Fairy Fencer F Review

Greetings everyone, and welcome back to my esteemed blog.  Sorry for the long delay (yet again), but I have been busy with work and preparing to begin my Japanese courses.    Tis the season of ghouls and ghosts, and it’s also one of my favorite times of the year.  There is much to be said about the wonderful month of October, mainly because of so many titles that are out, such as Smash Bros. for the 3DS, and others, like The Evil Within.  However, I want to take a look at an underdog that is worthy of some recognition, this title of course being Fairy Fencer F for the Playstation 3 console.

Nippon Ichi Software has seen a lot of lows in the past few months with recent releases.  The only title that they are best known for is the incredible Disgaea series.  This time around, they have brought to us another JRPG in the form of Fairy Fencer F by developer Compile Heart.  Is this title worthy of play and praise?  Or, does it fall short of any recognition?  Let’s find out.

Graphics:  This, if anything is Fairy Fencer’s weakest point.  The environments are very bland, with little or no life.  The character designs are bright and colorful, and the monster designs are pretty well done.  The frame rate drops from time to time when traveling through dungeons which isn’t a bad thing, but those who prefer eye-candy may not find it here.  Score: 7/10

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Sound:  The musical score is very well-done.  Kenji Kaneko and famed composer Nobuo Uematsu bring a fresh composition of great story and battle driven musical scores.  The battle themes are the “pump you up” kind of themes, which is a great thing.  Click here to hear the battle theme.  Voice overs do not disappoint in this title.  The actors actually seem to make an effort to bring life to these characters, as opposed to voice actors who just throw in a voice to simply get a paycheck.  Score: 8.5/10

Stab a fury into the ground and change the world!

Gameplay:  This is Fairy Fencer F’s biggest draw.  In terms of exploration, the prime village simply consists of selecting a location and going to a still background of that location and speaking with NPC’s (Non-playable characters).  The majority of dialogue that comes from the NPC’s are pretty much insignificant, unless an icon saying “event” or “sub-event” pops up.

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Not exactly eye-candy, but it does the job.

The story moves at a fairly decent pace, consisting of a cliche story with your antagonist, Fang and his ragtag group of unique companions journeying to collect these swords called furies that have the capability of resurrecting either the goddess (good) or dark lord (bad). At one point in the story, having to re-visit dungeons became tedious at times, but fortunately the difficulty is amped appropriately to keep things somewhat fresh.  The dungeons are fairly short and it’s a pretty much a straight-forward start to finish path, with little exploration options.

The battle system is very well-done.  The combat is turned based, but unlike your typical characters on one side and enemies on the other, Fairy Fencer takes a different approach.  Think of it as a watered down version of Eternal Sonata.  The object is, when it’s a characters turn, they have a circular field that opens up, this being where you can run to.  Skills and spells have a different range of attack (single, line, group).  When situations get hairy, you can transform (Power Ranger style) into a more powerful version of yourself by binding with your fairy using a skill called Fairize.

 

IT'S MORPHI...I mean..IT'S FAIRIZE TIME!!!

IT’S MORPHI…I mean..IT’S FAIRIZE TIME!!!

You can also acquire furies either through main quests or side-quest missions that have attributes that can give your equipped character a little stat boost.  Each character is capable of upping their stats, learning new skills/spells through grinding and getting WP (Weapon Points).  You can also use your acquired furies to change enemies in stages, or apply bonuses, not without a stipulation of course.  For example, you can go to a stage and stab a fury into the ground of that area using that fury will increase your gained gold by 50%, but it also drops your defense by 25%.
Score: 9/10

Man your battle stations!

Man your battle stations!

While Fairy Fencer F is not the best game on the market, it provides a fresh battle system, deep mechanics, and a fairly decent plot.  This is a game that you should consider adding to your library.

Final Score:  8/10

Tales of Xillia 2 Review: Take me back to Rieze Maxia

The new antagonists, Ludger and Elle

The new antagonists, Ludger and Elle

Welcome back everyone to my esteemed blog.  The crickets have been chirping quite a bit on the blogging front, but there are a couple of reasons for this.  First, my company recently had their annual meeting, which really took it out of me.  So, after the conclusion of that successful meeting, I took a few days off and just relaxed.  I also had to attend a wedding or two, which involved quite a bit of traveling.  Now fans can rejoice, for I have returned.  Let us begin.

