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Track of the Week: “Closed Shop” (Recettear)

Ever imagine what it would be like to play as the town’s shop keeper?…OK I’m sure you haven’t but work with me here. Recettear is basically just that, part running your shop and part dungeon crawler to get items to stock your store. You play as a young girl name Recette who is aided, and extorted by a fairy name Tear to “help” pay off a debt that was left behind when her father mysteriously disappeared.

There really is not much to this game. You gain control of a shop where you can sell every thing you find in dungeons or get from customers selling them to you. The dungeons are done by finding heroes throughout the town by going to a certain spot throughout the day, starting up conversations that lead them to giving you permission to use them in dungeons. The dungeons themselves are randomized and have different amounts of floors that end with a boss battle. There may not be much to this game, but it’s extremely addicting due to its humor and simple gameplay that’s easy to learn and not really that hard to master. The music selection will be heard every morning, right before you open your shop. Setting up the items on display to be sold and changing the interior to possibly attract different customers than normal. Even after you beat the story mode, you can just keep on going till your heart desires! Fancy a challenge? Well there is a survival mode as well to challenge yourself even further. This game can be bought on Steam for $19.99, but it usually is on sale for a majority of time. This game is definitely worth it for people looking for a unique gaming experience that is just simple fun from start to finish.


Nintendo’s E3 Press Conference: All About The Games Baby!

Today was a big day for Nintendo. It was the first day that we got to see how games will look and work on the Nintendo Wii U. We got to see the different ways that the WiiU Game Pad will enhance our game play in a myriad of unique ways. The first new game to be shown today was Pikmin 3, A RTS/Action management game in which the player uses up to 100 plant like creatures called Pikmin to complete different task to advance the game. The game uses the Game Pad monitor to show a map of the surrounding area and allows you control over where the Pikmin can go. The game can also be played with just the Game Pad, giving you a top down view of the world, allowing for more deeper strategy game play. The original Wii Remote can also be used. It allows you to aim the Pikmin and throw them at basically anywhere you can aim at. Shaking the nunchuk will make the Pikmin charge up before attacking.

The next game to be announced was Batman Arkham City Armored Edition. It’s the same game that was released in 2011 with all the DLC, but with the additions that Game Pad add to enhance the experience. The Game Pad allows for all the menu’s to be accessed on the touch screen, such as the map always up while playing, quick access to change your gadgets on the fly, upgrade your skills and gadgets, scan the surrounding area for clues, and show a meter called Battle Armor Tech (BAT…I see what you did there). BAT allows Batman to do more damage during combat. What all this does is allow the player to stay in the action, while all the menu interactions are taken care of on the Game Pad.
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Track of the Week: “Eryth Sea” (Xenoblade Chronicles)

When it comes to music in video games, RPGs are usually up there with the best of them. Be it memorable battle or boss music, the music from your favorite town or zone, or that from a certain section of the game that carried some weight with you, the music in RPGs tends to stick with you long after you stop playing the game. Xenoblade Chronicles is the current RPG I’ve been finding myself getting lost in, and it is definitely up there in terms of the amazing quality (and quantity) of music that I certainly will not be forgetting any time soon. Since writing an article about every piece of music that I enjoy from this game would take just about as much time as I have put into the game itself (currently clocked in at 120 hours…..shut up, it’s a long game), I think it would be best to pick the one piece that I found myself not only going back to the game to listen to, but also going on YouTube to hear.

To keep this spoiler-free, this song is from a zone that’s a good 20-30 hours into the game itself. The music hits a strange note with me. At different points in the song, it switches between a sort of haunted feel when the string sections are dominating the score, to a more calming feel when the piano is introduced and takes up the melody by itself. It’s a nice contrast that also fits well with the zone it is played in. It’s a very beautiful area, one that is also full of contrasting elements. Like its theme, the zone has both a calming and a haunting feel to it. Its calming features come from the fact that it is made up mostly of water, with a couple of islands washed with the simple colors of foliage and beaches. It is also haunting in the way the floating islands cover the eponymous sea. There is also a massive city in the distance that has a design unlike anything seen in the game to this point, giving it a very surreal feeling when you first lay eyes on it. The zone itself helps elevate the music due to how well they mesh together, making it become all the more memorable not only because of its stunning visuals, but also in the way it makes what might normally be good, simple background music into one of the better pieces of gaming music that I can say I have ever heard.

The 7 Stages of Mass Effect 3 Grief

April 11, 2012 Leave a comment

With the recently announced plans to extend the ending of BioWare’s Mass Effect 3, I’m left with some thoughts and want to just rant about it….so I’m going to, and you can’t stop me.

Ever since I finished the game, I have gone through all seven stages of grief. The initial shock of those now-infamous last 15 minutes where the game just takes such a radical shift. It felt like this ending was a part of a different game altogether. Then came the part where you had to choose between the three options that would become the final outcome of this series. Did I sacrifice myself to take full control over the reapers, to send them as far into deep space as possible so that they may never be seen from again? Did I choose to jump into the magical green beam that turned all human and artificial intelligence into one combined race, thus negating the entire reasons for the reapers’ existence? Or did I chose to destroy all the reapers and AI in the world, with the caveat that if AI was ever to be re-made they could possibly destroy all life? After being told these options, the first stage of grief was still in effect, except now it had changed to denial. I literally sat there frozen for at least 20-30 minutes, looking at my screen without a clue as to what to do.

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Final Fantasy VII Turns 15 Today

January 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Final Fantasy VII is 15-years-old today. It’s crazy to think it’s been that long since the game was released back in 1997, becoming one of Square Enix’s (then Squaresoft’s) most acclaimed works almost instantly. And while there have been rumors that the company could be saving a remake of the title for its 20th anniversary (which have been circulating since the hyped tech demo back at E3 2005), I’m sure I’m well in the minority here when I say this is something that should never happen. Why, you ask? Well, let me give you my top three reasons why I think this remake should never come to be.

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