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  1. I think it's wonderful and unique. I love the style of the cutscenes. Very Metal Gear Solid. Look, though... I spent many, many hours on the game, and even used gamefaqs for help, but despite this, I seemed somehow to do about, say, 0 HP damage to EVERYBODY. I had three weapons, each dedicated to two monster types, but fuck me I couldn't get the materials system right and I probably messed up my careful alignment system as well. It seems neat, but... Oh, and the Risk meter pisses me off. I understand why it's there, but it can be so annoying. And usually is. So annoying.
  2. That's funny, I think I remember you talking about the game too, months ago. Well, I'm glad you found your inner ninja. Maybe sometime the ninja in you and the ninja in me can get together for drinks.
  3. I know! Can't wait to get my student loans in.
  4. Wow, I remember the demo for the original. That awesome music at the Valve title card. I played the demo probably close to twenty times because it ended with that amazing giant blue alien beast; I wanted to see it again and again, and try different things with it before the demo faded out. What a great way to end it, to escalate and finally have the airducts collapse you into the room with that monster. It seems like a God -- I think I remember electricity flying through the air and terribly fearsome roaring. Then the game fades out. Like the end of Doom's shareware, when you beat the Barons of Hell and step into that teleporter into blackness, and you are audibly torn to pieces. Then that's it. Those are the ways to make me want more. There's no way my comp could handle the HL2 demo, so without playing it I'll say that I think it should have contained some use of the grav gun, at least one teriffic solo and one squad fight against groups of Combine, a vehicle segment, and finally culminated in an awesome battle against a helicopter or something else impressive, and then, just after you emerge victorious, you turn to walk away from the crashed, exploded thing, and suddenly one of those tripod spider things is towering over you; with an audible whir, it turns its laser gun towards you, and just as you start running it vaporizes you with a single shot, shown in that great Matrix-like third-person fly-around like in one of the better HL2 movies I downloaded.
  5. The platforming is just like everything else in the game; if you stop to think, you're gonna mess it up. You have to be a ninja, be decisive with every action, never hesitate. It all flows very well. I should know! I'm a ninja!!!!!1
  6. Yep. But it's not hard. Not if you react right away when you see them and dodge the first barrage. I'm serious about my question; so many times in the game I felt pity for the heavily armed elite mothers I was about to assassinate from the shadows. I empathized, man. Okay, not really. I lay in waiting, gleefully asking THE question, the one true question: Are you thinking, "Oh, SHIT. That is a fucking NINJA I'm pointing these big clunky guns at. A FUCKING NINJA."? Because you should be. I am a FUCKING N1NJ4.
  7. When I open a door into a long, narrow corridor with three rocket-armed commandos at the far end, I find myself wondering if they're thinking, oh shit, that's a fucking NINJA I'm pointing this thing at -- just before I run towards them down the hall, jump to the wall and wall-run around their barrage, launch myself off with my blade flashing, taking one's head off in mid-air, spin and bury my sword in another's back before he can recover, block the third's melee, and counter with a kick that sends him reeling before cleaving him in two, and all, literally, in a scant three seconds.
  8. Absolutely. Think of Ninja Gaiden like Halo on Heroic.
  9. I was pretty pleased with the combat system. I wish to God I had Xbox Live and could download the camera fix, though. Jesus Christ. But I was very, very impressed with the way each chapter area connected to the others for a huge, epic-feeling world.
  10. Watch your mouth, fool. I lost quite a lot of hair as a kid playing Ninja Gaiden 2, and I demand that you respect said hair. Respect my hair!
  11. Block a lot and never stop moving. Be the ninja. Anyway, if you think this is hard, you should try Ninja Gaiden 2 for NES.
  12. Oh, please. Marketing and the work itself are two different things. Even though some will be tempted to buy both versions, I don't choose to hate Halo 2 because they released a separate limited edition that we all now know isn't limited at all.
  13. By the way, I was watching Adult Swim Saturday night (they play Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex) and caught an episode of Full Metal Alchemist. I too had heard of it. I found it not only disappointing but irritating. Although some ideas like alchemists being sponsored by the military and subject to review as well as the necessity for sacrifice in alchemy since a new substance must come from the transmutation of already existing ones, the first subject was hardly explored at all and isn't very original on its own (the same has been done with government-sponsored sorcery in the past as a take on real world science) and the second was just an excuse for the episode's plot, which was very typical. I do find it interesting to see magics being almost scientized (like in FF6), but the show barely showed any hint of exploration there. You get glimpses of how the alchemy is done, the circle figures, etc., but only glimpses. There's not much of a society there. The truth is, occult subjects like alchemy are often preyed upon by anime series as a gimmick. Many shows do this. RahXephon even used music; the giant robots were called "tuners" and had names like Falsetto. Now, Neon Genesis Evangelion did it with Christian imagery and Kabbalah mysticism, but it goes very far in intertwining it with the science (Absolute Terror Fields, for instance, which are the boundaries of the soul and the separation between beings) and with the human themes. The imagery is not just a gimmick and comes to a real end in the final movie, an end that really uses the imagery set to give the main character options that he couldn't have otherwise. It's needed to explore the human condition. You also get a clever interplay of psychological v. real world events that lead to, by the end, an ambiguity of things much like Silent Hill's. So it doesn't always have to be this way. It's not all shite.
