Skywind Development Video Feature

Posted in DLC, Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, mods, Open World Games, PC Gaming, Retro-gaming, RPGs on April 22nd, 2014 by thelonegamer

One of the most godly mods ever is coming.

What can I say? The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim is one of my favorite games ever, and I’m still damn playing it about three years after release. Mods, man. Mods are the culprit. They’ve changed the game graphically so that it looks like a next-gen (or at least now-gen) game, made the gameplay infinitely more playable and immersive than it ever was out of the box, and adds content continually day by day it seems that makes it all feel new. I honestly see myself playing it throughout this year and beyond.

And then there’s THIS mod. Skywind. It’s basically bringing Morrowind, or the Elder Scrolls III, into the Skyrim engine, and it’s looking freakin’ fantastic. It’s a huge undertaking that Bethesda should truly feel great about; is there any other game franchise that has inspired this amount or level of fan-made content?

There’s still no release date of this monumental mod, but once it arrives- man, I really hope this turns out as great as it looks. Will I do a Let’s Play with it? Almost certainly (not Vryll though- perhaps a distant relative? Hahaha). We’ll cross that bridge when we get there though. For now, enjoy the feature video above and dream of the adventures to come.

SkyWind Trailer: Expanding the World of Tamriel

Posted in Action Adventure, DLC, Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, Fan Service, Fantasy, Game-related Events, Gaming, Open World Games, Retro-gaming, RPGs on December 4th, 2013 by thelonegamer

This spot should send chills of delight through the spine of any Elder Scrolls fan.

There are mods and expansions, and then there’s THIS. For the longest time, there’s been an effort by fans and modders to convert the land of Morrowind- as in, the whole package of the Elder Scrolls IV Morrowind- into the Skyrim engine. Well, that seems to be going along very well, since the team has just released a new trailer showing off their work. The spot is patterned after the classic Skyrim trailer, albeit set to the more subdued but no less enchanting musical score of Nerevar Rising, the Morrowind theme. What can we expect from this expansion/retro-installment of Morrowind into Skyrim? We can expect a whole continent of new quests, a whole new epic storyline that’s just as dense and probably far more complex than Skyrim’s as you take on the role of the Nerevarine.

And it will all look far better on the more advanced engine. Oh, and it will all be FREE.

Keep that copy of Skyrim handy. This one is something really, really special.For now, bask in the trailer and dream of giant mushrooms.

Hyper Light Drifter: WOW. Just… WOW.

Posted in Action Adventure, DLC, Fantasy, Gadgets, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, Ouya, PC Gaming, PS4, PSP Vita, Retro-gaming, Videogame Artworks, WiiU on November 4th, 2013 by thelonegamer

A world inspired by dreams and nightmares. Yep, that sounds about right.

Kickstarter and Indiegogo are awesome. Well, barring any potential mishaps or hanky-panky, the possibility for wonderful yet unfortunately underfunded ideas, concepts and in this case games to see the light of day is truly a great thing. Many months ago the first-ever such venture I funded (on Indiegogo) was Skullgirls, which went on to smash its initial goal and earn enough to keep the game updating with new characters for the foreseeable future.

How here’s THIS game, Hyper Light Drifter by Heart Machine, which I just saw a while ago on Kotaku. Nope, it’s already done and gotten its financing, exceeding its initial goal of $27,000 and earning, oh, $645,000(!!!), which nicely means this game is on its way for its mid-2014 release on pretty much every platform except iOS and Android.

Which is GREAT since the game looks gobsmackingly stunning. It’s got the retro look of SNES games in our wildest, glossiest memories coupled with more modern takes like Sword and Sworcery and elements of enchanting worlds like Zelda, Mana, Final Fantasy and even sprinklings of Miyazaki and Moebius. Suffice to say the trailer above has made me want to break out my PayPal password and throw some cash at this beauty.

Anyway, that’s no longer necessary- let’s all just wait for it to come sometime next year. I’ll probably be getting this on PC and on my Vita. To keep us reminded, I’ll post the trailer here on the blog. Check it out and see if it doesn’t inspire you to dream yourself. Wowness.

