All posts by Chris Valdez

Starting with video games, Chris' interests have led him to write game reviews, study Japanese and move to Japan to continue his studies. Of course, he has other interests, like cooking and baking, travel, and occasionally updating his blog.

E for Enjoyless

Ever since the ESA announced E3 would be scaled back and made to an invite-only event, people across the net have been up in arms about the whole thing. I really don’t understand why.

You see, it was always meant to be for people in the industry. That would include developers, publishers, press, marketing/buyers. And by buyers, I don’t mean consumers that walk into Best Buy and pick up a game. I mean the executives at Best Buy (and other companies) that tell the publisher, “Hey, I want X copies of title Y for Z number of stores we operate.” Continue reading E for Enjoyless

Round one: Fight!

Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD RemixAfter much wait, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (SPFIITHDR for short?) finally has a release date for Xbox Live Arcade: 9:00 a.m. GMT (2:00 a.m. PDT) Wednesday, August 29, 2007.

I’ve been a fan of the game since I first played it at an arcade, then later on the Dreamcast. I’ve been following the release of this game since it was announced for XBLA, and finally got some hands-on time with it at this year’s E3. Strangely, I only saw the PS3 version to demo. I’m sure the 360 one is play the same, but with a horrid d-pad implementation.

Continue reading Round one: Fight!

Blue streak

Growing up, I loved watching Saturday morning shows. Freakazoid!, Pinky and the Brain, Road Rovers, Bump in the Night, Reboot and a few others. One of them I enjoyed was Sonic the Hedgehog.

Now, there were two versions of the show. One was a syndicated version that was comical and had no plot. It’s easily identified by the lower production quality and the inclusion of two characters, Scratch and Grounder. This was the show to avoid at all costs. Of course, I was stupid and would wake up at 6:30 a.m. weekdays to watch this abomination.

Continue reading Blue streak

Press kit

Brain Age 2 press kitOn occasion, companies will send out rather nice press kits for the games they are promoting and publishing. I have received a few in the past, but I think the coolest one I’ve received was for Brain Age 2 for the Nintendo DS.

There’s a water bottle, a headband, totebag and a copy of the game, along with various press and fact sheets.

Some people think these things influence a game’s score and review. I don’t doubt that it can happen, but if it does, that person shouldn’t be reviewing games. Instead, he should be reviewing promotional materials and other fanfare and accompaniments that go along with a game.

Personally, I don’t let them influence me. Yes, I receive many of these games for free. I won’t deny that. But I know what it’s like to have to buy games on my own, and I still weigh that when reviewing a game. If writing a review for the newest Xbox 360 game to come out, I still think to myself, “Hmm, I just paid $60 for this game. Am I happy with it? Did I just get screwed, or am I in possession of a great game?”

If a game is crap, I’ll give it the score it deserves.

The tactical RPG

When Final Fantasy Tactics was first released, about nine years ago in North America, I ignored it for a few reasons. The first was because I didn’t have a PlayStation; I didn’t receive one until the last few months of its life.

The other reason, and the primary one, was because I felt the game was riding its success based purely on its pedigree. I assumed all Final Fantasy games had to be turn-based menu combat. Then along came Tactics had nothing in common with other games in the series, other than a few cameos from FF VII characters. I also assumed that a strategy RPG would have a weak plot.

Continue reading The tactical RPG

Have a happy (broke) holiday!

The holidays are quickly approaching, and for those of you who love your videogames, you may soon find yourself unable to buy food, pay rent/mortgages, pay for gas… you get the point. But why is this? One of the largest holiday line-ups will be presented to gamers this shopping season.

According to IGN’s release date lists, Nov. 12 and 13, 2007, will present the following games:

Continue reading Have a happy (broke) holiday!