Dear Developers-Linear Video Games ARE Still Fun

Aside from all the negative attention EA is receiving for their whole Star Wars Battlefront 2 mess, they have also recently been accused of shutting down Visceral Games and moving their Star Wars project to another company because of the linearity of the game. Whether this is true, I seriously doubt it, but they have been recently saying, among other developers, that one, people don’t like linear games as much, and two, consumers want to spend a very, very long time on each game.

I assure you, that I, and many people I know still love linear games. They are just as good as non-linear games, if not better. Admittedly, the world does seem to be so obsessed with “open world” styled games, but I personally don’t understand why. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like them, but to have every game be like that is just ridiculous.

There is something to be said for games that just have you follow a path or two and not have to worry about where to go next or getting lost and all the joys that come with massive games.

To say you don’t like linear games is like saying you don’t like platformers, which is entirely possible if you were born in the last 15 years or so and are one of those people who think because the game doesn’t look and play realistically, it is crap. But should developers really be catering to that audience? Definitely not. They have no idea what a game can be or should be, they are just a bunch of dumb kids and should not be considered gamers.

gow gpThe God of War games are linear and they are some of the best games on their respective consoles. But I bet the new one coming out is going to be open world…oh boy! But this is excusable since it is a reboot, but imagine if God of War 3 was suddenly open world? It would be stupid. Those games are just intense action and it is fun. Many linear games are just as fun. Open world games are much slower moving and you spend an awful lot of time just walking around and looking for stuff. That is why many of them are over 100 hours long.

You could have just as much content in a game with a more condensed world and beat it in 30 hours. So is really adding extra walking time that much better?

Final Fantasy 13 is a game that gets much hate, and I’m pretty sure it is because of the Thundara_FFXIIIlinearity of the game. Big deal. It’s still fun. Just because there is no overworld to explore while constantly getting attacked by enemies trying to find the next town or a cave to explore to look for an item doesn’t make it a bad game. The true core is still there, and that is simply being an RPG set in a fantasy world.

And believe it or not, games don’t need DLC. Put extra effort in development and just pull the plug when it is released. Games typically are better when there is no DLC coming out 3 weeks after the game is released. Some DLC is nice, but most of it is just overpriced garbage that we don’t need. If companies actually did it right and didn’t just use it as a way to make some extra cash, then it would be actually pretty cool. But we live in a greedy, crappy world, so that will never happen.

And a lot of games now focus so much on online play, and how much they can cram into that, leaving single player modes very empty feeling. During the PS2/Xbox/GameCube era, I feel like games had much more girth to them. You got to unlock all sorts of stuff, play through a lengthy campaign that wasn’t obnoxiously long and have a great time doing it.

Now it feels like you get a slimmed down game so the devs can put more effort into the multiplayer, then instead of unlocking things, you have to purchase it later so you can pay the devs to continue to support the online aspects of the game.

Trouble with that is the majority of the gaming world still prefers playing by themselves. People suck. We have to spend all day with people. When we play games, we want to be left alone in a fake world void of other humans.

And really, if you have ever played multiplayer games with people, then you know they are a gathering of the biggest idiots on the planet. 10 year olds fighting with 30 year olds, people swearing in place of using actually grammar… it’s a mess. The gaming community certainly is one of the darker stains on the world, that is for sure. So why continue to go a route that supports such vulgar crap? Give us some solid stuff to play by ourselves. We are the majority of the market after all!

And this, ironically, brings me to the next thing developers have been saying. They claim people want to spend hundreds of hours on a single game. Gone are the days where people play a game and then move on.

This is not the case, I assure. I have a back log of over 300 games, so trust me, I don’t want to spend more than a reasonable amount of time on a game. And I assume that goes for anyone but those “gamers” who do nothing but play online Call of Duty and other online shooters. But I am not saying spending a long time on a game is a bad thing either…for it is not.

But this subject amuses me. Didn’t I just say that I wish they gave us longer single player experiences? Yes, well more valuable experiences, not necessarily longer anyhow.

But anyway, these devs are trying to keep us playing games by constantly coming out with new DLC to play. Trouble is, it’s not free and 99% of it isn’t worth buying. And again, this is really only appealing to people who play nothing but the online aspects.

cod2Speaking of Call of Duty, those games were phenomenal back in the day, when they were nothing but a single player campaign and maybe local multiplayer or whatever. The newer games are still fun, but they don’t come close to what they used to be, because all the effort goes into the online multiplayer.

So why do your original, loyal fans get shafted in favor of these people who like to do nothing but spend countless hours playing against each other? Why can’t they instead make exclusive online shooters, which fortunately seems to be a growing phenomenon, so they don’t in fact screw us single players over.

Another thing devs seem to be so worried about is replay value. How is this an issue if you are not letting us ever stop playing the game!?!?!? So they keep on adding more stuff that we can use on another playthrough and this and that, which is nice, but again, it costs a whole lot more money to do this, especially considering all of this DLC would have been included in the game 12 years ago! This is a big reason linear games are so seemingly unpopular. It is the same thing each play through…

And bottom line is, you really don’t need all this extra fluff in a game to make someone replay it. It could be the most linear game ever, but if the gameplay is fun, I am going to replay it for the sake of just having fun. I don’t need to play it for 200 hours, with new stuff added every 20 of those hours. If the gameplay isn’t all that great, it is going to be a dull, miserable 200 hours. I would much rather play a 5 hour game that is a whole lot of fun 10 times over. And big deal if I don’t replay it immediately. If it is 5 or 10 years down the line, then that means the devs did something right.

