Thursday, April 28, 2005

Achtung Baby!

Thanks to Marty for finding this little gem... But it seems that I was in a german heavy metal band in another life... Or I'm just suffering from some serious amnesia combined with altered memories of some sort.

Wookiee Metal

I'm supposedly the guy on the left..

All I want to know is where in the blue hell did I leave that sword!

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Sunday, April 17, 2005

Yu-Gi-Oh! Online

So without much fanfare, that I noticed, Konami has managed to beta and release Yu-Gi-Oh! Online last week. An online version of the highly successful CCG it allows players to duel using their computers. Think of it as an online version of one of their PS1/GBA Yu-Gi-Oh! games.

I was hesitant to try it out due to how I am with normal card CCG's, but it seemed pretty safe based on their pricing model. See... I'm the type of person that CCG companies love. I start out by buying a Starter Deck and some Boosters. Then a few more Boosters. Then a box of Boosters. Then a cast of Boosters, etc. CCG's to me are what booze is to people with drinking problems.

So, I've never played the Yu-Gi-Oh! CCG, technically, but I've played various incarnations of their GBA games (which are pretty much just re-tooled PS1 games since we're about 4-6 years behind the Japanese with this stuff). One of those GBA games I've put in a *lot* of hours. So between that, having watched the Cartoon, and having read the Manga I'm pretty up on how to play a good duel of Yu-Gi-Oh!

Plus, you'd be surprised how well all the various incarnations mesh into each other. The CCG wasn't even the point of the Manga when it started. It was just something that later *became* the point around it's "second season". That's where the Cartoon starts (which is pretty much a direct re-telling of the Manga)... And the CCG itself is as directly related to the game they play in the Cartoon/Manga as you can get. Creator Kazuki Takahashi did an incredible job getting this all started.

So I downloaded the online game, installed it, and began to play. Everyone starts out with the same deck and 10 Battle Points. BP's are what you "spend" to duel someone else. So basically you can play the game for free for 10 duels and then you have to spend money to continue. That's actually a good amount of time to get the feel for it as at the level you start at you get 1 new card after each duel. So you'd have received 10 new cards that you could add to your deck if you wanted.

This is where their pricing model comes into play. Supposedly in the retail channels somewhere there are cards that you can buy that have a scratch off section, ala lottery cards, that gives you a code. You enter in that code and in turn you get more BP's. I haven't seen any of those yet, so I can't comment on their value. Otherwise you can just directly buy one of these online that gives you 150 BP's and 5 cards for $14.95. So assuming that you continue at only getting 1 card per duel (you have different themed decks to choose from though, starting with just Yugi and Joey), that's 155 cards, and 150 duels that you'll get for fifteen bucks. Going with 30 days in a month, that's 5 duels a day. Seeing as how each duel can last anywhere from 5-20 mins. That's 25-100 mins a day (not including time to re-tool your deck when you get new cards, etc), on average if you want to spread things out. That actually works out pretty well for me.

So we'll see how this goes. I'm enjoying it so far. It's been REALLY fun being able to pull out some combos similar to the ones that I've seen in the cartoon.

The only downside to all of this is realizing that when I am loosing, I'm probably being schooled by someone in the 12-16 year old range. Good thing I don't loose that often. =)

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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Wow... Simply... Wow...

If you happen to know a bit about consoles, hand helds, and their history (including their games and quirks)... And are a fan of the Final Fantasy series... This flash movie will probably knock your socks off, too.

The PC-FX as a moogle was a nice touch.

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God of War

We've all read the hype. Supposedly the best thing since sliced bread for a lot of people.

So I decided to try it out.


I must say... It CERTAINLY lives up to the hype.

Nothing like unabashed violence in a fantastic setting that comes across as cinematic as an over done Kung Fu style flick.

It's hella fun to play.

The visuals are quite stunning... Sure... not as good as something you might find on an Xbox... But visually impressive. The animators certainly outdid themselves.

Over the top? Oh yeah... but it wouldn't be nearly as good if it wasn't.

I give it four Wookiee howls....

Now if you'll excuse me... I have more gorgon heads to rip off.

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