XZero

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About XZero

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    Pac-Man (+500)

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    Hyrule

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    Senior Game Advisor
  1. Too Many Games 2015

    Hey guys, I know at least a handful of the folks here are from the Philadelphia PA area and many travel to that area to attend Too Many Games. I have a question for anyone who was there this weekend. There was a vendor there selling Lego sprites and, among other things, 3D printed figures of Final Fantasy characters. Can anyone please tell me who they were or what their business name is? I want to contact them to ask them a follow up question and I thought they tossed a business card in my bag but they didn't. Any help is greatly appreciated! Also, maybe I saw some of you guys at the show! It was extremely crowded yesterday when I went, but lots of fun.
  2. Nintendo Wii U

    I'm not sure what I want to do regarding the Wii U quite yet. On the one hand, I'm a huge Nintendo fan. I've purchased every one of their consoles day 1 since the N64, and there's always some value to be had. But lately, I find myself more of a Playstation gamer, so I'm undecided. Back in 2010, I only owned a Wii. 2010 was probably the best year for the Wii... Mario Galaxy 2, Metroid Other M, Donkey Kong Country Returns, and I can't remember what else all came out that year, so in terms of first party and exclusive games, 2010 was easily among if not the best year of the console's 6-year lifespan. However, a lot of the games I wanted to play were coming out for PS3 and 360. So I decided it was time to get a new console. But which one? I made the decision based on a few factors. The exclusives for the PS3 were far more appealing to me. Uncharted, Ratchet & Clank, Little Big Planet, and the PS3-exclusive list of JRPGs from NIS America easily, easily trump any interest I have in Halo and Gears of War. I also don't generally have much interest in Call of Duty aside from a run through the campaign and the co-op stuff, so early DLC on the 360 wasn't a selling point for me. But by far the biggest factor in my decision was that my friends are all PS3 owners, so if I want to play with them, I have to get a PS3. That's what I did, and 100-some games and thousands of hours later, I've got to say I made the right call. Part of the fun is in the trophies; collecting them and comparing my list with the lists of my friends is neat and adds value. So now I look at the Wii U. My love of first party Nintendo software immediately kicks in, though I have to confess that New Super Mario Bros. U isn't particularly appealing (I always felt the whole Mii thing is stupid, so the benefit of being able to play the game with them seems useless... I'd rather have Wario, Yoshi, Waluigi, Peach, etc. as playable characters, each of whom controls differently). Nintendoland looks interesting, though it boils down to a minigame collection. Perhaps a good minigame collection, but a minigame collection nonetheless. Pikmin isn't something I'm overly interested in, but I'd play it. The rest of the games are largely ports/updates of currently available PS3 and 360 games. Next, which system is best for 3rd party games? I have my trophy list for the PS3 and since my friends aren't getting Wii U's, I have to get anything I intend to play in multiplayer on the PS3. I know the Wii U has "Accomplishments," which is great, but unless they function as something more than just a little ding indicating some achievement in a game (i.e. unless they give currency in the online store), I have no reason to prefer Accomplishments over Trophies. I guess there is one other consideration that should be factored in. Nintendo's kind of been screwing me (and other gamers) lately. The GameCube comes out and while the first party games were generally good, the PS2's selection of quality games dwarfed the GameCube's, plus developers apparently didn't care much for the mini-disc format. Strike 1. The Wii comes out with a solid Zelda game, but it shoves motion controls down your throat, ends up being a haven for shovelware minigame collections, and despite industry pressure to upgrade, it doesn't support HD at any point during its lifetime. And did I mention that motion controls suck when they're mandatory? And there's a serious lack of support for the system later in its life cycle. And fans had to beg to get some of the better games (Last Story and Xenoblade) released stateside. Strike 2. The 3DS comes out, I buy it with a copy of Street Fighter IV 3D (and Pokemon Black), and there's precisely one good game (Zelda) to come out between then and the huge price drop. Admittedly, the DS was somewhat similar, coming out in November of 2004 and not having many good titles until November-December of 2005, but at least the DS was treated as a third tier and the GBA continued to get extensive support throughout 2005. Strike 3. In the end of the day, I think I'll stick with PS3 for now and get a Wii U when Zelda HD comes out (potentially with a better bundle or at a lower price point). The Wii U is too much of a wildcard for now. I'll definitely be buying one somewhere along the line because I'm not finished playing first party Nintendo titles, but Nintendo has really lost me as a day-1 customer at this point.
  3. The Dark Knight Rises - POTENTIAL SPOILERS

