Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Break! Ah!

Hey Guys!

Sorry for the lack of updates lately. Read my last post to know why!

Today is the first day of Thanksgiving break at my school. As I've got a desktop, that means no internet for me until I get back to uni. So, Have a Happy Thanksgiving for me, and play some games with your family!

Love!
~Zeph

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A whole week!

Hey guys!

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately. I'm still behind on my schoolwork! And I will be until I graduate! Ahh!

But alas. It's Saturday, and I intend to get another retro game post up soon. I was asked to do a popular game series by a friend of mine (<3) and I think everyone here will enjoy it. ^_^

So, look forward to that, and as always, thank you guys for reading!

<3!
~Zeph

Saturday, November 13, 2010

On the Horizon: Nintendo 3DS

Hey everyone!

Today I'm pointing out something that everyone, literally everyone should be excited about. The 3DS. For those of you not in the know, the 3DS is the 4th iteration of the Nintendo handheld, the DS. However, instead of being a mere upgrade to the platform, the 3DS revolutionizes the way games will be played. As the name implies, the system features 3-D features. And before you get angsty about having to wear 3-D glasses, stop, because you don't need 3-D glasses to see 3-D on this handheld. Yes, the 3DS features full Autostereoscopy, or in layman's terms, it sends a different image to each eye to produce a proper illusion of 3-D viewing.

There it is. I think the biggest, most obvious upgrade is the analog thumbstick on the left. Also, notice that top screen. It's a bit wider than the bottom screen, most likely to account for the additional 3D effects. Another nice new feature that accommodates this new 3D screen is the 3D slider, seen at the right part of the top screen. That'll adjust how powerful the 3D effects are on the fly, so you can adjust how far away your eyes are to the screen without losing quality. The power button seems to be in a nice spot, but I wish Start / Select were back above the ABXY buttons. All in all, this looks to be a pretty nice system.

However, the most exciting thing about any video game system are the titles lined up for it. Have a look!

Activision 
  • DJ Hero 3D
AQ Interactive
  • Cubic ninja
Atlus
  • Shin Megami Tensei
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor
Capcom
  • Resident Evil Revelations
  • Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition (name not final)
EA
  • EA FIFA Soccer
  • Madden NFL
  • The Sims 3
Gameloft
  • Asphalt DS
Harmonix
  • Music Game
Hudson Soft
  • Bomberman franchise
  • Deca Sports franchise
  • Kororinpa franchise
Konami
  • Baseball franchise
  • Contra franchise
  • Frogger franchise
  • Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D "The Naked Sample"
  • Pro Evolution Soccer franchise / Winning Eleven franchise
Level-5
  • Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle (name not final)
Majesco Entertainment
  • BloodRayne: The Shroud
  • A Boy and His Blob
  • Face Racers: Photo Finish
  • Lion's Pride: Adventures on the Serengeti
  • Martha Stewart
  • WonderWorld Amusement Park
Marvelous
  • Bokujyoumonogatari (Harvest Moon) 3D (name not final)
Namco
  • Dragon Ball franchise (name not final)
  • Gundam franchise (name not final)
  • PAC-MAN & GALAGA (name not final)
  • Ridge Racer (name not final)
  • Super Robot franchise (name not final)
Nintendo
  • Animal Crossing
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising
  • Mario Kart
  • nintendogs + cats
  • Paper Mario
  • PilotWings Resort
  • Star Fox 64 3D
  • Steel Diver
Rocket
  • Crash-City GP
  • VS-robo
Sega
  • Sonic (name not final)
  • Super Monkey Ball (name not final)
Square Enix
  • CODENAME: Chocobo Racing
  • 3D Dragon Quest franchise
  • Final Fantasy franchise
  • Kingdom Hearts franchise
Take-Two Interactive
  • Carnival Games franchise
Tecmo Koei
  • Dead or Alive 3D (name not final)
  • Dynasty Warriors (name not final)
  • Ninja Gaiden (name not final)
  • Samurai Warriors 3D (name not final)
TOMY
  • Lovely Lisa 3D
  • Naruto Shippuden Action
THQ
  • de Blob 2
  • Kung Fu Panda
  • Kaboom of Doom
  • Marvel Super Hero Squad
  • Infinity Gauntlet
  • The Penguins of Madagascar
  • Puss N Boots
  • Saints Row: Drive-By
Ubisoft
  • Assassin's Creed: Lost Legacy
  • Battle of Giants: Dinosaur Strike
  • Driver Renegade Hollywood 61 (name not final)
  • Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon
  • Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory
Warner Bros
  • Batman franchise
  • LEGO franchise

Holy crap. I'd buy this for Nintendo's lineup ALONE. I'm not in love with a recycled Zelda game, but alas, that's what Skyward Sword is for. 

