Monday, December 29, 2014

Music Monday


Rounding out the year with one of my favorite remixes.

~ Zephyr ♥

Monday, December 22, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Review - Super Smash Bros for Wii U

Released - 11|21|14
Platform - Wii U
Main - Fierce Deity Link

Join your friends and fight using a million Nintendo and a few other characters in giant free for all that should be used to end every fight you've ever had in your life. Now in HD and 60fps, for your viewing pleasure.

Well let's start with the exclusives. Eight player smash is hectic and tends to be a literal free for all because with so many people playing it kinda throws skill right out the window. Smash Tour is a ton of fun with friends and definitely beats out its portable Smash Run counterpart. The Special and Crazy Orders are fun and can be challenging, but by the time you're done with Crazy Orders you have more gold than you need and since most people don't play with customized characters the Order rewards feel a bit empty.

The Wii U supports a bunch of different controls - Wiimote, Wiimote and Nunchuk, Gamepad, Classic Controller, Classic Controller Pro, Wii U Pro Controller, Gamecube Controller (with adapter), and Nintendo 3DS with a copy of the game - so if you're doing eight player Smash, expect to take a while setting it all up especially if people are switching back and forth. Though people are complaining that the new GameCube controllers feel cheap, I don't agree. They feel slightly different, but really its not enough to make a difference. And as compared to the 3DS version and its predecessor, Brawl, the Wii U version controls fantastically.

But you all know what I'm really pleased by, right? This game looks gorgeous. It runs native at 1080p and 60fps. And the soundtrack? It's amazing.

Final Thoughts
This game looks beautiful, it sounds beautiful, and it plays beautifully. I really hope that this version overtakes Melee in the competitive play world. If you've been waiting for a game to convince you to buy a Wii U, there's a good chance that this is that game.

Score - 9.5/10

~ Zephyr ♥

I know it's like such a minor thing, but I'm really happy that they included the A Challenger Approaches trailers in the game. I love those things. Also, please take a gander at this gorgeous being.

Love him so much, I'll let him escape the borders a bit. You're welcome.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Top Ten - Songs from Final Fantasy VI-X

10. Zanarkand from Final Fantasy X

Zanarkand is such a sad, yet beautiful piece of music, its almost haunting.

9. A Place To Call Home from Final Fantasy IX

Another piece that sounds quite sad to me, but it also very interesting. Its become quite iconic to me.

8. Let The Battles Begin from Final Fantasy VII

I think this is actually one of my top battle themes, it creates a nice bit of tension without being overwhelming.

7. Otherworld from Final Fantasy XIII

I know a lot of people don't like this song, but I absolutely adore it. It's one of my favorite lyric songs in games, plus it's just kinda badass. I mean when you actually start the game this is pretty much the first song to play, so it always gets me super hype.

6. Man With The Machine Gun from Final Fantasy VIII

I don't really remember how much I liked this before two things made it into the top ten. 1. Theatrhythm - one of my favorite tracks to play on ultimate. 2. The remix song on the Final Fantasy Tribute album (The Man with the Machine Gun ~ Let the Battles Begin! ~ Battle Theme.) Regardless, its a really good song that I am happy to get stuck in my head.

5. Battle from Final Fantasy VI

Though The Decisive Battle is prolly more well known then the normal battle theme, this one holds a special place in my heart (lots of nostalgia included.) Also, its in that absolutely amazing remix I mentioned above.

4. Terra's Theme from Final Fantasy VI

Another song that holds a special nostalgic place in my heart. It always gives me this almost desperate, yet triumphant us vs the world feeling that feels kinda empowering.

3. Suteki De Ne (Isn't It Wonderful?) from Final Fantasy X

I really can't even describe how beautiful this song is. I have to hold back tears every time I hear it. Counting now.

2. Something To Protect/Roses of May from Final Fantasy IX

What I really like about these songs is that it translate really well from an emotional and romantic character theme to a pretty awesome more upbeat theme. I love them both.

1. Servants of the Mountain from Final Fantasy X

I could listen to this song for hours on end. If you haven't figured it out yet, I have a soft spot for these sad and lonely sounding songs, but this is just so good. It has this whole atmosphere to it that I just feel absolutely enveloped by.

Why It Wasn't Included

Dancing Mad from Final Fantasy VI
Its not that I dislike the song or anything, but its just not a favorite. Its really long and crazy and its orchestra renditions are amazing, but otherwise it just doesn't do it for me.

One Winged Angel from Final Fantasy VII
I feel like this is the song that everyone and their mom loves. And they have reason to - its great! But the Final Fantasy VII original version just isn't something I love, especially since the version I always listened to was from something else.

~ Zephyr ♥

Some more extras for you! 

I love this version of Let the Battles Begin, but even more so...

