Protocol Snow

Archive for March, 2008

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

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I have a test coming in a week that I need to cram for, but I just wanted to get a quick post in about how good Crisis Core is. It’s the prequel to FFVII, where you play as Zack, and I dare say that I like it MORE than FFVII. Obviously without the original, Crisis Core wouldn’t exist, but it seriously is phenomenal. I just beat it and the ending is standing proudly among my all-time favorites with the likes of Shadow of the Colossus and Metal Gear Solid 3.

Which is a bit odd considering you already know how Zack’s story ends (this is a prequel, after all). But the execution of the ending is a perfect 10. I’ll edit this for a more complete post when I get the chance.

Final Fantasy Crisis Core Cloud Zack

Zack >>>> Cloud

UPDATE: More thoughts

Written by Protocol Snow

March 29th, 2008 at 11:34 pm

Posted in Games

Play hard, play fair

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I had lunch today at Souplantation, which is a pretty popular salad and soup buffet restaurant. That in itself isn’t noteworthy, but there were troops of 8th graders from my former middle school eating as well, still dressed in gym clothes and sporting their team colors since today was the annual Spartan Olympics. I was in their position nearly a decade ago, when I was excited about graduating middle school and moving on to high school, yet it feels only a blip of time has passed. Where have all the years gone? Have I made the most of those years? This must be what a mid-life crisis feels like…

My spring break essentially ends today, as tomorrow I fly back for school and Sunday I’ll have to do a lot of spring cleaning, shopping, and chores. Breaks from school are great because not only can I rest my brain, I can also recharge my spirit. It’s time to realize my full potential.

Written by Protocol Snow

March 14th, 2008 at 6:55 pm

Posted in Miscellaneous,School

Getting smashed

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This past Sunday was the release of Smash Brothers Brawl and since I didn’t have a Wii, I headed out to Toys R Us before opening hours to camp out for a bit. I had previously purchased a Wii during the week of Super Mario Galaxy’s release but promptly sold both on eBay after I finished the game.

Mario Galaxy was captivating for the 12 or so hours it took to beat the main quest, but when I started to go for the complete 120 stars, I realized I didn’t have the drive to play through all those time trials and coin collect-a-thons. All for what, an artificial gaming badge of honor? I had sapped the sweet nectar from Mario Galaxy and was ready to move on to the next promising gaming bud.

Nintendo Wii Smash Brothers Brawl

So this was my second chance with the Wii. Smash Brawl is exactly what you’d expect, a fun party/pseudo-fighting game steeped with Nintendo lore. One of the biggest new modes is Subspace Emissary, a side-scrolling adventure mode revolving around a campy storyline that is essentially a thinly veiled Nintendo fan fic. This is a world where Link walking in the forest passes by a sleeping dinosaur (Yoshi) with hardly a second glance, and where Fox and Diddy Kong team up to fight a giant Pokemon. The actual gameplay is a real chore since you have to navigate through mazes to find the end of the levels, but watching the entertaining cutscenes makes it almost worthwhile, plus you can unlock most of the characters by going through this mode.

However, the real feature is the online play of course. In theory, this is what Nintendo fans have been wanting for years, but the execution thus far has been pitiful. I am spoiled by the Xbox Live experience, no doubt, and I can understand Nintendo’s position on limiting their online service to protect kids from predators. But everybody not under 12 years old suffers as a result. Each “Smash Bros. friend” you want to add to a friends list requires inputting a 16 digit code. If you want to share custom stages with that person, you’ll need to add him as a “Wii friend”, which requires inputting another 20 digit code. No voice chat and a bare-bones online presence are what I expected and Nintendo delivered exactly that.

All that can be forgiven if playing random strangers actually works, but it’s very spotty. In the first several days of release, getting into a game was almost impossible as Nintendo was clearly unable to handle the server load. Last night and today, I was finally able to get into a few games and had some fun, though the lag is immense at times. I’m talking 2 frames a second lag. Perhaps later this week or next week, the online play will be smoothed out.

Despite all the negativity, Brawl is the best game on Wii without a doubt and I’ll probably be keeping the Wii this time around. The fighting mechanics at the core are solid and it’s great fun to beat up all these Nintendo characters. But for now, stick with playing local multiplayer.

Written by Protocol Snow

March 13th, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Posted in Games,Pick-ups

The escape

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It’s spring break so I flew home to Los Angeles last night. Just in the nick of time too, check out what’s hitting the area tonight and tomorrow.

Weather blizzard

I spent the afternoon today out on the driving range in a pair of shorts! I love L.A. Still, I’m a bit sad I’m missing my first ever blizzard.

Written by Protocol Snow

March 8th, 2008 at 2:01 am

Posted in Miscellaneous