09/30/2003

It has been quite a while since I wrote something in the news section regarding what new games I'm going to play. Luckily, I'll write something like that right now. However, I'd like to point something out. Many of you probably missed the update yesterday, so go read that as soon as possible, since I updated some very important stuff.

Many of you are probably wondering: "why did he review such an odd game? Sonic the Hedgehog CD?!" Well, it just so happened that I had a hidden urge to play the game. Since I finally found a program to rip working ISOs from my CDs, I started ripping an ISO from nearly all my CDs, including Sonic the Hedgehog CD. I was previously thinking about playing through Final Fantasy Tactics for the PlayStation, but my hidden urge for some Sonic action was too much to ignore.

So, after lots of work, I finally got the ISO working on my emulator, and since the emulator could take screen shots, I thought: "hey, why not make a review?" Since I just finished playing it, the entire game was fresh in my memory. Even if I played a game previously, if I haven't played it again for several years, then try to review it, I often find myself not knowing what I'm talking about. That's why my Super Mario World review came out pretty badly. However, that wasn't the case for Sonic the Hedgehog CD. Hopefully you'll enjoy the review.

Also note, if you hover over an image, a little comment I made about that image will show up. Even though the screen shots were more difficult to take this time, I still think they were the must fun part of the review. The little comments for every image is also a fun thing for me, personally.

Okay, that came out much longer than I expected, so now let us move on to what game I will play next. At this point, really, I'm not sure. I may start with Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg solely for the reason that I think it will be a short and quick game. As for Disgaea, I was thinking of getting into Final Fantasy Tactics first, then moving on to it.

Viewtiful Joe is nearing its release date, and my excitement for the game is growing somewhat. It still isn't as much as it was before, but it's good enough, I think. There are also some other games coming out next month, but I can't remember which ones.

Well, I'll do some gaming today, for a change.

09/29/2003

Sorry for such a late update today (a very late update), but I updated so much stuff for the site, it should make up for it. Okay, let's see if I can remember everything I did...

1) I added the ISO section, followed by the Sonic the Hedgehog CD ISO.

2) I made a separate section for Sega CD Music and added some new Sonic the Hedgehog CD music, which are all MP3s as opposed to midis.

3) I added a review for Sonic the Hedgehog CD. I think I did much better on this one than the Super Mario World review, so I hope you like it.

4) The BIOS section has been added, so that it is easier to get to them. Along with that, the Sega CD BIOS were added.

That's a lot of stuff. I hope I didn't miss anything.

I noticed that a lot of the new people visiting my site only use the drop down boxes at the top. I'd like to mention that the drop down boxes above don't feature every section on the site; only some of the common ones. Certain sections can only be accessed through the "Main Menu" (on the left side of the screen; it's on every page).

Eheh... sorry for updating so late, but these reviews take a long time. I'm tired now, so I won't say much here...

09/28/2003

I'm very tired today. So, yes, I didn't get anything done with the site. Maybe tomorrow...? I haven't even played any of my games! Now that simply is rare.

Eh... for some odd reason, I've been reading up on C++ tutorials. And, honestly, I'm not far off from learning it. A lot of the lessons I read consisted of stuff I already use for this site! I'd tell you, but then you'd just regard it as techno babble and not know what I'm talking about.

I think I'll go to bed early today...

*UPDATE*

I actually got around to adding a few ROMs... the ROMs are:

Nintendo Entertainment System:
1) Dragon Warrior
2) Dragon Warrior II
3) Dragon Warrior III
4) Dragon Warrior IV

Super Nintendo Entertainment System:
1) Dragon Quest V

Hopefully you'll enjoy this update. There are still some other ROMs I want to add, so be on the look out for that.

09/27/2003

My copy of Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg arrived yesterday. Heh, with all the nonsense related to my site this week, I didn't even get a chance to begin playing Disgaea. Also, I got Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge. If I actually get a chance to play it, take note that I will put it up as an official review!

So now you're probably wondering, "why doesn't he just do that for now on?" Well, firstly, I think a big part of my reviews are the screen shots. I can't take screen shots of GameCube, PlayStation 2 or X-Box games (I don't own an X-Box, though), which is why I probably won't review them officially. Why don't I use some one else's screen shots? Well, I'd like it if I could take the screen shots myself, since there are specific points in the game that I feel need to be captured for a review. Games I will be able to take screen shots, and thus, review officially, are ones that can be emulated. Just keep that in mind.

Why am I so obsessed with screen shots? If I ever make a review that turns out to be complete utter garbage, at least there are some nice screen shots to view. I can tell a lot about a game just by looking at the screen shots. I suspect it's the same for most people.

Will I officially review the games I've already semi-reviewed in the news section? That's a definite yes, if they can be emulated (meaning a no for GameCube, PlayStation 2, etc). It will all come in good time, though.

As for adding any new ROMs or anything... I was a tad overwhelmed by the events of this week, so I'm resting a little before I continue with the site. However, I do plan to try and at least slightly modify the Super Mario World review. Maybe just not at the moment...