  14. Thanks for responding so much. I feel sometimes like I say a lot on forums and no one really cares. High fives indeed. Since you've given Eva a chance, that's quite fair; it's fine if you don't like it. I think you should try seeing the film End of Evangelion that was to replace the last two episodes, though. For me, the series ended feeling unfinished, and End of Eva propelled the show far beyond what had been my expectations. Death & Rebirth is a well-done recap. to watch first. But anyway, what you say is true for many anime series, and it is quite difficult to find the ones worth watching. I've wasted money on some things that reviews glowed about -- but I've also been surprised by the high quality of others, like a little show called Kino's Journey that I didn't even bother to watch for over a month after I got it in the post. It's very hard to find the good stuff, but generally I think some Japanese animators are using the unique capabilities of their medium to do things that could not be done elsewhere, just like the best game designers. That's what I look for in a game -- utilization of videogaming's interactivity. It's disappointing if a very moving RPG like FFVI could have just been done as an animated film. I think some animators are successful at some feeling of fluency in their medium, just as Half-Life 2's or Silent Hill 2's creators are fluent in the special features and abilities of games as a medium. Batman was and is an amazing example of this. I get a real kick out of watching the small documentaries on the DVD discs where they talk about the Warner Bros. execs early on saying, "Are you sure this is right? It's so dark!" again and again and again. It was really something new and it's still unique and special. In fact, Batman's lessons still haven't been learned by many. Actually, I'm graduating from university in a few months as a major in Philosophy with a minor in Religious Studies. My views on NGE are my own, although I did read one or two good interpretive articles online after watching it all. I use the term "existential" with care when I describe Eva. But speaking of existentialism, philosophy's relationship with the mass public is interesting right now, since it's really lost the prestige it had a short century or two ago but lives on more than ever in their frustrated, modern, office-working hearts. Although it can irritate me to see lay philosophy books in barnes & nobles, I really liked the first Matrix movie. I thought it was excellent because the philosophical questions were implied, not explicit. So the rest of the trilogy was ruined for me when the Zion mayor or whomever and Neo had a midnight conversation about free will. I think someone even quoted Descartes. It was terrible. It seems to me that Japanese animation has a similar place in Japanese culture. It toys rather without sophistication with philosophical ideas, and, since outside the Matrix films, there isn't much like that in regular serial format in America, a great number of lay young people are taken in by it. And I think that's okay. If they were really fascinated by some of the issues, they would probably do some investigating and find out that there is a whole bookshelf at the library for philosophy books. But you know what? They might find a book by Rudolf Carnap and be bored to tears. Anime, at least the better anime, brings this stuff to life in a way that the philosophers often fail to do. On the other hand, they might find Nietzsche's The Gay Science, or Sartre's Nausea, or Heidegger's Introduction to Metaphysics. I don't think the lack of sophistication in animation or the matrix or any of this other stuff prevents people from finding things that are really deep and terrific and fascinating. On the other hand, I don't know why so many young girls, my sister included, would rather watch TRL all day, every day, than to pick up a Roald Dahl book. I probably just don't understand the real role of media in culture. I will admit that Beyond Good & Evil didn't seem to me to live up to its hype (I mean the more private kind of hype, not the mass market stuff where it was a sleeper). I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it didn't move me like an FF (one of the better ones, anyway) or make me think like a Silent Hill. And you know what? Since then, I've played two Zelda games that have left me feeling entertained and little else. Zelda used to be magic, back when ALTTP was new. I remember the feeling of playing it. The Minish Cap and the Windwaker are very, very pretty, and the puzzles are more elegant than BG&E through the way items and their uses are introduced, but there's less a feeling of freedom and a changing world depending on me and influenced by me in Zelda and more in BG&E. Zelda has lost the feeling of epicness in the recent games -- the enemy in Minish Cap was laughable. BG&E at least got scope right. That felt good. I bet you were also bothered by the fact that the game, despite its title, does NOT go.. beyond good and evil. I was, very much. It could have been more mature. I saw the simple side switch miles away. I'd say, as a game, BG&E is really great, but as a piece of literature, it falls a bit short. And that's what your complaint really is, isn't it, my friend?
  15. Sorry; one more thing. Drinking coffee in the Mr. Saturn village.
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