    Saw it last night. Gotta say I liked it. Maybe on repeat viewings (going with friends next week who are busy this weekend) I'd like it more than Dark Knight, but so far it's the middle of the pack for this trilogy, with Begins being the worst (comparatively) and Dark Knight being the best (again, comparatively). The acting was solid throughout. I don't know why people are complaining about Bane. I understood everything he said perfectly. Actually, the only line I couldn't understand was one of Batman's toward the end of the movie when he gets into the Bat plane thing. Anne Hathaway nailed Catwoman in my opinion. I've never cared for Catwoman that much no matter which incarnation (Batman Returns, The Animated Series, Arkham City, etc.), but this was the one time I was always happy to see her on screen. I'm not going to get into spoilers for the plot. It really was more of a sequel to Begins than Dark Knight. The impact of Harvey Dent's death and the way it was presented to the citizens was fully explored, but it felt weird that the Joker never even got a mention (though I understand the directorial decision supporting that approach completely). One thing that did bug me about the movie was that in The Dark Knight, Nolan made a big deal of the fact that the people of Gotham are better than the Joker gave them credit for. However, here, when left to their own devices courtesy of Bane, they proved the Joker right. The second Bane attacked the football game and freed the prisoners, instead of recognizing what he was doing (ala the prisoners on the boat in Dark Knight), a large amount of the population gave into animalistic instincts rather than maintaining an orderly existence. The Joker would have slow clapped the hell out of that show because it effectively showed he was right for the most part. Yes, there were still good people out there, but too many of the people of Gotham figuratively ate each other just as Joker said they would last time. I'm probably overanalyzing here, so I'll leave it at that. Otherwise, there were a few plot holes, some bigger than others, but they didn't bother me much. The movie was worth it for me because really with these movies, you want 3 things: good characterization, hard-hitting and fast action, and quieter, more psychological and philosophical moments. It had all of that and really lived up to the hype. Great end to a great franchise. Now on a more important note, please tell me someone else here caught that the music for the Superman trailer was either ripped from or an arrangement of the music from Gandalf's death in Fellowship of the Ring. I put that track on my ipod on the way home and I swear that was it. Go to 6:11 in this video:
  4. Dragon Quest X

    That's disappointing news. I don't play MMOs. I don't want to interact with other people when I'm gaming (other than a select few games my one buddy and I play co-op). MMOs have the added disadvantage of being subscription-based. I buy games, not services within games. Therefore I'm going to pass on this one, just as I did FFXI and plan to skip FFXIV. Here's a question for SquareEnix people (not that they ever read this forum in all likelihood): why make numbered sequels of mainstream series into MMOs? FFXI is Final Fantasy Online 1 and XIV is Online 2. How hard is that? Dragon Quest Online isn't that difficult to market, now is it? Make it a spinoff, not a numbered sequel.
  5. Anime

    This reminded me of Yu-Gi-Oh!. When nothing else was on, I would turn that show on and watch it. Started somewhere toward the end of the first season, and I remember really enjoying the episodes that took place at Pegasus' castle, including the 6-episode final duel with Pegasus. It was an interesting enough story that I kept watching through the Battle City story arc. Now for those who are unfamiliar with the whole thing, let me bring you up to speed a bit (and if anyone is more familiar with the show, correct me if I'm wrong). Like most long anime, the show was catching up to the manga. As such, they did a filler arc dealing with a character named Noah, and that storyline was dropped right when the action started getting really good during the Battle City arc. On DVD, you can skip the whole Noah side story and miss nothing. So then the action goes back to the Battle City tournament and, for those of us who didn't follow the manga, it's like, "Alright, shit's gonna hit the fan now!" And it kind of does. Scattered sporadically amongst a whole lot of nonsense filler scenes during episodes. Soma, your comment reminded me of this one particularly grating aspect of that series where in what must be every episode for like 5 in a row, the one character Joey (or Jounichi in the Japanese version, and no, I can't spell his name) has a flashback about beating 3 particular duelists during the tournament. I swear, it actually makes you laugh whenever you hear the monologue building up to that flashback. I have to assume they were still too close to the manga and had to pad it somehow, but they chose the single most annoying way to do it.
  6. Anime

