Displaying articles written by

Nathan White

who has written 13 posts for Gamesugar.

170 hours – A Final Fantasy Tactics Love Story

Final Fantasy Tactics Tactics Ogre
I am eagerly awaiting this weeks release of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, the PSP port of Yasumi Matsuno’s PS1 strategy RPG staple. Having looked forward to this release since word first came of the revisit, I thought I would relate my experience with another Matsuno masterpiece, Final Fantasy Tactics.

Final Fantasy Tactics was the brain child of Yasumi Matsuno, mastermind behind the Ogre games to which Tactics owes much of its style, substance and core gameplay mechanics. Matsuno left Tactics Ogre developer Quest in 1995 to join Square and his first task was creating the world of Ivalice and developing Final Fantasy Tactics using the skills he honed on the Tactics Ogre games.

Released in January of 1998, Final Fantasy Tactics came to North America only three months after Final Fantasy VII, just as that game was catching on like wildfire. For this reason Final Fantasy Tactics never gained the exposure or rabid following it should have at the time, but since its original release, Final Fantasy Tactics has achieved cult status and is counted among the best of the original PlayStation library.

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Final Fantasy – X’s & 2’s

Final Fantasy X2
The recent announcement of Final Fantasy XIII-2 has franchise fans aflutter with the feeling you only get when you know a Final Fantasy title is several months away rather than several years.

Aside from the potential of delivering a title that ascends the divisions Final Fantasy XIII created among fans and critics, XIII-2 will also be only the third main series sequel in Final Fantasy’s storied 20+ year history – after 2007’s DS release Final Fantasy XII – Revenant Wings, and undeniably the most polarizing game in the franchise’s history, Final Fantasy X-2.

The announcement this week also makes talking about Final Fantasy X-2 wonderfully topically again, an opportunity I’ll eagerly exploit.

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Review – Z.H.P.: Unlosing Ranger Vs. Darkdeath Evilman

Review ZHP Unlosing Ranger vs DarkDeath Evilman
Would it shock you to learn that Z.H.P.: Unlosing Ranger Vs. Darkdeath Evilman was one of the best games I played in 2010? It certainly was the game with the longest, most esoteric title that anyone played in 2010. Beyond the hokey moniker however, there hides a roguelike tactical RPG that is wholly fresh, inventive, and surprisingly accessible.

Z.H.P. is a strange game, to say the least – though I use the term ‘strange’ as both a term of endearment and for descriptive purposes – the pre-title sequence warns you right off the top that the game only contains one battle, but that it’s awesomely epic. This had my interest piqued well before the title sequence and opening story portions fully introduced me to the breadth of Z.H.P.’s overt strangeness.

The opening story is told through Television news updates and eye witness accounts, global attention fixed on the scene of an epic battle that is about to take place between the supreme hero and his arch-villain nemesis. Running late to the epic showdown is our hero however, the Unlosing Ranger, and unfortunately for the well being of all mankind he is unceremoniously hit by a car and killed along the way. With his last breathe he bequeaths the Unlosing Ranger mantle to you, the accident’s sole witness.

Taking up the challenge thrust upon you, you set out for your date with destiny – the final showdown against Darkdeath Evilman, wherein you are instantly killed and sent to a realm known as Bizzarro Earth.

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Trailer Park – Hyperdimension Neptunia

Hyperdimension Neptunia
There are few things I enjoy more than girly JRPGs filled to the brim with bubbly techno music and anime inspired character designs. Sakura Wars: So Long My Love most recently filled that cotton candy-shaped hole in my heart, but now Hyperdimension Neptunia is finally on the way and we have NIS America, the patron saint of Japanese quirk to thank for bringing it to the West.

If this newly released trailer is any indication, Neptunia should satisfy all of my aforementioned prerequisites for a delightful time sink. On top of that, there’s a battle system that utilizes game consoles personified as goddesses, the ability to summon pictures and even game characters from your PS3’s HDD, and in-game use of your own images all on an epic journey through a world called Gamindustri (“Game Industry”, in case the subtlety isn’t smashing you in the face hard enough).

The game is slated for release in February 2011.

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Review – ClaDun: This is an RPG!

ClaDun This is an RPG
“This is an RPG!” declares ClaDun’s subtitle – and the statement is most definitely warranted. Actually, ClaDun is more of an action RPG but I won’t be a stickler. I will serve you with a warning though: ClaDun is old school in both style and substance. It’s a dungeon crawler that will ask you to spend time grinding. You will have to repeat multiple floors and entire dungeons many, many times, and you WILL die. You will die a lot.

At the game’s onset you are introduced to Pudding, a female wanna-be adventurer, and Soma, her lap dog male companion. Pudding, we discover, is terminally ill with “die laughing disease” and is desperately seeking Arcanus Cella, a mythical realm where you find whatever you are looking for. As it turns out, Pudding is looking for treasure, which is the perfect motive for a dungeon crawler.

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Refresh Rate – Crystalis

crystalis
It’s funny how growing up with video games can fragment your perception of them in retrospect. I vividly remember my mom picking up a game for me on her way home from work from Acme Video on a regular basis, and hastily grabbing the most visually pleasing box from the shelf devil-may-care, as she always did.

That habit led to my introduction to Crystalis, which I remembered really liking, but when the time came for the game to return to the store it fell away to new anticipation – would the next game to come home be another Crystalis, or merely a Captain Comic?

Crystalis must have left an impression on me, because later in life, being a grown up and able to pick my own games, my thoughts drifted back to that particular weekend, necessitating a trip to my local video game haunt to find out if my memory was playing tricks on me.

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