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12/31/2012

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to make this small entry to wish a Happy New Year to everyone who might encounter this entry. 2012 was an amazing year to be a games and I'm sure 2013 will be even better. Wii U, The Last of Us, Lightning Returns, The Last Guardian, Final Fantasy XIV, Bioshock Infinite and more will make an awesome year. So be sure to stick around if you find this blog in the near future. Cheers to everyone!


12/30/2012

Happy 2nd Birthday Blog!

As of today, this small site is turning two years old. It's been that long already¿ Wow... for me it seems like it was yesterday that I created this place out of a sudden decision back on December 30th 2010. Two years is actually a long time and the site has seen a lot of shit during those what... 700 or so days¿ Still, I'm extremely proud of this and happy to own it even if it's mostly (about 99%) a more personal thing. 

When I originally created the site, I thought of it as a kind of diary for my gaming and other geeky activities. The original plan was to make small daily updates on what I play, what I think about a game, a few pics of a figure or some opinions about an anime, movie or even a book. But after two years, the general idea of the site has changed drastically several times and many plans I've had for it have either been cancelled or never started at all because of different reasons.

As of right now, my blog is more of a review site more than anything. After checking the weekly activity during 2012, I've posted much less than in 2011 but I've focused more on the quality and content of my game reviews which I personally think are better than the ones I wrote in 2011 and before. I've stopped writing about anime and posting galleries of figures but that's actually one of the things that are coming back to the site for sure.

Other sections like the News one simply don't have any activity because I don't have much time to read AND write about gaming news daily and I'd rather have the section completely dead instead of outdated all the time. But I do have a nice idea which is focus on news about my favorite franchises only (Final Fantasy, Zelda, DOA, etc) and keep the page as updated as I can about those. I think it might work.

I've been thinking for several weeks now about adding more content and starting to share the blog more. I'd like the place to finally start getting more readers and comments on the important entries. During these two years all I've done is write a little and share the reviews a couple times in Twitter (where I don't have a ton of followers anyway) so that isn't helping. I've had several ideas like creating a Tumblr or Facebook page to share the stuff that I write and probably a Google+ profile (but no one visits G+ anyway). I have to give more thought to that but what I'm 100% sure is that this place will have more content and activity during 2013. Besides, I think the site already has enough content to keep any games interested in it for a few hours.

There are several other plans that I never got to start like a tab in the upper part of the blog that would take people to a section exclusive to DOA5 and VF5FS content. I never actually started it because all my activity in those two games was completely and cruelly crushed by things like not having anyone to play offline with and mental prisons in some players minds that don't allow them to actually learn. This pisses me off but I've learned to move on and focus on what I have: A shit ton of unfinished games and anime that I'll play, watch and review during 2013. 

Another section I wanted to add was a Retro Gaming tab where I'd choose a game from past generations (mostly NES-N64 eras) and play it for a few days or weeks and then make some entries about it like opinion articles, small reviews and probably upload a couple of videos from players in YouTube. Sadly, this actually takes a lot of time and this entire place in run by myself alone and with the time I spent actually believing I'd play DOA5 this year I never got to start a Retro section. Buuuut who knows¿ Maybe I could think of something nice to start with to get motivated and get it running. Some of my favorite retro games like Wave Race 64, Megaman 4 or Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 could be excellent games for it.

But well, not everything has been bad of course. I've got to play several excellent games and meet fantastic players in forums like VFDC, FreeStepDodge, Zelda Universe, RPGsite and many others. If I had to name my favorite five games from this year I'd have to go with Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown, Dead or Alive 5, Halo 4, Xenoblade Chronicles and Skyrim. There are many others I loved like Gravity Rush or Final Fantasy XIII-2 but my five favorites are those. 2012 was a really good years for gaming in my opinion.

Now, for small-term future plans. Game reviews will of course keep coming and will still be the main focus of the site. The majority of the articles I'll share in social networks will be the game reviews and I already have many games in my to-do list like Tekken Tag Tournamet 2, Dynasty Warriors Next, Persona 4 Arena, Portal 2 and many others. Not all of them are very new but I think that the more, the merrier. Anime reviews and opinion articles will surely come back. I recently watched Gundam 00 and Squid Girl and loved them, so I definitely gotta write about them. I have some anime backlog as well so that will give me tons of material to work on. The same will happen to the figure galleries. I was checking on my figure collection the other day and there are tons of shit I could take pictures to upload and write about, so I'll definitely work on that. 

