Saturday, July 26, 2008

Resident Evil: Degeneration - New Trailer

New Resident Evil Degeneration trailer

High Quality screenshots

Release Dates:

JP: October 18, 2008

"Today at the San Diego Comic Con, fans were treated to the first footage from the Capcom / Sony Pictures Entertainment collaboration, Resident Evil: Degeneration. Making its theatrical debut this fall in Japan and coming to DVD and Blu-ray in North America later in 2008, this spectacular, all-CGI animated feature takes the zombie action to a whole new level with its ground-breaking visual effects and thrilling new storyline.

The "Umbrella Incident" that took place in Raccoon City ended with a missile attack ordered by the government intended to wipe out the deadly zombie virus. Following this catastrophe, the Umbrella Corporation's stock plummeted. This serious blow to the business giant resulted in its complete dissolution. Seven years later, at an airport somewhere in the United States, on an ordinary autumn afternoon, a zombie is unleashed. Now, in an airport beginning to fill with the undead, the horrific disaster is about to repeat itself... Claire Redfield, now a member of an NGO supporting victims of bioterrorism and medical disasters, happens to be in the airport while Leon S. Kennedy comes to the site on a mission to take care of the incident.

Paul Mercier and Alyson Court reprise their roles as Leona and Claire, respectively."
Source: IGN

A little late, but I've been having trouble 'resisting the call' for the past few days, so not much internet time here.

I sure do hope this is released around the same time in all regions. When it comes to these CG movies, I don't think it is fair when one area gets it way before another since it is always then distributed to the internet for download during that waiting period. It kind ruins the excitement for those of us that have to wait in that case. Kind of like with the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children release.

Since RE: Degeneration appears to be already dubbed in English much like the Japanese RE games, hopefully the other regions won't have too wait long.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Siren release and FAQ updates

As already mentioned in a post below, the full version of Siren: Blood Curse will be released in a few more hours in North America on the PlayStation store.

Full details from PlayStation.Blog

Been spot checking the PlayStation store throughout the day and Siren hasn't shown up yet. It will most likely appear around 5:00pm CST. I'm expecting one hell of a file size from this since it is actually like downloading a full PS3 game. I sure hope the game isn't extremely dark in some of the night areas like on some of the trailers - I'm a little worried about the game's appearance on my 27" SDTV that is nearly on the verge of death. The trailer on that blog page actually looks dark even on this 22" HD monitor of mine, so I know the dark appearance isn't all having to do with my SDTV.


Anyway, in other news, both versions of the DMC4 guide are updated with a few new strategies for Dante and one comment about Nero's Red Queen Combo D thanks to FiOth and the Soul Calibur Achievement guide has now been finalized, I think.

I'm also considering posting up links to the MP3s from the DMC4 bonus disc, though I don't really know if I'd get in trouble for that or not from Capcom - I really doubt it, but you never know. The bonus disc isn't exactly freely available anymore.

The tracks from the bonus disc are:

"Sworn Through Swords"
"Into the Darkness"
"Shall Never Surrender"
"Lock and Load"
"Time Has Come"

"Time Has Come" is basically just the beginning of "Shall Never Surrender", so I might not even post that up. Posting them up would definitely eat up the bandwidth of the free account that I'll be using depending on the number of downloads so they won't be working all the time.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Poll #9 - Results

When playing an Xbox 360 game, how important are each game's Achievements to you?

Very important, I'm an Achievement whore! Achievement boosting FTW!
5 (5%)

I try to get as many as I can but I don't let my friends help me out. Either I get them fair and square or I just don't get them.
18 (18%)

I will try to get all of the Achievements for a game that I really like but I don't play a game just for Achievements.
23 (23%)

Achievements are not even a factor whenever I play an X360 game. If I get one then "Oh well... yay?"
18 (18%)

I don't have an Xbox 360, so it doesn't matter...
32 (33%)

Total Votes = 96

No Xbox 360? A PlayStation 3 or Wii perhaps, or no next-gen? I thought I'd have more achievement whores than that also with the achievement boosting threads that I see on GameFAQs. ;p In a way, choices two and three have about the same mind-set really... Should have just placed them together.