09/26/2003

This is probably the best news all month: the ROMs have returned (yes, all of them) along with the entire site! Yes, that's right; the site is not only working, but all the sections and downloads are up, too!!! Yay! If you're wondering about that thing I said last time as the "bad news," well, my host didn't have to remake their account to do whatever it is they had to do, thus, my account has not been deleted for the second time. That's very good news, indeed. Tell all your friends that the site is back and ready for action! Bwahahaha!!!

Hopefully, nothing big like this will happen for a long time. If nothing else comes up, I expect everything to return to normal. What is normal, you ask? Well, considering how crazy things have been this month, it is only normal that you ask such a question. Let us all hope that everything stays normal, though.

As for what I'll do next... I'm thinking about changing some of the stuff I said in the Super Mario World review, since I had trouble thinking of what to say, and in the end, what I said sucked. So let's see if I can fix that. I'll try to add more reviews, but I think I may aim torwards adding more some ROMs at the moment. Yeah, let's wait and see... oh, wait, I'm the one who must do this stuff, so I can't wait and see.

09/25/2003

I've got good news and bad news. The good news is: the problem has been fixed, and now all I have to do is upload the rest of the stuff (namely, most of the downloads). The bad news? Well, one thing you didn't know is, the host's server had to switch, thus the site went down for a while. When it was back up, I had to upload everything. Now, the host may need to remake their account on the server or something, and this will delete my account again for a little bit. What does this mean? It means that the uploads would be worthless now, and that the site may be down for a day or two... again. Now I'm not sure if they have to do this, so maybe, nothing will happen. Let's just wait and see...

Either way, I'll start uploading some of the small stuff, like NES ROMs and such.

09/24/2003

Every other page on the site, including the downloads, is still out of order. I'm very sorry about this, and I'm working on it to try and resolve this problem as soon as possible. Also, since the contact page is also down, and my e-mail address has changed, I'll list it here: admin@gamers-tavern.com. That's my new e-mail address. If, for whatever inane reason, you need to e-mail me, do it through that address.

If you haven't already figured it out, this is the new host. Yeah, it sucks for you at the moment. Because, not only are the ROMs down, but the rest of the site is, too. Later, though, it'll be much better than the old one I had; honest. It will just take some time...

09/23/2003

As you can clearly see, what I said yesterday was true; the site is messed up. Luckily, I made it so at least the front page looks well and good. However, every other page on the site, including the downloads, is messed up. I'll do my very best to fix this as soon as possible.

09/22/2003

This update may appear rather late due to a problem I had uploading it, but I wrote it on the 22nd, so bare with me.

Soon tomorrow, the site might have some trouble. I encountered a problem on the other server, so once things switch around, you may see a bunch of errors and such. I'll try to do everything I can to fix this.

With all the stuff going on, I didn't have time to say much of anything regarding P.N.03. Well, I beat the game normally, and I honestly don't feel like beating it again on every difficulty. I also don't feel like getting all the suits and powering them up. Why? The first play through was enough for me, really. The game isn't bad, but it wasn't great, either. At least, it wasn't good enough for me to come back and play it several times more. It's a very short game; only around 11 levels. I only had 4 suits out of the many others after beating the game... I didn't even power one of 'em up to max, either.

Right now, I'm making ISOs of many of my PlayStation CDs, and storing them on my hard drive. I may postpone Disgaea and play Final Fantasy Tactics, or possiby some other game. I really don't know.

So, yeah, tomorrow, the site will probably be botched. You'll still be able to read the news, though. It'll just look ugly.

09/21/2003

Today is that special day; the site's anniversary. About a year ago, on this month, on this day, the site was born. And born it was... I said yesterday that I'd put up something special, and I will, too. Unfortunately, I did everything at the last minute, and so, you don't yet get to see what it is. To compensate for this matter, I asked a friend to make a new site banner, which you can now see at the top. Believe it or not, that thing was hard to make. Thanks goes to Mike for the job well done. A well done job it is, indeed.

So all that is left is for me to get my stuff together and put up the next big thing for this special day. I'll do my best. Check back later today; you may find something.

*UPDATE*

Finally, I added the... first official review for this site! Honestly, I spent more work on the design than the actual review, so it may suck. Maybe one day, I'll change it. For now, I'm tired, and can't do anything more.

There's even more good news...! My host finally gave me my account!!! That means the ROMs will return. The bad news? Well, I'll have to upload the entire site to my host, so that'll take quite a while... not only that, but it will take several days for the domain name (www.gamers-tavern.com) to switch over to the new location. That's a lot of stuff for one day, so try not to wet yourself or something.

Uh... happy anniversary? It feels rather awkward saying that.

09/20/2003

As you know, tomorrow is that special day. I just hope I can do something to reflect that.

I started playing some of P.N.03 yesterday. First off, the game looks as if though Capcom (yep, they made the game...) did not put much work into it. The graphics don't look that great; very pixelated, indeed. The little effects, like explosions, dust, etc, don't look too great, either. They use somewhat poor 2D images for those.

