Why did I play this?Why did I play this?

Posted on Aug 10th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (SirPsycho)
Posted under Atlus, puzzle, platformer, action, ps3, xbox 360


As a fan of story based games, I have to say that I love a game that takes you on a ride. Catherine is the kind of game that you can sit back with, relax, and watch an incredibly compelling social dilemma unfold before the protagonist's eyes. Lately, I've been thinking about companies from Japan. So many people have been crying out about the doom and gloom of the market and how Japanese development has been lagging behind while the Western world advances. This couldn't be further from the truth, as Atlus is one of Japanese gaming's oldest surviving names, but fastest risers in the global market. Persona 3 got the name out, Persona 4 kicked the door open, and Catherine broke the door's frame. Persona 5 is currently one of the most anticipated Japanese developed games since Atlus presented its masterfully crafted initial trailer.

Catherine was released in Japan and North American in 2011, with Europe and Australia getting a release in early 2012. The plot revolves around infidelity and is one that many of us have likely heard about, if not experienced first hand. Vincent, the games protagonist, gets caught up with a blonde-haired, blue-eyed young beauty named Catherine one night after all of his friends leave him alone at the bar. From here, the player chooses whether he wants to court her for the long run or remain faithful to his girlfriend, Katherine. The girls represent the ideologies of "Law" and "Chaos." Law is doing the right thing no matter how much it might hurt; Katherine is a structured being in complete charge of her life and represents Law. On the other hand, Catherine is more of a loose cannon that Vincent can't seem to get rid of no matter what decisions you make; she represents Chaos. Which one of these ladies will you choose, or will you choose the single life?


Continue reading Psychotic Reviews: Catherine



Posted on Nov 13th 2014 at 12:00:00 AM by (SirPsycho)
Posted under RPG, namco bandai, tales of xillia, ps3, playstation, gaius dumplings


I have been excited about the release of Tales of Xillia 2 since I played and reviewed the first one a few months ago (http://www.rfgeneration.c...-Tales-of-Xillia-2755.php). I greatly enjoyed the main characters and writing of the original game and thought that the plot took plenty of nice turns that were not as predictable as an RPG veteran would expect.


Continue reading Psychotic Reviews: Tales of Xillia 2



Posted on May 2nd 2014 at 08:11:53 PM by (SirPsycho)
Posted under RPG, bandai namco, ps3, playstation 3



Tales of Xillia is a role playing game developed and published by Bandai Namco. It did not take me long to start enjoying Tales of Xillia. The characters are quite memorable, which in today's world of RPGs seems to be less common. Or they focus so heavy on characters that they make a bland, boring, and repetitive world (looking at you Bioware). Xillia manages to avoid both of these shortcomings to create a memorable cast of characters, and a wondrous, magical filled world to explore. Artes, Rieze Maxia's form of spirit channeled magic, help fuel everything from a healthy ecosystem to the architecture of cities, even an area's local climate, and passing of the seasons.

The game starts with the ability to choose which side of the story you want to view. You're able to pick between Jude Mathis or Milla Maxwell. They're pretty much the same for over 90% of the game, but there are a few moments when the party splits up and bad things happen. Number 1 rule of RPGs, be they video game or tabletop, never split up. That's how people get hurt, or die.

Anyway, I started with Jude's story. He lives in the city of Fennmont, blessed under a cover of eternal night, and the capital of a country called Rashugal. Jude is studying at the Talim Medical School to be a doctor, following in his father's footsteps. He wanders out to find the teacher he's doing slave labor, I mean graduate study work for. He makes his way to the Laforte Research Center, where outside he sees a strange woman who can walk on water with ease. He grows curious and follows her, and she claims to be the Lord of Spirits Maxwell in a human form. Milla has control of the Four Great Spirits, and begrudgingly decides to let Jude travel through the Research Center with her since he insists on finding his professor.

For those of you familiar with the Tales series you'll know that the combat system is where the real meat of the game is, having a nice story and interesting world are wonderful add ons. The combat system for Tales of Xillia is a real time system. Enemies appear on the screen, and the player has the option of how they approach the enemy. Do you run and strike them behind for some damage? Do you give them the run around until they stop chasing and hit them from behind for even more damage and a stun? Or do you gather up enemies to fight a big group all at once for added EXP and money? I usually chose the latter option as it coupled well with EXP and money boosting food buffs.



