Sunday, January 2, 2000

Street Fighter II: The Movie


Genre: Action / Martial Arts
Parental Guidance Recommended
Credits: 1994 Sony, Capcom




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Skysenshi's Description:
The diabolical M. Bison wants to rule the world by collecting the world's best fighters. However, he has his eyes set on capturing Ryu, a Japanese martial arts expert who is popular for the way he defeated the famous Muy Thai fighter Sagat. Unable to get Ryu, Bison changes his tactics. He kidnaps and brainwashes Ryu's equally skilled American counterpart and best friend, Ken. Now it's Ken versus Ryu. Who do you suppose is going to win?

NOTE: This description was written sometime in 2001 and was recorded in the classic Otaku Fridge as ??.??.2001. Unfortunately the database would not accept non-numerical values, so this review is now dated January 01, 2001 by default.

Like I care about the story when it comes to this game...>>> by skysenshi
Street Fighter II the Animated Movie has a plot that is pretty simple but, unlike the Street Fighter II V series, quite loyal to the concept and character design that Capcom has served to many gaming fans. Bear in mind that SF2V, this movie, and Street Fighter Zero the Movie do not have the same storyline, much like in Tenchi Muyo where historical backgrounds differ from one set to another. If you saw anywhere that I have stated that this movie is a continuation of SF2V, where our beloved champs are younger, then somebody has cast a spell on my review.

Having said that, I reiterate that the plot is quite simple. There are even times when the movie makes you wonder if there ever was a solid plot at all. Despite all that, I actually became addicted to it. I even saw it around 10 times. Not for the inconclusive story, or the way the scenes jumped from one topic to another, but for the fighting scenes. Oh yes, SF2 never scrimped on those exciting and ever-so-engaging fighting scenes. My favorite is definitely Chun-Li and Vega's explosive scenario! Another thing worth mentioning is the way Ken and Ryu remembered each other through years of separation. The way they longed to test each other's strengths once again were highlighted by flashbacks of their training days when they were much younger. Those scenes are probably the most memorable aspects of the anime because it showed the vulnerability of two great fighters. The art and animation are also amongst the best of SF you'll ever see. If you like less talk and more action, this is definitely the movie for you.


Individual Rating: Art/Animation 9; Story 5; Characters 7; Sounds 8

Vagrant Story


Genre: Role Playing Game
Platform: Playstation
Credits: SquareSoft. Screenshots and images courtesy of Amazon.Com and Squaresoft.




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Skysenshi's Description:
Keep yourself alive!

As special agent Ashely Riot, your mission is to infiltrate the city of evil, Leá Monde. Use your stealth and combat skills to overcome the great dangers awaiting you in this mysterious world, and master the art of magic to uncover the "truth" behind the political intrigue.

Experience a fantastic adventure set in a richly-detailed 3D environment. Revolutionary battle system allowing real-time attacks and combos.

NOTE: This description was written sometime in 2000 and was recorded in the classic Otaku Fridge as ??.??.2000. Unfortunately the database would not accept non-numerical values, so this review is now dated January 01, 2000 by default.

A Total Mind Game >>> by firesenshi (??.??.2000)
From the onset, you'll be greeted with a different kind of cinematic credits--as though you're watching a real period epic film. So I must admit from the start that I was awed by the presence of the characters, let alone that they made their entrances with such strong appeal, which I assure you, would last until the end of the game.

This is because Vagrant Story begins with a compelling mystery at Lea Monde. You'll be inclined to determine its answer and go after its antagonist. The setting is one that is dark and medieval, which by far fits the game's overall mood. You can see it in its backgrounds and maps that this mood is very consistent along with the minor CG sequences.

While you'll tour through impressive architecture in Lea Monde and meet interesting characters in powerful costumes, the graphics that meld them aren't exactly Final Fantasy VIII quality. The backgrounds aren't pre-rendered and there are no stunning FMV sequences. They are all set on normal graphics. No soft polygons. But trust me, this seems to be its only limitation.

