Altered Confusion™

The Place For Game Reviews and Comics

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Posts Tagged ‘PS2’

The Latest on What is Going on

Posted by Altered Confusion on January 25, 2009

Thanks to Evil Poison, I fear that my want to play RPGs has been stopped cold in its tracks. This of course is a good thing because it will mean reviewing of more games not RPG, but its also a bad thing because that is the genre that I hold high in my heart, but after what I have just experienced I need to take a break from that genre. Ironically enough Gamefly is sending me yet another PS2 RPG, but we’ll hopefully be getting another game that isn’t one soon, so no worries.

In other news, as you can see I’m still in the driver’s seat for when it comes to posting, I know that there are some people out there that are still working to get a review to me, and there is one other that I’m trying to convince to write a review, we’ll see how it all comes together in the future.

In an effort to separate the recreational me, and the reviewing me I have decided that it is time to get a separate XBOX Live Account for myself. So if anyone is interested to see what I’m currently playing for review, just add AlterdConfusion to your buddy list. I will be making a PS3 username change as well soon, but I’ll update you on that when I get a chance.

Currently I have Hotel Dusk Room 215 running in my brand new DS Lite, it was time to semi-retire the huge red DS that I’ve been totting around for years. Right now I’m about half way through the game, so hopefully I can get a review out in the next couple of days.

I was looking at my wall o’ games, this morning, and have found quite a few games that I haven’t reviewed, they do have a good layer of dust on them, but I think, if I get a chance, I might break into those to give some of the readers, who are looking at the older games, a review to go on. As a result, I may be breaking out the Gamecube games, and the original XBOX games.

Well I better get back to it… oh by the way, I have mapped out the next 6 comics, I just need to draw them out. My mission with the comic is to push way past episode 100 or 150 by the time I get to PAX. I’m pretty sure that that goal is way within my reach, and I hope that the readers are enjoying the experience. As you may have noticed the comics are always shown small on the site as a formatting thing, but to compensate for that every comic is linked to the real sized image, that shows you what the comic should look like.

As always I love to hear from those readers out there that come to Altered Confusion, so please just drop a comment sometime. As you can see I’ve changed up the Left Bar a bit to show what the latest comments have been as well as a calendar to show you what days posts have occurred, so that if you missed a day you can go straight there instead of wading through all the posts trying to find where to start from.

Though I did this a bit ago I still want to point it out, in the Review section I have now broken down each game to system, genre, or alphabetic by title. Hopefully in the near future I’ll be implementing the scores option as well.

One last thing, Altered Confusion t-shirts are on their way, the design is really simple this time around, and when they arrive I’ll try to quickly get something posted for you, the readers.


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Eternal Poison Review

Posted by Altered Confusion on January 23, 2009


Eternal Poison is a PS2 RPG from Atlus, a studio that is known for releasing some unique looking titles. You will be playing a group of characters that is traveling through the land, which really looks like Europe, but isn’t apparently. Your mission is to rescue the princess that got kidnapped by the monsters that appeared when a mysterious monster city rose out of the ground. I promise you you’ll be lost as soon as you press start, or actually play prologue, which after you’ve completed that will throw you back to the main menu, even after it says would you like to save game, but it really doesn’t save a game, and it will then allow you to play the actual game.

The graphics are a mixed bag. The cutscenes look freaking amazing for a PS2 game, but then you see the in game graphics, and there are points where you think that you are playing a PS1 game. The character portraits during dialog sequences look pretty good. The battlefields and the towns just aren’t all that much to look at.

The music and sounds, where to even start, you are going to have this metallic click every time you do an action, which is awesome if you were to never choose an action. The music just doesn’t really seem to have that much oomph to it. Both music and sounds make me feel like Atlus was running tight on time and just went through their unused assets and pulled out the first things they can find. It doesn’t help that when there is something spoken in battle, or at the shop its almost always the same phrase or two. My recommendation DO NOT play this game unless you mute it.

