Monthly Archives: June 2012

Pokemon Black and White 2 Excels in Japan.

Pokemon Black and White 2 was released in Japan earlier this week, and boy has it been flying off the shelves! So far it has sold nearly 1.6 million copies; making it the 3rd best debut title on the DS in Japan. While it didn’t sell as much as its predecessor (Pokemon Black and White sold 2.6 million copies when it debuted), that still is an impressive number.

Americans won’t have to wait long to get their hands on Pokemon Black and White 2. The game will release in the USA on October 7th. Europe will get the game on October 12th, just 5 days later. A companion game called Pokemon Dream Rader will be released on the 3DS eShop at the same time; which will allow players to earn rare Pokemon for their copies of Pokemon Black and White 2.

To be honest, I’m not very hyped about Pokemon Black and White 2. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Pokemon series and enjoyed Pokemon Black and White very much. I’m just more interested in other games at the moment. I’ll get around to playing it eventually; just don’t expect me to buy it on release day.

Are you excited about Pokemon Black and White 2 or could you care less about Pokemon?

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The Elder Scrolls Skyrim Review: Just Plain Epic

There are many games out there that fail to offer any adventure or excitement to those that play them. But there are some games that are so well made that they just suck you in. The Elder Scroll 5: Skyrim is one of these games. After playing Skyrim for hours, I have to save that people will lose themselves in the game’s world. Today, I’m going to tell you why that is.

In Skyrim, players take the role of the “Dovahkiin/Dragonborn”, a person born with the soul of a dragon. This gives them the ability to absorb the souls of dragons and gain great power. It is prophesied that a dragon god named Alduin will return and destroy the world unless the Dragonborn destroys him. Naturally, the Dragonborn sets off to gain power so he/she can defeat Alduin and save the world. Of course, there are many other adventures to be had in Skyrim, but it’s all up to the player in the end.

The world of Skyrim is quite large, and there’s many places for the player to explore. In fact, there are about 9 capitals to visit, along with numerous towns, dungeons, caves, forts, and other locations. Interesting characters inhabit Skyrim and they can be interacted with in various ways. Some sell items to you, give the you quests, act as a companion, or just exist to populate the world. Monsters also roam the land and can be a threat to you if you’re not efficiently prepared.

With all the monsters lurking about in the game, you’re bound to have to defend yourself at some point. You can use a variety of weapons in the game; swords, daggers, bows, axes, hammers, greatswords, mace, battleaxes, and even magic. There are shields available too for those who want extra defense. Skyrim allows you to dual wield weapons, so you could fight with two swords or fight with an axe in one hand and a fireball spell in the other. Some monsters in the game are weak to certain weapons so it pays to carry more than on with you. As you fight monsters, your character will become stronger and gain more abilities.

Leveling in Skyrim is different than most role playing games. The player’s overall level is governed by the level of his skills. Skill experience is gained by performing task related to the skill; sneaking around increases your sneak skill, brewing potions increases your alchemy skill, ect. When your skills have increased enough, then your overall level will increase and you’ll get to raise either your magic, health, or stamina. You’ll also earn perks points which are used to purchase perks. Perks are special abilities and bonuses that enhance your skills; such as having better aim with your bow or being able to pickpocket people more easily.

There are many things to do in Skyrim besides saving the world from dragons. You can join the Companions and become a mercenary, or join the Thieves Guild and become a master thief. If you like to use magic, then you can join the Mages Guild and learn powerful spells. Those who like to assassinate people can join the Dark Brotherhood and become a professional assassin. Finally, there is a Civil War going on in Skyrim and you’ll have the choice of siding with either the Stormcloaks or the Imperial Legions. Aside from joining the guilds, you can do side quests for the various citizens in Skyrim.

Skyrim does exceptionally well when it comes to graphics and sound. Not only do people look attractive, there is great diversity in their appearance as well. The voice acting for these characters is superb, which helps bring them to life. The world is beautiful too and much detail was put into it. Some places are blanketed in snow, while flora flourishes in others. There are mountainous areas, wide open plains, and even some forests too. Best of all, Skyrim’s music fit’s the game’s atmosphere perfectly; with adrenaline pumping tracks for fights or adventurous tunes for exploration. Fans of The Elder Scrolls series will recognize a few of the music tracks are from Oblivion and Morrowind.

In the end, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim takes everything you know about epic adventure and makes it even more epic. The world is just brimming with interesting characters to meet and a variety of activities to participate in. With tons of quests to complete, monsters to fight, places to explore, and rewards to discover, you’ll end up spending hours playing Skyrim. If you’re looking for great adventure in a fantastic world, look no further.

No Final Fantasy 7 Remake Anytime Soon

Many believe that Final Fantasy 7 is the best role playing game of all time. The game has sold over 10 million copies world wide, so it’s not hard to see why that is the case. Fans have been clamoring for Square-Enix to remake Final Fantasy 7 for years. They’ll have to keep waiting though, because Square-Enix has no plans to remake the game anytime soon.

