April 30, 2012

RPG News, starting now

Here's another little thing I decided to do for the blog x3
From now on, I'll write here all the news regarding RPGs of all the consoles, so we'll be able to track everything of our favorites games.
Since it's the first, I'll start with a little recap of the news of the week


-Dragon Quest X
Square-Enix finally announced the release data for his new Dragon Quest chapter(which, I remind you, it'll be a MMORPG). The Wii version will be released in Japan the 2nd of August, while the WiiU version is still without date.
There will be two releases: a normal one and a bundle with a 16GB USB Key, probably for downloadable contents.
There is also to say, that you need to pay to play online on this game and that there will be subscriptions of 1.000, 1.950 or 2.900 yen for 30, 60 and 90 days of online play, but Square will give to all new players a 20 days free subscription.
It's really a strange thing to have a MMORPG on Wii, and not even a free-to-play game...but, hey, we'll just have to wait the 2nd of August for the first impressions XD


-Mass effect 3
For PS3 players, they are finally able to play the Multiplayers events that for now were exclusive to only Xbox 360 and PC players, thanks to both Sony and Bioware

-Atelier Ayesha
Some new screens and info for the new "Atelier" game from Gust company.
Gust confirmed that the new battle system will allow the character to freely move on the battlefield. The distance from the enemy will be essential for the damage and the co-op attacks, but you'll also be able to attack from behind for a great surprise strike.
Down below a couple of screens

XBOX 360

-Dragon Dogma
The demo of this open-world RPG is out on the Xbox 360 Marketplace, but there is also another interesting thing for the japanese Xbox players...buying one of the new Chrome controller you'll also have a special code that will give you access to eight special quests in the game.

A DLC code for a game bundled with a controller? Interesting XD


-The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Looks like a DLC is on his way on this open world RPG: some users from the official community of Skyrim found on one of the last update of the game a folder named DLC01 with datas, animations, weapons, totally new for the game, so it'll probably be about a new downloadable content that will be relased soon, but since there's nothing official from Bethesda, we'll just have to wait...

-Final Fantasy XIII-2
As most of you know it, during May we'll be able to download two special story DLC: one with Snow and one with Lightning.
We finally know some feature of the young lady episode: the battle system will be something a bit different and from the screens we have, we can see that Lightning possess some new roles different from the original six ones, such as Attack Paladin, Blast Wizard and Defense Knight

Also, new constume DLCs were announced: White Mage dress for Serah and Black Mage dress for Noel, but also a collection of a dozen and more costumes for Mog...and, if I have to say it, the tigerish one is cute :3


-Diablo 3
The recent open beta was played by over 300.000 users, a massive number that really stressed Blizzard's servers, but it was all part of the plan to work on making a better online service when the game will be released on 15th of May.
Also, I was one of those 300.000 and I have to say that (when I was able to log in XD) the game is really interesting and I'll surely buy it if I'll have the money for it ^^

-The Witcher 2
Here's a little interview with CDProjeckt about the new add-ons featured in The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition: new characters, new quests, a lot of new stuff for an awesome game that now even Xbox 360 players can enjoy

Good news for the ones who pre-ordered this new MMORPG: the beta access was anticipated and you can actually join it right now.
Level cap is 38 and character cap for each server is 8.
The game will be released on the 3rd of May

-Risen 2: Dark Waters
This pirate RPG game is now avaible on PC, along with two DLC: Treasure Island, a new quest that ties the game with its prequel and some special pirate clothes that will give you 5% of added experience


-Project X Zone
This NamcoXCapcom spiritual sequel that will now feature Namco Bandai, Sega and Capcom together, is now giving us some info about the playble characters: the roaster gets bigger with Zephyr and Leanne from Resonance of Fate (Sega)
Frank West and Lei Lei from Dead Rising and Darkstalkers (Capcom)
And also Soma and Alisa from God Eater Burst (Namco)
Surely the roaster will get bigger and bigger but still there is no news for an American or European release, damn XD

-Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
Atlus confirmed that they're working on the remake of Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers, RPG for Sega Saturn and PSX to be released on 3DS.
This remake will feature new graphic, new voice dub, new anime cutscenes and shortened loading times. If they'll have the quality of the first two Persona remakes on PSP, this too will be awesome.


-Surge Concerto: Ciel no Surge
A 10 minutes gameplay for this new RPG

-Persona 4 the golden
New trailer for the Persona 4 remake on PSVita


-Persona 2: Ethernal Punishment
New trailer with all the characters for this enhanted remake of Persona 2

April 27, 2012

Let's talk about...The Granstream Saga!

Time for a new article about a forgotten RPG and I couldn't think about something else then "The Granstream Saga"

This is one of that special cases where a game is kinda snobbed because it came out at a "busy" time....in fact, it was released in japan at 1997, when japanese players were busy playing Final Fantasy 7, released the same year, but the european release wasn't lucky either, 'cause we saw it in stores in 1999, when most of us were playing Final Fantasy 8.

Let's point it already: this isn't an RPG as good as those two, it has a lot of flaws...but still, there are a lot of special things about it, that really deserve to be analized.