I'll have a new poll soon - can't think of a creative poll at the moment.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Biohazard Ø, PSN and Uncharted trophies

Biohazard Ø (Wii)

Back when Biohazard Ø was first announced for the Wii, I was a bit excited to try it. After hearing it was only to be released in Japan, I considered importing it but really the Wii Freeloader is a bit too unpredictable with how the newer versions of Wii system updates basically make it useless (from what I hear). Anyway, I ran across this review of the game just a few hours ago on IGN.

Biohazard Ø IGN review

I must say, I am very glad that I didn't try to import it now. I can't really believe that Capcom actually released it without any sort of improvements or motion controls. The whole purpose to buy a port on the Wii is usually for something different involving the Wii-mote and nunchuk setup (ie. motion controls), right? The fact that it is available on the GC and can be played with Wii backwards compatibility really makes this version nearly pointless in my eyes. Even though this doesn't concern me, since it is not being released outside Japan, I felt the need to rant a bit here.

PSN Gamercard

Last week, Sony announced on their site that you can now link your PSN account with your PlayStation Underground account and show off your Sony gamer card on your own site. I actually found that I have had a PlayStation Underground account since 1998 - had no idea. Well, anyway, here is what the gamercard looks like:

Notice the extremely bare and plain appearance. The "Resident Evil fantatic" portion is actually what I typed out on my "About Me" line under my profile - they only allow about 20 characters. The background and overall design of the card is not bad at all but they should really add what games you are playing, or maybe your current game, or trophies... something. Really I don't think the "About Me" portion even needs to be on there in the first place - I might just delete that off my profile for the time being, would make it look better. If you look really closely, you can see some grainyness around the words and pictures also. Also, if you happen to click on these gamercards (any user cards) you'll be taken to this page instead of a profile page. I suppose Sony hasn't readied the profile pages either.

Hopefully, Sony will touch these up a bit within the coming months. I don't really feel that they are a bad design, but the appearance is rather boring.

You can see what other gamers think of their PSN gamercards in this thread on PlayStation's official site.

Take a look at these third party cards that I made up after visiting that thread on Sony's site.

Berserker_Kev[] - brought to you by

Berserker_Kev[] - brought to you by

Now those look pretty awesome to me, especially that last one, though a bit too big for my site. The only main problem is that, being third party, they are not directly linked to your PSN account, so you have to update the details on them manually via the TripleTags site.

Uncharted Trophies

This portion is no rant and this is really nothing that big but Naughty Dog has announced that Uncharted: Drake's Fortune will be receiving a patch for unlockable PS3 trophies. Uncharted was a real enjoyable game for me, so I might go through it again eventually, though not right now.

Uncharted Trophies article

If anyone is interested, you can see what I thought of Uncharted in my full review.

Now (DMC4) if (DMC4) only (DMC4) a (DMC4) certain (DMC4) other (DMC4) game (DMC4) would (DMC4) follow.

Sign the DMC petition for trophies in my PS3 guide if you haven't. Come on, even Xbox 360 owners - PS3 people have love for you too, honestly.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Two Things - Siren Blood Curse Demo Guide and Ninja Gaiden II Move List

Siren: Blood Curse

I have a feeling that this game is not going to get much exposure partly because it is being released on PSN and partly because the fall games are going to be moving out soon. Regardless, it sure does appear to be one fantastic survival horror experience! Dare you to look.

The full game (all three episodes) is supposed to be released this Thursday (7/24) on PSN for either $14.99 each episode or $39.99 for the whole bundle.

You can find the release info here.

I spent about three days with this guide. One thing I love about having a demo to work with is that I can easily come up with the format for a full guide (if I go ahead with it). That step right there is sometimes the hardest part of starting.

Siren Blood Curse Demo Guide by Berserker

If the game pleases me enough then I will definitely continue ^that all the way since the game is very easy to write for with how involved I get.

Ninja Gaiden II

Back in June, I was working on a full guide for Ninja Gaiden II, but I was running into so many problems while working on it (no official enemy names, no area names) and MGS4 was released only a week after it, so that sort of ruined things. In all honesty, I don't feel that the main game really needs a walkthrough for strategies against normal enemies since you basically just have to learn your own strategies - this was another thing that I was struggling with while writing for it. To me, there are no clear cut ways to beat normal enemies like there were in DMC4. Now with bosses, that's different.

Anway, I decided to just copy and paste some of the information in my guide to make up a move list for all the weapons in the game for anyone that might want it. It's really nothing, but at least it beats throwing away some of the portions that I typed up.