The gameplay itself is very unique! My other RPGamer friend commented that it's a different direction for Square. It sure is! However, the gameplay itself can be the setback amongst many gamers. There are many things to think about before venturing into each battle even if it were a minor one. You have to develop weapons for certain type of enemy, each with a DIFFERENT affinity for weapon type, DIFFERENT affinity for elements and their attack power. Before I encounter an enemy, I have to think about all these things and I just finished a strenuous cube puzzle! (Aaarrgh!)

In battle, aside from selecting the right weapon, you must also select the proper attack and defense skills, as well as learning how to chain properly and watching out for your level of Risk. whew! Yup! That's a lot of things to consider before each battle. There are times when I feel I tire myself out of these battles. Of all Square games that I've played, Vagrant Story seems to be the most "difficult." It's not because it's not playable, it's just that the battle system has become so uniquely tailored with many aspects that it seems too much to finish.

For instance, I met the unfriendly Earth Dragon totally unprepared that my damage was unbelivably low--with a ratio of 1:20 against the Dragon's big attacks. It's not that I didn't survive. I felt it was too long to play against the dang thing that on second play, having chosen my buff Spear with a high affinity against dragons (I later named St. George), a tight shield, and an enchanter spell that increases the opposite Air elemental affinity of my weapon, I realized that the Earth Dragon was nothing but a mere lizard, finishing this boss battle in almost 2 minutes. Yup! Drastic effects just by choosing the wrong weapon.

However, it is this complexity of the battle system that makes the game extremely great! Almost every battle is a mind game, plus mind games. They're hardly mundane, but yes, they can tire you. It's simply an assurance that Vagrant Story would give you a challenge.

And I haven't told you about the Final Boss yet! Such a pain that! But as always, like my Earth Dragon story, I lost in the first, but I found the right defenses and found the battle over before I even knew it.

Finish the game. The ending is truly worth it. I haven't told you the best part of the game that drew me to it, and that was the story. The plot revolves around a mystical aura of darkness that is just too cool! I felt I must find out more and more. Almost a cinematic genre in itself.

Maybe this isn't one of Square's foremost projects in terms of CG design, but I never knew Square to be scrimp on talent considering the game's amazing plot and gameplay. The pencil drawings are also wonderful pieces of art.

This game is not for everyone, though, considering what I just told you of the battle system. You will find a lot of elements for which to stay patient. Because so far, I was the only Kraider (Senshi) to finish the game.

PLAYER STATUS:
DIFFICULTY: Moderate - Difficult
COMPLETION TIME: 40-50 hours
HIGHEST LEVEL ACHIEVED: --
RATINGS: Gameplay 9; Battle 10; Story 10; Visuals 9; Characters 10; Sounds 9; Replay Value 8


Square’s Medieval Masterpiece >>> by Kai Alain (??.??.2000)
Before Seeing the Truth.
I always liked games made by Squaresoft. Why? Do I have to tell why? They're the only one who made RPGs (Role-Playing Games) that made history in the gaming industry. The Final Fantasy Series, Chrono Trigger, the sequel of Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Parasite Eve and many others. Then it came, Vagrant Story.

If you didn't play this game, I pity you. Vagrant Story made a perfect score in Famitsu, a Japanese gaming magazine that doesn't give all 10 that easily, you probably guessed this game is the best (and also the hardest) Action RPG. After you played and finished the game, the only thing you could say about it is, "Impressive".

"A Mere Tale indeed."
Müllenkamp, a cult headed by a black magic-user named Sydney Losstarot is a threat to all, that's what the high officials say. Sydney's prophecies ring true and other miracles made by Müllenkamp's leader himself, as a result, many followed his teachings and became his loyal followers, and almost everyone sold their souls to him.

One night, the cult seized Duke Bardobora's manor and held the duke's family as hostage. Even a dozen soldiers can't save them. With this, they sent out VKP or the Valendia Knights of Peace's best man, agent Ashley Riot, a risk breaker, as reinforcement. His mission is to take out the demonic cult and save the duke's son and only heir.

As soon as Riot came, he met Callo Merlose, a VKP inquisitor. Merlose informed him that the Crimson Blades is also in the manor with somehow a different purpose. Ashley ignored it and went in.

