Friday, November 23, 2007

Scale-Free Video Games

When thinking about social networking in games, one often thinks of a popular game series known as “The Sims” by EA games. The game basically allows you, the player, to take control of the lives of your characters, while having to take care of their daily necessities. Characters that are played often generate many different "contacts" with non-player character Sims and/or other player characters.

A game published by ATLUS called “Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3” takes this simulation one step further. One of the most prominent ideas in Persona 3 is to have your main character create and maintain social networks with many of the other characters from within the game as a method to power up your character for your journey. That is, you, as the player, are deliberately creating the same situation as that in “The Sims”, but instead of having characters with many contacts as a consequence of playing the game, it is a goal.

Both of these games fall into the simulation video game category, though one is a “life simulator” and the other is a “social network simulator/role playing game.” The subtle differences between the two are not the point of this article, but rather that the end point of the two games are the same. In both cases, you end up with few characters with many contacts, and many characters with few contacts. By definition, that is known as a scale-free network.

Scale-free networks are more or less accurately descriptive of any sort of networking (social or otherwise). According to wikipedia, scale-free networks range from computer networks to protein-protein interaction networks in cells. The major characteristic of scale-free networks is a very simple rule: there are few nodes with many connections (called hubs), and many nodes with few connections, where a node is an individual in the population of the network. Scale-free networks are robust against random removal of nodes, but extremely vulnerable to targeted attacks against removal of hubs. Looking horizontally towards an application to social networking, we see that the entire removal of one individual from all social relationships-- isolation-- is unlikely. But specific relationships often wane. This application of scale-free networks has implications for Persona 3: the game's creators actually developed a complete in-game environment in which social simulations just happen to end up being scale-free. Is this simply a consequence of the game's design, as is in “The Sims?” Or was the distinct social simulation pattern deliberate?

Perhaps the most useful application of scale-free networks in gaming is not offline gaming, but rather online gaming. Many games these days have an online component, with the massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) genre being on top of the food chain of online gaming. One of the most popular games is “World of Warcraft” by Blizzard. Again, it is easy to see scale-free networks in this game, as the most powerful guilds would tend to know many other guilds than smaller, lesser known guilds that number in the thousands. The pattern again strikes to be the same as many of the other games, but now with a social context as individuals are all human players. MMORPG games simply become a medium within which normal human social networks emerge.

In the end, what does this all mean? It simply means that scale-free networks are bound to happen as a natural consequence, even in video games. What we can learn from scale-free networks shows us that through an interdisciplinary perspective (like analyzing video games with a sociological concept) we can uncover interesting new insights. What is to say that we have stopped with just scale-free networks? Can we not dwell on human psychology from gaming? Can gaming innovations be eventually applied to other areas in sciences and arts? From what we've just gathered in scale-free networks, yes. Even if only because it is humans who create games.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Prism Ark

The anime, yes. Anyway, the first ep came out. All I have to say is... B-rated anime. XD

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wii Okami confirmed

It's confirmed.

I need not say more other than it being on my list.


Niche gaming has always been the driving force behind what I play. While I still pick up the big titles, I tend to follow companies such as Atlus and Nippon Ichi much more closely than Square-Enix or Bandai-Namco. I guess part of my reason is simply that I want the little guys to win, but I think the real reason is simply that they're doing something that just falls so far out of the popular market that they just deserve my money simply by attracting me. Atlus has been pumping those production costs up with all those little extras (yes, RPG players would pay for those). Good idea! NIS, you'd better follow too. I want Ar Tonelico 2 with artbook and all 4 OST CD's. XD

Seriously, niche games, in my opinion, is the future of "hardcore" gaming. It was the past, anyway.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

sRPG Typical Designs: Turns

When you get down to sRPGs in general, it always seems that there is a steady stream of generic goodness that is typical for many of its different pieces. From this article, I want to explore the different facades of this sRPG genre and comment on the variations amongst them. Today I'm exploring turn structure.

Turn Structure

sRPGs run 2 different turn structures. The first structure is the typical "chess style" phase-based turn structure, where all units from one player takes a turn before the other player does anything. This is often the default turn structure for sRPG games. The second has turns based upon individual characters on either side, and mixing those up. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

"Chess" Turn Structure

First up is the original turn structure. When you look at any given single turn, a player can strategically move any single character on the field, do something, and repeat with all of the other characters. Strategically speaking, the order of the movement of each character is up to the player to decide. This method adds flexibility to a player's turn by allowing the player control more aspects of his or her turn.

