Tis the season to be uninterested

Every year my love for video games wanes for one reason or another. Now appears to be that time of year. This year I have the added stress of uni work taking over, but in the past few weeks I just don’t have the time, nor the energy to turn on any of my gaming consoles. A quick recap on what has caught my interest though.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 was about 5 days late, which made me severely rage. Then my Stray Sheep Edition of Catherine was late because Amazon didn’t actually bother to check they had it stocked before release date. Both arrived eventually, but in the end Catherine held my attention a lot more.

Final Fantasy XIII-2

All style, and still lacking some substance

*Sigh* You know, I was really hoping to get a lot more from FFXIII-2 after FFXIII was such a disaster. It started off well, and yeah they’ve fixed quite a lot of the things that were truly awful in the original game, but it hasn’t held my interest at all. Instead of holding your hand you’re literally just thrown into this world without even the slightes hint about what you’re meant to be doing. I’m currently trying to find invisivible treasure with the help of Mog (The awesome Moogle that unfortunately does have a tendancy to grate on you occasionally). Mog can cast some form of magic that reveals hidden chests, but his radius is very small. Trying to find treasure with such a tiny radius is beyond frustrating.

The story is also a little bit confusing to me personally, with a lot of assumed understanding, and typical JRPG repeating of what has been said (as if that will have it make any more sense). All in all, a bit disappointed, but I will go back to it once I have some time over Easter.


Catherine has stunning visuals, and quite a deep story at times

Ah Catherine, you did not disappoint me in the slightest. Before I begin, it is important to note that Catherine really is not for everyone. For the men out there that just want to look at 3D rendered boobs, there’s a hell of a lot of man bashing in it. If you’re cool with being berated for idiocy, then carry on and play. That being said, this isn’t a game for women, nor is it a game for men. It’s a game for those who enjoy puzzles, the visual element of it is just a bonus. I played this with the man, and we both had a good laugh at it. The story is a little bit complicated, but it resolves itself at the end with a bit of a twist I wasn’t really expecting. The puzzles can be fiendishly difficult without the help of a YouTube video or two, but that doesn’t really remove from the enjoyment of is. I’m on my second playthrough, manipulating the ‘Good and Evil’ scale in order to see a different ending (and whore some achievements out of it).

Aside from these two games though? I haven’t really played anything else. I’ve spent the weekend playing Dungeon Village by, you guessed it, Kairosoft and that was really enjoyable. It could have had some more substance to it, but I’m on my second playthrough of that as well.

It's beautiful, and awesome. 'Nuff said.

A list of things I have no interest in

There are a lot of things being released at the moment that the world seems to get excited over, but I just can’t seem to find it in me to care. The PSVita is one of them. Why on earth would I want this? I have a PSP, I don’t need or want a PSVita. How many people are still playing their PSVita as much as they were on release date? If you can prove that there are many, then I tip my hat to you.

Another thing I don’t care about is Mass Effect 3. It’s no secret that I hold no love for the Mass Effect series. Not saying it’s not a good series, because it is, I just can’t find myself to care about the story. ME3 also has Jessica Chobot in it. Not entirely sure why, but I’m not even going to start on my rant about that. This is certainly one game I won’t be buying.

I still find myself waiting for that one game that will consume my whole soul and not let me leave until I have finished it. Someone please guide me to the place that this game is. Even Skyrim hasn’t held my attention that much, mainly because of not having the time to engross myself in it.

I hope this phase of disinterest disappears soon, as I’m a bit bored of not wanting to play my games.


Out with the old, in with the new

Life is busy in every aspect, hence no update for a long time again. Still lacking that routine.

A belated happy new year! 2011 was a slow year for games in my opinion. Maybe it’s because I didn’t really have the time, or maybe I’m just becoming too difficult to please and a little fed up with the gaming industry taking two steps forward, and about five steps back when it comes to my gaming preferences.

For Christmas I received¬† RAGE and Harvest Moon Grand Bazaar in terms of gaming. RAGE is very good, but more like a poor mans Borderlands. I’m very much enjoying it, but can’t really spend more than a couple of hours on it before becoming, not bored, but a little frustrated with the ‘Go here and get this, then come back again’ quests. The racing is excellent, but it feels as though the game tries to split itself in two. One minute it’s a FPS with mutants and evil factions out to get you, and the next minute it’s a racing game with weapons and upgrades for your dune buggy. It’s like Bethesda tried to cram so much into the game, that they didn’t notice that some of it had spilt out of the sides like salad escaping from a sandwich when it came to release.

Post apocalyptic wasteland? Seems familiar.

Post apocalyptic wasteland? Seems familiar.

