Image

Better late than never

Last night I finally got my 210 Anima weapon in Final Fantasy XIV! YES, I am months late. With all other stuff I have been playing I just didn’t grind for the ‘unidentifiable’ set of items, just purchasing them every now and then.

With yesterday’s patch, which heavily nerfed the costs of these items, I managed to get all of them with a combination of tomes and beast tribe tokens. Used all my Grand Company seals to get half of the craftable items and bought the other straight from the market board. Result: I am now the owner of whats-its-name Black Mage i210 weapon. I still have another step to go through before taking it to that patch’s top level (which still is not the last step), and this one includes going into the Crystal Tower series of 24-man raids.

But Saga, didn’t you know the item you get from there can be obtained even if you don’t have the Anima quest? You could have gathered this items months ago!

NO, I DIDN’T KNOW! I AM AN EMBARRASSMENT! But anyways, I got lucky with a <5 minute queue for World of Darkness last night and was reminded just how cool of a raid those are; music is exceptionally great. SE should someday readjust 24-mans and make an Extreme version; the difficulty of Mhach gives hope for more challenging and fun raids.

Oh, and before I go: the achievement for getting the Anima is called ‘Animaniac‘. GG SE, GG.

lrffxiii3

Music Friday: The Ark

I started Lightning Returns the other day and… Hm? Yes, I just did. Yeah, I know.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, also known as FFXIII-3, came out at a terrible time. Back then our wonderful government imposed a $42 tax on courier deliveries. What was previously a $12 delivery jumped to $54 – almost the price of a full game! And thus, it was the first Final Fantasy game that I had to hold off on purchasing. Last year, during my trip to Miami I found it (used, but in excellent state) at a Gamestop store and I finally got it, but I hadn’t started playing it until recently (stupid sexy Playstation 4).

What can I say? I am early in the game. Early impressions: I do not like the feeling of the time limit, and did PS3 games all look like this? Otherwise, it seems like a fun game to play through and I should since it finished the XIII trilogy and I have already played both prequels. I am just starting to get the hang of the different jobs or schematas you can have, but so far it seems like a fun system. Combat is pretty good, though. The game’s ‘hub’, called The Ark, is a nice stopping point to relax (time stops in there) and gather some items – it has a nice theme, too! This is today’s theme.

Last time I played I finished day 1. I know now what the game’s 5 main “quests” are, and I have read that I should use Chronostasis more often (or rather ‘use it’ since I didn’t know what it does). Wonder how long the game is… with Rise of Iron out on the 20th of September I will probably jump back to that.

Man, my PS3 backlog is big…

Survive (the hate)

Yo! Yoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo guys. This is real:

What’s the first thing you do with a franchise like Metal Gear Solid after doing away with its creator and part of its team? Why, do a… survival… game… thingy.

And no, I am not counting the pachinko machine thing because… pachinko.

Konami today announced Metal Gear Survive (which ironically enough also acronyms to ‘MGS’) and it’s… we don’t really know what it is but it sure as hell is not a regular, traditional Metal Gear game. Soldiers left behind during the destruction of Mother Base at the end of Ground Zeroes are sucked into a wormhole in the sky and end up in an alternate dimension where they must survive against… some crystal-in-the-head zombies or something. Maybe a Left 4 Dead style of game? Or one of the many survival games that have been popping up in the past year? Who knows! All we know is that it is focused on stealth and, well, survival.

So, being real, we have no idea if this will end up being a good game or not. It could be really fun and all that. It’s just… let’s use the term ‘interesting‘… to see where Konami plans to take the Metal Gear franchise in the future. Twitter, on the other hand, seems to have already made up its mind – there’s a lot of sarcasm and comedic vitriol towards the game. People are not too fond of the idea of the next Metal Gear game – the first post-departure of series’ creator Hideo Kojima – being so different from the standard Metal Gear formula. Some hate it for the crime of being the Kojima-less Metal Gear (which to be fair, is a valid concern at least in a polish-level sense). I even read somewhere this morning that it wouldn’t be a ‘full priced’ game but that it’d still be a big experience, which reeks of microtransactions.

The Twitter spectacle is just beginning this morning. On one side there are MGS players that saw with horror as the series creator was locked out of the final days prior to the release of V (and in some cases after that, too) and consider this new game an abomination, and on the other people that think the others are just defending Kojima or using a similar train o thought. There’s a third camp, of course: one with a big bucket of popcorn just ready to watch it all burn.

popcornslomo

I say: “Remember Rising“. Circumstances are different, but that’s a game that took the Metal Gear name and produced a fun, fast-paced game. Sure, it wrecked the positive outlook of the ending of MGS4, but it was just a fun game – I personally do not consider it canon.

You can’t blame Konami, though. They have a fantastic engine in their hands, and an extremely popular franchise with a reputation that has the potential to outlive all the negativity born out of the problems faced by the last game in the saga. They must do something (other than pachinko machines) with it. Is Survive a good choice? I could give you my answer but let’s, for the sake of peace, go with “who knows?“.

