E3 Announces Chrono Trigger DS, My Life Has New Meaning

Yes, you read the title right: E3 has announced that Chrono Trigger is being re-released on the DS.

The rerelease of Chrono Trigger will utilize the dual-screen technology, as well as integrate a touch-screen interface with the game. Unlike the Final Fantasy remakes, Chrono Trigger is coming back looking like it did back in the 90s, in the classic Toriyama sprite style.

Okay, maybe Chrono Trigger coming to the DS isn’t something that will change my life forever. After all, I’ve beaten the game over 80 times, beaten the game with the lowest possible levels for each character, and have done most of what there is to do with the game. But does Chrono Trigger really need to change my life any more than it did?

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Video Games Are Evil And That’s Wonderful

By title alone, this is easily the most fundamentalist Roman Catholic thing I will ever write, and seeing as I am far from a fundamentalist, it embitters me to pander to such a blatant extreme. However, before you start waving the torches and pitchforks, assuming you’ll find a Floridan lawyer briefs-down-to-ankles in my basement and brown marks on my cheek, realize that this is an article exploring a darker side of something we do so haplessly. Yes, a majority of video games out there are violent, and they’re mostly fun when we’ve achieved the glorious climax of this violence. It comes to a point that we release ourselves from moral judgment and concentrate instead on a sense of hubris – we are doing the exact opposite of productivity. However, is this necessarily so bad?

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The Crumbling Sandcastle: Is a Sandbox Always the Better Solution?

The popularity of sandbox games – games where the player is free to play while ignoring major goals or missions – is on the rise. With huge new titles such as Grand Theft Auto IV, Oblivion, The Witcher, and Mass Effect, players are given a bigger role when it comes to playing games: they have the freedom of doing what they want, when they want, as they like. Or do they? Players are actually more limited than they think in a sandbox game, and in someways moreso than some more linear games. One must ask if all this freedom is necessarily better. There are still many successful games that give a clearly defined mission-per-stage.

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Impressions: Grand Theft Auto IV (X360)

DISCLAIMER: This is more of a rant than it is a review, but since this has aspects of both, I shall categorize it as both. Also, this is an impression, not a full review since I only started playing.

We’ve all heard of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and its infamous Hot Coffee scandal. It’s that controversy that brought Jack Thompson to public attention. The controversy, caused by lazy programmers. ended up making Rockstar execs wipe egg off their face: surely, you can’t add “third party content” to a Playstation 2.It was the only reason I bought San Andreas: they were taking it off the market and it’s now a collector’s item. And the game sucks. I’m not sorry if you disagree. I shouldn’t have to spend five hours doing pointless tasks that feel inane and eventually self-indulgent. It was also the reason I was skeptical to buy Grand Theft Auto IV. With the high ratings given by all – not just many of – the reviewers, I decided this would be one of those games I’d break my rule of “clearly this will be a greatest hit and therefore $20 in the future” and hop on the band wagon early.

Boy, am I glad I was wrong.

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A Performance Crysis: Blasted to Oblivion

Anybody who knows me has probably heard me at least once slam Crysis for being able to kill myself on a freezer door with a supposedly defense-enhanced nanosuit of the future. That describes the limit of what I can play of Crysis as anything remotely close to a shoot-out – in a FPS game, mind you – is reduced to a flip-book when Crysis is set to its “High” settings. Performance gripes aside, whatever still frames that are in Crysis are a sight to behold, even at one setting below its’ maximum “Ultra High.” However, thanks to recent experiences with The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, I come to ask myself: do I really need that powerful of a machine to play a beautiful looking game? There are work-arounds, but at what cost?

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