Monday, June 25, 2007

I'm not swallowing my own blood anymore.... sort of.... not really...

So, I had my wisdom teeth out this past Tuesday and I am still in a lot of pain. I had all four out and have not eaten properly since then. I've only recently worked my way onto baby food. I didn't know, but they made toddler food!!! It's unbelievable!! I have flavours like Spanish Chicken & Rice and Beef Stroganoff, when did they upgrade these? Geeeez...

Anyway, I thought I'd be playing more video games, but the only game I've been playing is "Try to not choke on your own blood". I know that's gross, but I feel I have to rant about it, someone must knowwwww!! Actually, in between my Tylenol 3's and cold compresses I've managed to work in Guild Wars time! I've managed to get Vabbian armour (Nightfall Armour) and dye it all black (with the help of my friend Roguecrx R of course) I've also managed to get 24/25 missions towards the Protector of Tyria title. Oh, yes, I'm super cool. O_o;;

So, I'm gonna put the GW aside for today and see if I can clean a bit and stuff. I hope to do more reviews and posts when I get better so stay tuned!

Acts of Gord

One of the strips from the comic version
I was surfing around Gamestore Girl's comments and a commenter named Catherine provided links to this hilarious comic/website called Acts of Gord, oh, and here's the comic vesion. From what I've seen the comic version is more of a story, and the first link was more of a rant about game store customers but please correct me if I'm wrong about that.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Type of Gamer?

I was surfing around my friend Opal's site and came across a link to Female Gamer. She had a quiz up that asked what type of gamer you are, so naturally I was curious and decided to take it.
Based on your answers, you are AESK.
Breakdown: Achiever 73.33%, Explorer 53.33%, Killer 33.33%, Socializer 40.00%

AESK players are interested in the player-versus-environment aspect of the game more than anything else. They are often soloists who want to achieve and see what the world has to offer. Often, they find groups cumbersome and PVP to be more an annoyance than a feature.
Lol, I do like soloing, but I do enjoy playing with friends in PvE, and it is true that I'm not really into PvP. Pretty neat!

There's also this test which finds out what you enjoy about a game.
Based on your answers, you are Supporter-Strategist.
This combination is also referred to as the Quarterback playstyle.

You enjoy figuring out the best means of winning in a situation, and you're ready to take on the harder or more obscure jobs to make sure that your plan comes together. You might not be out in front all the time, but you enjoy the recognition that comes with being the bedrock of a team. You'll often be the one calling the tactical shots in the middle of an encounter.
Lol, I'm always either a healer or a tank because no one else wants to be, and I like strategy, so I guess this is somewhat accurate too?

Monday, June 18, 2007

May NPD numbers

Well, Nintendo has done it again! Check out the May NPD numbers! They also have four of the five top selling titles, wewt!

GameStop also experienced an increase in sales this summer, probably thanks to Nintendo's sales and the EB/GameStop merge.
Another big winner appears to be GameStop Corp. (GME) , one of the few independent video game retailers in the sector.

Underscoring this point, shares of GameStop jumped more than 5% in morning trading Friday to hit $39.28 -- setting a new all-time high for the stock on a split-adjusted basis. The shares have nearly doubled since last summer.

"We believe the multiple is warranted given GameStop's dominant position as a specialty retailer of video games, its substantial infrastructure to trade used titles [providing a unique point of differentiation with customers relative to other retailers] and potential for margin expansion as new software sales increase as a percentage of the product mix," David Magee of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey wrote in a note to clients Thursday, before the NPD numbers came out.

Music Game Fevah!

I've been noticing a lot of music game fever going on, especially with the release of Karaoke Revolution, SingStar and Guitar Hero (especially since I'm harassed a few times every shift on the availability of GH on the 360/PS2). Gamestore Girl (thanks for the link back btw!) brought my attention to the game Rockband, it reminds me of the Drummania, GuitarFreaks, all those linkable Konami arcade games, but way more fleshed out. I don't know if I'll get RockBand because I think it would be the same or more in price range and I just don't know where I'd put all the damn peripherals lol, I still have my four bongos from Donkey Konga, two Taiko Drums, two Guitars from Guitar Hero and a partridge in a pear treeee.... (I couldn't resist) plus all those controllers and remotes... ANYWAYS, MOVING ALONG!

In similar news, I was flipping through my issue of Nintendo Power and they had an article on a new DS title. It's called Jam Sessions and it's not a game but a "guitar simulator". I haven't had a chance to go through the whole article, but when I do I'll write a little more. Man, I wish I had a DS instead of playing the trumpet/trombone in high school, it would have been a heck of a lot easier to carry the case home!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

AH! I'm supposed to be saving money!