Wormholes in the sky, though… damn.

pokemongofeat

Pokéstop GO

While more developed countries were catching pokémon and cursing Niantic for removing some steps from some screen, we the people of South America we just crossing our fingers waiting for Pokémon GO to come to us (unless, of course, you somehow managed to install it earlier). Last week we finally got our chance as the game was released in our countries and I can finally leave home and work behind to go explore the world and finally fulfill my dream of becoming a Pokémon master.

I wish.

By now everyone knows the gist of Pokémon GO: use your cell phone to go around town, catching virtual pokémon, then use these to battle in Gyms. It’s a simple premise (taken from Ingress, an earlier game from the same developer) but it’s also an entertaining one, with hundreds of people flocking to parks and whenever pokéstops (where you can get free items and lure pokémon) are. So, you start your journey creating an avatar and go out into the map to visit the dozens of…

pokemongo1

Well, that’s what I get for living right outside the city. Unfortunately the city proper isn’t so different. There’s a couple of pokéstops in parks here and there, with most being near water. The best spot is in the city’s boardwalk – the place to go… if you want to catch water pokémon. Want a Magikarp?

pokemongo2.jpg
Left: The airport has a gym and a couple of stops. Notice the huge ground of nothing in the background, ironically one of the most populated areas in the city. Right: The boardwalk is a hot zone. Lots of people taking advantage of the stops.

Without access to pokéstops, you’ll quickly run out of pokéballs. Without pokéballs or stops, you can only get more… you guessed it: money. It is to be expected, honestly. Just sucks if you don’t live in cities where stops are basically around every corner.

Pffft. Don’t use pokéballs in small or weak pokémon! Save them for the big ones!

I’m sorry, Gary-look-alike, but you need the smaller pokémon to get candy and pokéheroin… I mean, stardust. With both of these resources you evolve your pokémon and make them stronger. You need lots of small fry to make one stronger. A popular example is our good old friend Magikarp, which is nearly useless on its own, but after 400 candies will turn into the powerful Gyarados. Lots of small fry = lots of pokéballs.

pokemongo3

I just wish there was a way to suggest pokéstops. That would alleviate the problem of people living in suburban or rural areas. More people playing, more need for pokéballs, more money. But hey, it is as it is. At least we can play now.

Good thing is that while the game maintains its popularity, it’s fun to go to places like the boardwalk and catch pokémons while walking and basking a bit in the sun. Some say it’s “healthy”. All in good fun – until the GPS starts failing…

Music Friday: Music Hour

Want another piece from Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! 2? Of course you do!

Last week I told you how much I like the OST (or rather ‘track list’) from the Ouendan games, which came out for the Nintendo DS. Today I share with you another track from it and it is one of my favorites, if not the favorite: Music Hour by Porno Graffiti (yeah, weird name).

Sadly, just like last week, the original video for Music Hour is not on Youtube but can be found elsewhere. A video of a live performance can be found, though.

While POPSTAR was sort of romantic and catchy, this one’s upbeat and crazy and… well, it may be romantic as well but I have no idea what the lyrics mean! That doesn’t stop a cool song from being enjoyed by me!

Next week I’ll go back to regular game music, I promise!

wp01

Music Friday: POP STAR

Have you played Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan? Or its sequel Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii: Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2? No? I wouldn’t be surprised.

Warning: The audio on this one is a bit odd. Treble might be too strong for some. Lower the volume before surrendering yourself to the music.

A couple of Nintendo DS rhythm games from Japan focusing on a trio of male “cheerleaders” who encourage everyday people to reach their goals to the beat of catchy tunes. The concept is as odd as it sounds, but the game was pretty amazing. I loved both of them, and that love extended to its NA counterpart, Elite Beat Agents. The original JP site has a video in its home page on how it works.

wp01

The soundtrack to both of these games is filled with catchy-as-hell tunes, some of which had/have also appeared in popular tv shows in Japan. One such song is POP STAR by Ken Hirai. It may be one of the slower songs in the roster but it’s a cool song nonetheless. For some reason, the music video is nowhere on Youtube, the closest thing being a live performance from some show. The video is available in other sites, though. The artist poses as several different people signing the theme in a retro style. Fun.

popstar

Fun fact: Elite Beat Agents, the NA version of these games, uses covers of the songs whereas the original games used the real songs. Also, in EBA instead of sport-like cheerleaders the game features men-in-black like dudes but their purpose is the same (encourage people through music to reach their goals).

And yeah, I cheated by using a real non-game song. But hey, it has appeared in a video game. I win. Next week I might do this again. I did say the OSTs are pretty good, didn’t I? So maybe next week my post will be another music hour…

doombanner

Music Friday: Demons on the Prey

Did I tell you about the times I, as a young kid, stayed up until very late in an almost deserted office building playing DOOM?

My dad worked in the systems department in a local bank. Due to his position, he often had meetings until very late, sometimes without much notice, and when my mom and I would go pick him up we were sometimes faced with waiting for him for potentially hours, or just wait and return when he called. I sometimes chose to say there. You see, some of the workers had games in their machines, one of which was DOOM.

(more…)