Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dizzi's Final Fantasy Retrospective Part 2 (Spin off special)

As far as the main series Final Fantasy games go, there is also a plethora of side story games that offer a lot of fun as well as different stories. Par Example...

Crisis Core – Final Fantasy VII Logo.PNG

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is the prequel to that game I know you know. It ties in quite excellently with Final Fantasy VII as it ends right when VII begins. The backstory of how many events came into place is a nice extension of the FFVII extended universe, and the gameplay isn't half bad either. The gameplay takes a more action oriented approach, similar to a hack and slash, but not quite. While for me personally, the game took a fair bit of grinding, and grinding boils down to mashing X against things weaker than you, overall, it's a fun game that people who own a PSP should give a try. (Warning: It contains MASSIVE, spoilers for Final Fantasy VII).

Final Fantasy Tactics Lion War logo.jpgFinal Fantasy Tactics Advance Logo.jpgOfficial logo for Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift

The Final Fantasy Tactics series will always have it's place, along with Fire Emblem as some of the best Strategy RPG series of all time (OF ALL TIME). Since they are SRPG's, they play a lot differently from the main series games. While I liked War Of The Lions, I think that Tactics Advance is probably the best out of the three. Had me playing long enough to complete all 300 missions as well as the secret Judgemaster missions. Nothing gold can stay however, as Tactics A2 sort of kind of was a little bit bad compared to the shining examples given by the former games. It wasn't terrible, but it just didn't have the fun that the other two games had. It was one of those games where you just complete the main story as the rest isn't worth checking out. Not to say some may not enjoy it, it just felt like getting cake for dessert twice, and on the third day, getting a muffin.

Dissidia Logo.jpg

Dissidia Final Fantasy is fanservice at it's best. 2 characters from each game (1 from XI and XII respectively) all together in a Final Fantasy fighting game. Damn it sounds awesome. Well hold on to your pants, because it kinda is. While the story mode is an immense timesink and is overall bland, the actual gameplay is one of the most solid fighters in my opinion. It's a tad complicated and takes a bit to get used to, but when you master it, it feels really intense. ANother game that all Final Fantasy PSP owning fans should pick up, or at least try the demo.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lost Arts in Video Games

Video games have greatly evolved from a single joystick, to a pair of joysticks and a ton of buttons I'm amazed we can memorize the functions of. But because gaming has advanced so much there are some things that get lost in the shuffle, and are long forgotten. Here are my top three things in video games I miss, as dated as their concepts may be:

3. Cheat Codes

I really miss these things. Now I'm not talking about hacks that were not put in by the game programmers. I'm talking about the phrases and button combinations that we grew to memorize that enhanced the experience of a game and required nowhere as much skill as hacking. These are still around is some shape or form, but not in the way that just brought out the crazy side in gameplay. Back then we has codes for giant heads, infinite ammo, the ability to send your opponent flying in a single punch and to have citizens abuse the second amendment. Now we mostly have cheats to change the look of our characters. Some games today still have that charm in their codes, but it would be nice to see it more often.

If you recognize this, then you know what I'm talking about.

2. Death Penalty/Lives

Remember back in the day, when getting killed in a video game was a major deal? If you got your killed in a video game, by a boss or a pool of lava, chances are you'd get sent three miles back on a journey back to where you were. And to make matters worse, you have even less patience than before so you're twice as likely to get killed. And don't even get me started on when you run out of lives...

Nowadays, if you get killed in a video game, you'll probably return to the exact point you got killed which sort of defeats the purpose of getting killed aside from starting a small section over again. Don't get me wrong: I like how it is now. Running back to where I was, is certain hell. But the way it used to be, it made us a lot more careful when traversing gaps and dodging laser beams. A time with lives and a death penalty was a more cautious time in gaming.

"Am I the only one still on life support?"

1. Local Multiplayer

Now this right here, is something that has all but vanished off the face of the video game world. We live in the age that we don't even need to be in the same county, let alone the same room, to carry on a conversation with someone. Now that transfers into video games, and it saddens me. Whatever happened to the days when you had to go over to a friend's house so you can have enough people to get a game of Goldeneye or Super Smash Bros. going? Nowadays, all it takes is an instant message to your friend fifteen minutes away to get them to play a video game with you.

I don't know about you, but I enjoy seeing the look on my friends' faces when they tasted sweet defeat by my hand. Now we have to settle for hearing a person's reaction over a headset, or just a trolling comment about your "cheapness". I always thought the true joy in video games was playing together with friends. Literally together. Well, the main positive to this is that you can play with total strangers with them having no idea who you are. That can sometimes be a negative as well, I guess. Though some people may not like it, but I kind of like Nintendo forces local multiplayer on their games. The friend code system may not be that great in my opinion, but it's another interesting way to keep you playing with people you know personally (or anyone who sees the code you revealed on a forum site).

