Monday, October 31, 2011

3 Year RPG Special Part 4: Dragon Quest 8: Journey of the Crused King for the PS2

Welcome to the next part of the 3-year RPG special. I remember reading a pretty harsh statement from Bioware stating that Japanese-style RPG’s lacked innovation. While that may be true in some areas, I don’t think they should say that when Bioware’s Dragon Age 2 was not as good as the original, with a not-so-well-developed story, bland characters, and still had what critics called an identity crisis of wanting to know what kind of game it wants to be. It also doesn’t help with the whole controversy about that Bioware employee giving the game a perfect 10 out of 10 and calling any other reviewer biased and stupid. Even though RPG’s from Japan still use common gameplay elements like turn-based combat and have fairly simple melodramatic stories, it works out for some series since sometimes we don’t need a fully complex story with underlying political or religious themes. Sometimes, we just need a simple story with enjoyable characters and a sense of adventure and excitement without having to pay close attention to the story’s many underlying themes. This is where the very popular Dragon Quest series comes in. This is probably the most popular series back in Japan and for good reason. The franchise has had very simple, but entertaining plots (it differs from game to game since Dragon Quest 4 and 5 have great stories) and great characters with a combat system that hasn’t changed in about 20 or more years. While I have admittingly stayed far away from this franchise due to extreme levels of difficulty that does turn some people off, if you stay with the games you will learn to love them and be hooked on them for the rest of your life. This is where Dragon Quest 8 comes in for the PS2! A game that I think is far better than Final Fantasy 12 and 13 entirely, Dragon Quest 8 with its simple yet entertaining story, great characters, simple combat, and of course the artwork of Akira Toriyama added for some flare is a great RPG. Any RPG fan that likes old traditional turn-based RPG’s should get this game immediately! It’s one of if not the best RPG on the PS2 and one of my favorite RPGs. Let’s dive into the wonderful world of Dragon Quest 8: Journey of the Cursed King.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

3 Year RPG Special Part 3: Tales of Vesperia for the Xbox360

Hey, everyone! Welcome back to the third part of this 3-year special! Now then, since I got my “hello” out of the way, let’s talk about the Tales games from Namco. If you are blinded with confusion about this series and saying to yourself, “what is this Tales series?” Well, you are not alone, and no, I was not insulting your intelligence. I’m serious, since, um…let me explain. The Tale franchise is apparently a huge fan-followed-action RPG franchise from Namco that has been going on since the first game appeared on the Super Famicom. It officially started to come here when the PS1 came to be, and FF7 made RPG’s a huge moneymaker here in the states. Namco caught wind of this and decided to start releasing the Tale games over here to take the big boys like Final Fantasy down a couple of pegs. This plan failed, but we did get some of the games over the years. The first game we got in the series was Tales of Destiny, the first game to be released over here in 1998 with good reception. They then released Tales of Eternia over here under the title, Tales of Destiny 2 with generally positive reviews, despite some complaints about the graphical presentation and sound work, but well received nonetheless. Sadly, after that, they basically have been releasing some of them over here, but not all of them. I think this is due to a good chunk of gamers really liking this series, but not a big enough chunk of customers to port over the entire franchise in the U.S. For example, we got left out of the ACTUAL Tales of Destiny 2’s release on the PS2. We got Tales of Symphonia for the Gamecube with it ending up as one of the console’s best and ONLY RPG’s with a cult following. Namco left us in the dark about Tales of Rebirth for the PS2, but gave us Tales of Legendia for the PS2. Namco also gave us Tales of Abyss, and are going to give us Tales of Grace for the PS3. I am going to review the most recent of the Tales game to come over here in the states known as Tales of Vesperia for the Xbox360. In my opinion, this could be the best Xbox360 game. This is debatable, due to people saying that Gears of War or Halo is the best game on the console, but this is my review, and I am going to say that Tales of Vesperia is the best game on the console, and I could highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great RPG for the console. Let’s dive our way into no man’s land and get onto part 3 of this 3-year Anniversary Special. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

3 Year RPG Special Part 2: Blue Dragon for the Xbox360

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to part 2 of this 3-year RPG Special. We last left off on one of the developer Mistwalker’s most celebrated titles, Lost Odyssey for the Xbox 360. For a console that is covered in shooters, Lost Odyssey is one of the best games you could get if you want Japanese-style RPG’s. While you could complain that it shouldn’t have used random battles (and to some extent I agree), I love the game. I enjoyed and was pulled into the story, I enjoyed the characters, and I love the turn-based fighting mechanics. It’s one of the better games you can get for the 360, and for about 10 to 12 bucks, I could totally recommend this 4 disc long game. However, there was a game that came out before Lost Odyssey that is still solid, but might be the weakest RPG in this special. I mean it’s not a terrible game since I don’t want to play a terrible RPG like some RPGs in the past, but it is probably in the same area where it has good and bad points that could be the deciding point for you as a gamer as to whether or not to invest in it. Let’s try to catch our shadows and review Blue Dragon. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

3 Year RPG Special Part 1: Lost Odyssey for the Xbox360 review


Welcome, everyone, to the multi-part RPG 3-Year Special. Since a lot of people liked how many RPG’s I did leading up to the 200th review of Lunar: Silver Star Story, I decided to do some more RPG’s since it’s slowly becoming my favorite genre of games. I have played about 20 or so RPG’s and reviewed about as many on my blog. I decided to review a modern day Japanese-style RPG that did surprisingly well over here in the states, and sold a total of 348,000 copies in America. The more amazing thing is that it is on the 360. Even though there are some pretty solid RPG’s on the 360, like Blue Dragon, the amazing Tales of Vesperia, and again depending on who you ask, The Last Remnant, the console is more known for its group of male-centric bullet-riddled shooter games like Halo and Gears of War, to name the two big dogs. This game is made by the famous Mistwalker’s Studios, founded by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. This game is known as Lost Odyssey. While some people could complain that it’s stuck in old world style of RPG’s with turn-based combat, random encounters, and a somewhat generic story, but I think it’s one of the best games on the 360 if you’re not interested in the shooters on the console. Let’s dive into the mysterious world of Lost Odyssey.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Yakuza Retrospective Part 2: Yakuza 2 for the PS2

Hello everyone, and welcome to part 2 of Cam’s Eye View’s Yakuza Retrospective! So, as you all know, I liked the first game, yeah, it had its faults and demanded commitment, but it was a great game. I just wish I knew about this series sooner so I could find a good condition copy of the game, but I know some people would rather rent it to see why it was so great. So, let’s dive into the sequel and one of the better late-coming PS2 games from 2008, Yakuza 2. If you liked the first game and wanted to bash some more skulls in Japan, we’ve got a sequel that definitely brings in more Japanese crime syndicates to fill your prescription of skull bashing. Now, granted, nothing much has changed, but there are some pretty good improvements. So, let’s clean off your brass knuckles, whip out Rosetta Stone Japanese, and read on about Yakuza 2! Personally, I wouldn’t recommend going through the hassle of Rosetta Stone, but do what you want.