History of Final Fantasy Retrospective Part 11. An in-depth look at Saga, Crystal Chronicles and Kingdom Hearts

The History of Final Fantasy Retrospective Part 11 takes an in-depth look at three Final Fantasy-related spin-off games (like the Final Fantasy Retrospective Part 10, which looked at the Chocobo titles, FF: Mystic Quest, and every other FF-related piece of media). First up is Final Fantasy Legend I, II and III for the Game Boy. …

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History of Final Fantasy Retrospective Part 10 – From Game Boy to Chocobo to Mystic Quest to TV and movies

The 10th Final Fantasy Retrospective takes a look at the fringes of the franchise. This includes the Game Boy installment named Final Fantasy Adventure, which would actually end up being the first game in the Mana series (It was called Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden in Japan), Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest (the “easy for Westerners” …

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History of Final Fantasy Retrospective Part 9. Enter the world of Ivalice

Final Fantasy XII: Collector's Edition for PS2Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Final Fantasy XII . . . The History of Final Fantasy Retrospective Part 9 takes an in-depth look at the world of Ivalice. A highly detailed, involved and rich universe that intertwines several Final Fantasy games (and Vagrant Story) in a complex web of politics, life, death, religion and tactical gameplay.

Then dive into the newest core game in the series, Final Fantasy XII. A game that takes an all new, fresh look at the franchise and re-builds it from the ground up. The storyline is full of political intrigue and warring nations, and stars an all-new cast of characters (like in every FF game) that include: Vaan, Panelo, Fran, Balthier, Ashe, and Basch.

New innovations include the battle system, which is similar to that of MMO’s in that it’s real-time, doing away with the turn-based and random battles of old entirely. The Gambit system allows you to chain a list of automated commands so that your characters essentially fight without your input (though you can override it if need be). Once again (as in Final Fantasy X, the last previous game that was offline) spells and abilities are gained with License Points via a board . . . and the voice acting has only been further refined which, when combined with the incredible visuals, add up to one of the most unique and greatest Final Fantasy games we’ve seen.

For the most in-depth Final Fantasy Retrospective yet, check out Part 9, for a massive 24-minute-long look at the Ivalice universe! And if you missed it, check out the History of Final Fantasy Retrospective Part 8, which dives into the MMORPG Final Fantasy XI.

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Super Smash Bros. Brawl final box art revealed?

The final box art for Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Nintendo Wii has finally been revealed, and it has many people crying in anguish. The box looks very cool (notice the updated looks for Samus and Link) but it is missing one very, very key element and arguably the most requested feature for Super …

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History of Final Fantasy Retrospective Part 8. FF heads into new territory, online on multiple platforms!

Final Fantasy Retrospective: Part 8 – Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XI (2002) for the PC, Playstation 2, and Xbox 360, with it’s expansion pack Rise of the Zilart (2003) included with the game (in America and Europe) was the first FF title to be released on multiple platforms, initially for the PC and PS2, then …

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No Metroid Prime 4 from Retro Studios as they move on to create other games

As mentioned by both Nintendo’s creative director Shigeru Miyamoto and president Satoru Iwata in the past, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption would be the last game in the Metroid Prime trilogy series, and presumably the last Retro-developed Metroid game. No Metroid Prime 4 for awhile then. In this Yahoo! developer interview (video), Metroid Prime 3: Corruption’s …

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History of Final Fantasy Retrospectives Part 6 & 7. FF Sci-fi continues with VIII and goes back to it’s roots with IX

Final Fantasy VIII for the PS1Final Fantasy Retrospective: Part 6 – This retrospective covers the two latter entries in the Final Fantasy series on the original Playstation, Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy IX.

In Final Fantasy VIII Squall, Rinoa, Zell, Seifer, Quistis, Selphie, Irvine, Edea and many Gunblade battles await in the epic 4-disc love-story (with one of the coolest game openings ever). Where not only does the initial party’s adventures play out, but they also intertwine with Laguna and his two friends (Kiros and Ward) via playable flashbacks for a deep and involving storyline.

This sci-fi masterpiece also offered a number of new features, from the increasingly long Guardian Force (GFs) attacks to the realistically proportioned characters (a first for the series), the game also employed a new system for gaining spells, which required players to “Draw” them out of enemies, and a Junction system where the spells and GF’s were attached to your stats to boost them.

Final Fantasy IX for the PS1Then “The Crystal Comes Back” in Final Fantasy IX. Join the monkey-like hero Zidane, the beautiful long-haired Princess Garnet (aka Dagger), the cute and innocent Black Mage Vivi, the stern and oafish guardian of the Princess Steiner, the dragoon Freya, the cute summoner child Eiko and others in Final Fantasy IX.

