final fantasy 12

(Really) Old Video Game Review: Final Fantasy XII

I should let you all know…I never finished Final Fantasy VII.  I know, I know.  Flame me. Troll me.  Abuse me all you want, but I just never got around to finishing the damn game.  The same goes with Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy X (never really had the chance to play Final Fantasy IX). The one Final Fantasy game I did get to finish was the one not a lot of people liked (if I remember correctly) when it came out.  The reason I actually loved this game was mainly because of the story. The story was something Square Enix boldly gone where it never has gone before.

Final Fantasy XII was released on March 16, 2006 and the last Final Fantasy to be exclusive to the PS2 since Final Fantasy VII.  The story wasn’t your typical end-of-world thanks to some crazy guy obtaining unimaginable power or some monster wanting to destroy the world just because it fucking wants to.  No, the story revolved around politics, power struggles, deception, tragedy, and vision.  In the country of Ivalice, two great nations, the eastern Rozarrian Empire and the western Imperial Archadia, are in the midst of a great war between the two. Two smaller kingdoms, Dalmasca and Nabradia are in the middle of both great nations and are being targeted by Imperial Archadia.  The story is full of deceit, political issues, and war. The story felt modern and fresh, as if Square Enix was highlighting an issue of what could happen in the real world.

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burnout

(Really) Old Video Game Review: Burnout 3: Takedown

Criterion Games is known for their Burnout and the new Need for Speed games.  They brought the world a new Road Rage game for this generation.  The idea of cars, speed, and crashing is already a perfect formula and seeing it executed the way Criterion Games has is any gamer’s wet dream.  But to this day, one game in the Burnout series has stood out more than others Criterion has put out, and that game is Burnout 3: Takedown.  I played this game a lot.  And I mean a lot.  I love cars.  I love speed.  And I love crashing.  So, how can I say no to a game like this?  The attention this game got back in the days was pretty high, but still I believed it didn’t get the recognition it deserved.  I have never played Burnout or Burnout 2: Point of Impact, but through ratings and word of mouth, the third installment was and still is the best in the franchise.

Developed and released on September 7, 2004, I learned how to trash talk and crash in a way that you would call art.  The game was developed for both the Playstation 2 and the Xbox.  Surprisingly Acclaim, the original publisher, bankrupted before this game released and it was EA Games coming to the rescue and publishing this game after a few changes were made.  I must say, usually EA Games gets a lot of flak from the gaming community (and rightfully so), but they did one thing right and published one of my favorite childhood games of all time.

takedown

Beautiful, ain’t it?

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Guitar Hero

(Really) Old Video Game Review: Guitar Hero

As a kid I always would pretend that I’m an awesome rock star by playing the air guitar.  I would rock my head back and forth and throw some rock signs in the air to appease the imaginary crowd. Flash forward about 10 years and my dreams of becoming a rock star came true (sort of). Harmonix, brought the music rhythm genre to a whole new level with Guitar Hero to the gaming world. Released back in November 8, 2005, the world learned how to be rock stars and play some of the greatest rock songs of all time in their living room.

The guitar peripheral that came with the game is what made this game.  In fact, Guitar Hero wasn’t even the first game to even use a toy guitar as a controller.  Konami released Guitar Freaks before Guitar Hero even came out.  However, it was rarely seen in the arcade scene and never got the publicity as Guitar Hero did.  Guitar Hero came with a Gibson SG model controller that allowed you to rock out to one of the best soundtracks of all time in a video game.  The plastic controller wasn’t a big, cumbersome toy.  It actually was a well made controller that lets you bash on the buttons and “strum” the controller to extreme extents.  Playing at higher difficulty levels will require you to use and abuse the guitar controller, but it can take one hell of a beating if you ask me.

johnny napalm

Air guitar is a thing of the past.

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Grand Theft Auto 3

(Really) Old Video Game Review: Grand Theft Auto III

It’s the 10 year anniversary of the most influential and controversial game of all time. Rockstar Games brought out Grand Theft Auto III on October 22, 2001 and boy did it take the world by storm.  It was one of the greatest game ever of all time and without it, we wouldn’t have games like today without GTA III.

The silent protagonist (or antagonist, whichever you prefer).

The story starts off with a silent protagonist (known as Claude Speed later in GTA games) robbing a bank with a few of his cohorts.  He is set up by his girlfriend and shot and left to die. The cops detain Claude and eventually haul him to prison.  However, on the way he escapes thanks to another prisoner and starts his life all over again…well a life of revenge that is.  He wants to get back at the people who screwed him and his life over.  Claude’s adventures go from killing other mobsters to helping a porn store.  The variety of missions were crazy, but the biggest thing was not the missions, but the gaming world itself. Continue reading

kingdom hearts

(Really) Old Video Game Review: Kingdom Hearts

This isn’t the first time Square Enix took another franchise (Square also took Nintendo’s beloved plumber to new heights in Super Mario RPG) and made a really good game out of it.  Taking Disney’s characters and making a role playing game (RPG) was a huge step not only for Square Enix, but for Disney as well.  Disney was never really successful at making games, yeah…there were a few “hidden” gems, but notice the emphasis on the word hidden, you had to search long and hard (ha ha…that’s what she said, now get over it) to find a good Disney game.  The team up with Square Enix and Disney however, paid off and it was all thanks to its first collaboration game, Kingdom Hearts.  It was released on the PS2 on March 28, 2002.

Kingdom Hearts wasn’t your average RPG, it was set on a third-person perspective and played more like an action game with some elements of an RPG and you controlled one character named Sora.  You had other characters in your party like Goofy and Donald Duck, but they were computer controlled.  There was another section of the game where you controlled a “Gummi Ship” (where do these names come from!?!) where it was like a rail shooter (like Raiden), but was pointless and very boring, easily the worst part of the game and whoever thought to implement this idea in this game should have been fired.  The RPG elements were mostly about leveling your character and upgrading his stats and nothing really more.  This game was a new direction for Square Enix at the time and it worked really well.

Alice in Wonderland? Dude…I must be high…

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