Saturday, February 7, 2009

1UP's "The Grind" - Ar Tonelico II Problems

When I first started writing for 1UP's iPhone blog, I only had about two weeks of accomplishment before the tragic UGO/1UP merger that sent half of 1UP (a.k.a. EGM) packing. Because of this, it took me a little while to get truly "stoked" on my new digs, but I think it's slowly starting to set in. Yesterday marked my first post over at 1UP's dedicated RPG blog "The Grind" - arguably my most anticipated of the 1UP blogs due to my longstanding love of all things RPG - and I think things went rather well.

I started off my stint with an in-depth look at Ar Tonelico II and the myriad problems facing it. From a lackluster localization, to a handful of game-crippling bugs that cause freezes in some rather unfortunate places, the game came out a little rougher than intended. Even though NIS America's quality control hasn't been the hottest lately, I still feel that they deserve credit for being one of the few developers (and arguably the smallest) to put out JRPGs that would otherwise never see the light of day in the US. Let's hope they can bring the quality back to future releases, or else things are going to get rather hairy in the future.

Regardless, you should take a peek at the link below. It's a decent little post that will enrich your life beyond compare! Or, uh, it'll not suck as hard as some of the other stuff around here. Yeah, that sounds about right.

Read: Damage Control: Ar Tonelico II

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Star Ocean: Second Evolution Review

Keeping with today's abnormal burst of productivity comes my first true "review post" in quite some time, and it's a doozy. When I started out as an aspiring games journalist (and, conversely, an RPGamer) a little over a year-and-a-half ago, I always had the dream of getting a pre-release ROM of a Square-Enix game. Call it nerdy, call it silly, call it what you will; but I couldn't have been more happy (nay, proud?) when my editor Bill sent me a preview version of Star Ocean: Second Evolution for review. For that very reason, this game will always have a special spot in my heart, but luckily it's a good game too!

As much as I love RPGs, I can hardly ever find the time (or the energy) to replay them after sinking in 30-60 hours playing them to completion. With that said, my unsavory "tradition" looks to change with this one game. Second Evolution simply exudes replayability through its multiple characters and optional party members, and the game simply begs to be played "right" with a strategy guide by your side. And as such, I think I shall - especialy since my friend Dan put all his love into making the official guide a few weeks back.

Either way, it's a great game and a totally worthy successor to one of my favorite PSP RPGs of last year. Check, check-check-check, check it out!

Read: Star Ocean: Second Evolution Review

GameShark - Reviews

And now, for the reviews! As you can see, I was far from complacent throughout the latter half of 2008. And here are the links to prove it:
Wow! That's more than I expected. Feel free to check them out, and leave comments as you see fit!

GameShark - Previews

Throughout 2008, I was able to make it out to a handful of press events for GameShark and get a little hands-on time with some of the year's hottest games. Even though I missed out on the Mirrors Edge press event, most games were awesome enough to write about. Well, save for Damnation, but that was more the fault of the awful venue. Ho-hum.

That about wraps it up. Feel free to leave comments; I get none via GameShark. :(

And now, onto the reviews!

RPGamer Update - Nintendo Fall Media Summit & BlizzCon Impressions

Back in October, I had the privilege of attending Nintendo's Fall Media Summit and getting some much-needed hands-on time with some upcoming RPGs for RPGamer. I dutifully wrote up my impressions of the games, which can be found below:

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon DS
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia DS
Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia DS

All games were great fun to play, and Nintendo was more than accommodating during the entirety of the event. This was where the DSi was first premiered to the US, which generated relatively mixed reviews from those who had a peek at it, but I remain optimistic until I get it in my hands. I'll miss the GBA slot, though! I was also able to make it down to BlizzCon, which netted the following impression:

Diablo 3 - BlizzCon Impression


Long time, no update!

Well, hello again! Long time no see! It looks like I haven't updated this newfangled blog since last August, which was right about when things started getting good! Seeing as this is quite the "monumentous" day, with the whole Presidential Inauguration going on in the background and all, I figured it was time that I finally unleashed the wealth of last year's writing on my poor, defenseless blog.

Now for the status update. Currently, I write reviews and previews for, and blog for's iPhone and Apple gaming blog. Between those two websites (and the games that come with each) I'm kept quite busy, although I still have my position at RPGamer for the occasional press event or random preview, and hope to write more for GameSpite in the future.

I'll go ahead and update this with massive categorized updates, so that if someone happenstancedly stumbles here looking for some reading material, they won't be disappointed with last year's offering. But that's enough talk; have at you!