Bandai Namco is best known for the Tales series.  Now they have brought us the direct sequel to Tales of Xillia.  Tales of Xillia 2 takes place one year after the events of the first game.  With the huge success of the first installment, does this sequel measure up to it’s predecessor?  Let’s review.

Graphics:  There isn’t much to be said about the graphics of Tales of Xillia 2, reason being, it looks exactly the same in and out.  The characters both new and returning still retain the same design and art direction, minus a few wardrobe and hair changes (it has been a year since the first game ).  Score:  8/10

A little of the new mixed with the old.

A little of the new mixed with the old.

Sound:  Tales of Xillia 2 brings back some familiar tunes along with some new tracks to spice up the roster.  Motoi Sakuraba brings his delicate touch back to what is already a great franchise.  The voice acting is done fairly well, with the original cast returning to compliment the new characters.  On a sad note to some, Teepo is back.  Ayumi Hamasaki brings her vocal talents back with the intro theme “Song 4 U.”  Fans of the first Xillia title soundtrack won’t be disappointed with this second dose of gaming music excellence.  Score:  8.5/10

Gameplay:  As with most Tales games, this is where it all comes together.  Tales of Xillia’s core gameplay is in the fighting system.  When you’re fighting monsters, it feels more like a fighting game and less of a “select your attack and wait” kind of game, which is pretty cliche in most JRPGs.

Outta my way!

Outta my way!

The story, which is excellent, picks up one year after the events of the first game.  There is a twist, you don’t get to play as two separate protagonists, instead you only have one hero, Ludger Kresnik.  I have to say, I was somewhat disappointed with Ludger as a protagonist.  Although his story involving his brother Julius is well plotted, his portrayal as the more often than not silent protagonist is very off-putting, and while you make selections on Ludger’s responses and choices-it feels bland all together.  Elle is the other protagonist, a non-playable character who is also a huge element of the story, although not being able to use her caused me to disassociate myself from her almost entirely.  I much preferred Jude and Milla.

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The story progresses smoothly, except for times when you are forced to pay off your ridiculously exorbitant debt.  This results in you having to sidetrack your mission to accomplish fetch and monster slaying quests.  Except for the “elite” monsters, I found the remaining quests to be very tedious.

Battle of the brothers!

Battle of the brothers!

The orb system has had an overhaul as well.  I was a huge fan of the “Illium Orb” system in the first Xillia game.  The new orb system called “Allium Orb” is something that I am not too fond of.  You equip each character with an orb that slowly levels up and earns you new and upgraded skills and artes.  Think of it as a Final Fantasy 6 esper system, but much more detailed.  The only downside to this system is that with everything going on in this game, you are forced to do some severe micromanaging.  To some this is ok, but for others, it can be somewhat of a burden.

Meet the new Allium Orb system.

Meet the new Allium Orb system.  I’m a fan of the japanese version, sorry folks.

One addition that I thought was an excellent touch is the character story lines.  This allows Ludger and Elle to go on separate quests with each of the original characters from the first game, thus learning more about that individual character and increasing the bond you have between them, and you can earn a costume accessory here and there.  Score: 9.0/10

Tales of Xillia 2 is an incredible story that brings this tale to a wonderful close.  Any Tales fan should definitely add this to their library.  One thing, if you never played the first Tales of Xillia, I would recommend playing that one first.  It helps bring events of the sequel to better light.  Thanks again for following my blog.  I am reviewing a niche title called Fairy Fencer F.  Stay tuned for my review coming soon.  Thanks everyone!

Final Score: 8.5/10

Hatsune Miku fans rejoice!

 

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Welcome back everyone to my esteemed blog.  As the autumn months quickly makes it way toward us, the newest line-up of video game titles are slowly trickling their way stateside.  One of these games is Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd.

Incredible music!

Incredible music!

