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Showing posts from October, 2006

PSU Story Mode Completed

The recorded play time was at about 26 hours when I finally completed the story mode. Ethan Waber wins, Magashi and the SEED loses. The End. Or is it? The good Headmaster Nav suggests that perhaps now life really begins. Then, after the end credits roll, there's an audio clip where the main characters come to grips with no longer being the heroes but instead being demoted to sub characters as the Network mode lets everybody be a hero by going semi-MMORPG. Nice touch.

Tonight, I plan to boot up the Network mode and give it a try myself. That should give me some idea about how the other half of the game is like. I'm tempted to go for the $50 for 210 day plan, but I'd be surprised if the game could keep me for 210 days. City of Heroes or EverQuest 2, maybe, but Phantasy Star Universe strikes me as being considerably more rigid in its capacity to be patched and improved. On top of that, I've got Neverwinter Nights 2 coming out this week, and that'll no doubt occ…

Phantasy Star Universe

I wrote up a little Gamespot Review yesterday for Phantasy Star Universe. It really doesn't properly capture how much this game has me enthralled right now. I'm guessing that won't last too long as, after all, Neverwinter Nights 2 is just around the corner. However, I wouldn't be surprised if I'm still playing it after NWN2 is released. I'm honestly considering the 210 day for $50 subscription plan. Without further ado, my review (with some recently captured screenshots, yet):


To best understand this game, it's good to put it in the proper perspective. Despite the $10 US subscription fee and the addition of housing and trade skills, Phantasy Star Universe is not your traditional MMORPG. Comparitive stats between friend and foe, while a definite determiner of the difficulty of the fight, are not the ultimate determiner of success or failure. Skilled arcade play, evaluating enemy patterns in order to dodge their attacks while attacking their weak…

More about Phantasy Star Universe Offline

I'm still playing the offline portion of Phantasy Star Universe game. In Phantasy Star Online, the offline mode was just a tutorial for the online game. Here, the attention paid to the story (which executes like a television show) makes it the main focus of the game.

The actual structure of the story mode game is well organized and relatively open-ended. At the beginning of each chapter you start at your Barracks on the Guardian Colony, a space station for the private security firm your character is employed by. At that point, you can visit various shops on the station or perform missions. Alternately you can travel to other planets (there's eventually three) where there's more shops and missions to perform.

The game play is somewhat improved and simultaneously somewhat limited from the original Phantasy Star Online. In PSO there were three kinds of attacks, in PSU there's only two. To an extent, this is streamlined as the three kinds of attacks in PSO (variati…

Enter: Phantasy Star Universe

Being a game addict means you're easily sidetracked. Addiction is like that. So, at the time of this writing, I find I've canceled my City of Heroes subscription in order to play Phantasy Star Universe, newly released in the United States.

If you've played the original Phantasy Star Online, you might have some idea of what to expect in this sequel. In many ways, this series is a 3D Sci-Fi version of Blizzard's Diablo: there's mobs to defeat, crates to break, and loot to pick up. When your inventory is full, head back to town with a handy "telepipe" and then return for more hacking and slashing. I mean, seriously, this is game Diablo at heart - move along, nothing to see here.

However, PSU does made some improvements, and not just by taking a 2D Fantasy game and turning it into a 3D Jpop Sci-Fi game. (If you call Japanese Pop an improvement.) For starters, it's viable to engage foes at range with an assortment of guns and grenade launchers. A…

Viewtiful Break

One of the things that's helped to rekindle my interest in City of Heroes is diversifying my play activity a bit. To these ends, I've found a few other things to do.

For example, I've been booting up Viewtiful Joe 2 and playing an "episode" (game level) of that each day. Compared to the original, Viewtiful Joe 2 introduces an additional "Replay" power and the ability to switch between Joe and his girlfriend, Sylvia. I had purchased the PS2 version earlier but actually shelled out for the Gamecube one because I think the presentation is better there. Something about the Gamecube's pastel-like color palette just sets off Viewtiful Joe better.

Viewtiful Joe

Never heard of Viewtiful Joe? It's a series was created by Clover Studios, an awesome game development house that heartless capitalism crushed. I hate it when money collides with art. I'll miss ya, Clover, even with the sadistic difficulty you set Viewtiful Joe on.

Viewtiful Joe star…

Considering another weekend in Paragon City

--- Fun with Glitches ---

I think my hard drive had a minor stroke. Just now, I noticed that The Gimp won't let me launch it because it's missing some vital DLL file. Earlier, an issue in Paragon City is most of the shop interiors have vanished.

Because there was no floor on the client side, I fell. Because the server knew there was a floor there, I was jerked upwards to where the floor should be. Since there was still no floor on the client side, this process repeated.

I ran the "verify files" option in CoH, and it found and fixed something in the geom.ogg file. That was it, so huzzah for intelligent patching programs! This was definately a corrupted file issue, probably brought on by CoH locking up when I tried to zone in after login once.

--- City of Heroes Halloween Events ---

There's quite an excited fluster of players prowling the streets of Paragon City today, because the Halloween events are in town.

First, there's the basic "trick or tre…

Lacking patience in Paragon

---Alt-A-Holicism Continues---

I'm still waffling between a Scrapper (which is fast-paced fun) and a Controller (which has more freedom of choice in combat), which is pretty bad sign I may be enjoying neither. Actually, there are times I enjoy playing both. However, the ease in which I can identify shortcomings in either (Scrappers are shallow, Controllers are slow) is repelling me between one and another like same charge magnets.

Choosing to go to the City of Villains is an entirely different can of worms. I'd functionally be abandoning both characters outright for having outleveled much of the enhancements the next issue likely would bring (the Scrapper is 27, the Controller 32). Throwing a villain into the mix just soups up the alt-a-holicism that much more by adding yet another character to entice my notice.

So basically, I'm caught between a mental rock and a hard place, my only real escape (other than quitting the game entirely) is to get one or the other to 50 b…

Playing without Playing / Dispelling the Phantasm

Playing without Playing

The weekend went fast. They say "time flies when you're having fun." But I'm more inclined to believe a more accurate observation is, "time flies when you're not paying attention to it." Or, if you want to be a real stickler for detail, "if you're not watching the time, why the hell should it surprise you that you lost track of it?!"

Old saying are both easy and fun to butcher for their logical fallacies.

Anyway, this weekend went way too fast. I spent it playing City of Heroes, but now I wonder if I was playing it at all, as I wasn't paying attention to the present. If I wasn't paying attention to the present, what was I paying attention to?

Here's how it happened: I was continually jumping between two City of Heroes characters with a classic case of "grass is greener" syndrome going on. When I was playing Psi-Caster (a Illusion/Storm Controller) I was focused on how he wasn't doi…

Worship at the Cathedral of Pain

--- Croatia and Terra Volta under Brutish leadership ---

Tuesday was another pretty good day for progressing through City of Heroes. I once again met up with Flagoon and Saros, and this meant extremely lucrative xp. Saros was at level 31, Flagoon and myself (as the Illusion/Storm controller, Psi-Caster) both at level 28. Saros had accidentally left his missions set on "invincible", and this put his mobs out at about level 33-35ish. I mostly couldn't touch the enemies with my direct-effect attacks, but I did manage to hinder them with my debuffs (which, in Storm Summoning, are auto-hit) and by throwing a Phantom Army out there to distract. Of course, anything which Saros didn't have the attention of flattened me in little time at all. Still, I actually felt useful, as Saros and Flagoon wouldn't have been able to do that alone.

After a Croatia mission, we then moved on to do the Terra Volta trial, again on Invincible, but I felt the need to sidekick up with…