Grand Bazaar is a very big step in the right direction in my opinion for the Harvest Moon franchise in my opinion though. It works a lot better on the DS than previous releases, and I can actually just use the buttons and D-pad, leaving the stylus to just be chewed on (which to be fair, is all it’s good for most of the time). It takes a while to get going, and because it’s so different this could put people off, but getting rid of the pointless stylus commands is one of the best moves the franchise has ever made. Harvest Moon games are meant to be simple, and use the control pad. None of this silly stylus nonsense and tickling horses (Yes, it sounds wrong, and it is).

Aside from those games, as I said 2011 was a bit ‘meh’ for me, in lack of a better way to put it. I always find though that at the beginning of every year about three or four games come out all at the same time, all of which I want to give all my attention to. This year these games are; Final Fantasy XIII-2, Catherine and Soul Calibur 5. These three games come out essentially the same week. This is ironically the week of my reading week for uni. Not only are all these games coming out, but the man is also coming to stay during the timeframe they are all being released in. Maybe I can distract him with shiny cars…

They just have to do the dramatic pose...

They just have to do the dramatic pose...

To be fair I have missed the new Assassins Creed and Batman, but anyway! Hopefully this year will be better for gaming. Catherine will satisfy my quirky taste, Final Fantasy should satisfy my JRPG craving, and Soul Calibur, well, that’s just a classic. Needless to say I am excited for next month, but i am also slightly scared of the hammering that my bank balance is going to take. I so wish my birthday was closer to the beginning of the year so I could just request games as gifts from people instead. What on earth will I play once February is out of the way though…

And on one final note, Kairosoft are continuing to steal my money and my soul. Mega Mall Story was released a short while back, causing my eyes to light up, making me lose all sense and press ‘Pay and download’ far too quickly. I have played it twice now, soon to initiate a third, but am still eagerly awaiting another surprise Kairosoft game to launch on Android. Too much mobile gaming excitement. Now, back to uni work.

The summer dry spell

Well, all has been a little quiet my end recently hasn’t it? If you have been following my Twitter then you may have seen that I actually moved 140 miles up the country on the 15th and am still gradually settling in. Of course I have set up my gaming corner, but I haven’t brought anywhere near enough games with me in order to maintain a high enough level of amusement. This will be amended soon though.

Sadly it is that time of year though where game releases dry up and there seems to be nothing coming out of any remote interest (at least not to me). Alice Madness Returns has been released and I will definitely be getting my mitts on that, especially due to the original being bundled on the disc. I’m all for a bit of retro, and after playing both games at a friends I am very excited to get it. Also despite the fact that Duke Nukem got some horrible reviews, after playing the demo I will of course be purchasing that as soon as it comes down in price.

Aside from that? There isn’t really anything major coming out, so we officialy enter the summer drought. I suppose this means I shall be filling my time finshing off a load of old games, and replaying some old favourites. The best news I have heard about games though? Catherine will be getting a UK release! For those that don’t know, Catherine is a puzzle and action game from Atlus, the developers of the Persona series which I adore. Words do not describe my excitement.

Anyway, once things settle down properly up here a normal service will resume and I hope to be able to commit to regular features and rambles!

Obsession or appreciation?

I’m a sucker for a decent RPG, and I think I have mentioned upon many occasion that the Persona franchise has become one of my favourites. Where Final Fantasy has started to fail me, Persona has combined my love of life simulation and RPG mechanics beautifuly.

It could be said that I have perhaps taken my love a step too far though. If you follow the Persona series, you will no doubt know that there are prety much three different versions of the game. There is the original, then there is Persona 3 FES which introduces an entirely new game mode & the abitility to port your character information from the original, and now there is Persona 3 Portable which, as the name dictates, is the portable version of Persona 3 on the PSP that allows you to play as a girl for the first time. Playing as a girl has never been important to me in gaming. It’s nice to have the choice, but playing as a sword wielding beefcake is fine by me too. I’m going off the point now though.

Three versions of a game are all very well, but surely you only need one copy, right? Wrong. I need all three in my collection.

In my defence, the portable version was only ¬£30 for the collectors edition and that is something else I can’t help but love.; bonus stuff. I like free stuff that comes with games. I got a poster, an art book & some postcards and the artwork of Persona has always been something I have adored. Being the huge anime nerd I am, on top of being a massive gaming geek, any game that has anime style visuals is an instant winner (as long as it plays well).

I am also in posession of Persona 4, but this was not great in my opinion. Beautiful visuals, and interesting gameplay, but the whole time limit thing drove me a little loopy & the weather system was a bit too much of a pain. It’s typical Japanese though; put a ridiculous amount of obstacles in your way so you have to really use a lot of strategy to move forwards. The next Persona-esque game I would like to add to my collection though is definitely Catherine. I am unsure if this is actually going to be coming to England. I know it’s coming to America, but it might be a little too obscure & sexy for us uptight Brits to handle. Or at least that’s what PEGI will likely think.

We need a little more sexiness in our games that isn’t alien sex in Mass Effect. Lets show some more love for our Eastern neighbours and see some of the more obscure stuff over here so I can fully utilise my appreciation/obsession.