The music is nice, though. It's got a lot of techno, which reminds me of when I played F-Zero GX.

The actual game consists of you running around places, shooting robots with your... hands. It's a very simple game, with a very little thing or two added to keep you playing a little longer. Namely, suits. You can earn points by killing many enemies. The more points you get, the more suits and upgrades for those suits you can have. Each suit has a max limitation on their stats, so you can't, say, upgrade to the highest defense possible in the game through the first suit you get. The first suit only lets you upgrade defense twice, while some other suits let you upgrade it much more. So why not buy the suit with the highest max stats, you say? Well, for one, some suits are better at different things than others. The second thing is: each suit has a different "ability" or "abilities." By doing a little, simple, easy button press on the d-pad and maybe a press on the "A" button, you can perform special moves, depending on which your suit has. Sometimes, a suit will have better max stats, but a different type of special move that does not satisfy your personal needs.

It's a very, very, very simple game. You basically run around shooting stuff. The controls were a tad odd for me at first, but I won't complain about them much, since I've heard that these are the "standard" controls for these types of shooting games, which I've never played before.

There's really nothing more to say about the game... there's some plot behind it, but mostly, you just see the main heroin speak to a mysteriously hidden man who seems to be her boss. This mysteriously hidden man gives her jobs on what to do, and every now and again, you see dialogue between the two (the heroin and the mysteriously hidden man). It's sometimes funny and interesting, but nothing that great.

I'm playing this game, mainly, to take a rest from all the tough decisions games like Final Fantasy Tactics Advance give me. One rule that we all have to face is the fact that, even though RPGs do not require skill, they require you to really think. You really have to plan the best way for your 4 party members to learn all the abilities for a single class, and still be able to attack the enemy in battles that count.

Hmm... well, uh, I guess that's it for now. I'd say more, but P.N.03 isn't much of a game to talk about. There's really not much to say about it; the game's just simply made for simple fun.

09/19/2003

This may confuse you, but one thing I don't remember talking about here on the site is Unlimited Saga. Truth be told, I played the game briefly, and completely despised it. This happened around the time I was all into Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour and Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, not to mention Mega Man Network Transmission. I think all these things happened around a month or two ago. Anyway, during this time, I briefly touched Unlimited Saga several times, wishing that, in one of those "several" times, I'd end up loving the game and finishing it. It didn't happen. It just didn't happen.

The game plays out like a board game. There's an ugly looking map to show the dungeon, you move around on there, and battle every now and again. I'll say it right now: the battles sucked. You don't gain experience from them, so there's no leveling up to be had. While your weapons do gain new abilities (I've no idea what determines this) it is really pointless, since you'll have to repair the weapon (if you use them too much, they break), which takes away a single ability. In fact, I did not see a practical way of repairing your weapons; the closest thing I saw resembling that is making the same exact weapon using the weapon itself as an item to forge, thus it loses an ability. I read the manual, but it told me I was doing the right thing. You know what I told it? That is not the right thing to be done! It's just stupid.

The stories are vaguely interesting, but that doesn't really help the current situation, since I never got past the first dungeon.

All in all, the game is two things: mind numbingly boring, and annoying. It's more of the former, though. I nearly fell asleep almost every time I tried playing the game. Trust me; I tried very hard to appreciate this game, but every attempt I made failed. I just couldn't play it. I thought that I'd never find a game that would be so horrid that I could not even pass the first level.

As to what game I'm going to play right now; that's a tough question. I got so into Final Fantasy Tactics Advance that I feel like jumping right into another "tactics" game. So I may play Disgaea. However, I think it's good I take a break from these games (to keep me sane), and play something simple, like P.N.03. I also have a hidden craving for some Final Fantasy Tactics for the PlayStation. Although I did beat that game, I'm just getting a sensation of playing it again. I hate making decisions.

09/18/2003

Jeez, I finally finished all 300 missions in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. It was incredibly annoying, but I finally got it done. Now I'm just going to finish the last few, simple, bonus missions and off I go... to play another game.

Uh... did I mention how much better I draw with a certain type of pencil? It's odd, but I really do draw better with this pencil. You know, the one that you can turn the end part of it to make the led come out or go back in... yeah, that one. You do realize that I'm talking about pencil led, do you? I'm so desperate to find something to write here to entertain you that I've stooped this low. On a more serious note; that thing about the pencil is true. I draw so much better that I may start actually doing something for my comic. This doesn't mean that tomorrow you'll see a strip; no. It just means that the chances of a comic happening soon (which were around 0%) have increased, somewhat (around 5%, maybe).

Since I've nothing else to talk about, I'll use my backup plan. My backup plan is to speak about Nintendo's recent business difficulties. Did you hear the news about them stopping the production of the GameCube? Surely, you must've! The reason for this is simply because they can't sell any GameCubes. Why make so much of an item that you can't even sell? So they plan to sell all the GameCubes in their stock. Once they empty that, they may start making more.