There are, of course, problems with this method. The structure of this slows the game down dramatically, since player input exists in large chunks, and the player loses input for a similarly large chunk of the time in any given turn. This means that only players with enough patience to sit through the often slow movement of the game for the bulk of the game. Of course, this can easily be fixed. Fire Emblem, for example, speeds up enemy movement and gives you the option to skip animations when facing against enemies to make the wait time shorter. However, most sRPG games lack this feature, either due to hardware capabilities (such as Tactics Ogre for the GBA), or it doesn't make sense for that to happen (such as games that involve humans running around, like Fire Emblem for Gamecube). However, this point tends to be a nonissue, since an sRPG tends not to attract new players into the genre.

Another striking problem is the difference in power of spells and abilities in an sRPG game. Due to its turn structure, the game cannot inflict "time penalties" for powerful abilities. Designers would have to solve this problem either by lowering powerlevels of the abilities themselves, heighten the MP cost, add an additional cost, or simply by no using it at all. There are games that just leave these problems behind and just keep the imbalance. For a game that is for solo play, imbalance is not an issue, after all. Wifi's the new thing nowadays.

There are positives to this default turn structure. First of all, this is very stable and easy to build upon, because it's turn based. This type of a structure is very much intuitive and generally gives the player more freedom to move their characters around. Combos generally are easier to make in this setting, simply because control is so much easier. It also saves the player plenty of time, since they know whose turn to expect.

A variation on this turn structure is found in Disgaea and its progeny. They changed the game ever so slightly by separating the attack phase with the movement phase of any given turn. One must realize that there is no real change in the format of the structure, but adds a slight strategic element to the game by allowing combos to actually become combos. The change may be slight and intuitive, but the strategic difference is much higher.

Individual-based Turns

This type of turn structure came much later in an sRPG's lifespan, I would personally say that Final Fantasy Tactics popularized it. In this type of game, all characters would be assigned a speed, and depending on how much the character does, he/she would have to wait longer or shorter before his or her next turn would show up. As well, the speed dictates how fast they can regain their turns as well.

The obvious downside to this style is the addition of a variable, making the game much harder to balance. This is also much less intuitive than the regular "chess" style turn, and can easily confuse first time players. Players have to continuously check the "turn list" in order to be updated quickly with regards to whose turns are coming up and so on. Again, this is a problem in a sense that the player has to waste time to check on this, but can be an advantage to lengthen a game to a veteran. Comboing in this turn structure is also more difficult, since a player also has to match time up between two characters with often different speeds. However, this turn-based style is not without merits.

First is the fact that the player spends half of his or her time watching. By chopping the turns up into small chunks for both sides, the player gets to input every now and then, with intercessions of computer-controlled movement. This is more exciting for the most part for a player. The upside is the lack of a need to speed up an opponent's turn because of it. For wifi, this is most ideal. The downside is that the game isn't going to speed up an already slow game.

Another positive here is the fact that there is a speed variable means that you can balance the classes by how fast they move, and how powerful an ability is simply by giving it a higher delay. The problem again is the difficulty in balancing the game. This is arguably the best reason to use this structure over the other, but not without an increase in cost to balance a game that is more difficult to balance.

Currently the best individual-turn based system that I've seen is Final Fantasy Tactics, which does take time into account (most still don't). Unfortunately, the game isn't exactly balanced (see Zodiac and what not), but it's a step in the right direction for someone to pick up from.

Which is better?

I can't exactly said that specifically one is better, though I lean toward the latter rather than the former simply because of the extra variable that can add more degrees of freedom to players. However, each system has been pretty much tried and true. Either system works fine, now matter how you shake your stick at it.

Monday, October 1, 2007

RPG Cliches

I recently just randomly stumbled upon a grand list of RPG cliches that obviously took a while to compile, but seems to be pretty complete for the most part. Hilariousness ensues. ;)

For some reason, I'm fond of the "Law of Cartographical Elegance" and of course "Mommy, why didn't they just use a Phoenix Down on Aeris?". XD

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Higurashi's downtime

Seriously, I'm not getting my Higurashi kick for the week. What gives? I want to see what happens next, considering that it was a CLIFFHANGER they ended it on. >.>

Blah stupid axe murder incident.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Disgaea 3 get!