You can customize your combo system, using the left stick + circle button, just the right stick, or pressing down L1 for a second set of combos. Each character also controls completely differently. Jude is a very fast fisticuffs brawler, smacking enemies around the screen with his gauntlets. Milla uses a shortsword to dispatch enemies, and is great to use as an aerial combatant. Alvin is the heavy physical damage dealer, swinging a greatsword around like its nothing, as well as using a gun for added distance. Elize is primarily an artes user, being a great healer as well as an area of effect threat. Rowen is a great arte user for single target spells, the Fireball spam is strong with him. Leia shares many combos with Jude, but uses a staff for extended reach and different attacks.


And you can create pretty princesses with various fashion items!

Whoever you're playing as can link up with another character, and as you build a battle gauge on the side of the screen you can unleash combos by pressing R2 and certain combos while linked with a specific character. The skills you must use are predetermined, and some links are more fruitful than others. When you've climbed this ladder enough you have the ability to unleash as many of these Link Attacks as possible in a given timeframe, even if you switch who you're linked with in the middle of the timeframe. This game's combat is incredibly satisfying, and I found myself turning the difficulty up to hard so I could enjoy longer fights.

This combat system is deep and incredibly satisfying. You feel like you're in complete control as the player, and you can even customize your ally's AI to help support you by healing, or go all out with their strongest attacks, or anything in between.



One of my favorite parts about this game are the villains. In a game of war, politics, intrigue, and quickly advancing military technology each antagonist has his own goals and a defined personality. Each one is much more complex than a stereotypical mustache twirling, world conquering, or slaughtering menace. Nachtigal, King of Rashugal rules through a military junta and is investing heavily in powerful technology that could be Rieze Maxia's Weapon of Mass Destruction. Gaius, another king who has united the country of Auj Oule, united warring clans by force and has consolidated his rule by winning the hearts and minds of his most common subjects. These two powerful kings and some other unforeseen players are all ready to strike in the name of glory, power, and survival.

In the end the goal is not conquest, or destruction, but merely an ideal for how the world should be. The game's story and narrative are centered more around philosophical quandaries amongst Rieze Maxia's most ambitious people, be they king or a medical student on the lam. As such I feel this story is a true sign of the evolution of video gaming as a whole, growing from nonexistent stories to one of an ultimate, nonsensical evil being hell bent on world destruction or domination, with no real follow up plan. If you're a fan of RPGs you owe it to yourself to play this game and discover some well rounded characters and a world of mixed fantasy and science fiction. I am anxiously waiting for the sequel to be localized!


NO! THAT'S NOT WHY I'M SO EXCITED! MY EYES ARE BURNING!



Posted on Mar 13th 2014 at 07:43:21 PM by (SirPsycho)
Posted under South Park, stick of truth, pc, xbox 360, ps3, and its gone, baseketball, jew

The Stick of Truth was probably one of the most anticipated RPGs of the year. Its based on the popular Comedy Central show known for its crude animation style, rude characters, profanity, and insightful satire. Matt Stone and Trey Parker are two of the best writers in the show business today, including their smash hit musical The Book of Mormon, South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, and the beloved classic BASEketball on their resumes its easy to see how the legions of South Park fans would flock to a game written by the show's actual creators and lead writers.



The game was developed by Obsidian Entertainment, themselves known for being excellent writers and world designers. They also have a nasty reputation for releasing broken and buggy games. Is this true with The Stick of Truth? There are some bugs I experienced, but they didn't really hinder gameplay. A few design decisions hurt the overall experience more than a graphics bug and the one crash I experienced.



The graphics bug involves alt-tabbing without pressing Escape first. It could lead to the characters bugging in and out of existence and was fixed by quitting the game and restarting. It was rather annoying, but didn't completely break the game. The save design hurts the game more than anything. It seems to be a save anywhere type of system when it is really a checkpoint based system. So, saving right after a cutscene was usually fine, but saving halfway down the street would mean the reload would put you back at the beginning of the street.

The actual game itself is quite beautiful. The art makes it feel like you're playing through a short season of different episodes. You play through different days, with all the kids having to go to bed once the sun goes down. These days are built around plot events, not the passage of real time, which flows well with the way the game is written. The world is open, but feels more like a side scroller since you can only cross streets at crosswalks. South Park is not a large town though, its always been referred to as a little mountain town somewhere in Colorado. Some areas seem to be left out, but every building has something to do in it. Well, except the bank. And you can probably figure out what happens there if you're a fan of the show.



The game's writing is spectacular, and the RPG design leaves even more room for references namely in gray junk items. Everything from Alabama Man to Space Cash is there to be found somewhere. The characters are just as they are on the show, with attacks based on their history. For example, Kyle has an Elemental Summon attack which is nothing more than Kick the Baby.


Or the most feared attack of all, Mr. Slave's ass.

The timing attacks and defenses in battle will remind long time gamers of RPGs like Super Mario RPG, Mario & Luigi, Paper Mario, and some more real time battle systems like the Tales and Star Ocean series. Combat is rather easy though. I played on the hardest difficulty and still found myself rolling through the game by spamming armor lowering attacks. I played as Jew, so my main attack against bosses and defense heavy enemies was Circum-Scythe, it was quite satisfying to use that attack against enemies such Pedophile and Meth Head.



As a whole, The Stick of Truth is a very well done game. If you're not a fan I would still recommend it as the writing is absolutely hilarious and vile at times. I found myself laughing hysterically at certain events, and smiling through most of the game as a fan. This game should go down in history as one of the best licensed games out there. Stiff competition in that category I know, but it really is that good and probably the best overall game in terms of technical issues, writing and story, and overall gameplay polish that Obsidian has released so far.



Posted on Feb 27th 2014 at 12:23:26 AM by (SirPsycho)
Posted under playstation 3, rpg, level 5, ps3, nintendo ds, nds



I am unsure if Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is the RPG I would use to introduce the genre to a child or not. I was planning on showing my eventual offspring the classics first, maybe start with some Dragon Quest and lead into some SNES Squaresoft. I am still leaning towards Ni no Kuni as a launchpad as it throws Dragon Quest, Monster Rancher, Pokemon, and My Neighbor Totoro in a blender and just lets it all puree for hours. Glorious hours. Level-5 and Studio Ghibli have crafted a beautiful world with wonderful characters that show a child's journey from the worst circumstances you could imagine into a strong and independent leader.

Oliver is a resident of the post-war Americana inspired peaceful town of Motorville. Early on in the game Oliver's mother dies, saving her son from drowning after he test drives his friend Phillip's hand made car. He holds onto a stuffed animal that his mother made for him and begins to cry on it. When his tears hit the stuffed doll Studio Ghibli happens and the stuffed animal is granted life, becoming Lord High Lord of the Fairies Drippy. Drippy gives a bunch of information to Oliver about another world where people's hearts are connected. If somebody exists in Motorville, they will exist in this world, so his mother could still be alive there!

Not long into the adventure in this new world Oliver is granted the spell to create a familiar from the power of his heart. Oliver creates the Milites Mitey Mite. You as the player have the ability to feed and grow your familiars as you see fit, and get the ability to catch your own once Esthar is recruited into the party later. Swaine has the ability to steal items and cause status ailments with his gun. Marcassin is recruited late in the game and is another powerful spellcaster to add to the mix of Oliver and Esthar.


That's a tidy pose, ent'it?

You'll really get your power from familiars, as they can take up roles that just don't fit your main characters. Early on Mitey is a pretty good tank and does decent damage, but attacks slowly. Mitey is not very useful after the halfway point, his stats start to flatten. There will be plenty of options for a replacement though, assuming you've been singing to catchable familiars with Esthar! This is a Level-5 game, so expect item alchemy as well.

Combat itself is fairly straightforward, attack, use skills and magic, and you can stagger your enemies and cancel their attacks with proper timing. Familiars with fast attack speed are better at staggering and canceling than slow attackers like Mitey. Staggering can lead to a possible golden glim, which gives the familiar a form of super ability. It could be an offensive ability, healing, or a buff. The combat is turn based, so the feel of attacking and the experience gains give the feeling of Dragon Quest influence.

The music is fantastic, being composed by Studio Ghibli veteran Joe Hisaishi and Rei Kendoh. All the music was performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. The music was first compressed so it could fit on a DS cart, a 4 gig cart though. The PS3 soundtrack is the full orchestral performance.



The world really feels like an old school RPG world though. For every kingdom or large landmass there only seems to be one town to visit. There you stock up on items, move the story forward, run errands for people for items and money, and take monster bounties. For the most part of the game I found the errands and bounties to be the best way to stock up on money, as monsters just didn't seem to drop enough. It really felt more balanced around the fact that you do run all the errands while playing through the game.

This really slows down the midgame, as you end up devoting entire play sessions, multiple hours each time, to simply running errands and taking out bounties. Otherwise you can't afford new weapons and armor and lag even further behind! Eventually the errands start to bottleneck as you're running out of new pieces of heart to take and give to other people, so it doesn't take long towards the endgame.

The game quickens pace towards the end and leads straight to the final showdown with the White Witch. After completing the game the player has the option of creating a cleared save file and returning to the world to complete more errands, bounties. You can also do some more side quests like win stuff at the casino, finish the Solosseum, and make all the hidden and powerful alchemy recipes. As sweet and magical as this game is, this post game content might just be hard to resist.