The controls drive me nuts. You can toggle between characters with the L1 and R1, but if you accidentally hit one of those buttons and try to select the wrong character to do actions, you’re going to find yourself lost until you figure out the progression bar at the bottom. When in a town, your buttons DO NOT do anything, unless you are in front of a door, a person, or interact-able object, its as if all a sudden your controller morphed into the equivalent of a very old joystick.

Through the game you’ll have the ability to capture the monsters you face and then use them to your advantage or break them down for components. There is no going back through battles, so there is no grinding allowed, been really protective of a character so that it doesn’t level, well then you’re not going to be able to use it later because its going to get its ass kicked. I recommend that when in your first battle select options, if you can find them and turn off the animations, which turns off the animated 3 second sequence of your active character swinging their weapon before returning to the battlefield, unless you like flashes of color and a break from gameplay almost every minute or so. There is also something really strange about your characters when standing around, they just kind of sway or twitch non-stop. You’ll also see that there is a swaying cursor for item selection when trying to purchase stuff for your party. The only fun part to the game is the bar game that you can play, though I defeated every one of them on the first try, so that didn’t really last all that long.

I wish that I could recommend this game, I’ve always been a fan of Atlus products, but this game is so far past salvaging that I have to say, stay away from this product. There are so many other RPGs out there, I’m sure you can find something better than this one. This game gets a 2.8 out of 10.


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Announcement: Altered Confusion

Posted by Altered Confusion on January 11, 2009

Well as everyone has probably seen, it is I, the lone man posting to the website still. After some time to reflect I have discovered that I’m totally cool with that. I know that there are some people out there that are trying to get me a review or two, and when they finish their reviews I’ll be sure to post them.

As for the site, I’m happy to say that it isn’t going anywhere, well at least its not going to disappear.I’m trying to churn through as many games as I can get my hands on be it on the DS, PC, PSP, PS2, XBOX360, PS3, Wii, or the Apple i-pod touch. I can’t really say which I’m going to be paying more attention too because of the following things.

1. I have no idea what games come out when for the Apple i-pod touch
2. I have no idea what game I’ll be able to get my hands on next
3. Because I have a 9-5 job it really depends on the amount of focus I can give said game.

As for the comic, I really wish that I had more time to get more of them out. I know that I started off strong early with a comic almost every day, then a comic once a week, and now I’m trying to get two done ever week. We’ll see how that goes, but I’m definitely set in trying to make the next milestone of 100, seeing as I have just passed 50.

I hope for all of those out there that the review, comics, or both satisfy. I am curious to hear from those who venture on to my site if they have opinions on my reviews, or questions. I try to field the comments as quickly as I can, and I’m even starting to reply to the comments left previously.

Altered Confusion is also making plans to attend the following EXPOs in the year 2009.

PAX (Penny Arcade EXPO) Sept. 4-6
AWA (Anime Weekend Atlanta) Sept. 18-20

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Persona 4

Posted by Altered Confusion on January 1, 2009


Having never picked up any of the Persona series I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, but after playing this game I can at least tell you my opinion of this PlayStation 2 RPG. You are a big city kid who has to spend time in a little country town of Inaba. There you create friendships as well as try to solve a mystery that only you and your friends can truly solve.

The music and sounds really get old after a while. At first you are so into the game that you don’t really notice that the battle music is the same, other than when you’re fighting a boss. Also the same commands are repeated over and over again in battle, most of the time resulting in someone screaming “Persona”.

The controls aren’t anything special, but they get the job done. You’ll have a chance to gain the initiative for every battle, other than boss battles, by swinging your weapon and hitting the enemy. The camera does bug me a bit, I kept getting turned around in the game going the wrong way because I thought the camera, which you control completely, left and right at least, was pointed in the opposite direction.

The graphics show you that this game is made by those who know a thing or two about anime. It has an anime tone to it that can’t be ignored. The cut scenes are sometimes in game models, and they really don’t do much for me, but there are so animated sequences, which I wish had subtitles, but they look great. I could never decide if I like the fact that the enemies outside of battle really didn’t tell you what you were going to face, or not.I will give you a helpful tip, you’ll notice that they come in all shapes and sizes, the bigger the size outside of combat the harder its going to be. The in battle designs for the monsters that you face look fantastic.