1999 was a good year.

To conclude, I'm loving the video game scene at this point, but looking back at how it was years ago, there are some parts of it that make me want to go back time. I just wish this stuff stronger stood the test of time...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Top 5 Worst and Best Comedies

Hello people! I'm here with a top 5 post! About freaking time, I guess. And these are MY personal hated and favorite comedies! I hope you like, or hate, them!

Here is my top 5 hated comedy movies.

5. Freddy Got Fingered

Why is this movie the least hated movie on this list? It's because it made me laugh every few scenes. Don't get me wrong, this movie is horrible, absolutely horrible. But compared to the other four horrible comedies, this is an Oscar contender. This movie is about a slacker (Tom Green) who wants to be a cartoonist but fails. He drives his parents insane with his crazy antics and his father hates the way he is. This movie combines surrealism with gross out humor, like most of what Tom Green does. As for the title, it barely has anything to do with the movie. It's only mentioned for about seven minutes and, like most of the scenes in this movie, goes absolutely nowhere. This is a purely stupid movie but, again, there is four more spaces to go.

4. Failure to Launch

Zooey Deschanel. The only actress who is tolerable in this movie. Everything else is atrocious. It is unwatchable. I've tried watching this movie seven times and I can never watch it all the way through. The plot is horrible. It's about a man (Matthew McConaughey) who is a full grown adult who still lives with his parents. Finally, his parents have had enough and hire a woman (Sarah Jessica Parker) to pretend to fall for him and move out of their house. This woman actually IS HIRED TO PRETEND TO FALL IN LOVE WITH MEN TO HELP THEM MOVE OUT!! This is stupid! Also, what happens when the men move out of the house? The woman will break up with them to continue what they do? Won't they get depressed and move back with his parents?! THEN WHAT WAS THE POINT?! This makes no sense. THIS MAKES NO SENSE! Failure to launch? More like Failure to Please.

3. Screwed

Norm MacDonald, Dave Chapelle, Danny Devito, Elaine Stritch, Sarah Silverman, and Sherman Hemsley aka George Jefferson in the same movie. What can go wrong? The title should be a warning to anyone who wants to watch it. This is a stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid movie. I thought with all these funny people in this movie, it would be off-the-walls hilarious. It's not. It is bad. A plot involving a kidnapped dog which leads into stupidity. It involves three people at first and then about ten people are painfully fit into this plot. Why was this is theatres, it totally bombed at the box office. It is rated PG-13! It has course language, nudity, drug content and some violence. Don't know how they got away with it. I thought Dirty Work would be Norm's worst movie...until this movie comes along. This movie is one of the perfect examples of how funny people are in a terrible movie.

2. Son of the Mask

This is a perfect example of f***ing up a kick ass movie by doing a horrible sequel. This movie is atrocious. This is one of the worst sequels ever made. This movie combines reality and Looney Tunes-like slapstick. I will constantly watch the original movie in order to forget this crap. This movie is about a man (not Jim Carrey but Jamie Kennedy) who is scared of having sex with his wife. Then he finds the mask and "hilarity" ensues! His alter ego has sex and his wife gets pregnant. The baby has some of the powers from Jamie's mask ego and, while his wife is gone away for a while, the baby ends up driving Jamie insane with some horrible slapstick routines. I can't get any more into this because if I do, I'll remember it, making me lose some brain cells. The biggest insult is that it has Steven Wright in this movie. Steven Wright. The king of deadpan comedy. WHY?! This movie is more scary then funny at times...never a good thing for a comedy...even if it's called Jingle All The Way.

1. All About Steve

This movie is what killed comedy for a me, anyways. I lowered my expectations when I saw this movie since I found that Sandra Bullock won a Razzie award for this movie and this movie was one of the worst movies ever made. 40 minutes into the movie, I actually thought about killing myself. That's right! A movie actually made me suicidal! By the last 15 minutes of this movie, I was screaming for the movie to end. The plot focuses around Bullock's character following who she thinks is the man of her dreams, a cameraman for a news reporter, played by Bradley Cooper...who is a double offender on this list. He was already at the movie at number 4. Her character is borderline stalker mode and she does this while going across the country! This is horrible. The movie is horrible. The premise is horrible. Nobody is likeable. Who the Hell green lit this horrible movie?
Sandra, we love you, but if you keep making movies that make Speed 2 and Miss Congeniality 2 look like Christopher Nolan movies, we will never watch your movies again. Even if you get an Oscar for a movie that received mixed reviews by critics.

