Tag Archives: video games

Honing My RPG-Skills with Final Fantasy XII

You may recall this past year that I have been discussing with decent regularity my general incompetence when it comes to RPGs.  For the longest time, I have been employing the “beat it senseless” method of defeating my foes.  When that fails, I proceed to plan B, the “level up a whole bunch and try beating it senseless again” method, which, in all honesty, works far more often than it has any right to.  Nevertheless, I was rather ashamed of myself and my apparent lack of skills in a genre I should have been more than familiar with by now.

Well, folks, I think that’s all beginning to change.  Remember my previous post about my return to Final Fantasy 12?  Last I left you all, I was tasked with travelling through Golmore Jungle in order to visit some dude with a fancy title who lives on a mountain.  I do understand the story thus far better than that sentence suggests, but in order to be more specific, it would require looking online for various correct spellings, which I feel is unnecessary.  If you’ve played the game, then you know what I’m talking about.  If not, then they would be no more than mere words to you anyway. Continue reading Honing My RPG-Skills with Final Fantasy XII

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Yooka-Laylee: A Game with Good Intentions

Fans of the Banjo-Kazooie series have long-awaited a true sequel since Banjo-Tooie’s release on the Nintendo 64 in 2000.  When Yooka-Laylee was finally announced as a spiritual successor to the much-beloved pair of platformers, I’m sure every Banjo-Kazooie fan jumped for joy.  Many people, like myself, hoped that Yooka-Laylee would harken in a new era of great platformers in the style of those we had grown up with during the late 90’s.  Now that I have completed the game, what is my verdict?

Honestly, I don’t think we’re quite there yet.  Nevertheless, it’s a big, big step in the right direction. Continue reading Yooka-Laylee: A Game with Good Intentions

Day 16: The Game with the Best Cut Scenes

The 30-day game topics…thingy continues with a seemingly straightforward one.  The game with the best cut scenes.  At first, I took several things into consideration as I made my decision.  Games with the best graphics.  The best voice acting.  The best humor.  And my initial pick was Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time.  Following along with my original criteria, the game looks like a Pixar movie.  The voice acting is superb.  And the humor?  Hilarious!  Nevertheless, something just didn’t feel right.  This post…was too easy.  Was I really going to just settle with the obvious?  Or could I do better?

Turns out, I could, and after careful consideration, the game I choose is Portal 2.  Yes, I understand your confusion.  Portal 2 has no cut scenes.  In fact, no Valve game I’ve ever played has had cut scenes.  While that list encompasses a grand total of three games, Portal 1 and 2 and Half-Life 2, I still think that’s enough for me to throw out a little word here that I think describes Valve’s take on games pretty nicely.  Immersion.  What better way to break the illusion that a good game creates than a cut scene during which we have no control of our character and there are subtitles on the bottom of the screen.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t lose control of my body and see words floating before my eyes whenever I have an important conversation with someone.  That would…be weird, to say the least. Continue reading Day 16: The Game with the Best Cut Scenes

The Duck’s Gaming Hoard Part 2

Hey there, everybodies, we’re back for part 2 of my video game collection tour!  In the previous episode, I showed off my PlayStation-related figurines from Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and Ratchet & Clank.  If you haven’t checked it out, please do.  This video, on the other hand, covers all the random things I couldn’t fit into the last video, which mainly includes Nintendo and PC items.  Behold the Duck’s plushie collection, including my harmless plush versions of the Five Nights at Freddy’s characters.  Watch in awe as you witness one of the largest figurines known to mankind (probably not, but it sounds cooler that way), Scervo from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.  And let’s not forget some iconic items from the Zelda series, like Link’s Master Sword and Hylian Shield! Continue reading The Duck’s Gaming Hoard Part 2

The Duck’s Gaming Hoard Part 1

Thanks to my discovery of the wonderful thing that is a comic convention (a misleading name indeed when it covers gaming, movies, and TV in addition to comic books), I have been able to amass a semi-respectable collection of video game items, including figurines, plushies, and replica weapons and the like.  It also fueled my obsession to the point that I have felt compelled to purchase these things even when I’m not visiting the comicon.  I just can’t get enough gaming goodness!  Wherever these wondrous items came from, the point is, my collection is pretty sweet.  I guess. Continue reading The Duck’s Gaming Hoard Part 1

Breath of the Wild: A Review

It is probably safe to say that The Legend of Zelda series is one of the most beloved in video game history.  With a history of 30 years and counting, it is only natural, then, that such a series would need to change, either to keep up with improving technology or to prevent itself from becoming stale.  For these reasons, the series has indeed undergone many changes in its long history, with varying levels of success.

