PSP UMD, GBA Video, And The Future

umd-vs-gba videoOk, I broke my promise to myself and did a political thing for both Christmas and New Year’s. There were seasonal issues I felt had to be looked at. So here’s something different.

Home Video Game Units

You may be wondering: “why just those two? Didn’t the CD-I have its own video format?” Well, yes, but it also played generic video cd’s, and the CD-I video format itself was actually just an MPEG file with the file extension changed to something else. I think it said “.DAT” instead of “.MPEG”. Copying it onto my laptop and relabelling it would give me access to the video if my CD-I were not around, which is like half the time because I have one of the gigantic models and I am not lugging that thing up and down the East Coast!

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The Philips CD-I was region-free, which allowed me to cheaply snatch-up and watch this collection of James Bond movies.

But since I brought it up, and since it’s a precursor to our modern consoles that double as home video players, I’ll just note that as far as I could tell the CD-I videos looked exactly like VHS tapes, but without a sort of haze subtly graying things out a little. While the image is sharper in that regard, you also get some artifacting in there.

While CD-I was on the maybe pile because of its early CD-I exclusive format that was only exclusive because they changed a filename on the disc otherwise it’d work in any VCD player, there are some units definitely in the “not at all” pile for this post. That’d be things like the PS2, Xbox, Gamecube (Panasonic Q to be specific), PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. While these play DVDs and Blu-Rays, there AREN’T home videos released exclusively for formats that only those units can play. Same thing for the Pioneer LaserActive which one day shall be mine. As my earlier post might indicate, I do have me some laserdiscs. And spellcheck for WordPress indicates that “laserdisc” is not a real word… how much we forget in 19 years!

Game Boy Advance Video

If you didn’t know what I meant by “artifacting” when talking about CD-I videos, you’ll see in these screenshots. It looks terrible, but they had to make some sacrifices to fit them onto cartridges. Besides, Game Boy Advance Video came out early in 2004. At that time, the best you could get is whatever image the frontlit SP provided.

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“Mumblin’ Morays Mermaid Man, one of the aliens from Space Invaders consumed my foot and has latched to my chest!” Image from SpongeBob Squarepants episode “Mermaid Man”.

There is a small library of Game Boy Advance Video titles, compared to UMD releases. 34 cartridges by my count. All of them are children/pre-teen shows. Disney, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Pokemon dubs, things like that. I just bought ’em up for the SpongeBob episodes, though I think I got my Cartoon Network one for free. I wasn’t disappointed- it meant I got an episode of Courage The Cowardly Dog.

Nintendo entrusted this endeavor to Majesco (except the Pokemon releases, Nintendo handled that differently). This seemed like a bad choice to me, after my most recent experience with a Majesco product. A product that surely would’ve been on Nintendo’s mind and on Majesco’s resume, since it came out less than 6 years before Game Boy Advance Video hit the marketplace.

gba-video-majesco-logoMajesco was responsible for releasing the Sega Genesis Model 3 in 1998. No Sega CD compatibility, no Sega 32X compatibility, didn’t work with some Sega Genesis games, and they’re prone to rusting. I have an Atari 2600 that runs smooth and looks new despite being purchased in the 70’s and having spent 20 years in my dad’s closet, yet both of the Model 3’s I got looked like someone drizzled salt water in them and they only turned 20 this year. The cashiers at the shop I bought the first one from noted that Model 3’s were notorious for their unreliability and lack of durability. But hey, as long as it works, right?

UMD

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Can’t say they didn’t warn you

UMD is just the general title for PSP discs. This got way more traction as far as putting videos on it went. The videos looked better, like DVDs. Evidently there was 900MB-1.8GB of space to work with on the discs. Unlike with the Game Boy Advance Video format which had lockouts preventing you from playing your movie on the TV (in case you wanted to pirate the pixelated mess), the PSP has no such lockout and can plug directly into your TV. Or at least mine could.

