Sunday, June 29, 2008
Isn't it awesome?! And, if for some reason you didn't watch the second one, they show that the bosses you can fight are HUGE (One guy gets his head bitten off!) and you can do 4 player co-op alla Gaunlet Legends. Seriously, it looks like they're playing Gauntlet Legends, but with Diablo 3 characters and abilities. How awesome is that? Oh, plus destructable terrain. See that loose wall next to the zombies? BAM! RumbleCrumbleCrashSplat! 15 zombies dead. Enemies crash through banisters and railings on bridges and ledges. Heck, the fact that enemies go flying at all is an improvement on Diablo 2, though its fairly standard for games now so I guess to be expected. Also, they're keeping the old 3/4 isometric view, which is a VERY good idea. Free Roaming camera works in some games, but Diablo wouldn't be the same if you had to manage a camera.
There's no realease date yet, but that's hardly surprising. As a final treat, watch this cinematic clip:
Friday, June 20, 2008
As for whats happening in the story (Since I'm guessing pretty much everyone has either played this game or will never play it by this point) my character (Serge) has just switched bodies with the villain Lynx (Actually looks like a humanoid Lynx in a dark elaborate outfit). So now, returning to my original world, pretty much no one believes that I'm Serge (Surprise surprise). Though one aspect I do like is that the one person who believes you after a fair conversation is the main character's mother, I thought that was a nice touch. And after we convinced the village chief he decides to accompany us to a nearby town so we might actually be able to get something done. The story got a lot more interesting once the charcter switched bodies, before that it was a pretty standard "Lets get that bad guy!" adventure. Now they're throwing out all these questions about the nature of identity "How do you know you are you and that you are not really Lynx?" Its interesting fo' sho.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Speaking of Chrono Cross, thats my latest project in my "Play old RPGs" series. Firstly, the awesome opening can be viewed here for those of you unfortunate enough to have never heard of the game: Opening . Getting to it, as usual, there's more than I remember right off the bat, like just how many non-essential characters there are, and just how very non-essential many of them are... Its kind of sad. Like I'm really not sure why some of these people are joining my character's party. Like this exorcist priest type guy (Who is dressed like a Mexican wrestler) was sort of like "Hmmm, you are a spirit who is dead in this world. That interests me so I'll follow your group." Back tracking note, in Chrono Cross you travel between two parallel worlds with the split point being the main character's death ten years ago. Hence why he is a "spirit who is dead in this world". Its interesting. The other thing is the variety of accents, and how they aren't entirely complete. I think this one character is supposed to be Australian accented... But I'm not sure because there are British acents that are similar. Some of them just have strange phrases that they work in to sentences, like the giant living Voodoo doll (who joins you so this guy will stop wasting his life worshipping him) who puts "Boogie" and the suffix "-oogie" in strange places. And then there's the doctor who talks like a surfer dude, unfortunately even during serious conversations... And of course this is all text that you have to read and try to figure out how these people sound (Well, you could be boring and not I suppose, but like I said, boring). I'm still trying to re-adjust my mind to the gameplay. I keep trying to get myself elemental field advantage, which is accomplished by casting a successive series of spells of the same element. This gives characters you control of that element an attack advantage, makes enemies of the opposite element weaker, and strengthens any spell of that element. However, I keep on forgetting to cast more powerful spells in favor of elemental advantage, which ends up hurting me more than helping I think. It also didn't help that I had two characters with opposite elemental alignments in party which meant that field advantage for one made the other really weak. Since one of them was my main character... Well, Mojo moved on to other things. The story is at least as good as the early parts of Final Fantasy 9 so far, so I'm hoping it stays good.
Finally, I watched Pan's Labyrinth and Silent Hill last night. I hadn't watched Pan's Labyrinth from the beginning before, and I liked it SO much more now that I've seen the beginning because I didn't realize that they had set up the fairy tale aspect from the beginning. Before I came in on the part near where the guy's face gets smashed in, so I thought it was just a story of a girl escaping horrible circumstances through a fairy tale. The beginning TOTALLY changes things. Speaking of beginnings, Silent Hill's first 10 minutes sucks. Its so bad. I always end up liking it by the end because it gets better as it goes (By which I mean, more Silent Hill-y), but I've decided that you should start watching the movie from the gas station scene before they get to Silent Hill (I'd say later, but then you don't know who Sean Bean's character is so much). The parts before that, especially the opening scene, feel like they were added for the stupid audience member who needs to be told verbally why they're going to Silent Hill in the first place. Actually, something I was thinking while watching was "This is such a fan movie, I'm not sure why someone who hadn't played the games would watch this." I mean, its kind of like the Final Fantasy VII movie: There is something there for the non-fan, but its for the fans. The non-fans will be treated to the wonderful monsters and awesome world transitions from the games, but they won's pick up on the music from the game, the copied camera shots and other general references. Though I do want to show someone the movie fresh, from the gas station scene and see if the opening scenes are even necessary, because they feel like something a studio executive told them to add.