For those of you who are not aware of what Hatsune Miku is, it’s a music rhythm game similar to that of Parappa The Rapper.  Button images, square, circle, x, and triangle will appear in different areas of the screen in random sequences according to the beats and melodies of the music.  You simply have to press the buttons as they match up.  Click here for an example of the game in action.

40 amazing songs!

40 amazing songs!

Sega released this game on a gamble, seeing as how it is such an extremely niche audience.  The game however was a massive success, and Sega in their infinite wisdom has decided to bring the sequel.  Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd, much like it’s predecessor will feature 40 songs and a new difficulty setting that will keep you coming back for more Miku!  No concrete release date has been released as of yet, but a tentative date is set for December of 2014 on the Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita.  Hopefully, we won’t have to wait until next year for this amazing sequel.  

Watch the E3 announcement trailer!

Here is my favorite song on the new lineup so far!

Thank you to all my subscribers for following my blog, and be sure to spread the word to your friends.  Be sure to check out my review of The Last of Us Remastered this weekend.  Until then fellow bloggers, happy gaming!

Battle of the last boss themes, which one do you think is the best?

Welcome back happy gamers to my esteemed blog.  I hope everyone is enjoying their summer, and spending a lot of that time basking in non-stop gaming goodness.  RPGs (Role Playing Games) has developed a monstrous fan base over the years, and most noticeably, the music that accompanies some titles is treasured among tons of fans all over the world.  One piece of music that is among the most popular is the final battle themes—the climactic battle between your heroes and the fiend that you must smite.  There are many selections in this particular genre, and everyone has their opinion of which theme is the best of the best.  Here is a nice listing my favorite last boss themes:

 

Grandia 2: FIGHT Theme 4 Final Battle

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Lunar Eternal Blue:  Lucia vs. Zophar

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Secret of Mana: Meridian Dance

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Final Fantasy 7:  One Winged Angel

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Persona 3:  Battle for Everyone’s Souls

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Bravely Default:  Serpent that Eats the Ground

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Final Fantasy 6:  Dancing Mad

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Final Fantasy 4:  Final Battle (Zeromus)

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Parasite Eve: U.B. (Ultimate Being)

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Parasite Eve 2:  Distorted Evolution

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 Now for my top three choices:

 

Persona 3:  Battle for Everyone’s Souls

Bravely Default:  Serpent that Eats the Ground

Lunar Eternal Blue:  Lucia vs. Zophar

 

…and the winner (at least I think) for best RPG last boss theme song is???????

 

 

Bravely Default:  Serpent that Eats the Ground

 

 

Are there any RPG last boss themes that you think are undeniably awesome, and stand out above the rest?  Share your thoughts.  I look forward to hearing from you.  Until next week folks, take care and game on!

Shovel Knight Review: Games of Future Past

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Welcome back friends to my esteemed blog.  I hope all of you out there had an incredible fire cracking 4th of July weekend.  As most of us prepare to return to our usual 9-5 occupations, some of us would like to know what is hot in the gaming world.  Thankfully, I have come back to bring you yet another fantastic dose of gaming goodness.  There are plenty of big names within the gaming industry, but for those of you who are not aware, indie games are making a huge positive impact within the gaming world.  

Independent developer Yacht Club Games has launched their newest title Shovel Knight for the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U.  This title is a tribute to retro platforming games that many, if not, all of us are too familiar with.  The question is, does Shovel Knight pay homage to a time period of great games?  Or, does it insult the genre of retro platforming that we have all loved since childhood?  Let’s find out shall we?

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The world of Shovel Knight…look familiar?

Graphics:  Shovel Knight is a retro gaming platforming adventure that takes a risk with having 8-bit type graphics, but you can’t help but be mesmerized by the beautiful execution of this trip down memory lane.  It dives back into the days of old without ever making the game look too outdated.  The sprites and backgrounds are very well executed, the colors are unbelievably vibrant, and the blend of graphical elements from different gaming titles of the 8-bit era (you’ll see which ones shortly) draw you in to the point where you completely forget that you are playing this game on a next-generation gaming console.  Yacht Club Games deserves high recognition and praise for their incredible and masterful execution of this element.  Score: 9.5/10

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You bring your lamp, I’ll bring my SHOVEL!


