Ongoing Investigations: Case #065

Recently I had the good fortune to buy a rather inexpensive PSP opening a whole new avenue of portable gaming. The seller also threw in a copy of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII which I had been meaning to try out. Crisis Core takes place before Final Fantasy VII and stars Zack Fair who was a minor but important character in Final Fantasy VII. We get to see how exactly Zack became a Solider 1st Class as he deals with defectors from the Shinra Electric Power Company aka the most militant electric company ever. We also learn how Zack met certain flower girls, beloved blond men, and silver haired yaoi bait. Zack is pretty likable so I am sure that Narutaki would give this game his seal of approval on that front. It is action RPG based although the level up system is based on a slot machine which is odd to say the least. The most interesting is the fact that they seem to be taking time to make Sephiroth more human. I wonder how much does this have to do with them wanting to flesh him out as more and how much this has to do with his enormous popularity? It reminded me of why I liked Final Fantasy VII even though the game has sort of become the mark of a poser.

I went to see the Japanese horror movie House (also known as Hausu) during Halloween. I say horror movie but what I really mean is 1970’s b-movie hilariously badly wonderful horror movie. Oh, did I mention the director let his 11-year-old daughter write the story? As you can imagine, things for the most part aren’t very scary at all. The basic premise is about 7 high school girls (are you ready for these names? Gorgeous, Fantasy, Melody, Sweet, Mac, Professor, and Kung-Fu) who visit a house in the country, but the house is evil! And one by one the house eats them up. There is also an evil cat(s?), a crazy aunt who is only randomly disabled, and a most spectacular array of bad special effects. As a person who doesn’t like horror movies, I highly recommend this one. It will leave you laughing!

And owning a PSP logically means that I would go out and get all the Type-Moon games I could. I got Fate/Tiger Colosseum in Japanese mostly because it’s a simple game to play even if you don’t understand Japanese. The game is mostly a simple Power Stone style fighting game. The main draw is the bizarrely humorous story mode where the characters run around being silly each in their own special way like with Saber beating people up because her food tasted bad and Rin and Rider involved in a story of cursed glasses. I oddly enough enjoy trying to figure out what the stories are despite the fact that I know a handful of Japanese words. I am pretty sure Soichiro Kuzuki story mode is the standard “We stole your woman! You must now fight through my minions to get her back” played totally straight for maximum comedic value. I also think that Archer’s story is about him beating the snot out of people to teach them not to solve their problems with violence. I can’t see how that would not be hysterical. Plus the game made me realize once again that Bazett is unfairly looked over despite her inherent sexiness. It also makes me want someone to translate Fate/Hollow Ataraxia as soon as possible.

Kimi ni Todoke was the show I practically named best show of the season in the fall review and having watched up through 5 has not altered my opinion one bit. It continues to bestow upon the viewers little treasures in each episode. Sawako is shy but in a way that isn’t tedious or annoying that some people feel towards such characters. Equally endearing is Kazehaya’s emotions that seem right on the surface but are continually misinterpreted. The focus has been more of Sawako’s overall emergence into friendships at school rather than being solely on the slow romance. Though truly I want to see that move along soon. The plot also has the uncanny ability to lull you into a sense of familiarity and then breaking it, then doing it all over again. Kimi ni Todoke is a grand ole time.

I also experimented with downloadable games when I got Fate/Unlimited Codes. Fate/Unlimited Codes is the much anticipated Fate/Stay Night fighting game. It has a good roster of characters and the game play seems solid. I did notice that some characters were notably absent but I am sure they left them to throw into sequels. The moves are easy enough to pull off but there is an obvious bit of complexity to the overall fighting system. Then again I have never played the arcade version and I am hardly any sort of expert of fighting games. I am mostly a button masher that admires fighting games from a distance. It has not and never will be released in stores but you can get a translated U.S. version of Fate/Unlimited Codes by downloading it to your memory card. Apparently this is the direction of purchase Sony is aiming for especially with the release of the PSPgo. I found it convenient but I much prefer the option of being able to buy disks as well as download games. The downloadable game is a great release option for niche titles but I think a dual release would be better for big name titles.

I finished up Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box the annoyances I mentioned in my previous post about it still hold true, and in fact were practically driving me nuts by the end. The first game doesn’t overestimate your intelligence, but the second one seems content to lead you by the hand from place to place. Also, upon completion I can safely say the puzzles were easier than the first game’s offerings and the final solutions to the game are far and way some of the most obvious riddles in the entire game making it a bit of a let down. The story itself wraps up in a most curious manner and I am still undecided on how much I like the truths behind the box and all the happenings. However, I still love Layton and Luke and the teaser picture for the next game had me excited so I can say without a doubt I can’t wait to pick up the third installment. Whenever that is.

It is the the all powerful master and and ever studious student of the Tiger Dojo:

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