Thursday, May 29, 2014

The New Final Fantasy

I haven't had much time to game lately. I got a little time in on Mega Man Xtreme a few days ago, but I won't post about that again until I've finished the game. I decided last night I was going to dedicate my evening to playing some more Bravely Default, so I thought I'd write a little post about it today!

I picked up Bravely Default right around launch and put in 30 hours pretty quickly. I couldn't put the game down. I even took a trip for a friend's wedding to Jamaica and spent a few hours playing it on the beach, while everyone else was taking in the rays and reading books.

I've played the same jobs up to reaching Eisenberg, when I finally decided to switch them up. My team consisted of Tiz (Monk), Agnés (White Mage), Ringabel (Black Mage), and Edea (Knight). I've heard there isn't much point in trying to master jobs until at least after Chapter 3, which I'm currently on, but I just wanted to switch it up for a bit, so I made Tiz a Ranger, Agnés a Red Mage, Ringabel a Time Mage, and Edea a Valkyrie. They're definitely a weaker group. It's take quite a bit getting used to Ringabel not being able to dish out as much damage as I'm used to, but Tiz is definitely more powerful and Angés is working out pretty well as a Red Mage. The jury's still out on Edea as a Valkyrie. It's weird, when I played the Bravely Default demo a few months back I had Edea as a Valkyrie and she was a powerhouse. I feel like they've been powered down in the final version, but I dunno.

These guys cackle like Skeletor before the fight starts. It's hilarious.

As I mentioned before, I picked Bravely Default back up last night and warmed up taking on a couple of level 20~ bosses in Norende before venturing back out on my quest, and it was just like I never left!

I adore this game. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I feel like it's the Final Fantasy game I've been waiting for since FFIX. I've played lots of FF titles since then that I liked - even the spiritual successor to this game, Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light - but none of them have had me this excited.

(I know it's technically not an FF game, but it's like a gaiden title, so it counts!)

I polished off another quick dungeon, which was pretty easy, but fun. Although I'm finally starting to get used to these new jobs, I think I'll only level them up once more (I think to Level 5?) and then switch some of them back to their old jobs. I just feel like some of the fights I have coming up will take a lot more damage-dealing than I'm capable of right now (I'm looking at you Ringabel and Edea), but I might keep Tiz and Agnés the same for now.

Anyway, that was a short Bravely Default update. I might keep these up after every couple of sit-downs I have with the game, because it's fun for me and it's my blog!

Hope you enjoyed,

p.s. I just found out about this Bravely Default: Praying Brage web game. I wonder if it's any good, or if there's an English version...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mega Man Xtreme: All of the Storyline

Hi everybody,

So late last night after the hockey game (Go Bruins!) I decided I finally wanted to get off the pot and download Mega Man Xtreme. It was recently released to the Nintendo eShop for the 3DS Virtual Console as part of Mega May, a promotion by Capcom to release all of the remaining Mega Man Gameboy games to the eShop this month.

I am a huge Mega Man X fan. If I'm being honest with myself it's probably my favourite Mega Man game, although Mega Man 3 is right up there. I didn't have a Gameboy growing up, let alone a Gameboy Color, so when Mega Man Xtreme was released in 2000 I really had no chance of playing it. I would see it in gaming magazines, like Nintendo Power or EGM, and my interest was definitely piqued, but I never did get to see the game in action.

So last night I thought, "What the heck, it's $4.99. Give it a shot!" And so I did.

I was immediately surprised by how smooth the game played. I'd seen screenshots of the title before, and although they were in glorious 8-bit colour I never expected the framerate to be so tight. I played on as a confused X dashed his way through CD Streets from the original Mega Man X title. That's right! Much like the subsequent X-titles you begin this game with the dash.

I eventually reached Vile... or, I mean, Vava? I was so confused when I saw Vile's name written out as Vava that I had to post it to Miiverse. Thankfully a guy named Randy set me straight. Apparently Vava is Vile's Japanese name and it was left that way in this title. "Vile" is way cooler than "Vava" for a name.

After this I was met with a metric ton of cutscenes and dialogue. With the limitations of the original hardware the programmers could only get so much text on the screen at at time. Although the images that accompanied the text looked pretty good, I was getting pretty tired of sitting through it.

That said, the storyline for the game is pretty cool. Much like the Mega Man Gameboy titles before this, this game plays like a mash-up port of it's console counterparts, so you'll see Mavericks in here from Mega Man X, such as Storm Eagle, but also Mega Man X2 baddies, like Flame Stag.
Middy tellin' me the reasons

After everything was finally revealed to me and I could continue on in my quest, I was greeted with the option to take on four Mavericks. As soon as I saw Chill Penguin on there, I knew who I'd be facing first. I don't think I've ever played Mega Man X on the Super Nintendo and didn't take on my ol' pal Chilly first.

The path to Chill Penguin's lair was short, but pretty satisfying. It played very much like the console version, but a fair amount was taken out. Not the Mech suit, though! I was pretty happy to see that part was kept. I wondered as I started the stage what armour upgrade I'd come across, as this was the stage you'd get the dash in the SNES version. What you do get is actually pretty ingenious! You get a leg part, just like in this game's big brother, however it grants you better mobility when you're sliding on the walls. With limited buttons available on the Gameboy the dash is relegated to tapping forward-forward on the d-pad, or you can map it to the Start button in the options. As a result, it makes it kind of difficult to dash-jump when you're sliding on walls. The clever programmers of this game, therefore, gave you this leg upgrade so that you basically dash jump off the walls every time! It took a little getting used to, but I think in the long run it was a really nice touch.

Bring it on, Chilly!
I eventually reached my quarry, expecting the fight to be the cake-walk I'm used to in the SNES version. Turns out I was wrong! For the most part Chill Penguin fights the same way he does in the original title, but facing him in such small quarters definitely shook things up a bit. It took a few lives, but in the end I was victorious!

That's all I played for my first foray into Mega Man Xtreme, but I have to say that, so far, I'm pleased. My only complaint is that the story cutscenes in the game seemed to go on a little long, but at the same time I appreciated the lengths the developers went to to make this a canon title in the Mega Man X series.

Anyway, that's it for today folks. If you have any mothers in your life, make sure to pay appropriate homage to them today. In my experience breakfast in bed and flowers work out pretty well.

Take care,