VS is set on a medieval times, like in Final Fantasy Tactics so expect to be confused in the story the first time you play. As you go on (and on), you will be meeting a lot of characters and finding out the hero's life. I noticed Ashley is a bit of Cloud Strife (FF7). Jerk (heh, heh,J) and always wanted to be alone. On what I understood in the story, Ashley was brainwashed. After that, he was being told a lie that became a truth to him

How battle goes.
The battle system is a turn-based attack, like in Parasite Eve. When you hit the Attack button, a wire frame dome will appear. You can hit any part of the body (head, arm, etc.) enemy if that certain part is in the dome. I'll give ya a tip: the enemy's weakest part is the one you merely see like the abdomen of the Durahan, the neck of the Dragon and so on.

VS are populated with monsters. So like my big brother told me, "Kill him with a weapon!"J. The best part of the game is the weapon customization system. There are about 300 weapons (I only got 100) to create and more than 5 type of weapons. I get frustrated when I lose a good weapon for a weak one. I always follow my motto, "Save Before You Make"

Abilities are one of the most needed in the game. Break Art, think Limit break in FF7. You kill certain amount of enemies using a weapon (e.g. sword) and you'll be rewarded a Break Art for your weapon (e.g. Rending Gale). Chain Ability is used when you pushed a button at the exact time when Ashley is hit or attack.

When you look at the status screen of the weapon you'll notice Damage Points (DP) and Power Points (PP). Using Repair in the workshop and always using a weapon is a good thing for your DP and PP.

So that's about it!!! Hope you understand this little article of mine. If you have questions, remarks and insults, Email me at philgaming@hotmail.com

PLAYER STATUS:
DIFFICULTY: Difficult
COMPLETION TIME: 30-60 hours
HIGHEST LEVEL ACHIEVED: --
RATINGS: Gameplay 10; Battle 10; Story 10; Visuals 8; Characters 10; Sounds 10; Replay Value 8

Legend of Legaia


Genre: Role Playing Game
Platform: Playstation
Credits: SCEI




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Cover Description:
A legendary tale of betrayal and self-destruction. Abuse derived from the greediness of man. The powers of a magical creature betrayed. Will man realize his mistakes before irreparable damage is done?

Armed with a magical sword and the will to survive, lead Vahn and his cohorts to the redemption of man. Pursue a quest to save the world and discover a place where legends are born.

Discover the Legend of Legaia...

NOTE: This description was written sometime in 2000 and was recorded in the classic Otaku Fridge as ??.??.2000. Unfortunately the database would not accept non-numerical values, so this review is now dated January 01, 2000 by default.

The power of patience and determination >>> by skysenshi
The very first thing that is noticeable in this game is the excellent battle system, much similar to the death blow combos that you do in Xenogears, but quite different in that there are so many combinations that you can do. No character has the same button combinations as the other, which makes discovering every combo quite challenging.

Aside from the attack sequences, there is the choice of using items for healings and power ups, using spirit for extra defense and attack power, and the most-used Ra-Seru magic. The battle system is coupled with unique battle gears that is really visible to the players' eyes. Everytime a player changes battle gear, the RPG player can see a change in attire or weapon. In fact, it feels like dressing up your characters.

Human emotions are likewise very tangible because the characters are near lifelike, not Final Fantasy 8 quality, but very similar to it. The plot and the characters also have very interesting backgrounds, especially Noa and Gala. The plus part here is that there are only three main characters, so you wouldn't have to worry about one of your characters lagging behind in terms of experience and capabilities. You also wouldn't be left wondering as to what happened to a particular character that you've formed an attachment with because each is given ample limelight focus.

The execution of events are well-done, not complicated, but touching all the same. The endings--there are three possibilities--are also quite adorable and entertaining, well-worth the pain of earning money and levelling up.

Going to the topic of levelling up and earning money, here is the point where Legend of Legaia's replay value falls below my expectations. All enemies you encounter are stingy by nature. This is especially annoying because most of the items you need to progress in your quests are highly expensive. Furthermore, the most powerful summons are quite difficult for an impatient person to attain. Imagine a requirement of 20,000 fishing points for a Water Ra-Seru Summon, when an average fish would give you 70-80 points. Imagine a requirement of 100,000 tokens when finishing a battle at the Muscle Dome at level 40 will give you 818 tokens.

