Confessions of a Classic Gamer



Thursday, March 27, 2003

Now Playing:
Legend of Mana (PSX)
Front Mission 3 (PSX)
Advance Wars (GBA)
Final Fight One (GBA)

I had a discussion with someone over ICQ last night, and it ended up turning into an RPG discussion. The guy I was having the discussion with shares a love of fighting games with me, but we'd never discussed RPGs before. He's the type of RPG lover that likes story over gameplay, and whose favorite RPG is the recently released Xenosaga, a game raked over the coals by some reviewers for having most of the game be cutscenes and dialogue.

There's nothing wrong with a game that has a great story. Duh. I mean, who says, "Ugh, story! That sucks, dude. I like a game with NO story." LOL

However, is there such a thing as 'too much of a good thing'? You bet your ass there is. ^,^

The point of a game is to PLAY. That's why I've become rapidly turned off by turn-based RPGs as of late. Games in the vein of Final Fantasy, or even (gasp) Dragon Quest/Warrior are starting to completely bore me, especially if I've already played through it. However, turn based games like Advance Wars or Front Mission 3 are fun and exciting. What's the difference? Decisions.

In a standard turn-based RPG, your characters earn levels and items and abilities, and those allow you to do better in combat. Certain weapons and items work better versus certain enemies, and it's having this knowledge that makes or breaks you in combat. Other than picking which attack or item or technique to use off of a menu, in combat you do very little. If you run up against a group of five enemies, and you know what type of attack to use against them, you just constantly select attacks of that type while keeping your party healthy and you're fine. If you level up enough, nothing in the game can stop you. You're guided along in a story with (usually) few variations, making it what I call an 'RPG on Rails'. You're basically along for the ride. A $50 ride.

In a turn-based tactical RPG, you have the same things: the strengths and weaknesses and the choices you make. However, in Tac-RPs you generally have a few things that deviate from the typical turn-based game.

1) The story isn't 100% linear. Generally you're given some control.

2) You can't constantly level up to win. The enemies raise their levels to be on par with yours.

3) You have more customization of your characters. You're usually allowed to customize almost everything about your characters in combat, which leads me to:

4) Combat takes place on a large, terrainous grid, and, much like in chess, you move your party about the battlefield. You have a very proactive role in the fate of your party, not just in picking things off a menu, but also using tactics in party/troop placement to try and win. Usually, you're up against overwhelming odds and tactics must be used to avoid annihilation.

Tac-RPs are much more involved than any turn-based RPG. That's a fact, and the stories can be just as good, as proven by games like Final Fantasy Tactics and the Front Mission series.

Which brings me to Adventure RPGs, something I mentioned yesterday. Emphasis is on manual exploration and discovery, with manually controlled combat. It's not like a beat-em-up, but it's fairly close in some cases. RPG + Beat-em-up with good atmosphere and variety = fantastic RPG, no matter how great the story is. The emphasis isn't on the story in these games, but rather, on the adventure, thus the title it was originally given.

I had that review for Legend of Mana yesterday, so if you want a good example of an Adventure RPG, go read that. =) It will answer any questions you have, I'm sure.

I've been thinking about getting a webcam for some time now, and it looks as though I'm going to finally do it. My wife and I have finally agreed on getting one (she didn't want to be caught in the background of the pics before). I will probably use it for both my personal blog and this one as well, so look for a slightly different format soon. =)
Beni - 11:15 AM

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Now Playing:
Legend of Mana (PSX)
Front Mission 3 (PSX)
Seiken Densetsu 3 (SNES)
Guilty Gear X: Advance Edition (GBA)
Final Fight One (GBA)

Which Guilty Gear X character are you?

This part of my entry is actually a cross-post with my personal Blog - Grey Eyed Demon. Only click on that link if you want to read about my ups and downs and personal life, which most people don't want to do, and that's perfectly fine. ^_^ You have been warned.

Anyway, playing GGX:AE reminded me that I had taken a GGX "What Character Are You" quiz with my wife one time. Ironically, I ended up as my favorite character, Venom, by answering each question truthfully (though on a couple of them, a combination of two of the choices would have been more accurate, that is a fault of the test). It's kinda cool knowing that you have a personal link with a favorite character. I often pick characters for their personalities as often as I do for aesthetic reasons. At any rate, I took the test again, and still ended up as Venom, as you can see from the picture above. It's a pretty fun test. I recommend any fans give it a shot. My wife, Jessica, ended up as Axl Low, by the way.