I put this song because its related to this countdown, but my favorite is actually Battle on the Big Bridge. Really just give like all their songs a good listen, cause they are pretty amazing.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Review - Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS

Released - 10|3\14
Platform - 3DS
Main - Fierce Deity Link

Join your friends and fight using a million Nintendo and a few other characters in giant free for all that should be used to end every fight you've ever had in your life. Now portable, for your convenience.

Now let me start by saying that I am a terrible Smash player. Like really, I seriously suck. But regardless, I still love the series. I've been playing since my older sister stole her brother's GameCube and PS2 and games for me (well, indirectly for me.) And I enjoyed Brawl, so don't expect any hardcore Melee elitism from me either.

Smash 3DS plays surprisingly well for a portable version of the game, but it is definitely the inferior version. I found that the smash attacks felt a bit slippery, but otherwise it controlled fine. The loading times can be obnoxiously long sometimes. The online seemed to play fine, but I don't think I was on it long enough to really get a good feel for it. There was occasional lag, but nothing too bad.

This Smash has introduced the For Fun and For Glory options for online, but I wouldn't dare touch For Glory because of the pile of shame I would be reduced to. Smash Run was also introduced in this Smash and while a fun distraction from just endless fights, it does tend to feel repetitive after a while. Street Smash, the streetpass function for this game, is fun but only lasts a minute or two generally.

Final Thoughts
For those of you who can't afford or don't want a Wii U or just really hate buying DLC (Mewtwo is free when owning both versions), but still want the fun of Smash - get this version. Otherwise, just skip it for the Wii U version. It's not bad, just inferior.

Score - 6.5/10

~ Zephyr ♥

While I say Link is my main, I still haven't really decided who it is going to be. But I mean Link looks so glorious with that Fierce Deity skin, I really can't help myself. In the previous games I played a lot with Zelda, but now that Zelda and Sheik are separate characters it's a bit strange.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Week In Review: 11/30 - 12/6

Theme for Scanty and Kneesocks (I Want You)//Teddyloid//from Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt

Well as you may have noticed, there wasn't much posting this past November. I decided to pretty much take it off to get caught up on some IRL stuff and schedule out the December stuff. This past week I got all my posts done before their deadline and I honestly feel really proud and accomplished about that because it's really hard for me to get things done on time and I stress myself out with deadlines that I create. It's a bit of a vicious cycle, of my own design.

Game wise, I've been mainly focusing on my 3DS (it's like my favorite system). Tomodachi Life, Animal Crossing New Leaf, Alpha Sapphire, Persona Q. I think I may have played a little bit of Bravely Default as well, but that may have been last week. I've been putting off P4AU for a while because I know the amount of reading I'm gonna have to prepare for. I'm just not ready yet!

From Tuesday to Friday I'm gonna be at St Jude's for my fifth yearly (half way checkpoint!) so I'll prolly be playing a lot of Persona Q on the plane/in the airport/in the waiting rooms/in the hotel. I actually have more off time this trip than I've ever had before, so it will be a bit weird/boring.

But that's about it!

~ Zephyr ♥

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Review - Pokemon Alpha Sapphire

Released - 11|21|14
Platform - 3DS
Starter Pokemon - Mudkip (named Marin)

Make your way back to Hoenn and re-experience the story from Gen III in lush 3D graphics.

For me, Hoenn was the one region I always wanted to go to but never did. I didn't start playing Pokemon until Soul Silver and Gen III was out of reach. So obviously when these remakes were announced, I was on board. Seriously, though, these games are good.

The updated graphics and soundtrack are absolutely beautiful. The story, now a bit rewritten to include both Mega Evolution and Primal Reversion, is probably my favorite Pokemon story yet. I also really liked my rivals, Wally and Brendan, though the still aren't near as "rival-ly" as Silver. One of the best features included, in my opinion, is the Dex Nav. The Dex Nav tells you when you have caught all the Pokemon in an area and also gives better "potential" for searched Pokemon when finding them several times. The Delta Episode also provides a short post game story, that I think adds a lot to the game plot wise.

If you don't have the patience or ability to transfer Pokemon from previous gens, fret not, With the exception of a few legendaries, you can complete your Pokedex with just X/Y and Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire.

Final Thoughts
If you are a fan of Pokemon or even new to the series, just get this game or Omega Ruby. Though it's lacking the Battle Frontier (hoping for DLC *fingers crossed*), this remake is well worth the money.

Score - 7.8 too much water 9.5/10

~ Zephyr ♥

So I'm really having trouble finding flaws in this game. I even like the amount of water in it! And I hate surfing! But I like it in this game, I don't know why, maybe because it fits with the region so well? And why is Steven Stone like the most gorgeous champion ever? This game prolly has my favorite trainers and gym leaders of any game. AND did you guys even listen to the amazing music and beautiful background in the final rival battle (before elite four)? Oh my gosh, I didn't even want to battle because I just wanted to listen and stare. Also, I felt bad that I got a Gallade from Super Training, but was going to happen regardless since Gallade is my favorite Pokemon and I always have him on my team. Also, this is the first time that I made an effort to nickname all the Pokemon on my team (though I don't nickname legandaries.) Before I only nicknamed my Gallade and his name is always Regent ^_^  Wow this is a long post-review, haha.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Top Ten - Songs from Final Fantasy I-V

10. Troian Beauty from Final Fantasy IV

There is something very calming and different about this track that always stood out to me. I think it fits the name really well, as well.