Disgaea 3 official website

So this puppy decides to launch itself, so I decided to post it for everybody. :D

This is a strange one, with Mao as the main character, and the rest of them brand new, I'm not sure on what to expect from a storyline perspective (though the school setting is still kinda weird). I guess more info will come, but I lack a dictionary atm. lol

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Wherefor art thou, Lorwyn? Errr...I mean like *cough* anyway...Lorwyn previews have been around and really it looks like Lorwyn's going to be a great set to just fiddle around and play things with, which is a nice break from Time Spiral, which I just had no clue on what to do, and pretty much build decks around single cards and hope for the best. This time they poured on the elves, goblins, and what not. I'm just glad the merfolk are back for good. :3

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Pro Tetris

This is how tetris should be played! Wow, this is so like ridiculous it's not even funny. The ending part is even more awesome. The speed is freaking awesome. :3

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Love Death 2

After watching it, I had to find myself a copy to try this rather elusive game out. And you know what? This game doesn't disappoint! It's EVERYTHING you'd think it would be. XD

First thing I noticed: FRAME RATE IS CRAP. It was like 15fps (a full 15 less than to run relatively smoothly), and this laptop isn't that bad either...

So like you skip a whole bunch of scenes, and then you get to control your dude finally in the school. It's weird how they used the controls here in this game. W moves you forward (or left mouse lick), S moving backwards. A and D turns you left and right, but there are NO buttons for turning up or down (it has to be mouse). Selecting items/abilities is just pressing left/right or Q/E. The z button, you shoot the infamous "saran wrap/glue/spider web". And right click makes you use the item/ability.

So apparently you get out of conversation by doing a right click, but during "cinematic" scenes, you dont' know what ability you have selected, so you might acidentally like slap the girl or something. So after fiddling with the stupidity, I decided to explore the bugginess of this game. Yes, and in this aspect, it did not disappoint. I can find countless holes in which I can run through. The game itself apparently thinks backgrounds outside windows are just an extra "sheet" behind it, and the infinite vastness of blue shall be ignored or something. The problem here is that I can get into this blue vastness quite easily. Hey wait nevermind that, wtf is with the doors in this game? I like run through them and stuff. D:

So After exploring the school, which happens to have several floors, all of which have these little holes you can run through into the blue vastness (and getting stuck a couple of times with no way back), I decided to deal with the girls. There is an ability outside of "talk", "slap", and "items", which is strangely named "unzip". So while I'm having fun, might as well torture people or something. Actually nothing actually happens, and they'll just run away from you as they keep on saying "what are you doing?" and slapping you (dealing no damage as far as I can tell). The infamous chalkboard run happened several times, with the characters disappearing through solid walls and what not. Wow.

Anyway, if you happen to like manage to keep the girl running around and like not run through a wall, she would fall down, in which the obvious stuff happens (censored...well it's more like the girl keeps everything on, and the guy just gets a censored block near his crotch and that's about it). But you still get to like command him to do things. Even here the game's crap. I like randomly click on things and sometimes menus pop up, or he starts kissing the girl or w/e. I still have no clue wtf happens during then. Anyway, the camera angles were like wtf, and so after like messing around with it (and solving the "mystery" of the "saran wrap"), I decided to get out of the sequence. Except I can't. I like tried everything. wtf? Oh, then I figured out that you can by like right clicking with the talk ability equipped (which sometimes you can't get to for a strange an unapparent reason). Anyway, After playing for like however long it took for me to be wtf'd out, I stopped playing this awful game. Or rather, this game lives up to every minute of what that youtube video had.

Kenny (who just played a game so bad, it's funny) out. XD

Oh, and if you want to waste bandwidth as well, the game's on a torrent in hongfire.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Luminous Arc review

Luminous Arc
Published by: Atlus
Genre: sRPG

It's been a long time coming, but Atlus finally publishes the first DS sRPG game since pretty much the beginning of the DS era. Players have highly anticipated a game like this for ages, but it seems to be just simply something to quench your thirst before Final Fantasy Tactics comes out.