And well that's that. All I've got left to be said is that this place fills me with joy. I just love it and want it to start growing into a much better site. There are things I'd like that are sadly not in my power to achieve like adding more people to write with, tournamets to participate in and cover them in the site and things like that but even without it, I still think I have tons of material to work with. 2013 will most likely see a lot of changes for good in my activities. I'll give my everything to finish my backlog which will results in TONS of content for the site. So well, my blog's third year will definitely be the best. 

Dynasty Warriors Next and Portal 2 missions initiated

I'm gonna begin this post by saying the most important thing of the day. Today is the 2nd anniversary of my blog. This makes me reaaally happy and look back into the tons of posts I've made. Reviews, opinions, previews, galleries, videos and even anime and figures stuff have appeared in this place. I'm really proud of what I've put together here. But I'll leave that to a post of its own.

What this entry is really about is to mention that I've started playing Dynasty Warriors Next for Vita and Portal 2 for PS3. That makes it three games along with Persona 4 Golden which I mentioned before. Both games are pretty cool and I'm very pleased with them. 

Portal 2 is simply brilliant. The physics, dialogs, graphics, elaborated puzzles and gameplay itself in the game are amazing. I've found it a bit easy so far though. I'm already in Chapter 6 and I dunno how close I am to a possible ending. Maybe I'm just halfway through it, which would be awesome because I still don't want the game to end.

Glados is a bitch and the male announcer voice that guides you during the very first test rooms is incredibly funny. This is seriously a brilliant game. I'm happy to finally own it and enjoy it. I seem to remember mentioning this before but the thing I like the most about Portal is that it's a FPS... without being a FPS. No enemies, no guns and no shooters cliche were the things that helped this game shine the most in my opinion.

DW Next is one of those games we hardcore players stumble upon once in a while in which we encounter a huge quantity of problems in anything, from graphics to gameplay, from music to interface issues. Yet, we simply can't help but to have a blast with it. I'm actually pretty new to DW having only played Gundam 1 and the Fist of the North Star one but I'm really enjoying Next. I've put about 4 or so hours into it and I've already used like 10 characters. Each with different attack animations and things like that. 

The game has tons of issues like the music being incredibly generic or the dialogs being repeated over and over in the same mission, but it's just... fun. I'm seriously beginning to understand my online friends who always play these games while stating their faults at the same time. 

12/28/2012

Persona 4 Golden started!

Last night I started Persona 4 Golden, one of the Vita games I got for Christmas. It's much, much better than I expected. I never really paid any attention to this franchise before, which is strange given how big a fan of JRPGs I am so I wasn't sure what to expect. This is a remake of the PS2 version with tons of supposed extras I probably won't notice because I never played the original one but from what I read, there are tons of them.

The game is about a group of Japanese high school students who try to solve some murder cases in a remote town of Inaba. After a couple of dead bodies show up in town, they discover some kind of "other dimension" inside TVs where they can go and use the power of some summoned monsters called "Personas" to fight shadows and help possible murder victims. It's very, very weird even by JRPG standards but the game has so much shit to do that the experience is simply fantastic.


There's not world map and the game doesn't focus 100% on dungeon exploration and level grinding. In fact, there are tons of things to do besides those like take on part-time jobs in town, join sports and cultural clubs in high-school, study and eat food to raise some important stats, spend time with your friends and have tons of conversations with them to raise affinity levels that can improve performance in-battle and outside it. A little bit similar to the affinity thing in Xenoblade.

Persona 4 Golden has great graphics, a excellent soundtrack and as I said before, the gameplay is really deep and requires focusing and paying attention at all times. Even planning what you're going to do in advance so you can raise the stats, affinities and personas you really need.

So far I'm very pleased with the game and it's gonna be my main JRPG for the following days until I finish it and of course, review it. I was told in several sites that this is definitely the best Vita game in the market and I don't think they're wrong. You should try it out.

12/25/2012

Christmas Eve presents!