Sound:
 The music of Shovel Knight is a retro gamer’s dream come true.  It uses the 8-bit chip sound production beautifully, and more often than not, I found myself tapping my toes to some of these incredible tracks.  This is a reminder to gamers that you don’t need a full scale orchestra to create fantastic memorable music.  Score: 9/10

Tick Tock

Tick Tock

 

Gameplay:  The meat of this package is within the gameplay.  Shovel Knight is a side-scrolling platform adventure game.  It borrows elements from many of the “in-crowd” Nintendo games.  The controls are as basic as they come.  You have move, jump, and attack.  You side scrolling elements from Mega Man using your shovel as a pogo stick from Ducktales, and attacking foes in similar ways to Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania via swiping them with your shovel.  

The map layout is very similar to Super Mario Bros. 3, one of the greatest Nintendo games ever (at least in my opinion).  You traverse through different dungeon layouts and fight bosses in the same format as Mega Man.  You also earn currency via digging up and or discovering gems, gold coins, and other shiny goodies along the way.  Currency plays a critical role in this game, as it allows you to buy relics and potions that make your quest a little bit easier.  It also plays a role when you die.  Upon your death, chunks of your funds are sacrificed to bring you back.  Don’t fret, you can return to you place of death and reclaim your lost funds, which are floating in bags.  

Big tanks?  I got a SHOVEL!

Big tanks? I got a SHOVEL!

You may think that this game is a “rip off” of other treasured games of the 8-bit era, but it actually feels like a stand alone title that really makes it’s mark in an incredible way.  Some of us veteran retro gamers may find the difficulty of Shovel Knight a little bit mundane, but fear not friends, Yacht Club Games has provided a New Game Plus mode that is sure to scratch that itch for an extra challenge.  Shovel Knight looks simplistic but it plays smoothly for those who are veterans of the Nintendo 8-bit era and those of us who were deprived of the joys of these gaming gems back in the days of old.  Score: 10/10

 

Shovel Knight is a fantastic game.  It has been years since I played through a platformer numerous times in one sitting, and it felt pretty darn good.  Retro gamers looking for a hidden gem, or new age gamers wanting to find their gaming roots, look no further than Shovel Knight.  A fantastic tribute to retro games and this will be a classic for many years to come.

 

Final Score: 9.5/10

Child of Light Review: Visual Poetry In Motion

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Good day to all my fellow gamers. Welcome back to my esteemed blog. I apologize for this insane delay in posting, but recently work and night classes have syphoned my personal time, but once again I have returned and with some very late—but nonetheless excellent and non-bias gaming reviews. The summer is finally here, and kids, teens, and the more paleolithic gamers like myself are always looking to invest countless hours in some gaming goodness. So, I have decided to start by reviewing one of four games on my platter that I am playing and very much enjoying. The first review will be Ubisoft’s RPG, Child of Light. This title has had a lot of expectations. Does it live up to all these expectations, or is it another disappointing letdown. Let’s take a look.

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Graphics: Elegance and beauty are understatements when it comes to describing the graphics of Child of Light. From the moment you turn on your console, even the “press start” screen draws you in like a spell. The colors and textures are beautifully drawn. The backgrounds are lush and vibrant with color and life, from the immense forests, to the dark and creepy caverns—It’s an eye-candy overload that fans will love. Ubisoft definitely proves to all of us that they poured their heart, sweat, and tears into providing us a product of pure visual delight. The characters of Child of Light are also brilliantly drawn in both story sequences and gameplay.