The reason why all this ties in with today's blog is because it got me thinking about other games that I'd had a personal connection with. Of all of these, none was greater than Legend of Mana, a game you would never think of when taking a Guilty Gear personality test, certainly.

I got Legend of Mana during a tumultuous part of my life. I'm not going to go into famous detail here, but if you want to read about it, you can, indeed, go to my personal blog. I decided to make this a cross-post, since I know not all of the people who read my blog want a long and detailed story about the events in my life during the time I first acquired Legend of Mana.

The game was nothing short of epiphanous for me. It expanded the realm of gaming for me so much that I almost couldn't stand it. It had everything I'd ever wanted in a game, right there on one disc. Anyone who knows me well could tell you how seriously I take my games. If you could open my mind and view the contents, you would be able to make three simple piles of things that I find importance in. One, family and friends. Two, writing and creativity. Three, gaming. Games are a big part of my life, and everyone knows it.

Anyhow, the game itself so beautiful, so perfect, so magnificent that I've not found it's equal since. It's far and away my favorite RPG. So why did I sell it? Again, the blog. I'll give you the short version here:

Events in my life at that time tainted my experience with the game, and that, along with the actions of certain individuals, ruined the experience completely. I sold it because I felt like I didn't want to play it any longer. I didn't want to associate those negative feelings with such a wonderful experience as Legend of Mana. I didn't want the most brilliantly concieved RPG ever to be associated with all of that. I figured I'd just buy it again later when my life was less complicated.

Enter now: my life is less complicated. It has been for about eight months now, and so I actively have begun to seek it now that I'm bringing closure to the terrible events of the past five years. As such, two RPGs that meant a lot to me and my wife at the time of those events have been acquired by us, to enjoy them in the way that they were meant to be enjoyed. One is, as mentioned, Legend of Mana. The other is Front Mission 3, my wife's personal favorite. Both of us enjoy both games about equally, I'd think, but whereas LoM was the big one for me, FM3 was the big one for her. As such, for us to find copies of both of them in the same day was nothing short of a miracle, a destined event. Truly, we have been blessed. ^,^

At any rate, even if you've never played a Mana/Seiken game before, Legend of Mana is a thing to behold. I highly recommend it to anyone who A) Likes RPGs and B) Has a SOUL. The game is beautiful and enthralling, and you will be sucked into the world from minute one.

I'll try to get through the intro without too many spoilers. The premise of the game is that the world has ended. That's right. Boom. The world is GONE. The Mana Tree (the centerpiece of every Mana adventure) was destroyed, and with it, the world began to crumble. However, a mysterious force was able to trap the essence of certain places in the world (and therefore, the people in it) and freeze them in time, locking them away in artifacts.

This is the part where it gets confusing: Enter the Hero/Heroine - You. How you got there is beyond comprehension at this point. The reason you have been summoned here is because the world needs to be rebuilt, and the stronger the world becomes, the closer to reviving the Mana Tree you are. Apparently, the only inhabitants of this world (Fa'Diel) who know what's really going on are the little leafy ones known as Sproutlings. They serve as your guides for the majority of the adventure, giving you insight into the reality behind the illusions.

Confused? Well if you are, tough. ^_^ The further you get into the game, the more information you get, and by the end... well, I won't ruin it of course, but let's just say that some of what you do and see can be interpreted in different ways, which is one thing that makes this game unique. Ten people can play this game and each could have a different experience.

The visuals and sound draw you in. The game is almost 100% 2D beauty, and what beauty it is to behold. The backgrounds, the characters, the places you go and the people you meet. Everything is so beautiful. The music is equally so, and defies describing. I don't think I'll even try. ^_^ Let's just say it's the best RPG music I've ever heard and leave it at that. It's like playing a fairytale, a storybook, and nothing I've ever seen has come this close to visual and aural perfection.

I could go on and on, but I'll move on to the meat of the game: the gameplay itself.

The game is what is referred to as an 'Action RPG'. I prefer to call it by it's old name, 'Adventure RPG'. Adventure RPGs place emphasis on exploration, discovery, and manually controlled combat (as opposed to turn based combat). The player roams around to various areas as the become available, exploring their depths, going on quests, buying and selling items, talking to people, fighting... the usual. What makes this game unique is the sheer amount of things to do, and the variety of ways in which you can do them. Not only will you possibly not get the same artifacts in the same order as another person, but you might not place them in the same places in the world, affecting monster strength and elemental affinity as well. Days of the week even affect things.