The game play is the thing that about killed me. It wasn’t until 2 hours into the game that I was actually truly able to control my character. This would have been a deal breaker for me, but for the sake of trying to find out what this game was all about I pressed on. What I discovered is that there is a ton of micromanaging in the game. You’ll have to keep to a schedule and as the game goes on you’ll have the chance to join sports clubs, intellectual clubs, go visit a library, do part time work, go investigate the mystery, hang out with your friends, and the fine nail, you have specific times that you have to do those things, as well as you have a defined time limit to research a specific part of your investigation.

I’m a huge fan of RPGs, but I have to say that after many many hours, and feeling like I was working my ass off to feel like I was just treading water, I had to put the controller down. If you are looking for a very deep and highly complex RPG this is for you, if you are a fan of the series you’re probably use to this style of play. The storyline is a very good one, but it takes patience, and a bit of lucky to get through the majority of it. This game gets a 7.9 out of 10.


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Final Fantasy XI Review

Posted by Altered Confusion on December 23, 2008


I’ve played a ton of MMOs, it seems, lately, and it has dawned on me that I had still not sampled one of the MMOs that seems to have survived through the ages, Final Fantasy XI. After a hell of a sales pitch from one of my friends I decided I’d blow the $19.99 for the game and all of its expansions. 

The music and sounds are those of almost any Final Fantasy you’ve ever played, which is a fantastic thing. Sure the battle music gets a bit old after you thousandth battle, but at least you weren’t trying to play the game without the volume from the very beginning.

the graphics are somewhat of a mystery. Maybe I’m just cursed by when I installed, and didn’t check to folder with all the different little things, I found that running the game made me want to pull my hair out. The defaults thrusted on a 19″ Wide monitor made the game look like it came out of the mid-nineties. I scoured the in game menus looking to see if I could change the resolution but was stumped. Thankfully I discovered the folder with all the utilities and was able to set the resolution to something a bit more bearable. the graphics aren’t going to blow you away, you have to understand that they are meant for the PS2, XBOX360, and the PC. The character models and creature models are what you’ve seen in past Final Fantasy titles. 

The controls are where it really starts to get weird, and I think there are droves of PC MMOers that go nuts over it. Your movement is dictated by you pressing the numpad keys, that’s right no WASD. Sure you’re going to be able to use the Tab button to toggle through all the available targets but the majority of the game is played from the numpad. Want to bring up the menus press the minus on the numpad. You know I never thought about it but I wonder what would happen if you didn’t have a numpad for the PC, that would be interesting to find out (if anyone plays FFXI without a numpad how do you do it, please leave a comment). 

The gameplay, now where do I start, you are going to find that this is where all the MMOs come together. You’re going to have to do a bunch of retrieval missions, along with other common quests. I do like the fact that you can personalize your map of the region you are currently in with markers, but accidentally going into a place that you don’t have a map for, and not being able to discover that area as you explore does grind on my nerves. You’ll also find that there is a lot of grinding to be done, for those not really familiar with this popular term in RPGs it’s when you have to beat up on monsters constantly to level up to a level in which you can actually complete the quest you were given. Speaking of quests this is where my true qualm with the game comes in, unless you are the kind of player that likes to randomly talk to NPCs dotted all over the place you’ll never get a quest. It was by luck that I found my first three, and I’m a level 12 Red Mage. If there was one thing that I think could make this game rock my ever-living socks off it would be the ability to see what NPCs are worth talking to, and maybe being able to locate them on the map when you are trying to get back to them. This game has turned into the classic example of a game that requires the player to play with a FAQ of some sort, or end up becoming the most accomplished, leveled up character, who has never done a quest.

If you want a MMO which is solid and has been around for a while, and has expansions still reportedly in the works, this might be for you. I just warn you with any MMO its a time sucker, and with the amount of grinding you’re going to have to do in parts, its really going to drain the time. I personally really don’t like playing a game with a FAQ on the other screen, but with this game if you’re going to succeed you’re going to need it. Final Fantasy XI with all its ups and downs gets a 7.4 out of 10.