Based on that tentative list, what games are you guys excited for? Do you think the 3D will work out, or flop? Are you gonna go out and buy one of these launch day?

Sorry for taking so long to post, school's been gettin me down! But I'm okay now. ^_^

As always, thanks for reading!
~Zeph

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New post later tonight!

Hey guys!

I just wanted to let you all know I intend on posting later tonight about the upcoming handheld from Nintendo, the 3DS! So look forward to it!

Love,
~Zeph

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Retro Gaming: Puggsy

Surprise! Another retro gaming post! This time about a Sega gem that for most people went under the radar. I refer to Puggsy. Take a look at this guy.

This is Puggsy.

The story of Puggsy is pretty straightforward. He lands his spaceship on "The Planet" (which looks remarkably like Earth) and as he's out exploring, his ship is stolen by the raccoon natives. Puggsy sets out to follow them and get his ship back so he can return home! The game starts out on a beach, but goes on to explore some pyramids, a town, the forest, the mines, even Aztec ruins. The style of Puggsy is a platformer with puzzle qualities. Puggsy must often carry an item from one area to another to solve a puzzle, be it as simple as a key to a lock, or as strange as throwing rubber ducks in a vaporizer... Lol.

Again, Puggsy sets itself apart from most other games in its age due to a unique physics-based engine. When I say "carry" I mean it! Puggsy picks up the items and they occupy both of his hands. Some levels require delicate stacking of items to climb an otherwise insurmountable cliff, or throwing coins in a slot at just the right angle. There are times where you can easily just mess around and throw items in all different directions, and it's a lot of fun~

Again, a good game wouldn't be complete without good music. Maybe I'm just nostalgia-ing here, but I think this is really well composed music. Have a listen~



Another cool thing about Puggsy is the boss fights. Yes, they can be horribly easy, but they still are a lot of fun. One of them has you headbutt a dragon in the chin. Scary stuff. Lol. And the final fight is definitely a challenge!

But the most challenge comes from the puzzles. Check out the physics engine in action along with one of the harder puzzles in the game. This guy makes it look easy, but believe me, this can be the most frustrating stage ever. Plus, listen to more of that sweet music~


Fun, no?

Ah Puggsy. In the credits a Puggsy II is promised, but it never comes to fruition. Maybe someday Psygnosis, eh?

Thanks for reading! Have any of you guys heard of Puggsy, even?
~Zeph

Monday, November 8, 2010

Another content update!

Hey everyone,

As a new blogger, I'm just getting the ropes of how to make good posts that people want to read. I think the best way I can build a relationship with my audience is to make a promise to you guys and then keep it! So, I'm gonna start with something that I know I can manage at first, and work my way up.

First, I promise I'll do at least one retro game review a week. I know that's not much, so I'll probably up it in the near future, assuming school doesn't get to be too much.

Second, I'd like to have a day where I just post whatever I feel like it. Movies, awesome moments that happen while playing games with my friends, an animé that I watch or just how my schooling is going. So look forward to that in the near future!

Thirdly, if any of you guys use Steam I'd be stoked to play a game of Left 4 Dead 2 or play on Borderlands with you guys! Just leave a comment with your steam name or email me (mastermaje@gmail.com)! I've also got StarCraft 2, but it doesn't work across the school network. ;(

Thanks for reading! I <3 you all~
Zeph

Call of Duty: Black Ops comes out tomorrow!

Hey guys! Today is Monday November 8th, and Call of Duty Black Ops is set to release in just 11 hours from right now! Black Ops is slated to address most, if not all the issues from MW2, and be just damn awesome. Something interesting that I've noticed is that MW2 is still the 2nd most popular game on Steam right now, with Counterstrike being the only one with more games going at the moment.



My friend Thomasheen has a few good posts about Black Ops you guys should check out~

How many of you are gonna pick this up on opening day, and for what system? Are you guys optimistic it'll fix the issues from MW2?

