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by Ethos

12/22/2010 – At Least the Prince Still Loves Me

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Even after all these years. When did Sands of Time come out? 2003? As in, almost eight years ago? God damn, how the time flies.

I seem to recall first playing it on the GameCube way back in the day. I’d heard of the game before, and I think I might have played through a demo at Wal-Mart or something. So one day, I rented it from the local GameCrazy.

I kinda miss you, sometimes.

If you don’t know what a GameCrazy is, don’t feel bad. It’s a long-defunct second-tier videogame retail chain. Oftentimes they were inside Hollywood Video stores, which is an even more-long-defunct movie rental outlet.

Needless to say, I loved the shit out of it, and immediately after being forced to return the rental, I bought the game. Then a few years later I re-bought the game on PS2 and gave my GameCube copy to some chick I liked at the time. Didn’t turn out to be a worthwhile investment, all things considered, especially since she forgot that I gave the damn thing to her. I know this because six months ago or so I was talking to her and she was all like, “hey, I just found out I have a copy of Sands of Time for GameCube! Awesome!” And I was all like “Yeah, I fucking GAVE IT TO YOU AS A HEARTFELT GIFT SOME YEARS AGO, BITCH”

I didn’t say that, actually, but I was thinking it. I was thinking it very hard.

On that note, I just remember that same individual now has my copies of Persona 3: FES and Shadow of the Colossus. Both of which happen to be among my very favorite games of all time, and neither of which were intended as gifts.

Guh. Take my heart and rip it to shreds, but don’t take my videogames.

But yeah, cry me a river, I know. The point of this entry was to talk about how I recently completed Prince of Persia: Sands of Time HD. I wrote a short blurb on my website about a month ago, mostly just complaining about the game’s newfound audio issues. And, after having completed the game, I can safely say that those audio issues indeed suck. A lot. In fact, they suck so much, I wouldn’t recommend Sands of Time HD for anyone who hasn’t played through the original release already. Why? Because you won’t be able to hear 90 percent of the dialog between the Prince and Farah. The audio is so damn echoy and sporadic, you won’t even notice they’re having a conversation until halfway through. Granted, I’ve memorized every line in the game, practically, so I can fill in the blanks. But if you haven’t, then you won’t be able to.

Oh, and another thing: why are the fucking Scarab beatles so loud now? If you’re standing in a room that’s even connected to a room where those little shits are lurking, the game assaults your ears with this awful CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK noise that I think is supposed to be the sound of their insect-y little footsteps. But its loud and obnoxious and OBVIOUSLY a major glitch. But then, so is the entire audio track for Sands of Time HD. Literally, the only time there aren’t issues is during cutscenes. And, save the beginning and ending of the game, Sands of Time doesn’t have that many cutscenes. Most of the dialog is spoken in-game.

But, eh. I still enjoyed the game. I mean, it’s still Sands of Time. And it’s still 38482 times better than the shitty movie that Jerry Bruckheimer released last summer. (Ironically enough, I saw that damn movie with… ah, nevermind.)

Seriously, fuck you Jerry. And you too, whoever directed the movie. And then blamed its shittiness on the source material.

But yeah. I’d like to download Warrior Within HD now, and see if it’s any better or worse. I’m a big enough fan of the series that I don’t mind dropping the cash even if the product is broken.  And, to be fair, Sands of Time HD did look pretty nice with its 720p overcoat. I’d like to see the Island of Time given that same makeover.

BUT

I can’t.

Because my stupid-ass wireless router is broken.

And I don’t even have a cable long enough to stretch to my PS3.

I’m actually sitting on the floor next to my front door right now, because that’s where my stupid router is.

Ah well. I gotta work soon. And… buy shoes. Yeah. Signing off.

Prince of Persia HD has issues (Welcome to SACITSOTW)

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Well, here we are. It’s technically Thursday at this point, and at 2:01 AM, even my bedtime is fast approaching.

