Altered Confusion™

The Place For Game Reviews and Comics

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Archive for July, 2008

XBOX Live Online Gaming Might Be Changing

Posted by Altered Confusion on July 31, 2008

The rumors are starting to really circulate about a change in policy for the XBOX Live accounts and their impact on online play. Rumor has it that the distinction between accounts when it comes to said event is becoming blurred, and some players are even reporting that they are able to participate online with a Silver account instead of the required Gold account.

It will be interesting to see if this is a move to placate the masses as it seems that only Microsoft is willing to put a price tag on allowing players to play against one another online. Sony and Nintendo (yes I know their online system sucks) have always had the free to play online strategy, so maybe this is something that Microsoft is forced to do if they want to keep their consumers happy.

The question then becomes what will the difference between Gold and Silver become. If things stay the way they are at the current moment the only advantage will be that you get to play demos a couple of days earlier than the Silver members, but as a working individual who has a lot on my mind I have to say that I rarely remember to download a demo the day its released.

There is also the talk of the Diamond Card, that piece of plastic that you can apply for if you have a Gold account, might start having a price tag attached to it. For those of you who don’t know that the Diamond Card is, its simply a card that allows you to gain discounts from supporting vendors. To be honest I’ve had the card for a couple of years and I never remember to use it, or if I do remember I don’t know how to exactly get the discount. Hopefully if it goes to a paid feature the guidelines will be a bit clearer.

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Vader and Yoda to Travel to other Consoles Via DLC (Rumor)

Posted by Altered Confusion on July 30, 2008

Well I think the public has spoken on this issue, people want to see Yoda and Vader duke it out for who is the stronger fighter in SoulCaliber IV. After the announcement that Yoda would be on the XBox 360 side only, and Vader would then be exclusive to the PS3 many people’s hopes were dashed.

Now it hasn’t been 100% confirmed but the leaked info that’s travelling around right now hints at the chance of DLC (Downloadable Content) which would bring the exclusive characters over to the other console. I really hope its true, and I don’t see why they wouldn’t do it it’s not like they are trying to have Link show up on the XBOX360.

I think this rumor will probably come true also because in a world that is driven by money spending a little extra so that people can get what they want isn’t out of the question. We’ll see what happens, for now all we can do is hope.

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Just a General thought and Something On Apple

Posted by Altered Confusion on July 29, 2008

I just had a thought and I wanted to share it with my reading community. I know that my reviews aren’t the most lengthy things in the world and that I don’t touch on every little thing, but I write these that way so that it can be read fast and then people can move on with what they were doing. However, if there is something that interests you or something that you feel that I might not have touched on please feel free to leave a comment. My site is only as good as I can make it, and with the help of the readers I can make it better (Thanks Zeal).

So as you have seen I’ve been trying to get through a good chunk of the free-ware for the Apple I-pod Touch and I-phone, hopefully what I find and like will help others with their decisions of what to download. One of these days I might start downloading some of the games that have a price tag on them, but there are so many good quality games you can get for free right now so I don’t see the point paying for the games.

Which brings up a good point, there are some games out there that are free and are superior to those that you have to pay for. The reason for that is the developer of the game, if its someone like Hudson there’s going to be a price tag attached, if its just two people that put something together there’s a good chance that since its untested that it will be free.

We’ll see as time goes on how the games do on the system, though I have to say that I’m impressed thus far by what I see for the newest platform for gaming. I would really like to see something by Square-Enix, I know that they made Song Summoner, but they only did that for the newer nano, and i-pod (original). I’d love to see what they could put together and show off for the touch/i-phone.

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Apple I-Touch: Tap Tap Revenge Review

Posted by Altered Confusion on July 29, 2008

Tap Tap, is basically the guitar hero clone for the apple platform. You’ll have a couple of songs in Easy, Medium, Hard, and Extreme to play around with, and there is the promise of more songs down the road. You’ll have to keep an eye on the three different colored cords (red, green, and blue) and if you time the hits correctly (that would be hit the cord when the indicator is on the gold bar at the bottom) you’ll find that this game is pretty easy to pick up.

