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Malik (4/19/10)

I'm getting near the end of Lunar Silver Star Story Complete. Now that I've gone some distance in the game, I'm not sure if I've ever finished this version of the game. It's not feeling all that familiar. I think I may have given up early in past times playing the game since the limited spell selection is a bit of a turn off for me. However, since I'm nearing the end (only a few dungeons left), I can say this time I'll finish the game.

Being in a nostalgic RPG kick, I'll next pick up Lunar Eternal Blue Complete since I bought that off of an Amazon seller last week. However, realizing I have some other games on my plate that I never fully played, I'm lining up more nostalgic RPGs to play. In particular, Working Designs PSX games. I have Arc The Lad Trilogy on the PSX and never fully played any of those games. Maybe it will be time to try them again after Eternal Blue.

I think I never gave Arc The Lad a full chance before since it has some rather archaic design elements in it. I mean the battles are a bit weird on the first (and maybe the second...I forget) game with some unusual choices for movement of character. However, being in a Working Designs nostalgia kick, I'm determined to rectify this error, of not playing the games, of the past.

On a different note, I'm not feeling the sports vibe. It's weird to say that when MLS and MLB are both up and running. I think it doesn't help that both Seattle teams are not leaving me all that excited.

I mean the Mariners may be tied for second in the AL West, but they are not playing like a team that should have a good amount of potential. Actually, maybe they are playing a little too much like expected; the team has some solid pitching (to improve when Cliff Lee returns), and amazing defense in the field. However, like expected, the offense is just offensive. The closest to a big bat that the M's have is from Griffey, who is well past his "big bat" days. Unless a breakout offensive player emerges, I don't know how far the M's can get with just fast single hitters.

As for The Sounders don't even know what is going on here. The Sounders were a solid team last year, especially for being an expansion team. This season, so far, they look like a team that cannot get it's teamwork down. There's a lot of missed chances and failed execution of plays. I mean the game on Saturday was a perfect example. It took until two minutes into the final stoppage time for the team to finally score, and when they did it felt more like a fluke than an expected outcome. It took a substitute to even get the game winning (and only) goal. Then, just a few seconds later, while the team was still in celebration mode, they dropped their defense and left Keller alone to protect the goal from ten determined players from the Wizards.

If Keller was not as good at goal tending as he is, Kansas City would have (and maybe they should have) scored. I'd hate to imagine the fan reaction in Seattle if this flat of a game had ended with a quick KC goal in stoppage time. Seattle is not a "riot" type of city, but if that goal went in, I think there would have been some strong reactions...starting with Keller choking the first green jersey that came within arm's reach.


Malik (4/21/10)

I'm nearing the end of my time with Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete on the PSX. I'm in the final dungeon and am probably done with the game and moving on the Lunar: Eternal Blue Complete tonight. At least that's the plan.

With that said, I don't have much else to say on any given subject, so I'll just blurt out some random thoughts...

How is this news? I mean is it really newsworthy for major media outlets, of the non-gaming variety, to mention once every year that online games are filled with asses? I guess so. Otherwise, why would this same exact story (but with a different "currently hot game" named) keep showing year after year? Also, if parents don't realize that their kids can be exposed to insanely stupid smack talking online (as the article implies is the case), then it just further shows my theory to be right; one big reason we have so many idiot kids in this modern age is because parents tend to view their kids as pets, not little people that can grow into normal sized people. Well, that and the other reason these types of idiots can exist is the simple law of the internet; anonymity, combined with voice chat, is a gateway to being an ass, even if you would never be one in face to face interactions.

On another note, more of a "local flavor"; I'm supposed to be sad that the Seahawks will not play any nationally televised games next season? Really? Why would I be sad about this schedule? From what I can see, this is the type of schedule perfect for a NFL fan on the west coast. For one thing, a 1PM game is always better than a 10AM game, and the Seahawks have only three 10AM (Pacific time) and the rest are 1PM games (I don't pay attention to "1:05" or "1:15" since it's still basically 1). I mean a 10AM game means waking up early to make sure I'm ready to watch, while a 1PM game is a great excuse for avoiding real life responsibilities in the middle of a Sunday.

As for no nationally televised games, this is more good news. On one hand, Thursday games (which are nationally televised) are a pain in the ass to catch. In fact, except for Thanksgiving, the NFL should just ban Thursday games already. Football should only be on on three days; Saturdays for college, and Sunday for most NFL games, with a single Monday night game. Also, no nationally televised games mean no 5PM games (which then gets in the way of dinner) and less humiliation on a large scale when the Seahawks continue their downward spiral next season.

Lastly, for today, I was going on a Wikipedia journey recently. That is, I looked up something I wanted to know on Wikipedia, but then proceeded, via some unusual twists and turns, to some random subjects. One of which would be one of my favorite underappreciated game franchises of the SNES era; Lufia. I haven't followed much relating to Lufia since the GBA version came out and killed my hopes for the series being reborn and revitalized. I mean The Legend Returns (the Lufia Gameboy Color title) and The Ruins of Lore (the DS version) both took a giant shit on the legacy that was Lufia.

