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  • Dissidia: Final Fantasy – PSP review
    By on December 23rd, 2008 | 3 Comments3 Comments Comments
    Dissidia: Final Fantasy

    Finally I got my hands on a copy of this game, Dissidia: Final Fantasy is the newest Final Fantasy game released for the Sony PlayStation Portable or PSP. I have the Japanese version and the North American version will arrive sometime mid year in 2009. Honestly I thought this game wouldn’t suit me but I was wrong, very wrong!

    Story and game play
    After a quite long but very enjoyable opening cinematic of the good and evil, you will pretty much get the idea of what’s going on. Cosmo, the goddess of harmony (the good) and Chaos, the god of discord (the evil) have both summoned a few of the past Final Fantasy characters to fight for his/her side. Honestly I didn’t know any of those characters prior to Final Fantasy 6 until I played this game. I was in grade 6 when Final Fantasy 6 (3 in America) came out, so can’t blame me. :)

    Dissidia: Final Fantasy Dissidia: Final Fantasy Dissidia: Final Fantasy

    The heroes:

    -Warrior of Light – Final Fantasy
    - Firion – Final Fantasy II
    - Onion Knight – Final Fantasy III
    - Cecil Harvey – Final Fantasy IV
    - Bartz Klauser – Final Fantasy V
    - Terra Branford – Final Fantasy VI
    - Cloud Strife Final – Fantasy VII
    - Squall Leonhart – Final Fantasy VIII
    - Zidane Tribal – Final Fantasy IX
    - Tidus – Final Fantasy X
    - Shantotto – Final Fantasy XI (Ahh our beloved and adorable tarutaru!)

    Dissidia: Final Fantasy Dissidia: Final Fantasy Dissidia: Final Fantasy

    The Villains:

    - Garland – Final Fantasy
    - Emperor – Final Fantasy II
    - Cloud of Darkness – Final Fantasy III
    - Golbez – Final Fantasy IV
    - Exdeath – Final Fantasy V
    - Kefka Palazzo – Final Fantasy VI
    - Sephiroth – Final Fantasy VII
    - Ultimecia – Final Fantasy VIII
    - Kuja – Final Fantasy IX
    - Jecht – Final Fantasy X
    - Gabranth – Final Fantasy XII

    Initially you have to go through the Prologue which acts like a series of tutorials for the game. I really like this game because it is a combination of board game, action and RPG all in one! The Prologue will teach you how to navigate through the board, obtain items from treasure chests, fight monsters etc. At first you might feel overwhelmed, at least I did, with all the features and options. But since the menus are so elegantly designed it was easy to get used to and which button is for what option. Unlike the Macross Ace Frontier that I reviewed about two weeks ago. This is what I expect from Square Enix from all its games and so far I have not been disappointed.

    Dissidia: Final Fantasy Dissidia: Final Fantasy Dissidia: Final Fantasy

    There are two main modes – the story mode and 1 on 1. The story mode will let you pick which character you want to play the story with. The 1 on 1 to me is just a way to level grind your characters.

    As you fight through battles and completing stages, you will gain experience points as well as items and gils (money) which can be used to booster your character’s stats and purchase new weapons/items from the shop.

    There are quite a lot of things to cover in terms of the actual game play because its separated between the board game part as well as the actual battles. I will try and cover as much as I can.

    The board game part pretty much determines how many battles you will be fighting, on the board there will be treasure chests, healing item, monsters (for you to fight and gain experience and items) as well as a statue that you have to destroy in order to finish a particular stage (note you don’t necessary have to kill all enemies to finish the stage, destroying the statue is enough, at least this is what I’ve seen so far. During each stage, you will be given points called Destiny Points, its basically just points for you to navigate throughout the stage, if you manage to complete the stage without going to the negative, you earn more points after completing the stage, sometimes I find that you have to get to the negative in order to get to everything (or maybe I just suck). You can refill your DP by completing the DP Chance like defeating your enemy within 10 seconds or trigger your EX attack (the special move which I will talk about later) within 10 seconds (not all enemies have DP Chance so you have to plan the way you move throughout the board.