You can find out more about the game on its Kickstarter Page.

Live-action Fantasy Videogame Shorts Bring Action, Nostalgia!

Posted in Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, Fan Service, Game to Movies, Game-related Events, Gaming, Retro-gaming, RPGs, Videogame Comedy on January 22nd, 2013 by thelonegamer

I LOVE videogame-based short films. Most of those I usually see are based on fighting games, but there are as well a fair number of fantasy shorts being debuted on Youtube- one of the more recent ones being the one below; a Skyrim-based feature entitled Shattered Shield. The premise is fan-service friendly- a female shieldmaiden (not a Housecarl?) is off to avenge her slain master (which we assume was the Dragonborn…!). Quite a bit of bloody and magical action ensue…

Fast Tube by Casper

Revenge is best served blonde! Heheh…

Now, you can of course point out that the characters’ costumes, particularly of our lead heroine’s, were a bit too clean- they could have done with a nice healthy bit of grime and grit. Casting of course was slightly iffy with the mercenaries all looking like they had the CBBE Slim Male Body mod installed (heheh), but at least the haughty evil mage was pretty good in delivering his lines. The Summoned Daedra Lord at the end was pretty cool, though I think it would have added a lot if he fought two-handed and constantly yelled threats like a proper reaver from Oblivion should. As well, why did the Asian Nightingale help the heroine? I guess the slain Dovahkiin managed to finish the Thieve’s Guild questline before he died. Heheh.
Despite it all, I still appreciate the effort and enthusiasm into this flick. More Skyrim is never a bad thing, particularly when I’m always hungry for more Dovah-action everywhere I go.

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Adventure Time!

And for a totally different tone, Dewey70 brings us his amusing docu-comedy about the classic fantasy title from Atari, Adventure! Honestly, this made me smile. The first minute or so perplexed me with Mr. D. sharing a conversation with himself ala Gollum from LOTR, but once he got into the Adventure telling and the videogame creatures started appearing, it was pretty amusing. Videogame quirkiness and nostalgia are a cool combination. And this kinda one-ups Shattered Shield by having dragons. Heheh.

Youtube is freakin’ awesome. Can’t wait to see what comes next.

Gaming Gems: Puzzle Quest (Challenge of the Warlords)

Posted in Action Adventure, Fantasy, Gadgets, Game-related Events, Gaming, iGaming, Match 3 Games, Mobile Games, My Stuff, Retro-gaming, RPGs on January 3rd, 2013 by thelonegamer

Not quite Skyrim meets Bejeweled, but still the best Match 3 RPG.

There are some games that are just so good, you can play them forever. Or, at least, will stay on your game device/library of choice indefinitely. This choice collection of titles for me includes the original Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords. Again, not a new game at all… it’s probably been ported to every console and gaming platform out there by now… but I just happened to look at my iPad and seeing the app icon I just began to wax nostalgic.

One of the first Match-3 RPG hybrids, Puzzle Quest took the Bejeweled style of gameplay and made it the fighting arena of choice between your chosen hero/heroine and various enemies in a pretty sizable fantasy realm. Various spells and powers came into play to affect matching gems and skulls in the field, and the battle would rage until one side was obliterated. Though there have been many, MANY Match-3 RPG titles since, I think none have ever surpassed the original PQ… not even its own sequel, Puzzle Quest 2.

Puzzle Quest’s long adventure is no LOTR, but it was loads of fun and had many a colorful character to encounter along the way.

My favorite aspect of PQ was the story, which followed your character throughout their illustrious adventuring career- from being just the son/daughter or a noble running errands for dear ol’ dad to managing a vast empire of captured cities and holds. Yep, in Puzzle Quest you can pretty much eventually take over the world as a benevolent conqueror, so that cities will pay you tribute like the badass fantasy capo don you are. While the story stays mostly the same (though choices probably vary depending on your character), you do have a choice in choosing your hero/heroine’s class, and this will affect gameplay. Fighters will have powers that directly assault the enemy, while mages have spells that affect the field and gems. There are quite a few classes and I’ve really only played ONE (a Wizard), so there’s tons of gameplay I can still get from PQ simply by starting another game as another class (and different gender).