Here is my top 5 liked comedy movies

5. Ghostbusters

This movie is an automatic classic. Combining horror with hilarity! You got Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson...amazing. Just fun. Does the plot really matter? kind of does. But this is comedy/horror at its best. The four guys are amazing whenever they're on screen. The ghosts themselves are creative, with the exception of Slimer, who is annoying to me. Other than this, it's a perfect movie. The sequel is alright but it's not as original as...the original. Sorry for the pun.

4. Beverly Hill Cop 1 and 2

I know it's cheating to put two movies at once but these movies are delightful. It's Eddie Murphy at his comedic and improvisational best. This was Murphy when he was the biggest comedian in the world. This was before Norbit and Pluto Nash. His Axel Foley character has become a cultural icon of a generation. With his smart aleck remarks and his way of weaseling himself out of sticky situations, he is extremely likable. His buddies, Billy Rosewood and Taggart, played by Judge Reinhold and John Ashton, respectively, add to the madness! These two movies are hilarious, although the first one is considered the best to some people but, to me, the second movie is more humorous and destructive. Sure, they're cliched movies but everyone makes this series may be wondering why it's only Beverly Hill Cop 1 and 2, not Beverly Hills Cop series. The third one blows. Axel Foley isn't as he was in the first two, Billy is changed somewhat and Taggart...isn't here. This combined screws up everything. That's why, when the next Cop movie comes out, if it's any good, called that one Beverly Hills Cop III. II. Otherwise, the first two movies are classics to enjoy.

3. Happy Gilmore

This is Adam Sandler at his most me personally. This movie is stupid fun. Maybe it's because the plot about an aspiring hockey player turning into a golfer is alone syupid but I can't judge. Sandler is golden as the title character and this was before he put pointless cameos in his movies. Bob Barker is just fun in his 4 minute cameo and it actually has a point. This movie shows how people can actually act like whenever they do something wrong. Happy Gilmore always makes me happy...yes, it's stupid of me to say that but, again, it's a stupid movie. I don't know if it's because it's so bad, it's good. I don't know if it's because Carl Weathers plays a main role in this. I don't know if it's...screw it. Why am I complaining? This movie is a perfect example of how horrible sports movies are compared to this movie.

2. The Blues Brothers

This movie is full of music and comedy. I don't know which one is better...BECAUSE THEY ARE BOTH EQUALLY AMAZING! I love everything about it! The characters, the music, the comedy, pretty perfect for a musical comedy. I love the fact that these two brothers, small as they might be, cause all this destruction and people are chasing after them. Think about it. Two guys cause so much destruction that people are wanting their blood! That alone is hilarious! They go from being chased around for going through a red light ("The light was yellow, Sir.") to the army chasing them through a building. That's pretty amazing. All you have to do if ignore the rape that it had to endure due to its sequel, Blues Brothers 2000...which came out in 1998, and all is well. It's on a mission...from God.

1. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

This movie is my favorite. I have watched it over 70 times in the span of 11 years and I keep laughing. This movie has made my laugh laugh so hard, I have had tears fall down my face. Jim Carrey is perfect as the wacky, unhinged pet detective who has to find the Miami Dolphins... dolphin mascot. What follows is the unorthodox series of comedic events I have ever seen. These events range from what happens in rock concerts to...well, anything in this movie! This came out the same year that other Carrey movies, The Mask and Dumb and Dumber, were released. This movie, however, stands out. The sequel is hilarious, however, it doesn't exactly capture the heart as the original did, like the Ghostbusters. This is my childhood movie...and it gets better practically every time I watch it. If you haven't watched it. Watch it. Watch it. Watch it. Watch it. Watch it. Did I mention watch it? Watch it.

And that is my top 5 worst and best comedies! Hope you enjoyed it. I know I left a few things out but I can only make a top 5. Also, I forgot what I was going to put down.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

And Now for Something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: Rogue Squadron.

Gamers are, by nature, a filthy breed. We don't clean, do laundry; this gets in the way of more gaming. But, in this case, it ended well. I found my Gamecube. A battered, purple little box, purchased in the first week of release. More importantly, however, was what was inside.

A scratched, but totally functional Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader.

Rogue Squadron for the N64 and PC, the original from 1998, was a great game. It had its flaws, such as no space levels and no levels from the movies without the use of cheat codes or uber skill. But, something about flying an X-Wing was unique, and the N64 version, while frustrating the hell out of me (Note: Fuck you, Crix Madine), it was easily my favourite game on the console.