You can say that you just need to level up so you can participate in a battle that will give you 13,000 tokens. But levelling up is not that easy either. All enemies aren't only stingy with money, they're also stingy with experience points! And to think you need to get to level 99 in order to get the final summon! This is an extremely boring task because you can finish all the quests at level 40+ unlike in other RPGs where you just turn level 60-70 instantly because of the number of quests you go through. 60 to 99 is a lot easier to achieve than 40-99. The game is also quite short, it's the earn-money-and-experience part that makes it tedious.

Comparing this with the attainment of FF7's Knights of Round Materia, there is no contest. In FF7, you are having fun racing the chocobo and breeding them to get the gold breed that will help you acquire that Knights of Round. Here, getting the Final Juggernaut summon gets you yawning because of all the work you need to do that doesn't even require skill--only patience and determination.

This game is also quite difficult when you are starting, because the stingy enemies give you really painful blows that sometimes you would need to level up just so you won't have to waste magic powers on them. However, in the course of your travels, the enemies gradually become easier to defeat, so the difficult part falls on the fact that you still have to go through so many boring battles to get this item or that level.

The game is still quite satisfying, though, because of the interesting sub plots and especially the ending. All those things you did to get the summons are completely justified. The technique the creators applied on the ending is quite unique because you can still control your characters. You also get to see your stats, how many of the treasures you've gotten, how many times you ran away from an enemy, and such. Overall, Legend of Legaia is a wonderful game. It's truly a big step towards extreme innovation in the world of RPG.

PLAYER STATUS:
DIFFICULTY: Moderate
COMPLETION TIME: 99:59:59 hours
HIGHEST LEVEL ACHIEVED: 99 for all characters
RATINGS: Gameplay 9; Battle 10; Story 9; Visuals 9; Characters 10; Sounds 7; Replay Value 6

Saturday, January 1, 2000

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 2: (Batsu) Eternal Punishment


Genre: Role Playing Game
Platform: Playstation
Atlus. Screenshots courtesy of Amazon.com and RPGFan.




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Cover Description:
In the near future, mankind has conquered dimensional travel, but the door we have opened swings both ways. The peaceful city you have grown up in has become a heaven for dark creatures from another world--Demons! Now it's up to you and your friends to harness the hidden power within you by entering the fantasy game known as Persona.

You awaken with incredible abilities that you will need to defeat the scores of Demon invaders and cleanse the land of their forces. Converse with them before doing battle to determine your best course of action. Fight them or enlist their aid in your mission. Either way, you are set for the fantasy adventure of a lifetime!

NOTE: This description was written sometime in 2000 and was recorded in the classic Otaku Fridge as ??.??.2000. Unfortunately the database would not accept non-numerical values, so this review is now dated January 01, 2000 by default.

Experimentation is definitely your key to enjoyment! >>> by skysenshi
There was something quite strange that I have noticed whenever I try to surf the web for Persona 2: Eternal Punishment information. It seems that nobody else but me and one other friend find this game enjoyable. Perhaps really only a few people actually see this game's potential to be one of the world's classic role playing games.

Gameplay (9/10)
As creepy as it looks, Persona 2: Eternal Punishment actually is the perfect night-of-experiment experience. The controls are fairly easy to manage, and the system is so intriguing, you can't help but want to learn each section in the menu works.

The battle system is far from boring. It veers away from your usual walk-encounter-fight routine, which gets pretty tedious if you encounter enemies a lot. In P2EP, you might find yourself enjoying the random encounters. Why? Well, for the simple reason that you don't have to fight every enemy you meet. You can actually use your brains and talk to them. If they find you entertaining, they'll give you something in return. If you make them deliriously happy, they'd be your friends every time you encounter them (just don't make them angry or scared the next time you meet).

One notable thing I've noticed about their system is that, just like one other game called Wild Arms, you can change your Persona during battles so that each of your Personas can level up properly. This is just one choice. There are other aspects of the battle system that is highly recommended for you to explore.

This is actually the first time in my gaming life that I have ever enjoyed random enemy encounters.

Story (9/10)
The story is quite intriguing in the sense that you feel like some kind of a detective trying to solve a supernaturally baffling case. I normally don't like creepy, dark games, and the only other extremely dark game I've played was Parasite Eve. P2EP, on the other hand, has the kind of setting you normally see on Twilight Zone because while there are dark undertones, there is still twisted humor emanating from the entire situation.