Sadly, Puzzle Quest’s sequel took a different route, eschewing the more epic scale of the original for a more personal, smaller quest. While Puzzle Quest 2 has it’s appeal and is more intimate in the duels, I miss the anime style art, the huge map to explore, the empire-building and tinkering in my citadel, and general epic feel of the original.

At present, while the game has been ported to many platforms, Puzzle Quest is apparently unavailable on the Apple appstore (not sure if they’ll re-release it), which is just too bad.

Luckily I bought the game years ago from the appstore and still have it on my iPad right now (the iOS version is one of the best ports, I think), so I can always revisit this world anytime I want to. If you somehow missed this gem of a Bejeweled spinoff, try to find it. And once you do, grab it and don’t let go!

My Elder Scrolls Memories…

Posted in Action Adventure, Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, Fantasy, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, PC Gaming, PS3, Retro-gaming, RPGs, Xbox360 on November 10th, 2011 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

Need to brush up on your ES knowledge, Gamespot’s Bluffer’s Guide is a good start.

The way I’ve been posting about the impending release of Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, you’d think I was a hardcore fan who’s played every game. To be honest though, I’m not that hardcore.

My first foray into the Elder Scrolls universe and the world of Tamriel was with the Elder Scrolls III Morrowind, back on the original Xbox. It was one of the first discs I bought for the fledgeling anvil of a console. But even then, I have to say, the art style repelled me. Both the graphics and the very design and look of the world seemed more like some Sci-fi adventure than a Swords and Sorcery epic I pictured going in.

Besides that, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing… yeah, I wasn’t used to open-world, go-anywhere/do-anything games back then, and I just got lost. It didn’t help that I often found myself unable to navigate effectively, not being able to tell this or that building from the other, raising the frustration. But the last straw was the combat- though you struck in real time, it was all about stats and unseen dice rolling, which just didn’t jive with me. Ultimately I quit without even going through a third of the game (I think), which is my loss, but them’s the breaks.

The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion came several years later, and by then I was a changed person from the gamer I was before. I was captivated by the many videos and trailers, and thoroughly built up with the hype for this seemingly momentous, epic quest with previously-unheard of options and playability.
And well enough, Oblivion remains one of those games which I threw in an ungodly amount of time in. My character for the longest part was a guy named Cassius Rybeck, whom I weirdly enough decided would concentrate totally on Hand-to-Hand Unarmed Combat (Well, it was pretty much Boxing- CQC it ain’t). I got this idea from a thread in some forum, which claimed that a master fist-fighter was one of the most formidable combatants in the game. Somehow the idea of bashing a demon’s face in with just my bare hands clicked, and that was how I rolled for the whole game.
Well, actually it was kinda neat and worked most of the time- I spent pretty much all my fights bobbing and weaving in front of an enemy like Muhammad Ali, lashing out with punch-punch-BIG PUNCH to knock them down until they didn’t stand up no more. It worked, yes… though I had to work a lot of higher-level fights harder than you’d usually do armed with a magical sword or a super spell. Eventually I was forced to arm Mr. Rybeck with some magical blades for the most powerful foes- an actual weapon made fighting the most powerful Daedra less of a hassle.

Unfortunately I have to admit as well that I enjoyed the world of Cyrodiil a bit too much- to date, I haven’t actually finished the main quest, although I’ve gotten my dude to a pretty high level, own multiple properties throughout the realm, finished all of the Guild Quests and a lot of side stuff, and closed many an Oblivion Gate.
Perhaps I should fire up my old save and just take that one final step and just FINISH the damn game, just to close my Oblivion loose end forever and head into Skyrim fresh. Maybe. Or not. I’ll see later tonight.

