The Legend of Heroes Trails in the Sky – A PC jRPG done right

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Some time ago I was browsing through my Steam library looking for something different to play and I saw this game that I bought during a Steam sale (well, like every other game really): The Legend of Heroes Trails in the Sky. I couldn’t play it when it originally came out on PC, and I had not played the PSP remake, so I decided it was time to try a new jRPG franchise.

The game is not as long as other jRPGs, I have completed it in around 45 hours. It took me another 10-15 hours to get all the Steam achievements. There is not much hidden content (no real hidden bosses or huge sidequests or anything of the like) so once you complete the main storyline, you just have some cleanup to do to complete it 100%.

Don’t let this put you off though: those 45 hours are worth it. This is not the best jRPG that I have ever played, but it’s one that I am glad I have played and completed. The battle system is an interesting hybrid: it’s purely turn-based (the style I love the most) but it also allows you to move your characters on a grid (Disgaea style), which works reasonably well, although I haven’t really used this feature that much, normally you can simply attack and let your characters move by themselves. It adds an interesting new dimension to battles, but again, most of the time it’s not something you absolutely must use in order to win the battle.

Graphically, this game is beautiful. The colors are bright and the characters are so fluffy it makes you feel like a 10-year-old. The characters are well designed and well developed, each with a specific fighting style and personality, in the best jRPG tradition.

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But the best thing about this game is the story. No, the combat system is not the best one ever made, and the game doesn’t offer lots of challenges but the story will keep you hooked. The game is famous for the long dialogues, and yes, I can confirm you will have to do quite a bit of reading, but everything will lead up to a finale that will keep you longing for episode two. I don’t want to spolier anything, but I can tell you that I absolutely cannot wait for the second chapter to be released (which is supposed to happen some time this summer, according to rumors online). When asked in an interview about the status of Second Chapter, XSEED replied the following:

We know you’ve been waiting for SC. Boy, do we know! And in hindsight, we wish we could’ve scheduled its localization a lot better, because at this point we want it out the door just as much as you (ha ha). I’m currently working together with Trails in the Sky FC & SC editor Jessica Chavez to clean things up and make sure it’s as polished as can be within our crazily hectic schedule. In fact, we’re working 100% in tandem with some of the series’ biggest fans to ensure that every fact is checked and every piece of foreshadowing is correctly shadowed, and just in general taking every step we can to ensure even our biggest critics are pleased with the final product. So far, I could not be happier with the feedback we’ve received.

I recommend you read the whole interview, which also includes news about other episodes of the series.

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Unfortunately, there are not many jRPGs on the PC, although things have started changing in the last few years. This is one of those games that you should consider purchasing to support the developers to make sure more games like this find their way to the PC. Save your money, don’t buy another FPS (there are way too many of those on Steam already) and use that money to buy this. If everyone did this, Steam would become a better place 😉

The gog.com Big Fall Sale is On

gog.com 2014 Big Fall Sale Banner

I thought this deserved to be mentioned in a post of its own. gog.com are currently doing a huge sale which, according to their website, touches more than 700 games and discounts up to 90%.

Their games library is certainly impressive, and they have a few games currently on sale that deserve a special mention (some of them are not even available on Steam):

  • Neverwinter Nights Diamond
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 Complete
  • Rayman 3
  • Baldur’s Gate II Complete
  • Planescape: Torment
  • The Longest Journey
  • Icewind Dale Complete
  • Icewind Dale 2 Complete

Make sure to check out the sale because you are likely to find something cool on discount right now. Plus, if you check in for 7 days on their website while the sale is on, you will get a free copy of The Witcher 2 and The Gamers: Director’s Cut.

Collecting Videogames VS Playing Them: Where Do You Stand?

I have recently stumbled on an article about the new world record for the largest videogame collection, which made me think about how many games we buy but we don’t actually play, not having enough time or for other reasons.

To be honest, it has happened to me more than once to buy a game and not play it for a while (even months or years in some cases). Maybe I bought them because they were heavily discounted, because I wanted to play them immediately after finishing the game I was currently playing, or even because I knew they were a good game and that they were worth buying. The result? I have a huge backlog of games that I still need to play, and I suppose many of you are in the same situation.

