12/16/2003

I've got a large update today. It's a very big update, in fact. Well, actually, it's not that big... yeah, maybe I should list the update now. MEKA (the best Game Gear emulator, I am told) has updated to version 65c. Since I carry that emulator on the site, I did the apparent and updated the files.

MAME32 Plus!, the Arcade emulator that I personally use (I like it thus far; it seems to be the best expansion on the best one) has also, in fact, updated to version 0.77u3. Again, I edited the files on the site, since I just so happen to carry that emulator.

The ZSNES WIP (work in progress) has also updated. There's absolutely no reason for me to not carry the latest WIP, so that is done as well.

Last but not least, a "final" version of the English translation patch for Radical Dreamers has been updated to version 1.2, which they say is the last version. Since I carry this ROM, I downloaded the latest patch and patched the ROM for you people, so no worries about that.

That's it for today, really. Also, my site will go down soon. I'm already at 80% of my bandwidth limit. You imbeciles.

12/14/2003

The site will go down slightly later this month, because of immense bandwidth usage. You imbeciles. Also, all of the N64 ROMs are up.

Yep, that is right, all of the N64 ROMs are up. However, I've already wasted 12GB of my bandwidth limit (the most I can use up in a single month is 25GB) and it's not the end of the month yet (every month, the amount of bandwidth I wasted resets back to 0). Basically, this means my site will probably go down this month... again.

Hehe, this time, however, it's not my fault! It's your fault! You people are downloading too much stuff. Slow down. There have been others leeching me as well, so that isn't good. Ah well.

12/12/2003

The Arcade ROMs are up, but the Nintendo 64 ROMs are still down. I am working on it. When the Nintendo 64 ROMs are back up, I will post about it in this news box.

Yeah, I put the message in bold letters, at the top, to let everyone know what's going on. Hopefully there won't be anymore misconceptions. Uploading is a slow process, my friends. A very slow one indeed...

12/11/2003

Visual Boy Advance, the best Game Boy Advance emulator in the world, has updated to version 1.7 (the other ones were just betas; this is the official release). This is a big update, everyone, so be sure to download it immediately.

Everyone seems confused, so read what I'm about to write. I won't write too much so you can see it:

The arcade and Nintendo 64 ROMs are currently down; I am uploading them as fast as I can. When everything is back up, I will post about it in the news box. Please be patient.

With that said, look in the news box every now and again to see when they're all up. That is all for today, by the way.

12/09/2003

A not-so-obscure emulator for the NES has updated to version 3.10. Namely, the emulator is RockNES. I don't know why I host it, but oh well.

You may have noticed that my site went down... again. However, if you're reading this, the site is up. Hopefully for good this time (by good, I mean for around a month or two, rather than several days). Let me explain what happened. You see, my host decided to switch servers again, and it seems that the admin of the old server forgot to delete my account, thus my site was, unknowingly to the admin of the old server, up and running for free. This backfired when I ran out of bandwidth in several days of my site being up, causing it to go down again. I had absolutely no access to my control panel, so I couldn't see if it was leeching, and if I could stop it. Then my host, on the new server, created my account. I then proceeded to upload everything. The only things not up currently are the N64 ROMs and arcade ROMs (I'm working on 'em as we speak; well, as I type and you read, rather). Anyway, after that comes the usual DNS nonsense. For you to be able to access the site, I need to change the DNS servers, and that takes a whole 72 hours to get done. Don't ask me why; it just does.

Here's a little step-by-step of what happens when my site goes down (since it will happen quite often, mind you):

1) My host decides to switch to another server for some inane reason.

2) This can take a large amount of time. Large, as in, you'll be dead soon.

3) This mostly happens because we just so happen to be all lazy bums. Just our luck, eh?

4) Finally, when my host finds the new server, they need to upload their site. This, too, can take large amounts of time, for the same reason of them being lazy (and me being even more so lazy, mostly because of the fact that I don't urge myself in the least to remind them).

5) Once they fully upload the site (or, at the very least, get their account working), they can then create my account. Again, this takes ages for the same reasons.

6) My account gets created. By this time, usually, my host's site is up. However, that is not always the case; sometimes they are extra lazy. It's like laziness, but more so. Yeah.