First level, training on Tatooine with Luke Skywalker. Also, some mean Bombers are bombing Mos Eisley.

Therefore, years later, when Rogue Leader hit stores along with the new Gamecube, it was a total hit. It was everything the original game lacked. The first had missions that, while interesting, were not from the films. This was due to an agreement with Lucasarts. However, that restriction being lifted led to Rogue Leader following the film much more closely, with the first level being the attack on the Death Star, an instant classic. It ended with the destruction of the Second Death Star, making a neat endcap. It also filled in gaps between the films, such as the relocation to Hoth, and stealing the Shuttle for the Endor mission. It was also fully voiced by the original actor for Wedge, who as any Star Wars nerd knows, is the most bad-ass non-Jedi pilot of the entire old trilogy(He was the only the only guy to survive both Death Star attacks). Even more amazing, the game was developed in 9 months. 

I don't care what anyone says, this game is still fucking beautiful. Also, this screenshot highlights the Squad Commands, while limited, are useful for having the TIES leave you alone, as they get vaped by your buddies.

This is Wedge. He's like Chuck Norris, but in Space and has a Pilots License.

The third game in the series, Rebel Strike, is also the most controversial. It added a mostly functional campaign, and the entire Rogue Leader campaign in Co-Op, as well as great multiplayer. However, it also added speeder-bike races and missions, which while mostly fun, were frustrating to the extreme on Endor, where trees could make you wish you were a lumberjack. Seriously, fuck trees. But that could be forgiven, had it not been for the incredibly bad on foot segments. These sections were just not fun at all. Terrible game design in these levels offset the otherwise amazing campaign options. It is made up in a way, with the AT-ST segments, putting you in a flimsy walker, blasting apart anything that annoys you. Pretty fun. Luckily, the campaign was split in 2 parts, following Wedge (mostly flying missions. Mostly) or Luke (mostly shitty missions. Mostly), so avid fighter jockeys could leave the the shitty parts of the game well enough alone.

Seriously, if you want Star Wars shooty fun, look somewhere else. Rebel Strike is more fun if you ignore these segments.
On the bright side, the competitive multiplayer modes made player vs player dogfights engaging, and co-op style maps where the Imps just keep coming, are like a horde mode, but with less dying and more Imperials turning into shrapnel.

In all, sure its old. But don't consider them old. Think of them as more elegant games, from a more civilized age.

Since you read this far, and didn't go TL;DR, maybe leave a comment? We'd appreciate it.

Gears Of War 3 Beta Impressions

Sorry I haven't made a blog post in a while, I was... Busy...
Guess Again.

Anyways, I've been playing the Gears of War 3 beta pretty much since I got it (Early Access is awesome) so that's taken all my attention away from the blog, and pretty much everything else. Damn this beta is good.

I like the way it adds to the Gears standard multiplayer. Gears 2 never had any medals or challenges, it was pretty bread and butter but still was probably my most played game. Now Gears 3 introduces medals and challenges that make the experience that much better. Gives you something to strive for (Plus the feeling of badass you get when you get the 20 kills without dying medal). I'm glad they're taking a less "Halo-ish" approach to multiplayer characters, where instead of picking shoulder piece #6, the characters different skins are complete swaps from each other (I.E. Thrashball Cole). It's a difference that the guy shooting at you can actually notice, and you can rub it in while wiping his smug face across the map with a Sawed Off.

Speaking of Sawed Off, the Sawed Off Shotgun is a weapon I really like. I never did enjoy the standoffs that would result over two people with Gnashers in Gears 2, and the fact I can turn 2+ people into red dust with one pull of the trigger is such a siren call. That being said, the reload time is only slightly longer than it took to build Rome. Not too into the Retro Lancer, but that will probably change when I have to get 100 kills with the gold one for the retail version. Flame Grenades are really nice as well, nothing beats throwing it at someone and watching them melt. I find planted grenades to be a lot less useful in Gears 3. Maybe it's because I played so much Annex in Gears 2 and the only mode available in the beta right now is TDM. Only one thing I have issues with, the Digger Launcher. How do you detonate it? I'm not even kidding, I have no idea, I usually just fire it straight into someone's chest for now.

I also have the Flaming Lancer, which isn't supposed to unlock till next week. I don't know how I got it, but it sets me apart, which is kinda cool.

Anyways long story short, go get this beta if you haven't already (Owning an Xbox probably might help), you have till April 25th. Not something you wanna miss out on, especially if your a fan of the series like I am. Now if you'll excuse me, only 38 more executions until I get that next medal...