Trouble is, they won’t make extra money on it in the months following the games release, which is the whole issue here, so to their company, they did not do something right.

I’m all about trying something new, but don’t let the things from the past that actually worked be forgotten.

 

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The Future Of Super Smash Bros

I have been hearing a lot lately about how people would very much like to see some “Super Smash Bros For Switch Deluxe” something or other, this title being an updated version of Smash for Wii U and 3DS combined, but with some bonus material as well, much in the same manner they did with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Pokken Tournament DX.

Well, I’ve got a better idea. How about a brand new Smash game? Doesn’t that sound better? Sure the other one would likely come out a whole lot quicker, but why spend the resources? A brand new game, fitted just for Switch makes a whole lot more sense to me. And this time, without the limitations of the 3DS holding it back, it could be a truly perfect game, as good as it can be for both home and handheld play. That is what I want. Not a remake.

But while we are on the subject, let’s talk a bit about the series and what I hate about it. Well…hate might be a strong word.

Let’s get this straight. I love the series…all 5 games are incredible and I still play all of them regularly. The matches are the best part about this. Local multiplayer and even yourself fighting against 3 computers for the sheer fun of it is truly something incredible.

I love the varying stages and the creative and different ways to play on each one. I love the huge cast of characters, and yes, I am including clones as well. I realize they are just a generous bonus from the developers and not “taking the place of another character” as so many outraged people claim. It’s nice to see a clone character rather than them being just a costume. Anyway, playing four player with random characters on random stages has brought me thousands of hours of enjoyment.

But then we get to the more single player stuff. I can not stand it anymore. The multi-man challenges, the homerun contest, the target challenges, classic mode, adventure mode, all-star mode. Dear God I am so sick of them all!

I can’t sit there and beat all these modes with every character in the game another time. We’ve already done it 5 times, and with an ever growing list of characters, it becomes more tedious and annoying.

TrophyIf they are insistent on leaving these, then at least allow us to use a large group of characters at once, or stop giving out trophies for beating it with each one. If you give no reward that people want, then only those who want to do it for fun can have at it. The rest of us who want to collect everything shouldn’t have to suffer through such repetitive and tedious things.

So here are my wishes for the next Smash installment. Drop all that crap. We don’t need it. Developers should spend all their time on characters and stages. Obviously, most of their time is already spent on this I would imagine, but without everything else, they can give us some more. Include every stage and character that has already been in each game and then add a bunch more. I know that is a lot of content and very unrealistic, but who cares? This is my dream! This is all I care about, as many characters and stages to use them on as possible. Oh and maybe some more unique costumes instead of just recolors would be nice too, like what Project M did. Though they do generally base the recolors off a other costumes, so that is something at least.

Luigi_Palette_(SSBM)

But if they really need to keep some single player stuff, keep the event matches. They are actually really fun to play, so I wouldn’t mind that.

Oh, and what happened to unlocking stages and characters? In the Wii U version, you started with nearly everything. Unlocking characters in Brawl and especially Melee made everything so satisfying and fun, and you felt so accomplished after getting them all. And yes, I know if they take out all the fluffy crap like Classic Mode, how will you ever unlock characters? And I simply say, they will think of something, whether it be the event matches, or doing something specific in battles with specific characters or what not. It could easily be done.

Make the adventure unlocking characters, not collecting hundreds of trophies from repeating the same tasks over and over again. Keep trophies for sure, but good God, we don’t need classic anymore. Or custom moves…those have to go. That was the worst. They forced us to beat modes with the same characters over and over again, praying that we would get all their move sets, only doing so after getting the same ones 50 times before getting that damned last one. That was the most tedious chore of them all.

And this game shouldn’t be a chore. It should just be what makes the game so fun. All out  fighting and trying to win for no other purpose than to have fun. 5 stock matches with no time limit for me, all day, everyday!

Super-Smash-Bros.-

Final Fantasy IX: This Is What I Missed

At long last, my Final Fantasy marathon ends here…for the time being anyway. And I have to say, it ended with a great game, bringing me back to my early days when I first played FF 8 and 7, as I described in my post about the first game.

After playing through this game, I have come to the conclusion that Final Fantasy didn’t truly become great games until the PlayStation. I really enjoyed 7-9. The more advanced system with it’s “powerful” hardware allowed for some great story telling visually with the beautiful cut scenes and also the bigger space spread out on multiple discs allowed for more in game story told through a much larger world as well.

FF9 was also void of any annoying things that plagued the series from 6 downward. There were only 2 cheap instant death encounters I met the whole game, and it was mainly due to cheap overpowered counter attacks. For once, I could go through the whole game without wanting to pull my hair out.

Gone too are the obnoxious amounts of random encounters. Most games had you fighting endless amounts of battles for little experience. FF9 reversed that by having less battles with more experience, and that is just fine by me!

The skill system is great in this game as well. Each equipable item has skills attached to them that can teach one specific character something, or multiple people. This is truly great, for by the end of the game, all your characters know a vast amount of skills that you can equip to fit your needs at any time.