The game really isn’t anything special, but it gives the player the chance to hone their skills and allows players to show off how bad ass they can be, just like in guitar hero, so I’d have to say pick up this game.

The only thing about the game is that sometimes different indicators show up on the screen and I’m not exactly sure what they do, but overall the game is fun, 8.3 out of 10.

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Apple I-Touch: Jirbo Break Review

Posted by Altered Confusion on July 29, 2008

Jirbo Break, is a free version of the classic Brick. A game in which you control a paddle with your finger and try to cause a ball to break through bricks (or blocks). The object of course is to clean the screen of said bricks so that you can advance to the next level where there will be even more bricks.

I have to say I am a fan of if you remove your finger from the screen the game pauses. Though that really doesn’t help if the ball has already gotten by you.

There are a couple little hiccups with the game, namely some of the collision detection is a bit spotty, but overall the game is pretty solid.

You’ll eventually get to levels that will allow you to gain power ups. I would have like to have seen the power ups get released and you have to touch them with your paddle instead of just breaking the brick that they are on, I think it makes the strategy of the game a bit too simplistic, and means that you are going to get the power ups if you go through a level. The downside of course is that once you’ve completed a level you’re going to find that you lose your power up, unless of course it was an extra ball. This game is a great one to pick up for free. I give it a 8.2 out of 10.

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Apple I-Touch: Cube Runner Review

Posted by Altered Confusion on July 29, 2008

Cube Runner is a pretty simple game that uses the motion of the device as the movement. You’ll be put in a field of 3D cubes and will have to guide your ship (an arrow) through the field without hitting any of the cubes. I’m pretty sure that you can go on forever as long as you are good enough to continue not to hit the cubes.

There are differing difficulty levels so that the user can get differing degrees of challenge out of the game.

I’m happy to see that the movements are smooth as you tilt your device to the left and right, and I’m even happier because this game is free.

It’s not really a looker but it does have the ability to allow you to waste a little bit of time. 7.6 out of 10.

Posted in Apple, review | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Okami Review

Posted by Altered Confusion on July 23, 2008

Okami was one of those games that had a unique art style and was steeped in legend and lore, which really meant that this game was either going to succeed or fail, there was going to be no middle ground. I’m just happy to say that this game did succeed. You play as a white wolf, a god brought back to life, and you have to defeat the evil that is plaguing the world. You even get to do a little time traveling to make sure that the evil stays dead.

The style that the studio decided to go with was cell shading, but with the use of very rich like fuedal japan color scheme. I know that most of the characters in the game were not the most attractive looking people, but they all had true character to them.The levels were done well, and I really can’t complain about the look of the game.

The feel of the game really was the thing that made this game succeed. You not only had to navigate through levels, jump, and attack, but you also had to paint when necessary. The painting feature, which you use to do several different actions throughout the game, felt like a feature that belong there and not one of those many features that was added to try to make something unique.

The other thing is that the game had length to it, but not so much that you felt like you were dragging at the end to finish the game. The story kept you drawn in, and, for me at least, it did not let go until you beat it.

I also like the fact that there were different weapons that your wolf could use, yes I know they kind of spun off his back at the enemy and magically came back, but this is a fantasy game and that kind of stuff happens all the time.

I also like having to work to unlock the different painting techniques. You had to go after them to help your green little friend, that for the most part was a green dustball, at least that’s what he looked like, regain his masterful genius as an artist.

This game has since come out for the Wii, a console that I feel probably makes the painting feel even more like it belongs there with the use of motion control. I’m sad to think that the studio that made such a title has already closed shop, but I’m happy to see that they will be remembered for this game. If you don’t own this game you need to get it and try it out, its worth it, and to solidify its worth I give it a 9.3 out of 10.