The creature designs are almost out of a child’s story, but not in a childish way. Each creature is well detailed and some can also be a bit fearsome. Being a person with a hummingbird attention span, I found myself constantly getting lost or distracted from my path, but I didn’t get frustrated with the game. I simply wanted to keep wandering and soak in the beautiful atmosphere of this amazing world. Score 10/10 

Sound: Canadian singer-songwriter Coeur de Pirate (Béatrice Martin) brings to Child of Light a musical score that is timeless and beautifully done. Every track seems to fit the environment of the game. From the soothing melody played in the forest, to the climactic boss battles, every piece of music is a joy to behold. Score 9.5/10

Gameplay: This game focuses on the heroine Aurora who, after falling victim to a physical ailment—wakes up in the world of Lemuria. She then begins her quest to save her father from the evil queen, Umbra. Thus, she journeys through mystical Lemuria, gathering very unique allies along the way. A bow-wielding mouse, a jester who can’t seem to complete one rhyme, a golem, and a wizard—yes these are some of the different varieties of characters that you will encounter through your 12-15 hour quest.

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While most heroes in video games tend to have a stereotypical look from an abnormally muscular hero, or a sexy seductive heroine—Child of Light has none of these stereotypes. It introduces pretty average characters that still make an impact without all the muscles and sexiness. The battle system is one that is familiar to many fans. It uses a turn based gaming engine similar to the Grandia series. Characters and monsters take turns while small icons in line on the screen races to the “action” button. This determines who gets to act first. This element provides a lot of strategic challenges, because your quick thinking will determine whether you can get the jump on your enemies before they can act, or fall victim to their onslaught. Aurora’s companion Igniculus also plays a vital role in your quest as a distraction blinding your enemies and slowing their progression on the action bar. It is a refreshing element and a fantastic tribute to the gaming franchises that introduced these engines. Score 9.5/10

Child of Light is a game that should be in everyone’s library. It is a beautiful tribute to past games, and it is a brilliant masterpiece to behold. If you have not downloaded this title yet, don’t wait another minute—download Child of Light today.

Final Score: 9.5/10

Anime Central 2014

Hello everyone, and welcome back to my esteemed blog.  I must apologize for the delay on my Child of Light review, but Anime Central was in my hometown of the windy city this past weekend, and that took a redonkulous amount of my time.  Now that another awesome year at ACEN has passed, I thought I would take a moment and show all of my followers a few snippets of the epic event that was ACEN 2014.  I was so fortunate enough to not only see a free (provided you registered) performance of A New World (Final Fantasy Concert), but I unexpectedly bumped into none other than Mr. Nobuo Uematsu himself (yes, I was starstruck like a Beetles fan).  It was indeed an amazing year at ACEN.  Not sure what the hoopla is all about?  Click here to learn all about ACEN!  I will be back on Tuesday with my review of Child of Light, and this weekend with Transistor.  Until then enjoy the pics!

Shiva was putting everyone on ice!

Shiva was putting everyone on ice!

 

Sephiroth!…and camouflage person.

Sephiroth!…and camouflage person.

 

Princess Peach is armed and dangerous!

Princess Peach is armed and dangerous!

I had to take pics with my favorite Sailor Scout!

I had to take pics with my favorite Sailor Scout!

Oh…the ocarinas!

Oh…the ocarinas! Thank you to Songbird Ocarina for permission to take the picture.  Love your products!

Check out more products from Songbird Ocarina!

MORTAL KOMBAT!!!

MORTAL KOMBAT!!!

My Clicker costume was a hit!

My Clicker costume was a hit!

Don't mess with Chie!

Don’t mess with Chie!

Izanagi will smite you!

Izanagi will smite you!

LET IT GO ELSA!

LET IT GO ELSA!

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Gotta Catch Em All!

Gotta Catch Em All!

 

Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars Review: Bundles of Joy

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Welcome back friends to my esteemed blog.  It has been quite the active time in the gaming world with so many anticipated titles coming out. I must apologize again for the delayed blog postings, but I recently completed this title and currently working on Child of Light for my next review. 

This time around, we are going to take a look at a new dungeon-crawling turn-based RPG from Atlus—Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars for the Playstation Vita and Nintendo 3DS.  I am going to review this title from an objective point-of-view.  Conception 2 is a title developed by Spike Chunsoft, developers of 999 and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon. So, how does this newest RPG stand up? Read on to find out more.