During a Q&A session at Square-Enix’s annual shareholder’s briefing, CEO Yoichi Wada said that a Final Fantasy 7 remake will only happen if a new Final Fantasy can top it in both quality and sales. According to Wada, if Square-Enix was to remake Final Fantasy 7, the series would be done for. He also said that the team assigned to the project would have to be fully committed to making the game.

While I have played various games in the Final Fantasy series, I have not had the privilege of playing Final Fantasy 7. Based on the other entries in the franchise, I’m sure it is an excellent game. Do to the game’s age, I can see why fans have been begging for a remake. However, I believe it’s reasonable for Square-Enix to want to wait until they’ve created another amazing Final Fantasy before they remake one.

After the mix reception Final Fantasy 13 and its sequel received, I think its best for Square-Enix to focus their efforts on making new, better quality titles. Of course, I wouldn’t mind Square-Enix remaking Final Fantasy 7 sometime in the future. It would give me the chance to play the game so many people have praised over the years.

Farmville 2 Coming Soon to Facebook

When you think of Facebook games, what do you think of? I for one think of Farmville; that farming game that millions of Facebook users play. If you like Farmville, then I have some good news for you. Zynga has announced that Farmville 2 is on its way to Facebook.

The announcement was made at Zynga’s Unleashed event today, which is basically an expo where Zynga shows off their upcoming products. Beyond announcing the game, Zynga didn’t say anything else about Farmville 2. That’s rather odd in my opinion, but I guess they’re just wanting to build excitement and suspense in fans.

Honestly, I could care less about Farmville 2. I played Farmville a long time ago and stopped playing because it was becoming too much of a chore. Its annoying to have to worry constantly about whether your virtual crops are withering away or if your virtual animals are being taking care of. Apparently lots of people enjoy it though, because they wouldn’t have made a sequel if nobody played it.

Are you excited about Farmville 2, or do you share my lack of enthusiasm? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut DLC Arrives June 26th

Were you disappointed by the way Mass Effect 3’s ended? Many fans certainly were, and they didn’t waste anytime expressing their distaste of the endings to Bioware. Whether you liked it or not, you may have a reason to play Mass Effect 3 to the end again. Bioware has announced that it will be releasing the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut DLC for free on June 26th.

Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut will expand the game’s original endings by providing additional scenes and epilogue sequences; aiming to give players more closure rather than confusion. While the endings themselves haven’t changed, the new endings gives players a better idea of how their choices affected the story. This is good, considering that many fans felt their actions throughout the series didn’t affect Mass Effect 3’s endings as promised. The DLC will be a 1.9 GB download, so gamers will need to make room on their console’s hard drive to get the free content.

To be honest, I never finished Mass Effect 3. I was a bit upset when I heard the endings were disappointing, so I stopped playing the game. Now that the Extended Cut is coming out, I’m excited and motivated to finish Mass Effect 3. I just hope that the new, extended endings don’t disappoint. It would be a shame if Bioware’s efforts to appease fans only upsets them more.

Are you looking forward to the extended endings, or do you think they’ll be disappointing? Leave a comment below!

Moving

My family and I are in the process of moving, so I won’t be able to blog for a while. Hopefully the cable internet will be installed in the new house next week, so my absence won’t be long. Until then, happy gaming!!!

Super Mario RPG Review: One of Mario’s Greatest Adventures!

Most people know Mario from the famous video game, Super Mario Brothers. It is the game that started the Italian plumber’s career, after all. Since then, Mario has had tons of crazy adventures, dabbled in sports, and even thrown a couple of parties. Growing up, I played many of Mario’s games and enjoyed them all. My favorite Mario game, however, would have to be Super Mario RPG. Back in 2008, it was re-released on the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console. Since people can now get their hands on Super Mario RPG again, I thought it would be a good idea to do a review for the game.

The story begins with Princess Peach getting kidnapped by Bowser (surprised?), and Mario running off to save her. He enters Bowser’s castle and confronts the villain, but is interrupted when a giant sword crashes into the castle. The crash ends up sending Mario, Bowser and Princess Peach flying in different directions. When Mario comes to, he rushes off to the Mushroom Kingdom to tell the chancellor the bad news. The chancellor asks Mario to go to find Peach and discover the purpose of the giant sword. So once again, Mario sets out on a epic journey; not sure who to meet or what to expect.