Anyway, that’s my Elder Scrolls past. The future arrives in less than a day, hopefully, and from there a new hero will be born, into a new world of freakin’ awesome fun. Who knows… maybe I’ll actually even FINISH this game- although they did say that this game could actually go on forever (wow!). Everything else seems to pale right now in comparison. To Elder Scrolls V Skyrim then, gamers. Happy hunting.

The Fighting Game Story Mode: Past, Present and Future

Posted in Action Adventure, Dead or Alive, Dead or Alive: Dimensions, Fan Service, Fantasy, Fighting Games, Game Advertising, Game-related Events, Gaming, King of Fighters, King of Fighters XIII, Mortal Kombat, My Stuff, PS2, PS3, PSOne, Retro-gaming, Soul Calibur, Soulcalibur 5, Soulcalibur IV, Streetfighter, Streetfighter X Tekken, Tekken, Tekken 6, Tekken Blood Vengeance, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Virtua Fighter, Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, Xbox360 on September 22nd, 2011 by thelonegamer

Fast Tube by Casper

Soul Edge’s PS Intro: Always start a story with a rousing opening!

Ah, the Fighting Game genre. It’s certainly my most favorite of all videogame categories- my most beloved guilty pleasure in gaming. I’ve been playing fighters since I got into this hobby, from Streetfighter II on the Super NES to today’s Tekken 6 and Mortal Kombat remake. Many get into these games for the simple pleasure of owning someone else- the unabashed satisfaction of proving your dominance in the most blatant and base way possible- by sheer physicality or superior skill. Really, in the end, fighting games do of course boil down to a simple equation most eloquently shouted out by bloodthirsty masses in Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome- Two men enter, one man leaves. Well, sometimes Two women, or two THINGS. You get the picture, right?

Anyway, I think it’s a mark of a fan of these games themselves and not the sheer act of fighting that despite it being sheer gravy, that I put great importance on an aspect of these games that most often is glossed over- The Story.

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The Fight- and The Story- is All.

Why is all this fighting going on, anyway? Who’s the ‘good’ guy? Who’s the ‘bad’ buy? What’s at stake? Should we care? In all seriousness, it does add to the enjoyment of a story that we know the backgrounds of each and every single character in a fighting game’s often voluminous roster of Playables, and to follow their blood-slogging climb to the top of the tournament ladder. Drama, comedy, horror, evil, good, jealousy, courage… all encapsulated in what basically is about two guys hitting each other until one goes down and stays down.
Hell, if man going mano-y-mano with one’s fellow man didn’t make for good drama, then Homer’s Iliad wouldn’t have been certified a classic since the freakin’ Ancient Greeks. But hey, wouldn’t the Iliad make for a damn awesome fighter?

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MK didn’t always have great production values for it’s cutscenes…

This is probably something that fighting games spearheaded apart from other games- no longer did players fight to reach the end just to see a high score- they wanted to see an ENDING- something that couldn’t be quantified into any single number- but the satisfaction of reuniting your electronic avatar with his family, missing sibling or long-sought-after prize of revenge. Or a meeting with his country’s premier!

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Congratulations, comrade!

Anyway, relating a Fighting Game story has been done in various ways since the beginning. For the most part, the easiest and most expected way is the simple End Cutscene. Streetfighter II did it back in the day, rewarding the player’s victory over M. Bison with a bunch of screens with minimal animation and text. So effective was this that every game afterwards seemed to follow that same template- the ending was the reward, the narrative carrot dangled before the combatant. From SNK’s many brawlers like King of Fighters to Samurai Shodown to the original Mortal Kombat to every 90′s wannabee Streetfighter, it was all there in varying degrees of campiness.

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Your usual, run-of-the-mill Story Mode ending.

Of course there are a few games that didn’t bother to tell their story- the most significant being Sega’s Virtua Fighter series. All semblance of narrative was placed firmly outside the games, in arcane literature or dictated by actual game tournaments. In many ways, I think, that’s why VF has never found a certain closeness to gamers, with the most hardcore fans of this particular brawler more invested in game mechanics, frame counts and simple gameplay.