The characters' personalities are also well defined in this game. Certain types of monsters respond positively toward other characters, while other monsters get annoyed with the personalities of your other party members. What's great about this is that you can get to know your characters better as they communicate with monsters. You also get to experiment on enemies' reactions.

One drawback here is that, you might forget that you still have to be in a good enough level to defeat a boss. When you get attached to the monsters you talk to, sometimes it could be a little hard to bring yourself to kill those cute little monsters just to increase the stats of party members.

Audio / Video (10/10)
While the graphics are not as intense as that of the latest Final Fantasy game, the anime scenes are just as riveting. Just from seeing the opening sequence, you'll want to know what the story is all about.

The actual game consists of polygonal images that are basically all right for a 21st century RPG. P2EP has a rotating camera feature that can be a lot useful during quests and treasure hunting. There is also an auto-map feature that makes traveling a lot easier, and a compass that will help you make sure that you won't get lost.

The sound system is basically average, with voice-overs that can sometimes be annoying. It's a good thing that you can shorten your battle sequences in the menu.

Replayability (7/10)
P2EP is basically a short game, disc-wise. Despite that, it can be very addicting. You can replay this game and not get tired easily. However, I must give a word of warning that there are timed quests here, which I find highly annoying. I wonder why so many video game developers just can't think of new alternatives to timed quests. Those kinds of tortures actually decrease the replay value of a game.

Conclusion
If you plan to play this game over and over, then by all means, buy it. The innovations of P2EP sure are worth it.

PLAYER STATUS:
DIFFICULTY: Easy - Moderate
COMPLETION TIME: ?? hours
HIGHEST LEVEL ACHIEVED: ??
RATINGS: Gameplay 8; Battle 10; Story 9; Visuals 8; Characters 9; Sounds 9; Replay Value 7

Harvest Moon: Back To Nature


Genre: Simulation / Role Playing Game
Platform: Playstation
2000 Natsume, Victor Interactive Software. Screenshots and images courtesy of Amazon.Com.




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Skysenshi's Description:
Your grandfather dies, leaving behind what used to be the greatest farm to your knowledge... Used to be... The farm is now in its shabbiest state and the Mayor gives you three years to turn things around—back to how your grandfather used to run it. On top of this, you also have to think of marriage and settling down. So how are you going about this tremendous task?

NOTE: This description was written sometime in 2000 and was recorded in the classic Otaku Fridge as ??.??.2000. Unfortunately the database would not accept non-numerical values, so this review is now dated January 01, 2000 by default.


Farming Made Fun >>> by Rowena Lim Lei
Harvest Moon: Back to Nature is probably the most enjoyable non-fighting based simulation on the Playstation. Fun is the word that describes HMBTN. The plot is simple, your grandpa passed away and left you his farm. You have to get it back in tiptop shape within 3 years or the villagers will kick you out.

Aside from getting to grow different crops and take care of various farm animals, you also have a choice of five cute girls to woo. Get your dream girl's heart rating red and she'll marry you at the drop of a feather (literally). It won't be easy though as you also have a rival guy for each girl, and you have to find out what the girls like and give them presents, etc. You can also enlarge your house, cook up different dishes, watch TV, go fishing or mining, and have a baby when you get hitched. Tools can be upgraded as well. If you are nice to the villagers, they'll also share some of their secret recipes and other types of info. There are also a truckload of mini-games to play (with benefits to your game if you win)... the mini-games range from chicken sumo to cooking contests.

There are a lot of things to do, so variety is never a problem. My main gripe was getting over the routinary jobs on a daily basis. I mean like any real farmer, you have to feed your animals, water your plants, etc. every single day. But then I reached a point where I had over a hundred crops and about 20 animals... Luckily, you can enlist the help of harvest sprites or get tool upgrades to make the job faster. Or you can just pray for rain... ^_-

Graphically speaking, HMBTN is cutesy in style but you'll find that it fits the premises of the game. The character portraits in the dialogue boxes are very nicely drawn, and the sprites are rendered in semi-3D. The music is also quite charming. The learning curve is moderate but you have sort of a built-in tutorial in the form of a TV show entitled "Life on the Farm". This show teaches you everything you need to know on a daily basis.

