The waiting is the hardest part...

So, I finally beat Shadow Hearts: Covenant last night. The last boss wasn't much of a challenge (what is it with games and final bosses either being a sinch or nearly impossible?) and the ending was very weird (something like the heroine travels back in time and actually is the hero's mother and the hero travels back in time to meet his lost love again for the first time so they can start anew). I still highly reccomend it as a good under the radar purchase (although buying the original first will help clear up much of the plot, hell I beat the first one but it was awhile ago and my memory is pretty fuzzy about it, so I was still lost at some points). But what this mainly creates is a problem. I'm an rpg nut and I pretty much always need to have one I haven't beaten handy. I have money down on Knights of the Old Republic II, but that isn't out for a few more weeks, leaving me with a pretty big void and several interesting options. There's Baten Kaitos, which looks sort of interesting but has a card based battle system and I loathe those.
Then there's Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. This is one of those very weird titles from Japan that somehow makes it's way to our shores, but it's got a fairly interesting hook: You can't save the world, it ends ten minutes into the game apparently. You are instead integral in the rebuilding and you recruit demons to help you in your cause by negotiating with them in battle. It's sort of like Pokemon with an extremely twisted dark side. But it also has that hint of being way too Japanese for any but the truly hardcore to get into.
Then there's also Growlanser Generations. This is the LONG time coming latest release from Working Designs (note that their last rpg port was for the PS one) this is two games in one and looks to have some strong battle roots, but the last WD releases haven't exactly been quality (namely the horrific Arc The Lad Collection), although since all they really do is translate and publish, I shouldn't hang it on them, just question their judgement in brigning it over here.

Of course, I still haven't beaten Halo 2 or Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal yet, I may decide to do the reasonable thing and beat at least one of those before getting anything else (note that if I concentrate on one in particular, I'll probably have it beat by this weekend, so that may not matter much).

And on another note, the Nintendo DS finally relases next week. I'm not buying it, and I don't really plan to. Same goes for Sony's upcoming PSP portable system. Has anybody seriously looked at the release list for either of these systems? It's either kiddy crap or downgraded versions of stuff we can already buy on consoles (and don't even get me started on what a horrible idea a card-based Metal Gear game is) And while the DS' dual-screen setup is an interesting idea, I haven't seen any real inventive uses for it, even from Nintendo. Of course, I also said that I wasn't planning on getting the game boy, the super nes (diehard genesis fan at the time), the ps, the xbox, the ps2..........


Dear God Do I hate EA

You know, I've never really liked Electonic Arts. They can pretty much be noted as the company that started the idea of yearly updates of games with at best minor improvements (see all their series for example, but especially sports). And they never really supported Sega after the Genesis, which is definitely a big factor in why Sega isn't a contender in the console wars anymore (although to be fair it's just one in a long line of factors that were mostly Sega's fault). But I at least used to respect them because they usually put out some quality software.
Apparently, EA, the biggest publisher in the U.S., is getting sued for having almost sweat shop like conditions in their workplace. Now, I'm not nieve. I know that putting a game together takes a whole lot of dedication and man hours, more than most people would really be willing to commit. But what EA is doing is pretty much illegal, not much mention extremely disrespectful to those people who make the big wigs at the top so rich. And while it's unfortunately not a uncommon occurance, EA as the big dog on these shores should really be the one to step up and show that it actually gives a rat's ass about their hardest-working employees.

On a side note, I don't pay a whole lot of attention to music, but I noticed that Britney Spears just released a "Greatest Hits" album. I'm not judging on quality, but I really think you should be in the industry at least a couple of decades in order to have the right to release a greatest hits album, less other similar artists who not only suck that haven't even been around that long follow suit.


It's raining games! Hallelujah?

It's been a few days, my only excuse is that between the games coming out this week, Shadowhearts & Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal (which is my early pick for best PS2 game of the year), and planning for the big release of Halo 2 has taken up plenty of my time.

A quick movie note: Since the Incredibles is out this weekend, I thought I'd check out director Brad Bird's previous animated effort: The Iron Giant. I can easily say that this is one of the best animated films I have ever seen. Anybody who is a fan of animation or great 1950s style adventure movies should check it out, it's a great underrated classic.

Ok, so november has started, and with it a huge avalanche of high profile (if not high quality) games are coming. This week alone Up Your Arsenal, Raw vs. Smackdown & Lord of The Rings: The Third Age are out. In the next 25 days we have Halo 2, Jak III, Metal Gear Solid 3, Goldeneye :Rogue Agent, Prince of Persia 2, Blinx 2, Baten Kaitos, Viewtiful Joe 2, Metroid Prime 2, Killzone and Call of Duty: Finest Hour. And those are just the major titles. Even if you have the money, who has time to play more than a couple of these? (I'm personally just sticking to Up Your Arsenal & Halo 2 this month, maybe if I have any time Prince of Persia 2). This many titles packed into such a short time span is sure to make many deserving games not get noticed by the public. I know christmas is the big release season, but most gamers aren't little kids who depend on santa for their games anymore. They have jobs and can afford games on their own, so the game industry should really take a cue from the movie industry and spread the releases out more throughout the year. It puts less pressure on companies, allows titles to grow an audience andmore importantly, gives gamers a chance to discover and be able to afford them. Just some food for thought.