For a company to use such drastic business measures, that can only mean that they are in big trouble. We're talkin' big trouble. I can only hope that Nintendo will survive, but by the looks of things, I'm beginning to believe that may not happen. Don't get me wrong; I simply love Nintendo. Everyone does. I can't deny it, though; they are in a load of trouble.

Let's take a step back, and take a look at when Nintendo was in its prime, and the lead in the gaming industry. Those were the days of the NES and SNES. They were great; making a Zelda game every now and again, some Mario games, etc. Alone, Nintendo was so strong simply because they actually had games that they, themselves, developed. Not only that, but they were darn good at it, too. The other thing that made them so strong was the simple fact that so many other grand gaming companies were developing titles for Nintendo's system. Such companies as: Konami, Capcom, Squaresoft, Enix, Hudson, etc. Many of these companies made games that changed history, along with Nintendo.

Then, the era of what I like to call "The Big Mistake." In this era, Nintendo made a very large mistake that would affect them for years to come. This was the era of the Nintendo 64. The era of The Big Mistake.

Everyone agreed that to advance in technology, they'd simply have to switch from game paks to CDs. Everyone agreed to this; it just seemed so much better, since CDs are easy to use, have loads more space than game paks, etc, etc... everyone, as in, all the major gaming companies that helped Nintendo in the past, namely, Konami, Squaresoft, Enix, etc. They all turned to the only other big system at the time, the PlayStation. In reality, the PlayStation was doomed to die against Nintendo. Why did PlayStation do so well? And why is the PlayStation 2 doing grand, as well? Simply put, Nintendo ruined it for themselves. They decided, in the era of The Big Mistake, to go with game paks. Once all the major gaming companies saw this, they got irritated. Once they saw that the PlayStation had better technology, and the system was new and had a chance of success, they immediately went into that direction. Sure, occasionally, one of these major companies would make a game for the Nintendo 64, but this was rare. Not only that, but many of the major franchises of these major companies were on the PlayStation. These major franchises made a big difference. For example, the Mega Man X series was developed for the PlayStation. Final Fantasy (perhaps the biggest money maker) was also on the PlayStation; even Dragon Warrior. And so, the era of The Big Mistake went on.

At first, Nintendo wasn't hurt much, business wise, by this. With games such as Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Nintendo was actually doing pretty well. Over time, though, things started slowing down. Around the end of the Nintendo 64, things went really slow, and it wasn't doing so well. Luckily, the era of what I like to call "The After Burns" begins.

The era of The Big Mistake wasn't too bad for Nintendo, but the worst thing about it was the era that came afterwards; The After Burns. Nintendo can really see the affects of their former decision now. Not only that, but to further dig their own graves, they went with the mini-disc nonsense. Most of the good gaming companies have completely left Nintendo for dead. Although the chance of them returning to Nintendo, even if Nintendo did make the right decision this time, was still pretty slim, which is due to the after effects of Nintendo's former decision. In the end, add all this up, and Nintendo is completely ruined. Now, in this current time, we see Nintendo slowly dying. When major franchises of Nintendo like Zelda and Mario can't save them, that's some big stuff right there.

So to conclude all of this, the only way I can see Nintendo getting out of this is if they make the right decision when the next generation of systems start appearing. Even if they make the right decision, they still have a high chance of generally not doing well, mostly because of their past two errors, so things do not look well for Nintendo. Let us all just wish for the best.

09/17/2003

Just to remind you; the ROMs are still not back yet. I'm really sorry about this, but my host still isn't ready. There's really nothing I can do until my host finally becomes ready.

I have over 260+ missions done in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, I found a few of the special characters, and I beat the main story quest. I'm now just finishing up any secret or side quests and missions so that I can move on to one of the next two games on my personal gaming list. Really, other than that, there's nothing much for me to say. I just want to get back to playing more of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

09/16/2003

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is eating up a lot of my time lately, so I've not been able to do much of anything for the site; like writing some junk for you to read. About the ROMs... I really don't know, to tell you the horrible truth. I don't know when my host will be back up and ready for me. I don't know.

My copy of Disgaea has shipped. I've heard lots of good things about this game, so I hope it's good. I think the only other game I will purchase this month (or, rather, have on preorder) is: Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg. Again, I'm not really excited about this game, but I know it will be good.

That's really all I'll say today. I want to get right back into Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

09/15/2003

I'm getting pretty far in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. I have over 100 missions completed (there's 300 missions, plus a few bonus ones).

I was wrong about the story, somewhat. It's picking up and getting more interesting. Like always, Square's work is at least decent; never less than that. Square rarely makes a game that is absolutely horrible: almost all of them are worth playing, except maybe for... Final Fantasy X. Then again, even that game isn't too bad.

The music is also another thing Square usually does very well in most games. That is no different in this game. Although it is definitely not the best music I've heard, there are still quite a few tracks that are very nice.