This was a really quiet Christmas Eve for me and my family. Dad had a really terrible pain in his back so we decided to stay home with him instead of visiting family. All I did was play Halo 4, Kirby's Squeak Squad (which I finished), watch Star Wars Episode II on Blu-Ray and some Big Bang Theory episodes. Today was a better though. My parents and I opened our gifts and everything went better than expected. I got some clothes I was seriously needing, including a nice sweater and scarf and five games. Two of them for PS3 and three for Vita. I also got three pretty nice Star Wars Episode I figures I was not expecting. They're more than welcome to my figure collection.



I'm really happy because all I got were things I didn't already own. My dad bought the games and he got them right. I was looking into buying Devil May Cry 4 for a long time now just like Portal 2, which is more than welcome and I'm sure I'll enjoy it a lot. The three Vita games I'm extremely satisfied with, I tested LBP and DWN and liked them a lot. I've never played a Persona game (except a little bit of the fighting one) and from what I've heard, Golden is the best one ever released. Vita has no games¿ please...


That Miku figure is actually a bootleg I bought from Amazon a while ago and got here this Friday I think it was so I'm considering it a Christmas present from me to myself. She's a bootleg, the Chinese version of an original Japanese figure that is EXTREMELY expensive, fortunately she's very beautiful. She has a couple of small details on her skirt and hair but still looks very nice. 



12/22/2012

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Jump Festa 2013 Trailer



Another excellent trailer for the upcoming Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, coming 2013 for PS3 and Xbox 360. The video shows some more gameplay and key elements of it like Lightnings' interaction with the stage, more battles and how she will perform actions in them. It looks very nice.

12/20/2012

Christmas Amazon games ordered!

I just ordered several games off Amazon for Christmas, as I mentioned in a previous entry, I didn't get to order all the ones in my wish list but I'm more than happy and satisfied with what I got. I even managed to import a Japanese Tales game for only 25 dollars! NICE! Most of them were very, very cheap, they most expensive one was Hatsune Miku Vita at 75$ and the second was a 30$ game. The list goes as follows:

- Hatsune Miku: Project Diva f (Vita)
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Xbox 360)
- Otomedius Excellent (Xbox 360)
- Rayman Origins (Xbox 360)
- Lollipop Chainsaw (Xbox 360)
- Code of Princess (3DS)
- Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 (PS3)
- Tales of Hearts: CG Movie Edition (DS)
- Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings (DS)
- Growlanser: Wayfarer of Time (PSP)
- Gods Eater Burst (PSP)



The two PSP games I didn't add to the list before for some reason. I must have forgotten to, Growlanser is a strategy JRPG people have recommended a lot to me and Gods Eater is an action-RPG similar to Monster Hunter but with a different art style and gameplay rules. They're both pretty sick actually so I'm happy to own them. I remember playing a Growlanser Generations game I have on PS2 many years ago and loving it. Too bad it's just too obscure.

My copy of Tales of Hearts is Japanese of course, it's an edition with CG Movies it seems and at 25$ I simply had to order it. I've been watching gameplay just like with every other Japanese-only Tales game and it looks amazing. This game is actually being remade for the Vita under the name "Tales of Hearts R" just like Tales of Innocence R which I might have to import during 2013 if Namco doesn't ever decide to localize them.


I'm really excited about how the list came out, I don't think I'll have an easy time deciding which ones to play first though I think I'll start with Lollipop Chainsaw, Project Diva f and DW: Gundam 3. The cool thing is that those ELEVEN games aren't the only ones I'll be getting because I'll probably pick two or three more in the local stores. I'm thinking about Little Big Planet Vita, Forza Horizon and a possible third could be Fable III. But I'll have to visit the stores around the city first to see that they offer.

Besides the games I ordered a few extra things, I had to choose between the mountains of books, Blu-Ray movies and anime, DVDs, manga, figures and art books sitting on my Amazon wish list but after a lot, and trust me, A LOT of consideration and thinking I decided to go with:

- ToraDora Manga (5 volumes): I love ToraDora and I rewatched the anime recently. I just find the characters to be extremely likable and cool and the story is really pretty. I investigated a little and since it's just five volumes at around six dollars each I just went and bought it.

- Star Wars novels "The Thrawn Trilogy": I've never read a Star Wars novel before, these ones seem to be what fans consider Episodes VII, VIII and IX of the "main" story from the movies. I read the synopsis of each and asked around and they seem nice. They were very cheap too.

- Harry Potter Blu-Rays Film Collection: This package contains the entire saga, eight Harry Potter movies in full HD, I don't consider myself a huge fan but I read the books and liked the movies a lot, so I just had to own the movies. Amazon comments say there aren't many extras in the package but I certainly don't care much about that.