Posting Schedules

Okay so I guess the order and consistency of our articles is strange at times. What I've been trying to do is get a schedule for the readers so they know who is writing what so if you want to view articles from a specific person, you know when to show up.


Teh Lulz Pare - Gaming (War/Army related), PC Gaming
Harrison Laine - Movies (video reviews), Television
Dizzi - Gaming (RPG, Casual), 360 Gaming


Tenacious - Gaming (Casual), PS3 Gaming, Nintendo Gaming

Of course, these are all subject to change but so far this is what we've become. Once we get our new site I'll have a sidebar showing who posts when. As always, thanks for reading.

Harrison Laine's Twilight Review

Monday, April 18, 2011

Good News Everyone!

You read this in Farnsworth's voice!

But that's not the point of this article. I'm proud to present that Serizzid is getting it's own URL. Yes that's right. After all these years (more like...2 weeks) of hard work and dedication we are removing the '.blogspot' from our URL.

The official URL of our site will become: http:\\

But until then continue to use this site until we make a post about the official switch. Right now we're looking at this Easter Weekend for the URL. Of course the site will be much easier to use and include a lot more things. Hopefully you guys like it.

So until next time, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

PC Gaming: Mods Top 5

In the console vs PC wars, one argument has always stuck with me. Maybe its because I'm too curious for my own good, but the allure of PC mods has always made me buy 2 copies of Bethesda Games, such as Fallout 3 or New Vegas. But just what are the greatest mods of all time? We may never know. But we can make a few guess's....

5. FOOK(Fallout Overhaul Kit)

Introducing real-world fire-arms, FOOK is a must for gun-nuts.

FOOK, a mod for both New Vegas and Fallout 3, is probably one of the most downloaded mods on both their homepage and the Fallout Nexus, (Mods with tits have the most, to no-one's great surprise). It, among other things, adds updated weapons, and is mostly a homage to the old Fallout 1, 2, and Tactics games, living up to its name as an Overhaul kit. As well, updated blood effects, and seamless integration into core gameplay make this Mod a must, and when combined with others, totally transform the experience. If you own Fallout, either of them, I'd recommend pairing this with IWS(Increased Wasteland Spawns) and a visual upgrade for the best effect, making the wasteland teem with life, gunfire, and pretty skylines.

4. A.C.E 2 (Advanced Combat Enviroment 2)

ArmA 2 is a realistic game to start with, so you can imagine just how hardcore a player has to be to want to make it more unforgiving. Adding hundreds of weapons, and vast changes to core gameplay, this is the closest you'd ever want to be to a real war-zone. Sounds have been changed too, adding to the already tense atmosphere. Easily one of the most popular ArmA 2 mods, it has been expanded to work on the expansion Operation Arrowhead, and quite a few other mods are made to work alongside it, including a comprehensive Peoples Liberation Army sub-mod, which rivals the original game in quality. My only gripe is the ridiculous learning curve, compounded by the hyper-skilled online players. Not a mod for the faint of heart.

3. Star Wars Mod: Galactic Warfare

SWM:Galactic Warfare 08b - Launch Trailer video - Mod DB

A massive undertaking by a German mod team, this Call of Duty 4 mod takes the frantic shooty fun of COD4, and every nerd's favorite movie series (Trekkies don't count). The result is a polished, well made mod that is only getting better with age. Starting with only one map, the mod has expanded to 3, in various Star Wars locales...from the original trilogy. Seriously, the video speaks for itself. And it doesn't have noob-tubes, which is always a plus.

2. M.E.R.P (Middle Earth Role-Playing)

MERP, a massive Elder Scrolls: Oblivion mod, is far from finished, and yet, I can't stop watching the trailers. The Oblivion engine remains beautiful to this day, and the mod-team of implemented so much of Middle Earth into the game map, from Hobbiton to Isengard, to Mordor. The team is working on getting pikes and formations to work, bringing the movies and books to life in a way we can all enjoy.
It will take time, but it will definitely be worth the wait.

1. Red Orchestra: Combined Arms

I consider this to be the greatest mod on this list, not for just its technical achievements or fan base, both of which are considerable. It is on this list for what it represents: A true milestone.

Sure, make fun of the graphics now. But this was top of the line at one point.

Based off of Unreal Tournament 2003-2004, the mod was a contest entry in the Make Something Unreal contest. Most of the entrys went with the normal shooter run-gun formula that the original game was known for. Not so for Red Orchestra. A WW2 game set on the Eastern Front, the game featured practically no HUD, bullet drop, tanks, and sniper scopes that did not totally limit your vision. It was revolutionary in every sense of the word. It is now a major game, published and sold on its own merits, and its own engine. A true success story.

