Wednesday, January 05, 2005

2005: The Highly Anticipated Videogames

I’ll name the top six videogames I’m excited to get this year:

Xenosaga Episode 2 - Xenosaga part 2 launches February 15th. This space RPG is a prequel saga to Xenogears. This game is suppose to look better than previous RPGs on PS2 before it. There has never been a game with as many cutscenes as Xenosaga. The last episode takes place after humans go to war with an alien species (again). Humans have conquered space and the Gnosis stand in their way. The Gnosis want a monolith known as an Zohar which looks exactly like the one at the end of the movie, 2010. At the beginning, the aliens took the Zohar emulator mistaking it for the real monolith hidden from everyone. Humans were able to unlock some alien technology from Zohar, but not all of it, which why it is a quest for the Holy Grail. Fortunately, Earth scientists have created an android called KOS-MOS inferior to the enemy unlike humans are. KOS-MOS is a first prototype of a whole army of KOS-MOSs to defend the Earth Federation against the Gnosis. The game makes you go to different planets to rescue androids. The party isn’t entirely human – about 2/3s android – they only look the same as us. In battle sequences, the game allows 3 players, and you have your 3 different attacks, several special attacks and my favorite – MECHs, the game calls them (A)nti (G)nosis (W)eapon (S)ystems instead.

Resident Evil 4 - I forgot about this one so I had to add it. Resident Evil 4 puts you in the eyes of Resident Evil 2 hero, Leon Kennedy. After the fall of the Umbrella Corporation only a year before, he goes to a European town to investigate there. Leon finds out the villagers are trying to kill him not to mention the T-virus as infected villagers, and sometimes created T-virus monsters. The question is why it is here and not only Raccoon City or that place in Code Veronica? It’s your favorite horror survival game onto its eighth chapter. The game really does push Gamecube graphics to the limit! IGN gave it a 9.8, the highest score for a Gamecube game for them. The adventure is supposed to last 20 hours. The game is made by Capcom Production Studio 4.

Suikoden IV - Also called Gensou Suikoden IV in Japan coming out in 7 days. This weird renaissance turn-based RPG seems to take after the events of Suikoden III, supposedly 2002 Role Playing Game of the Year by IGN. I bought Suikoden for Playstation, a very rare Playstation game which is why it’s as much as a new PS2 game. I suspect Konami made Suikoden III much like Final Fantasy X, added a 3D engine, more audio driven cut-scenes, and an above average ‘turn-based battle thing’. Yes, another anime-based RPG importing from Japan the US seems to get six or more of these on PS2 each year.

Dungeon Siege 2 - It’s another RPG, but for PC developed by Gas Powered Games, a new game developer under Microsoft’s reign. The first game supported a very advanced engine for 2001, but not very good looking in 2005. Dungeon Siege is a dungeon-crawler like Forgotten Realms series or Diablo. Basically, it’s a 3D Diablo-like hack & slash PC game. The sequel is larger, has more weapons and armor, an upgraded engine also used in the original with much better textures, improved mod support. It looks cool and suppose to be as good as Neverwinter Nights. I used to be big on played Dungeon Siege in 2001 when it came out.

Super Mario 128 - A true sequel to Super Mario 64 unlike Super Mario Sunshine. The game will be presented at E3 2005 for Gamecube. I do know it’ll look better than Super Mario Sunshine texture wise! One of the faults of that game was the low resolution textures, but the characters and game engine were high resolution.

Knights of the Old Republic 2: Revenge of the Siths - This Star Wars game is the sequel to Bioware’s unbelievable action-RPG. Around now, the Jedi have decreased in numbers by a large margin, and the old republic is at the blink of war. The Xbox version is already out, but the PC version is suppose use the same hack and slash method as the prequel. KotOR looked great at 1600x1200, and got above 9.2 on practically every review site on the Internet. The graphics generally were above 9.0. Sound was about a 9.5. Game play was always above 9.0, replay value was either an 8.5 to 9.5 depending on the reviewer. KotOR2 allows you to pick the Old Republic’s fate.

At Toyriffic yesterday, I met a black man there at the store. He asked me about the game I bought. Then he asked me why I bought it. I didn’t answer him, I’d never seen him in my life. It was very cold yesterday, around freezing so I was wearing fleece under a heavy winter coat so I was very warm out in the cold. The same day, I went too visit a consoler in Minneapolis, who asked me several questions. Anyhow, I hated my visit there, and I’m not coming back.

On New Years, I had all my younger cousins over including Joshua who’s in 9th grade. What a pain, they wanted to borrow my videogames to take home with them. I said, “No.” Lars knows it’s free – that’s why! He’s just a little guy though – mean not what he says. I buy the games, they take it home for free? – sorry. I want all my games behind glass now. Anyways, I wanted to show Josh, the oldest one, my favorite videogames out of the collection. Uli is also mature for his age, not as mature as I though, but I do agree with him that Halo and Fable are great games since he kept commenting on how great Fable was. I wonder why Fable was rated M anyways? Joshua wanted to see Soul Reaver - Legacy of Kain 2, and he played that for a while. I also showed my cousin, Sherry (his mom) Fatal Frame 2 - Crimson Butterfly since she’s into videogames as well. Last time I saw Sherry was on Halloween. Joshua kept calling me crazy because of all the games on my shelves. It’s not crazy…. just a little obsession….that’s all. He likes Bran Stroker’s Dracula & Matrix Revolutions so he watched both. I tried to get someone interested in watching Saving Private Ryan, but no one cared. Don’t these kids want to watch a reenactment of the greatest generation? The same generation that destroyed The 3rd Reign ? I must mention the Brits, Canadians, Russians, and Free French who made victory possible, otherwise - my comment would be very one-sided which isn’t true. The film glorifies war too, lots and lots of gore from the D-Day scene (June 06, 1944) on Normandy Beach or other invaded beaches in German occupied France. Those who watched the film would know! If those kids can play Halo 2 you start to wonder why videogames are more important than our country’s history. 1.) None of my cousins like History Class. 2.) None of my cousins seen so many videogames in their life. 3.) Both.

Today, I was also playing with the hero maker, the idea just dawned on me that there would be such a thing on Google. I was right and the third hit was the best version. I thought, “Wonderful!” The program does weapons, cloaks, 6 different shields, 4 different kinds of bikini mails for female, 6 different faces too choose from, and 30 different skins for each gender. The program allows you to pick from basketball cheerleader, female fantasy warrior or male knight. Hero Maker Homepage

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