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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Review- Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne (PS2)

Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei series started out as an obscure series of dungeon-crawlers, and while they were popular in their native Japan, they didn’t initially catch on overseas, with only a couple of shoddily-translated spin-off titles making it over here. That all changed with the 2003 release of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, the third entry in the “main” SMT series. This is the game that, for lack of a better phrase, started it all, a high-quality RPG that would set the stage for Digital Devil Saga/Personas 3 and 4, and would establish Shin Megami Tensei as a shining beacon among its contemporaries. The question is, does it still hold up today?


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Top Ten Final Fantasy Villains

JRPGs have had their share of great antagonists over the years, but no franchise has even come close to the gallery of rogues and villains the Final Fantasy series has assembled over the years. These characters are often the most memorable aspects of each game- whether they are clad in giant suits of armor, or with flowing locks of white hair, out to destroy the world or obtain absolute power, there is no denying that the assorted villains of Final Fantasy have made their mark on the RPG genre, and gaming as a whole. And now that the obligatory introduction is out of the way, let’s discuss ten of my favorite Final Fantasy antagonists!
Now, keep in mind two stipulations for this list. First of all, the characters I have listed are from the ‘main’ Final Fantasy series (that is to say, they can be from I-XIV, as well as X-2 and XIII-2), which unfortunately rules out some great villains from spinoff titles, such as Delita from Final Fantasy Tactics. Secondly, I will only be giving one entry on this list per game in the series, for the sake of variety. Lastly, obviously since this is a Top Ten list, a few characters (some of which may or may not be popular) will be left off, so feel free to tell me about how wrong I was later.
So, without further ado…

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Malefic Skill Drain deck profile

The Malefic monsters were introduced in the Yugioh 10th Anniversary film, Bonds Beyond Time, as a series of cards used by the villainous Paradox. They are essentially corrupted versions of iconic Yugioh monsters, mainly dragons such as Blue-eyes and Red-eyes. In the original Japanese, they were known as the 'Sin' monsters (a pun on the Japanese word for 'truth', pronounced Shin, a play on words which represented Paradox's twisted worldview that these corrupted monstrosities were the true Duel Monsters), but was changed to 'Malefic' by the censors at 4kids in their tireless effort to make everything boring. The Malefic monsters all share some things in common- they require a Field Spell to be active, there can only be one Malefic monster on the field at a time, and are summoned by banishing the original 'good' version of the monster.

They also, basically, suck. At least, a lot of the Malefic monsters do, since their trading card game incarnations come with a whole host of drawbacks. Cards like Malefic Blue-eyes White Dragon and Malefic Rainbow Dragon need you to banish the original monster from your Main Deck, which can result in a ton of dead draws and make for a very inconsistent deck (don't even get me started on Malefic Red-eyes Black Dragon, which is just a terrible card). Not to mention, Malefic monsters stop your other monsters from declaring attacks. That's not to say that the Malefic archetype as a whole is worthless- on the contrary, a skillfully built deck can utilize the best aspect of the Malefic monsters (the ability to effortlessly summon high level monsters), while simultaneously working around their negative effects and limiting the opponent's ability to respond.