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    Jan 19th, 2007 at 14:10:18     -    Katamari Damacy (PS2)

    (Written Thursday, January 18th, 2006)

    This game just cracks me up. I played some more of it a little while ago and I must say, I’ve developed a queer fondness for running over people. (Preferably small children and men with pompadours.) Usually I’ll go out of my way to roll them up to listen to their cries of anguish. I’ve also gotten to see more of the cutscenes since I last wrote. I find the lego-like family pretty intriguing so far. I’d really like to see how that little side story progresses. I sincerely hope I get to roll them up at the end, but I guess I’ll have to wait and see on that one. Those little lego kids say the darndest things though. My favorite line is said by the little girl after you create a constellation. She says something ridiculous like: “Oh! …I feel the cosmos!” It cracks me up every time.

    So far, I’ve heard little reference to the cousins. I have a feeling you’re only be able to interact with them in the 2-player part of the game, which is sad and a little disappointing. It’d be nice to have them be more a part of the story and learn more about them. Another thing that has been bothering me is that the controls have been a little hard to master. I haven’t really gotten the hang of all the special moves. Thus far, the only special move I use is the one in which you push down on both the analogue sticks simultaneously, causing the Prince to jump over the katamari and land on the opposite side. This, sadly, is the only real move I use to maneuver my way through the worlds. Usually I’m either too lazy, crunched for time, or extremely frustrated to experiment with the other special moves. I think this is my fault though, not really the game’s.

    Due to a sudden and heavy work load, I probably won’t be playing this game for a little while after this, which saddens me. This is definitely one of those games I’d like to see through to the end, and even possibly buy in the future. Hopefully, some free time will open up so I get a chance to finish this little gem.


    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 19th, 2007 at 14:10:44.

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    Jan 19th, 2007 at 14:07:45     -    Katamari Damacy (PS2)

    (Written Thursday, January 18th, 2006)

    Firstly, I’d like to start out by saying that this game is HILARIOUS! I had briefly played it once before, but not really in depth. So far I’m really enjoying the game and the characters. My favorite character thus far would have to be the Prince, but I find the King of all Cosmos to be the most humorous of the bunch. This is pretty obvious though, seeing as he’s pretty much the only one who talks throughout the game so far. What I find especially funny about the King though, (ok, maybe not funny) is the fact that he practically never really complements the Prince at all. Being relatively inexperienced with the game so far, I’ve been scolded and utterly demoralized by King countless times after failing a level. Even after completing a level well though, the King will say something like: “Oh, it could have been bigger,” or “I would’ve done so much better.” Plus, he’s always losing all my presents! What the hell! …It’s frustrating, but at the same time, you can’t help but laugh at the stuff he throws at you.

    To my surprise, the goal of the game has been incredibly simple. It’s basically just rolling things up into a katamari before the time runs out. As utterly boring as it sounds, the game is anything but that. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I’m constantly required to judge what I’m big enough to pick up while maneuvering through a pretty complex (and generally hilarious) world. Or maybe what keeps my attention is the sheer joy I get when I roll up five birthday cakes I’ve found in the middle of the road. Personally, I just love picking up the creepy animals (like the dung beetles) and hearing them shriek. I guess that’s kinda sick coming from me, the vegetarian, but it really gives me a thrill.

    Not a lot really bothers me about the game so far, just some little things. I don’t really like the fact that I can’t move backwards at the same speed that I move forwards. It also bothers me how the katamari becomes incredibly sluggish and hard to control the bigger it gets, but I guess you could say that that’s all part of the challenge of the game. Laying that aside though, I’m having a lot of fun. After playing through the game for a while, I found it was hard for me to put the thing down. I want the game to continue to humor me, and I’m definitely looking forward to playing more later.

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    Jan 11th, 2007 at 18:30:29     -    Final Fantasy XII (PS2)

    (Both this entry and the entry before this one were written yesterday, but due to the fact that my computer doesn't have internet and I wasn't able to visit a computer lab last night, I'm posting them both today. Therefore, the times these entries were posted are not the times that I actually wrote them. Hopefully that was coherant and not too pointless in explaining...)