    Death Note, DB/Z/GT, and FMA/Brotherhood are some of my favorite series, and honestly the only ones I bought recently. When I was in college I watched a bunch of anime. Whenever I had an extra $20 laying around, I'd swing by Best Buy or Suncoast to check out the anime sections and see if there was anything new floating around or (in the case of Suncoast) if the manager there could give any suggestions since he was into anime too. To say I grew out of it might not be the best phrasing, but it's sort of true. Dragon Ball Z Kai has one more volume left to release, FMA Brotherhood just finished its run with the release of the movie a couple of weeks ago, and Death Note's been done for a while. I don't see myself buying any more anime in the foreseeable future. I tend to buy lots of video games to add to my collection. Much of my anime is actually boxed up at this point due to lack of space. All of that having been said, Modus, I wanted to throw a couple of recommendations your way of stuff I enjoyed back when I was really into anime. We seem to have similar taste, so check some of these out. First and foremost, if you haven't watched DBZ Kai, watch that. The dub is fantastic, including the new Frieza voice. It only goes to the end of the Cell Games, but what's there is great, so if you've watched the original dubbed and want to see a respectable dub of the show, Kai is a great way to go (and at 98 episodes, it's a hell of a lot shorter). Some other series to check out: (1) Fullmetal Alchemist (original; I like Brotherhood a little better, but the original's awesome) (2) Yu Yu Hakusho (similar to DBZ in some ways; the whole thing is available via some pretty cheap season sets. There are 4 total. The first 26 episodes are alright, but things get really good during the Dark Tournament story arc, which is on sets 2 and 3) (3) Samurai 7 (really interesting retelling of the Seven Samurai story; only complaint is that at around episode 7, the animation gets really cheap looking for a brief time, but it gets a little better in subsequent episodes) (4) Rurouni Kenshin (there are 3 seasons, a movie, and 3 OVAs, which are basically hour-long movies. Season 1 is similar to the first season of Yu Yu Hakusho in that it's good, but just introduces the characters and sort of jumps from minor arc to minor arc. Season 2 is universally regarded as the best, focusing on a single major villain with a great storyline. Season 3 was a filler season intended to let the manga get further ahead so they could animate the final story arc--which, in the manga, is better than season 2's story--afterward, but due to terrible reception, the show got cancelled before the final storyline got animated. The movie is alright, if perhaps a little slow. The OVAs are highly regarded. The first two tell the backstory of the protagonist and are super dark and violent, but beautiful in parts as well. The final one is a brief version of the final storyline in the manga that never got animated for the series. Way too rushed, which is unfortunate. Overall the whole series is pretty good. Kind of expensive to acquire the DVDs though.) (5) Gankutsuou, The Count of Monte Cristo (this one isn't for everyone. It uses this weird art style that takes some time to get used to, but once you do, it's a very solid, rather beautiful show. It's a retelling of the novel, but takes some very distinct sci-fi liberties with it (giant mech suits at one point). The dub is particularly well-done, and the voice actor for the Count absolutely nails the part.) There are some other decent shows out there. Black Cat wasn't bad, though it was somewhat inconsistent in quality. Bleach is supposed to be really good, but it's very long. Naruto had potential, but the main character is annoying, the dub is grating in parts, and frankly it gets bogged down far too easily with filler material and dragged-out battles. A final series I want to mention is Neon Genesis Evangelion. It's a sort of depressing show when you watch the whole thing all the way through, and starting at episode 16, it becomes somewhat of a mindfuck for the main character Shinji and, to some extent, for the viewer as well. Conceptually it's really cool, but the last two episodes are highly divisive among fans for reasons that could amount to spoilers. There is currently a 4-episode remake of the series that Funimation is dubbing with some members of the original cast. I think the first two parts are out at present. These are basically movie versions of the series. Supposedly they're really good, but I haven't personally watched them. I enjoyed the show, but it's not for everybody.
  7. On-Disc DLC

    If I find out about a game having on-disc DLC, I will generally not buy that game. Most recently, I was contemplating picking up Street Fighter x Tekken right up till I heard the DLC characters are on disc. My rationale is pretty simple. I disagree wholeheartedly with microtransaction business models. It is a deceptive business practice. How much is Street Fighter x Tekken? $60, right? Well to the average consumer, yes. But if you want to unlock all the content, we're probably talking close to $80 if not more. It's a hidden cost. The natural counterargument is that it's optional content, but I disagree with that argument. Before microtransactions, optional content like extra characters were a reward for skill in games. You unlock Smash Bros. characters by being good at the game or by accomplishing certain feats. But you paid a single price for the game. What you unlocked was up to you. Now you pay $60 for a game disc, which, in my mind, means you are entitled to all of that disc's content. To the extent that the microtransaction business model precludes you from accessing certain content that you are quite literally holding in your hand, I disagree with it. This calls into question the issue of ownership. When you buy something, you don't obtain the product per se; you obtain title to it. Title is a legal fiction that most people are familiar with in the sense that they have the title to their cars. Under the microtransaction theory, you have title to anything available or unlockable through the normal course of gameplay on the disc. You do not have title to the additional content unlockable through the purchase of DLC codes. This leads to a more fundamental question regarding ownership of video games and other digital media like DVDs: are you paying for the disc or the digital code? I argue that when I buy something, I am paying for the physical product and thereby gain the right to do anything I want with that product that does not adversely affect anyone else (so if I buy a gun, I have every right to shoot it at a range or in other legal circumstances, but I have no right to use it to shoot someone absent legal justification). Companies say they're giving you the code on the disc, so whether you have a physical representation of it or not is irrelevant because you're paying for the code itself. Admittedly my approach is more supportive of piracy. If you focus on the physical media, you wouldn't dare shoplift a DVD from a store because it's not yours. However, you'd download that same movie from a torrent because you're not getting something physical; you just have the digital file, which is without physicality and therefore valueless. iTunes would beg to differ with the assessment of a song you download from them as being valueless, but in a very real way, it is. They have a literally infinite availability of downloads available for every song on the site. Whether they sell 100 or 1,000,000, they can never run out. Therefore, there is no scarcity and no chance of it increasing in value (an mp3, as a rule, can never be worth the same as an old, collectible record because there is no scarcity whatsoever, even if it was available for 1 minute online, because if one other person downloaded it, infinite perfect copies can spawn from that single download). Getting back to on-disc DLC, I think your approach to it tends to reflect whether you believe you are getting the physical product or the code when you buy a game. I would only caution that if you take the latter approach, as the companies would prefer, you are encouraging them to include hidden costs in the price of a game by telling them it's okay for them to put content on the disc you paid full price for and then allowing them to charge additional money to be able to make full use of that disc. As a note, I'm not opposed to all DLC. Borderlands' DLC is an example of it being done right.
  8. As a real life lawyer, I'll note that the next time I have to orally object to something in court, I'm going to be hearing this song in my head. If it causes me to do an epic finger point, I'll be coming for you, OA
  9. In case you didn't gather as much from Gollgagh's post above, this is the real, actual, and official timeline as provided by Nintendo. It's in an art book, a picture of which is above. The fan speculation aspect is fan explanation and expounding upon the established information. In other words, fans are trying to explain the why of the timeline, not the what.
  10. Way back in 2006(ish) when I first joined these forums, I made a Zelda Timeline thread that went on for quite a while. At that point, it was just something I was thinking about; I never knew there was a huge debate over it. Fast forward years later and we have an official answer. And you know what? It actually makes sense in some way (minor nitpicks aside). But I guess the real bottom line isn't so much a "who cares" issue as much as it is a "Nintendo probably doesn't really care." Think about it; each Zelda game is a little world unto its own. Certainly some games connect with one another (Zelda & Adventure of Link, Ocarina & Majora, etc.), but overall, I really get the feeling that Nintendo doesn't give a damn. Zelda is a video game formula. Hero (Link) must save/work with/otherwise help Heroine (Zelda) to defeat villain (Ganon et al.), and within that framework, a fairly formulaic game plays out. Nothing wrong with that, but there is an issue now that we have a timeline. When did Nintendo decide on an official structure? Miyamoto at one point claimed that a document existed detailing the timeline (presumably providing the same version that we have now), but do you really, honestly think that the place of a given game in the Zelda timeline was a pertinent concern when fleshing out the story? For most, I would argue that it was not. Clearly Skyward Sword's placement was a relevant concern, but I strongly doubt most of the other titles were at issue. Wind Waker takes place 100 years after Ocarina. Why? Either (a) because that was its predetermined point, or ( because it's a convenient way to say that tons of shit can happen in 100 years and that's why the world's flooded. My guess would be (. So in the end of the day, I think the timeline's interesting and at least fairly logical to the extent that it follows some form of time travel rules, but I wonder what--if any--relevance it will have to the next 15 Zelda games.
  11. Chiptune Copyright Question

    As a lawyer, I'd probably argue that the use of sound effects is transformative in nature and thus not a violation if they are used non-extensively in the context of an original track. However, I am (a) licensed in only one state, ( unable at present to represent private clients due to working for a judge, and © unable to provide any true "legal advice" as a result of both of the above. My gut feeling is that if you used it, unless it was something hugely popular, Nintendo wouldn't notice and even if it did, it has infinitely better things to do than worry about that. You want to use the Ocarina of Time Hyrule Field Theme as the primary backing track of your top-40 song? Yeah, they'll be all over you. You want to use some old sfx for a song designed for a smaller audience? They probably don't give two shits. Legally, I'd suggest you don't just because I don't know if there's any real precedent to say my legal theory for why you could would even work, but pragmatically, there's unlikely to be any backlash if you do.
  12. Xenoblade Chronicles

    Quick question: does this game have traditional controls? I generally enjoyed Skyward Sword (not the best Zelda in my personal opinion, but a good entry in the franchise all the same), but I'm just as happy to never play a motion controlled game again if I can avoid it. I want to get Xenoblade partially because I know it to be a solid game and partially to show Nintendo that it has fans who want this type of content and will actually shell out the cash for it if they make it available without importing it. If it has traditional controls, that makes it infinitely more appealing. Also, as an aside, I'm stoked for the RPGs next year. I'm cautiously optimistic that FFXIII-2 will be decent (I'm one of the people who enjoyed the game, despite its numerous flaws, and without wanting to debate its qualities, I really liked the battle system). I also know that Tales of Graces F is awesome as long as they don't butcher the dub, which, based on Tales of Vesperia, shouldn't be an issue. Tales of the Abyss is getting a 3DS release around that time as well, and there's some other PS3/360 western style RPG coming out in the February-March timeframe as well. Add on Ni no Kuni and the possible release of Persona 4 for PS Vita and 2012 is quickly lining up to be a kickass year for RPG fans!
  13. Achievements for Old Games

    That's just the bronze trophy. The gold one is: [Masochist] (Beat the game without dying) Other ideas I had about this include: Super Mario Bros: [Mini-Mario] (beat the game without obtaining a powerup) Chrono Trigger: [Master of Time] (view all endings) Mega Man X: [Maverick Hunter] (beat all 8 mavericks in Sigma's Fortress without taking any damage) Mega Man X: [Haduken] (perform a Haduken) GoldenEye 007: [use the Facilities] (return to the bathroom vent after dropping down) GoldenEye 007: [shaken, Not Stirred] (unlock all cheats without using passcodes) Pokemon Red/Blue: [The Very Best...] (catch all 150 Pokemon) Pokemon Red/Blue: [...Like No One Ever Was] (catch Mew) Zelda: Majora's Mask: [Last Second] (play the Song of Time at 5:59 am on the third night)
  14. Super Smash Land

    Back in May, I played a version of this that the guys making it had at a gaming convention. It was decent, pretty true to what a GB version of Smash Bros. would be. I wasn't overly impressed with it, but it certainly wasn't bad.
  15. Just downloaded the Ambassador NES titles. That was probably the most unintuitive setup I've ever encountered. Other than that, no problems (I've heard some people couldn't get into it or download them, probably due to server traffic). My only complaint is the same complaint I had about playing GBA games on the DS/Lite, namely that you can't change the control setup to make Y and B the B and A buttons, respectively. Also, the sprites seem a bit small, but whatever. Can't complain about free crap, and given the overall quality of these games, you really can't complain in general. For the GBA games, it's like others have pointed out: if the worst we get is Mario vs. DK, we're in really, really good shape.