Basic things first: as I said, it was released November 6, 1997 in Japan, June 30, 1998 in North America and last, February 26, 1999 in PAL territory, developped by "Shade", or better know as "Quintet", a develop company most active during the '90s, with many action RPGs released on the NES and SNES system, like "ActRiser 1 & 2", "Soul Blazer" and "Illusion of Gaia" ("Illusion of Time" in Europe), but also with some other release in recent period, like "Godzilla Generations" for Dreamcast and "Orphen: Scion of Sorcery" for Playstation 2 (an interesting game that will probably deserve his own article in the future, we'll see). Sadly there isn't a lot of activity from them recently, except for some collaborations with other games

Anyway, let's talk about this specific game...

The Granstream Saga backstory is about a great war between two factions, the Allied Spirit Army and the Imperial Wizardry. At the climax of the war, the Imperial Wizardry built a special weapon that, based on their calculations, should have striked with heavy damages the enemy field...but, hey, guess what? It didn't worked, instead, they caused massive damage to the whole planet, changing the planet axis and causing global warming and the rise of the oceans, nice job!

Always a war...why can't they solve things with some cookies?
Luckly, four guys, called Wise Men, managed to create a machine to rise the continents up in the sky, allowing them to save them from the flood. With this system under their and their descendents surveillance, the world was going to be ok, but someday, the descendents of the Wise Men disappeared and the continents are now risking to fall. And this is where the main story begins,

We take control of Eon, a crimson-haired young orphan who lives with his adopted father, and archeologist named Valos, on the Wind continent of Shilf, where Valos job is to cut whole pieces of landscape with the help of magic stones, to make the continent lighter and save it from falling down. But there are no more magic stones, so the continents are doomed...or maybe the solution will rest inside some old ruins, where the search for a solution will result in Eon finding about a mysterious power he possess thanks to his parents memento, a strange crystal on his bracelet.
During his quest, he'll travel to all the continents, meet with interesting characters and facing REALLY hard choices...

My hair has the same color of my shirt, your argument is invalid
There is the plot, now for the gameplay...

In this action RPG, you control the main character in a top-down visual, exploring towns and dungeons. In the dungeons you will trigger the battle by entering in contact with enemies who are fully displayed on the map: there will be no transactions to a battle screen, the camera will move to a more dynamic angle and you'll start fighting. The battles are quite simple: you can attack, defend or use magic, chaining basic attacks for a quick combo, running or dodging. Yours and your enemies life is composed by two bars, one is the HP bar, the other is the Life Points bar: when the HP bar is depleted, you'll lose one Life on your Life Points Bar, and start again with a full HP bar, if you lose all your HP with no more Life Points, it's Game Over, or victory if you do this to the enemy.

Striking the enemy with your weapon is good, but don't forget we have still MP for some spells!
Most of the battles are quite easy and the random enemies will never give you much of a challenge...but of course, bosses are on another league, and they'll require more than just button-smashing the attack button, you'll always have to be on your guard.

Graphically talking, there are some flaws we need to point out: character designs for the important ones are pretty good, but still, nothing exceptional; also, funny thing to point out, characters models DONT' HAVE FACES!!!

Probably this was made 'cause with the top-down visual there wouldn't be the need to show faces, or maybe because during cutscenes, there are characters portait that provide expressions during dialogues.
I don't know the real reason for that, but still, it's a funny thing/unusual lack.

Eon : I wanted to, but i just remembered that I don't physically have eyes...
While the whole world isn't really detailed, there is to point out that this is one of the first RPG that came with full-polygonal landscapes, something different from PSX's "Final Fantasy", that would stick with more detailed, but pre-rendered backgrounds, and more similar to Squaresoft's "Vagrant Story".

First dungeon in the game, we'll see a lot of them, don't worry...
Also, during the game there are a lot of very well animated anime cutscenes that will show some important plot points.

As I said, important plot points...
So, any other things to point out? Yuuuuuuuuup, and not a good one
The english voice acting...it's not the worst I've heard, but it's so bland and uninspired, there is very little effort in it, and it fail to give "emotions" on the different situations. Pretty average is the music and the sound effects, nothing remarkable, but still nice to hear.
Pretty obviously, my favorite music in this game is the battle theme

So, is there anything left to say about this game?
I guess I covered most of the important things to say: it's not a masterpiece or a game that would start a competition against other RPGs, but personally, I don't think it was his purpose.
"The Granstream Saga" greatest misluck was to be released on a console during a time period where Squaresoft was dominating with his products.

Sometimes a nice concept and a great story, with some nice, even if not perfect, graphic and music is not enough to pierce the market, even if, the players who tried this game, never forget it, probably, that's the best moral victory it could be achieved.

April 14, 2012

New Youtube account

Hola guys!

Just a short comunication to say that I changed my Youtube account and that my Let's Play will no longer be uploaded on the old one that I have already deleted.
Instead, my new account that you can find HERE will now host all my future videos

Nothing else to say, 'cept that a new "Let's talk about..." is coming very soon with a new RPG to analyze ^^

See ya!