Interested in more gaming news, then follow the link to the new site.

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Tales of the Abyss Review

Posted by Altered Confusion on July 23, 2008

Tales of the Abyss is another installation into the ever-growing Tales series. You play as a stuck up hot tempered character who is oblivious of the world around him until one fateful day when an unlikely fight transports you clear across the world. Then the real story starts and the mysteries of what is thought to be the world start to be revealed.

This is one of those games, in my opinion, that if you stop for a while and try to come back you’re going to have a hard time remembering where you left off and you’re going to be forced to wander around for a couple of hours to reorient yourself with the battle system and the story. Besides that though its the type of RPG that once you start you’re going to get drawn in.

One of the things that I think hurt this game is some of the battles. I always feel that I’m doing alright or incredible in regular battles but then when I get to Boss fights, especially in an area where I’m just destroying everything with ease, its like I hit a brick wall, hard, and I’m lucky to have a party member alive at the end of battle.

Another qualm I have about the series in general is that when you beat a boss there’s a real good chance that they will just be mortally wounded, and somehow you’ll cross paths with them at least one more time before you can finally either take the fighting spirit out of them, or they’re dead.

the graphics are what you’d expect on the PlayStation 2, its not too flashy, and yet its not too blocky either. The character designs I feel get recycled from game to game in some cases, but they do look great and you definitely get a sense of playing with different characters.

The battle system is basically press an attack and then watch your player execute it. I wouldn’t say that the attack is done as soon as you press the button, but in the way that they system has it (lock on to an opponent choose an attack and your character will go after that opponent) works. The special attacks that you can gain by using others some many times makes you want to battle, but after a while you’re just wanting to get on to the big battles where you get to really kick some ass.

I know that it seems that I’m tearing this game apart and that it appears that I don’t like it, but the truth is that I do like the game. Do I think its a game that is a must, no, but I find it entertaining and I enjoy getting lost in the game from time to time. I think this is the type of game that if I had the time to just go balls to the wall with I’d be able to beat and feel good about myself, but as it is with most people I have other obligations to attend to and as such the game isn’t quite strong enough for me to be dying to come back to it when I do have time.

In the end this game is worth a look if you’re into the Tales series, or you like RPGs. I don’t think its going to become the holy grail of gaming, but like I said before its worth a look at 7.8 out of 10.

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Apple I-touch: Dice Bag Review

Posted by Altered Confusion on July 22, 2008

For the d20 geeks out there who have an i-pod touch or i-phone and don’t feel like spending any money on an application, but are tired of carrying around all of your dice to play I have found Dice Bag.

Even though the dice don’t have any animations, which would have rocked my socks off they at least clearly tell you in the number rolled in the lower right corner of the screen. Another thing that I would have liked to see is a way to tally up a bunch of different die rolls so that if the DM was a bit special I could keep up without having to stop and adding up all my results (yeah I know I’m lazy, but when you’re going to have a program to roll the dice for you why not go all the way).

Anyways if you have the 2.0 application store update and you’re looking for something easy pick it up. I don’t think that its the best thing out there, and I think that there is actually a paid program also available, but this application gets a 7.6 out of 10.

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.hack//G.U. Trilogy Review

Posted by Altered Confusion on July 22, 2008

The dot hack GU trilogy has been good to me. I have been a fan of the dot hack series from when it originally came out for the PS2, what seems like a long time ago, but the latest version of the game has some fixes and some of the same things that drove some players away.

This game places you in a world where you are playing a faux MMO, sadly you don’t get to design your character, or your name, you’re stuck with Haseo. Now Haseo eventually becomes one hell of a badass, but in the beginning its a bit draining. I really like this faux MMO feel that the game gives you. You have warp gates to go to different areas, and you have bookmarks of the locations that are recommended for you to go. The best part though is the fact that you can combine other keywords together and go adventuring in areas not mentioned in the game. When you do this though, just make sure you pay attention to the level of the area so you don’t find yourself having to restart your game often.