In any case, welcome to Screw Assassin’s Creed, It’s Sands of Time Week. Or, simply, SACITSTOW.

You may ask, “why? Why give Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood the cold shoulder? You love Assassin’s Creed, don’t you?”

Well, yes. I do love Assassin’s Creed. I was excited for the third installment. I still want to play it, eventually. But, there are three reasons that I decided to drop the game for the theme week:

1. I’m still addicted to Black Ops, and I’d like to finish/review the game

2. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time HD was released over PSN two days ago. As many of you know, the Sands of Time is one of my all-time favorite videogames. An HD re-release is like Christmas come early for me.

3. I resent Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood for releasing only a year after Assassin’s Creed II. Give me some breathing room, man

4. I’m kinda broke. Oh wait, that’s four reasons.

So, yes, the theme week has shifted its focus to the Sands of Time. And why not? It’s a great game, and it has new relevance. And it only costs $15, which is four times less than the new Assassin’s Creed.

I downloaded the game on Tuesday night, and tried it out on Wednesday morning. I didn’t play too far; I stopped shortly after releasing the sands. Initial reactions? Well, unfortunately…

The game, for whatever reason, is plagued by audio issues. Voices in cutscenes always seem to work fine, but aside from that, it’s a crapshoot. Footsteps are muffled, sound effects for smashing objects has a weird echo, as do enemy voices. Sometimes, the audio cuts out entirely. (Or perhaps it’s just so horribly muffled I just can’t hear it.)

So yeah. Obviously, this is pretty unforgivable. Couple it with loading hitches (which never occurred in the original game) and the occasional game crash during loading times, and you have a game in desperate need of a patch.

However. Aside from these rather damning issues, I still found myself enjoying it for the visuals alone. Make no mistake, the game looks nice running in 720p. It’d look nicer running in 1080p, but I’ll take what I can get. Everything is (obviously) much crisper and cleaner looking, with more vibrant colors and much improved textures. Stonework, in particular, looks fantastic – text and symbols etched into the walls of the Maharaja’s castle pop out nicely. Even the character models, which were subpar even by PS2 standards, clean up very nicely. The Prince has never looked better.

So yeah. It’s pretty enough. But, as much as I hate to say it, you might want to wait for a patch with this one.

More to come.  I have some ideas for the week. Not all of which involve Black Ops.

~Riddles

Hey! Look! Listen! #58 – I Don’t Get No Respect

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Holy shit, mono fucking sucks.

And damn, has this website ever gone to hell. Just look at that banner up there.

Normally I’d apologize to you all, but this time I’m  not going to, because I honestly feel like the universe needs to do some serious apologizing to me. These last few weeks have sucked an unholy dick, and I really don’t feel like I deserved all the pain and suffering that I’ve been unceremoniously gifted with.

However, as you may have gathered by the fact that I’m here right now, I’m feeling better. And I felt the hankering to write something. Before we begin, I should note the fact that, upon having finally given it a try, I think Left 4 Dead is a damn fun game. And also, Netflix on the 360 is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

That’s right, I bought three months of Xbox Live Gold. On impulse. I feel slightly dirty, but… it’s the only console that lets you stream Netflix without a stupid-ass disc. And it was only $9.99 for three months.

ON TO THE TOPICS OF INTEREST

Batman: Arkham City Officially Revealed in Game Informer, First Details Rumored

I know Ethos already touched on this in his latest TTKL, and I don’t mean to upstage him; but I’m totally geeking out over this, and there have been some new rumors abroad, so I figured I’d go ahead and take a stab at the story as well.

Ah, who am I kidding, I totally mean to upstage him.

First, just take a look at this concept art/Game Informer covers. Are they not beautiful?

As you can see, DCs infamous femme fatale Catwoman is prominently featured, indicating that she’ll have a prominent role in the game. Co-op play, perhaps? Or maybe an ICO-esque team gameplay mechanic? Personally I’m hoping for the latter, seeing that co-op play tends to come at the expense of a focused narrative – and that would just be a shame, given how strong the storyline behind Arkham Asylum was.

As the title “Arkham City” implies, Batman will be taking down crime in the streets of Gotham this time around. Perhaps you recall the teaser trailer shown at the Spike VGAs, which showed a walled-off portion of the city, and an ending tagline that said “Arkham Has Moved.”

A hastily thrown-together site called Arkham.co.uk claims to have the first details on the game from Game Informer. Supposedly, Quincy Sharp, the man who was running for Mayor in the original game bought off a part of the Gotham slums and walled it off, making it the new detainment facility for Gotham’s colorful inmates. Why? Well, supposedly both Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Prison were deemed “unfit” to hold said inmates. Why a walled-off slum could do the job when two maximum security detention facilities couldn’t is well beyond me, but hey, it provides the necessary fresh setting.

As far as actual storyline goes, it’s rumored that the infamous Two-Face has plans to execute Catwoman in order to gain respect of the Arkham City inmates. The Joker, of course, is still kicking around – but there’s something distinctly wrong with him. You might recall that the teaser showed him in pretty rough shape. One would assume that it’s due to the overdose of Venom that he took at the end of Arkham Asylum, but the GI article hints that this might not be the sole factor.

As far as gameplay changes, Batman is now able to counter two attacks at once, and he’ll be able to use his trusty smoke bombs. Arkham City will feature side missions, unlike the original game. There will also be more puzzles, criminal gangs to take down, and more riddler challenges. It’s too early to say, but it almost sounds like Rocksteady might be focusing Arkham City into a more sandbox-esque experience, which could be pretty damn cool if done right.

Anyway. Keep in mind that the above details are technically rumors; the source is hardly anything credible. Just be on the lookout for the upcoming issue of Game Informer for confirmation. What I can tell you in confidence is that we won’t be seeing Arkham City on store shelves until Fall of 2011. So. It’s time to play the waiting game. (IGN)

Nomura Provides Versus XIII/Agito XIII Updates

Woo. For those of you who are still waiting with bated breath for every Final Fantasy XIII-related piece of news, today is a happy day! Apparently both Agito and Versus XIII are currently undergoing the voice casting process. Which means they must be getting somewhere, right? If you don’t believe me, then believe Mr. Nomura. Here’s what he tweeted the other day: “Agito and Versus have different production styles and progress states, but they’re both presently undergoing voice casting. The 3rd Birthday’s recording will end shortly. Next up is Agito.”

He did go on to say a little more about Versus XIII. Apparently there’s a lot he could announce about the game, but due to Square Enix’s policies he cannot. However, he did comment on the nature of Versus XIII’s world map: “There have been many questions regarding fields. It’s not a completely open world. It’s like the 2D FF games in HD. Although, in terms of looks, it’s not a top-down view, it’s like the screenshots that have been released. You’ll move through the world from that view.”

Hm. Vague as that is, it already sounds more promising than Final Fantasy XIII’s abominable tunnels. In truth, I am still holding out for Versus XIII simply because it has the chance to be the game that Final Fantasy XIII failed to be. Obviously I have absolutely no reason to believe that it will be, but hope springs eternal. (IGN)

Please God Yes: Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia HD Collections Rumored

Oh man. I could care less about Splinter Cell, but an HD collection of the Sands of Time trilogy would be a literal dream come true. According to Joystiq, Amazon France is listing – or listed – trilogy collections for two classic Ubisoft franchises: Splinter Cell and Prince of Persia, both set for release in November. Below is visual evidence.

Obviously there’s no way of knowing if this is true or not. I’d like to say that Riddlethos has contacted Ubisoft for comment and will be back with you shortly, but we haven’t, because we don’t have any PR contacts with Ubisoft. Or anyone.

I can assure you, though, that we’ll be doing everything in our power to ensure that this is true. And by that I mean I’ll be kneeling at my bedside every night and offering up a prayer to whatever deities care to listen.

