In Before it’s Out: Persona Q

28 Feb

The next installation in the Persona series by Atlas will be Persona Q: Shadow of the Labryinth, an RPG that mixes the cast of Persona 3 and Persona 4. Made for the 3DS and 2DS, the gameplay will be similar to Etrian Odessy, including chibi character versions of the casts.

Being a huge Atlas fan (and a bigger one of the Persona series) I was super excited to find out that Persona Q will be brought to the U.S. this year in the Fall. Ever since I heard about the game being released in Japan, I wanted to get my hands on it. The casts from Persona 3 and 4 were incredibly engaging and entertaining, with a story that makes you care for the protagonists and their friends. Now I get a second chance to spend time with some of my favorite characters and learn more about them and their weird world.

To catch up those of you who haven’t had a chance to play Persona 3 or 4 (shame on you!), the games revolve around a young man who has recently transferred to a high school, Minato Arisato in Persona 3 and Yu Narukami in Persona 4. That’s the guy with blue hair and white hair, respectively, in the picture at the top. They’re quickly involved in a period at midnight where strange murders occur due to the threat of creatures called shadows. The high school students are embroiled in trying to save their towns, while simultaneously trying to get through their school year.

We’ll stop there, don’t want to spoil the stories!

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth takes place in Persona 3’s Midnight Hour and high school, Yasogami High. The heroes of both games and their friends are trapped inside a labyrinth that appears out of nowhere on the school grounds during the Yasogami Culture Festival. The only way to return the world to its original state is hidden within lost memories of the two new characters, Zen and Rei. Both Zen and Rei are students at Yasogami High, but not much is known other than that except that Rei loves to eat and Zen is very protective of Rei.

To set things right and regain Zen and Rei’s memories, players explore a gigantic labyrinth and battle Shadows in turn-based fashion, just like in Persona 3 and Persona 4. Unlike the two games, players play in a first person perspective and can use teams of five picked from the twenty playable characters.  Akin to Dragon Age, dialogue will change based on the player’s choice of team as well as which protagonist they choose to play as. This leaves at least a second play through of the game once you’ve finished with Minato or Yu!

The dialogue and first person view aren’t the only changes from the previous Persona games. All party members are able to use a variety of sub-Persona. Normally, only Yu and Minato can change their Persona at will, but because the two main characters have met, everyone can switch now. There’s also a boost meter mechanic, used to perform skills with no cost, and generated by hitting the weak points of shadows the players fight.

Everything about this game has me excited – except for the new chibi art style. Bravely Default also used this and, while I understand it’s easier on the 3DS screen and technology, I just don’t enjoy it. I’ll still play this game and (probably) love it, I’m going to be imagining my teams as their larger counter parts the entire while.

Adventures in PC Crafting – Part 2

26 Feb

Part 1 of Adventures in PC Crafting can be found here.

We’ve all made that mistake, jumped before we had done enough research, spent a little more than we’d intended. All I wanted was a new motherboard and CPU. A small upgrade, just $400. Good God, did I not have a clue what I was getting into.

Gearing up for Battle

Waking up on Sunday, I have one purpose in mind. Church? Ha, very funny. No, I’m headed to any store that will sell me a mid or full tower case to house all my shiny new PC parts. Unfortunately, I live in a part of Texas where there isn’t a single large retail store close. The nearest Best Buy is thirty minutes away (thanks to traffic and there is always traffic). I’ve determined that, while it will cost me quite a bit more, I’ll pick up a nice case at said Best Buy. Sometimes, you pay for convenience.

Getting ready, I hop in my trusty Chevy and hit the road. Continue reading

Adventures in PC Crafting – Part 1

10 Feb

We’ve all made that mistake, jumped before we had done enough research, spent a little more than we’d intended. All I wanted was a new motherboard and CPU. A small upgrade, just $400. Good God, did I not have a clue what I was getting into.

The Journey Begins

After a little help from a friend, I was told a good upgrade for my CPU would be to an Intel Core i5 Processor which I picked up for $225. Doing some research, I find a good motherboard for said CPU is an ASUS Z87 Plus DDR3 which runs about $160. More than pleased with the price, I pull the trigger and (thanks to Amazon Prime) have my parts within three days.

At this point, I know that I have to unplug everything in the case, then reattach it to the new motherboard, but I’m not daunted. I’m excited! This is going to be awesome. My PC will run all my games faster, I can stream a little faster, everything will be amazing. Nothing could go wrong because I’m an independent female and I can totally do this.

A Slight Detour Gets me Lost

Turns out, I can totally not do this. Continue reading

Ignorance is NOT Bliss

6 Feb

Let’s get this out in the open: I am a big fan of Nintendo. Sales are down and the Wii U is not performing as hoped. I blame this on their game line up, which looks great – when the games eventually come out. Most people disagree, claiming that Nintendo hasn’t had a good line up of video games since the GameCube. While I can’t speak about that system – I played it, but didn’t really care too much since it was high school and there was a thing called boys – I can talk about the Wii.

The first system I every bought the month of launch, I’ve been a fan of this system since the beginning. Zelda was coming out, Paper Mario, but I didn’t get a Nintendo game as my first Wii purchase. I bought Trauma Center: Second Opinion. Why? I honestly have no idea. I seemed like a good idea at the time. I loved this game. Continue reading

Is It Over? When you should abandon a video game.

4 Feb

It’s a question every gamer faces. When do I put down the controller/keyboard/phone? I can’t get my money back, I can’t get my time back, so when is enough, enough?

The answer should be simple. Since video games are a form of entertainment it’s time to quit once the game stops being fun, right? Wrong. Fun means different things to different people. Many gamers are completionists or feel that they ‘have’ to play the original game before its sequel. For these people, it’s not about the fun factor, it’s about the accomplishment. Being able to say, “I beat Ocarina of Time with EVERY hearts,” or, “There wasn’t a boss in Final Fantasy X I didn’t take down,” or, “My best time beating Super Mario Brothers on the NES is 6 minutes,” is worth the hours of nothing but tedious work. Continue reading

But Wait! There’s Lore! Drinking game

4 Oct

Here are the official rules of the But Wait! There’s Lore! drinking game! Pop in your favorite episode of the show, grab a good drink, and play along. Don’t forget to keep track =3

Rules:

  1. When brox
  2. When Kil’jaden is mentioned in the top 10 list
  3. When dunn is ‘looking for the dunn signal’
  4. When dunn talks about the horde
  5. When Necro or Jan complain about the alliance story
  6. When fuck draenei.
  7. When faction arguments come up
  8. When gnomes are made fun of
  9. When Teeironor call rogers Sky Admiral bitchface
  10. When Necro praises Sky Admiral Rodgers

Hardcore rules:

  1. When  character names are wrong.

Cheap Gamer Deals

1 Aug

For a little time now, I’ve wanted to share my love for sales and cheap games with the internet at large. This is how I’m going to do that. Today – 8/1/13 – there are a ton of great games on sale for cheap prices. Thanks to Humble Bundle and Steam, I’ll be tell you what and how to get your hands on it.

The Best

The best deal available (and ending on Sunday) is  the Quakecon Pack available through Steam. Offering a whopping 45 games, this bundle Continue reading

Alan Wake – First Impressions

30 May

The darkness is alive. Shadows stir and possess townsfolk, turning them into monsters and murderers. The light is your only hope, but it can last for only so long.

Alan Wake by Remedy Entertainment is an action psychological thriller video game for the Xbox360 and PC released in episodes. In it, gamers play as Alan Wake, come to Bright Falls, Washington on vacation with his wife Alice after two years of nightmares and writers block. Continue reading

Paper Mario: Sticker Star – Bang, Fizzle, Bored

3 Dec

paper_mario_sticker_star_logoThe newest title in the Paper Mario franchise by Nintendo, Paper Mario: Sticker Star, is on the 3DS. It starts out just like every other Mario game ever – Bowser crashes the party and runs off with Princess Peach. To be more specific, he touches a sticker comet and goes insane - then runs off with the Princess. The comet gives him super sticker powers, letting him run around Mario’s world, sticking toads to walls and manipulating the world. It’s Mario’s job – of course it is – to set the world right again, by unsticking everything and defeating the empowered bad guys.

The tutorial for the game is one of the most creative I’ve ever seen. It slowly eases you into the game, removing from walls and freeing toads, gathering battle stickers and random pieces of the world to get Mario from the starting area, to the world map. After finding all the hidden toads in the area, you can move on, but to do that you have to explore every nook and cranny, learning about the hidden passages and areas. Throughout the rest of the game, you have to do that to get from place to place and beat the game.

Once you clear this area, you let out into the rest of the game. In a cross between a normal platformer and RPG, you take Mario around several different areas, defeating bad guys and discovering hidden areas while collecting special stickers and objects. These objects are used to create powerful stickers and effect Mario’s world in unique ways. Like finding a fan, turning it into a sticker, then using that sticker to turn a windmill’s fans to open a hidden door.

7344842894_790333b210_mAll these stickers are collected and stored in your sticker album and can be pulled out during the game, or during battle. Battle isn’t your standard turn based RPG system, but it’s similar. Each sticker has its own effect, each enemy their own weakness. You can use up to three battle stickers a turn to attack up to three enemies each battle. If you manage to bounce on an enemy or hit him with your hammer before combat starts, you get to deal bonus damage. Fans of the Mario franchise will recognize all these items from fire flowers and ice flowers, to POW blocks. Players can find all sorts of combinations and uses for the stickers that deal extra damage.

For the most part, I really enjoyed this game. Then I got bored. It’s a good game, but after unlocking the third area I just wasn’t interested any more. The boss battles are literally impossible to beat if you don’t prepare before hand. Thing is, there’s no way to know how to prepare without going into the battle. Then if you return and prepared incorrectly, you’re left coming back again and again until you get it right. And if you managed to beat the boss, but not the way the game wants, it actually criticizes you. I felt like Nintendo was telling me that I had to use a guide to get through their game to play it right.

All and all I have to give Paper Mario: Sticker Star 3 screaming Jan’s cats out of five. It was a good game and exceptionally creative so I don’t regret spending the money on it. It just wasn’t an amazing game. I hope that future Paper Mario games continue to be as creative and only get better.

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Persona 4 Golden: Still Amazing

2 Dec

Persona-4-GoldenIf you don’t know what Persona 4 is, that doesn’t surprise me. When people say “JRPG” most people thing of Final Fantasy. Not me. I’m a self proclaimed, loyal and dedicated follower of the Shin Megami Tensi franchise made by Atlus. Screw Final Fantasy. You want a good story that will take your mind on a trip it never expected, pick up any game with those three words above the title.

Persona 4 Golden is their newest game in the setting on the PS Vita, taking place in a small town called Inaba in Japan. You play as a young, second year high school student (equivalent to an American Junior) just transferred in front the big city after your parents shot off to the U.S. for work. You’ll be staying with your uncle, a detective in the small town, until they come back next year. Things seem perfectly normal, scandal in the news, bad weather, nothing that special; at least until you learn about the Midnight Channel. Continue reading

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