Random Lunacy

Ranting from a San Jose artist/amature cosplayer at its finest. Multiple personalities frequent to kibitz author. Random Lunacy: Is it sleeping...or is it dead? >>

Friday, October 14, 2005

Ah, What Newfound Hell is It Today?

Kozumi's Quote of the Week
"I have wasted my life/on Animal Crossing."
--Last two lines of "ODe to Digital Crack Cocaine"

School has started. Updates are far and few between, since homework is all-consuming. This is what College Level English does to a social life: X_X

My review on my first takes on Fatal Frame 3: Voice of the Tattoo? Way too late to do much but nonetheless here we go:
Gameplay
Excellent and wonderfully responsive. Rei turns where I want, forward-in-relation-to-screen controls make evading ghosts smooth as silk (completely unlike that bastard child of control movement, forward-in-relation-to-character, a la Resident Evil and Silent Hill). Besides that small detail that the Japanese prefer their confirm button to be O, whereas we Americans like using X, and vice versa for cancel, the camera buttons were also pretty responsive.
Combos are more fleshed out. Remember the the triple banger combos in Crimson Butterfly? Now, your combo link-ups are only limited to walls (when enemies are pushed into walls) and distance (when the enemy is pushed back too far), creating giant combos that make Mio's Camera Obscura look like a broken iZone polaroid. Personal best: 8 shot combo cuz I rock....XD
Graphics
AMAZING. Rei=uber-sexy. Miku? So damn adorable you wonder if they broke the mold after her. The House of Sleep is stunning in all its detail. THIS is the PS2 version? Crisp, highly detailed and nice collision detecction. The ghost shadows from the background I guess "sticking" from CB is now gone. You know what I mean. The FMVs are amazing, and the in-game graphics arfe gorgeous for the series.
The first time I saw Rei's idle animation, I think I died. IDLE ANIMATIONS!!! Not even James Sunderland's chainsaw idle animation made my jaw drop like that. Maybe it helped that Rei has one of the nicest ass renderings since...well Miku, but that goes w/o saying.
Story, Voice Work
Voice work is stunning, but that's cuz I'm fond of Rei's Seiyuu. Story? Well, given my Japanese is limited to food, insults, and simple A wa B desu sentences, I wasn't getting every little detail, but from what I did understand its everything the mags have been saying: Yuu Aso (Rei's hot fiancee) perishes in a car accident in which she was driving. She lives in a lonely apartment with Miku Hinasaki (whose brother disappeared to parts unknown in the first Fatal Frame installment) and Ruri, a black kitty cat. While photographing the purportedly haunted House of Sleep, Yuu shows up in a photograph, and later that night, Rei dreams of chasing him through the house, stalked by ghosts and occasionally getting lost (damn but this place makes Himuro Mansion look straight forward). A woman she finds beset by black shadows begs to be awakened, and then there's these scary kids w/ hammers and quite an unplesant inkling of this installment's forbidden ritual.
I got through a few chapters, and unfortunately had to go just as I started Miku's story, but as far as I got: Miku dreams of chasing her brother's shadow once again through a graphical upgrade of Himuro mansion.
Thus so far, Tomented's stud muffin, Kei Amakura, is nowhere to be seen. Side note, instead of Kei, originally we were to take control of Mio again, but as her story is now finished, and she's in a coma, Kei stepped up.
Other Things
*Ruri
Not only does he sense spirits, but he also is the most interactive piece of background I've ever seen in a game. Screw the Elder God tentacles from Soul Reaver 2/Defiance. This cat responds (when he's not sleeping, of course) to Rei in purrs, meows and pats. Though he's most sociable in Miku's lap (damned lucky cat), I think its possible to get him to shake in other places of the apartment (a tea room and the living room couch are the other places I've seen him). Its like the dog training in Harvest Moon: Another Wonderful Life only cuter. Cuz cats are cute. Yopu can get accessories for him too, like the accessories in the previous installment (but no giant pumpkin head T_T).
*Different Cameras
Initially, you're armed with Rei's working camara. It makes an audibly different soun d when the shutter goes off. Not the impressive, flash burst from the previous installments, but a passive, subtle click. It does NOT do damage, as I learned when being pursued by a knife wielding maniac. So, take note: early in the game, you cannot hurt anything, nor can you actually kill. When you get the real camera obscura, you're now stockded with a limited amount of film (14) that replenishes iyts basic film between chapters or missions. On occasion, you may get dangerously close to running out. Tip: use the regualr camera for wandering "clues" or door charms and leave the combating to Prof. Aso's trusty flash box.
*Sound
Play this game w/surround sound. You'll love Tecmo for it.
Or hate them, depending on your fear tolerance level.
*Game/Chapter Structure
The one thing that kinda bothered me was the striking similarity in chapter divisions and overall plot structure to Silent Hill 4: The Room. Its only in one detail, but the parallels were obvious to the Hill Veterans who watched me play. In between your various tasks in the House of Sleep, Rei will wake up from her incredibly linear and detailed ongoing nightmare. You are given a cutscene where the tattoo curse slowly makes its way across her skin. The same one. Everytime. You wake up. Its gets repetitive, even to a fan who likes the amount of skin in this game. Its not unlike Henry Townsend, who wakes up in between his stints in the frightening world of Silent Hill, the same way everytime you climb in a hole.
Going broad, the similarities are as thus for the homes in which both Reri and Henry inhabit. Both make their not-so-merry way through thier nightmares, wake up in the exact same way every time, and as time goes on, thier hermatages will slowly get more haunted. For Henry, this is bad as it creates bad headaches and interious design. For Rei, it just means she might get jumped in the shower. Either way, the ghosts somehow worm their way into reality until the reality becomes a nightmare.
Its just that Rei's a bit more good looking than Henry. And, again, Henry doesn't have a shower scene, but it might have helped his fangirl contingency.

Anyway, there's my take. The last one got eaten by my comp when it crashed. Yes, I crashed my mac laptop. It can happen.
BTW, this game is now making its way to my hot lil hands this month, the 25th to be exact. It makes me very happy, since my PS2 will be used for something other than my pathetic attempts at playing Silent Hill. Harry Mason is an old fart.

I love my pink DS. Its so cute. ^^ And it plays Nintendogs roughly 80% of its time. My Shiba rocks my ass, he's sooooo cute. If you have a DS and like puppies, Nintendogs is justification for spending outrageous amounts of battery power trying to get your dog to roll over.

Another reson for buying a DS? Animal Crossing: Wild World. Yes, now even I can waste battery life even faster. Look for this gem in December. And the surgery game. Its startlingly addictive. Its like Operation w/o the big naked white guy w/ no cash and prizes.

Dane Cook is one silly bitch. And looks a lot like Hentai Overfiend. Its true I swear.

Well, its about noon and I need to eat cuz this cold's kicking my ass to next tuesday. Go read "I Am a Japanese School Teacher". He's flippin' amazing.

*Until next time, Lunies!*

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