Well, that’s a wrap. Seeing that I’m still recovering from the dread mono, I have all of today off work. And tomorrow. Thursday, I believe, I make my return. In any case, I have some time to play games. Will I play anything aside from Modern Warfare 2? That’s yet to be seen, but for the record, I have been planning to re-start and finish Dragon Age: Origins. Also, I’ve been feeling an intense desire of late to re-visit an old friend, Ocarina of Time.

‘Till next time, you hateful creeps!

P.S, what the hell is a Scott Pilgrim Week?

The Five Sexiest Dudes in Gaming – #3: The Prince of Persia

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

And I’m back to talking about dudes.

But, it’s not just any dude. It’s the Prince of Goddamned Persia, and contrary to the terrible-ish movie that came out a few months ago, he’s actually a pretty awesome guy. I’m referring specifically to the Prince from last generation’s Sands of Time trilogy. While Ethos may think that the Prince of the 2008 series reboot is better-looking, I must respectfully disagree, if only due to the fact that we were never given the opportunity to see the new Prince shirtless. And, I don’t think many people will dispute the fact that the old Prince had a more likable and well-rounded personality.

While he may be a rough-and-tough warrior, the Prince is actually a pretty romantic guy as well. We see this first proved in The Sands of Time, where his subdued – and ultimately tragic – romance with the beautiful Farah is one of the game’s focal points. He was decidedly less sweet and romantic in the follow-up, Warrior Within, but hey; when you’ve got a time-guarding demon chasing after you night and day, I’d wager it’s damn difficult to make time for romance. Besides, while a lot of people may not have been a fan of the Prince’s new attitude in Warrior Within, at least it gave us the opportunity to see a different side of him. His desperate, gritty, take-shit-from-nobody side, to be precise. And, to all the countless scene girls in the world, that’s probably pretty sexy. (Or maybe just to me, Iunno.) And, the ending proper to the game showed that, at the very least, he maintained a voracious sense of sexuality. Regardless, he came back around with the release of The Two Thrones, in which he was re-united (sorta) with his lost love Farah. And, like the hopeless romantic that he is, he fell for her once again.

But, aside from being the romantic softy that every girl dreams of, the Prince gains major points for being a chesty, sword-wielding, parkouring badass. How many guys do you know who can get around the way he does? Running up and across walls, swinging on flagpoles,  When it comes down to it, he’s probably one of the most physically fit characters in gaming. And one can only dream how that physical prowess transfers over to sexytime.

I think 384 words is enough words about a male videogame character, don’t you? For all the reasons listed above, we give The Prince of Persia our #3 spot on The Five Sexiest Dudes in Gaming. Check back soon for the #3 Chick, courtesy of Ethos.

It’s On!

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Watch out, Princey boy

Welcome to Prince of Persia Week everybody. In preparation for the unexpected “The Forgotten Sands” game on May 18, and the actually-looks-pretty-cool Sands of Time movie on May 28, Riddles and I have decided to make this Sands of Time Week. Why this week? Well, frankly, we’re not sure how good the game is going to be, and Mario Galaxy 2 and Alan Wake deserve their own week more than a semi-tie-in. Also, why would we give a movie its own week? Everything makes more sense this way.

Of course, Oliver will be silly enough to buy The Forgotten Sands on day 1 and he’ll have impressions of the title, but this week is all about the race to the finish. Yes, Riddles and I are both going to attempt to playthrough the entire Sands of Time trilogy. Riddles has an innate advantage because he’s BEATEN Warrior Within and The Two Thrones, and he also doesn’t work 10 hour days on Tuesday and Wednesday, but whatever. I can be competitive. So place your bets and look forward to updates and IMpressions from Riddles and I throughout the week! Play along if you’d like! I’m popping in Sands of Time tonight! I’m quite excited as it’s one of my favourite games of last generation. No foolin’.

Hey! Look! Listen!

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

HLLfinal

Good… uh, early MORNING everyone, and welcome to yet another edition of Hey! Look! Listen! As per always, I’m your host Oliver “Riddles” Motok, and I’m here with a smattering of news stories and oddities that managed to catch my eye.