Plot Review:
Your main character is Alph, and he's a knight working for a church along with his brother and friends (notice anything so far?). The church wishes to destroy the evil witches living throughout the world in order to stop them from gathering crystals that could ultimately destroy the world. Alph followed that train of thought, until Lucia came...

The plot is...generic anime. I really can't think of anything but that. The whole "church is evil" plot has been done to death in these types of games (Ar Tonelico called, they want their evil church leader back). It's also quite easy to tell who's a good guy and who isn't simply by seeing whether or not they look cute or not, just like an anime. Wow, I sound like a broken record already. At least the storyline is somewhat enjoyable. Somehwat.

Nothing special. The characters in Luminous Arc aren't anywhere near high quality, and shouldn't be judged as such in the first place. It's a typical anime game. It needs big breasted good girl, and big breasted tsundere, and big breasted timid girl, and them lolis. The personalities are pretty much set in stone via these typical methods, while your hero is the same as all the other anime heroes. Can't they think of anything original anymore?

Graphically, the 2D sprites during dialog are beautiful, anime style. Unfortunately, gameplay graphics are lackluster at best, having graphics that is merely comparable to Tactics Ogre: Knight of Lodis during the GBA era several years ago. These are not good graphics. On top of that, the characters' death animations are weird and don't exist. On top of that, having too many characters in one place slows the game down considerably. While sRPGs should not care so much about graphics, this is not acceptable.

An sRPG has its biggest attraction in its gameplay. All sRPGs should have good gameplay, and should have an enjoyable story. But still the #1 thing for an sRPG is its gameplay. Luminous Arc flops and fails badly.

First of all, the game has your characters being stuck with the same skill set and same classes (class changes happen only during story, and are few). The characters you play also have a tremendous imbalance between the different characters. A character such as Leon is considerably more powerful than nearly every other character in the game, allowing for a dominant strategy to emerge. This problem is heightened by the fact that there is no class/job system in this game, and no advancement in classes for the most part. Customization by equipment is also fairly simple, and thus do not warrant any attention.

Besides that point, the AI is stupid. They tend to like to rush your characters, giving you plenty of time to get those first strikes in. On top of that, the computer has this stupid idea that guys with low HP should always retreat, and thus you don't always have to kill guys off to lessen the amount of damage you take. You just need to get them into the red. In any case, the AI is too stupid to form any strategy of its own.

Overall the gameplay of Luminous Arc is lackluster, and really doesn't hold much water. Online gaming does not make this a better game, since it's pretty much who has the highest level, and at lv. 99, it's basically a war between players to see who came keep the dominant guy alive longer and thus deal more damage to their enemy.

On a side note, the stylus response is rather bad as well. I remember trying to select a unit to kill for like 30 seconds simply because the game isn't registering the location of the screen touched in relation to itself or something. I had to be a bit off on each stylus selection to get things right. This new stylus control, while welcome, is not exactly user friendly either.

Overall Rating:
Luminous arc came at a time when sRPG players are thirsting for one on the DS. Unfortunately, this game will not live up to the expectations of these players. The gameplay is lackluster at best, the graphics are mediocre GBA graphics with slow downs, the storyline was somewhat decent to wrap up an overall mediocre game. Luminous Arc 2 is already announced, meaning that they want to get another one of these in before the good stuff (Disgaea and FFTA2) come in, most likely. Perhaps they might actually fix the gameplay this time around, but I'm not hoping for much. If you own a DS and is desperate for an sRPG game, go get Tactics Ogre: Knight of Lodis for the GBA at a used game store. To the very least you get to play a game that is the benchmark for sRPGs in the handheld market, but Luminous Arc is below that same benchmark.


Yay Bad Games!

Bad Game Design

Errr... Anyway, the aritcle over at gameasutra is a decent read that talks about some design errors people go through. It talks about how a game that has manditory, but wildly different gameplay should be discouraged, or why playtesting a game is just as important a part of game design as it is the design itself, which to the very least allows for game balancing. Interesting read, and something to brood over. ^^

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Phoenix Wright 3

Yay everybody's favourite awesome lawyer game is back! PW: Trials and Tribulations came out a little while ago in Japan. This Japanese version actually has an English option so us who can't read Japanese can still play it, which causes quite a bit of confusion, considering that this game has yet to come out across the Pacific yet. I've just played the first chapter, and I can swear that the translations are clearly not direct like all of the other PW games, but it does have that crazy humour that we've all come to love, including the awesome Judge who never seems to ever age. It's on my list, again.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

More Higurashi?

Heck no! 7th Expansion is clearly sick of the killer loli squad ad moved on to greater and bigger things! Well, Umineko no Naku Koro ni (which I think just means "we're too lazy to think of a new name") just hit Japan like a flaming sack of Douglas. From Insert Credit, apparently this game you have to figure out how the murders happen rather than who did the murders (as in Higurashi). The basic premise is about a family that is trapped in an island mansion in a thunderstorm, and pretty much everyone was dead by the time the storm was over. It would be your job to figure out wtf happened in there during the storm, or something along those lines.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Rockstar Scandal?

Here's something from the conspiracy theories.

I was at the Pure Pwnage booth on Saturday and there was one interesting thing that did happen. Jarett from PP (who plays Jeremy) was talking apparently with a graphics artist for Rockstar when I was just standing there. It IS partially a gaming expo after all, and WCG, WUVG (or w/e that was), Intel, etc. were all there, so I don't think I would personally doubt that the guy would just be randomly lying about where he was from.

Either way, the news of Manhunt 2 going to Mature was already done by that time, so the question naturally was put out. What I found interesting was that he said that they simply decreased the blood content and changed the camera angles for the graphic execution scenes. I asked if the controls for the Wii would be changed, and was given an emphatic no. Have fun with this bit of controversy.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Dokuro-chan 2

So Dokuro-chan is back and online again. And you know what? It's pretty much the same type of messed up anime as it was before. The thing about Dokuro-chan now is that there are scenes where it's "too violent" to be shown or some other reason similar to that, and shows Monkey Dude along with random aerial shots of some island or the sky. I think the animators are just cutting down on the budget myself though. I mean, you get to see what happens after (sort of), so you have an idea of what happened anyway. Ah whatever, it's still pretty funny, and it still has the same winning formula: fan service, humour, and violence. The problem is that the gore is toned down nowadays, so it's not as good as before.

Also, it doesn't explain why Zakuro all of a sudden is in their house AND is no longer hunting Sakura, nor what happened to Sakura's parents. Oh well, this series was not made to make sense anyway.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Zero's Familiar 2 Ep 7

Is it just me or is the gig where Saito is being "baka hentai inu" getting rather old now? Or is it simply just randomly giving people fan service? We also find out that apparently Louise and Siesta have a similar waistline, since they both fit into the same skirt and all.

The actual plot of this episode is thin as usual, not that it matters anyway. Stupidity happens for most of the episode with only a little be of story movement. Overall, the episode was ok in terms of entertainment, but nothing that special.

An Chii-nee-san is going to have a large barn by the end of the series at the rate she's going. XD

Monday, August 20, 2007

Learn English :D

For some reason, there is always this fascination to learn English in Japan (well this is kind of obvious...). Kotaku posted about some gundam book that should teach those Japanese people the useful things in life, right? XD

Of course, with this comes parodying. In this case Moe-tan (contains swearing) comes in with dual purpose. This must be a "wtf" moment. I mean, at least for me anyway.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Too Human?

Silicon Knights is Canadian-based. Well actually Silicon Knights is somewhere around here anyway. If you know Canadians, you know that Silicon Knights is moving at around the right pace. It's kind of sad, but at the same time, they do make great games even if they're so slow that it isn't funny.

Anyway, Too Human has been around since the PS1 days (yes PS1!). So what hopes do we have about this? I'm going to guess they're going to miss the deadlines, whatever it is. If they do make deadline, well I guess they're not as slow as I had thought.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Persona 3

More first impressions! Persona 3 has been a hugely anticipated title. And seriously, I'm an hour into the game and I've had a single battle screen. The video is crisp and very gripping overall. It might move a bit to slow at the beginning though. Development and what not hasn't even STARTED yet, let alone anything else.

The silent protagonist returns in this game though, meaning EVERYTHING you do is what the protagonist does.

Oh, and the opening video has McDonalds music.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Soul Calibur 4 Screens


Seriously, wtf is with all these companies competing with Temco and their DOA series? I would prefer the old times when the characters look pretty and the game engine is robust...not how big they can make the twins. :-/

Luminous Arc

I guess it's about that time to give out some first impressions on L Arc. The cover and the packaging itself looks very nice. Overall, you can pretty much see the target audience is for them otakus or something. This game falls into the old "strategy RPG" category, and really is played like a traditional sRPG.