- The Avengers Blu-Ray: I ordered a package with four versions of the movie: Blu-Ray 3D, Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital copy. It also seems to come with a code to download the soundtrack from iTunes. Nice!

- A couple of atheism books I've always wanted to read: God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens and The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. I'm actually atheist and I like to read a lot about the matter online so owning a couple books on it is necessary for me. I'm currently reading another book by Dawkins called "The Greatest Show on Earth" where he proves Evolution is a fact and he's truly a fantastic writer for these kind of things.

-Alice: Madness Returns art book: While the game is certainly not as good as it should have been, the thing I liked the most about American McGee's Alice was the art. I got to watch the contents of the art book in my city's Comic Con this year and it's really beautiful and elaborate. It was cheap in Amazon so I just went and ordered it.


And well that's it. I'm extremely pleased with how I managed to administer the money I had available in so many things in that addictive website. What I like the most is the number of things I managed to buy. Last year I spent around 200 dollars only in some Halo: Reach figures but this time, many less-than-20$ items stacked made for a great Christmas shopping spree. Recommendation: Play around with several Amazon articles offering the same product and give a try to used things, they're usually much cheaper and come in excellent condition. 



12/19/2012

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII The Final Journey Trailer



Trailer for the third and final chapter in the FF13 trilogy. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will have players use Lightning once again in a "open world" JRPG where the heroine will try to save the world once again in thirteen days time. 

From the info available now, the game's only playable character is Lightning herself so it's not gonna be party based like usual in the franchise. The game will be open world with tons of sidequests and choice making along with customization for the girl's stats and abilities. Lightning is shown wearing a new outfit very similar to the style of the previous games in the series.

Kirby Squeak Squad!

Kirby Squeak Squad is a very cute (and old) DS game that I never got to play in its time. About a month ago I bought a "used" copy from Amazon because the new ones were too expensive. My bad luck was that I actually received a pirated copy of the game. I tried not to care at first because the game seemed to run fine but it just died halfway through the adventure. So I went to a local shopping site and got lucky, found an actual copy of the actual game and bought it for very cheap. The shitty part is that I'll have to start the game all over again.


It's a 2D platformer like most usual Kirby games where he runs around, floats and eats enemies to copy their abilities. It's very easy but has beautiful levels, excellent copy powers, responsive controls, nice music and well, you play as Kirby, one of the best video game characters around. It has one of the best beginnings ever, Kirby's cake gets stolen and he goes on a killing rampage to get revenge. This pink fucker is such a badass!

The game seems to be quite obscure just like another called Kirby's Canvas Curse for the same system, Amazon and Ebay have very expensive copies and people in several communities tell me both are somewhat difficult to find, so I consider myself lucky to own both. I recommend it 100%

REVIEW: Halo 4 (Xbox 360)



The Master Chief’s newest adventure is finally available on the Xbox 360. This is actually not usual since Halo was supposed to be a trilogy, but Microsoft, Bungie and now 343 Industries have expanded on the universe with a new game that makes justice to the high profile the franchise has always been known for, since 2001 when the original Halo: Combat Evolved came out for the first Xbox.

Halo 4 takes place after the Master Chief is left stranded in an unknown part of space on a broken UNSC (United Nations Space Command, the humans) ship called “Forward unto Dawn” along with his AI and best friend, Cortana. Four years after the events of Halo 3, Cortana is forced to wake the Master Chief up after the human ship encounters a planet of Forerunner origin, an extinct and very old alien race.

With that, the green-armored Spartan soldier will once again live through an adventure that will take them to a beautiful Sci-Fi world filled with tons of allies and foes. He’ll use dozens of weapons, engage in very intense firefights and give the fans an opportunity to learn much more about the Halo universe and its surprisingly deep storyline.

Before going into the game modes, I’d first like to talk about how beautiful the game is visually. Every time a Halo game comes out, the Xbox consoles seemed to have reached a new ceiling for the graphical power of Microsoft’s consoles. Halo 3 did in 2007 followed by ODST and Reach in the following years, but to be quite honest, Halo 4 looks much better than all those and I don’t think I’m wrong when I say this is the best-looking game in the Xbox 360 right now.