I've never really been interested in farming but Harvest Moon: Back to Nature just makes it irresistible.

PLAYER STATUS:
DIFFICULTY: Moderate
COMPLETION TIME: ??
HIGHEST LEVEL ACHIEVED: N/A
RATINGS: Gameplay 9; Battle N/A; Story 8.5; Visuals 9; Characters 9 Sounds 8.5; Replay Value 9

Granstream Saga


Genre: Role Playing Game
Platform: Playstation
THQ Inc.




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Cover Description:
The continents of Granstream are sinking!

Assume the role of the young warrior Eon, Granstream's only hope to prevent its continents from plummeting into the sea. Embark on a grand and challenging adventure--collaborate with beautiful air pirates, consult wise sages, and battle the diabolical minions of the Imperial Wizardry. Only your clever mind, skillful sword, and powerful magic can rescue the world of Granstream from the brink of doom.

NOTE: This description was written sometime in 2000 and was recorded in the classic Otaku Fridge as ??.??.2000. Unfortunately the database would not accept non-numerical values, so this review is now dated January 01, 2000 by default.


Real time battle system provides a real challenge. >>> by firesenshi
Granstream Saga is my first RPG and I found it quite memorable and entertaining. Eon, Larramee and Arcia are unforgettable characters with a mission to save the Earth's remaining continents. Expect a little more surprise in the other characters such as Slayzer (most unforgettable in my opinion) and Valos. However, in this RPG, you only get to be Eon.

There are no other party members who will join you. Larramee and Arcia are with Eon all the time, but only to play specific roles in the story. (Besides, what can Arcia do in a fight scene?) These two will be vital to you in the end.

The graphics are very good but don't expect rounder or polygonal graphics as in the recent RPGs. (This RPG was done in 1995--1996?--anyway...) When you engage in a fight scene, you can see that the enemies are "drawn" very well and each motion seems to be very fluid or agile. Castle walls and backgrounds even have intricate carvings! There are a lot of anime sequences here which you can look forward to!

The battle system is done in real time, which is my preference in RPGs actually. However, Eon seems to move a little slow and you may find your fingers hurt from pushing all those buttons just for your sword to come in contact with the enemy! The overall strategy: find the enemy's "blind" spot. Should you choose to use magic, you may consume a lot of MP and the magic spells only do few damage. Better just use it for healing.

The puzzles in the game are easy overall. No need to panic when you're given riddles. No time bound quests you have to hurry for. No worry to get lost in mazes, but you have to watch out for enemies. (Hide behind a wall or something to evade 'em!) You won't even feel the need for level up. When the enemy comes, fight him. I think you'll only lose if you're careless.

Sounds cynical? Look at my rating above and you'll see what the strengths of this game are. Of all games I played, this is the RPG that seems to be more concentrated on the story, which is really original and nicely done. However, there is not much for you to build on as the game is highly linear with little possibilities.

PLAYER STATUS:
DIFFICULTY: Moderate
COMPLETION TIME: 50-70 hours
HIGHEST LEVEL ACHIEVED: 99
RATINGS: Gameplay 6; Battle 8; Story 9; Visuals 8; Characters 7; Sounds 7; Replay Value 5

Devil Hunter Yohko


Genre: Shoujo / Action
Parental Guidance Recommended
1990 Masao Murayama (original concept). Tetsuro Aoki (director). MADHOUSE. NCS Toho Ltd.




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Cover Description:
Demons and devils beware, the sexiest slayer to ever swing a soul -sword is back! Yohko Mano has just learned that she comes from a long line of professional devil hunters. And before she learns how to use her powers, her 16th birthday will turn into a domonic bloodbath and a grueling trial by hellfire!

(6 episodes)

NOTE: Some of the reviews were written sometime in 2000 and was recorded in the classic Otaku Fridge as ??.??.2000. Unfortunately the database would not accept non-numerical values, so this review is now dated January 01, 2000 by default.