The video selection is much more vast. Soooooo many discs. Family Guy seasons 1-3 come to mind right away (because I bought them off a friend, who threw away their original cases and had them in specially-bought UMD cases that I had to sort through). The first time I saw some movies, like Godzilla: Final Wars, it was on the UMD release. But as you can tell just by Family Guy and Godzilla being mentioned, UMD discs had a pretty broad set of videos put on them… and upon looking at my collection when desperately trying to reunite a loose UMD with its case, I found some films I didn’t remember having, one of which the venerable founder of this blog referenced to me a few times but I never understood because I never saw it.

Not A Fair Comparison

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No reason to include a UMD screenshot since it was basically the same as you’d get on a DVD, but here is a picture comparing UMD to DVD anyway. All that we say and do is right.

Yes, the PSP was principally in competition with the Nintendo DS. But Nintendo did not make any DS-Video releases, and as point of fact UMD movies only started coming out in 2004, the same year as Game Boy Advance Video. Nintendo’s next video attempt didn’t hit until the 3DS. This was called “Nintendo Video”, but didn’t seem to go far (and had content from notorious Leftwingers CollegeHumor, but this was in the pre-Trump time so maybe it wasn’t so bad). Since then video content has been relegated to stuff in Nintendo’s eShop, but by now with Netflix and the like available on your consoles (my mother’s friend uses her Wii for Netflix of all things) I guess stuff like UMDs and Game Boy Advance Video are going the way of the CD-I video.

Why’d They Do It Anyway?

Sony had the discs, Nintendo had the cartridges, and people like movies on the go. This was before Wi-Fi was everywhere. I in fact bought the PSP and some movies in part because I was going on a long trip, so I guess that means those reached their target audience of travelling teens. UMD allowed for quality transfers, and had more content than just programs aimed at younger audiences, so it makes sense that’d takeoff. It was also a cheaper alternative to portable DVD players- it cost me $50 in 2008 to buy one from a pawn shop, whereas that much money got me probably two UMD movies in 2006. Since people already had the hardware, why not take some movies on the go in a convenient travel size?

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If we’re going to dig deep and be honest with ourselves, we’d find that the largest flaw with GBA Video is they did not also include something where Tim Conway was doing his best to make the other actors break character with unscripted acts, like puppetry.

Now, this kind of thing wouldn’t make any sense today. And questions on the future of gaming are raised- what is the fate of having your own disc copy? Will we eventually just be playing Xbox games from Microsoft’s server farm, with the Xbox Three being merely a box with an internet connection? Enter your card, play online and pay as much as you would for the discs? It cuts down on distribution, for sure! Given the controversies about excessive paywalls in games and paid extra content, why wouldn’t we expect gaming companies to cut disc production from their expenses? With the popularity of outlets like Steam, and doing stuff like just buying the games online and downloading them to your console (I remember when I bought Rare Replay for the Xbox One and watched in horror as it simply downloaded the games to suck up memory space on my console, the disc contained almost nothing on it).

Its Future Is History

This will pose a major problem for game collectors in the future. Take this hypothetical: Lloyd Bridges Games creates Super A Walk In The Sun. We play it, it’s a good game, but it’s entirely online. The company goes out of business. All bonus content that was stored in their servers- GONE! All your save files stored in their servers- GONE! The game itself can’t be played anymore- GONE!

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The only reason I’m not mad at Lloyd Bridges Games’ Founder is that he turned down the role of Captain Kirk, allowing William Shatner to fulfill his destiny.

Or how about the problem with something like Rare Replay, where the disc only contained download codes. What if my Xbox One didn’t connect to the store? What if this is 20 years from now and Lloyd Bridges Games had put Microsoft out of business? Rare Replay would be worthless.

I saw an example of this in the store a few weeks ago. Final Fantasy XI. Unless you transferred to a Windows PC (not Apple, apparently) then all that time you spent on your console version meant nothing, and video game stores are full of copies of the game that are now unplayable. There is no single-player campaign in it, it’s entirely online. So what happens when Square dumps the Windows version too? I guess the same thing that happened to all of those PS2/Xbox 360 owners who only had Apple computers available or didn’t have the money to get a copy of Windows. Final Fantasy XI, part of one of the longest-running video game franchises, will be consigned to the depths of LostMediaWiki despite millions having played it and invested years in it.

Same can be said for any online game like that, such as ones for the Sega Dreamcast, but this was the first example that popped into my mind.

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C- Gaymer Podcast Episode 4: Pokemon Gold/Silver Version

On Today’s Podcast, we are going to take a step away from politics and talk about a gaming classic, Pokemon Gold/Silver Version. (and also Crystal Version of you count that, but I don’t for some reason.)

My Current Editorial Dillema

Hey there everybody. Today is my 48th post since I started this blog. 2 more weeks and I will have hit number 50. And I have to tell you, every day I wake up and see more people have viewed my blog I think to myself, “Holy shit, they are still reading that shitty thing?” Just kidding, but seriously it has been a wonderful 48 so far and there will be more to come this year. I am hoping by the end of the year to have a few reviews of some Final Fantasy games up, and of course, expect a special post on December 18th to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Final Fantasy. That’s right, it has been 30 years since that shabby little game company that split from an electric power company was saved by a game that would become a legend of the video gaming industry.

But obviously as evidenced above, I am having a huge dilemma I need to solve. Going into this blog, I wanted it to be a unique showcase that shares who I am and what I am passionate about. A Blog about gaming and politics seemed awesome since those are my life. Then I had some life issues and had to take a Hiatus, and since I have come back my posts have been mostly about politics. I want more content about gaming though, as well as anime and technology.

Now, of course, you ask, “why this is so hard to achieve?” Well, I have explained some of this before. Of course, as I mentioned before part of the video game and anime reviewing is having to complete a video game or anime to review it. You also have to remember to take screen shots. I have plenty of games in the works right now and will hopefully be able to complete something at some point, but I have not been able to play as much as I would like due to life distractions. Some examples include health issues, issues with my sleep, and stress. These are obstacles to completing the games I want to review.

Another issue is this year itself. It is a politically charged year, and quite frankly there is not a month that goes by where I do not find 2 or more issues that I decide I need to write about. We have seen a lot this year that just needs to be written about because of its significance. There have been historical events, mass media lies, landmark court decisions, unfortunate scandals, roving gangs of politically driven bigots, and of course the left going totally unhinged. With all of this going on, it is hard for me to focus on finishing games and reviewing them. I mean there, of course, is stress from these events that plays a factor, but also the need to write about it. And I have been told by some friends who read the blog that they are glad I took the time to write what I have as it is informative.

Now I have been pondering for a while how to deal with this. The only conclusion I can come to is that there is only so much I can do as one person. I do not want to adjust my schedule again. So what I want to do is bring in another writer. And so I am adding a new page to the Blog.

On July 31st at noon a new page will show up on my blog entitled “Contribute”. Here I will outline my requirements for the job. If you fit these criteria just fill out the contact form with a small writing sample and some information about yourself, then submit it. I will review your writing sample and any other information that is relevant. A hint for you guys, if you have a WordPress blog/account already that will play in your favor.

Good luck guys, I hope I get a stream of interested individuals with bright ideas and sharp writing skills. Good luck to you all.

 

And here is last weeks really hot picture of Cloud again, cause damn. DX

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Final Fantasy: Why the Vibrant Gaming Industry We Know Could Not Exist Without It

No gaming title is better known or more widely acclaimed than the SquareEnix title Final Fantasy. Since the first game was released in December of 1987 it has shaken the gaming world and set the stage for many games we know and love today. In fact, if it were not for Final Fantasy the gaming Industry would not be as vibrant as it is today. Final Fantasy is truly the game of miracles but not many people are aware of its history or just how important it is. To understand this you have to go back all the way to the late 1980’s and a young game developer named Hironobu Sakaguchi since his story is by all rights the story of the game.

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In 1983 a young Sakaguchi dropped out of Yokohama National University and began to work for Square, a newly formed subsidiary of Denyusha Electric Company. Square was founded when the son of Denyusha’s owner Masafumi Miyamoto graduated from Waseda University and desired to enter the video game industry. Masafumi believed that the then standard model of having only 1 programmer work on a game was inefficient and that better, more profitable games could be developed with a team of programmers and professional story writers all working on the same project. In this climate, Sakaguchi worked on some of Square’s first games for the PC. By 1985 Square had moved on from PC games to console games with an adaption of Thexeder for Nintendo.

