Posts tagged ‘PS2’


In no particular order:

by wfgodbold

Growlanser IV is out for the PSP in the US (if you’ve a PS3, you can download it there and transfer it to the PS Vita without issue; if you’re PS3-less, you’ll have to wait until it’s up in the PS Vita PSN store). It’s pretty good so far; the sprites are nice, and the gameplay is classic Growlanser (JRPG-like with a heavy dose of strategy).

As far as the Chick-fil-a brouhaha goes, I didn’t eat there on Wednesday. Not because I disagree with their position (which I do (disagree, I mean)), and not out of support for the attempt to crack down on speech Boston/Chicago politicians disagree with, but because the local CFA had cops out directing traffic, a drive-thru line that looked to be at least 50 cars long, and an in-store line that stretched around the building at least once. Their chicken is good, and I support their rights to hold positions I don’t agree with and be free from government harassment because of that speech, but it’s not stand-in-line-for-more-than-an-hour good. Linoge disagreed, and went on – in his characteristic way – to say in ~400 words what a normal man would say in 50 (I would have posted on this on the 1st, but when I got home, Linoge had already said basically everything I was going to. Even if he did say it in 4x the space).

Want to eat sushi at the Olympics? Hope you don’t like soy sauce, cause mini packets are banned on account of not sponsoring the Olympics (beware; Sankaku Complex is about as unsafe for work as it gets). Between that and the lack of business the Olympics was supposed to bring in, I don’t know why anyone would voluntarily pay for the games. Other than as an opportunity to fleece the taxpayer and enrich politicians and their cronies, I mean.

The latest live-action Rurouni Kenshin trailer is out, and it’s got English subtitles. My only complaint is that they translate Kenshin’s reference to his reverse-bladed-sword as merely “sword;” in Japanese, it’s literally written 逆刃刀; the first character means “backwards,” the second “blade,” and the third “sword.” Instead of being sharpened along the front edge and dull along the back, Kenshin’s is dull along the front and sharp along the back (reverse-bladed). It’s kind of a big part of the character, and just calling it a sword doesn’t really cut it (heh).

In my less copious than normal free time (when not playing Growlanser (and sometimes while playing Growlanser), I’ve been rewatching The Good Guys on Netflix streaming. It takes me back to a more innocent time, when I hadn’t had a class on pre-trial criminal procedure, and was ignorant of how much of a free hand the courts have given police. I’ve mentioned it before; every episode is essentially an 80s/90s style buddy cop movie (in 45 min.).

I’m also working my way through Simon R. Green‘s books. Again. Sure, they’re pulp, but they’re entertaining. And isn’t that what really matters?

The law review has handed down the first cite check for this year; it’s due a week from Wednesday. Between that and the Legal Editing & Scholarship class I’m taking before fall classes start up, I’m being kept off the streets pretty efficiently.


Good news on the PSN front!

by wfgodbold

Atlus has finally lowered the PSN pricing for some of its PSP games (most of which were originally priced at the release MSRP).

I’ve been interested in giving one of the Shin Megami Tensei games a try; sure, the Persona series is just a spinoff, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

I just haven’t decided if I should start with Persona (the first game in the spinoff series) or Persona 3 Portable. I don’t think they’re strongly connected, more just set in the same universe (or even just with the same basic battle options and game mechanics, like the Final Fantasy or Tales of series).

On the one hand, Persona started the spinoff series, and I do like starting at the beginning.

On the other hand, it was a PSX game, and is bound to look dated, especially compared to Persona 3, which was ported from a PS2 game.

On the gripping hand, the characters in Persona 3 have an … interesting … way of summoning their personas into battle.

I’m not even considering starting with Persona 2, since for some reason it’s $10 more expensive than the other two games. Good job on consistency there, Atlus.

I suppose I should be happy they responded to the demand from Vita owners, though; since the only way to play PSP games on the Vita is by purchasing the PSN version of the game, everyone who was interested in Atlus’s PSN catalog complained vociferously about how they hadn’t reduced prices on most of their games since the first of them were listed digitally almost three years ago.