    Ok! I’m about 60 hours into the game as of now. I’m currently in Archades, and I’ve just finished collecting my “chops.” Since my last entry was more on the negative side, I’ll try working on the aspects of the game that I really like so far. Firstly, I’ll start with the dubbing. It’s not bad! In fact, it’s actually… it’s actually quite good! I’ve experienced some bad dubs in my day, not really in games, per se… since I’ve had little exposure to video games in general. It’s a little embarrassing to be in CMPS 80K surrounded by all these knowledgeable gamers when I know next to nothing about video games. But anyway, I digress. The dubbing is well done, and I’m thrilled about that. Aside from the dubbing though, I also like how they include more sophisticated vocabulary into the dialogue. It’s really a breath of fresh air not to hear the characters say phrases like: “I’m gonna kill you, you’ll see!” and “Nuh-uh, you’ll never beat me!”

    Another aspect of FF12 I’m enjoying is the level of difficulty. I don’t use quickenings, so I end up doing a lot of leveling up to beat bosses. FF8, 9, and 10 were relatively easy to beat, they weren’t especially difficult for me. FF12 is a lot more challenging to work through. I have to strategize a lot more, and I end up getting very involved in choosing the actions of my party via gambits, and investing in skills through the license point system. I really enjoy the freedom of choice that these systems provide.

    Wrapping things up though (since I’m getting a little tired of writing all this,) FF12 in short is a very dense game. There’s so much to explore, so many side missions and hunts to take part in, so many people to talk to, it’s really really awesome in that way. The story is engaging, the animation is absolutely beautiful, and the characters are pretty nicely fleshed out. I can easily see myself putting in triple the hours I’ve already played.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 19th, 2007 at 14:22:05.

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    Jan 11th, 2007 at 17:56:19     -    Final Fantasy XII (PS2)

    I started playing this game over the winter break. Soon after starting it, I fell into my usual routine of video game play: Get up at 10am, play till 2am, and then go to bed. However unhealthy and pathetic it is, it’s just the way things end up whether or not I want it to be this way. I’m about 58 hours into the game now, and loving it. I’m currently on my way to Archades. I’ve gotten all my characters up to level 40 and I’m just about to go in and fight the mandragora gang.

    As much as I’m enjoying the game right now though, there’s stuff that kinda bothers me about FF12 so far that I feel the need to address. A part of me feels like FF12 doesn’t really fit in well as a Final Fantasy game. When I first started FF12, I didn’t really feel like I was playing a Final Fantasy at all. Of course, my judgment might be completely skewed by the fact that I’ve never played 10-2 or 11, but I feel FF12 is missing a lot of the things that the other FFs I’ve played have (FF7, 8, 9, & 10.) For one, they redesigned a lot of the signature FF things that appear in the games, like the moogles and cactuars. I’m used to it now, but when I first began the game, I was a little irked by this. Sure, the FF12 moogles are cute, but the old ones were much cooler. I wish they had kept that aspect of the FF tradition instead of repackaging it.

    The story also doesn’t really have much of an FF feel. This isn’t to say that FF12’s story isn’t good, because that’s the opposite of what I feel. It’s a good story, most definitely! But it just doesn’t feel FF to me. Maybe part of this is due to the fact that in all the FFs I’ve played, there was a pleasant love story intertwined with the plot. After reading this, you may be thinking to yourself, “Just what you’d expect to hear from a stupid girl! Who cares?” But I feel that many other players (as well as the guys) also enjoyed this element to the story. FF12 just doesn’t have this. Sure, I guess you could say that Ashe and her husband have something goin’ on, but her husband is freaking dead. It’s hard for me to count that as a sufficient love story.

    Moving on, another thing that I feel is distinctly unFF is the music. I was expecting to hear more of the delightful, memorable melodies and theme music that all the other FFs had, not the tuneless orchestral music of FF12. Music is a really important aspect of games for me. It really shapes the entire mood of the game. I don’t think the music is necessarily bad in FF12, it’s just not as good as I would expect from a Final Fantasy. This is probably due to the fact that Nobuo Uematsu (the previous FF composer) didn’t do the music for the game, which is sad and disappointing… (did he retire?) but anyway, enough of this. I could go on, but I won’t. I am content with the other changes they made to FF12 in relation to the FF series. The battle system was a great improvement compared to the old system. It’s much less tedious than the old one, and much more fun to play through. I’d rather discuss that at a later time though. I think I’m going to wrap things up here. It’s too bad that all I ended up talking about in this entry was how lacking FF12 is, which really wasn’t my intention. I really really do enjoy playing FF12. I’ll make a point of talking about what I like about the game in my next entry.


    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 19th, 2007 at 14:22:32.

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    1Final Fantasy XII (PS2)Playing
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