The story isn’t great, but it’s enjoyable enough, and there is great character development. The ending, however, is very weak and unnecessarily long for such a disappointing  payoff. But the character development sort of makes up for that though.

The only real complaints I have about the game is that the encounters take way too long to start…like over 10 seconds you have to wait before the battle begins. First it kind of loads, then you are forced to watch as the camera unnecessarily scrolls through your environment, as if the developers were so proud of the world they created. Then your party and the enemies magically fade in to existence and then finally the fight begins…which brings me to my second complaint.

The fighting seems so delayed. It is so slow moving. Sometimes you just are sitting there waiting for something to happen. Even when you have given each member something to do, everyone just kind of dances around for a while, then the enemies go, then one of your characters attack, then the enemy might go again after waiting, then wait some more for one of your guys to go. Honestly, if you tell all four of your characters to do something, it might take close to 2 minutes for your fourth character to finally go. By the time they do, the other 3 have already refilled the battle meter thing and have new commands already inputted. When that fourth character finally goes, you had forgotten what you told them to do and a lot of the time, the flow of the battle has shifted by then so that their attack or whatever is more or less useless.ff9 battle.jpg

But other than that, it is a fun game that I really enjoyed. Now I can finally understand why these games have some kind of following. It only took 9 games and 15 years.

As always, I will rank the games from best to worst. This time though, I will include 7 & 8, though it is a little unfair since I never beat them completely.

FFIX

FFVIII

FFVII

FFVI

FFII

FFIV

FFV

FFIV: The After Years

FF

Final Fantasy V=Annoying Game

Well, I’m back, here to talk about my experience with Final Fantasy V as I plow my way through most of the series. I’ve already spoken about 1, 2 and 4, and now I’ve got a bit to say about 5 as well.

To start, it’s not a horrible game, but it isn’t very good either. I like the story and the job system was kind of fun, albeit annoying at times. But it made for some fun customization options.

There isn’t too much to say about it that I haven’t already said with all the other games. By now I have realized that all these games have one great flaw. There is just so much annoying crap in them that it makes them very difficult to fully enjoy. This one is no exception. So I am going to single out what really made this game annoying.

That would be the last area in the game…

As per all the games, this place is loaded with difficult monsters that would love nothing more than to kill you most savagely. That’s not the real problem though. The problem is is that these monsters prefer you to be a zombie, a rock or a frog before they kill you. This is the most obnoxious thing about this game. Every monster seems to have the ability to turn you into one of these things. And the dungeon is very long, so you are constantly having to cure yourself of these ailments.

 

The rock and frog status isn’t horrible, for you can cure them with the Esuna spell, but it gets pretty taxing on your MP, so thank God I just happened to stock up on the curative items, Soft (cures rock) and Maidens’ Kiss (cures frog) throughout the whole game so that I had a crap ton to heal with. I stocked up on these because the last three games taught me that they would most likely come up to annoy the hell out of me, and I was right. But what I had not counted on was the newer zombie ailment. This can’t be cured by any spell other than using a cottage on a save point or sleeping at an inn. The only item that can cure it is Holy Water. I unfortunately did not stock up on these, so I only had 4 on me that I happened to find in chests.

So I painstakingly fight my way to the final boss, only to find that he loves using some spell that does a ton of damage to you, but worse, puts a random status effect on all characters. This is just great, for my first time through, I had used up all my Holy Waters, thus any characters that were zombified had to stay like that. And if you don’t know, this is a serious problem. A zombie character is basically dead, so you lose their attacks against the boss, but they don’t actually die, they instead attack you. And you or the enemy can’t kill them, they will be there forever. You can’t heal them if you don’t have Holy Water, so you are completely screwed and might as well reset the game at this point, because you won’t beat the boss.

So going through from where ever the last save point was, I made sure to keep my 4 Holy Waters. This meant that every time I was turned into a zombie I had to reset the game and try again. After like four tries, I finally made it to the boss and was able to cure all characters that turned into zombies.

This is a needless annoyance. What if I didn’t have any Holy Waters? I would have had to fight my way back out of the dungeon and then buy a bunch of them, and then redo the entire final area all over again! And that is something that just should not happen! Why do all of these games just have annoying, time consuming issues? This doesn’t make the game anymore challenging, it’s just cheap and unfair, stupid and a waste of time. The challenge in a game should not come from such cheap tricks. They are on their fifth game and they still have yet to figure that out!! They wouldn’t be such bad games, but my God! It eventually just gets so irritating that I may or may not look like this…angry.person

And one more thing that is super annoying in this game is the time it takes to bring up the menu. It takes about three seconds. This doesn’t sound like very long, but dear God, when your sitting there just waiting, it seems like much longer.  It takes a tad longer to exit the menu too. So it becomes very annoying.

But the dumbest thing of all about this game is the enemy counterattacks. This is nothing new in the series. Some enemies can counter any of your attacks with either spells or physical attacks. The counterattack would occur immediately after your attack. But not in this game. They would counter whenever they feel like it. And some of these counterattacks are devastating. In the older games, you could react by holding off on an attack or healing someone who was countered, but those simple strategies become obsolete in this game. They will randomly deploy their counterattacks in FF5. So say your guy hits an enemy that counters, you wait a bit, but he does not counter, so you attack again, still nothing, and then again. You’ve done 3 hits to the guy, but one of your characters hits twice in one attack, so that’s four hits to the enemy. After those four hits, he decides to counter with four attacks of his own…one for each hit he took. He will then use his normal attack as well. So that’s five hits coming at you at once. If the counter hits all your characters, there is an extremely high chance you will all die. If it a single person attack, he will likely take out 2 or 3 of your characters.