In case you haven’t guessed already, I’ve failed at playing any Wind Waker this week. However, the week is far from over, so there is time. That game happens to be my second favorite Zelda, hot on the heels of the immortal Ocarina of Time. So naturally, I’m pretty excited about re-visiting it.

Shall we?

PrinceofPersiaWarriorWithinUbisoft Announces New Prince of Persia Game

I don’t think I’ve ever been so simultaneously thrilled and terrified by a game revelation in my life. Ubisoft has recently announced that Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands will be released for both consoles and handhelds in May, coinciding with the upcoming film. Reportedly, the game will feature “fan-favorite elements from the original series,” as well as “new gameplay innovations.”

Why is this awesome? Because it’s a) Prince of Persia and b) a return to the Sands of Time universe, which is INFINITELY preferable to the cel-shaded universe of the recent series reboot.

Why is it terrifying? Well… because it’s a movie tie-in. While I can’t imagine that Ubisoft would mar the integrity of one of their most respected franchises, it’s still an unpleasant thought, given the quality of most film tie-ins. Secondly, Ubisoft DID NOT announce if this was a return to the Sands of Time videogame universe, or a game based on the film itself. (i.e, featuring the likenesses of the actors and such). If that turns out to be the case, no corner of the internet will be safe from my wrath. Let’s just say I’m tentatively both stoked and enraged. (Kotaku, 1UP).

Final Fantasy XIII Boxart, Length Revealed

The fact that Final Fantasy XIII will be mine in four months still hasn’t quite hit me yet. Not sure why, but regardless, the internet isn’t going to rest until my anticipation has reached the breaking point. Have a look at the game’s recently-revealed boxart:

FFXIIIboxart

My verdict: not bad, though extremely simplistic, and the Xbox 360 version wins for showing more leg.

While I’m on the subject: Final Fantasy XIII director Motomu Toriyama has gone on the record stating the the game will be a whopping 50-60 hours long. “For XIII, the size of the entire game is considerable,” said Toriyama.  ”Just running through the main story takes experienced players over 50 hours. For the first time, I think it’s possible to play through in full in about 60 hours or so.”

Good to know some things never change, I guess. Lord knows I’ll be punching in every hour and then some. (Kotaku, 1UP).

ac2screen2Assassin’s Creed II DLC Forthcoming

I rarely give a shit about downloadable content, but Ubisoft might change my mind with what they have planned for Assassin’s Creed II. Two different DLC packs have been announced, scheduled for release in January and February of 2010. They are entitled Battle of Forli and The Bonfire of the Vanities, respectively.

Those who have played and finished Assassin’s Creed II know that late in the game, the story skips a rather large chunk of time. (11 years, to be precise – it jumps from 1488 to 1499).  Also, it skips two chapters – jumping from “Memory Sequence 11″ to “Memory Sequence 14.”

Perhaps you’re picking up on something here? If  you need further proof, the Bonfire of the Vanities is an actual historical event that took place in Florence during the year 1497. Fits right in the aforementioned 11 year gap.

Oh, and Ubisoft is telling gamers to keep 1 GB of space available for each DLC, meaning these additional chapters will be quite lengthy indeed. (Kotaku).

Check Out Mass Effect 2’s New Asari Babe

I’m sorry, but Liara will not be making the cut as long as this chick’s around. All I can say at this point is damn.

Yakuza 3 Listing Found on Amazon Germany

It’s easy to forget that Yakuza 3 isn’t ACTUALLY confirmed for release outside of Japan. However, Sega’s persistent “no comments” and now this Amazon listing act as a sort of de facto announcement if you ask me. Apparently the game is set for a March release. I’d give you the link, but it’s apparently (and unsurprisingly) been taken down. Yakuza fans rejoice; I know you’re out there. I’m not one of them, though… seeing that I’ve, uh, never tried the series out. (1UP).