A cool-looking magical girl at last. >>> by skysenshi
Yohko can't understand why she has to put up with her grandmother's ambush every morning. The old woman insists on training her granddaughter with all the martial arts skills she knows--and it drives 16-year old Mano Yohko nuts! She eventually learns the reason behind it all when she is told of their clan's history as devil hunters. Apparently, her grandmother, Mano Madoka, is the 107th generation devil hunter. She wants Yohko to be next in line, so she trains her well to be prepared. And as if fighting demons wasn't hard enough, Yohko also has to secure the position of being the 108th devil hunter--she must prove her worth at all cost, lest someone else gets ahold it.

DHY is recommended to people who love action and fantasy. Not only is the devil hunter get-up gorgeous, the hunters have pretty awesome powers themselves. And they don't stand around like little magical girls waving their magical stuff in the air to defeat a demon--they fight. And how! DHY have very good fight scenes. The art is a little above average, fortunately, so you can be sure all those nice action are done justice.

Another thing about DHY is the music. It's really great. In fact, what first got me to rent DHY was because of a preview I watched at another video. The song played in that preview was something I liked immediately--and that's saying much for an anime I haven't even watched (it usually takes some time for me to like anime theme songs)! I even had it memorized before I got to watch the actual thing. What's more, it showcased Hisakawa Aya's (popularly known for her seiyuu job as Sailor Mercury. She also does Yohko) singing voice. Teenage girls get to see their fantasy acted out once more in Yohko, as she fights demons in her cool hunter outfit. You have to admit it's a pretty good concept (even though it's not the most original), but somewhere in the middle of the story, it does get a little boring. However, the first few episodes as well as the last ones are really engaging, so who knows? To be fair, I've met more than a few people who really love this particular anime, so why don't you check it out yourself?

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 7; Story 7; Characters 7; Sounds 9

Front Mission 3


Genre: Role Playing Game / Tactics
Platform: Playstation
Credits: SquareSoft. Screenshots and images courtesy of Amazon.Com and Squaresoft.




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FAQs / INFORMATION:
Character Guide by skysenshi
What would you do...if your country has betrayed you...?

Cover Description:
The incident you witnessed at the JDF base has drawn you into global conspiracy. Now, your best chances for survival lie in a handful of shady characters and your giant battle machines.

Turn-based combat comes to life in this massive strategic adventure. Two different scenarios and over 150 hours of gameplay. Upgrade your machines with better components, weapons, computers, and more, or capture and use an enemy's machine. Search for clues and machine components through in-game "internet" and "e-mail" systems. Plan your moves on detailed, fully 3D environment maps.


NOTE: This description was written sometime in 2000 and was recorded in the classic Otaku Fridge as ??.??.2000. Unfortunately the database would not accept non-numerical values, so this review is now dated January 01, 2000 by default.

Tactical game that specializes in robot wanzers! Very engaging.>>> by firesenshi
Surely Square doesn't make a dud. Front Mission 3 is proof of it! And this is just one of the famous games they released this year. For one, I never actually enjoyed tactical games. I quit playing Tactics Ogre on the first battle and I never actually tried my hand on Final Fantasy Tactics. But Front Mission 3 is way different!

The battles aren't strenuous and lengthy. Work up a good team and a good mechanical robot called wanzer and you're all set. Of course this isn't really as easy as it sounds. I take a lotta time just upgrading my wanzers and building my skills. But that's the nice point of this game. The aspects of the gameplay are all but boring. They're in fact, very engaging.

Another notable part here is the plot, which is bordered on political and futuristic concepts. I even got to see Philippines as part of the story! (Okay, so they bombed a province, but in the other scenario, the Philippines ended up as a neutral contingent of the peace process. Very important role.)

The important part here is developing battle skills by equipping different parts on your wanzer. Having the right skills will save you immensely, especially if you specialize each of your characters into certain types of weapons. You can't be a jack of all trades, folks! You have learned that in life, it just mirrors in RPGs.

I haven't found much setbacks in this game, except maybe for the many battles I have to finish to get to the bottom of it all.

PLAYER STATUS:
DIFFICULTY: Moderate
COMPLETION TIME: 40-50 hours
HIGHEST LEVEL ACHIEVED: 99
RATINGS: Gameplay 9; Battle 9; Story 10; Visuals 10; Characters 8; Sounds 7; Replay Value 9

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