There seems to be no pattern to when they counter, it is just completely random, and many times have I died due to this horrible flaw.

Would I recommend this game to anyone?

Image result

 

If I had to rank the games at this point, it would go as follows, from best to worst…

FFII

FFIV

FFV

FFIV: The After Years

FF

 

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years Gripes

I’ve already talked about Final Fantasy 1 & 2, so here I am with another installment as I trek through most of the series. Today I will be talking about the 3 part game known as Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection for PSP, but more specifically, the third and final game, The After Years.

Final Fantasy IV is a pretty solid game, and really is quite good. I like 2 better, but I have no real complaints about the game. The second game, titled the Interlude, is just a quick 2-3 hour plot filler basically.

Then we come to After Years. It starts off with separate tales starring most of the cast from FFIV, their lengths ranging from 2-3 hours. Most of these are okay, if not a little monotonous. You basically just venture around, doing God knows what while trying to solve the same mystery in each tale. Because they are so short, you will get in monster fights every 3 steps to make sure you really get your fill of fighting. But this is all okay, except for Edward’s tale, the wuss of the game, who is stuck with even weaker soldiers to help fight you through his tale. This is the longest tale probably, and only because it takes forever to kill anything with this weak batch of people.

But anyway, the tales all end in one of two areas, combining all the cast into two separate groups. Once you beat all the tales, you unlock the final tale, (can’t remember what it is officially called). By the time you reach this tale, you are kind of burnt out and are thankful that only another 3 hour segment and the game will be completed.

Well…it was going into this game with that mentality that really made it annoying for me, for the final tale is not short. In fact it is around 20 hours long, which is how long it took me to beat the original game. So combined with all the tales, that’s around 40 hours, which is fine, but I felt tricked that it was so long.

That isn’t even the real issue though. I don’t mind long games at all, as long as the length is through reasonable approaches, like story progression or fun gameplay and the like. This is not the case with the After Years. They just made the game long because they could. There is nothing new and clever at all with this game. It is the same locales from IV, and features the same enemies and bosses.

In short, the game drags on and on, and on, and on, and on, and on. I could type that for hours and if you read it, then you might get a feel of how much the game drags. There isn’t even a well told story, so there is nothing interesting to keep you motivated to beat it. I was just beating it for the sake of beating it.

In the final tale, after doing all sorts of stuff, you go to a new moon and have to trek through a long 14 floors of some tower or something. It might even be longer. After you finally make it through that and you again think you are close to beating the game, you are treated to another 23 floors! Dear god…really?

And again, I stress that this wouldn’t be a problem if it was fun and interesting. It is just a monotonous, never ending adventure. And here is everything I recall that really make these some 37 or more floors even more annoying.

Back Attacks…

FFIV_PSP_Back_Attack.pngThis is when the monsters randomly sneak up behind you and get in first hits. This also means your characters set in the back row are now in the front and your front row characters are in the back. Characters in the back row are usually there because they have ranged attacks and low armor values. So these back attacks, if the monsters gang up on one of these characters, ensure a speedy death for them.

This wouldn’t be so annoying, except I swear 90% of the random encounters start with back attacks. In fact, they are so often, I eventually switched the rows of my characters so I wouldn’t have to waste time switching their rows mid battle. But guess what? When I did this, the back attacks stopped happening. I rarely got a back attack. So I switched the rows back to normal, and then the back attacks started to happen overly frequent again. WTF!?!?!?!?

In addition to the game being long and dragged out, so are the battles. Even some regular enemies take forever to kill, these battles lasting close to 5 minutes sometimes. And mind you, when you get a random encounter every 1-3 steps, it becomes so tedious and time consuming. That is when the impatience and rage really starts to build. Floor by floor you go, fighting and fighting, unable to escape the relentless attacks. Oh my God, it is annoying!!

And you know what is even longer? The boss battles. Some of these take 10-15 minutes. It is just a marathon of how long you can keep your guys alive while slowly whittling down their health. And to do the most damage, you would use the most powerful spells and attacks, right? But guess what, that is incredibly time consuming as well. The more powerful the attack, the longer the animation is for the attack. Some attacks have an animation of over 10 seconds long. While they look impressive, it just adds to the length of the game horrendously. And just think, you have 5 characters, and sometimes the enemy can have just as much. If everyone involved uses some big attack, that’s like 2 minutes just for one round!

So in short, you get too many random encounters, that take too long to kill using attacks that have animations that are too long, to go through a tower that is too long, to fight a boss that is too long. And when you kill that boss, it takes like 15 seconds for the thing to explode or dissolve away. If this was a good game, you would take satisfaction away from killing it, reveling in it’s elongated destruction. But no… you are so impatient and angry at this point that each extra and unnecessary, tedious second is like someone twisting a knife in your gut.

And let me tell you how many bosses there are in those 40ish floors. Around 30, if not more. All you do in that big long tower or whatever it is is fight bosses. Over and over again. You fight nearly every boss from Final Fantasy 1-6 I’m pretty sure. I’m not even sure if there are any new bosses mixed in there. And to make matters worse, the random encounters become tougher and longer with each floor too! They eventually become all bosses themselves!