Eventually, through the course of the game you will be able to: grow your own garden of useful vegetables, capture and breed monsters of varying kinds that you can take with you on adventures, create your own weapons and armor and imbue them with elemental strength and special properties and even naming them, create a golem to fight by your side (and even affect the way he acts with various logic patterns), go on quests and side quests that take you into new lands, meet and fight alongside new characters, and, when it's all over, you can do it again with your current character, picking up things that you missed the first time through. The game is like 'The Neverending Story'. The adventure only ends when you want it to.

The game is non-linear for the most part. You can revisit most areas as many times as you want, and you'll be doing a lot of that. Finding elusive items and materials is fun, and lends a lot of 'side-value' to the game. That's what I look for in most games, especially RPGs. It has to have many parts of the game that are continuous, yet they are technically optional or can be revisisted and affect the game in a major way. Almost everything in LoM does this, which makes it the perfect game for me.

I won't go any deeper into it, as I think I've made my point. My view of the game is also very skewed, due to the fact that it suits me and what I think of as a good game so well that it's difficult to be unbiased. Some people didn't like the non-linear and open-ended nature of the game. To me, that's what made the game (gameplay wise, anyway) fun and eternally enjoyable.

I recommend you buy it and try it if any of this sounds interesting to you. Maybe you, like me, will get drawn into an unforgettable, never-ending adventure.
Beni - 4:48 PM

Monday, March 24, 2003

Now Playing:
Seiken Densetsu 3 (ZSNES)
Final Fight One (Gameboy Advance)
Metal Slug (Arcade/MAME)
Guilty Gear X - Advance Edition (Gameboy Advance)

Still enjoying Final Fight One. It's not very deep, but it's my only portable beat-em-up. Plus, I haven't unlocked EVERYTHING yet, so I'm still plugging away at it. =)

I let the batteries on my SP totally drain this weekend. I was playing FFO and then wanted to show Jess something on the computer, so I closed it and forgot I left it on. The next day I picked it up again and it was dead, and I had left my charger at work. =) LOL It's okay, I was playing Seiken Densetsu 3 and the original Metal Slug all weekend anyway, so it's not like I was bored.

Well, what about Guilty Gear X? To be honest, I wasn't expecting much after lackluster reviews elsewhere, but those types of reviews are often misguided and written by jaded game reviewers. I, for one, very much enjoyed GGX on the Dreamcast, and I was looking forward to seeing what it was like on the GBA. I came in not expecting much, but I came away with an excellent (given the circumstances) port of the DC fighter.

I won't explain the premise behind GGX. It's a one-on-one fighting game. What more do you need to know? Now I love what little story there is in many fighting games as much as the next guy, but unless you've played the original GGX in it's pure form, you shouldn't be all that concerned with this review anyway... and since I'm assuming you already have, you already know the story and all that hullabaloo, so I'm skipping it, okay? Good.

GGX features all of the characters and all of the moves from the DC version. Yes, that's right. That means all of the Roman Cancels, air dashing, air combos, Overdrive attacks and Destruction (kill) moves are available to you. Anything you could do in the DC version you can do in the GBA version, and that's very nice. It should be standard in games of this type, but sometimes it's not (*coughcough*TEKKENADVANCE*coughcough*). Sammy did a good job in this respect, retaining not only the ebb and flow of the fighting in GGX, but also a perfect moves list.

The animation and sprites... well, lets just say you can see the limitations Sammy ran up against in this department. Though GGX fans fell in love with the high-resolution graphics, amazing animation, and scaling effects in combat, they'll find none of that here. In addition, the backgrounds, once lush and full of life, are simple bitmaps with none of the bits of animation we once found. Adding that fact to the lack of scaling makes the once impressive backgrounds seem dull and ordinary. They did well with the character animations for the most part, and you can always tell what your characters are doing. They left in a good deal of framage, all things considered.

Of course, the GGX experience wouldn't be complete without the hard rock/metal music that GGX fans have been jamming to since Day One. However, I can think of one word that perfectly describes the music in GGX: Advance Edition. "Cute." They reproduced all of the kickass music from the original in this miniature edition, but it's all midi, so it simply sent me into giggle fits when I heard it. I even turned right to Jessica and said, "It's so CUTE!" So from badass to cute. That's not so bad.

