Wednesday, August 31, 2011

[Now Playing] Final Fantasy Tactics

I've been COMPLETELY obsessed with Final Fantasy Tactics lately, its the strangest thing. I've had a weird relationship with this game. I bought it way back in 2003, when they were still selling PS1 games. My first play-through was painful; I had such a hard time with this game. I didn't know much about the strategies and character skill setups, so I just kept getting owned. I remember I got to one battle filled with summoners, and I kept losing so badly that I stopped playing the game for over a year.

I randomly decided to start playing again after like a year and a half of neglecting it, and I finally managed to beat it. Its weird that after literally YEARS of not touching it (went through all of high school and half of college without re-playing it) I started my second play-through. This time around, I learned absolutely everything there is to know about the game, and I discovered how freaking easy the game gets when you raise super powerful characters. I went through all of Deep Dungeon, equipped each character with the best equipment, setup their skills properly, and leveled past 80. Now, its just rude how easy the final battles become.

But my point is, I have a new-found love for this game. It took this long for me realize how deep and fun this game can get. It doesn't get the love that the mainstream Final Fantasy titles get, but I can see why it has such a strong cult following. I encourage you to give it a try too, there's always the re-make on the PSP too.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Xbox 360 being phased out in Japan

Apparently, the Xbox 360 is officially becoming history and stores will no longer stock them in Japan. I was aware that the 360 was already doing extremely poorly in Japan, but I didn't expect them to just do away with it completely. You can read the rest of the article here:

I think this is an interesting example of the differences in demographics and culture between the east and west. The Xbox and its sole reliance on western brands is understandably unappealing to the Japanese market. On the flip side, you may have noticed the millions of anime games that come out in Japan every year but never make it to the U.S. Still, I think this shows how limited the Xbox 360 is in terms of appeal.

Note that I'm not saying any of this out of fanboy bias; everything I've observed is purely logical. I've always felt that the Xbox 360's appeal is too narrow and limited to extremely western gamers. This is proven by the fact that the PS3 has still outsold the 360 in every region except the United States (Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada). The 360's sales are strong, but its clearly concentrated greatly within its own territory. This is what it owes its already minuscule 3 million unit lead over the PS3 to (and of course, the one year head start).

This is why I have always stuck by the Playstation 3. Brand familiarity was a part of the reason, but it was mainly the exclusives I was looking at. The only exclusive titles worth noting on the 360 are the Gears of War and Halo series, and I don't care for either of them. As I've said, they rely too much on the western preference for shooters. On the other hand, the PS3 had Metal Gear Solid 4, LittleBigPlanet, inFamous, Uncharted, God of War 3, the upcoming release of FF Versus XIII, and a few lesser titles like Heavy Rain and Valkyria Chronicles. Note that half of those titles are from western developers, so no one can argue that western developers are all on the 360's side, as all the best ones seem to be with Sony.

Couple its game library with its blu-ray capability (no contest here, since blu-ray is technically the current format king and HD-DVD is considered obsolete) and superior hardware, and it was no wonder I preferred Sony's machine. Again, I'm trying to be unbiased here. All I considered were the plain facts, and the fact was that the Playstation 3 was more appealing to me in every way. This is why I think it has always been the superior choice, and why the rest of the world seems to embrace it over the 360.


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Ecchi CG Set: Catherine

As is the custom on Shinkan Crossing, everytime I have an obsession that involves an awesome female character, I dedicate a CG set to her. This was probably pretty expected judging from all the recent posts. The super sexy Catherine is the star this time. Even though she's technically not a human, her succubus charm is undeniable! Cute, thin, blonde, and wearing a lingerie-dress, no wonder she manages to lure men in like moths to a flame.



Monday, August 08, 2011

Gamer Completist Syndrome

Even after 2 weeks, I'm still in love with Catherine. I haven't spent this much time on a game in a LONG time; probably the last time was Final Fantasy XIII which was the first PS3 game I ever bought. I've seriously done almost everything I can with the game; I've gotten all the endings, gotten all the minor trophies, completed all 128 stages of Rapunzel, gotten gold on all Normal stages, and beaten 2 Babel stages. Basically, the only things I can do in this game now is beat the last 2 Babel stages and get gold on the Hard mode stages.

I'm completely obsessed with doing a complete 100% of this game. What is it that pushes us to complete a game so...completely? I feel like its a mild OCD for me, though I know plenty of gamers are influenced to do the same and I'm sure they don't share the same OCD feelings as me. Is it just because the game itself is addictive? Some of the accomplishments are so ridiculously frustrating that that might not always be the case. Or maybe it's just because they love the game so much; that's pretty much the other half of why I've been pushing to get all the trophies in Catherine. What influences you?