I feel that the graphics are a matter of opinion. For many people, 3D graphics are a step forward. For a select few people, it's a step backwards. I'm one of those people. Firstly, I'd like to point out that the term, "3D game" should be different from the term "3D graphics." 3D game means that you can move in all directions; not just two. Thus, it features the third dimension. 3D graphics, on the other hand, simply means that, instead of using a flat image, you use a 3D model that extends to all directions. Supposedly, it may be possible to have a game with 2D graphics and still retain the third dimension.

Anyway, I always prefer 2D graphics over 3D graphics. Why? Well, 3D graphics are getting quite advanced now, and most people strive to make the graphics as realistic as possible. Eventually, we will end up with graphics that look better than real life (in fact, we may have reached that point already). Still, these graphics are not using any unique styles; they're just trying to copy real life people and places. 2D graphics have to be drawn, and they look bad when they are drawn to look realistic. So, instead, most people try and make a unique design; something more interesting than our own life. This is something I like. In the end, 2D sprites look cooler than 3D models. That's it.

I simply love the graphics in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

One thing I didn't mention is: my copy of P.N.03 arrived quite a while ago. The only thing stopping me from playing this game is Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. I also just recently ordered a copy of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, or whatever the name may be. I've heard it's a good tactics-like game (remember that I made up the "tactics" name for this type of genre? Yeah, don't steal that idea, because I will sue you. I should be getting paid for making such a breakthrough!). Surprisingly, there are not many "tactics" games. I guess, at first, they thought it was an innovative idea exclusive to Square; not an entire gaming genre. That seems to be changing, though. Which is a good thing, mind you.

Back to the playing of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance for me, then.

09/14/2003

Visual Boy Advance has updated to version 1.7 Beta. I've updated the files on the site, so go download it immediately!

Eh, I'll talk about some other stuff tomorrow. For now, this update saved my butt from writing a long post... bwahahaha!

09/13/2003

Wow, it completely slipped by me; this month is the site's anniversary! Yes, that's right! Thank goodness it's not today, since I completely forgot due to such games as Final Fantasy Tactics Advance taking up most of my time. This site was first officially updated on September 21st, 2002. Thus, that is the day that we will... uh... do... something. I don't quite know what I will do for the site on that day. Hopefully, having the ROMs up around that time would be enough, but I'm not even quite sure when that will happen, mostly since I've no control over that situation at the moment. I could add something neat, like those drop down boxes, but I've no clue as to what.

No, don't even think about it. I can't start the comic right away; especially with the many games I'm playing now. Not only that, but I fell out of practice, and can no longer draw that well. Not like I ever drew anything good to begin with. I also still didn't quite figure out how I would generally handle the comic, as in, how would I place the panels, special effects, word bubbles, etc. It's all very difficult when you attempt it on paper and then move it onto the computer.

If I get the ROMs back before that day, then I will probably update with many ROMs that I wanted to add. Yeah, that sounds like a grand idea! The only flaw is: I'm not entirely sure the ROMs will be up by then... darn.

Reviews is another thing. I don't have what it takes to make a professional review, and I could never keep the same opinion on any one game. Sometimes I hate a game; other times I simply love it. Sometimes I hate the same game again, but for different reasons than before. This all impacts the review, and I just can't work that way. Although I might add official reviews one day, I don't think now is the time.

Another possible thing I can think of, is adding those "game save" files I've talked about. I can do that right away, since the host I'm on probably allows it.

One last thing I've thought about doing with the site is: adding screen shots of at least the title screen for every ROM on the site. This isn't that hard, just overly time consuming. Actually, most things on the site are like that.

Other than those few things, I can't think of anything else to add (of course, this always changes later). Hopefully I can come up with something good for this site's anniversary. Remember, this site will be exactly one year old on the 21st of this month; just in case you somehow forgot. I pity you.

09/12/2003

Yes, I'm aware of the fact that it's been many days and we still have no ROMs! Like I said, my host is still trying to get ready, so until then, there's really nothing I can do.

I've played Final Fantasy Tactics Advance for about 21 hours (or so the timer says), so I think it's about time I say a few things about it. Indeed, it is a good game. It's funny how Squaresoft (now known as Square Enix) can sometimes make grand games without really trying (you could tell that the effort put into FFTA is rather... lacking). It's a good game, don't get me wrong; but I can see through all of the garbage. I'm enjoying it, though. I shouldn't be complaining.

The game is very similar (obviously) to Final Fantasy Tactics for the PlayStation, so if you've played and liked that game, you will surely like this one, too. There's really only one major difference: they use the ability system from Final Fantasy X. I'm not really sure what to say about this. Generally, the ability system of FFT took a long time, but this one does, too. So which one is better? I'd say the normal FFT ability system is better. Why? Well, since they both pretty much take about the same time to learn abilities (read: a really long time) there's really only one other factor to consider: the fact that the ability system from Final Fantasy X requires all sorts of items to learn the abilities; rare and expensive. Basically, it just adds to a large pile of nonsense that I simply don't need. Not only do I need to spend hours mastering these abilities, but I now need to find every item in the game if I want to even begin learning them!