The sound effects, however, leave much to be desired. In addition to the annoyingly sharp (and way too loud) "clang!" noise that seems to be the most used (try going through the options/color change menu), there are a smattering of biffs and bops, most of them drowned out by the music. It's a good thing, too, because the sound effects are just bothersome. In the original, there was tons of voice work rather than a great deal of sound effects. Not content with everyone just yelling out one thing, Sammy actually put in a variety of sound bytes for the same moves/poses to mix things up and add flavor, and it worked. Since there's almost no voice work in GGX:AE (and what little is there is so quiet that I only recently discovered it existed), the lack of good sound effects really stands out. I very much miss playing Venom (my fave) and hearing "HEADO MORIBIDO!" and "Game-o setto da..." That's an omission I wished they didn't have to make.

So, have you noticed a pattern here? Most of my complaints are cosmetic only. The lack of high-res sprites and sweet animation, the great music and voice work... what are you left with. Why, the game of course!!!

GGX:AE is actually a really great fighting game for the GBA. WHen you strip away all the aesthetic things that made this game stand out, you see what's left. You see the foundation upon which the series was founded: a great fighting game. If anyone who is a GGX fan goes into this thing goes into this thing with an open mind and comes out disappointed, well then they aren't a true GGX fan. The game is all here, and there's even MORE to have fun with!

The original GGX didn't feature the cool extra things that the Advance Edition has. First of all, and most notable, there's a tag team mode and even a 3-On-3 mode! Making teams to fight in GGX is great, and it features a nice mix of team-based styles seen in other games. Also, in addition to being able to unlock an alternate version of your character, you can now unlock TWO different and distinct versions, each with their own set of moves and (especially in the case of Ky Kiske) different animations.

Finally, the notable inclusion of a color edit feature is very nice, even if you can only make a single new costume for each character. There are already a great deal of colors available, too.

All in all, GGX:AE stands alone as a fantastic fighting game on the GBA. After you've stripped away the fluff, the real fight begins. Portable GGX is everything it's cracked up to be. =)

In other news: I'm salivating over the very few screenshots and very nice wallpapers released so far for the next Seiken Densetsu game, this time for the GBA (as I'd hoped). It looks like Legend of Mana 'Lite', and that's fine by me. It even has Nikita and Lil' Cactus if the official sites' wallpapers are any indication.

Speaking of which, my current wallpaper is one from the official site for the new game, of course. It's one where the heroine of the game is featured in a myserious green-blue background. The beautiful heroine is featured in a semi-nude pose, holding her hands together over her chest, her eyes closed and a serene smile upon her face. Kirei...! It's very non-sexual, though, so don't get the wrong idea about the picture. It's simply very natural, which fits in with the vein of the Seiken Densetsu series, which always features nature as the focus. It's a very nice background. It also features the 'Mana Tree' logo in the corner, of course. I switch between that one and her 'action' background, where she's running with her magic staff. What can I say? I love the females of Seiken Densetsu! ^_^ All of the characters are cool, though, and they have more charm and personality than any I can think of.

Best. RPGs. Ever.

Anyhow, I'm playing through Seiken Densetsu 3 right now, mixing it up with different character combinations. Right now I'm playing as Charlotte with Duran and Hawk as my partners. I love this game. ^,^

Anyway, I can't read Japanese, or I'm sure I'd be cramming this page with every scrap of information from the official site. I'll just have to wait for one of the gaming websites to translate it for me. =/ Waiting is the hardest part. All I want is an official US release date so I can mark it on my Calendar and request the day off of work. ^_^ LOL


Beni - 5:00 PM

Friday, March 14, 2003

Now Playing:
Fire Pro Wrestling 2 (Gameboy Advance)
Gradius Galaxies (Gameboy Advance)
Final Fight One (Gameboy Advance)
Advance Wars (Gameboy Advance)
Guilty Gear X (Gameboy Advance)

Wowee. It's been a while.

Don't think I haven't been busy. In fact, my other blog contains the gritty details of what's been occupying me most of the time, but in my spare time I've been enjoying the wonders of my Gameboy Advance SP.

As you can see from the list above, I have quite a few new games. I have been playing my GBA almost exclusively, save a few bouts on the Dreamcast... or should I say bouts WITH the Dreamcast?

Alas, the Dreamcast that we just bought late last year to replace the one taken away from us is dying. The motor is giving out on the reader and needs to be replaced. However, for the same price as a motor online I can just go buy another DC at Gamestop or EB Games, so I'm not too keen on the idea of replacing the motor. However, I can still keep the messed up DC for spare parts.