Halo 4 is simply a fantastic looking game. It makes an almost-perfect use of HD textures, colors, anti-aliasing and a very realistic HDR for the lightning effects. 343 did so good with this that you’ll often be fooled about the world in the screen being 100% real. I remember back in Halo 3 that I complained a lot about the faces of the human characters like Sergeant Johnson or Miranda Keyes not being very good-looking. Well Halo 4 takes that all away and makes every character in it look simply fantastic, whether is a human being, a Covenant race or a Forerunner Promethean (the new enemies that replace The Flood).

The characters in the game are excellently animated, they move smoothly and feel much more natural than before. It’s easy to compare the animations for the Covenant warrior’s moves from Halo 1 to 4. In this game, Grunts, Elites and Jackals truly feel like they are actually real, thinking beings instead of random enemies popped up for the Master Chief and allies to kill. Textures look solid, frame-rate is stable at 60 at all times (except when your internet decides to do something about it in a specific game mode), lightning is realistic and the environments are extremely beautiful. Halo 4 looks amazing.

This game has excellent sound effects as well. Every weapon, footstep, wind, explosion, vehicle, debris and literally every single thing in that world can emit sounds that help a lot with the immersion. There are no cartoony sound effects, everything feels real and is done in a fantastic way. Voice-acting is great as well and it helps with the narrative. The Halo universe is actually pretty deep and has hundreds of characters, worlds, events and other things so, unlike most first-person shooter games, this one needs a solid narrative to explain what happens and the voice-acting does its part in a very good way. One of the things I actually didn’t like personally is that they changed the voices of the Grunts and Elites which, to me, sounded perfectly fine before, but that’s more of a personal thing.

Sadly, not everything went according to plan in the sound department. While the sound effects and voices are excellent, the soundtrack is kind of generic and seems to have lost most of that iconic feel the past five games passionately expressed. Halo 4’s music was done by British composer Neil Davidge instead of Martin O’Donnell like before and the style of each composer is easily noticeable. The soundtrack is actually nice, but not even close to the beats of the previous titles. It simply doesn’t feel like Halo music.

Halo 4 has a pretty cool campaign with tons of cinematics to explain the story, lots of places to visit, thousands of enemies to kill and dozens of weapons to use. There are some radical changes that will most likely bother fans though. The Covenant are back as enemies but some of their races are nowhere to be found. Drones, Brutes, Prophets and Engineers are gone and there’s no mention of them. There might be story-related reasons for their absence but gameplay-wise, the game feels hurt by this because most firefights with the Covenant will be the same. The Flood are gone too and were replaced by a new “race” of digitally-engineered Forerunner warriors called the Prometheans that look good for the most part and they have their own set of excellent-looking weapons but around 80% of them are these dog-like creatures called Crawlers that are more an annoyance than fun to fight against.

Most classic weapons are back too. The Chief will use fan-favorite weapons like the Assault Rifle, Shotgun, Battle Rifle, Plasma Pistol, Covenant Carbine and even Halo Reach’s DMR. This is great because it makes players feel familiar with the franchise though some of the weapons’ attributes and performance changed a lot (remember the Needler being useless? Well it’s extremely powerful now). There are a lot of new ones too and not only the Promethean ones, the UNSC arsenal got their hands on a fantastic light machine gun called SAW, a Railgun perfect to badly hurt enemy vehicles among others. The arsenal of weapons in Halo 4 is extremely well-designed and great-looking.

Firefight mode is gone and replaced by a new one called Spartan-Ops. This is a co-op game mode that takes place after the main campaign and has players return to the Forerunner planet the Master Chief and Cortana find to complete a lot of missions. There are a lot, around 25 of them and more are coming as free DLC. The mode feels similar to Firefight because players are met with never-ending hordes of Covenant and Promethean enemies and have to move around different maps. The difference is that instead of just surviving and going for a high score, players will now have to run around activating switches, escorting NPCs, killing specific enemies and the like.

Spartan Ops is very cool actually though it can get a little repetitive because most missions are similar, but the fact that it can be played with friends both offline and online is more than enough reason to give it a go. Besides, it has its own storyline that is actually really interesting, especially for hardcore fans of the franchise. It’s also a great mode to try weapons and just “play for fun” if anyone doesn’t want their competitive multiplayer stats to be affected negatively.