I was a collector myself in the past (although my collection is obviously worth much less than $700,000 to $800,000 like the collection of the current world record holder), but I gave that up over the years because I decided to focus on gaming rather than on collecting. The increase in the number of limited edition of videogames that are not limited at all has also helped in taking this decision. It just makes me laugh when I see a limited edition of a CoD game, of a FIFA game or even of a Final Fantasy game, because I know that a) they won’t be worth anything in the future and b) they are mass produced like the regular versions. I still admire those who collect games though, it is amazing to look at huge videogame collections: Rooms filled with awesome game boxes simply leave me in awe 🙂

To be honest, though, if a collection becomes too big, then it becomes almost excessive, it almost looks like you are a videogame buyer rather than a collector, earning as many games as possible just for the sake of it (or maybe even out of habit) rather than because you are genuinely interested in owning those games.

What do you think? Are you a collector or are you a gamer? Make sure to leave your opinion in the comment section down below 😉

Is The Price of Digital Downloads Completely Wrong?

Screenshot 2014-02-21 14.51.07I am not talking about DLCs (we can have a discussion about that in the future as well, I think it’s worth a mention of its own), but about the price of full, digital games. Is the price of digital games completely wrong or not?

This question came to my mind after I started thinking about buying Persona 4 Golden for the PS Vita. Right now it’s £34.99 on the PlayStation Store, while Amazon UK is selling it for £15.99. Initially I wanted to get the digital version of the game because I wanted to keep my PS Vita digital only, both because I think it is a very suitable choice for a handheld console and because I already have a good collection of digital PS Vita and PSP games thanks to the voucher included in my PS Vita bundle.

Obviously, I have already reconsidered this. The price difference in this case is just too big to justify the digital purchase. And this is where the big question comes in: should digital games cost more than their physical counterparts?

One could argue that they should be (much) cheaper because publishers earn more money on digital versions since there are no production expenses like for physical games. On the other hand, though, one could say that it is right for them to cost more than physical games because of their advantages (they are always tied to your account, no risk of loss, you can carry them all with you without the need to carry a bunch of boxes or cartridges around, you can buy them even outside shop opening hours etc.) But then again, physical games can be resold as preowned, making them even cheaper.

I personally think that digital games have undoubtedly many advantages over physical games, but if there needs to be a price difference, this should not be too big. For sure, digital games cannot cost more than double their physical counterparts.

What do you think? Is the price of digital downloads too high or is it pretty much right (i.e. their many advantages justify their higher price tag)?

Motorstorm RC: Seriously Flawed but Highly Addictive!

Motorstorm RC Logo

Motorstorm RC was one of the games included in the voucher that came when I bought the PS Vita the other week, and it was the first one I installed because I wanted to see how it was compared to the other Motorstorm titles and because I fancied a portable racing game.

The first surprise came immediately after launching the game for the first time, when you realize that this is not the typical Motorstorm game. The RC in the title, in fact, stands for Radio Controlled. To give you a better idea of what this game is like, let me leave you to the official Sony trailer:

So this is Micro Machines Motorstorm, really. I am not saying it’s better or worse, it’s just different. I have never been a fan of the Motorstorm series (well, it would be better to say that I don’t like it), so I wasn’t expecting to like this either. Instead, the game gave me a few good surprises.

First of all, the game is just perfect for a handheld device. The pick-up-and-play gameplay, due to the quick challenges in the game (never more than a few minutes long) is perfectly suited to the portable nature of the PS Vita. Also, it is incredibly addictive, making you want to do just another race every time. I completed all the events with 3 gold medals in just a couple of days probably.

To be honest, there are not so many challenges in the game, so it won’t take long to complete the game. What might take longer is getting the gold trophies which require you to complete all the challenges in each of the four areas of the game within a specific amount of time. These are not very difficult, although they might prove challenging. I have gotten all the trophies with the exception of the two online ones and the final gold trophy, which requires you to set a global time through all the challenges in less than 40 minutes. I am currently standing just above 41 minutes but I don’t feel like going for it. I just don’t think that it’s worth it.

And this is because the game, in my opinion, has a seriously flawed control system. Most importantly, you have to get used to the weird camera angles (you cannot use the classic, behind-the-car view) and consequently weird steering controls. Also, some of the later challenges involve using cars that are just too fast to be controlled properly, making the game become quickly frustrating and just not fun anymore. I am sure it can start to feel natural again after a little bit, but after getting 192/192 gold medals it still felt wrong to me, so there might be more to that than a simple getting used to it.