So, how was I playing with a busted motor? Much like Spike of Cowboy Bebop fame, I hit it. A lot. If I bang it around enough it starts to work. It just takes a little time, but I needed my KOF fix. =)

At any rate, I have quite a few new games for the GBA, and I'm going to do short reviews of them here to get things kicking, now that I'm back in the swing.

Fire Pro Wrestling 2

My wife and I enjoy watching the WWE every Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. We love the stories, the wrestlers, the divas. We love it all. The hype, the pomp, the Big Poppa Pump. Watching so much of it put me in the mood to check out a new wrestling game, but since I lack a PS2, the current best WWE game (WWE Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth) is unavailable to me. Lo and behold, the GBA steps up to the plate, and in a totally unexpected fashion.

Obviously, I prefer 2D to 3D in almost any case. Still, to have a 2D wrestling game go so far above and beyond any currently released 3D wrestling game in quality, fun, authenticity, and variety is impressive. The Fire Pro series is a long-running series of Japanese wrestling games. They include athletes from all circles of wrestling, from their own sects of Japanese fighters to Mexican Luchadors, all the way to the WWE and our American rosters. They are known for their quality and authenticity above all else, with a Create-A-Wrestler (CAW) mode to beat all. In addition, the gameplay is so strategy-centered that simply mashing buttons could never get you anywhere. It's all about timing and choices in Fire Pro.

Each game improves upon the one before it, and the series made it's move to the GBA about the time the system was released. However, unlike every Fire Pro game before it, this one had an American release. Thus Fire Pro was finally brought to the masses, whereas before the only way to enjoy the games was to import them and suffer through the Japanese menus.

The game met with moderate success, and so they released another one, Fire Pro Wrestling 2 (known as Final Fire Pro in Japan). After reading the reviews and finding out that (sadly) there was little difference between 1 and 2, and that 2 was slightly superior, I went against my normal instinct (start at part 1, so to speak) and got Fire Pro 2.

I could rant and rave all day about how good it is. I really could. I play it every day, and there are few games that I can say that I have played every single day for three weeks straight.

Not a single day has passed without me unlocking a new wrestler, modifying and creating my own, or simply watching the computer throw down in an exhibition battle royale dream match! The CAW option is very fun, and since they changed the names and color schemes of our favorite WWE superstars, you can opt to go in and change them to look more authentic, though each and every signature move is represented.

The animation for the moves is also incredible, and much better than any game of it's type. The moves are very believable, and when you see it, you know exactly what it is that you saw.

The music is awful. Yes, awful. It's NES quality, which wouldn't be bad if it was composed well. The music actually detracts from the experience sometimes, so much so that I often play in silence.

The crowd noises and such are passable, and even fun, when late in the match a wrestler will do their finishing move and the crowd goes nuts, or when a heel (bad guy) executes an illegal attack, the crowd boos. They even chant along with the 1! 2! 3! pinfall if the match has been drawn out long enough. It really feels like wrestling.

I recommend it to any wrestling fan willing to put some effort into a game that tests your strategy and timing as well as your imagination, rather than your ability to mash on the buttons.

Gradius Galaxies

I love shmups. Who doesn't? Okay, most people don't, but there are many who do. Some of the bestest shmup players (okay, maybe not the bestest, but definetly the nicest) convene at Shmups, and more specifically, the Shmups Shooterforum.

It is there that I learned of Gradius Galaxies, a GBA Gradius game. Obviously, I needed to get this game, and shortly after recieving my GBA SP, I found a copy of it at my local Gamestop.

Joy to the world.

Let me start out by saying that I love the Gradius series. It's my favorite shooter series, despite the fact that I am (by and large) a vertical shmup fan by nature. The series is known for it's variable powerup system and it's hardcore challenge. Needless to say, I'd like to be further in the game than level 6 right now, but I'm not. ^,^ Then again, I haven't been playing it nonstop like usual due to the volume of new games I've gotten.

For those not familiar with Gradius, it's shmup (shoot-em-up) which scrolls horizontally. You control a ship called the Vic Viper, which can be powered up beyond it's slow-ass basic speed and weak-ass basic shot. You pick up red powerups (usually left behind by waves of enemies or red enemies) and for each one you pick up, you progress one highlighted space on the powerup meter at the bottom of the screen. The powerups are: SpeedUp (obvious), Missile (you drop missiles on the enemies), Double (you fire one shot forward and one diagonally up), Laser (your shots turn to penetrative lasers), Option (a small orb floats beside you, shadowing your actions and shooting when you shoot), and '?' (which is the Shield).

