Friday, 11 May 2007

This weekend

It's Friday so it's time to think about what you'll be playing this weekend.

I received Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth a couple of days ago for the PSP and an astonishingly good looking opening CG sequence shows me what I can look forward too. Well, sort of. I know it's mostly just a PS1 port but the added cut-scenes will be a delight to watch. As I know it though, this game is very hard so studying the game manual is going to be the priority.

I have PoPoLoCrois to finish and as far as I know, I'll be coming to the end of the game soon so this is my main priority this weekend. I'll be happy to play it while listening to other countries attempting to sing for the Eurovision Song Contest title. I think the music in PoPoLoCrois is much better :-).

Oh, and it's my birthday tomorrow! Doubt I'll be getting new games tomorrow but you never know!

Update: Also, don't forget that Square-Enix are holding a big party this weekend where they will be showing off their latest games.

Watch List: Galactrix

Every Friday, I look at one of the games on the Watch List, the list of games that you should be keeping your eye on for news and reviews.

Name: Galactrix

Format: Unknown for now

What is it?

Puzzle Quest ring a bell? A great hybrid of RPG meets Bejeweled on the DS, PSP and soon XBLA. Furiously addictive. This game is the sequel of Puzzle Quest with the same elements.

The game is in development at the moment so details are very scarce.

Thursday, 10 May 2007

This week's UK releases (7th - 11th May)

Every Thursday, I report on what is being released this week on all consoles. Releases are subject to last minute delays and changes.

XBOX 360
Command and Conquer 3 - Tiberium Wars

Bust A Move
Cooking Mama

Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (Platinum)

Field Ops

Lost In Blue 2
Picross DS
Platinum Sudoku

Driver 76
Exit 2
Pro Evolution Soccer 6 (Platinum)
Ratchet and Clank - Size Matters
Xiaolin Showdown

[Taken from Eurogamer forums]

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Game Review: Dark Chronicle

Every second Wednesday, I write about a game that I've played in a short/long review. These are only my thoughts and I'm not responsible if you buy a game based solely on my review and you hate the guts out of it...

PS2 gamers will probably have got themselves a demo disc of games coming soon and a few years ago, this disc contained a demo of the game Dark Cloud from Level 5. I played this and thought it was good. Couldn't find the darned thing anywhere when I finally got round to saying that I wanted it though. Thankfully, I was reliably informed that the sequel was not too far behind. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that Dark Chronicle is that sequel.

The game revolves around Max, who lives with his father and wants to find out more about his mother who went far away (can't remember that well now...). Max also works as a mechanic in Cedric's workshop in Palm Brinks which had a problem of it's own. No-one was being allowed out of the town and the railroad was completely closed off by order of the mayor. You soon find out that the world is in chaos as whole towns and villages have been destroyed and need to be rebuilt.

This is the game that introduced me to cel-shaded graphics. Boy, I loved it. I don't know what about the graphics made me like it so much but it looked brilliant for that stage of the PS2's life (a bit dated now, Max's hands are a bit off :p). The game is an Action-Adventure-RPG dungeon crawler where you go into each area, kill some enemies and find the key to get out.

It's not as easy as that though. Max has 2 types of weapon as does the other playable character, Monica, but I won't spoil her involvement in the story too much. Max (being a mechanic) has a wrench and a gun while Monica wields a sword and a bracelet which casts magic. Each weapon has a WHP bar that drops as you hit enemies. If this drops to zero, you will not be able to deal any more damage and you lose a bit of EXP on the weapon. Better than Dark Cloud though where a weapon would shatter and disappear entirely.

To upgrade your weapons (no character level building here though you can give them their favourite items to boost their max HP and defence), you need to gain EXP from defeated enemies to level up your weapons. Once they level up, you can use the bonus points gained by levelling up to add elements and traits to your weapons. By doing this, you can transform your weapons and make them more powerful until you are killing enemies easily. You can even break your weapon (needs to be level 5 or above) to add to a new one with a % of points and traits carried over. Not a simple system by any means but a very flexible one.

I haven't even got round to talking about the mini-games either. You can do some fishing in the dungeons once it's clear and you can use the fish to heal your HP once cooked, or raise the fish for the fish race, or even in a contest where the person with the heaviest fishes wins! You can also play Spheda, a sort of Everybody's Golf esque mini-game that is played on the actual dungeon you've just cleared! All this and you can gain medals for each level for clearing the dungeon in a certain way or within a time limit. You can also control a robot (for Max) and even change into a monster (for Monica) to defeat your enemies. Did I mention the robot is also customisable?

Also included is the invention system where you can take photos of various things in the world and use them to create items that you can make with the necessary materials, including a few that may be useful to your robot. The georama system is used to recreate your own towns and villages and as long as you meet certain conditions, you can do whatever you want!

I've talked about this game long enough but as you can see, there's so much to talk about that you won't be short on options. It will take a long time to finish this game completely but you won't be bored doing it. Steer clear if you hate dungeon crawling but otherwise, this is a superb game and should be purchased without delay - well, if you can find it on eBay...

Score - 10/10

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Blog writers wanted!

Fancy having a go at writing your own articles? If so, then send me your e-mail address to hiddenaway2 - *at* - (hate spammers...) and I will add you as a guest blogger to post your own articles!

Oh and I may send you emails from time to time, but not for spamming purposes or anything like that. It may just be a normal games related chat :-)

Most Wanted: Rogue Galaxy

Every Tuesday, I look at a game on my Most Wanted list and discuss why I want it so much as well as some details from the game.

Name: Rogue Galaxy

Release Date: June 2007

Format: Playstation 2

Developer: Level 5

Websites: US official website

What is it?

This is an RPG from the newish but very impressive Level 5 of Japan. It's an Action-Adventure RPG with a real-time battle system and superb looking cel-shaded graphics. All this and a lack of loading times to boot. The game centres on Jaster, who one day dreams of becoming a sky-pirate. In RPG land, that means it probably happens then right? You bet! Not the way he intended though as really he is just mistaken for a legendary hunter...

Why is it on the list?

I've been waiting for this game for what seems like an eternity. Dark Cloud, Dark Chronicle, Dragon Quest are all games that Level 5 have had a hand in and Dark Chronicle is one of my favourite games. The cel-shaded graphics really appeal to me and they shine through the game and with a lot of side-quests to do and even added bonuses from the original Japanese version, June can't come soon enough...

Square-Enix announces surprise new game

A turn up for the books, it seems that there is a new PSP game called Final Fantasy: Dissidia. Details of which are extremely scarce.

All we have to go on is this very vague and short Flash presentation. Basically, we have to wait for the Square-Enix party on 12th May

Square-Enix's Last Remnant

Square-Enix have announced that a new RPG called "The Last Remnant" will be spread across the next-gen consoles though it's not currently known whether the Nintendo Wii has anything to do with this.

More details courtesy of Kotaku.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Second Midgar

Second Life (you know, the social MMORPG that has everyone talking and companies and polititions setting up shop) throws up some interesting things. The latest that I've seen is a user created world of Midgar (which most gamers should know is the first town of FFVII) which looks just like the real thing!

Check it out here.