Ninja Gaiden II Move List

Hopefully that will beat looking them up on the menu everytime you want to see them - I know that I get tired of having to do that.


One more thing that is totally seperate from all of this and really deserves it's own post but I'm posting it here anyway so as not to spam the blog with posts today:

Resident Evil 5 will have a collector's edition on both PS3 and Xbox 360 and it is expected to be $89.99.

Full story

Notice how the article mentions a price yet no news whatsoever about the contents. I found that somewhat amusing.

Another interesting quote from that article:

Capcom is promising that it will be the "hardest and scariest" Resident Evil yet.

Let's hope so.

Friday, July 18, 2008

My E3 '08 Game Picks

This is a list of games at E3 '08 that caught my attention. Some of them I only found slightly interesting and don't plan to buy, but anyway here is the full list of games that caught my eye:

Warning: There are quite a lot of them.

Special Note: R******* E*** 5 is not mentioned directly anywhere in this post since it was covered in the post below this one. Anyone that visits this blog regulary knows my feelings for that game.

- Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse

Interesting Japanese Commercial Videos

It really doesn't look to be anything new, but the Wii controls might be interesting. I'm still psyched for a new Fatal Frame though!

- Dark Void

Gameplay demonstration (13 minutes!)

I really like that jetpack and the freedom it appears to give the player gameplaywise. The shooting while climbing and flying upwards looks unique too.

- Prince of Persia

Producer Interview

Flashy gameplay and platforming, breathtaking visuals, unique partner system... this is my pick of the show. I simply love the way the trailer was put together also.

- Bionic Commando

Trailer w/gameplay

G4 showed a walkthrough of a demo for this game but I can't find it at the moment. The gameplay mechanics involving the grapple look very awesome. Can't wait to try this one out this winter.

- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

I'm not a big fan of Star Wars games at all, but this game really stunned me when I first saw it sometimes last year. The gameplay looks to incorporate a bit of Psi-Ops and God of War from what I have seen so far.

Force Powers
A whole bunch of other videos

- Dead Space

Too many videos available!

Every time I see this game it keeps looking better and better. The story appears to be interesting and the gameplay looks quite addicting, especially for a survival horror.

- Mirror's Edge


This game is simply gorgeous both in immersiveness and style! View some more videos of it here.

- Far Cry 2

Gameplay demonstration

The trailer doesn't look near as interesting as the actual gameplay if you ask me. The feral powers in Far Cry Instincts were the main draw to the game for me, but I have to admit that Far Cry 2 still looks like a really good single player experience. It still seems as if stealth is hard to maintain for extended periods however judging by that demo. In the first Far Cry, the enemies could see you so very easy, and it basically ruined any steal oppurtunities.

- God of War III

In the end...

there will be only chaos!

Yeah, it's only a teaser, but just the announcement of the game had me psyched during the Sony conference. At least they made mention of it this year.

- Mega Man 9

If you have not seen this in action yet then watch the trailer below before reading on.


Honestly, only Mega Man and a few other franchises could have a game like this and get away with it. The way I see it, the game could go either way. It could be just as memorable as Mega Man 2 or 3 or it could be just another boring trudge through 8-bit Mega Man territory like Mega Man 4, 5 or 6. Even if it does turn out to be like the latter, 4, 5 and 6 were still fun to me.

- Street Fighter IV


The gameplay looks quite awesome in this new Street Fighter, but some of the character models don't look that great from up close. I still have faith that I'll be happily enjoying it soon however.

- Sonic Unleashed


It doesn't look bad from the previews. Were-hog Sonic though? Eh, you never know, it might actually be interesting. Hopefully this isn't just another Sonic that looks better on video that actual gameplay.

- Soul Calibur IV

Seong Mi-na vs. Nightmare Gameplay match

Sorry, had to pick a video with at least Seong Mi-na. Only about one and a half weeks left!

- Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

No-no-no-no-no-no... don't leave my blog just yet-

Interview and Gameplay Demo

let me explain...

The idea of MK characters fighting DC characters is not very amusing to me, but I do like some of the flashy moves incorporated. Even though I feel that the characters shouldn't look like plastic dolls and they shouldn't remain so stiff in their normal stances on a next-gen system, this game sort of looks interesting, so I might try it out on launch. It might end up being another guilty pleasure for me.

