I WILL be posting today, but it’s up to you if you think it’s “something of substance”. Just expect more short posts with dumb pictures. It’s how I roll.
Yum, stale tortilla chips and dip. I am living the good life here in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. At least I have beer, thanks to my good buddy Charlie. (That’s twice now that his name has managed to show up in a post.)
To be perfectly honest I had half a mind to go vegetate in front of Scrubs tonight instead of writing anything. But since I’ll be
in hell at work all day tomorrow, I figured I’d throw the lot of you a bone now and save the relaxation time for tomorrow evening. Plus, there’s some pretty interesting stuff to report on today.
Just… make the announcement already.
Everyone freaking knows that the PS3 Slim is coming. For months now we’ve been subjected to a veritable deluge of rumors and info that have all but confirmed its existence. Still in doubt? Well get a load of this: According to Taiwan’s DigiTimes, Sony has recently placed some uncommonly large orders for key PS3 components. In other words, they’re looking to build a fuckton of PS3’s in the coming months. Wonder why…
If something sounds too good to be true…
…then it probably is. Happen to be a member of GameStop’s EDGE program? Y’know, pay ‘em $15 per year and you get 10% off all used games, an extra 10% credit on all trade-ins, plus a free subscription to Game Informer? Well, according to some recent customer surveys, they might be looking to replace it with a new program known as GameSpot Elite. Additionally, they’re rolling out another program called GameStop Rewards, which is pretty much how it sounds. Click here to read the survey. (Kotaku).
Read it yet? Yeah, how about that Reward Level 4, eh? An all-access pass to E3? For a MERE 501 POINTS??
I could blow $500 at GameStop in a very, VERY short time. So, like I said earlier, this has GOT to be too good to be true. And the idea of some nerdy spendthrift being sent to E3 while I sit here, (with my own FUCKING WEBSITE no less) forced to watch through the lense of the internet, fills me with rage.
This one is strong…
I’ve never actually played a game on the iPhone/iPod touch, but I’ve been watching the device’s evolution as a gaming platform with sincere interest. One thing’s for absolute certain at this point: if anyone is strong enough to step into the war zone of console gaming, it’s Apple. And with this analyst claiming that he’s been shown a new Apple multimedia device that will function as a game console, that step may not be far off. All in all, it sounds fairly legit; check out the full story here. (Develop-Online)
I should rephrase what I said earlier: while I’m fairly sure that such a device is being developed, I’m unsure if Apple plans to angle it as a “game console,” per se; at least, not any more so than the iPhone is. Frankly, I’m not even sure how they’d market the thing anyway. It’s too big to be a portable, and while I’m sure it would include the ability to connect to your television, it’s not a console either. So… we’ll just wait and see, I suppose.
And that’s that. Pray that Ethan finds the time and/or motivation to write something of substance tomorrow, because unless I have a major change of heart, you won’t be hearing from me.
And srsly, who DOESN’T know that Spider-Man includes the hyphen?
It has been brought to my attention that the proper way to spell “Spider-Man” is, well, in fact: Spider-Man. Sorry to all I caused to shake their heads in disgust. I’m not going to re-upload another inFAMOUS picture.
Just when I was positively certain Nintendo had NO idea what the internet was, the massive money factory pulled this random one out of its ass. I’m going to admit, I haven’t really looked up on it yet, but it apparently involves easily uploading your shitty DSi photos to the massively popular stalk-site, Facebook. Don’t forget that Nintendo is the one who would embarrass itself with comments alluding to internet gaming being a fad and good graphics not being what people want. I’m just surprised Nintendo trusts an internet business enough to strike any sort of deal with them, or even support functionality. Maybe the iPhone really has started to scare the company that is quickly forgetting it was very recently in third place.
I forgot to mention one thing regarding Riddles’ Dissidia impressions below:
I agree entirely but I will add the following –
“Teh demo didn’t haves Kuja or Zidane. Dats stoo-pud!”
Thank you and goodnight.
…on my friend, Pogo’s PS3, and it’s fun so far. Only a few hours in. The comic cutscenes are awesome while the graphics look a little flat in comparison to games like MGS4, Flower, and Uncharted. But in either case, I feel like a badass while playing, so that’s all that matters.
Anyway, let me roughly repeat the first few things out of Pogo’s mouth while he watched me play the first bit.
“Wow, so this is like I Am Legend”
“Wow, so this is like Prince of Persia”
“Wow, so this is like Spiderman”
And he wasn’t saying it in a bad way, more like in the way that all those things are awesome. But it is kinda true. All of a New York-esque city is quarantined (I Am Legend), Cole grabs onto parts of walls like Prince of Persia, and jumps around an open world on rooftops like Spiderman.
Anyway, I’ve nothing more to say than that. It was also another excuse to draw on pictures.
I think it’s safe to say that the vast majority of the Final Fantasy fanbase has been awaiting Dissidia with bated breath since its unveiling back in 2007. It is, after all, nothing less than the fanboy’s wet dream – a mishmash of everyone’s favorite Final Fantasy characters in a single game, in which beatings can commence. Finally, the age-old question of whether or not Squall would beat Cloud in a fight can be answered.
But while it’s already clear that Squeenix has nailed the fanservice factor, it’s yet to be seen if they’ve actually churned out a decent game in the process. And frankly, their track record on games that venture outside the traditional JRPG formula really isn’t that impressive. Perhaps the single bright spot would be the Kingdom Hearts series, and even that’s a heavily contested claim. But if the recently-released demo is a good indication, Square Enix may have nailed this one. Kingdom Hearts is certainly an influence here, but it’s hardly a clone. It’s simplistic but not mind-numbing, it’s super-flashy, and it’s a ton of fun to play. Oh, and it has Sephiroth in it.