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Virtua Fighter’s Intro hints at a deeper story behind the fighters.

A benefit or detriment? Well, let’s just say that the fan support for VF, while rabid, is perhaps the smallest of all the big fighting game franchises. That’s not to say that the Virtua Fighters don’t have a story- it’s there, certainly, but just not being told as much. Perhaps when we are given a trail to follow and care for, perhaps that’s when VF will bloom to the emotional masses.

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A Tekken CG Ending waaaay back in the PSOne days.

As game technology and CG animation got better, ending cinematics became slicker and more elaborate. Perhaps the series that most surely chronicles not only it’s characters’ personal sagas but also visualizes the gradual leap of graphical and animation quality is Namco-Bandai’s Tekken series- from the very basic and simple end cutscenes of the first Tekken on the original Playstation, the cinematic cutscenes have raised the bar with every installment afterwards.

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Despite being an unpopular chapter, Tekken 4 placed more emphasis on story than most other installments in the franchise.

The series has now the reputation for these eye-catching cinematics, with perhaps the culmination of that reputation being the somewhat controversial Tekken: Blood Vengeance movie- perhaps the most complex cutscene yet for a fighting game.

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Tekken 6 endings are gorgeously animated, but the stories told range from the cool to the downright silly.

Ironically, Tekken 6′s Scenario Campaign is actually a very different way of telling the game’s story, albeit the mode proved unpopular with some players. I actually found this a very engaging and enjoyable mode, though perhaps it could do with some improvements.

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Mortal Kombat’s Story Mode is Epic in so many ways.

But CG visual quality isn’t the end-all and be-all of Fighting Game storytelling- Mortal Kombat proved this with it’s 2011 remake’s quite revolutionary Story Mode. It may have been a bit of a gamble on paper- a long and involved story told in real-time, in-engine graphics, visualizing the whole MK saga from the beginning to the future and back to the present, running many, many hours long and throwing the player into the boots of various warriors. But ultimately, it WORKED. Gamers got into the story, they loved it and acclaim for this way of doing the till-then tired Story Mode was pretty much universal. The one best thing about MK’s Story Mode? It showed one thing that other games always get wrong- The Ending is NOT the Story.
Mortal Kombat showed us that it was all about seeing the fighters’ tales unfold, seeing plots twist and turn and end up in outcomes we didn’t see coming and snowball to something we fear/await/dread was entertaining and kept us going hour after hour, through every fight till the very end.

Of course, MK isn’t the only fighter to have a long and involved Story Mode- just the most visible and perhaps the one boasting the highest production values. Truth be told though, 2D fighter Blazblue has a very involved and complex Story Mode as well, though told mostly in text or voice-driven static cutscenes but boasting multiple endings and paths, sometimes dictated by your victories or defeats.

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Blazblue’s anime-style storytelling makes for many hours of battle, voice-acting and battling voice-acting.

Dead or Alive Dimensions on the 3DS was able to summarize it’s entire enigmatic decades-long saga with it’s rather long but entertaining main Story mode (. The upcoming King of Fighters XIII will also boast a Story mode bursting with replay value for multiple playthroughs when it arrives later this year on consoles.

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The Soul Calibur series often featured interactive endings, where a button press could change the outcome.

Going back a bit, Namco-Bandai’s almost ill-fated Soul Calibur series has had a past filled with exceptional story modes. The original Soul Blade on PSOne had interactive endings where you could change the outcome of your fighter’s fate with a fast button press. Soul Calibur III had a Tales of Souls mode which boasted multiple paths and alternate endings- it encouraged multiple playthroughs so you could see all the possible endings and cutscenes, or unlock a very challenging boss encounter.

Sadly, SoulCalibur IV dropped many things from the previous installments, many of them conceivably fan favorite aspects that were sorely missed. Gone were the multi-aspect Story Mode and explorative minigames, in their place a generic Story Mode with a repetitive and generic cutscene and rather enigmatic endings. The Tower of Lost Souls, a challenging ladder game, proved to be more frustrating to many players than anything else. Perhaps the result? SoulCalibur IV was almost the last game in this long-running series, apparently only saved from the brink of oblivion by fan requests and support.