- Silent Hill: Homecoming

G4 gameplay demo

In all honesty, this doesn't look anything like the Silent Hill that I usually play and that thought continues to grow as a I see more and more of this game. It incorporates tons of ideas of ideas from the movie and just doesn't look scary. The thought of having the plane shift to Otherworld in real time is really cool (much like it was in the movie) but Otherworld doesn't look near as creepy in this one. Also, I don't like the emphasis on action - looks much more like RE4. Eh, I'll probably still pick it up, but my expectations are low.

- Tomb Raider: Underworld

Developers Interview

I really don't get that excited about about a new Tomb Raider game until weeks before its launch or when I'm actually playing it. From what I've seen so far, the long underwater sequences in this game look awesome.

- Final Fantasy XIII


I am still completely shocked that Microsoft managed to get this for a North American and Europe release. In all honesty, I probably won't like it as much as Final Fantasy XII from the looks of it, but I'll still be gladly picking it up when it releases.

- I Am Alive


We're not really shown anything apart from prerendered material, but the setup looks interesting here.

- Wii Remote MotionPlus

Hopefully some third party developers will make use of this within the coming months and I'd like to see if it makes the experience on any older Wii games any better. Really, I was completely disappointed with Nintendo's press conference except for this announcement. Didn't really care about the software showcasing this new enhancement either.

- Siren: Blood Curse


This game looks to be like an absolutely fantastic survival horror game. The demo on PSN is really good but there is no sight-jacking available on that version, which I'd really like to try. I found the first Siren to have some very frustrating gameplay due to the stealth gameplay and sight-jacking but from what I have seen, this one looks to change all of that. It will be first be released on PSN next week (7/24).

- Banjo Kazooie

One of the developers announced that the original Banjo Kazooie would be released on Xbox LIVE Arcade shortly before the release of Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts. I honestly have never played the original but have always wanted to.

- Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia

Gameplay Video

In all honesty, I don't really look forward to 2-D Castlevanias that much anymore. I would like another 3-D Castlevania actually. The character design looks much more stylish in this one than some of the previous handheld Castlevanias though.

- Dead Rising (Wii version)

This was not announced at E3, but I wanted to throw it in here anyway, since I'll more than likely pick it up with how much I enjoyed DR on Xbox 360. It's probably going to be toned down graphicswise somewhat for the Wii console but the Wii controls might make up for it.

THIA posted up some scans of it here and the release date is sometimes this winter.

I think it's awesome that Capcom keeps rereleasing games for the Wii (maybe not in the case of that Biohazard 0 version, but I haven't played it so I don't know what it's like). Sure they aren't very different, but I enjoy playing the game with different controls. I'm sure a bunch of Sony and Microsoft fanboys would strike me down for saying this but that game that I said that I wouldn't mention anywhere in this post is a very likely contender for a Wii release, even if it has to be watered down quite a bit for the console, and if it is released, the more the merrier. :D


Well, that's it. Those are the games that caught my eye during E3 '08. I'm definitely not saying that I have plans to buy all of them (oh, hell no - I'm not that wealthy), but they did catch my attention in some form or another.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Resident Evil 5 at E3 '08

Release Dates

JP - March 12, 2009
EU - March 13, 2009
NA - March 13, 2009

The Three Different E3 Trailer Variations

Sheva and Guy in Humvee

The Woman(?) in the Iron Bird Beak Mask and Mysterious Woman with Syringe

The Truck

The trailers start out the same but lead into a new scene per trailer. After the opening scene it all switches to the same gameplay clips. The first is available on Xbox LIVE and the last is available on PSN. The second was shown at by Capcom themselves. THIA said that they would post up a better quality version of the PSN (Truck) trailer soon.

Official Site Updates

JP Biohazard 5 site
NA Resident Evil 5 site

More pics, icons and trailers... and one more developer scribbled wallpaper.

High Quality Pics

Capcom Press Asset Pack Pics courteousy of THIA

They're also up on Gamespot, though smaller.

Jun Takeuchi Interviews

Jun Takeuchi interview 1
Jun Takeuchi interview 2

Text Interview and Impressions + Other Stuff

IGN text interview
Gamespot text demo impressions
Kotaku - Different controls for RE5? "Gears of War"-inspired?