Apparently, even though I missed any mention of it, Square Enix is making (or made...can't find any modern information on it) a remake of Lufia 2 for the DS. This would be awesome news for me. I mean Lufia 2 is one of my favorite RPGs of all time, and Square Enix has done some awesome remakes of classic RPGs on the DS. Wait...ohhh...

Actually, Square Enix games have been remade by outside groups for the DS with great results. As for Square Enix, they have constantly failed to impress me in recent years. Then, with a little more reading, it says that Square Enix wants to have Lufia 2 as an action RPG. That would make as much sense to me as turning Final Fantasy 1 into an action RPG. A turn based RPG, especially one with multiple active party members at play in a single battle, can not and should not be anything but a turn based RPG. Maybe add an active battle system (ABS)...although that would be wrong for Lufia.

Since I'm just writing some quick blurbs and not anything entirely on-topic today, I'll just end with this one thought; this type of crap is why I just don't buy Square Enix stuff anymore (beyond maybe Dragon Quest 9...and that's only if DQ9 is really damned good). Square Enix went from being a developer of amazing RPGs that played well with the genre to trying to be the genre's innovator...and despite their belief, Square Enix doesn't know anything about quality innovation.

I mean with how many weird ideas Square and Sqaure Enix has applied to RPGs in the last decade, how many new concepts have been used for more than a single title? Not a damned one. Junctioning (FF8), adding sports mini-games (FFX), MMORPG game play in an offline single player game (FF12), licenses instead of actually knowing skills and abilities (FF12 again), imposing horrible rules for a single battle that only make a game tedious (FFTA)...I could keep going. I'm also willing to bet the auto-pilot like battles of FF13 and the removal of all mini-games will also fade away before FF15 (since FF14 is another MMORPG). Meanwhile, plenty of unique ideas from their competitors have become standards of the genre (hidden or visible relationship meters, adjustable alignments, party AI that is more than just hugging the enemy until your party is destroyed, character customization while still keeping all characters unique to themselves, and so on) at the same time.

So, to just say it again, like I do whenever I see what movies are soon coming to theaters, my childhood needs to stop being molested for an easy buck. Be it Sqaure Enix tarnishing Lufia or Michael Bay trying to skull f#@$ the memory of Transformers.


Malik (4/23/10)

Yesterday was one of those days where it felt like life really needed to take a crap, and sadly I was in it's way. The Sounders FC tied due to a pretty dubious call (which is the nice way of saying the penalty kick that Dallas was given at the end of stoppage time was complete bullshit), my iPod decided that the play/pause button was no longer needed, and I couldn't start playing Lunar Eternal Blue Complete (PSX).

First things first, it's fun getting angry at a breaking iPod. I ended up prying the click wheel off of the unit (it's a 5th generation iPod Classic) and saw some of the controls. Then I needed a replacement part, so I took apart the click wheel on my 3rd generation iPod Classic (which was dead with a bad HDD). Then I learned that the 5th generation has a more friendly of click wheel for taking apart since that 3rd generation one will never be reassembled. In the end, I fixed my 5th generation for the cost of $0. I doubt Apple would have been so nice with repairs.

As for playing Lunar 2...I got the game, used, last week. I finally finished Lunar 1, and felt like starting Lunar 2 last night to blow off some stress. Well, it only added to my stress when the game froze right after the opening movie. It froze on the PS3, the PS2, and it would probably freeze on my PSX, but my PSX has finally killed itself.

I would be angry, but I got the game for only about $50. Then you add in that I got the entire collection of swag that came with the game (Lucia's pendant, the standees, the map, the soundtrack, the making of disk, the hardbound manual, and the box), most in new condition, and you cannot feel to ripped off. Plus, I found another used copy online that I ordered, this one only consisting of the game disks and for a lot cheaper. Put them together and I will have only paid $80 for a used game that goes for closer to $140 used.

Still, the loss of time I could be using right now playing Lunar 2 is a sad thing. Maybe this is a sign that I should play some Rock Band again...

As for beating Lunar SSSC (PSX); I forgot how bitchy the final few fights can be in that game. I mean you are basically put in a position of either having a ton of Silverlights (full MP restorative items) or being killed. If you don't have a huge supply (enough to outfit each party member with about four or so), you will be stuck in the final part of the game with no way to escape and no way to win. Yes, you can try to level more before the final boss, but since bosses scale with your level, leveling up would be for naught.

It doesn't help that there's two other hard boss fights earlier in this same dungeon that you can never escape from (a point of no return, so to speak). Each one may cause a player to think about gulping down Silverlights without realizing that failure could be in their future.

Anyway, I just wish I could continue my Lunar playing now with Lunar 2. However, the one sad truth of the internet for retail is that instant gratification (a big part of the internet) is absent from this one aspect of the net. No matter how quickly you can find the object you wish to buy, you still must be patient and wait for delivery.


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