By 1986 Square split from its parent company Denyusha to become the independent Square Co., LTD and with this change, Sakaguchi became a Full-Time employee of Square as head of Planning and Development. Sadly the company quickly fell on hard times after a release of many unsuccessful games for Nintendo, prompting Square to move their headquarters to the Ueno District of Tokyo. Facing Bankruptcy things looked grim for Square till Sakaguchi came up with a project that would save the entire company. It was an idea that had been overlooked but was now their final hope.

For a long time Sakaguchi had desired to work on a console RPG, however, there were many things stopping him. First off was that his employer Square refused to give him permission to go ahead with the project assuming that an RPG would not sell very well based on trends. Additionally, only 3 of his colleagues were willing to volunteer to work with him as he was considered to be a “Hard Boss”. However facing bankruptcy Square had nothing to lose and finally gave the project the green light. Sakaguchi then began to work on an RPG named Fighting Fantasy inspired by the games “Ultima” and “Wizardry” not realizing all the while that he would create a masterpiece that would outshine both of these.

As we all know the name would later change to Final Fantasy. This name change was prompted by issues involving trademark conflicts with an RPG Gamebook series that had the exact same name. The new name, however, was inspired by Sakaguchi’s personal conflict as well as the plight of the company. It was very obvious that if this game hadn’t sold it would be the first and “Final Fantasy” that Square would ever have developed. It was the same situation for Sakaguchi. This would have been his last game as he had decided to give up game development and return to University if the game hadn’t been successful.

A lot of work was put into the project by the development team as they knew it was the last hope for the company. For the games coding they enlisted the Iranian-American Programmer Nasir Gebelli, Character Design was conceived by Yoshitaka AmanoKenji Terada was in charge of writing the scenario based off of a story written by Sakaguchi and he received some help from Koichi Ishii, the score for the game was composed by the now world acclaimed Nobuo Uematsu, and Akitoshi Kawazu was in charge of the design of the battle system and battle sequences. With Hironobu Sakaguchi at the lead, this team of 7 worked to defy time and the odds against them. Motivated by the companies lack of faith in their project and the general animosity directed at them by their coworkers they soon made great strides in developing the game. Eventually, a “B-Team” Of programmers joined them on the project helping them to finish it. At every corner, the team tried to make distinctive innovations that had never been tried before like elemental weakness or resistance in enemies or the ability to choose the class of your character. As they worked the companies situation became direr but their final gamble would prove to be their saving grace.

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Finally, it came, the day that would change history. On December 18, 1987, 400,000 copies of Final Fantasy were released in the Japanese Market for the Nintendo. It was a hit. In addition to the initial release of 400,000 in Japan, the 1990 North America release sold an additional 700,000 copies despite heavy censorship by Nintendo’s North American Localization Team. In Japan, it already had 2 sequels. The sales from Final Fantasy alone saved Square Co. And the career of Hironobu Sakaguchi as well was saved. Working under Square he would later develop many more industry changing hits.

It is this game that saved Square but it was Square that helped define the Gaming Industry worldwide. This is no exaggeration. Before its merger with Enix in 2003 it released many well-known and well-acclaimed games and series besides Final Fantasy such as Parasite Eve and Kingdom Hearts. Games such as these changed or defined the industry and stood out from many others available. Other lesser known games were developed that changed attitudes and ideas and would later become series of their own. Xenogears would become the prelude to the Xenosaga game series. Final Fantasy IV introduced a new type of time/turn based battle system and Secrets of Mana Introduced the Ring Menu system. There were also new themes that were touched upon such as Time Travel in their 1998 hit Chrono Trigger and Genetic Horrors in Parasite Eve.

While Final Fantasy saved the company it also became their driving force. After many sequels, the company came to feel that they could not be defined simply by the Final Fantasy Franchise and thus they innovated and encouraged innovation. And certainly, they are not defined by Final Fantasy even though it was their biggest title in light of the other popular and even “classic” titles that the company released. But maybe I am incorrect in saying Final Fantasy did not have a huge influence on their success since their effort to keep from being out shadowed by its popularity is what makes its games so good and since their experience in 1987 taught them the benefit of taking outlandish risks.

Indeed Square and all of the subsequent risks it has taken have helped give new life to an industry and nurtured an environment of artistic expression and high-quality gaming. So many of their releases keep adding a new flavor to gaming every time and setting new trends. After a merger with Enix in 2003 SquareEnix carried on that legacy of art and risk.

Sadly Hironobu Sakaguchi did not come along with this merger having resigned a year before. Then in 2004, Nobuo Uematsu left Square Enix as well. It in a way was the end of an era. The legend continues however even in their absence, not just the legend of the definitive rise of Square and the continuing success of SquareEnix but also the legend of Final Fantasy. This year we saw the release of 3 Final Fantasy games and a new CG Movie. Along with the Numbered game Final Fantasy XV and the related CG Feature Film “Kingsglaive”, there were also 2 mobile games released. Final Fantasy Brave Exvius lets you play with old characters in a new setting and Final Fantasy Mobius brings back an excellent writer from Final Fantasy X. Today is the 29th Anniversary of this miracle game and on this day next year, the franchise will mark its 30th anniversary since that first release.

30 Years is a staggering thought. As of next year actually, video games will be 70 years old (The first video game was the Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device first patented January 25th, 1947). In that 70 years titles have come and gone and the notable bulk of those titles were created in the last 35 years. Final Fantasy however not only saved a company that defined an industry and seen so many different advances and styles come and go, it is still an ongoing title nearly 30 years later and has seen an adaption on most gaming systems developed at this time. What will become of it in the next 30 years?

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Very Legendary and Happy Gaming to you all.

Chrono Trigger

I’m so happy to do my first SNES piece on an immortal classic like this. I mean how many games can boast the kind of appeal that requires Square Enix to port it to 5 other systems excluding the original. That’s the magic of Chrono Trigger. In 1995 Square really hit the mark again with another game that could endure the decades. And the acclaim keeps coming back again and again.
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Now this game is like a cocktail of an eclectic nerd. How do you make it? Well, you take one part Final Fantasy, one part Doctor Who, and sprinkle it all over with the art styles of Secrets Of Mana. So what you get is Battles and time travels, specifically between 1000 AD, 600 AD, 2300 AD, 65,000,000 BC and 12,000 BC. Love the contrast of scenery? You bet your sweet ass you do. I mean who doesn’t like Time Travel to correct your mistakes and save your planet from a parasitic creature that will cause an apocalypse 999 years after your time? (oops, spoiler. XD)

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But that’s exactly what you do to prevent your future from Turning out like the one depicted above. But we are getting ahead of ourselves here. The game starts in 1000 AD with 3 friends in the fictional Kingdom of Guardia. Chrono and his friend Marle watch as their friend Lucca and her father test a new teleportation machine at the Millennial Fair in Guardia. (and not the kind with a bunch of whiney crybabies asking for a safe space or shit like that.)

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Marle who happens to be the Kingdom’s Princess Nadia Volunteers to be teleported but her pendant interferes with the device and instead of teleporting her to another place it transports her 400 years into the past. Chrono and Lucca recreate the portal and follow her to save her. After bringing her back from their misadventure in 600 AD though the new Chancellor orders that Chrono is to be arrested for Kidnapping and sentences him to death. After a hasty prison break though Chrono and his two friends slip through another time portal to the year 2300 AD. There they meet survivors of an Advanced Civilization that was wiped out in the year 1999 by a monster and resolve to stop the future destruction of their world.

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Now they must travel through time changing key events, righting wrongs, searching for 3 sages, and just trying to make the world a better place. Do they have what it takes to stop the monster?

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So first off I love how this game is a Timey Wimey kind of story as David Tennant would put it. There are few games about time travel and even fewer good games about time travel. This is one of the good ones. The different views of the world in different time periods are interesting to me. Also, the references to the Grandfather Paradox and other time travel tropes are fun for the expert Sci-Fi fan. Admittedly there are some environmentalist undertones but who cares, fix the past to fix the future is something we all want to do.

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The battle system in this game is an adaption of the Active Time Battle System from Final Fantasy IV. It is known as Active Time Battle 2.0, each character takes action in battle when the action bar next to the character’s name fills up. The speed at which it is replenished is determined by the Speed Stat of that character. Also instead of Random Encounter Battles you instead walk up to an enemy in the field and a battle instantly begins with that enemy without switching screens. As with most JRPGs though your party is always a limited number of characters, in this case, a team of 3. But it all still makes for interesting battles. 🙂

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And of course, you have the mandatory ugly ass bosses. Seriously, I need to replay this again and bash that rapist bat face in. 😀

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And of course the anti-climatic yet arrogant culprit behind the world’s woes. 😀

All in all, it really is the masterpiece I make it out to be and many other gamers agree. Now the original port was for the SNES so you can always choose to emulate it but if you wanna be super nice to Square Enix and all of the developers you can but one of the other ports. there are remakes for PlaystationNintendo DS, i-mode (dunno what that is), iOS, and Android. Download it, play it, love it.

Happy Gaming!!! 🙂

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

This game here is not only one of my all time favorite RPGs, it’s a huge reason I am bummed that my N64 doesn’t work anymore. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is one of the quintessential RPGs. It’s seen remakes on one of Nintendo’s major consoles the Gamecube and a 3D remake for the Nintendo 3DS. And with a good reason. It is an amazingly good game with the right amount of difficulty to it. It is neither too complicated nor too simple which makes it easy to enjoy the story.

The game starts as the fairy Navi flies to the Kokiri Village to awake Link from his slumber. He is summoned by the Great Deku Tree who has been cursed by a “wicked man of the desert”. After breaking the curse on the Deku Tree he, unfortunately, finds he is too late. With its dying breath, the Deku Tree gives him a spiritual stone and tells him to travel to Hyrule Castle.

There he meets princesses Zelda who shows him the wicked man from the desert, Ganondorf of the Gerudo. She then tells link he must go on a journey to stop Ganondorf. Traveling across Hyrule and across the river of time itself, Link must collect three spiritual stones and the powers of the 7 sages themselves in order to gain the power to beat Ganondorf once and for all. Will Link be able to conquer the evil King of the Desert? The only way to find out is to join Link on his Journey in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Well, the first thing I like about this game was the Ocarina. In the game, music has magical properties and when Link plays his Ocarina he can unlock many secrets. Some songs open hidden passages, some change day to night, and some even allow Link to travel through time. The songs are simple to learn and can be input with the directional keys. My favorites were The Song of TimeThe Song of Storms, and The Prelude to Light.

Another notable thing is the diverse races of Hyrule. Besides Humans and fairies, there are…….

The Kokiri

The Gorons

The Zora

And the Gerudo

Having all of these races can be interesting. In the end, they are all friendly, even the Gerudo. My favorite is the Zora because they are so odd. I don’t mean appearance either, their behavior is just funny. 😀

There are fun side games too. There is Targeting in the Gerudo Valley, Races on Death Mountain, and Fishing at Lake Hyrule. Besides being a nice way to kill some time and relax from the main quest, winning these games gets you items to help in your journey. Plus it’s just fun to run down to Lake Hylia and reel in a big one!!!

Battle in this game is real-time though Navi makes targeting easy. Your main weapon is a sword but there are other side weapons that have different effects. Ranged weapons are good for attacking from distances and they often confuse or paralyze enemies. There is even a hammer that knocks enemies off their feet when you hit the ground in it.

In this game your health is everything. Health is determined by hearts. The more hearts you have, the longer you can last in a fight and the more hits you can take on the run. You can gain hearts by beating bosses or by finding 4 pieces of heart. Also, there are fairies in the game that automatically restore your health if you catch them in a bottle. They make Navi jealous though. (just kidding.) 😉

Dungeons in this game are unique and complicated. Some dungeons even require special Items or Clothing to be completed and some dungeons can only be accessed at certain times. Full of twists and turns and puzzles, these will require a lot of thought and skillful timing on your part. Or you can eliminate thought with a walk-through but what fun is that? 😀

Honestly, this game is hours or even days of fun and it is fun for all ages. I have loved this game for the longest time and I hope when my sister gets older I can share it with her on my old Nintendo 64 providing I ever get it fixed. I highly suggest if you’ve never played this game that you get a copy, it is good no matter what format and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with it just like I did.