That's one thing I don't like about the game. The second thing is (which soon faded away and I no longer notice it) is a certain major slow down. At first I thought it was my system or emulator, but I've got a good system, and my emulator rarely does these things (it's like claiming that ZSNES couldn't perfectly emulate a game; you must be insane). Upon further viewing the situation, I noticed that the emulation percentage (how close the emulator is emulating the speed to the GBA; 100% is exactly the same as a normal GBA, below 100% is slower than a GBA, and higher than 100% is faster) is always 100% or above, so it must just be the game itself. Apparently, since Square Enix doesn't really give a darn about this game, they ignored the major slow down that occurs when too many sprites are on the same screen. Shame on you, Square Enix! Nonetheless, the game's still simply grand.

This time around, there are different races, something that's usually confined ito most online RPGs (like EverQuest; such a horrible game that was). I'm guessing this sudden move was taken because of Square Enix's new (and first) online RPG, Final Fantasy XI, which in fact, will be the first Final Fantasy game I will not purchase nor play. Shame, shame, shame on you, Square Enix! You're going down the path of a game genre that I not only despise, but one that ruined me as a human being. Yes, that's right; EverQuest ruined me. It ruined me rather badly.

Anyway, back to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. So, there are races. Each race has a certain amount of classes they have access to, so not every race can be every class. Some races are better at certain types of classes than others (for example, the humans are pretty decent overall, while the lizard guys have the best luck with melee classes, etc). There are a few classes that all races have access to, as well.

And, yes, Moogles are a playable race! Sadly, they are a pretty useless race. They can't quite make the cut as a mage (other races beat them in magic power, which is the bulk of a mage), nor as a melee attacking unit (which needs high HP, attack, and defense overall). They have a few classes exlusive to them, but these classes aren't generally that great. It's sad, really. Moogles are so cool. I was especially expecting the "Mog Knight" class to be fun!

Oddly enough, genders have been pretty much wiped out. It's not like they made such a big difference before, but it was cool randomly fighting a man or a woman, you know? It added a little bit more depth to the game. Anyway, all races are usually males, except for one, which is always female. Exceptions might be made for special characters, although this is just from what I've heard.

I like to call these games "tactics" games. See, calling them a "strategy" game just doesn't seem right, since it's slightly different from those. It has leveling up, buying weapons, etc, but the battles are so different that it can't possibly be an RPG. The battles are similar to that of a strategy game, and so is the overall style and feel of the game, but it's still vastly different. Thus, I call them "tactics" games. I declare a new genre of games: "tactics" games. Mwahaha! No, seriously, I do. You should too. It's only the right thing to do.

You can have 6 characters in battle and 24 in your entire party. You switch the jobs of these characters around, switching their abilities and such, and then you send them into battle. One thing about this game is: you can spend an awfully long time in the menus alone. Figuring out the best abilities for the current situation, abilities and equipment are tied together, gear affects stats, different jobs are good for different things, changing jobs means you'll have to equip different stuff, etc. I sometimes end up spending hours just in the menus alone. What I love about the Final Fantasy Tactics games is: the time you spend in the menu can really pay off. You can pretty much "twink" your characters to be almighty beings in the field of battle. This, I simply love.

In battle, you must move your people. Each character's turn is determined by their speed (like always) and how far they can move is determined by their, get ready for this, "move" stat. Moving is very important to me, so I always try to have gear that gives me the most movement possible. You move your character next to another, then you "attack" them. Depending on where you attacked the enemy (from behind or the sides, for example) you have a higher or lower chance of hitting them. For example, attacking from behind has the highest chance of success, while attacking from the sides has a good chance of success, and attacking from the front has a pathetic chance of success. This can affect your strategy immensely. You have reaction abilities, for example. Say you equip a "counter" reaction ability. When a unit attacks you, you will then flash green and attack them back. One thing, though; you will obviously attack the unit from the front, and will probably miss half of the time. What does this mean? Counter isn't as great as you thought it'd be, just for that simple fact.

Reaction abilities, support abilities; this is what makes each unit different. You learn different abilities from different jobs, and you can get some amazing results by mixing up some abilities from one job with another. For example, the paladin has a reaction ability called "reflex;" this protects you from all simple normal attacks, like swords, bows; you name it. It's very useful, since obviously, enemies (and you) use normal attacks most often. However, there are many abilities and magic that can break through this ability, so you're not a completely invincible. Anyway, mix the reflex ability with another job, like say, a mage (who is very weak to these "normal attacks"), and you've got a pretty strong mage there. The greatest ability I've seen by far is "double swords." It's a support ability that lets you equip two swords, and attack with both in one attack! It's a very good ability. This ability alone will have you slaughtering men like there's no tomorrow!