Anyways, hope you enjoyed another one of my silly lists. I SERIOUSLY hope that if anyone disagrees, leave a comment. I will answer your questions/Ignore obvious flames/Listen to good points.

3DS: Why I'm Waiting


NOTE: I've yet to try the 3DS, so bear with me if I seem a little uninformed.

So the Nintendo 3DS has been out for a while now and it has done quite well to nobody's surprise (It's hit at least half a million at this point). However, I personally do not find enough reason to purchase one at this point. Here are a few of my reasons to why I am waiting a while prior to buying a 3DS and sticking with a past-gen DS, or the 2DS as I like to call it. By the way, I declare dibs on that name!

One thing on my mind is the lack of interesting titles on the 3DS, or a lack of original and interesting titles. When I look at all the release titles for the 3DS, not many of them have caught my attention. For those who are curious, here they are:

  • Pilotwings Resort
  • Steel Driver
  • Nintendogs + Cats

  • Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition
  • The Sims 3
  • Madden NFL Football
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D
  • Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
  • Ridge Racer 3D
  • Super Monkey Ball 3D
  • Bust-A-Move Universe
  • Samurai Warriors: Chronicles
  • Asphalt 3D
  • Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D
  • Rayman 3D
  • Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Shadow Wars
To be fair, the 2DS didn├Ęt have such hot release titles either. Most of the games listed above are either not my cup of tea, or I have played them in some shape or form. Which brings up a bigger question: Why aren't there many original titles coming out for this console?

Another issue I have would be the hefty price tag. $249.99 in North America, €249 ($335) in Europe, and £219-229 ($349-365) in the UK. For what it's worth, it's a lot to pay for something that is not having its technological advances taken advantage of. Speaking of which, I've been checking out a few reviews of 3DS games, and while the games have received okay scores, I end up hear at some point in a few reviews that people tend to turn off the 3D while playing because they found it distracting, which is not a good thing considering the 3D is the selling point of this console.

So, until I get some eye-catching games coming around the corner, or if the price drops, I'll be holding off on a 3DS and have fun with my good ol' 2DS. Remember, I called dibs.

Final Fantasy: Gotta Beat Em' All! (Part 2, Dizzi Edition)

Final Fantasy I and II were both really fun games. I really enjoyed the ability to set up my party however I wanted in FFI, The Warrior, BMage, WMage and Thief combo worked really well. It kinda sucked that 9 times out of 10, FFI would tell you an objective without telling you where to go, but in itself, it was a really fun game. FFII? Eh... Not so much. It was a solid game, but the level up system was TERRIBLE. Grinding in the later levels pretty much involved hitting yourself to get stronger. It was a good game, but for sure, not top 5 material.

FFIII, is what I would call without a doubt, my least favorite in the series. The game involved more grind than any other and just wasn't really that great. The job system was decent, but they should have tweaked it in the remake to make it more like FFV's. I played the remake for the DS, so there was more plot shoehorned in, but it was pretty bad. I didn't know why exactly I was doing some of the thing's the game sent me off to do 90% of the time. If I had to give it a good point though, the main party was done very very nicely. It's still a dick move though when [spoiler] You beat the final Boss just for them to introduce another one last second.

The SNES era FF's were all really solid and well done games in my opinion. FFIV was my favorite as a kid, I played the hell out of it. I still don't see why they never kept the 5 man party, but whatever. FFV was probably where the SNES era lacked a bit. It was a decent game, and the job system was really good, but it just felt like it lacked in the fun that FFIV had. I mean it was okay, but it wasn't great. Also Exdeath is a tree... And a dick... Fucking Tree. FFVI is a LOT better than FFV was, and I don't know about dying a lot, because I only died once or twice, the game was pretty easy. The characters are a lot better than Butz and his trio of oblivious women (Butz was Bartz's name in the Japanese version and Butz sounds a lot funnier) Which is why I'm still angry at SE for NOT PUTTING LOCKE IN DISSIDIA 012, or ANY OTHER FFVI CHARACTER FOR THAT MATTER. Still one thing the game didn't tell me is how to junction Espers. I made it to the final area without discovering this little tidbit, and it would have been a lot easier if I knew I could learn Cure spells rather than drip feeding my party with Hi Potions.