Nintendo Scales Back Wii Production

A report from Nikkei states that two Japanese companies, Mitsumi and Hosiden, are facing staggering losses in profit due to “declining fortunes” of Nintendo’s Wii. In case you’re slow on the uptake, Mitsumi and Hosiden are companies that assemble, among other things, Wii systems. Fewer Wiis being sold means fewer Wiis being assembled. All said, both companies are reportedly looking at net profit losses of over 50 percent. Ouch.

I find it rather humorous that, after years of keeping Wii production low, (likely for the sole purpose of stirring hype) Nintendo ramps it up, only to cut it back again with startling quickness. Or… maybe it’s all part of their evil plan. I don’t know. They’re devious little bastards like that. (Kotaku).

And that, as they say, is that! My goodness it’s late. Early. Whatever. Good thing I have to work for 10-11 hours tomorrow! Time to grab my four hours of sleep. Catch you on the flip side.

Concerning Voice Acting…

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Okay, well it’s confession time here at Riddlethos.com: we’ve failed hardcore at Cheesy Voice Acting week. My apologies to our legions of disappointed fans, but me and Ethos are only human. Or, at least, I’m only human. Ethos can speak for himself.

See, this happens when we don’t employ foreplay foresight while dreaming up theme weeks. I’ve spent the entire week trying to dream up SOMETHING relevant to write about Cheesy Voice Acting, but needless to say, I’ve been drawing blanks. So now I’m just… rambling. Rambling away. Let’s run with it, shall we?

Barf.

Barf.

Just how important IS voice acting to a game, anyway? In my opinion, the gaming industry must strive to achieve competence across the board when it comes to voicework, if it ever hopes to be treated with the same respect as the film industry. And I think we can all agree that, as a whole, the voice acting we hear today trumps what we had even five years ago. In fact, I can’t think of a single game I’ve played this generation that featured truly poor voice acting.

Wait. Strike that. I forgot about a certain Blue Dragon.

Anyway. Regardless, for every Blue Dragon we have a Lost Odyssey. And a BioShock. And an Uncharted. And a Mass Effect. And to be fair, there were more than a few last-gen releases that are noteable for their voicework. Sure, we had the Baten Kaitos’ and the Devil May Crys and the endless stream of licensed games with shitty imitation voice acting, (that stream is still running today, sadly) but we also had greatness in the form of Final Fantasy XII, Xenosaga, Dragon Quest VIII, and surely more that escape my mind at the moment.

Good voice acting is worth the money and time that developers put into it. Would Uncharted be the same without Nolan North’s fantastic portrayal of protagonist Nathan Drake? Can you imagine simply READING the dialogue in Final Fantasy XII? I can, and lemme tell ya, it’s a frightening concept. And on that note, why don’t I hit you with a list made off the top of my head. Here are five of my all-time favorite videogame voice roles.

Major Hottie.

Major Hottie.

Balthier – Final Fantasy XII

Well this one’s a no-brainer. Balthier was easily the most interesting character among FFXII’s (rather bland) lineup, and this is largely due to the fantastic voicework provided by Gideon Emery. Emery himself has a pretty impressive resume, appearing in a number of videogames including Call of Duty 4, Mass Effect, and the upcoming Assassin’s Creed 2. In addition to that, he’s appeared in several popular TV shows such as 24, Burn Notice, and CSI. Final Fantasy XII is one of the last generation’s most well-acted titles, and Balthier stands apart from the rest.

Jansen – Lost Odyssey

Seriously, who didn’t love this guy? Jansen is a perfect example of comic relief done correctly. He’s funny and goofy, yes, but never over the top, and he actually has some decent backstory to his character. Of course, Lost Odyssey’s cast of characters is one of the best in recent memory, which is just part of what makes it my personal favorite RPG of this generation. Jansen was voice by an apparent nobody named Michael McGaharn. By “nobody,” I mean to say that his Wikipedia page is a stub. Other voicework includes… Knuckles the Echidna in Sonic Adventure, and Lead Phoenix in Burning Rangers. Mean anything to you? Yeah, me neither. Ah well, hopefully we’ll get to hear him again in Lost Odyssey 2, which is currently being developed in the little dream world I visit at night.

The Prince of Persia – Sands of Time/Two Thrones

He's more soft-spoken than he looks.

He's more soft-spoken than he looks.

Perhaps you’ve heard me express my fanboyism for Yuri Lowenthal in the past. If not, then you’re about to. Anyone who’s played the original Prince of Persia trilogy knows what a fantastic job he did voicing the titular Prince, at least in the first and third installments. I love Robin Atkin Downes as well, but his gravelly Wolverine-ish performance as the Prince was just one of the many things wrong with Warrior Within. Lowenthal has been in a ton of games, including Tales of the Abyss, Persona 3, Persona 4, and Xenosaga Episode III. He can also be found in a number of animes (including one of my personal favorites, Ergo Proxy) and a some scattered live-action roles.

King Trode – Dragon Quest VIII

This is fast becoming a very RPG-centric list. But like I said, I’m just going off the top of my head here, so live with it. King Trode was one of the best things about Dragon Quest VIII, and that’s saying a lot, because… Dragon Quest VIII was awesome. To this day I’m not quite sure why I loved it so much, since I’m generally turned off by grindy, ultra-traditional RPGs. Maybe it’s because among the last generation’s RPG offerings, Dragon Quest VIII’s presentation and production qualites are rivalled only by Final Fantasy XII. Among those sharp production qualities is a shockingly stellar voice cast, composed mostly of nobodies. But as good as they all are, Jon Glover’s performance as a quirky king-turned-Toad tops them all.

Albedo – Xenosaga Trilogy

This list is in no particular order, but I can safely say that among the five I’ve mentioned here, Crispin Freeman’s performance as the psychotic Albedo is my personal favorite. My love for the Xenosaga series is well-known, but I don’t think I’ve ever discussed just how much I love Albedo. He is, without question, my favorite videogame villain of all time. He’s truly insane, he’s sickeningly brutal, he has no regard for human life, and he laughs a lot. Take Kefka, merge him with Heath Ledger’s Joker, and you get Albedo. Unlike the two of them, though, Albedo actually has a backstory, which is slowly (and disturbingly) revealed throughout the course of the three games. We see everything, from his childhood to the current day, that turned him into what he is. Freeman is another one of my favorite voice actors of all time, having appeared in dozens of games including Tales of Symphonia, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, and the upcoming God of War III. His performance in the Xenosaga games is undoubtedly his best work, at least from what I’ve seen. Albedo would still be a fantastic villain without him, but Freeman’s performance is why I still have so many of his insane quips and rans burned into my brain.
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Lists are fun. I like lists. Did you like this list? Do you have a list of your own, perchance? COMMENT BELOW, FOOLS.
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This list is in no particular order, but I can safely say that among the five I’ve mentioned here, Crispin Freeman’s performance as the psychotic Albedo is my personal favorite. My love for the Xenosaga series is well-known, but I don’t think I’ve ever discussed just how much I love Albedo. He is, without question, my favorite videogame villain of all time. He’s truly insane, he’s sickeningly brutal, he has no regard for human life, and he laughs a lot. Take Kefka, merge him with Heath Ledger’s Joker, and you get Albedo. Unlike the two of them, though, Albedo actually has a backstory, which is slowly (and disturbingly) revealed throughout the course of the three games. We see everything, from his childhood to the current day, that turned him into what he is. Freeman is another one of my favorite voice actors of all time, having appeared in dozens of games including Tales of Symphonia, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, and the upcoming God of War III. His performance in the Xenosaga games is undoubtedly his best work, at least from what I’ve seen. Albedo would still be a fantastic villain without him, but Freeman’s performance is why I still have so many of his insane quips and rans burned into my brain.

Lists are fun. I like lists. Did you like this list? Do you have a list of your own, perchance? COMMENT BELOW, FOOLS.