There are also a few other new things to mention that aren't that big, like the law system. This system is pretty annoying most of the time, and really, I don't quite see the point of it. Sometimes, they ban stuff like "swords." If you use a sword when they ban it, that means you will get a warning, or a "yellow card." If you get too many yellow cards, you go to jail (well, the character who got the yellow cards goes to jail). If you end up killing a character while breaking a law, you get a red card and get sent to jail immediately. So say they ban great swords. You hurt someone with a great sword, you get a yellow card. You kill someone with a great sword, you get a red card. There are also "recommended" laws. Usually, when they ban one thing, they recommend another. If they ban swords, they recommend staves. If you hit someone with a staff, you get JP. No, JP is not "Job Points," but in fact, "Judge Points." Yes, there's a judge on the battlefield at all times. As far as I know, you can't kill him, nor even target him. All he does is give you yellow or red cards, and sometimes moves the corpses of the many innocent men you slaughtered, hoping that they (the corpses) don't get in your way.

What are Judge Points for? They added some "combo" stuff, which is actually pretty darn good. Combos are attacks that hit the enemy 100% of the time, and sometimes do more damage than your normal attacks. You also get to see a cool animation of your character completely destroying the enemy with his elite skillz. If another character, who also has a combo ability equiped, is close enough to the character who is going to initiate a combo, they will both join in the combo at the same time, doing immense damage. It's kind of like Chrono Trigger, with the combined techs.

The main story is certainly... unique. It actually took place in our world (well, for an instant) at first. It quickly changed that, though. To advance in the game, you travel to towns on the map (you can't control your character in a normal RPG fashion; you must move your little character around the map to reach other areas), enter the "pubs" in these towns, talk to the "pub owner" (who actually asked me once, "you dig?") and he will have several missions for you. Some of these missions advance the plot, some of them don't, but do them all, for you will gain loads of stuff that way! Most missions are battles. When you complete a mission, you get loads of junk. Yep...

There's also this "clan" thing. Apparently, you join a "clan" of idiots, since they actually wanted to name themselves "Clan Nutsy." Doing missions will give your clan more skills to do other things, and there's also a "clan turf," where you must fight against other clans to take over cities and towns.

It's all good and I highly recommend you give this game a try.

09/11/2003

Sorry for the two days of silence, but what can I say; Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is grand! Woo.

The ROMs are still not here. Why? My host still hasn't quite got their stuff together; but don't worry, I just spoke to the guy running the whole server switching thing, and everything will be sorted out soon. This means the ROMs will return soon.

I'd talk more about Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, but I'm writing this late, and so I am pretty darn sleepy. Uh... it's not like I had much to say, anyway. Mostly because all I've been doing so far is training and learning abilities, etc. I've not played many of the "missions" or anything. This will change soon, though. It'll change very soon, indeed.

Yeah, I suck. I missed two days. I really suck.

09/08/2003

My future host is still having problems, so no ROMs today. Oh well. ZSNES has updated their WIP (work in progress) yet again, so I updated the files on the site once more.

As stupid as this may sound, I didn't play Final Fantasy Tactics Advance yet. Why? I don't have the slightest clue. The entire day just passed me by... hopefully I'll get around to it today.

09/07/2003

As most of you perhaps noticed, it's already past September 6th and still no ROMs. The reason for this is the same it was yesterday: my future host's main site is down, and I can't contact them.

And now for your regularly scheduled news session (which sucks). I'm glad to report that I beat SoulCalibur II completely yesterday. Yes, the entire thing. I got all weapons, characters, stages, levels, places, costumes, etc, unlocked! Let me tell you; Weapon Master Mode was hard. Many of the missions seem impossible, and I'm still wondering how I got through them. The point is, I got through them, and I'll never play them again. I'm also level 77, which is titled: "Something Edgemaster of the Something," I think.

This means that I'm moving on, with no doubts in my mind, to my next game: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. I'm really excited about it, actually. So I'll get to it!

09/06/2003

Sorry for the silence yesterday, but I really had nothing to write about.

Today is September 6th, obviously. Two things: my PayPal account is not yet verified (I'm trying to do it, but things seem slow with this stuff). The second thing is... well, the site that is going to host me is currently down. I think they were down for a little bit yesterday, as well. Hopefully, they'll come back up and we can sort things out. As for my PayPal account, well... since I'm going to pay with my credit card, I'm going to see if it's possible to do that bank verify thing later, and still be able to pay (with the credit card).

As for SoulCalibur II, I'm really far into it. Like I said before, I beat the normal Weapon Master Mode, and now I'm doing all these "extra" missions. The story is moving on past the point of "you need to kill mister bad guy because he is bad." Now it's just "you are traveling around a desert because you are an idiot who has nothing else to do." Namely, it's like side quests, but even more pointless as far as the story goes.

I finally got all the characters' "ultimate" weapons, as well as the "Soul Edge." The Soul Edge is some evil, cursed sword that every character in the game is questing for. Obviously, since its evil, and well, cursed, once they finally find this sword, they end up destroying it. Unless you're playing one of the evil characters, who actually do the smart thing and take the sword for themselves. Then there's the "Soul Calibur." Since the game is named after this sword, it's apparently supposed to be good. There's an "evil" version of this sword as well (as far as I know, the Soul Edge does not have a "non-evil" form), but usually most characters end up with the "good" Soul Calibur. I didn't pay much attention to the story behind the Soul Calibur, but I think it had something to do with sealing the Soul Edge or some nonsense like that.