Full Video Walkthrough of E3 Demo

Gameplay Video 1
Gameplay Video 2
Gameplay Video 3
Gameplay Video 4
Gameplay Video 5

The demo is based on single player co-op from what I understand, so what you're seeing there is an AI controlled Sheva. I think the whole co-op gameplay whether offline or online will bring a unique feeling of tension for the player(s) while having to worry about your partner, especially since if one of you dies then the game is over for both. The offline will obviously be dependent on how well the AI is implemented but so far, I'm very happy with what I see in those gameplay videos.

I also really really enjoy how everything is in real time. Healing, weapon switching, inventory, reloading (once again), item grabbing... so very awesome. I realize it was implemented mainly for the online co-op but if you have ever played RE Outbreak then you know how much more tense the gameplay is when everything is real time... and you also know how dumb CPU partner AIs can be - hopefully that won't be the case here, which it doesn't look to be.


This is really just a quick rundown of the info available. There is SO much more if you look around the various gaming sites. Gametrailers has up a bunch of RE5 gameplay videos and interviews that I didn't list.

I'll have up something for my picks of other E3 games in a few days. Just had to get the RE5 stuff out of the way first.

*finally breathes* Ah, that felt good. :D

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Xbox 360 version Devil May Cry 4 guide and various other stuff

Just a little note that there is now an exclusive Xbox 360 version of my DMC4 guide to the side... or you can just click here to view it. Arguably, you could use it for the PC release somewhat since there is an Xbox 360 controller available exclusively for the PC. Big thanks to Longhorn Z06 for helping me out on this!

I'm working on a MGS4 guide also, but I'm having some problems staying motivated for this guide with the mass amount of coverage that this game has already received on the various gaming sites. It's literally been ripped apart already. I'm thinking about just releasing a few portions that I have done so far in smaller FAQs to help this guide not go the way of my abandoned Metroid Prime 3 guide from last year. I'm only about 30% complete with the MGS4 guide unlike my MP3 guide which was 75%, so it's not that much of a big deal.

Anything not having to do with gaming going on in my life? Well, yeah. I'm proud to say that I have lost down a total of 42 pounds since last year as a result of being more active. I currently weigh 278. Do the math to figure out how overweight I was. :p Now if I can just lose a bit more, get in shape a bit and eat right-*sigh* ...still got a way to go there.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Final Fantasy Tactics A2 - Review

This review originally posted on Gamers' Temple.

Player(s): 1-2
Extra Support: Wireless multi-card play

Final Fantasy Tactics A2 is another RPG title developed by Square-Enix's Ivalice Alliance that once again takes us back to the world of Ivalice. Ivalice was first introduced in Final Fantasy Tactics when the world was shown in much greater depth in the later Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings. The original Final Fantasy Tactics Advance was the story of a young boy and his friends that found themselves suddenly plucked from their normal lives and whisked away to the world of Ivalice. Final Fantasy Tactics A2's story follows a similar path, placing the player in the role of an energetic boy by the name of Luso who happens upon a strange book and then suddenly finds himself thrown into the world of Ivalice after signing his name to the book's pages. Basically the book keeps a journal of his adventures and tells his story while in Ivalice.

The tactical RPG gameplay of Tactics A2 plays out much like Tactics Advance. The player is still offered control of several races ranging from Humes and Bangaas to Seeqs and Nu Mous plus other types. Battles take place in environments that resemble chessboards as each move from two opposing sides is played. Each party is granted turns based on each individual party member's stats or action from their last turn. Much of the action is showcased on the bottom touch screen of the DS while the top screen displays the sequence of turns for each ally and foe along with the stats for the currently active player and the rules for each particular battle.

Once again, a knighted figure (a Judge) sets the rules for each battle. The Judge will impose certain restrictions for the player's party and those restrictions are best followed. A Judge may set up a rule of no ice elemental attacks or may even go as far as to say that a certain race may only use physical attacks. Some of the rules imposed by Judges can really make for some difficult battles at times. The temptation to break a rule can easily take over when the forbidden element happens to be the weakness of all enemies on the field or your party is composed of mainly attackers that can only attack to the sides or in front of them and the Judge lays forth a rule of no adjacent attacks.

The Judge will also allow the player to choose from a range of bonuses that will only remain in place if the player follows the rule set forth by the Judge. Rules may be broken, but the Judge will withdraw from the battle and the player will not receive any type of bonus at the end of the battle nor will the player be able to revive his fallen comrades. Following the Judge's rules will allow you to obtain bonus items and possible points at the end of each battle so it is usually in your best interest to follow the rules.

