Monday, November 24, 2008

Anime Festival Asia 08 recap

This is probably the best weekend I spent since my NS started. To be honest, when I went I only went for 2 things: Mayn and SF4 competition.

On 22nd, I just queued up for the 2 day pass ticket and quickly entered Suntec City Convention Hall 403/404. I wasn't expecting much out of Saturday. I thought I didn't know much of Ichirou Mizuki's (aka Aniki) songs since I don't really know what on earth is Kamen Rider and stuff. The only song I recognize are from the Mazinger Z series.

So I went, played a few $1 (ouch) Melty Blood games, and watch the group SF4 competition matches. Only thing that I find notable is Weitian bringing Simon to the Loser's Bracket.

There were all kinds of booths...Hexaproject, Digipen, Bandai, Takashimaya, Odex, KKnM, Manga's quite a nice array actually. I must say I would be expecting more, but hey one shouldn't be too greedy.

So I waited with John until Aniki's concert. I wasn't prepared for what's about to come. Aniki is THE King. There's something about the way he sings that makes you...燃える。 I didn't know he sings Voltron or the Shin Getter Robo OPs. It is truely an experience that one cannot really express in words. You can feel the passion in his singing really.

On the 23rd (that's today), I arrived just in time to see Jianhui barely losing to Baehoon with his Balrog. Mayn is a great singer, but too bad she only sang like 5 songs. And she have to sing Youhei...yucks. Oh ya, I forgot to mention (because I probably instinctively remove it from memory) about the cosplay comepetition. English dubs scares me. I mean, people actually watch English dubs? It's so damn unnatural most of the time. It pains me to hear the Hitman Reborn cosplayer shouting "TO THE EXTREME!!!" out loud and hundreds of people clapping to it. It's just not right to me.

The most memorable thing about AFA08 to me is undoubtedly Aniki. I hope JAM project comes over soon...fat hope but one can dream right?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Review: "Fallout 3"

Many people had high hopes for this game.

It was a game that's waiting to be released.

Fans all over the world, have been waiting for it since Interplay died and with it "Fallout 3: No Mutants Allowed".

Many years later, Bethesda, creators of the Elder Scrolls Series, took over. Many people grumbled about how worried that Fallout 3 would become just 'another Oblivion with guns'. I am not a fan of Oblivion, in fact I don't even like Oblivion (I like Morrowind though, but that's besides the point). People start imagining what it would be like to have a FPS/RPG-like Fallout, and despite my imaginations, I can only expect the worse.

All I remembered about Oblivion was the Assassin's Guild quests, which was crafted decently. The rest of the game is just bullcrap, the standard issue save-the-world thing, along with a game mechanic which would work well only in games like Oblivion.

When I started off playing Fallout 3, my first impressions are rather good, after all, I have waited probably 8 years for this. Nostalgia blinded me immediately after I see Pipboy and the Vault suit. Then it wore off and something else took over. It was the exact same feeling as playing Oblivion. So the worse came true, Fallout, is after all the wait, an Oblivion set in post-nuclear-war setting with guns.

Stats and skills are poorly revamped. All the stats, save Intelligence, are crap on their own, espacially Charisma which doesn't give anything other than greater successes to <Lie> dialogs. Since skills are now capped at 100%, and since it doesn't cost more to add skill points at higher percentages, it's easy to create a character that is really good at a couple of skills and decent in many others. My currently character is currently just really crap at Speech and Barter, aside from other weaponry skills which I don't need since I already got 2 which are really high (ie I have Small Guns and Melee Weapons really high, I don't need Unarmed or Energy weapon).

Perks are really dumbed down. You don't even need to plan much any more. Too many shit perks that are just "Each time to take this perk your Medicine and Science skill increases by 5!".

The Wasteland setting, the environment rather, is boring. It's really one dimensional most of the time but I can't really bash on that. I mean, it is a wasteland setting so I guess it's meant to look deary, but really it makes travelling so damn dull.

Quests are overall pretty well done tbh, but they could be done better. A lot better. But considering today's RPGs, it's already rather good. I just...wish it could be better. I can't describe here to avoid giving away random spoilers.

And of course we come to VATS, the attempt to make Fallout 3 feel like a Fallout game. Like all gimmicks, it looks good at first, but gets boring after awhile. I don't think they have a choice though, since they are trying to mesh together Fallout, an inherently TBS game, with Oblivion, an inherently FPS game. It is actually quite cool since they abuse bullet time, and especially since they solve melee in VATS by teleporting you to the enemy if they try to run away. A broken yet amusing bug/feature.

But undoubtedly, I feel that Fallout 3 could become GOTY for 2008. Overall, it's still a rather good game. I'm just disappointed at the perks, skills and stats system. It almost feels as if they are forced to implement RPG elements into an FPS game.