So, I was trying to budget my money on Saturday and I end up buying two games! Ah!!! Maybe I can cut out food, who needs to eat anyway...

I bought Paper Mario for the Wii and Super Dodge Ball Advance for the GBA. I was waiting a long time for Paper Mario and hopefully I'll be able to play that and FFXII this week (because I have to get my wisdom teeth out this week).

For anyone interested, Super Dodge Ball is a remake of a classic Technos title (I know the NES version). They are the same makers as River City Ransom, Crash and the Boys and Double Dragon. Here is an excellent site on the history of the games! I have to say I still miss the old character designs though *sigh*.

images from Hardcore Gaming 101, NES version on the top and GBA on the bottom

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

One step foward and two steps back... or something

So I was reading through the Next Gen blogs and came across this, Square-Enix is going to release Dragon Quest IX for the DS... and not for the consoles. Their reasoning was that people are still getting used to the new graphics and features that the next gen consoles posses. Also, it has to do with the DS' large user base.
We chose the Nintendo DS because the widest array of people use it, including people who previously did not play games before,” Wada said.

I can't say I'm surprised that the DS is garnering so much support (I mean look up Aprils NPD numbers), but I think it's kind of funny that a hand held unit is beating out all the high end consoles *cough*especiallyPS3*cough*. I realize there are many factors influencing that, but I can't help chuckling to myself about it.

Zomg! More announced for Taiko Drum for DS

I was happy to read that more information is available about the Taiko Drum game for DS!! Game | Life - Wired Blog has more on this (and is where I got the pic from).

It has a release date of July 26! I'll definitely keep an eye out for it if I do end up going to Japan this year!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Jumping on the bandwagon

Yup, I have finally joined the FF bandwagon with a purchase of Final Fantasy XII! I didn't think I would buy it this soon, but I saw a pre-owned copy of the special edition one and I couldn't resist! I also bought the new DS browser (which I should have bought in NY since it was like $10 cheaper there! Grr!) When I saw the DS browser I was excited because it looks a lot easier to use than the PSP browser, maybe I can do some system reviews too in case some people dont know what I'm talking about.

I will probably set it all up tonight and try it out but I have to set up my Nintendo Wifi USB on my computer again. Also, I'll probably do some Wii boxing tonight too!

In other news, I can't seem to find my battery charger for my camera! I'll have to look for it after work today...

Saturday, June 9, 2007

The watch that doesn't stop

I was watching the Discovery Channel and a segment about the Seiko Kinetic Watch came up. I was surprised to find out that this watch is powered by the movement of the human arm! Isn't that something? No need for a battery or winding, they said that essentially a baby can have this watch and it will continue working as long as they live. The only thing is that the watch can *never* be opened otherwise it will stop working this is why the watch goes through rigorous testing to ensure that it's sealed.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Non-Stop Gaming in Montreal!

My co-worker just sent me this link, lol I'm so productive... it's pretty gross, I've seen some of my customers like that, yuck. At least wash yourself before going outside....

Anyway, this was done for the Arcadia Festival 2006, which is a non-stop gaming event for three days! It's in Montreal!!! Wow, something is for me in Montreal! But the sad thing is that it interferes with my Japan trip because Arcadia Festival is November 9-11. Oh well, maybe next year...

Yggdra Union: We'll Never Fight Alone GBA


Developer: ST!NG
Publisher: ATLUS
Released: November 2006
ESRB Rating: Teen
Multiplayer: No
Genre: RPG Strategy, with cards
Platform: GBA

Platform Reviewed on: GBA
Official Website: None for this game.
Hours played: Approx. 13 hours. At the Framm Granary, Battle Field 15.

Synopsis: You are in control of several different characters, the main characters are Princess Yggdra and Milanor, a stray thief. As you make your way through the game you obtain more playable characters like Durant the Knight and Nietzsche the Undine.

The main story is you are Yggdra trying to run away from the Empire and reclaim the Kingdom of Paltina. She makes a deal with Milanor to give her castle to him if he helps her. He agrees and they set out on a journey to save Paltina from the Empire.

Tutorial: There are several tutorials that are set up throughout the battles, usually in the beginning of the fight and they are mostly triggered when you select a card from your deck. They integrate the tutorials into the storyline so one of the characters explains the rules while the others ask questions about what they have just "learned".

Story/Characters: So far the story is good although it's not very engrossing. I'm finding myself mostly addicted to the gameplay. The characters are also common, a dutiful princess, a good-hearted thief, a loyal knight...

Graphics/Cinematics: 2D artwork, with the picture of the character showing up with their dialog. Cinematics is 2D artwork scrolling from top to bottom, like Sting's other game Riviera.