As you start the game, you are asked a question and 6 choices. I have no idea what each of these do, personally, so I'm just going to assume it's something random that has little impact in the game. This game is "special" in it that you can use the stylus to move your characters, which take turns FFTA style - that is, characters get turns, rather than players getting turns - and you control where characters move and whether or not they attack, use a skill, wait, or anything else. The stylus feature is very nice, but I find it not good at detecting my targets very well, so it does have some problems with it, which caused me to switch back to normal cursor movement. There are some other things about the gameplay overall. You can choose talk with different characters after battle, and depending on your choices, you can increase or decrease their affection towards you. Sounds fair to me, but since you can continue to do that over and over with a single character after random battles, it may be a way to exploit the system. One beef I have is the lack of a job system. Strategy RPGs almost always have a job system in which you can customize characters and what not. It seems rather strange that this is missing, and it would be very probable that there would not be any recruiting of generic characters either, considering that there are only 15 character slots in the dispatch screen. Overall, the gameplay is nothing special, and is closer to weak than it is strong.

The storyline itself sounds like it has some potential, as you're seeing two sides of a single story from two different characters, though this early in the game you can already see who the good guys and bad guys are. Nobody would be surprised either, considering that this game looks to be built on a fairly shakey storyline and potentially weak character development would happen as well. I mean, anything that starts with "witches are evil, destroy them all" as a plot is not quite a masterpiece. But then again, we're not looking for an Oscar-winning plot, but rather one that isn't too bad. In that aspect, Luminous Arc passes.

The music is good, but not memorable at the moment. I'm not quite sure what else to talk about with this.

Overall, Luminous Arc has the potential to be good, but failed to do so in favour of cute anime people graphics (main hero is bishounen, main heroine is bishoujo, etc.).

Beautiful Katamari

Looks like BK for the 360 will be sporting the ever so awesome 4 player mode. Did somebody

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Interactions and Games

One of the "blogs" that I like to read once in a while is Lost Garden. Danc generally writes about game design mostly, but sometimes he'd write about some crazy economics game theory, like the essay he did on Nintendo back when Wii was announced.

He did a recent essay on games and interactions, and how it can be applied to other things, and his discussion of limitations of these ideas and what not. I've only really skimmed it, but it seems like a good read considering that it talks about why webpages love games and the like.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Need more proof that Okami wins?

Okami wins the Edge Award

That's right. The ultimate game wins again! Game of the Year 2007 is not enough. Okami takes more cake. I'd swear, this game gets quite a bit of credit only amongst the hardcore gamers and what not. Sad, I know.

Soul Nomad

So I randomly went to NIS's website and checked it out, considering that I haven't heard much from them ever since Grim Grimoire came out (and I have yet to pick that one up, though there is no rush to do that). Then I found this. Oh look, another NIS game coming out. On look, it uses like the same sprites as Disgaea and them all. This game's supposed to be SERIOUS? :O

So all of a sudden, I'll have to get that...

And for those who aren't keeping track, that's Persona 3, Growlanser, Grim Grimoire, and Soul Nomad (and the World Eaters) on my list now. That's what we get for supporting the little guys, right? :-/

New Games this week

So this week's games are:

Madden 08
Really. Madden again? Guess it's that time of the year. Another big seller, I suppose.

Heroes of Mana
Children of Mana was "meh", and same with Dawn of Mana. Heroes of Mana is also a DS game, so perhaps we're going to have another one of those "meh" titles again. Either that, or it can potentially be good. It's got potential! That's all that matters, right?

Luminous Arc
sRPG game for the DS. Hurray sRPGs! That's really all I can say about it. I have no clue about it other than the fact that the art is cute. >.>

Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon
This one's for DS. I'm assuming if it's like the futuristic PSP Harvest Moon they cranked out, it's probably not worth a look. I got tired of that one real quick.

Dungeons & Dragons Tactics
I have no clue about this one. It does have D&D on it, and it's for the PSP.

Fatal Fury: Battle Archives Volume 1
This is where Mai (the original fan service?) debuted, right? I dunno, I played Fatal Fury back when it was SNES, and it was pretty cool. It was my only fighting game until Street Fighter 2: Turbo was given to me, after all. I heard it's pretty cheap too.

Operation: Vietnam
No clue what it is and why it's on DS. Nor do I care, with a name that screams war.

1914 Shells of Fury
Apparently it's a sub sim?

Billy the Wizard: Rocket Broomstick Racing

Shin Megami Tenshi: Persona 3
Best game from this list. I decided to wrap it up with the best game this week. Besides, the top of the list there will be the one that would sell the most anyway.

Source: Kotaku

Saturday, August 11, 2007


When you see an article like this, you sometimes wonder just why this is the case. These people are simply assassinated for speaking their minds, and it makes one sometimes wonder whether or not one can trust that this world is the same one we all know, or want it to be. Just to what account is freedom? I don't think I can even answer that question, considering that there is doubt on any country that can actually truly be "free", whatever that means.

New Izuna

It's been a while, but Success actually did announce that a second Izuna is apparently in the works. Those that bought the first one because the girl had pink hair and looked cute would probably have been shocked at the difficulty of the game for the most part, but the game was good nonetheless. It's nice to see our cute pink-haired heroine will get a second go at crawling through those dungeons again.

Source: Insert Credit

Evolution vs Creationism

It's an age old debate, but of course there has been a twist on this silly little battle in the form of Intelligent Design. Professor Lawrence Moran of the blog "Sandwalk" recently posted an essay on the topic of defining creationism. It's a good read for anyone who wants to understand this from the point of view of an evolutionist, though one should never necessarily have to believe it all either.

Ken Akamatsu interview

Ken Akamatsu interview and home visit

A lil' bit about the creator of Love Hina and Negima (aka "bling bling" in American terms). I'd swear that is a NICE house. He's been pulling in the cash with The "bling bling" really, and I guess this is the result of all that. Impressive indeed, at least for a mangaka.

His wife is like a bishoujo who jumped right out of the anime screen. Well, in his case, used as the basis of the main character for Negima... Where can one find these kinds of win and awesome? Why can't I ever find them? XD

Source: Danny Choo

Friday, August 10, 2007

PR's and Gaming Media

PR's and Game Media

Seriously, when you look at something like this, it would be pretty much similar to most other industries in this case, wouldn't it? I mean, movies get movie reviews, and entertainment mags would likely get advertising and what not. Seems like this can be applied to many other industries, overall.


Get the popcorn!

The beginning
Hey man, if you gotta sue, you gotta sue. That's what I say. So this is the beginning of it all.
More details on the lawsuit itself.

Anyway, so this was the beginning. It was relatively quiet really, a lawsuit of contracts and stuff. Seriously, and then more fun happens as other developers start complaining. Yay!

So all is well, considering that SK is suing and stuff. Epic comes back with a countersuit against Silicon Knights. Of course, SK, like all parties suing responds.

Is it just me, or is this legal battle getting more and more hilarious? We need Phoenix Wright to set this straight! :D

Source: Kotaku

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Persona 3

Well I found a "review" of Persona 3 that really does give quite a bit of insight into the world of Persona 3. I preordered this one months ago myself, though I have not touched its legacy (until a couple of days from now, that is), but really this game looks to be a very good one indeed.

Persona 3 is published by Atlus.
Official Persona 3 website

Mama makes more cooking

505 Games just announced that Cooking Mama will receive a sequel, which will come out early 2008 on the DS and Wii. I still have my copy of the first one lying around somewhere, actually. It's kinda strange that a game like this, which is generally just a bunch of repetitive tasks that may or may not be practical (like the mixing mini game...there HAS to be an order to this, right? The game has it randomized...) in the real world...well more likely not practical than yes, but whatever.

Source Kotaku

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


Directly translated, higurashi means "Cicada", which is a brown beetle-like insect that makes a characteristic sound. So why am I randomly talking about a cicada?

Volume 1
Volume 2

Hey, we're just hitting the tip of this iceberg here.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni itself spans 26 episodes, covering many aspects of this anime's mystery. In my opinion, it is definitely worth a watch. Besides, this series is likely only going for 2 seasons anyway (with Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai as season 2). Most likely this new season will come here as well. Cheers.

Monday, July 2, 2007


So we're going to start playing around here. Basically, it'll be random as of now, and we'll end up finding new things and what not, and find our identity or whatever later. Cheers.