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Ethos and Riddles talk about video games...
            Can you handle it?
by Ethos

Here’s a gift.

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Scatter Storming. Issue #023

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

ss023Wow, Riddles is fail. I stayed up extra late for the mother fucker because he promised he’d be around at a certain time so we could do those IMpressions that I promised last night. Now I just look like an asshole! Granted, midnight typically isn’t late for me, but it has been recently, and Riddles knew that, so don’t hold back your hate.

Obviously this is a Final Fantasy issue, so there’s no need to hesitate.

I don’t find Vanille that annoying -
I needed to get this out of the way right off the top. I mean, I agree with Riddles that she sounds like she’s perpetually having sex, but that’s not so bad, right? And when compared to Rikku, Vanille is a godsend. At least Squeenix isn’t obsessed with giving terrible hooks to these characters. Remember Rikku’s unforgivable “Yunie, y’know?”. Goddammit, it makes me want to kill babies just thinking about it. Anyway, Vanille’s far from my favourite, but she’s not so bad.

Dude, the battle system is fucking awesome –
Excepting recently when I’ve been killing it a bit more easily, the battle system is consistently engaging and fun. I noticed something that I think is the reason why I love it so much. In a game like FF9, the battle system itself is pretty boring really. Now, it never really bored me because I enjoyed seeing the payoff from my leveling and the decisions I made with equipment and abilities and such. The battles were payoff for working the backend. The fantastic thing about FFXIII is that not only is there still that noticeable difference in battle for tinkering with the backend, but the battles themselves take quick reactions and deep strategy to master. It’s a beautiful balance. If you power-up the wrong roles or don’t construct a key paradigm, you’ll find yourself fucked in battle. However, if you made fantastic choices in the menu systems but make a few grave errors in battle, you won’t survive either. The result is easily the most engaging and satisfying battle system ever created. Pogo came to watch me play for a bit, and I took 10 seconds to try and explain something without pausing, and I was very quickly slaughtered. No longer are battles part of a larger grind to manage overall HP and MP until the next inn, but rather individual efforts. It brings you into the moment and makes the game perpetually exciting.

vanilleYeah, there’s something missing -
Although I’m enjoying the cast and story, and immensely enjoying the battle, paradigm, and crystalium systems, I have to mirror what everybody else is saying in that there does just seem to be something missing. And I’m actually okay with the linearity and lack of towns, but there isn’t even a sense of different cultures. It’s fine that there’s only humans, but Final Fantasy has been so great at representing diversity, and while Cocoon has a rich culture, I’m surprised and disappointed to not have more insight. Also, while I say I don’t miss towns, I do miss what they represent: gathering information. While I’m enjoying the datapad, or whatever it’s called, I do miss picking up that sort of insight from the scattered comments of NPCs. They also provide quirk and personality to the world. So although I’m thoroughly enjoying the game, I am missing that extra layer of depth.

The music’s a mixed bag -
While it’s not a soundtrack I’d import the sheet music for, I’ve been very impressed with a lot of the music. It can be moody, unique, and very effective. Yet once in a while, there’s a track that comes on and I have to mute and unmute the sound to make sure it’s actually coming from the game. I think it’s Sazh’s theme, actually, because it usually props up when he’s diving into his past. Bad, bad choice.

That’s enough for me! Back to the game!

Hey! Look! Listen! Audio Edition #001

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Yup, we did it. Because Riddles is here in person, we decided to make Hey! Look! Listen! into an audio edition this time and debunk all the validity the feature has built up for the site. Pogo joins as a special guest and complete madness ensues. Please to enjoy.

Download directly here.

Subscribe to the RSS feed here.

Subscribe to it on iTunes here.

Scatter Storming. Issue #020 “Exit Classy”

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

ss020Here it is, folks. The end of another 10 issue run of Scatter Storming. We all hoped it wouldn’t happen. People ran screaming in pain through the streets because of this feature’s continued existence but still it presses on. While this 10 issue run was supposed to have “classy” as the theme, it definitely deviated from that on a few occasions. Still, I’d like to pretend that I was more consistent, so I’ve made one final simple and clean cover for this twentieth issue. However, I still haven’t really played any games. The Olympics are liquid crack and I had to prepare for Doofus McDoofus’ arrival. Actually, speaking of that dude, maybe I’ll dedicate this issue to him.

A day of firsts -
After Riddles’ first flight on a plane, he arrived for the first time in a different country, made his first trip on public transit, had his first Volcano Crunchwrap from Taco Bell, made his first purchase with Canadian dollars, and thus had his first pocket full of loonies and toonies. All was looking up for our young friend until…

Apparently Riddles couldn’t handle his first flight of Canadian stairs. Yup, after I told him that the bathrooms were downstairs, I hear him wander off, then silence, then CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK “Ow”. All I can say is that I wish I had cameras installed in my house to capture that wonderful moment.

Oh wait, I can kinda talk about games! -
I watched Riddles beat Bioshock 2 and then watched a fair amount of the online play. The single player looks like a lot more fun from a purely visceral standpoint. There are more enemies, more powerful enemies, and more ways to take them all out. Unfortunately that seemed to, in turn, shift the focus to combat. At least in the final stages. While there were some undoubtedly strong moments in the final few hours, and while I didn’t have the context of the rest of the game, Bioshock 2 seems to fall apart in an even worse way than the original did at the end. Not from a lack of potential either, from what I can tell. But Riddles will no doubt cover all of this in his impending review that will overshadow this Scatter Storming edition anyway.

Also, multi-player -
Right, I mentioned the online multi-player. It seems cool. Nothing more really to say. It has some cool ideas that all tie into the single-player mechanics which is neat, but while it copies some of Modern Warfare 2’s strong points, it doesn’t seem to be able to compare to the experience overall. And when you have the choice between good online multi-player and excellent online multi-player, there’s really no reason to not choose the latter unless you have a strong preference for setting.

What? No picture post? -
Yeahyeah, I know the “10th Issue Extravaganza!!!” had a few celebratory MS Paintjobs at the end of it. However, just because the style rotation happens every 10 issues, doesn’t mean each time it happens it’ll be a celebration. It was just a happy coincidence last time. Also, there’s a lot of content planned for this very special week so suck it up!

That’s it, there’s the review outline below to peruse and Riddles sure-to-be epic Bioshock 2 review coming soon, plus even more content later on, so here’s my exit and the exit of classy Scatter Stormings. At least for now…