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Story: The story of Conception 2 puts you in the typical role of somewhat silent protagonist, Wake Archus (default name)—a teenage boy growing up in a world infested by demons. Wake discovers the mark of the star god on his hand after a horrible demon attack takes the life of his sister on her wedding day. Wake then decides to attend a school that trains other youths with the star god markings. Demons gather in these nests called “dusk circles”. It’s here that Conception 2’s journey begins.

In the midst of your training it is discovered that you (Wake) have an overwhelming amount of ether within your body that allows you and your female classmates to enter the dusk circles and clean house.

In your training you meet seven different female classmates that you can perform a ritual called “classmating” to create star children. Just so everyone is aware, it’s not the type of mating that you think. You simply hold hands with these S-Ranking classmates and create these children using items called matryoshka dolls. It’s here that the dungeon crawling journey begins.  You journey to these dusk circles (dungeons) to clear out the infestations, gather treasures, and eventually confront the boss of each dusk circle.  It’s a typical RPG storyline in a nutshell.  Score: 8/10    

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Graphics: The graphical quality of Conception 2 can be hit or miss at times. The character models are pretty fair in design. Some of the dungeons are creative, while others just an eyesore. The anime character design is pretty well done, and the in game characters and monsters are pretty good, as far as design quality goes. Fans of Persona 3 and 4 will feel right at home with the graphics and artwork.  Score: 7.5/10

Sound: Masato Koda brings forth a rather trendy soundtrack for Conception 2. The battle theme is pretty catchy, along with other well thought up tunes. The voice work turned out more impressive than I had hoped. It’s definitely a toe-tapping soundtrack, especially where the battle theme is concerned.  Score: 8/10
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Gameplay:  This is the bread and butter of Conception 2. The dungeon exploration is very much similar to Persona 3 and 4. You explore these dusk circles (dungeons) in an attempt to neutralize the dusk spawn, (dungeon boss) and sterilize the circle. Before embarking on your quest, you must utilize the help of one of your female companions by creating star children to help you in battle. At birth, you select the class of your star child.

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The battle system seems simple at first, but there are numerous points—especially in the optional dungeons where the difficulty spike is very noticeable. You are placed in three teams, consisting of you and your female companion (mom and dad), and the other two teams consisting of three star children per team. When fighting, you basically surround one enemy in a circle like formation—choosing a side you wish to attack the enemy from. There are standard attacks and weak points depending on which side you attack the enemy from. It’s simplistic, but a challenging strategic element.  Score: 8.5/10
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Final thoughts: Conception 2 has been criticized as being a rip-off of Persona 4. We have to remember that Atlus (creators of Persona) released this game. So, if they aren’t making a fuss, or throwing out any lawsuits—why should anyone else make a big deal about it?  This game is definitely worth picking up. Don’t be deceived by all the biased critics out there, if you’re looking for a good time consuming RPG—then give Conception 2 a go.

Final Score:  8/10

Upcoming Titles To Look Out For!

Welcome back everyone to my esteemed blog.  It’s been an idle couple of weeks, mainly due to the preparation of my Clicker costume for ACEN next month.  There is also work and the gym that seem to intervene.  That being said, it’s time to keep the gaming news and reviews going.

Many gamers I assume have had their hands busy with several new titles, including Dark Souls 2, Final Fantasy 10/10-2 HD Remaster, and Bravely Default.  I’m here to give you an update on what’s coming up in the next few months.  Without further adieu, let us begin.

Three games on the radar:

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Conception 2:  This is a unique dungeon-crawler RPG from the creators of Persona.  It’s a rather unique title, one that will be next on my to review list.  If you’re familiar with Persona 4, then you will definitely have to check this out!  Conception 2 launches April 15th for the Vita and 3DS.

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Child of Light:  Ubisoft is bringing a visually stunning RPG entitled Child of Light available for digital download on PS3, PS4, Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Xbox 360 at the end of this month.  It is literally an interactive poem that you are in control of.  You play as Aurora a princess on a quest to restore the lost sources of light from the sun, moon, and stars-and put an end to the culprit, the black queen.  Child of Light is available for download on April 30th.

