Friday, May 30, 2008

Pokemon - FireRed/LeafGreen

Despite what you might think after reading the title of this post, I'm not really a Pokemon fan. Loved the first ones, Red and Blue, (Red was actually my very first GB game) but I'm particularly hard on sequels, for me if they're just going to release a game that looks like an expansion they better release nothing at all, and as you probably know all the Pokemon games are pretty much the same. They make new areas, add a crapton of new creatures (I have a firm belief that 150 is more than enough) and a couple of new gimmicks, but deep-down it's still the same thing all over again. That's why, after playing one of the GBA games for some time and the DS games for just 5 minutes, I had given up on the series altogether. I just couldn't stand playing the same thing again and again.

Given this it's a bit ironic that that's in fact what I'm doing right now. I'll explain. Given the huge success of the first games, and seeing a new opportunity to make even more money, Nintendo decided one day to remake the first games, Red and Green (Blue was the American/European altered version of the Japanese Green version), for the GBA. This means a total facelift and some new Pokemons but with everything else intact. So, if I'm so tired of these games, why am I playing this? Simple. For once they were actually honest and told us that those are indeed the same old games, and then there's also the nostalgia factor. I loved Pokemon Red, but nowadays the GBC's graphics are hideous, and with Fire/Red I can have an old and new experience at the same time. Also, it's all familiar ground, so although things look slightly different due to the revamped graphics, I still always know where I am and what do I have to do next. It's funny, actually, to see that even after so many years I still remember such things.

Also, the game remains as addictive as ever, and that feeling of achievement everytime I catch a new creature or one of mine evolves is just great. So, if you don't like Pokemon this one is definitely going to change your mind, but for fans this is just great. For younger fans it's another new adventure and for old Poketards it's a trip to the past.

By the way, as a way to make up for my lack of posting on this most esteemed of blogs, here's a comic that parodies the beginning of this very game and here's another one that basically shows the feelings of old Poketards like me.

Related posts: Ninja Five - O, Tekken Advance, Turok Evolution GBA review, GBA freebies and retro remakes

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sega Superstars Tennis DS

Again, my apologies for posting another video rather than actually WRITING anything of meaning, but I'm feeling very lazy at the moment. I work in a school you see, and I've only got one day to go before my half term break (nine days off!!!!) and the kids (and some of the teachers) are doing my head in.

That means I'm drinking nearly every night, I'm vegging out and I can only manage lamely throwing videos onto GGOTG. Having said that, I will post enough to say that this game is simply stunning! Running on the Virtua Tennis 3 engine, and featuring such legendary Saturn and Dreamcast characters as NiGHTS, Reala, Ulala and Beat (plus Sonic, Knuckles, Amy and Dr. Eggman) the game also references such classic Sega games as House Of The Dead, Space Harrier, Chu Chu Rocket and even Alex Kidd (I can almost feel a Master System Junkyard post happening any time now...)

If, like me, anything Sega related causes a stirring in your trouser region, or if, like me truly excellent DS games make you forget those bulky consoles under your telly, then this is the game for you. The graphics are the most 'jaw dropping' I've seen on the DS and are a total tonic after the rubbish PS1 quality graphics of Brothers In Arms DS.

I wondered about which game was going to relight my DS fire after Resident Evil: Deadly Silence. Well this is it! Oh and on a personal level, I love this game for being able to play without the stylus, button only style. I mashed up my own stylus control by stabbing the screen repeatedly and far too hard playing that RE:DS I just mentioned....

Related posts: Etrian Odyssey II, Call of Duty 4 DS, NDS homebrew freebies, emulate the DS on your PC

Thursday, May 15, 2008

PSP vs. DS

I thought it was about time I added some content to this esteemed site, even if it was a lazy video post! For me it's no contest, it's the DS hands down. I've tried both and even though I do admire the PSP as a lovely piece of kit, I just can't get into it.

The DS has to be the winner in terms of the range of software, but then there is something very fabulous about being able to watch a movie on your PSP (I own Akira and Kung Fu Hustle for mine...)

I love the quirky and innovative features of the DS, the stylus and the mic, but then the PSP has amazing graphical abilities (check out GTA: Liberty City Stories for example.)

On the other hand, the DS has the backward compatability of being able to play every GBA title out there, which extends it's already huge software range. Then there's the homebrew scene championed by our dear friend Guttertalk... Whilst I'm aware there is one for the PSP, I think I'm right in thinking it's nowhere near as big as the DS scene...

What are your thoughts?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard

Apparently, guttertalk was correct. Etrian Odyssey II will be hitting US DSs this June and you can expect it to be a better, bigger and more hardcore update of the original featuring at least one new class. Above you can see some screens and a sample of concept art and what follows is indeed a press release:
About Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard In the Grand Duchy of High Lagaard, it is said that the Duke is descended from inhabitants of a castle in the sky. When an unforeseen crisis befalls the nation, it is decreed that the first explorer to retrieve the Grail of Kings from that mythical floating palace will be rewarded with wealth and fame beyond imagining. Enter the central city of Lagaard and begin your journey to the clouds!

Key Features
- Make the adventure yours - Rediscover true role-playing as you build your party of stalwart adventurers from 12 different classes. From basics like name and sex to advanced settings like combat formation, skills, and spells, every detail is yours to customize!
- The Odyssey continues - Experience an all-new story, more classes, improved mapping capabilities, new Force Skills, and over 100 side-quests.
- Chart your progress through the dungeons - Etrian Odyssey's innovative mapmaking tool returns with more options and features! Use the touch screen to map out the halls, chambers, treasures, and dangers of the realms you explore.

Related posts: Call of Duty 4 DS, the sexy freeware DS Virus, Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass, Contra 4

Friday, May 02, 2008

Etrian Odyssey (finally) coming to Europe

If it weren't for dear guttertalk I wouldn't have already played Etrian Odyssey to death (though definitely not to completion) and wouldn't be wearing my excited-hat while letting you know that, yes, Etrian Odyssey is finally coming to Europe. RPG fans should be terribly excited, as this is a brilliant hardcore genre offering, that beside offering innumerable hours of gameplay, also lets/forces you sketch your very own maps with the stylus. How very oldschool!

Find out more over at the Etrian Odyssey site and know that the game should be available on June 6. Oh, and Etrian Odyssey II isn't very far away either. It already hit the US you know...

Related posts: XtenDS, free homebrew DS games, Assassin's Creed for DS, classic adventures on the go