Dec 31, 2010

Everybody wants to love.

Heya, quick small bonus for anyone who checked out the Final Fantasy 13 review, and haven't watched this already. I'm sure if you've played this game you will have picked up on a certain tension between the heroines Fang and Vanille.. :)

Dec 29, 2010

Street Fighter comeback compilation

LianghuBBB from made a great video featuring a collection of amazing comeback situations from Super Street Fighter IV which was also featured on, and since sharing is caring here it is for your enjoyment!

In before Guile theme goes with everything:

Dec 27, 2010

Review: Final Fantasy 13

Another way overdue review, here is Square Enix's Final Fantasy 13, released march 2010 for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. I played this on a PS3, but the differences between the versions are fairly small. I think the only significant change on the Xbox 360 version is that some cutscenes are rendered, where on PS3 they use the regular game engine. Oh, and there's no disc swapping on the PS3, gotta love Blu-ray.


The Final Fantasy series should be well known to everyone moderately interested in games, but in short, it is a long line of wildly popular japanese RPG's. Final Fantasy 1 was released back on the NES in 1987, and the game's name was anything but random. Square was deep in financial problems, and Final Fantasy was their last attempt to tip the scales before shutting down. The game and all its follow ups have all been instant hits.

Final Fantasy 13 is the first in the series on current High Definition consoles, and Square Enix very clearly put in everything they could to make the game as visually gorgeous as possible, and has also given us a game that is very different from earlier releases, for good and for bad.

The game's story begins with a bang as a riot takes place in one of the cities of Cocoon, an artificial planet suspended high over the lower planet Gran Pulse. In the chaos we are introduced to the six playable characters of the game whose destinies become one and they fight a desperate battle to escape a very grim fate.


As with the older games of the series, the two main focuses of FF 13 is the story and tactical combat. Outside of the battles, playing this title feels almost like watching a fantasy movie, there is rarely very long between dialogues and cutscenes telling the story as it goes on, and snippets of history that slowly piece together whats going on. It gets pretty confusing, and it doesn't help one bit to have to relate to cryptic names like fal'cie, pulse l'cie, and c'ieth. Still, I thought the story was great, even emotional as you discover the tragic stories of our characters.  Fair warning though, if you get bored watching long cutscenes and cinematic clips, this game probably isn't for you.

The realtime tactical battles that make up the majority of the actual gameplay, is great. There's been mixed feelings about FF 13's combat system but I just love it. For the most part of the game, you can not choose which characters to have in your battle team, it depends on where you are in the story forcing you to learn the strengths and weaknesses of each one, and you often play with rather unusual setups. Each character has a number of party roles they can do, but only one at a time. This is where the Paradigm system comes into play and adds a lot of depth to the combat. Paradigms are like a deck of party roles you can set and tinker around with between battles, and while fighting you can change paradigms whenever you like to switch party roles. For example, you might start a battle out with a commando and ravagers to quickly do damage and try to "stagger" (when enemies take damage they fill up a stagger bar, when full they become staggered and take much more damage) enemies, but when taking heavy damage or in preparation for it, you can switch to a Paradigm with a medic and a sentinel to absorb damage. Other roles include saboteurs who cast curses and debuffs on enemies, and synergists who cast beneficial spells on the battle team.

Some (or many, I should say) feel the combat is far too simple, that all you have to do is mash autoattack which lets the game pick what attacks and abilities are most useful. You can also only directly control the battle team leader, other party members do their own thing but use the paradigm roles you've set, and assist on the same target as you.  I say the combat system is just great. Everything happens so fast there's rarely time  to fiddle around in the menues setting up the abilities you want to use, and once the battles start getting more difficult you often have to switch around paradigms like a madman to keep everyone alive. Some hate on the autoattack function, but I am very happy to have it. There is far more depth to the tactical battles than mentioned so far, to learn more I suggest watching the embedded video at the bottom of this post.

Another big change in Final Fantasy 13 from the older games, is that it is completely linear. You can't at any point until you've completed the game (except when you're on Gran Pulse, that area is a bit more open) decide you want to head someplace else, and there are no quests or sidequests in the traditional sense to do. This point has raised a lot of raging critisism and I'm inclined to agree, I would much have preferred a more non-linear approach with more freedom. One good thing from it though is that the story feels tighter. The linear approach was an intended one from Square Enix, and in their defense I can kinda understand how it would be almost impossible to make it more open while still keeping the ultrasexy visuals of the game.