If you've never heard of FFVII before, than I congratulate you for finding out how to live under a rock for the past 14 or so years since the game's release. I always heard about all the hype FFVII got and frankly I didn't get it. It looked like a bunch of spikey haired 20 something year old's and a black guy going to fight some guy with a sword just slightly longer than he is. Presumably they were going to fight him because his sword was 2 or 3 inches longer than the law would allow or something. Then I played the game. Usually this is the point where the posters says "And my life changed forever". I played it at Res's and pretty much ran around slums for 3 hours being bored. It wasn't till I bought it myself and sat down and played it for a decent amount of time before I actually liked it. Getting a gold chocobo was probably one of the best feeling accomplishments than many other games can offer. It's a great game once you get a few hours in, and it's probably one of the top 3 Final Fantasy games. FFVIII was also a great game, in fact, the entire PS1 era was probably the best. FFVIII however, comes with it's own slew of problems. Level scaling... I wanna know who thought of this. It works well for games like Fallout, but not for a JRPG. Plus, the game needs to put more emphasis on telling the player to junction magic. Poor Res is only 20 minutes or so into the game because he didn't bother to junction enough magic to himself. That being said, once you use the Diablos no encounter ability and go draw all the magic you can from the island closest to heaven/hell, you pretty much are an unstoppable force. Plus, the ending scene on Balamb Garden with the video camera is really great. FFVIII is one of the better FF games.


The crown and glory itself, Final Fantasy IX is without a doubt, my favorite Final Fantasy game. It came out of the blue too, I never expected this one to be so damn good. There were only, I'd say, one or two parts that were kinda boring (Namely the card minigame tournament and Fossil Roo). The game had by far the best party members (With the exception of Quina, who is pretty garbage) and supporting characters. The sprites and FMV's were done better than any FF game before it. It beats the hell out of the blocky FFVII sprites and the lanky FFVIII sprites. Kuja was just the right amount of dickhead to make him a great villain and all the throwbacks were pretty well put in. The final boss was another great part, with Sephiroth I just used Knights of the Round and Omnislash and beat him in 3 turns and Ultimecia, I just spammed the Aura spell and limit broke her over and over. FFIX's final boss was a nailbiter through the whole thing, scrambling to revive party members and healing them before he unleashed another powerful spell. I didn't think I was gonna win, but I ended up doing so with only 2 characters left standing. In short, PLAY THIS GAME, it is awesome.

I'm about halfway through X, so I'll likely write about X and X-2 when I finish them, I'll include XIII with XI and XII, possible XIII-2 if it's out by then (Probably won't be)

Final Fantasy: Gotta Beat Em' All! (part 1)

For a while now, Dizzi and I have been trying to beat all the Final Fantasy games. I thought I'd give our viewers an overview of what we've done so far. But first, why the hell are we doing this?

One day, Dizzi and I were fighting over Final Fantasy XIII. I thought it wasn't great at all while he thought it was one of the best Final Fantasy games. Then we both realized -- we haven't even played all of the Final Fantasy games! I think before I had played some of VII...and that was it. Sure I might have beat IV a while back but I really can't recall anything that happened. So that began our quest. I remember a few times we said back and forth, "Imagine we actually beat all of the games?!" Basically, it was one of those things that you say you're going to do...and then never do it. Yep...that's us. Anyway, onto our journey.

Final Fantasy I and II

We first started by playing FFI and II in their remake versions for GBA. We both felt that FFI was mostly 'figure it out yourself' than actually being told what needs to be done. No matter...we both finished it fairly fast. I'm pretty sure my level 75 characters were over leveled though. FFII wasn't as bad as it's usually made out to be. I enjoyed the new leveling style. Yeah, maybe a boss was a little tough here and there, but it wasn't too bad. Dizzi blazed through these two like no problems here.

Final Fantasy III

This...pissed me off. I didn't actually get to play at all. There wasn't a decent remake and the NES version was horrible. Hopefully someone will make a fan version eventually. Dizzi played the remake on the Nintendo DS. The DS version contained the same storyline although the Onion Knights were replaced for Luneth. They also added in a lot more side quests to make the game seem even longer than it already was.

Final Fantasy IV, V and VI

Probably the best set of Final Fantasy games. Best stories and gameplay for it's time. FFIV had a great storyline although characters seemed to leave and come back multiple times resetting your levels a LOT. I really enjoyed FFV. Dizzi, not so much. I remember him yelling out 'fucking tree' multiple times (referring to Ex Death being that giant tree shit). The new job system was a great idea and allowed you to customize your characters to their full extent. Both of us really enjoyed VI. If you're planning to play it though, prepare for multiple deaths. There's a lot of fun missions between different characters and the battles with Ultros provided some comic relief. Overall, these three games were awesome. They can definitely be found on a lot of top 10 SNES games lists. I played these three on the SNES while Dizzi played the GBA remakes.