    Dissidia: Final Fantasy Dissidia: Final Fantasy Dissidia: Final Fantasy

    On the board, you don’t just move around though, you also have skills that you can use such as healing 30% of your HP or cast negative effects onto your enemy that is adjacent to where you are. Finally you can also press R to go into search mode and check on each enemy’s level as well as the the DP Chance ahead of time. I don’t find it that useful though.

    That should cover the basics of the board game part now onto the actual battle!

    Battles are very fast paced, the square and circle buttons are for attack, R is defend, L is toggling targeting on/off (sometimes you want to go somewhere else and not looking at your enemy all the time), triangle allows you to walk on walls or jump from one place to another (pretty handy when you fight in a stage where there is hardly anywhere for you to walk on, you will have to jump around) and cross is jump. EX attack or special move is triggered when the EX gauge is full and by pressing R+square. If you have esper equipped, you can call it out by pressing R+circle, again when the EX gauge is full. You will slowly fill up your EX gauge when you attack, being attacked or by obtaining the EX fill up item that appears randomly during battle.

    Once EX attack is triggered, a sequence of buttons will be displayed to you, you will have to get them correctly to get the maximum number of hits out of it and in the end, you will hit the button that will be displayed to you for the final blow as well. I haven’t mastered this attack yet though.

    Dissidia: Final Fantasy Dissidia: Final Fantasy Dissidia: Final Fantasy

    Upon leveling up, your character will not only gain stats, but he/she will also gain more skills that you can map to your keys. Pressing left and circle can have a different attack than pressing right/top/down and circle! So the combination is endless, well not literally but you get my idea. That goes for the square button attack as well. You can also pick a different EX attack from the EX Mode menu. This should give you at least some ideas of what this game has to offer. I’m PRETTY sure there are more features that I have not covered, like this mini game like option that requires PP that I’m still trying to figure out what its for, all I know is that I used up 30PP to do something related to “treasure hunting in a cave”. Sorry I can’t read too much Japanese.

    There is also a multiplayer mode but I haven’t had the opportunity to test it out.

    Dissidia: Final Fantasy Dissidia: Final Fantasy Dissidia: Final Fantasy

    Graphics and audio
    The graphics are pretty impressive, and I’m not just talking about the CG intro but game play graphics as well. Character facial animations are one of the best I’ve seen on a PSP, you can really see detailed facial animations from each character. The way their eyes blink to how their mouths/lips move as they talk is so smooth its like watching an anime. This is pretty much the best feature I like about Dissidia: Final Fantasy in terms of graphics.

    Also worth a mention is the special/lighting effects of the game, be it whether you are moving on the board, scrolling through menus or battling enemies as well as the destructable objects and when you or your enemy gets pushed into a wall, the wall will break too. All these really enhance the game making it more realistic.

    Square Enix has been known for having some of the best music composed in the gaming industry if not the best. And Dissidia: Final Fantasy is no exception but then again the game basically uses music from all the Final Fantasy series.

    Final verdict
    If you are a Final Fantasy fan, I don’t see why you would want to miss this, of course unless you don’t have a PSP then I can’t blame you. But if you are a fan and own a PSP, I suggest you pick up the Japanese version if you can’t wait for the North American version on ebay or yesasia. The fact that this game has features from board games, action/fighting games and traditional RPG games should be more than enough to satisfy a wide range of gamers that are into different game genres. Finally, this game has so much features to offer that I think its worth more than what I’ve paid for, you don’t see a lot of games like that too often!

    9.0/10

  • Looking 4 Cheap Web Hosting?
    By on December 21st, 2008 | No Comments Comments

    4 Cheap Web Hosting

    Are you looking for cheap web hosting but reliable packages available online? 4 Cheap Web Hosting is a complete unbiased guide which has more than 200 approved web hosts with over 400 cheap web hosting packages listed.

