Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Avatar Online Game

I can just imagine this game, beautifully cell shaded graphics, inhabited by all those crazy animal hybrids, you chose one of the four nations to start out in but they all work together against some outside force. That would be the tricky part, coming up with some storyline for them to fight together. All of them would be able to multi task, but water benders would be the best healers, earth benders would be the best tanks, fire benders the best DPS and air benders could be like ninja/redmage, casting buffs, debuffs and evasion tanking. And somehow you would have to fit in melee combat so you could have the Sokka types fighting too. The Avatar games that have been made are pretty disappointing, if only they had made the games as good as the Naruto games that have been made.

Fiesta Online

I've played a lot of free online games, Maple Story is the only one that I liked enough to invest a serious amount of time into until I found this one.

Like many of these Korean made games, there are only four classes, Fighter, Cleric, Archer and Mage. Fighter can tank with one hander and shield and DPS with 2-handers once they become available at level 20. Although it's expensive, potion spamming is an option for most situations, potions only have about a 5 second cooldown. But for boss fights you need Clerics to heal and cast buffs. Clerics get the only offensive and defensive party buffs. They make decent off tanks and they can even take hits from a boss, but they can't main tank because they don't have taunt. Archer, at least as far as I've played it (level 17) has pretty weak DPS compared to Mage. I guess they justify Archer's lower DPS because they have higher accuracy and evasion. Mage is the funnest class, they level faster than any other class and do the best DPS, but if you don't put any points into endurance (increases max hp and defense) and only put points into intelligence for max damage, you'll get one shot by bosses and 2 or 3 shot by a lot of enemies.

Fiesta Online has some elements of World of Warcraft, it's 3D and movement is somewhat similar to WoW, you get a variety of abilities with different cooldowns on a convenient tool bar, the crafting system is reliable (you get consistent skill-ups and you don't get random failures that can cost you painfully large amounts of money like in Final Fantasy XI), there are item collection quests and kill quests and lots of them are repeatable, and there's challenging and fun group dynamic between healer, tank and DPS. There are also mounts! You can get a mount at level 1, though I haven't bothered figuring out how they work yet because it looks like they run on some rather expensive fuel and I can get a more fuel efficient mount at level 20.

Kingdom Quests are the equivalent of Maple Story's party quest and WoW's instances, there's a new one about every 10 levels, there's a boss at the end and you get good loot at if you win. The catch is, you can only join Kingdom quest once every couple of hours. 15 people can get in every 2 minutes for a half hour window, so you actually can go more than once if your group finishes in under half an hour and there are still open time slots, this is pretty rare though. You also can't join as a group as far as I can tell, and it doesn't automatically put you in a party when you join.

Like Maple Story there is no auction house, you have to set up a shop, but unlike Maple Story where you can only sell items, you can set up a shop to buy items as well and you don't have to pay real money for a store permit. There are several ways of upgrading weapons and armor. You can quest for items, do kingdom quest for really good items, buy them from shops (weapon and armor vendors actually sell good items unlike in WoW) and get rare world drops. You can further upgrade items with stones and weapon licenses (like scrolls in Maple Story or like a leather armor kit or enchantment in WoW). Stones increase a weapon's damage or an armor's defense. There's a chance of destroying or damaging an item when you upgrade it with stones. Weapon licenses increase a weapon's damage against a certain type of enemy, they start at 15% and as you use the weapon on that enemy the effect increases to a maximum of 35%.

You can chose 2 of the 5 craft skills, Stones, Scrolls, Potions, Composition and Decomposition. Scrolls give stat buffs just like scrolls in WoW, except they're more important because scrolls are the only way to get those buffs. Composition and Decomposition just turn certain materials into other materials.

Fiesta's biggest weakness is little character customization, both style and stats. There are only 3 hair styles and 3 hair colors to chose from, I'm sure this will change once they add a cash shop. When you level up you get one stat point to spend on one of the five stats, Strength, Endurance, Dexterity, Intelligence and Spirit.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tokyo Game Show 2007

Mario Galaxy looks absolutely epic, the first serious Mario game since Mario 64. I Played Mario Sunshine, it was fun, but it was a little funky using that watergun thingy all the time instead of more classic Mario gameplay. The FFIV remake on the DS looks amazing, I hope the English dub isn't as atrocious as their other game dubs. I wonder if the "you spoony bard" part is gonna be voice acted. FFIV has always been one of my favorites, Cecil is ten times cooler than all the whiney teenage heroes of the more recent titles. The bad guys are another story though. They don't introduce the real bad guy until close to the end, you find out he's been controlling who you thought was the bad guy, who's actually your father (Star Wars anyone?) it's kinda lame. You know, it's only a matter of time before SquareEnix is ready to remake FFVI! I need to hurry up get a job, start making some money, so I can catch up on all these games.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Welcome to the NHK

Tatsuhiro Satō is a hikikomori, or NEET, something I can kind of relate to since I'm a bit of one myself right now, still living at home with my parents. The show is really amazing, it shows a lot of the darker side of human nature; the way people look down on each other, look for someone to blame for the unfairness in life and look for fantasy worlds to escape into. But it does all this with a sense of humor that I love, making fun of anime and videogame fan stereotypes and social awkwardness. The animation quality (especially during Satō's hallucinations) is great and I'm addicted to the soundtrack. The voice acting is good too, I especially like the old timey cartoon voices of his appliances that talk to him during his hallucinations. Here's the wikipedia entry for more info.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Smash Bros Brawl speculations

I’ve been watching the Zelda and Metroid retrospectives from and remembering my favorite old school games. There was another video at of their list of the top ten game franchises. Their list was good, but left out a lot of my favorite franchises and ones that I hope will show up in Smash Bros Brawl. Aside from being an incredibly well made game, part of the popularity of Smash Bros is that fact that it pulls all of Nintendo’s franchises, both popular and obscure, into one game. Now that they’ve opened the doors to 3rd party characters (Konami’s Solid Snake) it seems odd that he would be the only one. Characters I’m hoping to see are Sega’s Sonic and Tails, a character from Castlevania would make sense since Konami is already contributing Snake and Capcom’s Mega Man and Zero would certainly fit in. I’m sure everyone is happy about Zero SuitSamus, Meta Knight, Ike, Pit, Wario and Solid Snake, but you know there’s gotta be more. Here and here are some other interesting possibilities.