Well, I've spent enough time on this post. Off to Chrono Cross.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
So after I watched the movie I decided to watch the special feature disc, which, I didn't realize sticking it in, was 4 hours long. But it was very interesting. Like even the parts I didn't think I was going to find interesting like the set design and stuff was really interesting. The most interesting stuff was the different forms the story took and some of the scenes they didn't include. For example one of the original opening scene ideas that came about was somewhere entirely outside the city that Harrison Ford's character, Deckard, went to in order to "retire" an older model replicant that was living on a farm out there. And it sounded interesting, but by comparison to the movie they finally made.... It would have felt completely different. Like it would have been about the detective who "retired" Replicants, whereas the final version was about that, but also about a vision of the future and the questions about synthetic life and what makes us human. Yeah, so very different original concept. They had also originally intended to cast at least one of the two replicants who you hear about dying but you never get to see. They were going to use a girl who had tried out for Priss, but was too slight to fit the bill of someone who could believably fight Ford. So they were going to have a sort of death scene for her, but time and budget constraints denied the possibility. I'm not sure if it would have helped or hindered the film in the end actually. Apparently one problem was that people didn't get it, which is a big reason the original version had the weird sort of film noir voice over. Its good for the first time you watch it if you aren't in to deep or artsy movies, because it helps you understand what is going on (Like a tutorial mode for a video game). But after you watch it through once with the voice over, I'm not sure why you would watch it like that again, especially since the ending is completely tacked on and different. And really the only voice over bit that I ever remember being useful was the comment made about Gaff's gutter speak or "City Speak" to explain that this guy doesn't speak English, he speaks a weird mash up of languages. I have a feeling that I'd be as frustrated with it as Harrison Ford and the other people who were nay-saying it in the documentary if I watched it through again with the voice over.
Oh, I'm also like 10 times more impressed with the visual effects and such after watching the documentary and realizing nothing is digital. I had forgotten that it came out in 82. It doesn't look like it came out in 82. Also, the visuals are probably better than you could get with CG anyway. You know how it is, you can always tell that something is CG. Matte paintings all the way my friend. Ha, I remember seeing some in Halo 3 and being like "Yes, a painted background! Awesome!" Probably the main reason why I like Final Fantasy 7 and the other 2 late 90's Final Fantasies is that they use paintings as their backgrounds a lot. It just has a detail that you almost always lose with full 3D games. I mean, nowadays we're getting to the point where surroundings are that detailed, like I expect FFXIII to totally floor me visually, but I will always have a spot in my heart for matte paintings... Or entire set paintings. But anyway, the point I was trying to make was that a whole heck of a lot of what was possible with Blade Runner was made possible because of matte painting and a really skilled modeling crew.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is.... You should watch the final cut of Blade Runner. I dunno, NetFlix it or something.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Isn't it adorable? You know what isn't adorable? The Stroper, an enemy in the Lifa tree. I would describe its appearence in detail, but women visit this site... I hope. I will say that it is a blatant tentacle monster, which you will either understand or not. I've noticed that a LOT of the enemies in this Final Fantasy are kinda... Odd. For instance the enemy that seems to based on an ancient Japanese horror monster, and the Snake woman who is ironically ugly to contrast the fact that in the old SNES final Fantasies she was quite hot. *Sigh* I guess that Square was just making a giant series of references to its older games with this one since, based on an FAQ I read, there are more references to previous games in this Final Fantasy than any other, which I can believe. But anyway, I was talking about mini-games. The Choco Hot/Cold is so much better a game because 1. Its fun. 2. There is serious rewardage when you find the treasures. However I'm not sure I'm going to indulge too much because I kind of want to get through the game and move on in my rampant replaying of Final Fantasies past which I've kind of decided to just go ahead and do: Play all the Final Fantasies that I haven't played through more than once. I've played 4 enough that I'm not going to play it again, but I need to play 6 again, and I'll try to bring myself to play 5 though of the ones I have played its currently my least favorite. Also 10 which, I may have played through twice, or maybe I just did it once and then watched someone else do it a second time. Heck, its skill system beats 9 at least, which I really am not a fan of because you have to let equipment sit on your characters until they get enough Ability Points to permenantly learn it, so you have super weak armor sitting on your high level character that wasn't able to learn the skill early on because the game forced you along a certain plot line where only the main character was playable for a while...... They just better be glad I really like the art style and music and am liking the story because nary but the core Final Fantasy gameplay goodness aspects am I liking of the combat... Worst limit system ever and the turn meter fills...so....freakin'....slowly.... Oh well, its still fun, and some people will try to convince thats all that really matters.... When its cheap or free they are correct, so with a game that you bought 8 years ago I guess it applies too.
In other good news, tomorrow I'm going to buy the Blade Runner 4 disc set, the Criterion Collection version of "The Seven Samurai", and Season 3 of Battlestar Galactica. Why such a big purchase? Because for the entire month of June all DVDs are Buy 2 get the 3rd free. As my manager said "I spend $500 easy." I won't spend quite that much, but I do plan to take advantage of the deal at least once more this month. I'll see how much more I can spend after Ninja Gaiden 2.