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Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess Review

Posted by shabibity on October 28, 2008

The latest expansion for Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy MMO takes players into the past during the Crystal War era, which took place before the original storyline of the game. Using the idea of an epic war, they added several new features to the MMO including the Campaign Battle system which allows players to fight on the front lines.

Most of the new game content focuses on the new Campaign Battles and 2 new job classes, Dancer and Scholar. The new classes are useful additions to the game, mostly used to support other players with their abilities.

The Campaign Battle system provides a method for gaining experience points without having to join experience parties. For the most part it’s fun and provides a good alternative for gaining experience points, but is poorly designed for the game’s capabilities. It tries to place too many players and NPCs in one area, often resulting in drastic slow down and being disconnected from the game even on high end game machines and broadband internet connections.

Several new monsters and new equipment for players were also added to the game, but have fallen into some of the same problems the game has with other rare monsters. Many rare monsters have predicable methods of spawning in the game, usually on a timer such has 21-24 hours after it was last killed. Because of this, and the extreme value of the items these monsters drop, many of these monsters become monopolized by players using hacks to claim the monster when it appears. Square-Enix routinely deletes hundreds of characters for various hacks, but has not been able to ultimately stop monster monopolization, and as a result, many players face little if any chance of being able to fight these monsters themselves.

Square-Enix has come out with several updates since the expansion’s release, but they have mostly focused on content not exclusive to this expansion. Aside from a few new monsters to hunt, not much has been added to the game for veteran players, aside from 2 new job classes to experiment with. Players who focus mostly on leveling and are tired of the experience party grind will enjoy the campaign battles and ops, but so far this expansion has not proven to be a necessity for players. Square-Enix routinely releases large updates that add new content to all aspects of the game, and more is definitely on the way for this expansion, but until some more Wings of the Goddess exclusive content arrives, veteran players are still going to be focused on content in the older expansions.


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Ys: The Ark of Napishtim Review

Posted by Altered Confusion on September 30, 2008

Ys: The Ark of Naphishtim is another addition into the Ys series. You will find yourself on an island where your puny weapon will not last long, but don’t fear you’re going to find a replacement that will allow you to create havoc on the island, and perhaps save all the people at the same time.

PS2 Version:
The graphics are your standarad affair for the PlayStation 2, but I can tell you that the animations look smooth and as usual the creature models stand out to me. The different levels are done in such a way that you feel like you are truly traversing this huge island.

PSP Version:
The port looks as good as the PS2 version. There’s no recognizable changes in appearance from one to another.

PS2 Version:
The controls are simple, and its a good thing because there will be times where you’ll be button mashing to get through an enemy, or trying desperately to hold on against a boss.

PSP Version:
The controls because of the simplicity makes an almost flawless transition through the porting. You’re not going to scratching your head over the control scheme.

Both Versions:
The game is in real time which makes for an interesting flow of battles depending on if you are trying to get through an area, there’s a lot of backtracking, and attracting all the monsters, or if you plan correctly you can have an easy time. The only thing is watch out for the status effects that can be caused by some creatures.

PSP Version:
Sadly there is a problem when you go from one screen to the next on the PSP version, expect a lot of time screaming as each screen is slow in loading. This isn’t that big of a deal until you have to start the heavy backtracking that comes later in the game.

As you can see I have both versions of the game and I have to say that the PS2 out-powers the PSP one, not because of the size of the screen that I get to play it on, but because of the fluidity that seems absent when trying to move around in the game on the PSP version. This game is something a little different, and if you can find it, I recommend picking it up on the PS2, but if you can find the PSP version know that you’re going to suffer the loading, but when you’re actually playing the difficulty on pulling off some of the attacks is slightly easier.

I give the PS2 version a solid 8.4 out of 10.
I give the PSP version a slightly shaky 7.8 out of 10.

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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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.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.


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.

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