Happy Gaming!!! 🙂

Fortuna Magus

A tower once stood near the stars, invisible to mortal man.

Inside lived an immortal who embraced the solitude.

One day the goddess of fate led a man to the immortal’s door.

Recognizing the immortal’s lonliness, the kind man befriended him, and visited him often.

In time the immortal’s frozen heart began to thaw.

But the man betrayed the immortal, wounding him deeply.

Steeped in sorrow, the immortal vanished along with the tower.

The tears he cried formed a mighty river that now separates the two.

Such a pretty poem and when you start playing this surprisingly addictive game it’s accompanied by a sweet music box tune. It’s an enigmatic start to what is an excellent game in the touch screen format that can he found in the Google Play store. Fortuna Magus is a story of family, heartbreak, smiles and tears. I first came across this game in 2014 as a suggestion from Google Play. Little did I know how fond I would become of this game nor did I realize it would be a gateway into a whole new format for JRPGs.

The story takes place in the fantasy land of Luxia and follows the story of two orphans. Amane and Tia lived happily with their sister Lill and father Kailius till 10 years ago when Kailius disappeared after a mysterious mark appeared on his arm. 7 years later Lill also disappears to search for Kalius. Around this time an incident occurs that shakes Luxia to its roots, certain people gain magic powers. These people are dubbed Magus and by Decree of King Kaswell all Magus are considered dangerous and are to be executed.

Despite all of the chaos in the world around them and their own personal loss, Amane and Tia live relatively peaceful lives in the peaceful Village of Raydif. Then one day a mysterious man shows up at their door with the same mysterious mark on his arm as their Father Kailius. His name is Rett, he is a Magus and after meeting him Amane and Tia’s lives will never be the same. Now on the run as fugitives, the siblings soon learn actual truth about the Magus. Accompanied by Tia, Rett, and later joined by Mitoshiro and Oliviet; Amane must embrace his fate and fight the immortal Rad’ie.

Will their journey end in Triumph or Tears? All of it will be revealed in the Fortuna Magus.

So this is one of the few games I have few or no issues with. The only thing I can criticize is that it’s too short. 😀

The JRPG format is one of my favorites as is the turn based play aspect of it and none of it has been sacrificed for this game!! Seriously, Kemco did a really good job with this one. The turn-based battle system is simple to master and the variety of spells and moves are enjoyable. The special moves have nice cinematics and deal tons of damage. I also enjoy the random moments of the game where you go to use a skill and immediately after you learn a new move and immediately use it resulting in two or more chain attacks on your opponent. (there was a similar mechanic in Romancing Sa-Ga 3)

By the end of the game, you will be able to play with 5 playable characters with various skills including a healer and 2 elemental magic users. The NPCs are also pretty well done including boss monsters. And the antagonist Rad’ie is a real piece of work. Have you ever seen a villain so egotistical……

Or deranged looking?

And as boss monsters go I nominate his alternate form for the ugliest boss of the Century.

Along with the amazing characters, there are also amazing towns and dungeons in this game. In fact, I have to admit the scenery of this game is a bit better than the work done on some other Kemco RPGs for the Android Device.

Add in the fact that there are two endings and you have a pretty good game. Maybe the game is short but you’ll spend plenty of hours possibly figuring out how to unlock the good ending. (assuming you unlocked the unhappy ending the first.)

After unlocking both the good and the bad endings you also get an opportunity to take a crack at the monster arena. It is pretty fun and if you finish off one of the monsters (which are final boss level tough by the way) in a certain amount of turns you get super strong items and can even level those up to make them stronger!!

All in all, it’s a pretty good game. Sadly this is not one of the free games Kemco produces. It is however relatively cheap. While originally 7.99 (USD) apparently they dropped the price to 3.99 (USD). It’s pretty good and you can find the amazing heart-wrenching story of Fortuna Magus on the Google Play Store. It’s worth the 4 bucks.

Happy gaming!!! 🙂