Overall, the game is fun and perfect for a quick game on the run. Also, if you are that type of person, the trophies are stackable, meaning that a trophy that you unlock on the PS Vita will also be unlocked on the PS3 (and viceversa). But the control system is just not very good, and this makes some of the later challenges (and going for the platinum trophy) quite frustrating and not very entertaining. I am happy to have played it but I would never have done so if I had not got the game for free. So if you are as lucky, go download it and give it a try. Otherwise, I think that you can spend the money on better racing games (for example Wipeout 2048: stay tuned for the review).

Have you played Motorstorm RC? What do you think about it? Did you like it? Make sure to share your opinions in the comment section!

The PS Vita Is Here!

IMG_20140203_174323No, not the new, slim one. I bought a PS Vita the other day and it has finally arrived! I have been thinking about it for a few months but I have always decided not to buy it. Then I found a really good deal and I thought “Now or nevah!”. So I bought it 🙂

Enough for now, let the pictures speak for themselves:

PS VitaIMG_20140205_094144 IMG_20140203_174651 IMG_20140203_205826The Mega Pack included a voucher for 10  games:

  • Little Big Planet PS Vita
  • Wipeout 2048
  • Motorstorm RC
  • Little Deviants
  • Frobisher Says
  • Ecolibrium
  • Ratchet & Clank Size Matters (no, not a porn movie)
  • Lemmings
  • Hungry Giraffe (*_*)
  • The HD Adventures of Rotating Octopus Character

So far I have only played with Motorstorm, but not enough to be able to say anything more than “quite addictive”, so there will be more content on these games in the following days.

The Mega Pack also included a 16 GB memory card, a very good thing because they are still pretty expensive (and Sony doesn’t appear to be interested in allowing gamers to use regular SD cards instead of their proprietary ones).

The Starter kit includes:

  • Wrist strap
  • Protective film
  • Cloth for cleaning
  • Card case (can carry up to six games)
  • Hard case with stand
  • Soft pouch

Overall a good starter kit with a very good selection of accessories. I am glad that it was included in the bundle.

Here you go. In the following days you can expect more posts on the games that I downloaded with the voucher and one post on the starter kit. Some of the accessories are really good and I think they deserve a post just for themselves.

If you have any questions about the PS Vita (including “Why? Why did you buy it?!?” and the like), please feel free to use the comment section down below 😉

5 Sad Videogaming Threads On Yahoo! Answers

You all know Yahoo! Answers, that website full of human knowledge that is also one of the best websites to have a laugh or two. Stupid questions and answers abound on Yahoo! Answers, and I bet all of you have stumbled upon a ludicrous question or answers on this website when googling around.

Today I want to share with you 5 sad threads that I have found on the website. I am saying threads rather than questions or answers because sometimes it is really difficult to decide what the most stupid part is. They all relate to the videogame world in one way or another, but none of them are about The Sims (questions about these games abound on Yahoo! Answers for some reason).

How to change country on ps3 accounts ?

Moved from US to Europe and my voucher codes no longer work cos I still have a US account, but European voucher codes for the games I bought in Europe. What can I do?

you cant change where you live once you set where you live. all you can do is make another account and then use it. why would you buy something from europe? your an idiot

When will the next GTA come out after 5?

This is a gross questions.

MY 4 Year Old Son BROKE my 55 IN PLASMA TV playing the wii what to do other than hit him?

Sell the wii and get a xbox with kinect. No controller to be slung. Seriously.

take the wii of him and ask him how he would feel if you broke a possession of his

How to get the full version Always Remember me?

i always end up with demo. does anyone bought this game and can lend me their email? i really need to play it. im addicted to this game so much. please help T_T

Should i buy the xbox 360 or wait for xbox 720?

The xbox 720 discs are quite possibly going to be blu-ray. If that’s the case then DO NOT DO IT! Get a play station instead because if the xbox discs go blu-ray then they are going to end up costing like $100!

These are just some of the threads you can find on Yahoo! Answers. Even googling for something like “xbox explosion yahoo answers” returns some results.

Do you know other ludicrous threads that I have missed? If you do, make sure you leave a link in the comment section!