationship.  How would Final Fantasy be different if the Tifa/Cloud/Aerith relationship didn't exist?  If Yonah was NieR's friend, not his sister or daughter? If Tenenbaum and Jack got to know each other better and decided to help each other for the relationship's own sake? (And not because of what Atlus could do to Rapture and the surface world) 

We need more of this kind of relationship.  We need to show how much love and trust can go into a non romantic relationship.  Dipper breaks up with an abusive boyfriend for Mabel, and Mabel saves Dipper when the abusive boyfriend fights back.  Joan knows enough to know that she MUST stick around when he's in danger of relapsing even when she's no longer employed as a sober companion, Sherlock knows parental approval for her Sobriety Companion career is important to her so he talks up her skills and results at a dinner with her parents. 

And Booker and Elizabeth? Well, he took down an entire civilization just to say her. She in turn went back to a place that was worse than death, sacrifices her sanity and a version of her existence to keep him alive and to fix it. It's because they are friends, partners, and it isn't until AFTER they are revealed to be family.  Not because of romantic love.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Game Design: Lego Racers

This is a basic Kart racer.  However, it has a really nice twist on a basic Kart system to make this game unique.  Well, two.

One is the short cuts you see in the videos.  The second is that the white bricks upgrade any of the effects.  the colored block is the basic move (shield, speed, outright attack, delayed attack) and each white brick upgrades the attack.  Shields get more powerful, you eventually can teleport ahead of the other racers by a significant amount, attacks get more powerful, and you can mess with another racer's driving system. 

This is actually a nice twist on the game.  You must plan ahead, but it's a bit of a gamble.  Either the attack will be weak or you can use it immediately, or you can save up to get a game breaker, but it might not happen until late in the race, and too late. 

It's a very nice touch, that I wish I  could see in more Kart racers.  I'm actually not sure if it was in it's sequel...

Friday, April 12, 2013

Deleted Content: Aerith (Final Fantasy 7) (Spoilers)

So, Aerith Dies.  We know that. 

However, Aerith has unique text and animations post death (for example, after the snowboarding ride), and then there's the Sephiroth glove/Aerith's postion controversy...

Long story short, for such a critical scene, it was sloppily animated.
Which is why some people think, it was actually later.

See, there is this background scene in the game's code.

If you access it with a cheating device, there are no character models, no pathways to walk on, no dialogue but there IS Aerith's theme, which plays at her death.  (With that being said, a small part of it is used briefly by the game during the Northern Cave sequence, and the Northern Cave sequence uses a similar background)

So, using the deleted dialogue, the death sloppiness, and the scene, some people think her death was actually supposed to happen early in Disk 2 rather than disk one.

It would also explain why Sephiroth kills her by jumping down.  If you think about it, there are other ways for him to kill her, this doesn't make as much sense.

However, in this scene, Sephiroth is sleeping/dead in the Materia in the tree root on top of the image.  (this is in the official scene too)
((Also, not sure why this is different from the final image, but I didn't pay that much attention to the background)) 

Sephiroth wakes up after Cloud gives him the materia
and then Cloud and Tifa fall into the Lifestream. 

But, if Aerith's death WAS supposed to happen in disk 2 (as her unique dialogue hints)  then when Sephiroth woke up, he would have jumped down to kill her.  It might fix the gloves/no gloves controversy and would give an explanation for why he chose that method to kill her instead of something a bit more normal... like stabbing her in the chest. 

As it stands, this is all mostly speculation, yes talked about in the FF7citadel, but it is something to think about.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thoughts on Bioshock Infinite (VERY SPOILERY)

So, I finished the game.  I semi rushed through it.  (Basically, I kept a list nearby that had all the audiodiary and other background info locations.  That way I wouldn't really have to search.)  And... Because of a mindscrewy ending, I'm still digesting it.  ((I'm also trying to figure out if it makes less or more sense then the idea of Timetravel in Kingdom Hearts.  The only time Time Travel really works is in Doctor Who... and Back to the Future.))

Anyway,  the big twist in the end is Colmstock IS Booker from an alternate time line, and Elizabeth is actually Anna, his daughter, which he kind of sold.  Also, Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite are "What If's" of eachother and there will ALWAYS be "A man, a city, and a lighthouse." 

Part of the reason why I love Bioshock 1 is how much we learn about the city.  There are 127 Audio Diaries.  These Diaries, when not found in random boxes, are often linked to one another, the city, and are found next to the people's corpses or in significant areas.  (In most circumstances.)  While the focus of Bioshock Infinite shifted from the city to the people, they never felt as connected.  All the dimension hopping left several questions unanswered, (and made a few things more confusing)  And yet it still feels brilliant.

The city is not the focus, I get that, but in Bioshock we connected to the city through the people. Through the audio diaries.  Through exploring homes.

Which, that's actually my main issue with Infinite.  Our inability to explore.  Many of the shops were blocked, the differences between the universes were not explored (Seriously, I want to find out a bit more about the old universes and what happened?  What about Earth1 Daisy?)  I'm not saying the universe had to lack gravity but... we never really found out the differences.  And, I wanted to do that. I wanted to look more into each store, how would they differ?  In Bioshock 1 we got to visit many stores, and they were drastically different.  There were a lot of stores, and they could be different, but those were only in a few levels.

((That being said, Finktown and Lutece Labs/Memorial Gardens was glorious.  But I wish other areas got that much detail))

So, in the end, my main issue was the lack of background detail.  It didn't help that battles were set up to move you along instead of letting you evaluate things.  The battles rushed you through when I wanted to explore.  I was almost livid when a Mandatory Finkton fight kept me from listening to everyone talking.  I actually RESET so I could hear what people said.  It was fascinating.  And I did NOT need fights all the way through the levels.

Yes, Bioshock did regularly spawn enemies, but as long as you did the initial clear out, you were usually okay.  There were a lot of flagged enemy encounters and it was...distracting.  I could not look at the lack of detail when I was in a firefight.  The firefights had much more enemies then a Bioshock fight and, as a result, I was just tired and wanted to move on when I was finished, rather than interested in exploring. 

In addition, the Vox Populi threads were dropped.  Yes, there was no more reason (and I understand that)  But they never really dove into how it got started.  We have the fact the founders are gigantic racists and Daisy was wrongly accused of murder, but other than that, we have nothing.  I want to know more, I want to know about her lieutenants, I want to know how Daisy Prime would react compared to Daisy world 3, What happened in World 2 before and after you left? 

We don't know.  And this is prime world building areas. 

While I honestly liked the game, I feel like we were cheated out of some of it.  We were cheated out of what made Columbia, Columbia.  We don't know more of the ins and outs.  We don't know of the random friendships, complaints about the Sander Cohen characters for stealing apprentices, we follow a female soldier throughout the game through the audio diaries, and then she just disappears!

We don't have all those little and random bits and pieces of locations and character knowledge that make the first game so wonderful. The game is still great, but it's one step short of amazing.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Localization: Sora in Kingdom Hearts (later Hallow Bastion visit)

So, bowing in the Japanese Culture has a lot of meaning.  The angle, how long you do it, the rank of the person, it all denotes different things.

Actually, Sony got into trouble after the PSN Hacking scandal because they did not bow for a full minute. ((And I can't find that now.  Here, have some info on bowing: it's a good primer))

Okay, now that that is out of the way... this should give you some idea on Sora's bow.

While English has "Grovel like a dog" or somewhat similar in our vocabulary, it does not do justice to this scene.  Due to the length and the position of him being on his hands and knees, Sora is putting himself so below Saix  he has effectively declared Saix to be his master.  He has (Possibly figuratively) Given up his freedom to be with Kairi. 

That has no English connotation.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Feminism and Lego Marvel Super Heroes

So I just found this trailer today (which is why the post is late) and I AM looking forward to the game,  But, well, I have a problem.

There are a total of seven characters shown in the trailer.  Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-man, Sandman, Abomination, Fury, and Coulson (Who does not sound like Clark Gregg, which is odd)

And there are no girls in it. 

Maria Hill could have taken Coulson's role there (Possibly, Sharon Carter is another.)  Spider-man may have  more of a mainstream draw then Jessie/Spider-woman but she could have shown up.  Pepper has the alternate identity as "Rescue" And she focuses on clean up and saving random citizens, why couldn't she be in the background?  (Please note that when she got her armor, she insisted on no weapons of any sort.  So, I understand why she's not in a pure "Gameplay" trailer.) And no hints of Amora watching?  Then there's Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers who currently has her own run on the comics, is leading the Avengers, and has gotten praise from everyone for her story, the writing, her character, and her costume.  Not to mention Black Widow was one of the first characters announced. 
I know Wolverine, Thor, and Deadpool didn't show up either, but the Marvel Comics do have a lot of popular female heroes.  Why couldn't any show up?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Musical Monday: Kolima Forest (Golden Sun)

This is another game I have to beat.  Seriously, the last dungeon is incredibly confusing but the game itself is really good.  It's a great JRPG that has all of the basic forms but is drastically different from Final Fantasy and WildARMS.  (I need to talk more about this and WildARMS though...)

Enjoy just one of the great pieces of music. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Game Design: The Evolution of Elizabeth's powers

When a game has as long of a development cycle for Elizabeth, we can see how she evolves.  From
To This:
To the end result, this:
In addition, We also watch her evolve with her powers.

She started off as telekinesis:
then she grows more powerful by creating things out of thin air:
Later on, they introduce the tear idea,  but have it include allies and the horse scene.  (Neither of which happen in game)
And then her in the final game, where tears are to an alternate reality, but are in black and white. (No gameplay due to spoilers)

It's interesting to see how much has changed.  The tears are a nice touch, and help make the game more interesting.  The telekinesis version probably comes from the "Techie vs luddites" version of the game which was scrapped for not being interesting enough.  It is an interesting idea, but I'm not sure you can extend the idea throughout the game.  You could put in elements of notoriously depressing Cyberpunk, but there shouldn't have been much in 1912 US. 

The tears themselves are more interesting.  While they accomplish the same fact as the "Creation from their air" Aspect of Elizabeth's powers, it instead gives her a distinct otherwordly (Literally) quality.  Especially because not everything from Columbia that exists in that world is from that world. It also turns her from a "Mysterious Waif" (think Namine from Kingdom Hearts) to a expertly limited powerhouse.  Instead of explaining why Elizabeth can't summon thunderclouds each time you get into a fight,   they basically just say "She's accessing an alternate reality where there was a water puddle there and nothing else."  Which does make more sense, especially with a comment early on where she explains most realities she looks into are the same as our own, with very minor exceptions.  (One example she gives is the cup has coffee instead of tea.)

Some of the realities do lead to interesting complications.  (for example, a plot important building has a freight hook in it in an alternate reality.  It could be in a different place, or the building may not exist.)  but the idea gives a definite shape, control, and limit to her powers and prevents excessive wondering about why things aren't there and keeps the game from breaking wide open.

 (In all seriousness,  if you could access a reality where you could summon Subject Delta, Eleanor Lamb, and Jack Ryan at the same time, you would.  The game would have to come up with an idea why you couldn't and... yeah.)

So, as I head off to finish the game and deal with, er, the subtle and excessive foreshadowing.  (Seriously, I checked the Bioshock Wiki on what I thought was a minor character only to read a rather spoilery sentence.  ugh.)  I leave you with watching how our  Elizabeth grew up. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Lucas Arts closed yesterday.

Let's have a moment of Silence for the creators of some of the best Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and point and click games ever.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Today's post: Upcoming plans

A job, a cold, and Bioshock Infinite have kept me from doing a proper post today, but no worries!

Here are my upcoming plans.  This will take place over time.

1)  Finish Bioshock Infinite.  At the very least before I deliberately spoil myself.  (Hooray Red Box! And Adorable Elizabeth!)

2)  Buy Silent Hill off of the PSN.  Survival Horror isn't my genre, but I'll give it a try and then I have something new and interesting to talk about!

3) If that works, buy Resident Evil off of the PSN.  (same as above)

4) Get Metal Gear Solid anyway (Yes, I will have many things to talk about)

5)  Get... quite a few games from the 3DS Virtual Console.  I know I have some "Wiiware" games, some Kirby, some Legend of Zelda, and a few others on my wish list.

6) at some point, get more 3DS proper games. 

So, with that (and a job to actually do it!) set up, I hope to be able to talk more in the upcoming months.  I also need to actually beat FF7 (Stupid Sephiroth saving glitch), Legend of Zelda spirit tracks (I'm having trouble in the final train section)  Final Fantasy 4 (Yeah, this one is my fault, I think.)  And a few others.  So, I have stuff lined up, mostly.

In the mean time, here is some OCremix from Silent Hill.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Game Design: Luigi's Mansion

I would like to tell you something.

I LOVE Haunted Mansion and Phantom Manor.  The sights, the sounds, the scares that can get you year after year...  Admittedly, Disney does refresh the rides (For example, track Madam Leota when she appeared to the most recent update.  She hovers now!)

Anyway, getting back on point.  The reason why the ride still works is because the scares are classics.  They always have enough punch to get you each time, you feel happily unnerved at the end,  and even when they repeat you still enjoy it.

That's how Luigi's Mansion works.  (Ignoring the several parallels and nods to the mansion itself.  Yes, Japan has a Haunted Mansion, it's the same as the Disneyworld one)   The scares are built to creep you out and to repeat.   It has it's jump scares, the dancing ghosts, the ones which only appear when you face away, and those twins.  Those creepy twins.

Actually, it may be because it's inspired BY the Haunted Mansion.

(the Japanase and Walt Disney World are virtually identical.  The main difference is that the Ghost Host speaks in Japanese instead of English.)

One of the most obvious links is Madam Claravoya to Madam Leota.  Aside from their name, they are both Crystal ball hoisting Gypsies.  More importantly, they are the first obvious and friendly ghost in each mansion.  Madam Claravoya wants to help you.  She offers to help and does not struggle after she finds Mario for you.  (Okay, she struggles a little.)  Madam Leota is the first ghost to appear in The Haunted Mansion.  Everything up to this point has been effects in the environment.  She is the first to actually appear as a ghost, and she does not harm you.  Instead, she kicks off the party!

Next up is the eternal debate... the hanging Luigi glitch.
Simply stated, the debate is over if Luigi's Shadow is intended to appear like that, or if it's a simple glitch.  If it's a glitch, it would explain the E rating when that shouldn't really be E.  However, it's noticeable and has turned up in almost every copy.  Anyway, if we assume hanging Luigi is canon (and I did when I first saw it)  It would draw correlations to the Ghost Host.  He appears in the opening as a hanging body (this is late game though) Also appears in a lightning flash, and hints that suicide is the only real way to escape the mansion.  The Boos could be threatening Luigi this is the only way for him to escape.

Once you hit the ballroom in the Mansion, you find the dancing ghosts where women lead the men.  This happens in a ballroom.  The same happens in Luigi's Mansion, a pair of dancing ghosts are found in a ballroom. 

Our first bit of in game weirdness is the talking paintings that threaten you.  One of the first things you see in the Mansion is Gracey's portrait changing and then the room with the stretching portraits.  (though the Host narrates there, where the talking paintings take over the Host's duties.)

And then there is a piano player in the conservatory.  Okay, that would be generally assumed, but she's playing a very famous Mario song in a Mario game on a piano.
In the Haunted Mansion, we have an pianist whom we can't see in the conservatory and a organist in the ballroom which we can see.  Both are playing versions of the Haunted Mansion theme. 

Admittedly, there are some more iffy proofs, such as Luigi being the only mortal in the graveyard, and how there may be a pet cemetary in both,  and there's NO Bride character in Luigi's Mansion while she's one of the most adapted one in the Haunted Mansion. (We have "Emily" of the beating Heart and Candle, "Melanie" from Phantom Manor, "Priscilla" who was the first one, Elizabeth from the movie and most recently Constance Hatchaway the Black Widow Bride) 

But, enough is there to make you wonder....

Monday, April 1, 2013

Musical Monday: Ducktales

I was torn.  Today's April Fools day, and I was NOT going to fall for something like  last time. (In my defense, part of the proof was that not the normal translator "Translated" the page.  I do not go to that site, so I didn't know it.)  So, I'm just going to post.my own thing.  But, should I prank the music or do it honestly?

I did Ducktales' main theme because it's good and it's licensed, not what I normally do for Musical Monday.

So, sing along, especially as the game is coming back.