There are no random battles in Tactics A2. All battles are fought through quests that may be engaged in through buying information at the local pub. Each pub contains a few quests as the adventure starts out but will quickly fills with a variety of other quests as the game progresses. There is always a main story quest that will further your progress through the main game and there are also tons of extra quests that can be engaged in for extra items. Each quest has a number of days in which the quest must be selected except for story quest which never disappear. Not all quests are battles - there are a few that are fetch and retrieve quests that will yield a special item. Some quests require certain levels based on the overall clan ranking in order to engage in so not all quests on the pub list are necessarily available once they appear.

Even if you are the type of gamer who likes to progress through the main story and avoid all extra side quests like yours truly there will come a time when you will simply have to engage in some extra quests in order to level-up your party. You're basically buying your random battles used for leveling-up, which I actually preferred since there is little to worry about when traveling on the world map - thanks to almost no unexpected random battles to annoy me as I moved from one space to the next. There are a few battles that pop-up randomly on the world map but you can always see them beforehand and just take a different route around them.

The battles started out very easy but they did get complicated enough to where I had to choose my turns very carefully or suffer the consequences in the long run. The game has plenty of normal battles and there are some boss battles as it progresses. The boss battles require a good bit of teamwork from your party since the boss usually has one big attack that can ruin the entire battle for an unprepared party. There are a few battles where "Guests" will help out your party, though. Much like in the original Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XII, Guests are uncontrollable and usually join your party for only a single battle.

The world map is composed of different territories and can be traversed very quickly. To make moving even quicker, you can actually elect to travel over an entire territory to another territory instantly instead of having to tread through each individual area in a territory. Later in the game, each clan may buy territories. Your clan can engage in an auction mini game at the local auction house to bid against other clans for control of a specific territory. The auction mini games cost a specific amount of clan points to enter - clan points are received from battles. Once entered, your clan will be given a certain amount of coins.

Auctions are showcased in timed rounds and the coins laid forth by each clan are presented at the end of each round. The auctions quickly turned into game of paper, rock, scissors for me since there is little way to foretell what another clan's turn may bring. It is possible to see the amount of coins that a clan holds but you have no way of knowing what they might bid per turn, so you'll almost always want to bid as much as you can, which will make you less likely to enter numerous auctions each auction time. Auctions only come once every several days (game time), so you won't have to deal with them much however. Buying territories will grant your clan special random bonuses for traveling in that land at times.

A multitude of jobs is once again made available to your party members - Soldier, Archer, Black Mage, White Mage, Green Mage, Thief, Warrior, Animist, White Monk, the list goes on. Each member can be given a specific job then, once that member has mastered a few skills, a new job may be started and that member can carry over some mastered abilities from the last job. Jobs can be obtained by completing battles or sometimes they simply open by mastering skills while using another job. Weapons carry skills that may be mastered for each particular job by gaining Ability Points (AP) through battles, so there is a bunch of character and job customization available to the player. Having the right customized character for each specific party member can play a major role in some of the later battles.

All shops now have a Bazaar option that is similar to the Bazaar in Final Fantasy XII. Offer up items (or loot) to the Bazaar in a certain sequence and new items can be made from those items. Unlike Final Fantasy XII, your party actually gives up the loot without receiving any gil in return if you want the items that can be gained from the loot. Bazaar weapons and items are added to the shop list and are available for a certain fee just like other items. Loot may also be sold freely to gain gil if your party has numerous amounts of a certain type of loot. Gil can be gained easily from completing quests however, so there is never really a shortage of it.

The Bazaar system adds some unique twists to the normal shop list much like it did in Final Fantasy XII. Not all is well with the Bazaar however - there is no way of knowing what job requirements each new weapon will bring, so there will be times where you'll make a weapon or armor that you cannot equip. This is more noticeable early in the game though because later in the game your group will have tons of loot saved up from various quests, so you'll be able to splurge a bunch of the piled up loot at the Bazaar. There is also a multiplayer trading game where players can buy raffle tickets and use those raffle tickets to gain rare items.

The graphics haven't changed that much since the last Tactics Advance. Much of the character models remain just about the same except for some new job outfits. Magical effects have been given a slight graphical enhancement with the glowing presentation of each magical incantation, ability or summon spell. Environments are full of color and detailed surroundings. Sometimes environmental objects can get in the way of your characters when moving to another area, and without the ability to move the camera or rotate the battlefield it becomes a slight annoyance during some battles. This is really just a minor nitpick though since it is rarely a big deal.