If anyone has any suggestions about whether Persona 1 or Persona 3 is the better starting point for someone who’s never played a SMT game in his life, feel free to share them.


Spiral of Time

by wfgodbold

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.


Ephemeral Dream

by wfgodbold

Soul Calibur III was the series’ final installment on the PS2, and the last to have an arcade release; SC IV was only on home consoles, and there are no plans for SC V to be released in arcades, either.

Unlike Soul Calibur II, SC III was only ported from the arcade release to the PlayStation 2; this did away with all of the system-specific bonus charcters. Namco added three new characters: Zasalamel, an immortal Egyptian with a huge scythe, Tira, an insane girl with a giant chakram, and Setsuka, a blonde woman trained in battoujutsu.

Sure, the weapons, costumes, setting, characters, and premise might be completely outlandish, but who cares? You get to pit ninja against knight, sword against staff, and hero against villain! It’s what video gaming is all about!


Theme of Those Who Weave History

by wfgodbold

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.


Everyone needs a hobby, I guess

by wfgodbold

Though why you’d make that hobby collecting sealed first-pressing editions of PlayStation 2 games is beyond me.

I can’t decide if it would be more ridiculous if the guy were to buy a second copy of some games so he could actually play some of them, or if he never actually intended to play any of them.

But the guy isn’t bothering anyone else, so if he wants to spend his money on sealed games, that’s his business.


Fight! Our Mecha-Hisui! (戦え!僕らのメカヒスイ!)

by wfgodbold

It’s not often that a fan-made game becomes a critical success; Type Moon’s Tsukihime was one such game, and its success has been catching. French Bread was known for making doujin soft fighting games, 2D Street Fighter-esque games using anime and game characters without official license.

Melty Blood, though, took them mainstream; French Bread took the popular Tsukihime characters and put them into a fighting game, and Type Moon fans went wild.

It’s seen PC and home console releases, and has even been released into actual arcades in Japan, with dedicated Melty Blood arcade cabinets.

The most recent release in the series is Melty Blood Actress Again (got to love that gratuitous Engrish!), and it has new characters, an expanded story mode, and changes to fighting styles.



by wfgodbold

Today’s selection is a twofer; it appears in both Soul Calibur Legends and Tales of Symphonia.

Lloyd Irving, the protagonist of Tales of Symphonia (the all-time best-selling Tales of game), crosses franchises to appear as a guest character in Soul Calibur Legends, an action-adventure spinoff of the Soul Calibur fighting game series.

Legends proved to be unsuccessful; it received poor reviews, and is the worst-selling game in the Soul franchise.

That said, it does reveal exactly how Siegfried becomes the monster Nightmare in between the Soul Edge and Soul Calibur games. Whether fighting game exposition and plot development is worth playing a bad game is a decision you’ll have to make for yourself, though.


The Sun Rises (太陽は昇る)

by wfgodbold

Okami follows the adventures of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, taken wolf form, in a Japanese pun (大神 (okami, great god) vs. 狼 (okami, wolf)).

The game’s art style is distinct; the entire world and all of the characters are rendered to look like they were painted in the sumi-e ink style, and it makes for an amazing experience.

Amaterasu possesses a giant brush which the player can use to call up wind, cut enemies or certain objects in half, or use various other abilities. She must fight enemies, solve puzzles, and learn why the land has been cursed and how to lift it.

It’s a fun game, with a unique art style. Unfortunately, it didn’t sell all that well.


Theme of Battle

by wfgodbold

Tales of Destiny 2, the true sequel to Tales of Destiny (not to be confused with Tales of Eternia, which was released in the US as Tales of Destiny 2 because of copyright issues with the word Eternia), was never localized for release in the US or Europe.

It’s set 18 years after the events of Tales of Destiny, and the main character is the son of Stahn, Tales of Destiny’s main character.

Motoi Sakuraba’s style lends itself well to battle music, and the arrangement of the game’s first battle theme is especially good.

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