This brings me to the most complete part of the game, the competitive multiplayer. Halo has always been one of the most praised FPS franchises when it comes to multiplayer and Halo 4 does most of things right. The game’s multiplayer will look similar to the previous ones but is actually quite different because many key aspects of the gameplay were radically changed.

All the game types are there: Team Slayer, King of the Hill, Capture the Flag, Oddball, etc and some new ones are available like Regicide and Flood and they can be played by Matchmaking made by 343 or Custom Games elaborated by the players themselves. The thing is that most of those game types now suffer from radical changes like for example, the ability to immediately respawn after getting killed instead of being forced to wait a few seconds. Weapons are no longer scattered around maps in a set way, this time they randomly appear like ordnances and whatever appears is up to the game. Sometimes the game can drop a Rocket Launcher and others will decide to make an Energy Sword appear, it seems to be random for the most part.

Another drastic change is that now, like in Halo Reach, players customize a few set Loadouts for equipment when they respawn so they can decide to appear with a DMR and Plasma Pistol but those weapons will never be in the map itself by default, so to get your hands in the power weapons like the Sniper Rifle or Fuel Rod Cannon you have to kill enemy players and assist your teammates to gain score and be allowed to call ordnance that is also random generated. Sometimes you get a killing spree (five kills without dying) and get the opportunity to call the Binary Rifle, the most powerful weapon in the game but other times for the same killing spree you’ll only get to call a Shotgun or a few extra grenades.

Players now have the ability to equip their armor with some useful abilities like a hologram to confuse enemy players, camouflage to avoid detection, a jetpack to fly vertically and things like that. There are a lot of these abilities and they add tons of variety to the multiplayer but to be honest, sometimes they get a little annoying. It’s up to getting used to them, learn to use them yourself and learn how to deal with them. Players also have the ability to give their character a few other tweaks like extra ammo for Loadout and ordnance weapons, the ability to pick grenades from fallen players or unlimited sprint time.

The maps are pretty cool, beautiful, varied and have tons of things to do in them and ways to play them according to the game type. Some of them have powerful vehicles like Warthogs, Banshees and Scorpion tanks while other smaller ones keep things more personal and allow players to fight by themselves. 343 will periodically release new maps for the game. In fact, the first batch of DLC maps is already out, called Crimson Map Pack, it adds some new great maps for modes like Team Slayer and Capture the Flag.

Another new thing is a universal level-up system where by playing Spartan Ops or any competitive multiplayer game type and completing set challenges, players earn experience points to level-up their Spartan. With each level, players gain the ability to buy and equip new weapons for their personal Loadouts or abilities for their armors. They can unlock different nice-looking parts for the armor as well; the game has dozens of helmets, chest plates, arms, legs and shoulder pieces with different designs and colors. It’s nice because each player looks different and can customize their Spartan however they decide to. Sadly, the option to play as a Covenant Elite is gone.

Forge mode is also back and it seems to be better than ever. This Little-Big-Planet-like mode allows people to fully customize everything from any map. The layout, textures, weapons placement, rules of a game type, jumps, respawn points, etc.  This allows for the creation of extremely good and curious things. The competitive community is already working on bringing some of the best maps from the old games like Lockout from Halo 2, The Pit from Halo 3 or Sanctuary from Halo: Reach. So, while the game itself seems to be aiming more towards pleasing the casual community in multiplayer, the hardcore competitive one can also feel right at home because there’s more than enough content for them.

In short, Halo 4 is a fantastic new game in the franchise. Everything fans like about it is there. It has a great campaign, cool co-op modes and an excellent competitive multiplayer with infinite possibilities and customization options. It’s probably the best-looking game in the Xbox 360 right now and in gameplay, it’s vastly superior to the majority of other FPS games out there. While I personally liked the older games more, Halo 4 is simply excellent.


Pros:
-          Quite possibly the best looking game in the Xbox 360.
-          Great campaign, story and narrative.
-          Excellent weapon variety.
-          Spartan Ops is tons of fun.
-          Competitive multiplayer is really varied, complete and simply a blast.
-          Forge adds limitless customization options to Multiplayer.
-          Excellent network stability.


Cons:
-          The soundtrack isn’t as good as before.
-          Firefight is gone.


-          Graphics and Visuals…….…..10
-          Music and Sound Effects…......9
-          Gameplay……………………9
-          Replay Value…………….…..10

Overall Score………………... 9.5 / 10

12/18/2012

Green Light to Christmas Shopping

Now that I finally got to pay the debt in my credit card, I'm able to administer what money I have left between the gifts I need to buy and the shit I'm gonna order from Amazon for Christmas. I have 250 dollars ready to spend before January 1st available because of a thing the government of my country does with our dollars that I'm lazy to explain. So I've been thinking about what to buy and what to leave in the wish list for 2013. I already ordered five games which are: Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Rayman Origins, Otomedius Excellent, Lollipop Chainsaw (All for Xbox 360) and Hatsune Miku: Project Dive f (imported for Vita).

The Xbox 360 games were very cheap. I got all four for around 80$ and the Vita one was a little expensive at 65$, but that's an imported game from Japan so I guess it's fine. I still have others in my wishlist that I'm considering buying but I'm still not 100% sure because I'd like to order a couple movies, books or figures along with the games. 

Let me share a few screens of the games I did order first and the ones in my radar:

DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION (Xbox 360): This is the third chapter in a cyberpunk saga that started back with a very famous PC game many years ago. From what I've been reading, Square Enix's developers actually lent a hand with this game's art and cinematics so all I see is people praising the game from this. It's actually a stealth game rather than a FPS so it's probably going to be hard for me to finish it (I'm really bad at being stealthy) but it should be an interesting challenge.












LOLLIPOP CHAINSAW (Xbox 360): This is a game that gets to the point. What do gamers nowdays like¿ Zombies, gore, action, catchy music and hot girls. Lollipop Chainsaw mixes all that and results in a very interesting action-adventure title where players take control of Juliet, a beautiful cheerleader that is in reality a zombie-killer. When an invasion of living-dead swarms her college (or high-school, which I doubt), its up to her to stop it using... a chainsaw. I've seen tons of screens and gameplay videos and it looks pretty cool.












RAYMAN ORIGINS (Xbox 360): This one is a 2D platformer like New Super Mario Bros or Kirby's Return to Dream Land, only better, and in HD, and very funny. Rayman teams up with several other characters in a fantastic-looking adventure that will take them to dozens and dozens of different location. Excellent gameplay, co-op, music and art-style are the key factors in this game. I tried the Wii and Vita versions and loved them, but I can only dream of owning the game in HD. Xbox 360 it is.











OTOMEDIUS EXCELLENT (Xbox 360): A very obscure and rare shoot 'em up that features anime girls riding some spaceships to fire gigantic lasers at never-ending hordes of enemies. This game shares genre with Radiant Silvergun and Ikaruga (two games I deeply love) but instead of playing vertically, Otomedius Excellent's gameplay is horizontal. The ship (girl) you play as flies from left to right of a set number of levels and you need to shoot your way through them, killing monsters and avoiding bullets as you go. From what I read, the game isn't on par with the two gems made by Treasure, but it's nice and the Collector's Edition was very cheap, so bring it on!












HATSUNE MIKU: PROJECT DIVA F (Vita): I'm actually a big fan of Hatsune Miku and Vocaloid, I played Project Diva 2nd pirated on one of my PSPs during the year and loved the game so much that I just had to import it eventually. The songs are extremely good and catchy and the game itself is easy-to-pick-up (even though it's in Japanese only), challenging, fast and very fun. When I heard the Vita got a new one in Japan I simply had to play it. So it looks like 2013 will have more of Miku for me. 












FABLE III (Xbox 360): I'm actually between The Witcher 2 and this one. I'm 100% sure The Witcher 2 is a better game but it's still a little expensive while Fable III is in less than 20 dollars. Besides, I did enjoy the first two a lot I have been wanting to try the third for a while now. It looks like the basic rules from Fable II are still there. Your character can still specialize in melee combat, guns and magic and interact in many different ways with many different people. 












FORZA HORIZON (Xbox 360): Forza is simply the best racing franchise for me. I love DiRT, loved GRID, respect Gran Turismo a lot and find the unrealistic racers like ModNation, Mario Kart and Wipeout fun, but Forza is where its at. The games feel realistic, are fast, extremely fun and look fantastic. Forza 3 and 4 are possibly some of the game I've played the most this generation so I should naturally try Horizon. I have to admit I was a bit doubtful at first when I heard about it being open-world rather than circuit-based like the four previous ones, but reviews, opinions, gameplay videos and the demo convinced me. Forza Horizon is a MUST.