7) Now it is all up to me. I must begin uploading all the files... again. This takes longer than it should because my connection sucks, and the fact that my FTP software (claimed to be the best in the world by many) can't handle uploading everything at once, so I must upload the files in small bundles, or in the case of large N64 ROMs: one by one.

8) Once that is finally done away with, I then remember: "hey, I'm done uploading everything (yay!), but no one can see anything because the DNS has yet to change! (nay!)" So then I have to politely ask the people who I registered my domain name with (FuitadNET, for you idiots who like to know everything, including my phone number, which is hidden information) to change my DNS servers. It then takes them around an entire day to notice my message. Still, I suppose it's pretty fast, considering other places *cough cough*.

9) Then I am told by the people who I registered my domain name with (FuitadNET) that it will take around 72 hours for the changes to take place. Being the idiot I am, I do not go undercover and try to solve this mystery. Also, I am lazy.

10) Surprisingly, in less than 24 hours, the DNS changes. Funny, that. And, well... here we are.

That about wraps it up. That's precisely what happens every time the site goes down.

Be sure to read the update before this one on 12/07/2003. I talked about FFX-2 on there, in case you missed it.

12/07/2003

The ZSNES WIP (work in progress) has updated. I then proceeded to update the files on the site. Well, what are you waiting for? Go download it immediately! Just to prevent any confusion (and to fill this space, again); you go into the Super Nintendo Emulators section and download from the link titled "ZSNES 1.36." Now, you're wondering: "why don't you put the WIP (work in progress) number right next to it?" The answer to that question simply is: I am very lazy. It's much easier and faster to update it when the name stays the same; trust me. We must also take into consideration the fact that the ZSNES WIP updates very often, so it'd get tiring to change the name all the time. So, yes; I am lazy.

It is time... time for what? It's time I speak about FFX-2. Ok, let's see. I enjoyed the game. Not thoroughly, but enough to beat the game, and do a few side quests (read: a lot). I admit, however, that I was in the mood for a new Final Fantasy game, and, well, it was a new Final Fantasy game. This makes my opinion of it a little positive, possibly.

Right. Firstly, the job system. It's here, but it's slightly different, mostly in good ways. In fact, before talking about the job system, let me clarify one thing: they removed the extremely absurd and idiotic sphere grid system from FFX (which replaced traditional leveling up), and brought back a traditional leveling system. This is great, since I can't have an RPG without levels. I just can't. Still, the sphere grid system from FFX was indeed pretty fun, but the fact that it'd take years to fully activate it is what put me off the most.

Right; the job system. This time around, you have "garment grids," which you place "dresspheres" in. Each garment grid has several slots, and certain effects. The dresspheres are jobs. Yep. Now, each garment grid has more than just slots for your dresspheres; some of them have effects (for example, equipping a certain grid will give you 20+ strength, or sometimes give you access to a certain spell, etc). Obviously, you must consider the slots as well. You need to have all the dresspheres that character may use close together, and I'll explain why. You can switch jobs in battle (and you see a little scene of your character magically "changing" into other clothing, which is almost as long as a summon, which, by the way, do not exist in this game. Yep, no summons in FFX-2). When changing a job in battle, you can only move one slot at a time. This is precisely why you should have all the dresspheres (jobs) close together, so you can access them quickly when in the heat of battle.

Unfortunately, you can't mix jobs' abilities like in FFV; not normally, anyway. To be in a certain job and have access to another job's abilities, you need to equip certain accessories or garment grids. Using this logic, you can have up to 3 different ability sets, not counting the one your current job uses. Problem with this is, you are wasting space, which can be used for stats, like strength, for abilities. You need to really think out which one is more important to you.

Moving on, abilities. To learn abilities, you battle. When in battle, you gain 1 AP for every enemy you kill, and 1 AP for every successful ability that you used. Certain enemies and bosses will give you more than 1 AP upon being killed. Unfortunately, there is no known way of telling how much AP an enemy will give you. It pretty much stays this way the entire game. Enemies later don't give you more AP; most commonly, unless they are a super rare enemy, they only give 1 AP. As always, the more you battle, the more abilities you will have.