Oh yeah, and every time you kill a boss, you have to painstakingly listen to what each of your five characters individually think about that fight. I’m assuming they are thinking to themselves, because they all have nothing to do with each other. It’s like one says, “That was an interesting fight,” then another will say, “That creature had dark powers,” then another says, “It smells like death in here,” then another says “I need new socks.” Who cares? Just shut up and let me take 3 steps so I can fight another monster! This happens after EVERY BOSS!!!

While killing all the demons in hell and traversing through the tower, there are rest points. These usually spawn an entirely unnecessary story sequence which usually consists of two characters talking at night about more or less nothing. The scenes are so boring, so uninformative and so long, that it just all dumps onto the raging impatience of just wanting the putrid game to end. And there are probably about 20 of these scenes too.

And when you FINALLY get to the last boss and beat him, which takes about 30 seconds for him to explode, you think you beat the game right? Nope. Now you have to run from the place you are in, all the while getting in constant encounters with the still dying boss. This part just happens to annoy you further. It dangles the end of the game in front of you, while doing everything that annoyed you for the last 40 hours all at once.

And then when it is finally all over, you are treated to an incredibly long and boring ending. By this time you are so fed up with the game that you just want to see the final screen, save your game and never look at it again. But this never seems to happen, because my god, the ending is so long. The only thing more boring and longer that I can think of are the ending credits to any Assassin’s Creed game.

FF4 is a great game. But stay away from the After Years, because all it will do is shave a few years off your life.

My Top 10 3DS Games

I enjoy looking at top 10 lists, especially when they involve video games and such. It got me wondering what my top “whatever” are, so here I am, looking into my top 10 favorite Nintendo 3DS games. By my count, I have 61 3DS games, but of those 61, I have only played 45 of them, the rest are on my backlog. So of those 45 games, let’s see what my 10 favorite are.

#10

new super mario bros 2New Super Mario Bros 2

 Nintendo

2012

 

This game took an interesting take on the New Super Mario Bros series, the focus being on collecting tons upon tons of coins, even including a few new power ups and items to help you. On top of that, it is a really great platformer that far surpasses the first New Super Mario Bros game for DS.

#9

mario and luigi dream teamMario & Luigi: Dream Team

Alphadream Corporation/Nintendo

2013

The fourth game in the unique RPG series is just as hilarious, creative and bizarre as the others. Mario has to jump into Luigi’s dreams to rescue some pillow people, and in the real world, the bros have their own mission to complete. The battle system is as fun as ever, with some really cool and creative attacks, especially in the dream world. A great game for the 3DS library.

#8

mario kart 7

Mario Kart 7

Retro Studios/Nintendo

2011

 

The first numbered game in the Mario Kart series is also the first game to incorporate gliding and underwater driving, two nice additions. Tons of new and old tracks, carts, characters and other customization options make this the first handheld Mario Kart game that feels like a home console game.

#7

PaperMarioStickerStar3DSBoxartFinalPaper Mario: Sticker Star

Intelligent Systems/Nintendo

2012

 

The first handheld Paper Mario game takes the series back to it’s roots, sort of, well actually not. It’s back to turn based action in any case. It now has a world map like Super Mario World, no doubt to cater to the quick, on the go play style of handheld games. To attack, you must collect stickers of all shapes and sizes, learning to balance the small, weak ones with the huge, powerful ones, for only so many can fit in your sticker book. You get more pages as the game progresses though. This makes for a lot of fun, and some of the stickers are very creative and entertaining. The only negative thing I can think of is this is one of those games that you never know where the heck you are going, and some of the puzzles are near impossible to figure out.

The 3D visuals for this style of graphics is remarkable as well. Paper Mario is a game that should never be played without 3D. Unfortunately this will likely be the only game to ever be graced with such wonders.

#6

yoshi_new_islandYoshi’s New Island

Arzest/Nintendo

2014

 

Am I living in the 90’s again? This game feels and plays exactly like Yoshi’s Island for SNES. And that…is a wonderful, wonderful thing. There is some new additions to the gameplay, differentiating it, but keeping the core mechanics the same. It is truly a great sequel to a masterpiece. The only thing bad about it is the name.

#5

project x zone.jpgProject X Zone

Banpresto/Namco Bandai Games

2013

 

All your favorite Sega, Capcom, and Namco-Bandai characters coming together to save the world (or worlds)? And with a side of countless scantily clad women and big bouncing boobs? How could you ever go wrong? Combine those exciting elements with  great grid based RPG gameplay and you can’t at all. This game is fantastic in nearly every way. It also provides around 50 hours of gameplay, so prepare to immerse yourself in something amazing!

#4

link-between-worlds

The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Nintendo

2013

I was surprised how good this game was. It is a sequel to the beloved Link to the Past, and does everything that game did right and added it’s own unique twists as well, such as the ability to traverse the dungeons in any order and turning into some painting figure. The game is a complete masterpiece, just like its predecessor.

#3

ocarina_3d_finalThe Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D

Grezzo/Nintendo

2011

 

What do you get when you take one of the best games of all time and update it? Well, an updated version of one of the best games of all time, plus it’s now in the palm of your hand! With improved controls via the touchscreen and gyro sensors, along with updated visuals and other changes, Ocarina of Time has never looked or played so well.