Simply put, the presentation of the game is incredibly hot. Easily the most visually impressive game I've played to date, Square Enix deserve mad props for the breathtaking visuals. Everything looks fantastic, whether you are exploring, watching cutscenes, poking around in the game menues or doing battle.  The game music also deserves mention, as has come to be expected of the Final Fantasy series we are treated with wonderful orchestrated scores that gets you even more sucked into the game.


8 / 10

I wish I could give this game a 10 as I absolutely loved playing Final Fantasy 13, but I can't in good conscience not withdraw points for how extremely linear it is. Also, the battles don't really get exciting until you're well into the game and have unlocked paradigms and developed your characters a bit which takes many hours of game time. As you're playing you get one little new tool to play with now and then for the first few chapters and until stuff is unlocked and fleshed out a bit, all you can really do is "press X to autoattack".

Once that's done with though I was left with a terrific gaming experience with a rich story and tense battles and having one heck of a time the roughly 50 hours it took to complete the main story. There is even more to do after the story is done as all characters unlock more roles and can level even more, and there's a bunch of trophies/achievements doing a lot more after the game is "done".

What are your thoughts about this game? Feel free to leave comments about the game, or my opinions of it!

Official trailer (I recommend clicking the youtube link, and watching this in 720p full screen):

Battle system explained:

Vocaloid win!

How do people come up with this stuff? So awesome !




Review: Scott Pilgrim vs The World - The Game

Far as game titles names go, that sure is a mouthful!

This review is long overdue! Released back in august 2010, Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game is a downloadable title available for PS3 and Xbox Live for around $10.

In the mysterious land of Toronto, Canada, Scott Pilgrim is a nobody who plays in a band with his ex girlfriend. His life takes a turn to the epic when he falls in love with lovely Ramona Flowers, but there's a problem. In order to be with his love he has to defeat her seven evil ex'es. Good thing our boy Scott happens to be a world class fighter! And so the stage is set, as you set out to help Scott win his love.

Scott Pilgrim is a fantastic, retro style, rock solid side scrolling beat'em up game from the 8/16 bit era, bearing close resemblance to old goldies like Double DragonFinal Fight and River City Ransom. The levels are decently long and at the end of each is one of Ramona's ex'es to defeat. You play as Scott or one of three of his friends from his band, dispensing justice to tons of bad guys with kicks and punches, or umbrellas. Whatever is at hand. Each character has a number of powerful combos and moves available, but they can also pick up almost anything on the ground to pummel enemies as well, including grounded enemies. There's nothing like beating a bad guy to death using one of his friends as a weapon.

There is a slight RPG element as well, as each character can level up with experience up to level 16 to unlock new moves and combos. Foes drop canadian currency as well which can be spent in the many ingame shops for food or items that heal and more importantly, increase statistics like strength, defense and speed.

As a result, until your character is levelled up the game can be pretty dang hard even at the first levels, at the easiest difficulty! This game is very, very challenging, close to "Nintendo difficulty" in the NES 8 bit days. Damn those games were hard. That's not to say I'm not loving it! It has been a while since a game tested me like this, and its very refreshing.

You can play the game alone or in the company of up to three friends on the same system, but there is NO online multiplayer. At all. Apparently a design choice to encourage playing with mates on the couch, but really now, no online multiplayer at all is a big let down for me. Unless you have bought the DLC for the game which includes an extra character and some other new stuff, there is also no option for drop in multiplayer, gotta start the game from scratch if a friend comes over. Could be better. And charging extra for a functionality that should be patched in normally just makes me angry. Ubisoft, I hate you guys. Paying for extra content, ok.. but now we are expected to pay to have our games patched? Get real.

Retro, baby! Everything in this game screams 8 bit nostalgia. From the old school game sprites, the classic beat'em up gameplay to the AWESOME  chiptune soundtrack delivered by Anamanaguchi. It's very clear the game is made especially for us old farts who grew up with beat'em ups on the 8 bit consoles and remember them with stars in our eyes. Even the pause music is a tribute to Battletoads. I love it!


Overall, a great game which at low price tag should be in every console owner's game collection. Very solid beat'em up gameplay with lots of fun, nostalgia and great chip tune music.

Points reduced for limited multiplayer options, and the insult of charging for an extra DLC to improve the multiplayer slightly (but still no online play).

What are your thoughts about this game? Feel free to leave comments about the game, or my opinions of it!

Official trailer: