The #Occupy Little Rock crowd is pretty pathetic. Who even cares about LR City Hall? For that matter, doesn’t “march” imply that someone is leading?
The only thing better than a life-size VF-25 Valkyrie would be a functioning life-size Valkyrie. Because the only thing better than mecha are transforming mecha!
How scientifically literate are you? I got 43/50; I should’ve gotten a few more right, but made some stupid mistakes.
Ever wonder what Philip K. Dick thought of Blade Runner?
I think the last one is my favorite.
And just because Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention is awesome, here are a few screenshots (click to embiggen):
A boss tries to dictate to the main character how he should fight her.
A newly created Shaman introduces herself.
A new party member shows up to save the day!
Prinny Mask (who has nothing at all to do with Science Ninja Team Gatchaman) takes over as homeroom teacher.
The party faces off against an army of enemy gunslingers!
The gunslinger homeroom teacher gives us some good advice.
But they’re great for when I don’t really want to devote a whole post to any one thing (and for when I can’t come up with a substantial post on a real topic!).
Thinkgeek is selling an Aperture Science 1970s era coffee mug. Right down to the retro form factor!
Bill Amend has put together a few Foxtrot collections formatted for the iPad.
The Japanese have gone and made an anime series about a moe anthropomorphization of Nyarlathotep. Because nothing says eldritch horror like taking the Crawling Chaos and turning it into this.
Nihon Falcom has added more details to the Nayuta no Kiseki official site. They’re marketing it as an action story RPG (whatever that is), and have posted character profiles and some battle screenshots.
Sega, Capcom, and Namco are collaborating on a Super Robot Wars style crossover mashup SRPG, Project X Zone. It’ll have Ryu and Ken (Street Fighter), Shinguji Sakura and Ohgami Ichiro (Sakura Wars), Kurt and Riela (Valkyria Chronicles 3), Jin and Xiaoyu (Tekken), KOS-MOS and T-elos (Xenosaga), and Yuri and Estelle (Tales of Vesperia). And that’s not even an exhaustive list!
And finally, Looper comes out this fall, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis in an action-packed SF time travel flick. The trailer looks pretty good:
Atlus USA is teasing one of their upcoming games; from the first three clues, we know that it starts with the letter G, ends with the letter R, and is an SRPG.
The most likely candidate is Gungnir; it’s the most recent release, and is closer to a traditional SRPG than the other possibles: Growlanser (for PSP), and Growlanser IV: Over Reloaded (the PSP port of Growlanser IV: Wayfarer of the Time).*
I’m partial to Growlanser (due in no small part to playing it for hours in a Japanese hotel at the end of my study abroad year). It kicks off the series, following the adventures of Carmaine and friends as they work for the king of Rolandia, and deal with war, peace, and (of course) an ancient evil.
Can’t Go Back is my favorite of the several boss themes from Growlanser.
Update: Atlus has revealed the fourth clue: the game is the fourth release in its series. Which, of course, doesn’t narrow it down as much as you might think. Growlanser IV is the obvious choice, but Gungnir (while Episode IX of the Dept. Heaven series) is also the fourth game in its series. Well played, Atlus. Your clues are ambiguous and will only serve to stir up resentment among the fans of whichever series isn’t picked.
*The most optimistic people are pulling for multiple games; Gungnir and Growlanser, so that none of the fans are angry. I hope they’re right; if Atlus picks one franchise over the other, the fans are sure to lose their collective minds.
Tears to Tiara‘s battle music is excellent; a good thing, too, since the battles last a while. The stage maps are large, and since it’s a turn-based SRPG, you can’t exactly button-mash your way through like you might be able to in FF/Tales/DQ.
If you’re too busy to play through the game yourself (or are handicapped by your inability to understand moonspeak), you can watch the 26-episode anime series based on the game on Hulu. Be warned, though; it’s mostly serious, but they do take refuge in audacity a few times (especially when it comes to Arawn’s relationship with the various girls).
It is interesting to see what the Japanese make of the Mabinogion; they combine it with the Arthurian mythos and end up with a tale all their own.
I highlighted the opening music back in February.
The fourth installment in the Growlanser series, Growlanser IV: Wayfarer of the Time (yes, really), is the only PS2 release in the series not to be localized for release outside Japan.
Like Growlanser V, it is set in a different world than the first three games; as usual, though, multiple countries are on the brink of war. Angels have returned once more to fight humanity, and the main character has to do what he can to stave off their assault.
Like in the other Growlanser games, you travel around the world, fighting enemies, recruiting allies, and interacting with your party members. Satoshi Urushihara’s art is just as distinctive and unnaturally shiny as ever. The music seems better than it was in II and III, though my memory might be a bit fuzzy.
After Working Designs did their typical overboard localization of Growlanser II and III, ATLUS decided that hey, maybe there was a market for the series in the US after all, and localized the fifth game, Growlanser V: Generations (under the title Growlanser: Heritage of War on account of WD’s bundled release of II & III as Growlanser: Generations).
The changes made to the game for this installment weren’t well received; it breaks the game up into discreet chapters, and the player apparently must relevel in each.
It still has Satoshi Urushihara’s iconic character designs (which the West may get more of if the rumors of Langrisser’s release on the PSN are true). Note: be careful if you search for more of Urushihara’s work; he’s quite prolific, and most of it is very NSFW.
No, this isn’t another post lamenting the sad state of our legal system. It is, however, the theme for Growlanser II: The Sense of Justice.
Working Designs released Growlanser II and III in a bundle they titled Growlanser Generations; it was their final release before going out of business (apparently it’s hard to make money when you only localize one game with a niche audience every 3-4 years; who knew?).
Growlanser II is a direct sequel to Growlanser (whose theme I posted back in March), though the main character has changed. Carmaine, the main character from the original game (along with some of his party members) will join Wein Cruz’s party.
It changes up the system from the first game; instead of trekking from place to place until a party member learns to teleport, Wein and co. can choose their destination from the world map. This results in gameplay that is more SRPGish than its predecessor; unfortunately, it falls prey to SRPG problems, as well.
If you encountered enemies too powerful for you in the first game, you always had the option to go around fighting monsters until you’d leveled up enough to face the stronger enemies; in Growlanser II, you are occasionally not allowed to leave the current battle to improve your characters.
Which means that if you made some unfortunate ability allocations, you can find yourself in an unwinnable battle. And that’s why I never finished Growlanser II.
Besides, the first one was better, anyway. Even if Wein’s scythe is cool (you never see RPG characters with scythes; it’s always swords and staves).
Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice is the series’ first release on the PS3; unlike the soon-to-be-released Disgaea 4, it doesn’t have true HD sprites.
However, it does have hours and hours (and hours) of SRPG fun, and like all Disgaea games, can be broken wide open if you’re willing to put in the time it takes to level your characters and your items.
I haven’t played it, though the plot description on wikipedia starts off entertainingly enough:
The game takes place in a Netherworld school called the Evil Academy. In this demon school, a good student is one who engages in delinquent activities such as truancy, never showing up to class, or not doing homework. The student who participates the most in these kind of activities is known as the Honor Student, while demons who are admirable by human standards are known as delinquents.
The Poem of the Vagabond has a distinct Western feel; like something Ennio Morricone would have written.
Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten finally updates the series into true HD splendor!
It’s the second game in the franchise on a current generation console, but Disgaea 3 used low definition sprites instead of HD sprites; Disgaea 4 remedies that mistake!
Never one to be swayed by a pretty sprite…
Ok, that’s not going to fool anyone. I haven’t played a Disgaea game since the first one came out for the PSX, but I might have to break that streak and try out NIS’s HD sprite-filled SRPG.
After all, it’s got Prinnies!
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions updated the inaugural Final Fantasy Tactics game for the PSP; it was the first game set in the land of Ivalice (which has reappeared in every FFT game, as well as in Final Fantasy XII), and Square’s first attempt at a strategy game (I think).
I didn’t play the game on the PSX when it was first released; though I’m told the translation/localization flat out atrocious.
So bad, in fact, that it was good. Some fans of the original even complained when the PSP release fixed the terrible translation and changed the dialogue to have a more medieval flair.
I played it for a while, and then quit when I was seven or eight hours in and got stuck on a battle I couldn’t win. Unfortunately for me, I spent all of my black mage’s AP learning Flare, only to discover at the next battle that he didn’t have enough max MP to even cast the spell one time. Fool that I am, I didn’t have a backup save, and was stuck at one of the plot points that you couldn’t backtrack from to level.
That doesn’t mean that the battle music wasn’t any good, though!