Posts tagged ‘PSX’


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.


Fighting of the Spirit

by wfgodbold

The original Tales of Phantasia boss music (for fights against the spirits) was pretty good.

S.S.H.‘s arrangement is even better (not really surprising, since the SNES, while pretty good for music, was still limited by the hardware).

Of course, I tend to think just about any music can be improved by fusing it with metal. I must have been dropped on my head when I was a child.


Can’t Go Back

by wfgodbold

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.


Bombing Mission

by wfgodbold

Everyone loved Final Fantasy VII*.

The games opens with Cloud, Barret, Tifa, and the rest of AVALANCHE heading to one of Midgar’s mako reactors (isn’t magitek grand?) to blow it the hell up.**

The party infiltrates a reactor, and the various characters give the player tips on how the game actually works (on the battle system and using items or magic and that kind of thing).

The music, though, is very tense. In spite of the ridiculous character models and hit-or-miss dialogue translations.

The Black Mages‘ rendition of the mission’s theme is excellent.

*By everyone, I mean more than 10 million people worldwide. I rounded up. To everyone.

**The game mostly glosses over this, but the player characters are essentially ecoterrorists. Damn elves.***

***On the other hand, they do have a point; the magitek of the FF7 world was bleeding the planet dry, and if nothing had been done, the world would have been a burned out cinder before much longer.****

****On the gripping hand, they are rebelling against a monopolistic corporatist government/business conglomerate; the Shinra Company runs everything, owns almost everything, and is practically despotic. People have revolted against far less evil governments. AVALANCHE is focused more on taking out the magitek power source Shinra uses than on overthrowing the government, though, so they’re still a bunch of elves.*****

*****No, I didn’t mean for the footnote section to be as long as the main post. Sorry.


Battle vs. Lord Blazer

by wfgodbold

In the grand tradition of Japanese gaming soundtracks, the Wild Arms folk released a couple of arranged discs of tracks from the series.

The first disc, Wild Arms Music the Best – feeling wind- (yes, really) is a piano arrangement. The second disc, Wild Arms Music the Best -rocking heart-, is more up my alley; the tracks are all rock arranged.

This track is the rock arrangement of the final boss theme from Wild Arms 2nd Ignition.

I think you’ll like it.


The Man with the Machine Gun

by wfgodbold

Square was still riding high on their FF7 success when Final Fantasy VIII came out.

Unfortunately, it was a much worse game. The main character was more annoying, the battle system was annoying, the magic system was annoying, and leveling up was absolutely pointless; you could boost your power far more effectively by linking magic to various stats (and by leveling your summons).

The one character who wasn’t annoying was the other main character, Laguna Loire, a soldier who fights with a machine gun.

Not a giant sword, or a spear, or a whip, or a gunblade, but an actual machine gun.

And this is his battle theme.

Unfortunately,most of the game time was spent controlling Squall and his legally retarded band of morons.


The Dreamwatch of Time (時の見る夢)

by wfgodbold

I don’t remember where in the game this track plays, but I do know that it’s my favorite track on the OST.

And with the quality of the music Yasunori Mitsuda composed for Chrono Cross, that’s saying a lot.

Sorry for the long delay since the last OST selection, but I’ve been about as busy as I expected since classes started.

I haven’t even been to the range in at least a month. I’m the worst gunblogger in history, I think.



by wfgodbold

I never could figure out Vagrant Story.

I’ve tried playing through it three or four times, but after getting a ways into the city of Lea Monde, I couldn’t do enough damage to kill anything. Part of this is due to the weird “Risk” system, where the more damage Ashley Riot (the protagonist and member of the Valendia Knights of the Peace) does (or takes), the less damage he does. You can string together long combo attacks, and by the end, each hit is doing one point of damage; when enemies have hundreds of HP, this makes battles a bit tedious.

I understand that a big part of the game is reforging weapons; each monster type is supposed to be weak to a certain kind of damage, and if you adjust your weapons accordingly, you should be able to more effectively kill them. I never figured out how to get that to work properly, I guess.

The art direction should be familiar to anyone who’s played Final Fantasy XII, and is obliquely referenced in several of the more recent Final Fantasy Tactics games; Yasumi Matsuno, Vagrant Story’s director, later went on to work on those games as well.


Lion-Irony of Fate

by wfgodbold

Tales of Destiny is the second mothership title in what has become my favorite JRPG series (supplanting Final Fantasy; the last half dozen games in that series have been rather lackluster).

Like many JRPGs, it follows the story of a band of adventurers struggling to fight an ancient evil. In this instance, our heroes™ are aided by the magical Swordians, a race of talking swords (yes, really) that have existed for generations.

Tales of Destiny retains the super-deformed sprites from Tales of Phantasia, as well as the linear battle system that (with a few modifications from game to game) ties the series together.


Below Regulus Knoll

by wfgodbold

Tales of Eternia (released in the US as Tales of Destiny 2 (not to be confused with the real Tales of Destiny 2)) is the third so-called “mothership” title in the Tales of series of games, and was the second installment on the PlayStation.

The American release had its name changed because Tales of Phantasia hadn’t come out in the US; the only experience American gamers had had with the series was the second game, Tales of Destiny (also on the PlayStation).

The game was also released for the PSP; this port was sold in Japan, and a translation in Europe, but not in the US.

Motoi Sakuraba’s compositions have come a long way in the 10 years since Tales of Eternia was released (see what I mean?).

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