    It has a quick search function where you can search for hosting packages that are less than $15.00 a month and/or have at least 1000MB of disk space. Of course you can list all of them at once in a table where it is divided into 8 columns with plan name, plan type, platform, monthly fee, 4Value Rating, disk space, bandwidth and the number of Domains that comes with each package from each of the web hosting service providers.

    On the home page you will also see the top 5 plans listed on the right hand side and clicking on each plan will show you more details regarding each plan. Aside from that, the site also houses one of the most comprehensive search function for web hosting lookup called the “Web Hosting Power Search“.

    If you are new to web hosting, 4 Cheap Web Hosting also provides web hosting tutorials for beginners. It has guides from choosing the Best web hosting service to buying a domain name.

    So far I’ve reviewed the customer side of the site, it also allows web hosting service providers to add, update, and delete its web hosting packages and company information (for free). This is a good way to market your packages if you are a provider.

    Overall 4 Cheap Web Hosting provides very helpful details on some of the best web hosting companies and packages being offered by them. The site is clean, organized and easy to navigate. Beginners should have no problem navigating throughout the site.

  • Metal Gear Solid DLC for LittleBigPlanet @ Dec 23!
    By on December 19th, 2008 | No Comments Comments
    Little Big Planet x Metal Gear Solid

    Just when I thought there’s nothing special this month for my PS3, but PlayStation.Blog surprised me with news regarding two Metal Gear Solid Premium Packs available on the PlayStation Store on December 23rd. The Metal Gear Solid Premium Costume Pack will contain Snake’s costume, obviously, as well as costumes for Meryl Silverburgh, Screaming Mantis and Raiden. The costume pack goes for $5.99 or $1.99 each. I lied about getting the Street Fighter pack, but I AM pretty sure I will be getting this pack! I promise!

    And that’s not all, there is also a Metal Gear Solid Premium Level Pack. This pack contains the Gurlokovich Soldier costume, plus 72 stickers, 12 materials, 10 decorations, 18 objects, 5 new Story Levels as well as 1 new Challenge Level. You would think wow that’s a lot of content, think again because there are more! You will also be getting (from PlayStation.Blog):

    - 3 new background music tracks
    - 1 new interactive music track
    - 1 new Metal Gear Solid themed ‘sound object’
    - New Plasma Ball ‘danger element’
    - New Laser Sight ‘gadget’
    - 12 new Trophies to unlock
    - New functioning Searchlight lamp – for those special ‘exclamation mark’ moments
    - …and finally, the piece de resistance…THE PAINTINATOR (and Paint Switch)

    If you don’t want to purchase this level pack, you can still play this level by joining a host that has the level. Though you cannot obtain any items from the levels. Don’t be cheap and get it!

    The best part is this level pack is only $5.99, consider the costume to be $0.99, you are paying $5.00 for 6 new levels along with tons of stickers, materials, objects, music tracks and my favorite of all, THE PAINTINATOR. This is pretty much the first “weapon” for LittleBigPlanet where you are actually holding something and shooting something from it, in this case paint. These levels and the THE PAINTINATOR will show what LittleBigPlanet can really do, the future is bright for this littlebiggame. (you read that right, littlebiggame)

    I am really excited and looking forward to getting these two packs, guess these will be my Christmas presents. :)

    Little Big Planet x Metal Gear Solid

    And while we wait, please enjoy this beautifully done video of Metal Gear Solid x LittleBigPlanet levels, hands down to whoever designed this level.

    Image source: PlayStation.Blog’s Photostream

  • After 8 years, Parasite Eve is back – The 3rd B...
    By on December 17th, 2008 | No Comments Comments

    Oh man, I still remember when Parasite Eve first came out in 1998. Developed by Squaresoft (not yet Square Enix) for the Sony PlayStation. It was one of the best survival horror role-playing game. One of the best game features was the sheer amount of customization for your weapons. And of course our main protagonist Aya Brea herself! The sequel was released a year after (also for the Sony PlayStation), which I personally think was not as good as the first. Soon we will finally see the third release of the PE series, but this time its called The 3rd Birthday and available for the Sony PlayStation Portable instead.