#2

kingdom hearts 3dKingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

Square Enix

2012

 

This game plays just like all the other great Kingdom Hearts games, but this time you get to switch between Sora and Riku while they each progress through their own separate campaigns. The game features tons of new worlds, enemies and allies, and a new fighting mechanic known as flow motion. And story wise, this game is one of the best in the series, mainly because it finally answers all the questions that you might have had from all the other games and finalizes everything out and leaves only one unopened door. That door being the long awaited Kingdom Hearts 3. Everything else has been settled and the game ends with setting the scene for the third and most likely final game in this specific story arc.

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smash 3dsSuper Smash Bros for 3DS

Bandai Namco Games/Nintendo

2014

 

The fourth entry in the series proves to be the best, thanks to its huge and diverse roster of characters and stages. It is also a wonderful thing to have Smash in your pocket for whenever you wish to play it.

There are a ton of collectibles and trophies. The newest idea, and probably the worst, is the inclusion of somewhat different special moves for every original character, which is nice if that was something you were hoping to mess around with. The trouble is they are so tedious to collect. You will likely get the same ones 10 times over before getting one you don’t have. Aside from that, it’s the Smash Bros gameplay we all know and love. And to me, it’s all about the fighting, so the more characters and stages, the better the games. Who cares about all that single player fuzz? Though there is certainly a ton of it if that’s your thing.

This is the first Smash Bros game to include DLC as well. There are multiple characters and stages available, and countless Mii costumes, so the fun never stops.

There you have it, my favorite games in the 3Ds library, with Smash Bros being my favorite. Thanks for reading!

 

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Final Fantasy II-Now That’s More Like It

I recently ranted about the original Final Fantasy. Now I just would like to take a few minutes to talk about Final Fantasy II.

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Oh my god…what an improvement. The game literally took everything I complained about with the first and fixed it. This is a game I can see people liking and spawning dozens of sequels from.

Not to mention, it added a whole lot of unique qualities not often seen in RPG’s such as every character being able to use any weapon or spell. The leveling system is different too, having to constantly use spells and attacks to upgrade magic and weapon skills, as well as your base stats. It’s the only game in recent memory that I was excited when I got hit by things, because that meant you were that much closer to increasing your defense and hit points.

The only gripe I have with this system is it takes way too long to level up some things. Hit points go up easy enough, but your magic points take forever, as well as spells and weapon skills. The max you can get any of these skills to is 16, but you won’t get anywhere near that. I completed the game with only one kind of high spell…Cure at level 10, and that’s because you have to use it all the time. My weapons skills were level 10 as well.

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The game doesn’t make you grind all that much, which is a wonderful thing. I really hate the games that make you grind for hours. This does it very balanced, until the last dungeon. My god is it hard. I was always strong enough to get through any dungeon without too much difficulty throughout the entire game, but then you get to hell or whatever and you find yourself very underpowered.

But the best part about that is you just fight some enemies there, they beat the hell out of you and you become stronger, so I was able to progress somewhat fast regardless, and by the time I made it to the last boss, none of the enemies gave me a hard time anymore. But if you want to get to the last boss, you better set aside a few free hours. I mean, holy crap!! You have to go through a tough and lengthy cave of hell and when you finally get through that, bruised and bleeding, you find yourself in an entire castle you have to climb now, nearly twice as big as the already lengthy cave. It takes forever to get to the boss! Fortunately it was my day off and I could sit there for a long time to beat it.

That is the problem with both these games. The points in between saves are wayyy to long. Throughout the week, I really only play for 20 minutes at a time. I constantly had to shut off the game in the middle of a dungeon, or just leave it on until I had time to complete it. It’s so annoying! And if you die, you are screwed. It’s ridiculous. You have to start all over again. Thank god for the inclusion of memo saves in Origins for PlayStation or I would never have the patience to play these games.

Overall, Final Fantasy is a piece of crap, but Final Fantasy II is great. Now I am on to Final Fantasy IV!

Final Fantasy-How Did This Game Spawn Countless Sequels?

I am here to rant about a game most people have heard of… Final Fantasy. That’s right, I’m talking about numero uno! The one that started it all back on the NES in 1990. For the time where there wasn’t much expectation and they were still trying to get the genre down, I suppose it was a pretty good game. But I am saying that very loosely. There shouldn’t have been any reason to ever make a sequel to this, much less at least 20 others, though sequel really isn’t the best word since most of them have nothing to do with the rest.

Anyway, before I start my rant, I just want to give you my history with Final Fantasy. The first one I ever played was when I was back in grade school, Final Fantasy 8 for PlayStation. It was a pretty sweet game, and though it’s been well over a decade since I’ve played it, I remember enjoying it. Only problem is once I was about to beat the first disc, the game froze and I could never get past it. What a piece of junk!

Then I got Final Fantasy 7 a little after that, and I enjoyed that too, though I had commitment issues as a child and never finished it. I played for a while, then stopped for a few years, then played again and stopped again and have never gone back to it.

Oh yeah, and I also played an emulated version of Final Fantasy 3 for SNES for about 20 minutes, but never went back to it for whatever reason.