The game takes place over three games, they’re basically all 15+ hours and they all get you to a point where you can transfer what you’ve done in one game to the next. The first volume of the game basically tells you of almost all the characters that you’ll be dealing with in the game and has your characters max out at level 50. The second brings the hidden danger in the World more into the foreground and has a maximum level of 100. The final one gives you some closure, and a bit of corniness in the end and the max is 150.

The graphics in my opinion look good, I wish the had push a little harder on the pre-rendered stuff in the cutscenes, but I’m not too too upset about that. The different levels looked unique, and gave the player the feeling that they were exploring many slightly different dungeon or field layouts. The weapons I have to say are probably the best thing in this game. You can actually see a difference when you are attacking monsters. Sadly the armor and the accessory doesn’t really change the character’s appearance.

The battle system is the biggest improvement from the first take of the series to the GU series. No longer do you run up to monster gates releasing the monsters into the wild and then have to chase them all over the place. You are now basically sealed into a circular battle ground and have to defeat the monsters, or use a smoke screen to get out of the battle. The other thing is that you’ll see battles already in progress appear from time to time in different places and you can enter those to save the character from either a PKer (Player Killer) or monsters.

Another thing that I was glad to see gone was the trapped chests. This go around you didn’t have to have the wire to un-booby trap a chest, you had to be quick with a sequence of button presses. Also if you failed to un-booby trap the chest you just took damage, you didn’t mysteriously take damage and gain a wire.

I think that this game succeeds in giving the player a taste of what an MMO feels like, sadly you can’t have original conversations with NPCs in the game, but you can talk to them and have them say scripted responses, or you can trade with them to get items that you are hard to come by.

That is my one qualm with the game, the items. When you progress through the game you’re going to find potions to heal your health and your spell points, but you’re not going to find nearly anything close to that at the item shop in town. As a result by the end of the game you will have amassed an insane amount of money that you’ll never spend because there’s no reason to buy anything in town.

Another thing that I like is that you can “log out” of the game and you are taken to a desktop where you can check the latest news, the latest happenings on the forums, check some e-mail, or play Crimson Vs. Though I’d recommend leaving that last one alone. Crimson Vs. is a card game that basically plays itself as you adventure and there’s really no benefit to playing the game or even paying attention to it as it won’t change the outcome of the actual game.

That does remind me that in the guild room for Canard you can always check to Books of 1000, they will unlock backgrounds, and music for use when you are on the desktop. I liked that feature because it meant that I could personalize the feel a bit when I “logged out” of the game.

All in all I hated to see this game end, and I really wish that there was a real MMO out there that played like this game. Actually I don’t know if I’d want that, I’d probably be sucked into the game hard and wouldn’t be able to come out alive. At any rate I give this game an 8.8 out of 10.

*update*

Our friend Zeal brings up a good point something that is never really truly explained is the different weapons effects and the power stats. Also what the requirements are for weapons, which if you don’t know is the level of the weapon has to be equal or less than your character’s level. Oh and one more thing to get your party members to upgrade their items you have to give them as gifts to them (you can do that by talking to them). To customize a party members weapon is a bit of a bitch as you have to give them the gift of the custom piece and then go into the pause menu to customize and do it that way. I really wish that they would just allow giving your party member the enhancement straight out of your inventory. Although you could put the enhancement on before giving the item over as well. Thankfully you’ll be able to know if your party member can use the item or not because their icon and stats at the top of the screen will light up and give you arrow indicators of what the item will do for them.

One last thing about the cinematics… I had them pretty spaced out because I adventured a lot on my own so that I could just breeze through all the main quests. I recommend fields over dungeons if you are trying to level its quicker, but if you are in it for the items I’d go dungeons all the way.

Posted in PS2, review | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »