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by Ethos

Tingle! Tingle! Kooloo-Limpah! #014 – STOLEN!!

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Oh lookit me! I’m Riddles! I’m gonna say that Ethos won’t write anything! Well fuck you! I’m going to steal that TGS Hey! Look! Listen! you promised. Bah-ha ha ha. Well, not every piece of big TGS news, just the stuff I care about.

Dear God, yes.

Team ICO Out the Ass: The Last Guardian Release Date

Finally we hear more about this ridiculously-anticipated title. People seem to be shocked that this was given a Holiday 2011 release window, but that comes as no surprise to me. In fact, that’s in the early range of what I was expecting, so count me as excited.

What’s that in the distance? Sounds like some sort of whistle. And now I see smoke? What could that possibly be…oh it’s the hype train! Full speed ahead!(IGN)

Team ICO Out the Ass: ICO and Shadow of the Collossus HD Collection!

BAH-HA HA HA HA HA AH! FINALLY! My life is complete! This long-rumoured collection is finally a reality. At first there was talk about it being two separate discs but has since been confirmed to be a single Blu-ray disc compete with trophies, the PAL ending for ICO, and even improved framerates, textures, and new widescreen framing. This collection is why humanity was created. (IGN)

Team ICO Out the Ass: Sexism Battle!

Remember when Miyamata joked about Peach not being playable in Super Mario Bros Wii because they would have to animate her dress? Remember when we all puked? Well as excited-out-my-ass as I am for The Last Guardian, studio head, Fumito Ueda was talking at TGS and even if his comments were meant as a joke, I still cringed.

He mentioned that the original protagonist for The Last Guardian was going to be female but because girls wouldn’t have the same physical strength as boys when traversing the environment, and “girls wear skirts”, they changed it to a boy.

Yeah, bullshit. I know that scientifically, the anatomy of men and women are different and strength arguments are occasionally valid. Like separating sports in the Olympics. But I don’t think it would have been unreasonable for a little girl to accomplish the same tasks as a little boy. That doesn’t sit well with me. And yeah, girls couldn’t wear Peter Pan-style capri shorts. That would seem weird. Fuck off. (IGN)

Muramasa and Odin Sphere Heavily Rumoured To Also Go HD

Sweet. This doesn’t appear to be a HD collection for PS3, but rather downloadable HD ports for all capable systems. Apparently Muramasa’s assets were developed in HD, so the process should be rather simple for that title at least.

I just hope the framerate is improved for Odin Sphere. I liked that game, but it was literally like a slide-show at points. That will need to be better for me to pick it up. (1up)

Unaltered picture of Bobby Kotick. Thanks Destructoid.

Idiot

Ugh. Just when you thought Activision and Blizzard’s marriage wasn’t affecting the Blizzard side of things, Bobby Kotick goes off and starts spewing more of his famous shit about packing together all the cutscenes of
Starcraft 2 and selling it as a movie. Idiot. Seriously.

I mean, Starcraft 2 was just his example, but he talks about this idea like it’s the most brilliant shit in the history of time. Who the fuck would spend $20-$30 to watch all the cutscenes of a game? Certainly not the people who bought the game, and certainly not the people who didn’t buy the game.

There are reasons that these cutscenes are cutscenes. If you bought one of these “movies”, there would be major plot holes, it would all be high-intensity, and – oh yeah – THERE WOULD BE NO FUCKING GAME TO PLAY!

What a giant fucking idiot. (IGN)

That’s it.

Chalk up another win for Ethos.

Duwhat, now?

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Ethos may be posting pictures of sorry-looking dogs in hopes of garnering your sympathies, but I say fuck that. Halo: Reach Week? Who gives a shit? Not me, that’s for dayum sure.

Okay, well, I realize that a lot of people give a shit about Halo: Reach, but I am not among them. As such, I can’t be expected to shell out $60 for the game. Ethos, however, is the one who wanted to have the week, so I would have figured that he’d have come up with something. I’d hold Pogo accountable, since he’s apparently been commissioned to write about the game, but he doesn’t actually work for our site.

My experience with Halo doesn’t go further than a couple of futile attempts to play through the original game’s campaign. And yes, I’m talking about the original Halo for the original Xbox. The game just never managed to hold my interest. So, I never bothered with any other games in the series. Maybe I should have; I’ll admit that both Reach and last year’s ODST piqued my interest to a mild extent.

But. Speaking frankly: I doubt I’ll ever bother with a Halo game.

Know what else releases this week? Not a game, but an exciting new peripheral: the PlayStation Move. The internets are abuzz with haters and fanboys alike offering their emphatic opinions on Sony’s attempt to break into the motion-control market. Viral videos such as this one tend to only egg both sides on:

This was made by some media group called Wolfbreeder, but I’m guessing they were, y’know, paid by Sony to do it. I doubt they’d care to promote the thing otherwise.

In any case, this video has generated high-running emotions on both sides. If Kotaku’s message forums are any indication, at least. This man, for example, seems to appreciate Sony’s no-holds-barred attack on the Nintendo Wii:

Geert Wilders is clearly a man who’s been burned numerous times by Nintendo and its Wii. Meowmixx responded, asking simply:

A just question. Wilders’ response? As follows:

I actually took the time to google Geert Wilders. He’s a Dutch politician and leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV), the third leading political party in the Netherlands. According to Wikipedia, which is always 100 percent correct, he advocates banning the Quran, taxing women who wear headscarfs, and ending all immigration from Muslim countries.

I was unable to determine if he, in fact, has ballz of steel.

God damn, I love the internet.

~Riddles

p.s., Ethos says he’s going to write stuff this week, but I don’t believe him. His girlfriend’s in the same town as him now, and as we all know, women ruin everything.

p.p.s, I have tomorrow off, so look for a super-special double-sized TGS edition of Hey! Look! Listen!

Sorry

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Hey guys, it’s technically Halo: Reach Week now. Pogo has it and I’m going to see if he’ll write something about it. Until then, there WILL be a Scatter Storming this week, and I’d like to give my own Birth by Sleep impressions. I’ve actually been gaming a lot, I’ve just been off the writing boat.
I miss you guys!

Birth By Sleep: The First 8 hours

Monday, September 13th, 2010

I know Birth By Sleep Week is all but over, and that we’ve already given you our thoughts in the form of the “IM”pressions you see below. (Aren’t those things brilliant? I think they’re brilliant.) But regardless, I felt the need to give the week a bit of a send-off in the form of some good, old-fashioned written impressions. I’d hoped to have the game nearly finished/reviewed at this point, but, ah… that didn’t really happen, for a variety of reasons.

As I believe I mentioned in the IMpressions, Birth By Sleep is the first “full” Kingdom Hearts game I’ve played since Kingdom Hearts II. That Chain of Memories remake for the PS2 was little more than a bunch of cobbled KH1 environments, and even what I played of Dumb Name felt little more than supplementary.  And it’s been four years since Kingdom Hearts II. That’s a long time; a cruelly long time, in fact. So, while Birth By Sleep may not be the big, flashy PS3 relaunch of the series that we’re all still dreaming of, it’s still something that, as Kingdom Hearts fans, we can truly sink our teeth into. And that, alone, makes it worth the price of admission.

Birth By Sleep continues the trend of making us absorb dialog we should normally hate, and care about plotlines that would bore us if they were in any other game. How? The older I get, the less sense it makes, to be honest. But for some reason, in the eight hours I’ve spent with Birth By Sleep, I’ve grown care more about the events and characters than I have with any other RPG since Persona 4. It, for example, beats the living fuck out of Final Fantasy XIII – Disney characters and all.

But then again, I can’t totally discredit the merits of Birth By Sleep, and write it all off to an inexplicable charm. This shit is interesting, simply put. Seeing the history behind the Keyblade and its wielders is just plain interesting. Visiting Radiant Garden before it became Hollow Bastion, with the knowledge that it’s all gonna go to shit, is just a cool feeling. Kinda like the Star Wars prequels, but better. Kingdom Hearts may be a simple story of good versus evil – light versus darkness – but man, does it ever pull off this age-old concept well. Why? Because it doesn’t really try to do much more than that. It’s something to respect, frankly.

But of course, it wouldn’t be Kingdom Hearts without plenty of Heartless to bash around. Eight hours in, I think Birth By Sleep might just have the best combat in the series. Finally, a good balance between button-mashing and strategy has been found. This is instantly evident by the fact that you’ll probably actually die in Birth By Sleep. I have, at least. Multiple times. Boss battles are tough. Y’know, the way they should be. In Kingdom Hearts II, I don’t recall ever dying. And if I did, I doubt I did anything more than mash buttons harder the second time around. In Birth By Sleep, you’ll find yourself challenged to not only mash the X button like a crazy person, but to make sure you’re using defensive commands such as block and dodge, and ensuring you have a proper deck of commands for a given situation. If you don’t, you just might die. Also, I’m a huge fan of new additions such as Combat Stances and D-Links. Combat Stances are essentially what they sound like; for example, if you chain enough Fire-type attacks together, you’ll adopt a stance that grants firepower to all your attacks. It also makes you quite a bit faster and more powerful. It’s essentially the same as the different forms that Sora could take in Kingdom Hearts II. Unfortunately, none of them involve using dual-keyblades. Which kinda sucks. Dual keyblades are badass.