Since that time, a billion other games have come out with the title “Final Fantasy” and the only one I ever got was Crystal Chronicles for Gamecube and actually played it quite a bit, though again, I never beat it. Came close though.

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Anywho, throughout my life I have watched these games spew out and watched people rave about them. I began to wonder if I was really missing out on one of the greatest series in gaming history. So naturally, I decided to get back into the games, but starting from the beginning. Soon after I made this decision, the PlayStation store was kind enough to hold a Final Fantasy sale, and I was able to pick up 1, 2, 4,5,6 and 9. I already have 7 and 8, so I didn’t bother rebuying them. Later I got 3 and 13 on Steam.

And by the way, if you are like me and are trying to figure out which games to buy, it is quite confusing. The original versions are all numbered in a non-sequential way, for most of them were never released outside of Japan. It wasn’t until recently that they rereleased them all and renamed them the numbers they actually are supposed to be. So the FF 3 I played briefly is now officially Final Fantasy 6. It’s a confusing mess and I was nervous I was going to buy the same game twice, just with different titles. It also doesn’t help that each game has been rereleased like three times. It’s a nightmare.

Anyway, I have now finally set out on my Final Fantasy adventure, and just like I wanted to, I started from the very beginning. Though I have the updated version from Final Fantasy Origins on PlayStation, so it scares me to think that the original version is even more inferior.

So finally, what are my gripes about the game? Where to begin? Let me start off by saying, it has the potential to be a good game, but there are so many unnecessary annoying things about it that completely ruin it for me.

Let’s start with something I experienced in the very first minute of the game that set the tone for one of the most annoying games ever.

I walked into the first town and many of the people just block your path. There are many tight paths that only one person can fit through, and there are just all these jerk faces standing in my way. I shouldn’t have to wait for these idiots to move before I can proceed! And sometimes they move and I start to go, and then they quick move with lightning speed to block your path again. What crap programming! And there is an item shop that always has some douche blocking the door. I deal with idiot people standing in my way enough in real life, I don’t need it in a game too!

And that is nothing compared to the last town in the game, Lufenia or something. The entire town is practically a one person-width town and it takes forever to push your way through, having to wait every second for someone to walk over to a spot where the road widens and then move out of they way! The spell shops are kind of hidden, and I missed them at first. It wasn’t until I looked it up that I knew how to get them. But it was no wonder I missed them, because they are far off to the side where you have to follow a one person wide path, but I missed it because some guy was always standing in it, and he was nowhere near a two-wide path. So it’s no wonder I missed them. I had to wait close to 5 minutes for his old scraggly ass to move. What the fudge!

There are even sometimes bats in caves and such that love to fly in your way, forcing you to walk around them. This wouldn’t be quite so bad, but every extra step you take is a huge risk of being caught in an enemy encounter, which brings me to my next complaint…

There are a relentless amount of enemy encounters. This is far from the only game with this issue, but I don’t care about those game right now.Rarely do I get to take more than five steps without getting into a fight. This drives me crazy! Especially when you are trying to explore a dungeon and get lost. You never have time to figure out where you are going because you are constantly being bombarded with enemies to ever remember where you have been and haven’t been yet. Like, it’s crazy. And most fights aren’t exactly easy either!ff-nin

So let’s talk about all the issues I have during fights. There are quite a few!

First off and most importantly are your characters. I picked the warrior, thief, white mage and black mage. Of these four only the warrior is good. The other three are entirely useless. And I mean USELESS! Seriously, you could not beat this game and even beat more than two enemy encounters without the warrior.

The warrior has high physical attack power and high defense. Throughout the game, he can kill almost anything in one hit and he also takes very little damage. He rarely ever misses his attacks too. He’s a real stand up fellow.

The other three are just a huge liability. They miss 8 out of 10 physical attacks, and do hardly any damage when they actually connect. The mages don’t have high armor value, so they take a ton of damage, thus they can die very quickly.

Now you might be thinking, “well mages are supposed to use magic,” which is all well and fine, but this game limits your magic to the extreme. Instead of having mana or MP or anything like that, they give you spell levels. Each mage can learn three spells per level, and each level has its own set of charges. So say my black mage knows fire, lightning and some debuff spell, each a level 2 spell. By the time you buy these spells, you probably have about three charges for this spell level, meaning you can only use any of these spells 3 times. And not three times each, mind you…if you use fire, your charge drops to 2, then if you use lightning, it drops to 1, etc.

So basically you have to save your spells for really tight situations. The higher your level, the more charges you can gain, but that’s useless. The most charges you can get is 9 for each spell level.But by the time you get a decent amount of charges, those spells have no relevance anymore, meaning they are all too weak against enemies now, so why would you ever use any of those spells? My point is, your useful spells will always be limited to 2-4 charges before you and the enemies outgrow their effectiveness.ff-char

So yeah, all the characters are just there to inconvenience you. The tempting route is to just let the useless ones die and let the warrior soak up all the experience. He hardly ever takes more than 2 damage, so he is just a killing machine. But you want your other party members to level, so you do all you can to keep them alive, which is more annoying than it needs to be.

