Thursday, September 27, 2007

Review: "Jeanne D'Arc"

Finally, I managed to complete Jeanne D'Arc on my PSP. So like I promised, I shall write out a review. I wanted to write because this Turn Based Strategy (TBS) game is extremely good in many ways. In my opinion, it is the most enjoyable game I have ever played since...a hell long time. I think it is the best game right now a PSP owner can have (maybe other than Monster Hunter 2 Freedom...if you've got friends to play with that is).

Nevertheless, let us get on with the in depth review:

Genre: Role-Playing > Console-style RPG
Developer: Level 5
ESRB Rating: T

*spoilers ahead, highlight to read*


Some people say that Jeanne D'Arc is similiar to Final Fantasy Tactics in certain ways. That is not far from the truth. As far as story goes, Jeanne D'Arc have certain parts in the game where it can be related to FFT's story.

Long ago, there were 5 armlet-wielding warriors (I don't know if they have a title for that), who used their powers to weaken a great demon and seal him in some powerful gem. Years later during a war between the French and the English, the Duke of Bedford (one of the armlet wielders) released the demon and placed him into the child King Henry VI's body, for the sake of his people and the real King Henry VI himself. Luther, another armlet wielder, tries to stop him, but failed. Eventually, both Henry's spirit and Luther were cast out into the wilderness.

Jeanne D'Arc, or more commonly known as Joan of Arc, was born to Jacques d'Arc in a humble village known as Doremy, as according to history. She had 2 friends which would tag along with her in her adventures: Roger and Liane, both fictional characters. Roger is a mercenary who had lost his memories when he first arrived upon Doremy years ago, and Liane is supposedly Jeanne's sister. They were all preparing for a festival when disaster strikes. The village was burned and Jeanne obtained an armlet. Afterwards, Jeanne swore to join the army and defeat the English.

The story then proceeds as according to history. With a twist. Before the part in history where Jeanne was captured and raped, in the game, Jeanne fell into a pit trying to save Liane. Presumably dead, Liane impersonated Jeanne and carried Jeanne's role in history, right till the end when she got captured and burnt on a stake.

Anime-style cutscenes!

Some parts in the story that are similar to FFT are as follows:
- First stage is outside a chapel
- Important people turning into powerful demons
- You fight those demons until the end, you fight the most powerful one.
- Game involves God, Christians, The Holy Bible, get the drift.
- and some more I can't remember right now...

Overall, story is great and interesting.

Gameplay Mechanics

Although you don't get to create your own custom character, or change classes, the game offers a good variety of customization. Enter skill gems! Each character can equip a certain amount of skill gems depending on level. Skill gems are divided into 4 categories: Weapon Active, Weapon Passive, Spells, Innate (my own naming at least).

Weapon Active skill gems are restricted to the weapon a character is carrying. For example, a sword user cannot equip a spear Active skill gem. Same for Weapon Passive. Spells can the equipped by anyone. And lastly, Innate skill gems are gems that passively improve your character stats + more.

There are many other mechanics such as Burning Auras, Skill Binding, differences between attacking from front/side/rear...but I'll let the game explain all that :p


The Levels in this game are challenging, unique and above all, fun. They are all creatively made, and can be difficult sometimes (of course unless you power level). Missions include protecting an AI, hold for a certain amount of certains, and the classic defeating all the enemies. There are many many situations the level put you through. Starting from multiple separate positions, fighting on a long bridge, fighting without skills are some of the examples.

Obstacles such as trees, rivers, doors are well-placed. Well-placed meaning I notice their existence. Rivers are irritating to cross, and the trees blocking your path can also be frustrating.

Overall, the levels are very well designed.


There are very beautiful anime cutscenes throughout the game. Voice acting is done well for an English dub. All the characters more or less has a French-like accent in those cutscenes. Music and sounds are also done well.

Perhaps one problem was the lack of animations / particle effects. Some spell effects are reused and repackaged to my dismay. However, that is only a small part of the game.

Graphics are cell-shaded and beautifully drawn. I'm not really an art guy as far as standard digital art goes. I like what I think if nice and the art in Jeanne D'Arc is nice.

I would give this game: 7.5/10

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

[SGCC] Wrapup

Finally SGCC is over and finally I have found some time to blog about it.

I could still remember the very first day when all of us 'student leaders' received our allocated groups. I scrolled down the list to find my beside the 'Singapore Chinese Girls School' tag. My first expression was joy like any other guys' would be, more so because my course is deprived of girls. Mr Quah came up to me and asked me who I have been assigned to. When I replied, he gave me a smile and shook my hand. Mr Quah is damn godly okay.

During the first day, every secondary school students was split up between design and technical side. I couldn't find Hwa Chong (the other team I'm assigned to)...but I went around to help anyway. The North View guys are very sociable, but they play a hell lot.

I can't believe people can actually listen to Mr GuoZheng. He's fuck boring. Those who can listen AND understand him deserves bigclaps.

I tried talking to the SCGS girls on the technical...they were so...quiet :p. Ilhammi keeps running around doing his usual stuff, like running up to some girls and going "Hello ladies, need an help?"...etc...

The other days were very pleasant. It was really nice getting to know the SCGS girls, the Hwa Chong guys and the North View guys. They were all really fun people. WeiZe, Derek, ChinYing, Prasaan, Joshua, Robin, Asri, Michelle, Josephine, I can't believe I can remember all their names.

But don't think I hog the SCGS team everyday (I know you are thinking that...). I helped alot of teams so I was pretty happy getting to know everyone in my room. I'm not like Minghui 24/7 sit with the Whitley girls except for lunch breaks. It's kinda scary to see YangZhi and Minghui sitting with them 24/7...watching movies, chatting...hitting on them and stuff. If I were the girls I would be reallllly uncomfortable. There were seriously a bunch of guys surrounding them.

I was wrong actually, YangZhi and Minghui doesn't sit with *them*. They were actually hitting on *one* of them. I heard that...wat...during an MSN convo one day after the whole SGCC, the other (not-so-pretty) girl was kinda...ignored. Ilhammi kinda felt sorry and tried to console her. It's really a case of pretty girl but not so good personality vs not-so-pretty girl but good personality. Feels like it just jumped right out of a drama series. Anyway, I'm not really involved in whatever happens there...but this is just a rough picture of what is going on.

WeiZe from Hwa Chong is fuck funny. He keeps telling me "Sorry to bother you, later you can go back to them(SCGS)." -_-;;; What the hell man... His expressions are also quite fun. He is damn different from the rest of his quiet teammates. They're lucky to have a friend like him, although I don't know whether they deserved to win.

The NVSS4 team were also a fun bunch. They were all very very active when I tried to be funny at the overhead projector. I mean...their game is called "The Sick Retarded King". If that doesn't catch your attention I don't know what will.

I'm glad my SCGS team (Vector Blenders) didnt' end up quiet. Seriously. I was afraid that after the first day, my team would be very shy/quiet/inactive. Well, thankfully they are not. I think they ended up being the noisiest bunch in the whole room haha.

But seriously. When they gave me and Jason (my DMD counterpart) presents, I was totally speechless. Those chocolates really don't look cheap. But I think the cards hit the soft spot. I ended up going home and reading them for quite some time. Now I know how people feel when they receive cards. Not only that, they bought me another on Saturday. Gosh how much did you girls spend on me dammit >.<.....On second thoughts, I think I'd rather not know. God I was so happy that day lololololol.

I talked to Miss Lum about the judging. Apparently it IS all about the presentation, which is quite silly in my opinion. I don't think most of the secondary school students were prepared to present. Supposedly they were meant to try to 'sell' their game. Anyway it's all over. At least everyone had a fun time...I wish I could say the same for the upcoming piano examination lol. Anyway, that's all for this blog post I guess. We had a really fun time, went out with Asri, Josephine and Lydia for dinner that Saturday...too bad Michelle couldn't join us =(

Anyway, I'm glad everyone got home safe. I was kinda worried there. It's the exact same feeling I get when I see my sis going home late in school uniform.

Pictures! (Taken from the SCGS IT club you don't see Hwa Chong...I knew I should've took photo with them too =/) - From left: Lydia, Me, Asri, Josephine, Michelle. Dammit why I look so sotong.

- I look damn yandao here lol

- This look looks completely new. I thought I was already smiling...why do I keep ending up smirking? -.-

- Funniest pic. Azman the Worker :p

PS: I saw Robin during the last day. He gave me a 'I'm angry but I'm not' conversation. But seriously...$250 for a freelance job lasting 2 weeks? No problem. With sleepless nights and delays? No deal. Period. I'm not going to be a nice guy and salvage everything for the sake of $250. I could work at MacDonald's for more than that within a WEEK. I think I'm too nice when it comes to work =/.