The last numbered game in the Final Fantasy series for the PS1, FF9 set-out to bring the series back to it’s fantasy roots and out of the sci-fi mold of the last two titles. The game featured TONS of mini-games and side-quests, a deep, emotional and involved storyline, an excellent and likeable cast of characters with outstanding characterization, a party of 4 at once, an incredible soundtrack and an all-new battle system where spells were innate in weapons and learned by using them. A masterpiece if there ever was one and my favorite Final Fantasy game.

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Gameplay Is An Art Form – VGB Editorial 1

Get Metroid Prime 3: Corruption on WiiMetroid Prime 3: Corruption just released for Nintendo Wii, and that birthed inside me a craving to once again play through one of my favorite games.

I just got done beating Metroid 1 on NES (Using my DS, I unlocked it on Metroid: Zero Mission) and I beat it in under an hour. Netting me the special “Samus in a bathing suit” ending.

Before I get to the main point of my editorial, let me gush a bit.

Metroid is such a great game. It is so well designed that it still impresses me to this day. The game is fun, totally challenging, and just nails the otherworldly atmosphere so well, which is incredible given the 8-bit hardware. And it still surprises me how difficult the original Metroid is.

It’s crazy because I am a veteran Metroid player. I know where all the stuff is located . . . well pretty much, although sometimes I vaguely forget or get places mixed up, and so I have to play through it again to refresh my memory. And even then I still manage to get lost. I always have trouble remembering exactly where certain power-ups or Missile Expansions are located, no matter how many times I’ve beaten this game. And each time I always require a bit of experimentation, blowing up certain blocks, checking certain walls and floors, before it all comes back to me.

The original Metroid for NESMetroid really taxes your brain. Because you have to take note of what direction you are heading in and which doors you have or have not entered, at all times. If you don’t it is really easy to get lost. I know the basic layout of Zebes, but once I get into the green colored section of Brinstar (where you find the Screw Attack) or Ridley’s Hideout, I can get lost pretty easily; even when I am keeping track of my location and I know the general layout pretty well.

It’s just incredible how well designed the game is. The world is huge, and you really gotta know what you’re doing if you are to get the best ending. It holds up super well, even in the year 2007.

Now to my main point. Beating Metroid with the best ending got me to thinking, gameplay . . . is like an art form. Yes I’m serious. Think about what it takes: the skill involved, how much the mind is processing inside the head of the player playing, and how smooth it is if you are an expert. Obviously you can’t apply this to every game out there. But it does apply to many games I can think of, and right now Metroid is my example.

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1st hour of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption gameplay for Wii

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption for WiiFor Wii owners, today is the big day they’ve been waiting for! Metroid Prime 3: Corruption for the Nintendo Wii has finally been released to stores, which means that you can just waltz into your favorite game shop and partake in Samus Aran’s greatest adventure yet!

This also marks the beginning of the holiday onslaught of upcoming Nintendo Wii games which will cumulate in release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl this December 3rd (US).

To celebrate the release of Retro Studios‘ masterpiece, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, check out the first hour of the game! Or don’t, if you wanna save the experience for when you actually have the game in your hands, as I’ll do. 😉

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History of Metroid Retrospective Part 4. Samus hits the dual-screened DS in two portable titles

The History of Metroid Retrospective continues (Give History of Metroid Retrospective Part 3 a view if you missed it) with an in-depth look at Nintendo’s two portable DS entries in the franchise. Breaking new ground, Metroid Prime Pinball was released in October of 2005. The game used both screens and placed Samus on unique Pinball …

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Women In Gaming. Views from E3 2007 & QuakeCon

Women In Gaming - Fragdoll GirlWhile guys may never know what women want, there is one truth that remains valid in this world. If you are a girl, and you game, and you post a video about yourself gaming, the guys will flock to it!

I’m just your average gaming male so I don’t have any kind of deep info into the women psyche (sorry), but I do know that for me personally, I love hearing the thoughts of women relating to video games. And I know this is echoed for a lot of guys out there. It’s just great to hear comments from the opposite sex on my favorite hobby.

Thanks to JodyR, aka “Caligirl”, over at GameSpot (a personal favorite site of mine) for giving me permission to post her videos, a side-project of hers where she interviews various women at gaming events. Keep up the great work Jody! It’s greatly appreciated!

And view both her QuakeCon 2007 and E3 2007 “Women In Gaming” videos below. 🙂

Women In Gaming (QuakeCon 2007)

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Resident Evil 2 PS1 Full Story video walks you through the storyline, including bosses, and shows all cut-scenes from beginning to ending

Resident Evil 2 for Nintendo GameCubeResident Evil 2 was for many years considered the epitome of survival horror greatness. It stood as the horror game all others strived to be. And for good reason. Capcom‘s classic, Resident Evil 2, was improved by leaps and bounds over it’s predecessor.