You can get the powerups in any order (so long as you've progressed down the meter), and even double powerup on some... and trust me, you're gonna need em. It's not too difficult compared to some of the Gradius games, but it's got it's own unique flavor. This is added to by the addition of 4 variations of Vic Viper to pick from and two shield styles. Variety is nice.

One of the additions in this game that seems new is the Tips section. Here, you can choose to view a playthrough of each section of each level once you've reached it. This helps novices get through those tight spots that gave them trouble.

Autosaving high scores and apparently unlockable options make this one a keeper, far and away. I never thought I'd have Gradius on the go, and now I do. All is right with the world.

Final Fight One

I love me some beat-em-ups. I think I've made that clear already. Now that I've one-credited this little bad-boy, I can give you the lo-down, the skinny, and the daily post all at the same time.

Final Fight was the first great beat-em-up. As I've stated before, beat-em-ups, to me, are defined as those which feature your character beating up bad guys in a pseudo three dimensional environment, i.e. you have the ability to move your character forward into the foreground and backward into the background, as well as left and right. Examples (other than Final Fight) include the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade games, Aliens vs Predator, and Golden Axe.

I'm writing the rest of this assuming you know Final Fight. ^_^

The graphics are actually somewhat improved upon with this version of the classic arcade game. The sprites seem cleaner and placed at a higher resolution. The music benefits from the transition as well, though without headphones, I cannot tell you how well the bass carries over. The speaker on my SP makes things a little tinny. The fighting order has changed, though, and unless my brain is failing, (and it's not) many things are in different places. It actually makes the game easier 90% of the time.

All three characters (Cody, Guy, and Haggar) are in this, unlike the odd SNES versions. All of the levels seem normal except for a few differences (other than the aforementioned pecking order). First, there are anime-style cutscenes between boss fights, though the opening and ending have not changed. In the case of Rolento and Sodom, who have appeared in the Street Fighter Alpha series, they have their SFA3 pictures during these scenes. They don't do anything more than add a little extra between levels.

The female fighters, like Poison and Belladonna, have been replaced with 'Spike' and another one whose name escapes me. They act exactly the same (flip kicks and jumping flips), but look different. I guess for some reason Capcom omitted those sexy bitches because of their revealing clothing. They could have just put a shirt on them. Oh well. Most of the blood has been removed as well, leading me to believe Capcom was more interested in making sure the game got an 'E' rating by the ESRB than anything.

Think about this: if Firepro got a 'T' just for the tiny amount of blood that occasionally appears, and not for the violence, and thereby Final Fight One got an 'E' because they took out the bitches and blood, then I'm quite surprised. I mean, you slam people with lead pipes, stab people with knives, you slash them with a sword, you get grenades and molotov coctails thrown at you, you watch people start on fire, you violate a motorized vehicle, get shot by a revolver by one boss and a harpoon gun by another and throw a guy out a 50 story window AND, in addition, if you lose, you get to watch your favorite character get blown up by dynamite while he's tied to a chair, trying desperately to escape.

If that's 'E for Everyone' then I'm Art Garfunkel. It doesn't really matter, just a minor gripe. They could have left everything in and gotten a 'T' rating and the same people would have bought it.

Anyway, there are some additions to the game that are pleasant, like the ability to eventually select extra versions of Guy and Cody (their incarnations from the Alpha series), which are very cool, and come with their own 'back to the future' sort of side-story, costume change options, rapid punching and things of that nature. Flavor to add to a classic which, by and large, belongs in any serious beat-em-up fans collections.

Advance Wars

Oh boy. I was dreading writing this review, and for the most part, I'm not going to. It's not that the game is bad, it's that the game is TOO GOOD. I could write for hours on all the tactical goodness that is bundled into that tiny little cartridge. Everyone and their brother has given this game a perfect 10, and now that I've beaten it and am still enjoying the hell out of it, I concur. 10 out of 10. Five Stars. 100%. Whatever your rating system, Advance Wars is tops. Period. Best game on the GBA so far. Go read someone else's review. Mine would be too long.

Sonja 0wnZ j00!!

Guilty Gear X: Advance Edition

I also got this game, but I'm out of time. I'll have to write about it tomorrow.

Beni - 4:23 PM




As gaming sinks further into mainstream mediocrity, I choose to step out of that vile mookish black hole... Going back to a time when we gamed for gaming's sake.