    Aya Brea is prettier than ever, still young because of her mutation, sickness whatever you call it. Another must buy for the PSP and let’s see if Aya is still pwning or not!

  • Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete – c...
    By on December 17th, 2008 | No Comments Comments

    Finally, a trailer of the Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete which shows a few new scenes that weren’t in the original CG animated movie from Gametrailers.com. I have been waiting for the Blu-ray version of FF 13: AC for so long and what makes this a must buy is the fact that the demo for Final Fantasy 13 will be bundled with it according to Wired.com.

    Just three more months!! I will probably get the Japanese version from YesAsia or ebay just incase the North American version isn’t released around the same time though.

  • More video game related violence
    By on December 16th, 2008 | 1 Comment1 Comment Comments

    The incident actually happened a year ago but trial opened just Monday. According to Cleveland.com Daniel Petric shot both his parents, killing his mother and left his father badly injured. The reason for this senseless shooting? Halo 3. His father didn’t allow Daniel to purchase Halo 3 due to its violent nature. He then sneaked out of his house and got it even though he was not allowed to. The game was taken away as soon as Daniel returned home after purchasing it and was locked in his father’s lockbox where he also had a handgun locked inside. A month later, Daniel got the lockbox’s key, unlocked the box and retrieved both the game and the handgun. Then you could of imagined what happened next. He shot them.

    Daniel’s lawyer said he “had been under great stress at the time of the shooting”. I don’t think that’s an excuse for shooting anyone, let alone shooting your own parents, over a game or anything. I feel sorry for his parents and family but not himself because I think he should have known better and what made it worse was the fact that he tried to make it look like “a murder-suicide” by placing the gun back to his father’s hand.

    Kids these days are so addicted to video games that they will do anything in order to play. These kids need to realize there is more to just video gaming.

    I bet Jack Thompson would have said something about this if he wasn’t “permanently disbarred by the Florida Supreme Court “. I’m still happy that he got what he deserved. :)

  • The best online poker – PacificPoker.com
    By on December 15th, 2008 | No Comments Comments

    If you enjoy online poker, then you should check out and play poker at Pacific Poker, one of the oldest and the best online poker room on the net. Getting started is as simple as downloading the needed software for free. Once you are done, you will then have to register for an account and you can now start playing! There are many games to choose from – ring games, texas hold em, omaha hi, seven card stud and many more.

    Once you are in the lobby, you will be able to choose the options of playing for real money or for practice, what kind of games you want to play and finally the kind of table or tournament you wish to play at (ring game, sit & go, multi-table, jackpot). The lobby is easy to navigate through and sorting the list according to your preferences is as easy as clicking on any column header (stakes, limit, players, speed, average pot, hands per hour, etc). You can also customize which information columns you want to appear in the list of tables as well.

    If you think you got what it takes, you can also participate in poker tournaments which you can find in the tournament lobby. Again you have the option to play with real money or for practice.

    I also discovered they have a very neat guide section that talks about the main lobby, poker tables and the tournamentlobby. Each guide is presented in a Flash format, you can mouse over a particular area and the corresponding explanation will popup.

    So if you have read all the way down to this paragraph, you should be at least a bit interested and/or curious about PacificPoker.com or online poker in general. So what are you waiting for? Head over there now!

  • Final Fantasy Versus XIII – finally another tea...
    By on December 12th, 2008 | No Comments Comments

    Gametrailers.com has released another teaser for the upcoming of Final Fantasy Versus XIII for the PlayStation 3 (gee took them long enough to release another one). “HOLY S**T” were literally my two words that came out of my mouth when I was watching this jaw dropping teaser. And Square Enix has hyped up this game even more by introducing more characters particularly this young lady that our protagonist has to fight against, though there’s still no actual game play yet. But based on past FF games, I don’t think we have to worry about that at all. I just can’t find anything negative about the teaser, everything is so perfectly executed, be it the classy music, the always impressive CG movies and artistic character styles.

    Even though its in standard definition format, the quality is pretty good actually.