Interface: Very cluttered. I was really irritated with the interface because there were far too many menus and unnecessary/cluttered text. When the character is talking I don't understand why they need a sprite of the character, a 2D drawing, and a "now talking" text line under their name. It's just overkill. The select screens in the beginning of a battle can also be confusing, I'd suggest reading the manual but it's not very helpful.

Sound/Audio/Voice Acting: The music for the game is okay as well, there aren't any tracks that stand out in particular, but it's not bad. The sound effects are pretty typical too. No voice acting.

Gameplay/Controls: Here's the saving grace of the game, (or maybe it's because I love strategy RPGs).

The gameplay reminds me of a cross between Advance Wars and Fire Emblem. It's a top view of your characters as sprites, which you have to move around a map to complete certain objectives. Each of your characters have different abilities (associated with the cards selected) and weapon types (AKA their "Ace"). They are also in command of several units of the same weapon type (Yggdra is a Sword Maiden and therefore all the units with her are sword wielders). Each weapon type is subject to a weapon triad similar to Fire Emblem, where swords best axes, axes best lances, and lances best swords. There's a magic and long range triad too, I believe is melee (axe, sword, lance) bests arrows, arrows best magic and magic bests melee.

Each battle uses a different amount of cards, so depending on the characters you select that will determine what cards to select. There are also cards that can be used by all characters. Some cards have restrictions on them, so keep that in mind.

The way it works is you select a card (based on what you want to do), each card has a move number on it. The move number indicates how many spaces your *whole* party can move. You can move them separately but they all must add to that move number. If you want to attack an enemy you must move your character next to the icon you want to engage and form a "union". There are two different types of unions, male and female. Male unions are shaped in an 'X' in which the character is in the center of it. Any friendly combat units on the empty 'X' blocks will form a "union" and join your main character in battle. Likewise the female unions are in the shape of a + and the same rules apply. As the battles move on, the unions become more complicated. [edit 006/18/07]: Forgot to mention that you can only form a "union" once per turn.

The actual battling screen is interesting too, there's a power gauge at the top, which allows for different skills (depending on the cards) when you fight passively the bar fills up, likewise, aggressive fighting will use up the bar.

I like the way the different moves and tactical information is presented, they take the simple concepts then build on them which I think is more successful given the high learning curve.

One of my beefs with the gameplay is the fact that you can't determine the damage you're doing as you're battling. It displays the amount of units you have, but doesn't have a health bar or HP to see the progress. [edit 006/18/07]: I forgot to mention that there are symbols on the bottom in the center that indicates how much of a chance you have against your enemy (which can also be indicated by remembering the weapon triad). It's hard to remember the symbols though.

Replay value: Medium, if you lose certain battles you will play a different storyline. Also, if there are houses you've missed you might miss out on items.

Learning Curve: Moderate-Hard

+ Unique and interesting battle system (unions, cards and weapon types)
+ Many variations for battling (female/male unions, weapon triads, aces)
+ Skill level increases steadily, information about battling is not thrown at you all at once

- Interface to cluttered/hard to navigate
- Items for morale too sparse
- Hard to determine fighting when in battle

Summary: Not a bad game, especially if you want to try something different, but can be pretty frustrating with the high learning curve. If you can get past that and the interfaces, it's an overall solid game with unique gameplay.

Score: 8/10

Images from

Nintendo World Store NYC

Image from

So I arrived back from NYC on Sunday, with many Nintendo goodies! I was able to go to the Nintendo World store *twice*, surprisingly, there wasn't much there, but I was still excited because it's Nintendo.

I took some pictures with my friends camera, but I'll have to post them later when she gives them to me.

I pretty much bought everything that wasn't games or consoles, since I can get those here. I got a couple of patches, pins, an air freshener, another copy of Mario Monopoly (so I don't have to open my first copy), a swiss army knife, a mug, a Zelda belt (which I'm wearing now lol) and of course, gifts for co-workers. It was upsetting that the t-shirts and jackets were either too big, too small, or just boring. I have better Nintendo shirts than the ones there... btw, some on the site are not in the store, it's kind of random.

I was also upset that the laser to engrave the images onto a DS was broken. He told me to wait a few weeks, and to come back but I can't since I'm up here in Canada. Doh. Well, that just means that I have to go back to NYC!

The NYC trip overall was good, my five friends and I drove down and stayed in Manhattan. The trip was four days, and we saw Times Square, Central Park, The MoMA, Rockefeller Center (where we did "Top of the Rock"), Brooklyn Bridge, and traveled around Soho, Chinatown and Little Italy. Lots of shopping was also done (more than I'd like since I looked at my credit card bill). In October or November, I'm planning to go to Japan with a friend, so places to visit would *have* to include the Capcom HQ, Nintendo (even though I think you're not allowed inside) and the Studio Ghibli museum.