9. Aria, the Maiden of Water from Final Fantasy III

This song is really emotional, especially in the DS version where Aria has more of a bond with one of your characters. There is just this soothing sorrow that weaves itself in this song that's hard to forget.

8. Mt. Gulg from Final Fantasy I

I can't really put my finger on what I like about this song, I just find it very interesting. 

7. Crystal Tower from Final Fantasy III

I remember playing through Final Fantasy III for the first time, my first Final Fantasy game and the game I contribute to giving me my love of RPGs and gaming in general. There was something about entering the Crystal Tower and hearing this song that, though I struggled through the entire game, really made me feel like sh!t was about to get real.

6. The Rebel Army from Final Fantasy II

There's something about this song that makes me want to go pick wild roses... But really, this song is so beautiful and just sums up Final Fantasy II for me.

5. Battle on the Big Bridge from Final Fantasy V

I feel like this is one of those songs that you have to try to actively dislike, because it's just so good that you kinda have to like it. And it seems like most everyone agrees since I think this song has had more remixes and been in more Final Fantasy games than any other. 

4. Battle 1 from Final Fantasy III

Please, just imagine picking up a Final Fantasy game for the first time. The initial battle you're thrown into to teach you the ropes. That is this song for me.

3. Crystal Cave from Final Fantasy III

The song that first transported me to a new world and made me a Guardian of the Wind Crystal.

2. Zephyr Memories - Lengend of the Eternal Wind//Eternal Wind from Final Fantasy III

Just look at the names, there really is no way that I wouldn't love these songs. Zephyr Memories, I swear, single handedly pulled me into games for life. I mean I had never really played a game like this before and the single commercial I saw of it made me want to buy it - the first game I had ever bought with me own money! And then upon starting it up, I was presented this beautiful FMV that dared me, DARED ME, not to fall absolutely in love with this game. Eternal Wind just kept reminding why I was in love with this world and why I was there.

1. Let Me Know The Truth//Doga and Unei from Final Fantasy III

I don't know what to say about these songs except that they're magic. They literally feel like magic to me. It's the kind of song that just roots its way into your soul and infects your whole being. It brings me to tears sometimes to be honest. 

Well, that's my top ten! How about you guys? What are your favorite songs from the first five Final Fantasy games?

~ Zephyr ♥

Bonus! I found this video while I was searching and it's absolutely gorgeous! Enjoy! ^_^

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Review - Theatrhythm Curtain Call

Released - 9|16|14
Platform - 3DS
Rhythmia Score - 40239
Playtime - 31:41

Join together heroes of Cosmos and defeat your enemies with the power of music. Purify the crystal and fend off Chaos once more as you listen to the music that made the Final Fantasy series what it is today.

Now not only am I a huge Final Fantasy fan, but I also really enjoy music games. With as many memorable tracks as the FF series has churned out over the years, a music game based off of it seems like a no brainer. As the sequel to the original Theatrhythm, this game pretty much does everything right. Literally, everything that I could have complained about in the original has been fixed and bettered in this one.

You start the game picking four heroes from the fourteen main games and unlock the series songs for those heroes. After completing a few, you unlock the rest of the series music. This is the first change I really appreciate. In the last game you would have to play the 3-5 songs in a series in every difficulty to unlock in quickplay. Now this is eliminated, allowing you to play any songs you want. Summons/Chocobos are also given to you regardless of how you do in feature zones, making it easier to fill up your total critical bar at the end. Curtain Call also introduces a competitive mulitplayer mode, with four classes of AI you can play against.

My favorite addition to the game, however, is the Quest Medley upgrade. Originally introduced in the iOS version of the original, Quest Medley gives you random scores to play in varying length and difficulty quests. The bosses in these quests offer up crystal shards, used to unlock characters, and is infinitely better than the monotonous Chaos Shrine from the previous installment.

Final Thoughts
With 221 songs from various titles in the Final Fantasy series, any fan of the series' music should definitely pick this one up. If it's not enough for you, there are an additional 50 songs and a few characters available through DLC. Really, any Final Fantasy or music fan should give it a go.

Score - 9/10

~ Zephyr ♥

All of the DLC from the original game is in the base game for Curtain Call except for one song - Somnus. Somnus was originally a trailer song for XIII Versus, but since that's now XV I'm guessing that's why it wasn't included. It's really shame in my opinion. It wasn't the greatest song, but I quite enjoyed it.