And so, what have we learned from all this? One important thing.

The Best Story Modes should be about The Journey, NOT the Ending. It’s about a story that’s compelling throughout, not just a prize waiting after all that’s said and done.

But would other fighters learn from this example? Only future fighters will tell. Or, perhaps, the next wave of fighters will.

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Soul Calibur IV’s Endings looked great, but the overall storytelling left much to be desired.

Soul Calibur V, set for release in First Quarter 2012, looks to have a Story Mode that hopefully has been influenced by recent games. Though we’ve yet to get any solid information on the gameplay, we’ve seen screens showing a map screen, which should bode well for the chance that this won’t simply be a series of fights leading to one ending. At the very least, cutscenes and a pathways chosen by the player may be included, and hopefully challenges and encounters that add and encourage replay- something the series is not a stranger to, as we’ve seen.

With the future of this fan-supported fighter perhaps lying in SCV’s performance, I’m hoping they make the story something that really gets players involved and wanting more of this Tale of Souls and Swords for years to come.

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Soul Calibur V, set 17 years after the last game, looks to have a story more dramatic than ever before.

With the current resurgence of Fighting Games as a popular genre in gaming, there will surely be more emphasis on the Story Mode. Thanks to Mortal Kombat’s high-profile success, we may expect even more epic storytelling to come from beat ‘em ups in the years to come. Hopefully we’ll see the Fighting Game story evolve into something truly enjoyable and interactive for gamers, so that our favorite fighters continue on and have their Tales Eternally Retold.

It's a Book, it's a Game, it's a GAMEBOOK!

Posted in Action Adventure, Gaming, iGaming, iPhone, Mobile Games, My Stuff, Retro-gaming, RPGs on February 11th, 2010 by thelonegamer

Wow, does this bring back memories…

Back when I was a kid, we didn’t have PSPs or DS’s or even mobile phones that could play cool games. Scratch that- we didn’t have mobile phones, period. Back then, RPG’s were played with actual dice, pens and paper, with flesh-and-blood players and a Dungeon Master/Referee/Storyteller. If you were a loner or didn’t know a gang of geeks but wanted to play wild portable adventures, the best way to do it was with a book- an interactive gamebook.

The Choose Your Own Adventure books started the trend of books with readers as heroes, followed by the predictable clones and variants-Which Way, Be An Interplanetary Spy! Escape! and so on… But these were just the first step- then came the books with actual COMBAT. Some needed dice, some coin tosses or even the time of day to decide battles. There were tons of them, but surely the best were some of the first- the Fighting Fantasy books, in particular. These page-driven adventures sent you into realms filled with monsters and mazes, where your choices and luck with the dice decided on your fate. Treasure and fame, or death by fang or fire.

Man, I loved these books- However, one problem I had with them was that I often cheated; it was too much trouble to get dice, keep track of stats and God Forbid- actually WRITE on my book? So more often than not I just read through the adventures without actually playing the fights.

Well, now that all can be rectified as the Fighting Fantasy books are being released on the AppStore for play on the iPhone or iPod Touch. These adapted FF books contain the original text, art and fighting system, but have the wonderful convenience of in-game dice (which you use by shaking your phone! Cool!) and automatic recording of progress, items, stats and stuff… which is AWESOME. You still have to roll the dice yourself for both you and your enemies, and you have to still turn pages by yourself- but well, that’s being this is still half a book, and half a game.

All I can say is that adapting the Fighting Fantasy (and other interactive fiction books) on iPhone is PERFECT. This is certainly not for everyone, but RPG fans, bookies or anyone who loved these books years ago would do well to give these refreshed game lits a try. At present, the AppStore has The first two FF books- the classic Warlock of Firetop Mountain, and Deathtrap Dungeon, available at the reasonable price of $2.99. A bit pricier but chunkier and with arguably better presentation and all-new material is Gamebook Adventures, the first release of which is An Assassin in Orlandes, out for $4.99.