The demo has five characters available for play: Onion Knight from Final Fantasy III, Cecil from Final Fantasy IV, Terra from Final Fantasy VI, Cloud from Final Fantasy VII, and Sephiroth who, as you know, is from the same game. Each of them actually handle fairly differently, which is nice to see. Cloud, for example, deals slower, heavily damaging attacks that send opponents flying. Sephiroth has quicker attacks with insanely long range. Terra almost exclusively utilizes long-range magic attacks. And, each are armed with their own corny post-battle quips.
All the demo includes is a series of fights for each character, which is more than enough to get a taste of what’s to come. Here are the basics: the square button executes physical attacks that cause damage to your opponent, and the circle button executes attacks that steal your opponent’s “bravery,” (which is simply their strength in combat) and transfers it to you. The key to winning battles is balancing the two – bravery attacks are quick, easy to execute, and are required for gaining the upper hand in a fight. Physical attacks then deal damage in equivalence to the number of bravery points you’ve accumulated. Once you’ve executed a physical attack, your bravery stat will drop to zero for a few seconds, and then return to its base number.
Despite its appearance, the game is not a hack-and-slash affair; when a physical attack is executed, you simply sit and watch as that character executes whatever their physical attack is. For example, Cloud’s is an attack called Cross-slash, which essentially looks exactly like his Limit Break in Final Fantasy VII that went by the same name. While in the air, he executes Braver. It’s all in real-time of course, but the point is that this isn’t Kingdom Hearts – there are no finger-twisting button combos to be found here. The challenge lies in who can accumulate the most Bravery points and subsequently pull off a physical attack, (without it being interrupted or dodged!) not who can mash buttons the fastest.
While those are the fundamentals, there are other aspects to combat. Long-range bravery attacks can be executed, which are always in the form of a familiar Final Fantasy magic attack. Dodge maneuvers are useful for (no duh) dodging enemy attacks, and there’s also a parry move. Parrying is actually somewhat difficult, as it requires precise timing; but if done successfully it can stagger your opponent. And finally, what would a Final Fantasy game be without some form of Limit Break? Dissidia has them in the form of EX mode; tiny little orbs called EX particles litter the arena (you won’t even notice them most of the time) and as you collect these your EX meter grows. Occasionally the game will gift you with an EX core which, if grabbed, will instantly max out your meter. Once it’s full, you can enter EX mode by pressing the right shoulder button and the square button. Pull off a physical attack while in EX mode (which, again, isn’t always easy) and you’ll activate a limt break. If your bravery is high enough, these special attacks can annihilate your opponent in a single go.
Battles are an incredible visual spectacle, and this is where influences from both Kingdom Hearts and Advent Children are most prevalent. Often you’ll find yourself in intense aerial standoffs that can last for quite some time. Arenas are littered with “quick-move” indicators; if you press triangle when one of these are shown, your character will do something flashy to traverse a long distance, such as run up a wall, sail across a chasm, or various other gravity-defying moves. It helps that the game looks fantastic as well, with graphics easily rivaling last year’s Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.
I had an absolute blast with Dissidia’s demo, and I’ll be buying the game on day one. To be sure, there’s a lot the demo didn’t show us, such as how the story mode will play out, and how the leveling/customization mechanics will function. But from what I can gather, this is fanservice done right; not only can I face off against Kefka as Cloud Strife, but Square Enix hasn’t skimped on the tiny, fangasmic details. For example, when pulling off Cloud’s limit break, he equips Ragnarok, his ultimate sword from Final Fantasy VII. The names of a character’s attack is always displayed on-screen in the same typefont and box as the corresponding game they originally appeared in. I could go on. But most impressively, it’s all just polish for a genuinely solid combat system. Dissidia: Final Fantasy will be released in North America on August 25, and I suggest all PSP-owning Final Fantasy fans get in line. Somehow, though, I doubt you need to be told.
…in one fashion or another. As Ethan jeeringly reported, my PlayStation 3 was returned to me in an even more fucked up state than it was when I shipped it off two weeks ago. Today, when I took a look at the piece of paper documenting my 90-day warranty, this is what it said:
I might possibly find that funny if my PS3 had been functional upon its return; as it stands, it really just gives the impression that Sony’s “repair” department is nothing more than a sweatshop staffed by dyslexic Asians with a cheesy sense of humor.
Hmm… was that ever-so-slightly tasteless? I’m sorry, it’s just that I’ve paid them $150, gone a month without a PS3, and just shelled out $40 for Uncharted which will now remain unfinished until this whole unwieldy process is repeated. I’m a little bitter.
More than usual, I mean.
PS3 Slim can’t be released soon enough. And if our friends in Germany are correct, it may not be far off. Germans know their shit, right? I’d say we can trust this one.
Normally on a Saturday or Sunday, Riddles and I will be posting our News Roundup. It’s an IM-style conversation in which he and I genuinely react to whatever video game news caught our attention that particular week.
But because Launch Week will be the only theme week to span across two weekends, and because I’m flying back out to Toronto tomorrow morning, we’re starting the feature next weekend.
Until then we’ll keep churning out content, but let us know what kind of content you want to see on the site. We’ve heard the cry for message forums or at least comments, and while that is in the works for the future, it’s not something we’re going to roll out at the moment.
D’you hate that? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know!
We’ve heard the cry for a(n) RSS feed. That should come to fruition in the very near future.
D’you love that? Email email@example.com and let us know!
The point is that we love hearing from you, positive or negative. Let us have it.