While this hardly needs to be said, Birth By Sleep is quite the looker; with the obligatory “for a PSP game” caveat. But, in perfect honesty, this game looks just as good as Kingdom Hearts II did – just on a smaller screen. The game does seem to suffer from a bit of slowdown when ridiculous numbers of enemies are on-screen, but this is relatively rare, and hardly an annoyance. If Squeenix knows how to do anything right (and this game proves that they can still do several things right) it’s make a pretty game.

I just wish there were Gummi Ship sequences. Where did they go? Just cruising around the map from an isometric view isn’t the same. At all. Oh yeah, and I wish Terra’s voice actor didn’t perpetually sound like he just woke up from a 27-year nap.

Other than that, as a Kingdom Hearts fan, it’s hard for me to complain much about Birth By Sleep. I wish I could review it for you, but suffice to say, I’ve been enjoying the hell out of it for the last few days. If you’re a fan of the series, you absolutely will as well.

And with that, we bid our farewells to the week. ‘Till next time,

~Riddles

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep IMpressions – Outtakes

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Here’s the rest!


Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep IMpressions – Gameplay

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

As promised, more IMpressions! These aren’t the last either.



Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep IMpressions – Story

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Finally got around to these. More coming.


Quickie

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

I’m still here! I have Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep and I’ve played about an hour into it. I’m playing as Terra first because he interests me the least and it bugs me that a dude is named Terra. Riddles and I are going to get you some IMpressions about it because hopefully he’s found a way to play it as well. Until then I’m off to work.

Oh right! I played some Professor Layton: Unwound Future too at an event and got an early copy. However, with all the Kingdom Hearts and girlfriending, I doubt I’ll get a review out for release date. So I’ll just be giving random impressions about it here and there. Any of you playing Birth by Sleep yet?

Update: Riddles has found a way to play! IMpressions sometime this week!

Hey! Look! Listen! #61 – Man, I’m Tired of Being Homeless

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

I really am. I mean, “homeless” isn’t entirely accurate – I’ve been living in a nice two-bedroom apartment with Dillon and his fiance for the last five weeks or so – but it’s only meant to be temporary, and the majority of my stuff is in a storage unit. It’s a place to live, but it isn’t my place, y’know?

And of course, when I finally got around to applying for residency to the apartment I picked out, I was denied because I didn’t pass the fucking credit check. Why? Not because I have bad credit; but because I have no credit. Why do I have no credit? Because I’ve avoided credit cards and car payments my entire life, and paid for everything with money out of my own pocket. So I’m essentially being penalized for being financially responsible, and that infuriates me to no end.

But, in a stroke of moderate luck I’ve found another place, in which my lack of credit shouldn’t be an issue. So, if all goes well, I’ll be in a place of my own in two to three weeks.

But enough about my boring personal life. Welcome once again to Hey! Look! Listen! I’m your host Oliver “Riddles” Motok, and it’s time to see what’s going on in my RSS feed.

Final Fantasy XIII Coming to Xbox 360 in Japan… What?

After letting it kick around as a rumor for less than a day, Square Enix came forward and confirmed that their shitty 13th entry in the Final Fantasy series will be coming to the Xbox 360 in Japan, as part of their budget-priced “Ultimate Hits” line. If you recall, while the game was released on both PS3 and 360 in the states, it remained a PS3 exclusive in Japan.

I assumed that this was largely because nobody in Japan owns an Xbox 360. And, as far as I know, that’s still the case. So, to be frank, this makes little sense to me. But then again, nothing about Final Fantasy XIII makes sense to me.  The game is, and remains, a giant digital clusterfuck.

The four existing Japanese 360 fanbots will be able to experience said clusterfuck on December 16. (VG247)

Check Out Dragon Age II’s Female Protagonist


Cute, right? Like Ethos, I always go Female when allowed to choose, because I’d rather look at something cute. And also, nobody else does it. And also, I fantasize about being a woman and it allows me to partially realize said fantasies.

That last part isn’t actually true, I just thought it would be funny to say. Or… is it?

Anyway. While I’m glad she’s hot and stuff, this immediately raised the question in my mind: will you be allowed to customize character appearance in Dragon Age II? If you recall, while Mass Effect always had the stock male model used in all the trailers and promotional stuff, they never bothered showing a female – makes sense, seeing that most people are going to create something totally unique anyway. So the fact that they’ve provided this specific female model makes me wonder. And google as I may, I can’t find any solid confirmation that appearance customization is a feature in Dragon Age II.