Healing is so stupid in this game. My white mage has all sorts of healing spells, but again the charges are so limited they aren’t very helpful, and even when you do use them, they only heal like a fifth of your HP. Your main way of healing is potions. But here’s the kicker. The potions only heal like 15-30 hp, and when your party has 300-600 HP and each battle the useless ones stand to lose 50-150, you have to use an awful lot of potions. So you have to constantly spend around 3,000-5,000 gil (the currency) to restock potions. Having 99 at all times is a must, for it takes 10-15 potions to bring the HP up of a severely damaged character. And you can never buy any more potent potions either. It’s always those. No high potions or super potions or anything like that. What a bunch of crap!

And speaking of potions, you better stock up on a crap ton of antidotes too, because like all old rpg’s, this game loves poison. I would venture to say that at least 60% of the enemies in the game can poison you. And the only way to cure poison is with antidotes. It is so annoying. And what’s worse…antidotes cost much more than potions, though I only usually carry around 25 with me at all times, so buying as many is not required.

Going back to annoying things about battling is the turn order. It seems to be completely random, but I swear it works to your disadvantage all the time. If you are fighting a big group of enemies, (6-9) you will more than likely need to cast a spell to do a lot of damage to them quickly. But your caster will likely go last, so if he is the target by most of the enemies he will die, leaving you with a much longer battle. Or even if he doesn’t die, it’s annoying to watch all the enemies attack you while you wait for your most important attacks to go off. Not to mention you might kill an enemy or two, making you feel like you wasted your precious spell charge. The warrior and his one shot will almost always go last too.

What is annoying is I swear the enemies you target will attack before the ones you don’t. Most of the time, I will select my targets. The ones I selected will all “happen” to attack first. Then my party will go and kill the ones that just attacked. Then all the remaining enemies attack me. What the hell? Why can’t I ever get lucky and kill an enemy before it attacks! The game cheats in that way. And what’s more. When the enemies finish out a round, you think “Oh, good, my guys will go now and finish them off.” Nope. More often than not, the enemies will attack twice in a row, once at the end of the last round, and once in the beginning of the next round, just to sneak in that last attack before they die. What bull crap!

The damage you receive is random as all hell to. I know it is supposed to be, since its an rpg and all, but this takes it to a whole new level. Like I said, my warrior will generally take 2 damage, and my other guys about 30-60 in your average fight from one hit. You start to rely on that formula to know when you heal or not, but then eventually it just will throw you for a loop. My warrior will randomly take 50 damage and the others over 100! And that isn’t even when the enemies land critical hits either. It just randomly will devastate you with the same attack that barely hurt you last round.

Another annoying thing are “enemy first strikes” which means all of them will go in advance before you can even input your commands. This happens in many rpgs and that’s fine, but it happens wayyyyyyy t0o often. I would say once every five fights or so. And it seems like forever when a group of 9 enemies gets first strike. On more than once occasion, I ran into enemy first strikes three times in a row!

There are preemptive strikes where your party can attack in advance, but that only happens about once every 20 fights. Fair, right? And the best part is there are instant death traps that take advantage of the enemy first strikes. You will be walking along a dungeon and a random encounter will occur with enemy first strike. Then they will all use instant death moves and it’s game over. Just like that, there is nothing you can do about it. What is the point of that? It doesn’t add to the challenge and improve upon the game in anyway. It makes you just want to quit the game because it’s so cheap, pointless and just a waste of time! Thus with this always being a threat you have to “memo save” which is just a temporary save for you to restart at if you die, after every battle. How annoying is that?

And when a party member dies, the only way to revive them is to bring them to a town with a church and pay a butt load of gil to revive them. The white mage can eventually learn a revive spell, but if she’s the one who dies, you’re screwed. And you’ll want to save all the charges for the revive, so using any other spell on that level is out of the question.

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If you’re in a dungeon and the white mage dies, now you have to make your way out to get to a town, fighting enemies every five steps. You don’t have enough HP to fight everything and you want to get out as fast as possible, so you start running from every fight. This tactic will lead to all your party dying except the warrior, who is too slow to run from fights. So you will sit, having to solo fight every enemy that comes along, killing them one by one. This is really fun when fighting 9 enemies, just having to wait for 9 attacks, before killing one guy, then waiting for 8 attacks and so on. You just want to die so you can restart at your memo save, but it is just faster to fight and make your way back than to wait for something to kill you, for when you have 400 HP, and they take away 1-2, it takes a long time. But even if you do run, you end up dying like right in front of a town anyway. It’s really great.

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And what is really terrifying to think about is that I guarantee the memo save is a feature added to the PS version of the game, meaning the original is probably nearly impossible to beat unless you grind the fudge out of every dungeon and have an enormous amount of patience.

“UPDATE”

I learned that you can press L1, L2, R1, R2, Start and Select to reset the game in a way where you don’t lose your memo save. This improves things slightly. SLIGHTLY!!!

Eventually, my thief became somewhat useful, and by the end of the game, he is almost as good as the warrior, but the other two suck unless I need them to perform a spell. But as I said, you are so limited to how many times you can use them that you will do everything in your power not to use a spell. You get to upgrade your character classes, which other than making them all look cooler and allowing the thief to equip heavier armor, more or less does nothing at all.

But those are my beefs with this game so far. Thankfully, I have finally beaten it. Honestly, it is not the worst game out there, but boy is it annoying, and stupid, and bad. I can’t believe this trash is what spawned the biggest franchise in video game history.

Here’s to hoping the second one is a vast improvement. Though I am doing nothing but dreading it right now…

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