Unfortunately once more; not many of the jobs offer good abilities. I mean, they can be useful, but it's just not so practical, which is why I have such a hard time deciding what a good secondary ability is, especially since I am currently in the job because it offers good stats; not abilities. That's one thing I'd like to point out, which I really like: no matter which class (job, dressphere, class; they're all the same darn thing) you level up in, you will always end up with the same basic stats. For example: if a character leveled as a white mage to 99 from the initial level of 1, they will have precisely the same stats as a character who leveled up as a warrior from 1 to 99 who recently switched to the white mage job. So no worries there. This was also done in FFV, mind you. However, there is no "basic" or "bare" class, meaning that your character must be in a job, unlike FFV.

One great thing about changing jobs is the fact that you get to see them wearing different clothing and using different weapons. Of course, this was also done in FFV, so it's nothing big. Each character does start out with a class, and they remain wearing the clothing from that class when out of battle. The main character, Yuna, is a gunner; Rikku is the same as last time; a thief, and the new character, Paine, is a warrior (they look like fighters from the first FF, but use knight skills from FFX and FFT). You can change them to any job you want; it doesn't matter. But the character model outside of battles will still remain the same. You can't expect them to do anything about it, however: there are those many FMV scenes and such.

Battles are next, of course. To me, battles are one of the most important aspects of an RPG; simply because it's when you really start playing the game. Games are all about interaction. The battles, sadly, are a little clunky this time around. Occasionally, there is clipping or slow down (in fact, outside of battles, there is also often slow down and clipping). I was very surprised when I saw this, because Squaresoft games are known for quality game engines; there hasn't been an FF game with slow down... ever. It's very stupid, really. Almost as if they did not play the game themselves, and didn't know that many characters on screen would heavily lag up the game.

Now for the actual battles, then. Like I said, it occasionally lags if there are many large enemies moving around or that kind of thing. Yeah, I said that already... moving on. The battles use the ATB system this time around (Active Time Bar, I think it's called). Honestly, this shouldn't be much of a surprise, since nearly all the Final Fantasy games use this system. However, FFX (the first one) used an entirely turn-based system; no ATB. Which is better, you ask? I'd mostly go with ATB, pretty much because of two things:

1) Haste seems much more effective.
2) I just like it because of tradition. One thing I feel Final Fantasy games have is tradition. Certain things have been done a certain way for so long, it just feels wrong to change them.

There are other problems with the battles besides the slow down. They have this new thing where two characters can attack an enemy at the same time, causing a "chain" attack. This means that the attacks will do more damage. One main problem with this nonsense is the fact that you'll never use it. None of the other FF games needed them, and this one certainly doesn't, either. It's just really stupid, and not needed at all. Of course, you're probably thinking: "so what if we don't use it? the more the better, right?" wrong, I say. That is wrong.

You see, this brings up a small, but big problem, which is the main reason why I hate this garbage. For one, it takes a lot of work to program this feature in, and is very difficult to do so. Game play wise, however, it causes a lot of "clunky" battles. Let me explain a little more. You see, characters can now attack as soon as their ATB bar is filled; they no longer need to wait for the other characters' attack to finish (except for every ability and spell in the game, pretty much). The problem arises when the enemy or your characters use an attack that everyone else must wait until its conclusion. Things just get clunky there. For example: you command a character to attack. The character walks up to the enemy, and before the character reaches the monster, it casts a spell that can't be interrupted (meaning your characters will not act until the spell is finished). Your character hits the enemy while the spell is being casted. Normally, this hit would've killed the enemy. However, since he is still casting that spell, he can't die. After he is done casting the spell, your party and the enemy stare at each other for several seconds. Then the enemy dies. You may say that's minor, but I say that's really bad programming, and could've been avoided if they kept this "chain attack" system out.

This brings me to yet another problem. It seems now your attack animations make a difference. This means that, if it takes your character too long to walk up to the enemy and attack, he can attack you while you are trying to hit him. This is annoying when the enemies' party can attack a single character 4 times before they even finish their animation; same goes for enemies. I don't know about you, but that seems way too clunky. It doesn't really affect the game in the way of you dying, but it just shows how clunky the battle engine has gotten with this new junk. Square did admit that they wanted to use this for strategy, though. They said that they intentionally made it so that the "attack animations must be taken into consideration now." I just find it stupid, since occasionally, a character can get stuck behind an enemy or something. The fact that this happens is bad enough.