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The Last of Us Remastered:  Yes folks, the game that won 200 game of the year awards is now being remastered exclusively for the Playstation 4.  The Last of Us Remastered will be brought in 1080p with better character models, shadows and backgrounds, and the complete expansion sets, including Left Behind.  It is scheduled for release this summer, but no exact release date has yet been given.

We have quite a few games to look forward to this spring and summer, so start planning on breaking your piggy banks over the next few months.  I will definitely be reviewing these games upon their release so stay tuned, and as always-thanks for your continued support and spread the word about my blog.  Happy Gaming!

 

Final Fantasy X/ X-2 HD Remaster Review

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Welcome back fellow readers to my esteemed blog.  I must apologize for my long absence, but circumstances have severely limited my blogging time.  But now we can press on with the gaming goodness.  It was 13 years ago when Square-Enix (back then Squaresoft) released Final Fantasy 10 for the Playstation 2 game console.  This title would be hailed as one of the greatest installments in the franchise’s history.  Now in 2014, Square-Enix has bestowed Final Fantasy X/ X-2 HD Remaster for the Playstation 3 console.  The question on everyone’s mind is, can a title that is over a decade old still strut it’s stuff in HD?  Let’s find out.

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Graphics:  Final Fantasy X/ X-2 HD Remaster is absolutely gorgeous on Playstation 3.  This is the makeover that fans have been waiting for.  The polygons and pixels have been thoroughly smoothed out, and the colors in both the character and background art have received a nice polish that really pops on the screen.  The CG cutscenes are just as beautiful as the day they premiered in 2001.  The character’s facial models also received a bright overhaul, but seem rather awkward looking especially in cutscenes.  The menu screens received several touches that really stand out, and the sphere grid remains true to it’s prior 2001 release.  There are titles that often suffer from graphical clashing (i.e. Tales of Symphonia HD Chronicles), but thankfully Final Fantasy X/ X-2 HD Remaster has received the perfect HD upgrade that truly does the game justice.  Score: 9.5/10

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Sound:  Final Fantasy X received a completely remixed musical score courtesy of Masashi Hamazu.  Some of the tracks are very vibrant and catchy.  I did however prefer some of the original musical tracks by Nobuo Uematsu as opposed to their remixes.  Not having an option to select between the original and remixed musical score during gameplay is very disappointing.  It will be hit or miss with fans of the original.  Final Fantasy X-2 did not receive a musical makeover, and thus remains the same, which isn’t a bad thing at all.  Score: 9/10

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Gameplay:  The story of Tidus and Yuna trying to save Spira from the evil of Sin remains true and just as beautiful even today.  The many additions to both games will be a joyful treat to fans.  First off, both of these titles are the international director’s cuts that were never released in North America.  This of course means more content, story, and of course hidden bosses for those of you looking for bigger challenges. For those of you trophy hunters, I am happy to say that both titles have fairly robust trophy listings.  While some are easy to obtain, others will take quite a bit of skill in order to obtain them.  Unfortunately, the poor syncing of voice acting and lip movement of the characters still run rampant in both titles.  

 

The battle system is just as fast paced and fun with similar and new opponents aiming to challenge you at every turn.  The storyline progresses rather smoothly, and the option of open-exploration as the game progresses is a great thing to have.  The storyline for Final Fantasy X is timeless and among one of the most touching love stories ever within a Final Fantasy title, while it’s sequel offers a very distorted storyline, but ultimately (provided you get the correct ending) brings the story to a fitting conclusion.  Score: 10/10

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Whether you are a fan of both titles, or looking for a fantastic RPG, Final Fantasy X/ X-2 HD Remaster is definitely bang for your buck!  You are getting two uncut RPG titles, each with over (and I stress OVER) 50 hours of gameplay.  I urge any RPG or Final Fantasy fan to add this title to their collection.  You won’t regret this investment. 

 

Final Score: 9.5/10

I am in the process of reviewing Dark Souls 2, and a niche RPG, Atelier Escha and Logy.  These will be posted in the next week or so.  Be sure to follow my blog and tell your friends about it, until then, happy BlitzBalling!

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