Maybe I’m missing something. Dunno. I have no idea *why* BioWare would remove the feature, seeing that it’s become sort of a staple for them. And my guess is that they haven’t. I’m just, y’know. Raising the question.

Check Out These Mass Effect 2 Stats

Now this is cool. And insane, in some cases:

28 times? 28 motherfucking times? Are you kidding me? I want to meet these people, and see how much of a life they don’t have.

Anyway, this image was part of an IGN interview with Mass Effect’s Executive Producer, Casey Hudson. In the interview, Hudson explained why they gather these stats, and how they’re used – or not used – to aid the development of future titles. Here’s an excerpt:

Ultimately it doesn’t always give you the answers, but it sometimes raises questions or gets you to ask the right questions…More people played the soldier class than all of the other classes combined. If you know that, then you can start thinking about future games. Is that good? Is that a problem? Should we look at the other classes and start thinking about ways to make them selected as often as soldier? As part of asking these questions, we can design games in the future a lot better.

The full article is rather interesting, and not absurdly long. I recommend you check it out here.

A PC With a Built-In Xbox 360 Now Exists

And it’s awesome. And… expensive. As fuck.

A company called Origin PC has built a high-powered gaming computer that not only has specs mad enough to play anything at max settings, but it has a freaking 360 Slim inside of it. The whole thing, with the same ports and connections. You can even play it while the PC is performing other tasks.

As for specs, the entry-level configuration includes:

-An overclocked 4.0GHz Intel Core i7 930 processor,

-A liquid cooled Rampage III Extreme motherboard

-Dual NVIDIA GTX 480 GPUs,

-6GBs of memory

-Dual 50GB SSD drives

-A 2TB hard drive

-A Creative Fatal1ty sound card

-A built-in Blu-ray burner

All that can be yours for a mere $7669. And if that’s not expensive enough for you, try the configuration used by CPU Magazine:

-Dual Intel Xeon X5680 processors overclocked to 4.3GHz

-An EVGA SR2 motherboard

-Liquid cooling

-Quad SLI EVGA GTX 480 GPUs

-12GBs of memory

-Four 50GB SSD drives

-Two 2TB hard drives

-A built-in Blu-ray burner

-A built-in 8 channel HD audio sound card

All that can be yours for a mere… $16.999. Interested? You can order “The Big O” (that’s seriously what it’s called) now at Origin’s website.

To say “do want” is a bit redundant at this point, but I guess I’ll say it anyway.

QUICKIE: There’s a Dissidia Sequel Coming

Well, this isn’t terribly surprising. According to the latest issue of Shonen Jump, a sequel named Dissidia Duodecim: Final Fantasy will be released next year. Confirmed to be in the new lineup are Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII and Kain from Final Fantasy IV.

“Dissidia Duodecim”? Really? That’s Nomura for you. Anyway, nothing else is known about the game at the moment, but I’m pretty sure we’ll hear more when TGS rolls around. (VG247)

And that, as they say, is that. It’s time to get some Taco Bell and then head to bed. Tomorrow’s my one day off, and hopefully I’ll be able to spend it playing Dissidia. If so, expect impressions.

‘Till then!

~Riddles

Welcome to Birth By Sleep Week

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

I would have had the new banner up last night, but I decided to get drunk instead. Why? I’m not entirely sure. It just seemed like a good idea at the time. It might have been because I had to work on Labor Day, which didn’t sit well with me. It would have been slightly ameliorated  had my favorite waitress been there, but she wasn’t. So, I was denied even the simple pleasure of eye candy and awkward conversation.

Now that we’ve delved a little too deeply into my personal life/screwed up psyche, let me welcome you to Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep Week! I know you’ve all been looking forward to this one. I know I have.

Which makes it all the more embarrassing that this week is set-and-ready to be a total bust. Why?

1) Square Enix decided not to release Birth By Sleep over PSN, meaning that poor Ethos and his trendy, UMD-less PSP are shit out of luck, unless he can manage to swipe a friend’s PSP for the week.

2) Just a few weeks ago, I gave my PSP-2000 to my brother as payment of a rather large debt I owed him. (Product of the Unemployed Time, if you recall that.) So. I have no PSP. However, seeing that it’s still in the family and my brother intends to buy Birth By Sleep, I should be able to spend some time with the game. Hopefully.

So, yeah. Um. Just bear with us, I suppose. And, if any of you are lucky enough to have a copy of the game, please, let your thoughts on it be known below.

Hey! Look! Listen! will be up either tonight or tomorrow, so I’ll see you then.

~Riddles