That's another thing: your characters can stand in different locations while in battle. In mostly every Final Fantasy game, when you get into a battle, your party stands on one side of the screen, and the enemy stands on the other. I had absolutely no problem with this; it kept things in order and made it easier to know what is coming from where. In this one, however, your characters can aimlessly end up in different locations after an attack. It just looks really stupid and is confusing. They are starting to do this for most RPGs now. I hope everyone takes that nonsense out of their head. This doesn't make the battles look more realistic; it only serves to make it look even less realistic, stupid, and confusing.

One more problem I can think of for the battle system: now, when casting a spell or using an ability, you must wait for an additional ATB. That's right; no longer do you wait for your turn and then immediately cast a spell. Now you have to wait your turn, select a spell, then wait for the spell to be casted. Already, as it is, I rarely use abilities and spells in the FF series. Now with this charge time, I use them even less. It's just not worth it. There is an MP cost for a reason; to limit the spells and abilities. If you could infinitely use them, they would be too strong, thus they cost MP. Now adding a charge time? That's going too far. Now they moved from the "occasionally useful" to the "absolutely useless." When I want to heal my characters, I want to do it when I select the darn spell; not an entire turn after. Not only that, but some abilities and spells have a longer waiting time than others. You should really see some of those waiting times. Why wait four turns for a spell that does 4,000 damage, when I can deal over 10,000 damage in around that time with my normal attacks? Great idea, Square.

Other than those large problems, the battles are fine. They took out the annoying nonsense of needing certain characters or jobs to kill certain enemies, so that's good.

What of the story? Well, to say it's better than FFX is quite difficult, since this one is mostly a "gaiden" or "side story;" you follow almost no quest at all. You pretty much just control three young girls doing little young girl things, and only occasionally you see a main plot point or two.

That said, the game has millions of side quests, and most of them can be done around the beginning of the game. In most RPGs, you don't actually do side quests until the very end, when you finally gain access to all areas. In this one, you have access to all areas from the start, so there are many things to do. Every once in a while, an event from the main plot, or from another side quest, changes the townsfolk and adds more side quests, so although you stay in the same areas throughout the game, new things happen.

One big problem with FFX-2, story wise, is that you must have played FFX and beat it first. I did so, but it was so long ago, that I did not remember half of the stuff in the game. So there were many situations when a character talks about an event from the past game, and I'm completely lost since I don't remember anything. As for which game is better, story wise... hm. That's very difficult to decide. They both have terrible stories, but FFX-2 gets really interesting at the end, and starts out with a mystery that you just want to solve, while FFX has the traditional quest with occasional plot twists.

As for the battles? Although FFX-2 brought back the ATB system, which I enjoy (I suppose), the battles are more clunky and feature slow down. I felt that the battles in the previous game were very smooth and done nicely. Only thing that irritated me from FFX's battles was the fact that you had to constantly change party members during battle if you wanted to get absolutely anywhere in the game. Also, the encounter rate was quite high in many areas. Annoying battles + high encounter rate = very angry gamer.

Probably the best thing about FFX-2 are the jobs; seeing them back but in a newer generation is really refreshing.

Two very important things I forgot to mention: FFX-2 does not have any equipment at all. No weapons and no armor. It only has two slots for two accessories. I can't really say that this is better than FFX's horrible equipment system. You still don't buy armor or weapons to have stronger attack and defense. Squaresoft needs to learn that this feature, as a rule, needs to be in an RPG. That said, I think you actually had more slots in FFX, meaning that it may be better than FFX-2's equipment system; I can't quite remember. After all, everything you equip in FFX is an accessory, since they all have affects like one.

I recently purchased Devil May Cry, both the first and second. They were cheap, made by Capcom, and rumored to be good games, so I got 'em. Hopefully they won't be too bad.

Also, about Mario Kart: Double Dash... I purchased this one long ago, and tried it out. I beat everything and unlocked everything. For some reason, I feel as if it's missing something from the N64 version. For one, all the tracks suck when compaired to the 64 version, except for the last four on the special cup, which are very nice (and probably kick the butt of any Mario Kart track). When compairing, though, Mario Kart 64 had better tracks, I suppose; been a while since I played it.