All characters get the Soul Edge (complete) as one of their weapons. Unfortunately, most of the time, the Soul Edge drains your health, so it's not always the best weapon to take into battle. The "ultimate" weapons vary from character to character (for example, Link's ultimate weapon is the Great Fairy's Sword from Majora's Mask). These "ultimate" weapons are often very good, damage and defense wise. They also sometimes give you a "regen" effect.

I'm really close to beating Weapon Master Mode completely, and once I do, I'll be sure to start playing Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

09/04/2003

Must I always remind you? The ROMs will return around the time of September 6th.

I finally beat Weapon Master Mode in SoulCalibur II and now I've got to beat most of the missions again, but with a slightly higher difficulty... darn. These are the things that irritate me. Luckily, I've unlocked a lot of stuff, and almost have all the weapons and characters! I never really get that far in most fighting games.

Two things I probably forgot to mention about SoulCalibur II yesterday: the graphics are amazing. They make F-Zero GX look like some NES game that people hate because of its graphics. The other thing is the music. While it's, on average, not as good as F-Zero GX's music, it still has a track or two that's pretty nice. Nothing astounding like in F-Zero GX, though.

Heh, I'll probably never return to F-Zero GX. It's just too hard and annoying. I still had loads of stuff to unlock, and I had enough trouble as it were. Because of that, I won't be wasting time with it anymore.

The next game I plan to play (providing that I ever finish SoulCalibur II) is Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. I'm looking forward to it.

09/03/2003

I played SoulCalibur II nearly all day yesterday. I beat the normal arcade mode with all the characters I have now, plus a few more I unlocked. I played a few other modes, occasionally unlocking some other stuff, but the major bit lies within Weapon Master Mode. Said mode is an interesting take on the fighting game genre. Basically, this is how it works: you create a new game, which you can save every now and then within a menu, like in an RPG. You then type in your name and pick your character (you can switch characters any time under the same name; the story still goes on as normal). Then you pick your character's weapon. At first, you just start with their original weapon that they use in almost every mode, but soon enough, you can purchase more with gold.

The mode starts with a little story about how you're searching for the Soul Edge or some nonsense like that, and it goes on from there; it gets slightly more interesting as you progress the story.

The first thing you'll see after the story of the chapter is a map. This is your base of operations; you can save, change weapons, change characters, etc, all through the map. Once you pick an area, you'll see several missions in that area. After selecting a mission, it tells you the story behind it in a very novel kind of way. "You noticed that you had dung on your foot, and so you cursed out loudly;" that kind of stuff. Anyway, the mission usually has you fighting against some other character (whom you can choose). Most of the time, there are certain conditions. For example, "you must kill the enemy before the fish swallows your oddly shaped rock." Sometimes these conditions can make things very darn difficult, while most of the time the enemy is just too darn good.

After beating a mission, you receive your reward. This always includes experience points (!) and gold. Like I said before, you use the gold in shops to buy different weapons, and sometimes, new features for the game (the art gallery, for instance). The experience points apparently let you get a "class up" (as opposed to a "level up"). Your level and rating then increases. Say at first you're a level 10 bronze apprentice, and then you become a level 34 Iron Duelist. Depending what level you are, you receive a different "rating" or "title;" whatever you want to call it. What's this for, you ask? Absolutely nothing. It's just there to make you feel good. I'd fall madly in love with the game if your level actually made you stronger, thus making the game much easier. Alas, it was not meant to be...

That's really all that Weapon Master Mode is: you complete mission after mission, gaining gold to buy weapons and unlock new stuff, while revealing more of the story and opening up more missions. Nonetheless, it's fun, and I'll be doing it for quite a while.

Oh, and despite Link being very cool, he simply sucks. His only use is some of the uber weapons you can buy for him.

09/02/2003

Remember; the ROMs will return on September 6th.

The ZSNES WIP (work in progress) has updated yet again! As always, I updated the files on the site. I don't really have much to say today, and the ZSNES WIP actually saved me from not writing anything in the news box. Isn't that just so good (for you)?

Oddly enough, I haven't been playing much of SoulCalibur II, mostly because I'm updating, upgrading, and installing a lot of outdated programs on my computer, so that's been taking up a lot of my time.

Eh... nothing much else to say...

09/01/2003

I'll remind you again, in case you are a moronic idiot who is very forgetful (believe me, such people do exist), the ROMs will return around September 6th.

The ZSNES WIP (work in progress) has updated again, so I uploaded the respective files to the site. You see what happened? Now I can't stop downloading the latest WIPs! I'm addicted... you cretin!

I got really angry after continuously dying in F-Zero GX, so I'm moving on to SoulCalibur II, mostly because I'm so curious as to how it'll be like. I'll report back to tell you if I like it.

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