You had a significantly more complex narrative, that included a large cast of all-new characters in a deep and involving storyline that intertwined with each other. Claire Redfield and Leon S. Kennedy each received their own pair of scenarios, and during each one you ran into a new pair of sub-characters, Ada Wong and Sherry Berkin, the latter of whom was daughter to a whole new host of characters directly involved in the creation of an all-new G-virus by Umbrella.

Claire Redfield from Resident Evil 2And it wasn’t just storyline and character development (not to mention spoken dialogue) that was improved, you also gained a wider variety of weapons, there were more secrets to unlock (including two entirely new scenarios, HUNK and “Tofu”) and the graphics and music were greatly improved.

Now let’s all gather in a circle, hold hands and pray that Resident Evil 2 will receive a remake this generation! We got a remake of Resident Evil 1 last-gen, we have to get a remake of Resident Evil 2. PLEASE CAPCOM!

For those that never got to play RE2, this Full Story video shows every cut-scene in the game for a complete look at the Resident Evil 2’s storyline. It also includes bouts of gameplay including boss battles. If you missed it, check out our last Full Story video for Resident Evil 0 on the GameCube. Enjoy!

Resident Evil 2 Full Story Video – Clair A, Leon B Part 1

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History of Final Fantasy Retrospective Part 5. Final Fantasy VII makes gamers tear

Cloud . . . Sephiroth . . . Jenova . . . the Lifestream . . . Shinra . . . The Turks . . . Aeris, Barret, Tifa, Vincent, Yuffie, Red XIII . . . For a large population of gamers, each one of those words has strong meaning and fills them with wonder, …

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History of Metroid Retrospective Part 3, Samus goes 3D. The NEW WiiWare channel launches with Metroid Prime 3 trailers!

Metroid Prime for Nintendo GameCubeMetroid Prime is considered by many to be one of the greatest games of all-time.

It successfully transitioned everyone’s favorite female bounty hunter Samus Aran from the second to the third dimension. Which many thought impossible. And not only was the game extremely fun and completely faithful to what fans want from Metroid, but it also managed to innovate in a genre dominated by Western developers, and while Retro Studios themselves are a Western developer, it was actually Nintendo’s idea (specifically Shigeru Miyamoto‘s himself) to take Metroid from third-person into first-person.

Tagged a “First-Person Adventure” by Nintendo, Metroid Prime set new standards and blew away critics and fans alike with it’s tight gameplay, seamless world, spot-on Metroid feel, gorgeous graphics, realistic atmosphere, cool effects, myriad of secrets and tons of depth.

Check out both Metroid Prime and it’s sequel, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, in GameTrailers Metroid Retrospective Part 3.

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Resident Evil 0 (Zero) GameCube Full Story video walks you through the storyline, including boss battles, and shows all cut-scenes from beginning to ending

Resident Evil 0 (Zero) for Nintendo GameCubeEasily one of the most overlooked Resident Evil games of recent times is Resident Evil 0 (Zero), for the Nintendo GameCube. It was released on Nov. 10th 2002, only 6 months after the Remake of the original Resident Evil was released on the Cube, therefore RE0 hardly felt new, and matter of fact, it wasn’t. The game was actually originally scheduled for release on the N64, and only many years later was it ported to the GameCube (after many thought it had been canceled for good).

That didn’t hurt the game though. Upon release Resident Evil 0 had (and still has) some of the slickest graphics you will ever see. It definitely impresses, although it’s very similar in style to the GameCube remake, both use extremely detailed pre-rendered backgrounds.

Resident Evil (Remake) for Nintendo GameCubeResident Evil Zero is quite unique in that it stars Rebecca Chambers and is a prequel to the first game. Rebecca is the rookie S.T.A.R.S. Bravo Team member you run into while playing as Chris Redfield in the original. Another new character introduced in Zero is Billy Cohen, a convict who was charged with murder, and ends up stuck on the train with you. Eventually the two characters grow closer to each other as they the face their horrible adventure together, and while the beginning is set on the train, the game quickly dives into other more traditional Resident Evil environments and a whole new subplot in the RE Umbrella mythos is revealed.

Resident Evil 0 is a really enjoyable game (I’ve beaten it several times) and one that all fans should check out. For those who have never played it or maybe think they never will, or are just curious to put more pieces of the complex Resident Evil mythology together, check out this Resident Evil 0 Full Story Video, which shows all the cut-scenes from the game, from it’s crazy opening to it’s conclusion and includes bits of gameplay footage, including boss fights.

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