The multiplayer has been botched. It just didn't feel nearly as fun as the battle mode in the older Mario Kart games. It's hard to put my finger on it, but this game is lacking something that all the other Mario Kart games had. I can't quite make it out, but it is solely because of that "mysterious lacking" that I did not enjoy it nearly as much as the older ones.

I still have plenty of other things to talk about, but I'm afraid (read: overjoyed) that I must end it here. It's already way too much stuff to read. Hopefully this will last you for a while.

12/06/2003

The best Game Boy Advance emulator in the world, Visual Boy Advance, has updated to version 1.7 Beta 4. I took care of this by killing the emulator author (!!!). I had you for a moment, eh? Anyway, I updated the files on the site, and I assure you; the emulator author is fine. Really!

12/05/2003

SNES9X, the second best SNES emulator in the world, has updated to version 1.42 or something. It's not too important, really, since every sane person on this planet uses ZSNES.

I stated before that I'm going to distance myself from the site a little. Just to make a few things clear (and to fill this space), I'll tell you precisely what I meant by that. It mostly means: no more daily "updates." I'm really sorry if this offends anyone, but I just can't keep it up any longer. I simply don't see any reason to keep it up any longer. Daily updates, that is. I'll still do my best (read: worst) to keep the site up, and keep up the downloads, as well. However, this probably means even less reviews than usual. Meh. That is what I'll say to that. You see? The effects have already taken place. I am so distanced from the site that I don't even care about making reviews anymore.

Why am I doing this? Well, for the most part, I am lazy. However, there are other reasons as well. One of these reasons will probably tick you all off. I have larger plans for a different site in the future. I'm still not precisely sure on what I'll do, so don't take what I say too seriously. Anyway, like I said, I have different plans in the future for a different kind of site. I can't manage two sites at once, so that'll be the time when I entirely drop this site and move on the the other. I then plan to upload my site to a free host (such as XOOM), deleting a few files, since I'm sure it won't all fit, then I'll direct the domain name to that site. It'll be dead and lifeless, but it will be there, for everyone to remember.

Again, I'm not sure if this is the direction I'll take; who knows, I may do this site until the day I die, but I'm just letting you know that my ultimate plans may move on to bigger fish, thus leaving this behind. Of course, I may drop my "ultimate plans" completely and just stay with this site. I suppose I could drop both my site and my "ultimate plans," but that would really suck. However, do not worry; these plans won't take place for quite some time, if ever, so you'll see this site stick around for quite a while.

12/03/2003

I think the site went down yesterday, but it seems to be up today. I've still no word from my host about this, so I'm not precisely sure if everything's in order. However, it seems their site still hasn't been uploaded, so I'd guess that they didn't create my account yet. I'm pretty certain that my site will probably go down again, and it will, of course, come back up. The only thing I'm not certain of is the time.

I'm going distance myself from the site a little. Namely, no more daily ramblings from me. I simply don't have something to write about every single day. Whenever some new and interesting news comes up, I'll post it here. If I update content on the site, I'll post it here. Somehow if I get into a mood of making several paragraphs of ramblings, then that will be posted here, too. When there's nothing to say, however, I just won't bother posting a note stating "yeah, nothing to say."

I may talk about Final Fantasy X-2 later, so keep an eye out for that.

12/02/2003

The site seems to be back up. I need to speak with my host about this, since I don't really know if it's supposed to be up. In any case, it's up (don't expect that to last much longer, however; it will probably go down by tomorrow). I think I gave a fair warning that the site would've gone down, and well, it did. So hopefully you took this warning seriously. I can't remember, but I also may have stated that the site may be back around the first of December. It's the second, but who cares. Like I said before; I don't think my site is supposed to be up quite yet, meaning it'll go down rather soon. My host switched servers or something, and their old host may have forgotten to delete my account. Yes, I know; it's all very complex, but hopefully you'll get it. Just read the same line, over and over.

I've played some Mario and Luigi, and was supposedly going to post a review, but you know, the site went down. I didn't even begin to write the review. It's been a week or two since I beat that game, so I'm not sure if I should review it. We will see.

Currently, I'm playing Final Fantasy X-2. I'm having fun thus far; I will tell you about it a bit later. That's all for now.

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