Super Mario RPG features Mario and his allies battling enemies in turn based combat. There are a variety of moves and items that Mario and his friends can use to defeat them. The game uses a timed button press system, in which moves and abilities are enhanced if you press the button at the right time. Unlike in most role playing games, battles do not occur randomly when you are moving around in the game. Instead, enemies appear in the games environments and only battle Mario and the gang if they come in contact with them. Thus, it is possible for you to avoid a battle if you avoid the enemy. When you’re not busy saving the world, you’ll be spending your time in towns either resting, chatting with the locals, or buying much needed supplies. There are also various mini-games you’ll end up playing throughout the course of the game; which are fun and mix things up a little.

The only complaint I have about Super Mario RPG is that Mario’s brother, Luigi, is not in the game. I found that kind of odd because he usually is in most Mario games. Other than that, this game is quite enjoyable to say the least. Battles are fun and challenging, but never really frustrating if you know what you’re doing. The graphics are colorful and the music is very catchy too. Super Mario RPG’s is also filled with all the charm and humor that you can expect from a Mario game. When it comes down to it, this game does well in all aspects.

Even after all these years, Super Mario RPG is still an amazing game; filled with the nostalgia of old school video games. Not only is it one of the best games in the Mario series, it’s one of the best Nintendo games out there! I loved it as a kid and still do to this day. It’s definitely a game worth revisiting; and the fact that it’s on the Wii’s Virtual Console makes it easy to do so. Whether you like role playing games or are a fan of Mario, you are sure to enjoy this classic.

(UPDATE) The Sims 3: Supernatural Announced

Remember that post I made about leaked trailer for The Sims 3: Supernatural? Well EA has made an official announcement of the game; releasing the American version of the trailer. Its pretty much the same as the leaked trailer; it’s just in English instead of Russian.  EA was nice enough to give some new, interesting details about the expansion however. Here are some of the things that caught my eye.

There will be a new fortune teller career where sims can either be a true physic or a scam artist. Some of the new objects include a magic mirror (like the one from Snow White) and a sliding bookcase door. Those who played The Sims: Makin’ Magic will be happy to know that Bonehilda the skeleton maid is returningThe limited edition of the expansion pack will include exclusive Plants vs Zombies themed content; including clothes and furniture. You can find more information here http://thesims.com/en_US/the-sims-3-supernatural.

Producer Megan Myers and Product Manager King Choi will be hosting a Live Chat Q&A for The Sims 3: Supernatural on June 19th. Be sure to tune in to see footage of the game and get your questions answered!

Horseback Combat Comes To Skyrim

The last patch for Skyrim added new cinematic kill cams to the game, and it appears that Bethesda is planning on giving players even more free content. Skyrim’s recent patch (1.6) adds horseback combat to the game.

After piddling around with the horse combat for a bit, I have to say that it works well. You can attack foes with any one handed weapon and attack them from afar using a bow. If you’re wielding a bow on horseback; you can use the ability Steady Hand; which slows down time while aiming. Unfortunately, you can not use magic on horseback, which sucks for magic users. Seriously, how hard could lobbing a fireball from a horse be?

Despite not being able to use magic, horse combat is fun and a nice addition to Skyrim. The fact that it’s being added to the game for free is pretty cool too. I’m just waiting for Bethesda to add companion customization to Skyrim. Perhaps they will add it in the next patch?

The Sims 3: Supernatural Expansion Pack Trailer Leaked

I originally planned to post the video here on my blog, but it was removed from YouTube by EA.  You can find pictures of the trailer on SimPrograms however: http://www.simprograms.com/41586/the-sims-3-supernatural-trailer-logo-and-images/

 

If you didn’t know by now, The Sims is one of my favorite video game series. Today, I got a little surprise when I browsed SimsPrograms, a website that delivers The Sims related news to their fans. A trailer was leaked in Russia for the next expansion pack “The Sims 3: Supernatural”.

The leaked trailer is in Russian, but it pretty apparent that the expansion pack is centered around magic and fantasy. We see a man transform into a werewolf and is soon accompanied by other werewolves. A witch and wizard have a magic duel, with the witch winning in the end. Then we see a fairy causes some mischief on an unfortunate couple. We catch a glimpse of vampires before a group of Zombies finally shows up. Overall, the trailer has a dark and gritty feeling, suggesting that the expansion pack will be more focused on horror than fairy tales.

After seeing the trailer for The Sims 3: Supernatural, I must say that I am quite pleased. Ever since The Sims: Makin’ Magic came out, I’ve been waiting for another magic themed expansion pack. I was disappointed when they didn’t release one for The Sims 2. It seems my patience has finally paid off though. All though I’m just basing this off of a trailer, The Sims 3: Supernatural looks like it’s going to be fun! It’s seems like it’s going to add things that haven’t even been in The Sims series before!

Of course, we don’t know much else about the expansion pack but we’re sure to find out more within the next few months. When EA releases the American trailer for The Sims 3: Supernatural, I’ll make a post with a link to the trailer (and any new information as well). In the mean time, share your opinions of the new expansion pack in the comments section below. Are you just as excited as I am?