Final Fantasy VII and VIII

FFVII was very popular among those who had a Playstation back in it's time. Even if you didn't have one, I'm sure it was one of those games kids talked about at school. Even now, people are purchasing it on the PSN Store. About the actual game itself, this was definitely my favorite in terms of gameplay, story, enemies and heroes. The main character Cloud definitely portrayed the tragic hero archetype perfectly and the rest of the characters were unique in their own ways. The different missions and quests that the heroes triumph through are amazing and well done. If you haven't played this game yet, do so. This game has also become one of Dizzi's favorites. His only gripe is the beginning of the game which he tends to call 'slum runners: the game'. FFVIII was definitely a step down from it's predecessor, but it's not that bad a game. The story tries to relate to a college student in some way, eventually allowing the main character to break away from school and go on their own journey. The main rivarly between the main character and his classmate is also very interesting. Dizzi found the level scaling to be difficult at times, almost hindering you rather than helping the player. If you're going to play the Final Fantasy series, you shouldn't miss out on this one.


That's all I have for now. Dizzi will most likely be writing the second part to this article. Look forward to the second half around this Friday or so.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Insidious: A Short Review

So I saw Insidious this weekend. Now I don't understand why me of all people thought it was a good idea to see this. I'm the biggest chicken you'll ever meet. Regardless, I went and got scared shitless.

Now this movie was great for a number of reasons. It had a classic horror feel to it for some reason. Whether it was the classic opening title or the soundtrack, it just felt like a classic horror flick to me. I was also glad to see that the creator of Paranormal Activity was trying something new.

Anyway, the movie revolves around the typical family: Husband, wife, 3 kids. Eventually shit happens and one of the two sons ends up in a coma. The doctors that ran tests on the boy said nothing was actually wrong with him and eventually admitted him home. So now the family has a boy hooked up to an IV in their home. Sort of odd/weird/freaky...well to me anyway. So soon after, the mother starts seeing weird people/things in her house and tells her husband who then tells his mother. So now the step mother refers a few 'experts' to look at the situation and find out that the boy is trapped in some sort of world outside his own. So in order to get the boy back to normal, the father has to go after the boy trapped in this dream world. (There's a lot of stuff I'm leaving out here. It's better to see the movie for yourself)

Now, the main villain is a spirit that tries to enter the boy's body, referred to as the 'red man'. Now this mofo is scary. The amount of times he's popped up and scared me...damn. Anyway, what I really wanted to show off was this one scene where the red man is standing right behind the father.


That made me shiver for the rest of the movie. Like I said before, it's definitely worth seeing for yourself. Lots of classic horror mixed into this new film.

Harrison Laine's Sucker Punch review

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hacking Consoles

So I was playing some Final Fantasy VIII today when I realized that my circle button felt a little jammed. I took apart my controller and cleaned it's insides. After screwing around with the damn triggers and putting it all back together, I realized that I haven't told you guys about a project I'm working on.

A while back I ended up getting a Nintendo Entertainment System from someone I know. I already had one so I wasn't sure what to do with it. I remembered a website I used to check a while back, where the author, Benjamin Heckendorn turns consoles into portables. I thought to myself, "It can't be too hard to do that...can it?" I was already in my work-term in college so I had free time after work and I had a lot of electronics experience in Computer Engineering program. It looked like the perfect time to go ahead and do it.

I started by taking apart the console. As I started pulling pieces apart I realized how small the electronics board really was for the console. A lot of stuff was just plastic pieces. After reading up on this, I found out that the NES was made around the time game consoles were doing horrible in the market. In order to bring up sales in North America, they altered the console so that it looked like a VCR.

The fully hacked board.

Anyway, I finally got down to the board and started to take off unnecessary parts. The annoying serial port was removed as well as the giant RF amplifier used to hook up the console to a TV. All the smaller pieces were also pressed down in order to make the board as flat as possible.

Look what the mail man brought!

Eventually after searching on Ebay for weeks, I found an affordable screen for the console. It was one of those Sony PS1 portable screens. I took the screen apart and removed the speakers and screen. I was left with a lightbox and a thin LCD.

The screen and lightbox resting inside a paper towel. Gotta keep it clean!

That's where I am today. It's still a work in progress but it's moving along nicely. The only problem I'm having is getting some small electronic parts necessary to complete the project. Hopefully the next time I post you guys will be able to see the console power on. I've also named the project the NESp.

A sneak peak of what the handheld will eventually look like.

Anyway, that's all I have for now! Talk to you all soon.

- Res