I would give a strong recommendation to this game for anybody that is an RPG fan and has been looking for a classic styled game that is just modern enough, challenging, and tells a strong enough story to keep you hooked. The characters in this game are not the same tired clichs that have been running rampant in the genre for the past decade, so their performances and development should leave you satisfied.





Posted on Jan 7th 2013 at 07:15:42 PM by (SirPsycho)
Posted under nier, playstation 3, ps3, xbox 360, 360, rpg, action



There's something about the RPGs of the 7th Generation of home consoles that really does not sit well with me. Considering all three of the major systems I can name the RPGs I've seen as truly breathtaking and majestic recreations of the wonder and amazement I felt as a child on one hand.

One hand.

Now keep in mind that I still have yet to play quite a few of the RPGs released in this generation as it comes to a close. Out of the ones I have played so far only three of them have really stood out above the rest as not only great games, but telling a great story on top of it; Valkyria Chronicles, Xenoblade, and The Last Story. The list gets longer if I'm counting games I played on PC, and I'm not.


One of my favorite wallpapers.

I've been a bit jaded yes, I admit it. Anyway, I've finally decided to sit down and play some of the games that I currently own but have yet to play, and I started with Nier. I feel like I've been missing out by not playing this game sooner.

Call it timing if you will, when I first started playing Nier and I got past the introduction and really started to play the game it just felt like everything I wanted in a modern RPG. The protagonist is not some naive, asexual, teenage, pretty boy swordsman. Nier is a middle aged father taking care of his daughter who has been sticken by a fatal illness with no known cure.

So right from the start Nier has swerved to avoid the overdone and burnt to a crisp coming of age tale, but it does not completely avoid cliches, just downplays them and does not make them the focus of the story, at least at first. The voice acting and direction is highly competent, Jamieson Price providing the English voice of Nier, and Liam O'Brien starring as Grimoire Weiss. The two make for quite a dynamic duo.


Grimoire Weiss unlocks magical abilities, which will be key!

The story is progressed through various events, sometimes you just have to talk to somebody. Each arc of the story is finished up by clearing a dungeon and defeating the boss. Nier really has a lot of gameplay systems, the combat is in real time and huge combos can be made as long as the player avoids taking damage and being knocked down. The companion AI is pretty dumb as well, its executed well in combat, but your allies don't even run as fast as Nier so they're always teleporting next to you and not moving until they teleport again.

Outside of the main story Nier has a lot of extras to dive deeply into, the first one the player is introduced to being the Quests that random villagers will want you to do for them. The quests are not overwhelming like they can be in Xenoblade, and a lot of them involve farming items, fetching, delivering, or finding somebody or something. But there are enough that involve humanity, its nature, and errors that just makes for great entertainment at times, and invokes empathy at others.


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaass.

Interlaced with questing is fishing, which can be leveled up through a quest chain through an old man on the pier, and then done purely for profit. Fishing feels a bit awkward at first and took me some getting used to, but it really is simple. You watch your rod, ignore the nibbles, hit it on the big bite, and pull back and from side to side to reel it in. Nier has a terrible cast though, you end up catching huge sharks with the fishing line two feet off the pier.

At home Nier has more than just his little daughter to visit, after a couple early quests you will have a garden to tend to. Seeds are cheap to buy and even early yields can net Nier over 20,000 gold while only spending ~1,000 for seeds. All you have to do is water them at each stage of growth, even the fertilizer the game offers is totally optional.

One other way to spend your money in Nier is to level up your weapons at the little shack in the Junk Heap. You unlock this option after beating the second dungeon, and even get your first upgrade for free! There really aren't many weapons in the game so you will have to upgrade them at some point, and spend time farming the materials for it as well.

You can upgrade your spells and weapons even further with magic words that you find in random boxes you break and from enemies you kill. The effects of these can be combined for a mix and match of effects. But, you can only have two words on any spell or weapon and there are only a few that are really useful in all situations.


Did you forget that Kaine has an ass?

Nier has its technical problems and those keep it just shy out of that Holy Trinity I mentioned at the top. The story is polished and different enough to keep me intrigued through a playthrough. The narrative flows in a competent manner with nice pacing. The voice acting is done by highly trained professionals with a long list of works. All in all, I would say that Square Enix did good publishing this game, if only they had actually marketed it or bribed some reviewers to get the aggregate scores fluffed up it may have sold well enough to localize Nier Replicant.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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