“I Need A Cigarette” – Love Story Hits Countdown: #4

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Well, it’s time to end the day on a positive note. We shall now discuss one of my favorite video game romances of all time, straight from one of my favorite games of all time.

Bad ASS

Bad ASS

#4 Best Video Game Romance: The Prince and Farah
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is the definitive action platformer of the last generation; that’s something that Ubisoft’s recent reboot of the series can’t claim. Brilliant mechanics, a compelling story, and fantastic dialogue make this a game you simply must play.

In Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, it’s two against the world, practically. The Prince and Farah are the only human survivors of the catastrophic Sands of Time, and together they must find a way to bring things to rights. Their partnership is somewhat reminiscent of Ico and Yorda, except Farah is actually worth a shit. She runs, jumps, climbs, and shoots a bow-and-arrow like a pro. And, unbelievably, she and the Prince are chatting the whole time.

But really, the dialogue in The Sands of Time is absolutely brilliant. Obviously, the vast majority of it belongs to Farah and the Prince. The banter and conversation the two of them hold during the course of the gameplay is consistently entertaining, and effective in building the subdued, sweet love story that the game tells. Of course, the tension is once again broken by a semi-awkward love scene (which, again, takes place in water). Tragically, the game ends with the two lovers apart – due to events beyond their control.

Lithe...

Lithe...

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within came next, and Farah was nowhere to be seen. Instead we were given copious amounts of skanky, scantily-clad whores, most of whom we had to kill. (The game did feature a shiny new M-rating, after all). Farah’s presence was sorely missed. Instead of sweet, entertaining banter between the Prince and his little companion, Warrior Within treated us to a more Wolverine-ish Prince shouting angry things at himself for hours on end. LAME.

Ubisoft took Warrior Within’s criticisms to account when they released The Two Thrones, which featured, among many other things, the return of Farah. Care to guess what happened? That’s right, the two of them started falling in love again. It was almost sad to see, seeing as how Farah retained no memory of the Prince at all. Disappointingly, the team mechanic wasn’t nearly as prominent in the gameplay as it was in The Sands of Time, but it was certainly an improvement over Warrior Within.

Much to everyone’s delight, the ending was a happy one this time around, implying that the Prince and Farah had a bright future ahead of them. It’s worth mentioning here that The Two Thrones has yet another one of the greatest endings to grace a videogame. For a love that burned (literally) across the ages, The Prince and Farah are given the esteemed #4 spot on Riddlethos’s list of the greatest videogame romances.

‘ELLO GUV’NAH!

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Hey folks. I’ve decided to title my “What have I been playing?” segment “‘ELLO GUV’NAH!” for no other reason except that I love saying that. Always have. Always will.
And I was using it way before I met you, Lee Gordon! That’s a fact, so stop your worrying.
If he still had me on Facebook, he would delete me right about now.
Moving on!

Blue Dragon-
I picked this game up again. Still fun. Still void of mood.

Eternal Sonata-
People seem to either love or hate this game. So far, I’m the rare one on the fence. I think my choice to turn off English voice acting off the top has helped my experience, however.

InFAMOUS-
Super fucking fun. Always satisfying to run into a group of enemies and tear them to shreds with increasingly badass powers. I was talking to “The Broken Finger” about it, and I agree when he says the game holds your attention by constantly making you feel more and more powerful. Maybe he said that. At least, that’s what I remember him saying. You never know with The Broken Finger.

Fable 2-
You heard me, Lusipurr! And it’s fun! I’ll admit that it’s pretty stupid too, but it’s also addicting. Or at least addicting until you marry someone and she demands sex out of you all the time.
I’m trying to save the world, woman!!
What a bitch.

Prince of Persia-
The newest one. But it’s a second playthrough and I don’t feel like talking about it, so stuff it.

That’s it! I know I promised “HILARIOUS commentary” but, hey, I lied. So here’s a dumb picture to make you happy.
I didn’t draw this. This chick did.
british