There is plenty of remixed music from other FF Tactics games found in A2. One remixed piece actually had music from original FF Tactics and there were a few tunes from Final Fantasy XII. The shop tune and clan customization menu have the same, but slightly remixed, tune from FF Tactics Advance. Other stage music consists of pleasing tunes that matched each battlefield rather well. The game can be controlled with the d-pad and buttons or it can be fully played with touch commands via the touch screen. I found that using the touch screen made battles even longer than they usually are, so most of the time I used the more familiar button controls to select each action.

The story is once again just as lighthearted as it was in Tactics Advance, which leads me to my biggest complaint about the game. While the gameplay is stellar, the moments that I spent in between battles were pretty boring when most of the story was comprised of simple small talk between the characters. The hero has little worry about getting back to his own world and would much rather journey on to the next fight with a giddy, self-assured attitude rather than have any concern about his current situation about being stuck in a foreign land. Even when the story appeared to be on a slightly serious route, I always found myself thrown back into the same small talking scenario filled with mostly boredom seconds later. Individual quests sometimes have some interesting story elements however. There were a few quests with some recurring characters that weren't half bad since they delved into the characters' past a bit.

Even with the story complaints, RPG gamers that focus more on gameplay rather than plot will find a very addicting game in Final Fantasy Tactics A2. The game will easily last you quite a number of hours before the full game's completion and even then you will most likely still have tons of extra quests that will require your attention. There are tons of customizations realized from the different jobs and abilities that can be carried over from job to job. Final Fantasy Tactics A2's gameplay is well worth the price of this RPG for fans of the last game or anyone in need of a good tactical RPG and an overall enjoyable "pick up and play" type game.

The Good:

+ Fun gameplay that is quite addicting
+ New Bazaar system adds a new twist to normal item shopping
+ Game last for quite a while with all the available quests

The Bad:

- Story is very lighthearted and can get boring


Final Fantasy Tactics A2 once again takes us to the world of Ivalice and brings along the same addicting tactical gameplay from the last game with some new additions to keep it feeling fresh.

* You can find a full list of jobs and their corresponding abilities at Sephirosuy's blog.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

New RE5 scans

For the sake of my visitors, I'm going to restrain myself from the usual fanboy explosion this time. :) Anyway here is a link to the new scans:

New RE5 scans on THIA

Instead of listing them here and describing them with detail, I'll just leave you with a few things:

1) It has finally been revealed that BSAA = Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance.
2) Both characters appear to be teaming up in some pics... Co-Op play?
3) The fourth scan showcases a new character, so if you're avoiding spoilers, skip over that one.
4) E3 is going to be so awesome this year.

Capcom Update: Capcom Official E3 line-up:

Street Fighter IV: Final arcade code running on a heaping handful of arcade machines.
Resident Evil 5: Game of show? Quite possibly!
Dark Void: Also playable, also awesome. Snazzed up since CAPTIVATE08 and ready to totally jetpack your face.
Bionic Commando: New areas and enemies, now playable on console!
Mega Man 9: Put on your retro hats and prepare for a major challenge.
MotoGP '08: This year's installment of the fastest-growing motorsport on two wheels. We'll be running the 360 version.
Neopets Puzzle Adventure: Surprise hit from CAPTIVATE08, we've got more to show on this puzzle adventure game created by the guys who brought you Puzzle Quest.
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix: A new batch of characters will be selectable for hi-def brawling.
Plunder: Something new is happening with our digital pirate's booty...
Bionic Commando Rearmed: It's almost out, and we're showing it one last time.
• New games-on-the-go from Capcom Interactive, our mobile group
• Plus a new super-secret project, Flock!

Also, Go to E3 with Capcom! Might be good if you live in California.

Soul Calibur IV Xbox 360 Achievements

Just wanted to make a mention that has listed up most of the achievements for Soul Calibur IV. Most of them look quite fun.

Soul Calibur IV Achievements

My current favorite:

Iron Hammer - 10G
Land an attack on a taunting opponent.

It's the novelty that counts there. Considering how much I love to sneak in taunts per battle, I'm sure some gamers will get that one on me quite a bit. :D

I'm kind of wondering what the PS3 trophies will be, if they're included. Will they be the same? Sony just recently launched their new update with a trophy menu. Got online to get the update last night.

PS3 site