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Pokemon Platinum


So, each generation of Pokemon games has a third version, which is always released about a year later and has a ton of cooler features than the prior two. Normally, I don't bother buying these games, but when this game came out, I had expendable income, so I bought it.


The third game in each generation tends to attempt to have a plot. In Yellow, it tied in some elements of the anime. In Crystal, some guy that really wanted to yiff Suicune stole the plot. Emerald... I didn't pay much attention, but it basically made it so that both sides of Ruby and Sapphire were evil, and you were the neutral party. In Platinum, you follow the trail of a Zenigata-type character and a man that seems to be the closest Pokemon will get to a Sephiroth type.


This brings me to an aside. We all know that the majority of cartoons are 22 minute adverts. This is no less true in Japan. For example, Zoids is a toy lien that was big in the 90s or 80s or something. They were windup toy robots that you built yourself. It had a mild surge in popularity about 8 years back. They had three anime: Chaotic Century, New Century, and Fuzors. All three aired on Cartoon Network in some capacity. Fuzors was so bad that it was canned early on. It lost its grip on that balance that keeps a show like GI Joe or Transformers from wallowing in its Shilldom. Chaotic Century was the darker, Gundam-ish series, whereas New Century was the hot blooded, Pokemon-esque series. I bring this up, because no one I know liked Chaotic Century, and everyone remembers it. Inu-Yasha was the main character. I point this out, because this franchise did what Pokemon should do. Pokemon is a franchise where every product tries to get you to buy another product. You buy things in a circle. Gotta Catch em all.


The problem is that Pokemon is a children's game, and the anime is a show that has almost no serious plot. If you cater to the anime fans, then your plot can't be but so deep. This is very apparent when you play games in the third and fourth generations. Ruby and Sapphire's stories feature two organizations - Doomsday Cults bent on reviving their legendary pokemon to bring about a great flood or a great drought. "In order to expand the seas/land!" Gen 4 tops this the over-the-top "I want to end the world!" Big Bad. Really, it made me happy to be back in the first generations where a kid literally overthrows a criminal syndicate simply because they (literally) standing in his way. Really. If that guy had just stepped to the side to let Red enter the gym, Giovanni could've taken over the world. Silver's story in the sequel wasn't half bad either, a bad boy with daddy issues trying to find his dad and dismantle the remnants of his old man's gang. No, Cyrus is a fucking idiot. No fewer than three times in the game does someone tell him that unmaking the world as he plans would kill him too. Not only that, but his minions are idiots. The mooks in this game are unmatched in retardation*. "Boss wants to destroy the world... wait... I don't agree with that. But uh… I’m going to go ahead and follow him anyway."Or, his lieutenants, “Well, since this idiot is done trying to take over the world, let’s just go back to stealing stuff with all of our advanced technology.”


This brings me to a second aside.


The Pokemon games take place in what is an interpretation Japan. Its been mapped out. Characters and places have refered to other continents and countries in canon. Now, if you want to expand the seas, why do you want to cause a great flood? You already live on an island chain that's surrounded by ocean. Hell, if that's not secluded enough, why not just try to take over Hawaii or some island in the pacific. And, the idea with the drought is so stupid that I can't even begin. I'm pretty sure that's just going to bring about the apocalypse. Of course, it’s only natural that after trying to completely fuck up the planet, that the people of this world decide that they should try to mess with the deities that created the world.**



The game plays a lot like every other Pokemon game. I guess that goes without saying. The interface is only slightly improved. The graphics engine was changed in order to fix some glitches, and about eight new “formes” were introduced, meaning new movesets and making the aforementioned God Pokemon actually playable… because apparently they sucked in Diamond and Pearl. The characters have winter clothes, which is really just an excuse to see the heroine in another miniskirt. Postgame stuff was added, but that’s all a bunch of junk that cheats anyway.


* Let's just ignore the whole, "You're breaking into our secret base, so let's fight Pokemon instead of killing you," thing.

** I am still slightly bothered by the fact that I currently have enslaved all of the Gods of Pokemon.

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On the wiki.

Released last August, as I recall, I finally finished the DLC chapters of Disgaea 3, which happens to make the game fall under my criteria for the goal. It must be a game that I haven't already completed. Its a good thing I stopped at just completing the story chapters, because the grinding means I probably won't be done with this game for a while. There are six DLC items that you earn by getting a high score. I might try to deal with that later.