I’m already playing Firetop Mountain, and it’s so far awesome- I think it’s a MUCH better and more faithful adaptation than the DS release. Gonna get Deathtrap Dungeon next.
Wow, I can’t wait for them to release Forest of Doom! Or City of Thieves! Ah, welcome back, great gaming memories of youth. I feel like a kid again.

Praying for the Devil's Return

Posted in Gaming, PC Gaming, Retro-gaming, RPGs on June 26th, 2008 by thelonegamer

No, I haven’t turned to devil-worshipping. All week, Blizzard has been teasing something online about something… BIG. It’s an announcement that many are speculating to be a sequel to their much-beloved dungeon crawler, Diablo 2. Dare we say it…? DIABLO 3. Man, I remember Diablo 2- that was the game that made me buy my first PC. I just HAD to have that game. I loved everything about it- the character classes, the combat, the stages, the enemies, the creepy music… Levelling up was awesome as you built up your adventurer with ever-more-powerful skills and powers. My first character was a Paladin- pretty straightforward and easy. Then I moved up to Necromancer, since it was just too cool to walk around with an army of undead at your beck and call. When the expansion came I of course gravitated to the martial-artsy Assassin.

Good times. I spent countless hours lugging tons of stuff, fixing up my inventory, filling up my chest… And that freakin’ awesome Cow Level. Awesome.

My gosh. Please let it be Diablo 3. PLEASE let it be Diablo 3. We all find out this weekend. Cross your fingers.

Remembering Xenogears

Posted in Gaming, My Stuff, PSOne, Retro-gaming, RPGs on May 7th, 2008 by thelonegamer

It may be hard for me to fathom this nowadays, but back then, in the days of the PSX, I wasn’t a Hardcore Casual Gamer. I was a HARDCORE Gamer. Back then, it was par for the course to spend days on a game, hours on end, with just the minimum of sleep, food and human companionship required. There were games that consumed me to the core, so much that every waking moment spent away from the console still revolved around the titles that made gaming so sweet.

One of my most cherished RPG titles of all time is, without a doubt, Xenogears. This Square RPG wasn’t as big as FFVII (it came sometime after, and was even mentioned by Cloud Strife in-game) but let me say that any Xenogears fan will swear on their deathbed that the experience of playing this title was sublime.

Set in a world where martial arts and mammoth robots existed in everyday life, the player took the role of Fei, a young man who soon embarks on a journey to discover the secrets behind his violent and strife-ridden world. On the way he’ll meet the love of his life- and of his past lives- friends and allies who will stand by him to the end, horrors and tragedy, betrayal, war, science, magic, false gods and more. But even with the complex, twisting storyline, I remember never being lost- it was like playing or living a marvelous anime series, with you in the pilot’s seat. The story was amazing, the presentation awesome with anime cutscenes and great music (though some of the english voice-acting was off-sync) and dramatic moments that will stay with you forever.
You just know you love a game so much when you care deeply about the characters- I truly cared for the members of my party- but Xenogears pushed the envelope to eleven when I found myself worrying about the fate of a side character- a very minor side character at that- after a planetwide crisis ravages the world (don’t worry- the character, a kind nurse who helped Fei out in his time in a gladiatorial arena, came out fine). Man, I didn’t just play Xenogears… I lived it.

Coupled this with addictive gameplay with the coolest characters (my favorites were Sitan Uzuki after he picks up his sword again, and Billy the gun-toting priest). Could you say bad-ass and kicking ass? Xenogears let you do it in style.

Yeah, these days we have Xenosaga, but it just isn’t the same. If there’s a game that should be given a remake treatment, along with FFVII this should be one. Xenogears is GOLD, and the generations of gamers who missed this gem who consider themselves RPG or anime fans owe themselves the pleasure of getting a PSX and playing this game. It’s that awesome.

Man, those where the days.