As always, thanks for reading!
~Zeph

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Super Mario RPG: The Legend of the Seven Stars

I figured I'd start off the new format with one of my favorite games of all time. I refer to, of course, Super Mario RPG: The Legend of the Seven Stars. Released in North America on May 13th of 1996, SMRPG was the result of a collaboration between Square (now Square-Enix, the same company who produces the legendary Final Fantasy series) and Nintendo. The game is primarily an RPG as the title implies, but also contains elements of adventure and platforming. The battle system is turn based, with the inclusion of "Timed Hits."

Gamers in the PAL regions (read: Europe and Australia) would not be able to play this game without importing until released on the Wii's virtual console a whole 12 years later.

Box Art for SMRPG.

What kept this game under the radar for a lot of gamers is that it was released less than half a year before the N64 came out. This pattern will continue for other Super Mario RPG games (see: Paper Mario).

The story is tragically familiar. Princess Peach is off, alone, picking flowers, when Bowser swoops down from the sky and picks her up. Mario pursues Bowser to his castle. The game starts off at said castle, which proves to be a tutorial area. At the conclusion, Bowser is defeated and Mario grabs for the Princess...

And that's when the shit hits the fan. A giant claymore named Exor pierces the clouds, sending 7 stars flying in different directions, and impales itself in Bowser's castle, scattering the three inhabitants across the mushroom kingdom. Mario lands in his house nearby, and goes back to the castle, but the claymore destroys the bridge, leaving Mario stuck across the valley. This is where the story really begins. Mario speaks to the Toad Chancellor, who suggests he go and speak to "Frogfucious" for advice, who's name is as hilarious as his character is. Mario bumps into Mallow, a cloud spirit who believes himself to be a tadpole and disciple of Frogfucious, and they venture off together...

Eventually, Mario meets Geno, one of the coolest characters ever. Geno explains that he has been sent from the heavens to help repair Star Road, the remnants thereof are the colored stars scattered across the land. Each of these protagonists (and two others, who I won't name!) join Mario under the common goal of defeating Exor and collecting the pieces of the Star Road (and of course, saving the missing princess!)

This is Geno. He's made of wood and stars!

What sets the game apart from the generic RPGs is the humor. SMRPG is chock full of ironic, hilarious moments, and contains plenty of facepalm moments. Even the enemies participate in dialogue that serves as comic relief! Well, in between beatin your face in! The level of challenge the first time through is just right. You'll never have to grind levels to beat bosses. The puzzles, while few and far between, are not easy. And for those of you who love searching every inch of the game, I bet you won't find the casino...

Furthermore, the musical score is phenomenal. It provides the right ambiance, and never gets annoying. Okay, maybe the battle music will get on your nerves, but it's not obnoxious. Take a listen to this forest maze music!


The name of this song is "Beware the forest mushrooms." That's because they attack you!

This game is chock full of secrets, more than enough to satiate the completionist gamer. Oh, good for you, you found the casino, but did you find the lazy shell? (For those of you that have, I actually found the fertilizer on my own, with no aid, and it was one of the most WTF THATS AWESOME moments I remember!)

The musical score is brilliant, the graphics are pretty nice for a Super Nintendo game, the challenge level is just right, there are puzzles, there is platforming, this is Mario at his absolute best. You owe it to yourself to play this game.

For those of you that have played it:
What are your opinions on this game? Any good memories?

Remember, try to avoid spoilers!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Some Changes!

Hey guys,

I felt Rhythm games were simply too narrow a genre to discuss everything I wanted to talk about, so I've broadened the topics to video games in general. Specifically, I intend to highlight great ones from the SNES / Sega days and put out a heads up on ones that are up and coming.

That leads me to ask:
Do you like this change?
What kinds of games do you guys wanna read about?

Thanks for the feedback! <3
~Zeph

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

DDR and FFR

Hey guys,

While I made this blog primarily to talk about rhythm games on the console, this wouldn't at all be possible without mentioning DDR. That is, Dance Dance Revolution. An arcade hit from the 90's, DDR is still played in Japan and similar Asian countries to this day.



Isn't that crazy?

DDR is arguably the origin of all rhythm games, and has inspired a spinoff called FFR, or Flash Flash Revolution. The Flash here refers to Flash games, a type of game that runs in your browser with an addon installed. It's essentially what you saw in the video, but done with your fingers on a keyboard.

Sometime in early 2009, FFR's website went down, and it remains down to this day. This makes me very sad!

However, the point of this post is to direct you FFR lovers (or completely newbies!) to http://ffr.lightdarkness.net/FFR/
There you can play the original FFR in all it's glory!

Give it a try and let me know what you think!