DEVIL MAY CRY 4 (Xbox 360): I've wanted to buy this game for so many years that it's not even funny. I remember playing the demo back in 2007 or maybe even 2006 when I first got my Xbox 360 but for one reason or another, I never bought it. The good thing is that Amazon sells the game for around 10 dollars if you're lucky so I'm most likely gonna buy it now and complete the "quadrilogy".












DYNASTY WARRIORS: GUNDAM 3 (PS3): I'm well aware that DW games aren't the best things ever, but since I started watching Gundam 00 I've been getting interested in the series and its games. I got the first one for 360 and while it has a shitstorm of problems, I found it pretty fun. So logically the third has to be better. Besides, it has the Gundam 00 characters. Yay! Playing with Setsuna, Lockon, Tiera and Alleluyah and killing THOUSANDS of robots with them. I'm in!












PORTAL 2 (Xbox 360): While I never actually finished Portal 1 and I'm not a fan of Valve, Portal 2 has always interested me. The actually-good mix between a FPS and a puzzle game is fantastic and the game does have charm. The best thing about it for me is that it doesn't have weapons and enemies. It's still a little bit expensive (around 30 dollars) in Amazon but I'm considering it.












CODE OF PRINCESS (3DS): I'm a bit disappointed about the 3DS Christmas line-up to be honest. Besides Paper Mario and this game, nothing interesting seems to have been released for the holidays. Paper Mario doesn't interest me (yet) but Code of Princess actually does. At first I didn't like it but after reading some user reviews and watching some gameplay, I have to admit the game looks very fun. It's a mix between hack-n-slash and a JRPG where you play as skimpy princess Solange and some other characters to save a magical medieval land. 












LITTLE BIG PLANET (Vita): I'm one of those who think LBP is actually one of the best franchises born this generation. I've played through the two PS3 games and the PSP one and seen for myself what the users are capable of with the Play-Create-Share scenario Media Molecule invented with these games. I tried the Vita demo and it's simply fantastic. Excellent graphics, music, gameplay and creation tools. This game is simply a must-have.












DYNASTY WARRIORS NEXT (Vita): Like I said with the Gundam one, I know DW games are well below the quality standards of other franchises. But I played the demo of DWN and I couldn't help but had fun with it. According to the game's info, there are tons of missions, characters to play with, sidequests, minigames, modes and customization for the Vita entry. To me, it looks like it could be a very serious consideration for the portable console.












RAGNAROK ODYSSEY (Vita): This is one of those Japanese games that gives the player an unlimited number of quests for his/her created character to complete, similar to Monster Hunter or Phantasy Star. The Vita game is actually very nice but seems like you need to invest a lot of time in it to see the actually-cool features. I played the demo and liked it and several gameplay videos, articles and reviews online confirm the game is very cool later on. Worthy of consideration.












FINAL FANTASY XII: REVENANT WINGS (DS): Yes, that's not a mistake, a DS game in my 2012/2013 Christmas wishlist. Revenant Wings is a strategy-RPG similar to Final Fantasy Tactics. It's a sequel to FFXII, the original PS2 game that came out back in... 2006 I think it was¿ I never actually bought this game and it's cheap now so I think I should take the opportunity and order it.














POKÉMON BLACK/WHITE 2 (DS): Yup, another DS game here. This only speaks of how poor the 3DS catalog is at the moment if you already own a few games for it. In case of buying this I'd actually have to go for White 2 because I got Black in the prequel and my girlfriend already owns Black 2, so I'd need the opposite version to trade with her. I love Pokémon games so White 2 is a must for me. 













And I think that's pretty much it. As I said, the first five in that list have already been ordered so it's a matter of time for them to arrive. There are others I didn't mention like Wipeout 2048 (Vita), Batman Arkham City (PS3), Tales of Innocence R (Vita) or the Darksiders games (for 360), but those aren't a priority for me to be honest. Besides I'm traveling to New York City soon anyway and I'm sure I'll be buying several games for cheap there, so I have to leave a list of good games to buy for February!

This list doesn't mean I'll get ALL of them, it's just the ones that have the most priority, the ones I've been following for a while and interest me the most. Maybe I'll add a couple more or end up removing some, I dunno, but right now this is my current Christmas wishlist of games.