Sunday, September 16, 2001 @ 22:57 (Japan Standard Time)
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A hobbyist video gamer in the middle of Japan's gaming zone. Comments on console, PC, handheld and arcade games.
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2001-09-16 Sun

Covering our eyes.

Not impressed with GameCube, FFX bribe

2001-09-02 Sun

Level up, Tokimeki Memorial 3

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Covering our eyes.

Many video game companies are changing their advertising and release tactics after the WTC/Pentagon terrorist tragedy. For example, Namco has decided to stop airing the commercials for Air Combat 4: Shattered Skies (PS2-us) because of the aircraft imagery. Sega of America is postponing the release of Propeller Arena: Aviation Battle Championship (DC-us), a online flight combat game. Even Konami is being "cautious" about its release of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PS2-us). This is according to reports from the Magic Box and IGN. (see articles: 1, 2, 3).

While I condemn the terrorist attacks, I don't think this company self-censorship is called for. On the marketing front, I understand that violent images conjuring up the same horrifying real-life video played over and over on the news channels is bad press now. But video games have always been about violence and over-the-top visuals. Curtailing flying simulations/games just because you can now generate a life-like polygon fireball is just like stopping driving games because you can drive recklessly at break-neck speeds without consequences. It's companies way of admitting that the games are created in the hope of cashing in on the gamer's desires for realistic visual destruction. Ultimately its the gamers that want it. I hope that this doesn't get in the way of releasing and developing video games.

Not impressed with GameCube, FFX bribe

I tried the Nintendo GameCube at the Harbor Circus Sofmap. Talk about underwhelming. The controller was for kids, there was only 3 games (Super Monkey Ball (GC-jp), Wave Race Blue Wave (GC-jp), and Luigi's Mansion (GC-jp)), and all of them didn't appeal to me. And plus, you could still buy a GameCube if you wanted to. Seemed like no one bought them.

Wave Race looked fluid, but the water was the worst part, easily the most unnatural part of the graphics. I never played the original, so I don't know if it plays well. I looked at Super Monkey Ball for a little bit. The whole rotating field tilts and swivels. It actually makes me nauseated just watching it. The graphics again were killer, and I noticed they intentionally put a "focus lens" effect during the demo. I wonder how much Dole payed Sega to put their name on all of the polygon bananas. Lastly, I played the Luigi's Mansion demo. Graphics were very detailed, there were working mirrors casting real-time reflections. The game play was okay, reminding me of GhostBusters the TV show.

I hope for Nintendo's sake that they come out with more games. I just passed on all of them. I'll look again when Super Smash Brothers DX (GC-jp) comes out.

Disappointed with the Nintendo GameCube, I turned my attention to the PlayStation 2 software. The latest 2-d fighting game, Capcom VS SNK 2: Millionaire Fighting 2001 (PS2-jp), was already out. I did pick up a copy, but I didn't bother with the special controller or the kit with a modem, because I've already got a 6 button-on-face controller and I had no plans to play the game over the network at cost. When I got home and inserted it into the PS2, it told me to reformat my Hard Disk Device (HDD) with the HDD Utility Disc if I wanted to install the game program data on the HDD. Well, I'm still screwed, b/c I don't have a HDD Utility Disc (It never came with the PS2 Linux Beta). But the loading times weren't so bad, but there were noticable pauses just before gameplay. Background graphics were killer, but the fighters were noticiably pixelated. Hm. And then, there were the moves I had to learn. Oh well, I shelved the game quickly. It hurts my hand.

I can't wait until Guilty Gear X Plus (PS2-jp) comes out. That is graphics goodness at the 2-d fighting arena, 640 x 480 with mimimal pixelation on the characters. hehe. I'm there dude.

On my web page, I've figured out more and more stuff regarding databases. I've finally updated my Owned Games page to more fully reflect my collection. Also, I've also create "Bribe" item guide, for Final Fantasy X (PS2-jp). In an attempt to make items rare, the developers made certain items available only if you bribe monsters with money. This guide is special because it shows you which monster to go after if you want to gain a special ability. None of this "which monster drops which item which makes an ability" middle-man crap. Plus it summarizes the gil cost per unit item, showing you the most effective monster to bribe. Heh. Some people just don't put 2 and 2 together. Sorry, it's written in Japanese only.

That's it for gaming. I'm recently having more fun programming databases and Emacs Lisp. Heheh.

Level up, Tokimeki Memorial 3

They were right about Final Fantasy X (FFX, PS2, jp). It has swallowed my soul. It's been already about 85 hours. I did beat it, yes, on the 72nd hour, but there's so many fun side quests that I'm still playing.

I'm currently "leveling up" my FFX players. There's a certain AP trick that allows you to attain 99 AP within 10 minutes. If you did the normal way, it would take you about forever and a half, and you'd probably die from the boredom. Unfortunately, it will probably take me another 4 or 5 hours to improve every body even with this AP trick.

Next thing I need to find in FFX is "limit breakers". For some reason, Square designed the normal game to have an HP and attack point limit to 9999. But these "limit breakers" allow you to surpass the limit. I'm having a devil of a time trying to find them... Well, I don't feel bad about resorting to cheat guides because I don't have that much time to find them on my own.

And now for some Gran Turismo 3 A-spec (GT3, jp). Now here's a fanatic: Gran Turismo 3 A-spec Racing Setup: Project Z-spec. If only liked cars this much.

And now for something different. Konami, the same company who's going to give you Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, is bring you Tokimeki Memorial 3, an anime love simulation game with cel-shading. (I know it's not "cell", but why?) The graphics alone sell me. The problem with anime-style graphics in 3d is the hard edges and shading in the rendering. But cel-shading makes these games look good. Looks like another game in my list of things to collect.

But not only the graphics are cool. Imagine the characters saying your name or any custom name in full voice audio. This is inherently a hard problem, but Konami however has the custom configuration system that allows you to do just that. Heh. Looks like I'm going to have to try it out.

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