Ocarina of Time was revolutionary for the series just as Super Mario 64 was for the Super Mario Bros. franchise, for the Nintendo 64 characterized the grand change from the 2D games of the Super Nintendo era to brilliant, albeit rather polygonal, 3D.  With the GameCube, we started seeing larger worlds with Wind Waker’s Great Sea and Twilight Princess’s expanded version of Hyrule.  Twilight Princess also remains, to my knowledge, the only T-rated game in the franchise (probably because of Thelma’s…upper body), as this was apparently the series’ attempt to become darker and more adult.  Skyward Sword for the Wii tried to mix things up further by placing some of the game’s challenges outside the dungeons and incorporating advanced motion controls. Continue reading Breath of the Wild: A Review

A Triumphant Return to Final Fantasy XII

For the past several years, I have intended to return to Final Fantasy XII for my second playthrough.  But, as is often the case, what I intend to do and what actually happens are two very different things.  I repeatedly had other games to play, keeping the twelfth numbered installment in the Final Fantasy series on the shelf.  Plus, I have to admit that I always had a bit of a grudge against the game.  I remembered being pretty apathetic towards the characters, I wasn’t very fond of a politics-related storyline, and…  Now this last one is kind of silly, but…I thought the game was too big.

Too big, eh?  I like large open worlds to explore far more than I like cramped or linear stages with little freedom to move around.  I love searching through every nook and cranny and discovering new things, a task that is, naturally, far more rewarding in a large world than a small one.  And yet, I recall several times in the past saying I didn’t like FF12 because it was too big.  What’s the deal?

Gee, I sure hate that this game gives me more than my money’s worth. Continue reading A Triumphant Return to Final Fantasy XII

FFV and the Joy of Feeling Competent

I have mentioned it from time to time, but over the last few years, I’ve been trying to catch up on a whole bunch of retro games I had missed.  And at this point, I’m largely done.  Sure, there are definitely more retro games out there that I should play one day, but as for the games I really wanted to check off my list, this goal has been met.  Final Fantasy 4-9, Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, EarthBound, Super Metroid, Super Mario RPG, all present and accounted for.  The last one on my list to play was Final Fantasy V, which, like Final Fantasy IV, is probably pretty obscure for anyone who hasn’t been playing Final Fantasy since the beginning.  (Thank you, Kingdom Hearts.  You introduced even non-Final Fantasy fans to characters like Cloud and Squall, but not once do you mention FF6 and prior.  With the exception of Setzer, of all people.  Setzer.)

Final Fantasy 4 and 5 were the only games not explicitly on my list, but they came with Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 6, respectively, and who am I to pass up on an essentially free pair of games?  While FF4 was merely to pass the time and to say with confidence that, yes, I’ve played Final Fantasy 4, I must say that I enjoyed Final Fantasy 5 far more than I expected to.  Let me summarize the game a bit for anyone who might not be familiar with it. Continue reading FFV and the Joy of Feeling Competent

Uncharted, We Meet Again

Sometimes, it feels as if certain games come to exist in my house thanks to pure fate.  Most of my games I seek out myself, but Uncharted is one series I never once put my mind to acquiring, and yet, here I stand the owner of not one, but two, entries from the series.  The main reason why Uncharted never really appealed to me was because I’ve never been a fan of games that are too…realistic, I guess?  There’s just something about games that feature realistic-looking humans or even just good, ol’ planet Earth that don’t appeal to me.  (I mean, the Sly Cooper series seems to take place on Earth, but it’s populated by anthropomorphic animals, which is okay in my book.)

When I bought my PS3, it was accompanied by Uncharted 3.  I decided to play the game, since I had it in my possession, after all, and while it was pretty cool, I quickly forgot about it shortly after completion.  For a short while, I considered checking out the first two games, and then that just never happened.  And yet, that was certainly not the last I would see of the series, even if I didn’t know it at the time.  It was with the recent purchase of my PS4 that another Uncharted game snuck its way into my gaming shelf once more, the fourth (and final?) entry in the series.

Fancy seeing you here, Nathan Drake.  Long time no see. Continue reading Uncharted, We Meet Again

Bonus Time: Youtube Commenced!

In recent weeks, I have been meaning to make a comeback on my personal Duck of Indeed Youtube channel.  And how exactly does a Duck go about planning such an endeavor, you might be asking?  With spreadsheets.  Yes, the work behind creating videos for Youtube, at least for me, involves color-coded charts and to-do lists and schedules.  I never realized before how much of a data-obsessed duck I am until I looked back on all my work and reminisced over how much fun it all was.  That’s right, charts are fun.  For most, I would suspect these kinds of things would be a tedious chore, but for me, data is a hobby.

While I have plans for more complex videos in the future, that will all have to wait until I have the skills and the technology to do it.  (I found a $350 camera for $100 on Amazon if you buy the pink version.  So tempting.)  In the meantime, I already have roughly a year’s worth of simpler videos planned out, with dates and everything.  I have been busy!  These videos will include readings of my fan fiction, starting with my first collection of short stories.  (I break my stories into groups of 100,000 words; collection 1 was finished a few years ago, and collection 2 is still in the works.) Continue reading Bonus Time: Youtube Commenced!