April 30th, 2008
Oh boy, this is somewhat embarrasing. As mentioned in the previous post I am interested in graphic design and also photography, you can find some of my work on my deviantART page and on my flickr account. Many years ago I created a few video game based wallpapers when my design skills weren’t too crash hot. Even though it is painful looking at these pieces now, some of them, the more recent ones (2 years ago) aren’t too bad. Since I don’t have anywhere to upload these wallpapers to, I thought that I could make this site their last resting place. So below are the wallpapers that I am talking about. Also I apologise for scrolling on the main page, WordPress’ awful formatting has my hands tied. 🙁
You will find that some of them are tagged, I should explain this. Firstly Raven is an old screen name *giggles*, some of the wallpapers were volunteraly made for the Advanced Media Network, a site in which I use to post at quite a bit (the forum that is) and Nexus and Ravens Domain is something of a portfolio site with work from myself and my twin brother. Anyways, I think that the majority of these wallpapers are quite crude but if you like them then…yeah, let me know. Click the titles for a full view.
Fierce Deity 2006 – 1600×1200
Gamecube Advanced – 1024×768
Kirby – 1280X1024
Lost in Blue – 1600×1200
Super Mario 64 DS – 1024×768
Paper Mario #2 1024×768
April 28th, 2008
Even though I have been raving and ranting about the PSP before the gaming blog even came to conception and while these gaming orientated articles were being posted on my personal blog, up to now, I still don’t even own a PSP myself. Thats right, the master of hypocrisy has struck again 🙁 ! I have been interested in purchasing a PSP for some time now and still haven’t sealed the deal despite the release of the PSP Slim and the fruitation of an even more exciting library of games.
My reason for this is that I already have far too many games to play and should just wait until the console and it’s software is significantly cheaper. Fortunately my twin brother took me by surprise and picked up a PSP himself in a pack (PSP Media Manager + 4GB memory stick Pro Duo) as well as a few games. In the past 3 weeks we have been picking up a few games for the console and here are my impressions on some of my favourites.
Jeanne d’Arc, what a fantastic little game. As an enormous fan of the original Final Fantasy Tactics I must say that I am throughly enjoying this (rather similar) little strategy RPG romp. If you have played FF Tactics before or in fact any SRPG game then you should immediately have some idea as to what to expect from this game. The basic; attack, defend, skill, wait options are all featured as well as the obligatory elemental triangle and the same weapon equiping system you’d expect. What makes this game such a fresh experience though are a few key factors; namely the gorgeously lush visuals, olde France thematic and the user friendly design. The last point shines in all its glory throughout this title and is a testament to Level 5’s role playing expertise.
Now as mentioned at least three times already, I personally love anything that is or is heavily inspired from Final Fantasy Tactics (non inclusive of the GBA and NDS titles). So when I talk about this game, I will literally be gushing out the love. My apologies.
Cutting the fat though and attempting to stick with the gameplay for a moment, Jeanne d’Arc’s skill system works a little differently, each party member has 3 slots in which you can equip any skill to, this includes spells, concentrated attacks etc. With this you can equip various elemental attributes which align and add power of the respective element to your player. You gain these skills (as equipable items) through the spoils of battle.
What concerns me about this system is the lack of breathing space, there are only 3 slots for skills. Hopefully this will increase will leveling up or else I for see this system being highly restrictive. Especially considering how these slots are also used to assign yourself to various elements.
Marching onwards, the presentation in Jeanne d’Arc is simply magnificent. Everything in this game is lush and beautiful, each object has it’s own semi cell shaded look that developers; Level 5 are renowned for (see: Rogue Galaxy, Dark Chronicle). The colours literally burst out of the screen. There are plenty of subtle details too such as smog, dust and special effects. The whole graphical presentation reeks of polish and is visually stunning. Sound is equally as worked and used appropriately within the context of the game. I am listening very closely to the game’s music and attempting to gauge the difference between this and the gorgeous music from Final Fantasy Tactics. So far Jeanne d’Arc is holding it’s own in that respect.
Jeanne d’Arc is a bit of a sleeper hit unfortunately, much to my own misunderstanding. The PSP, in my eyes is the current console for SRPG gaming. With Jeanne d’Arc, Disgea and Final Fantasy Tactics leading the way. I have a lot to look forward to playing, that is once I finish obsessing over the next PSP game on the list: Read the rest of this entry »
April 27th, 2008
It wasn’t too long ago that I posted up my opinions about game reviews and my great frustrations with them. I want to talk more about this issue at a later date but for now though I would like to further substantiate the previous article with a final conclusion, courtesy of IGN.
Before I start I want to share a little bit of context. When it comes to standardize, routine video game news and reviews I am subscribed to two sites to provide me with such content. They are IGN and for a wider, more down to earth scope Video Games Blogger. I am aware of such issues with IGN and fortunately I can filter out there content worthy of my time from another paid DS review or hyped up preview. Despite this there is a certain authority about IGN that I am bound to which I ought to ditch sometime. So if any of you readers have any suggestions then fire away.
In anycase, since I have an Australian IP address, IGN sees fit to send me all of their Australian (brought to you by Cam Shea!) and UK based content which is fair enough. The following is a review of Wii Fit which I would like to briefly analyze.
I genuinely have no beef with IGN, they are fine and this is by no means an attack at the site or their reviews. What is presented here, is as I see it a good example of a common problem within the industry. With that in mind, lets dance:
If you want to skim though then just focus on the intro and conclusion as that is where the meaty bits lie.
If you have read my previous article and then the review you should be able to very easily pick up on the connections. The reviewer, self admiringly has a hard time dealing with the fact that he is reviewing Wii Fit under the requirements of a video game review. He doesn’t even consider Wii Fit to be a video game! There is a great misunderstanding of audiences going on here which is why the reviewer is so dumbfounded. Instead of continuing on and deeply analyzing why this review is so problematic (which would just be a whole bunch of regurgitation anyways). I want to leave this with you readers and let you think about what this represents. Here are a few quotes which I find most interesting:
“Despite certain similarities, this isn’t a game and standard review criteria aren’t going to have much sway here.”“Admittedly, nothing here really pushes the Wii to its limit”
“But such is the hard life of your videogame reviewer. Still, for the sake of completion, let’s break the whole thing down into its component parts and slap a great big number on the end anyway. Actually, sod it, it’s going to get an 8.0. Anything else you want to know? Then read on.”