The plot of the Disgaea series is relatively scant. The first and third games are the video game equivalent of slice-of-life anime, only not as boring. The second game has a plot, but its not very enjoyable, so no one really mentions it. Really, the side games are where he plot should remain, Phantom Brave and Soul Nomad are both very good games in that regard. The story focuses on Mao, the son of the Dean of Evil Academy, a Netherworld where the entire planet is a giant school for demons. Think of it like Bizarro World. The story is kicked off when Almaz, a nondescript human hero, arrives to slay Mao's father. Hilarity ensues. The plot isn't nearly as deep as the first game, which wasn't all that deep, and the second game feels like A Game of Thrones in comparison. If you've watched an anime, you know where the story will go at any given time.

The game plays like the first two, though its streamlined so that you can skip animations, check stats quickly, and get the camera situation worked out. Its amazing that it took five games to get those things right, but at least they did. Tactics are important up until you start grinding near the end, especially the post-game bosses. Fuck tactics at that point, you need a bigger sword.

The graphics are the same for the series, and have been a point of contention for retards. The PS3 is a powerful console, and the detail definitely went into the stages and complexity of some levels. The characters are still sprites, but I don't really mind that. I'll skip on graphics if the content is increased.

Also, its one of the few PSTriple exclusives.
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Star Fox 64

Released originally on the Nintendo 64, in 1996. Rereleased on the Virtual Console.

This is the game that added "DO A BARREL ROLL" to the internet. And is the second most cited source of vidya furries turning to the fetish after Sonic the Hedgehog.

My brother was a gamer, I was the person that read the faqs to him so that he'd shut up and I could watch the game without having to play. Except water levels, I was always too afraid to watch those. Star Fox 64 is a classic now, which makes me feel very old. Two years ago, Zack, the part time shopkeep at the comic store was playing the VC for the first time ever. It was boggling to think that he didn't know how to unlock the secret paths, hard mode, and medals and stuff.

The game itself is a rail-shooter. You play as Fox, the head of a mercenary group, the titular Star Fox, to strike at the Tyrant Andross, whom is currently winning the war against Corneria. Somehow, four mercs are all that stands between Lylatt's survival and a giant monkey head. Well, there are dumber premises. WAY dumber. This one just skirts the line of plausibility. One of the hardest stages  (the hardest one) has the crew deciding that its a perfectly viable strategy for four men and a big honking mothership to punch through the most fortified area of the enemy's starfleet, thinking it the utmost stealth, seemingly forgetting that the last level was an ambush, and the level before that was a stealth mission that ended with them destroying a naval base. I dunno.

The mechanics are solid, as expected of something Miyamoto slapped his name on. There are moments that are difficult, the bosses can catch you off guard the first few times, but after a few tries, and some dexterity building, you learn to master a sort of button-mashing-riff.

The music is good, epic. Note that the first game had "The Saints Go Marching In" on the soundtrack, so there's a major improvement. Some characters (Slippy) could do with a mute. Its a shame his function is so useful, otherwise I'd kill him each mission just to cram a sock in it.

Multiplayer isn't half bad either, save the pain in the ass that is unlocking all the vehicles.

This is a must-play game. Its a staple of modern gaming, internet lore, and has held up decently enough after nearly 14 years. Trust me, like Sonic, nothing this series has done since this game is worth playing. This is as good as Star Fox gets before you start talking about Smash Bros.

RATING: 9/10
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Busy Busy, aren't I?

So, its been about three weeks, and I've learned lessons involving women, booze, friendship, several foreign languages, and that I may talk to myself more than I should.

Also that I never want to talk an Otaku girl again.

A growing time for all! Okay, the down and dirty:

8. Create a definitive bible for all of my works, in both book and wiki formats.

Construction goes well, thanks to wiki magic. Nowhere near done, of course.

9. Complete my Suite101 contract. [6/10] FAILED

For the best. I'll detail it later, but I don't plan on trying to rectify this one, simply because I have no time nor interest in grinding on that site.

14. Invent a complete conlang.

Construction goes good.  I have an alphabet and grammar structure. I just need to start making words, or something.

15. ‘Win’ NaNoWriMo.

November is a bad time for NaNoWriMo. I have next year to try again though. I'll detail this one later too.

19/20. Complete and Review 101 Games.

Just finished Star Fox 64, a game that has been out since 1996, but I have never finished. Expect the review to follow this.

21/22. Watch/Review 101 Movies.

Up to two here, Zombieland and Monty Python and the Holy Grail (which, I know you won't believe me, I honestly hadn't seen up until yesterday).

23. Learn to play Dungeons and Dragons

Done and done. I might as well make a post to commemorate something that I finished about a month ago...

December is upon us, and I plan to take another chunk out of this thing once finals end in a fortnight. Until then, nonreaders.


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Kelil Stephanos

April 2010

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