we declare Your Perfection above and beyond all: we have no knowledge whatsoever except what You have taught us. No doubt it is You, and You alone that is all Knowledgeable and all Wise. (al-Baqarah, 32)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Najibu reviews - Tales of Vesperia

I have written about this game in my previous post, but here's my final impression about the game upon finally completing it.

Lets start with the most obvious aspect of the game - the graphics. Vesperia uses a highly slick anime-inspired cel-shaded technic that makes it look more like a 2D anime than a 3D video game. The game....erm... you know what, forget all that.

This is a truly amazing JRPG. I like it a lot. And I haven't been liking JRPG a whole lot lately. The story, while simplistic is long and captivating. Plus, its the only game in its kind that allows you to play with 3 other friends. How do you beat that?! OK, that's it. If you have a 360, then stop reading this. Go out there, buy this game, and start playing. Chances are you'll spend a good couple of weeks stuck on this game. Its that good. Trust me.

I give it 4/5 Najibu points!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Wheels of Fate

Yesterday was quite a day. I promised my special lady that I would meet her at KL Sentral for berbuka puasa at Subway. Of course, no one could anticipate what was going to happen next. On the way back from school, our car got punctured (by natural causes, I presume) and so we spend quite some time to get that tire changed. The spare tire, while not totally out of comission, wasn't fully functional either. It had too little air. A note to all you drivers out there. Always, always remember to check you spare tire often. You'll never know when you need it. So then, there was a need to stop at the gas station to fill some air. Oh, it was around this time that I realized I totally forgot about Asar prayer. Bummer...

With the tire problem out of the way, the driver (Ali G) left me somewhere close to Universiti Station cause I needed to get on an LRT to get to Sentral. I got on the thing right in the nick of time. If I had arrived at the station even a second later, then I would definitely have missed it. So I got to Sentral at about 6.40. Still some time left for me to perform my prayer. I saw Soya first and then headed to the surau. Lo and behold, my friend from my school days was standing there in front of me. I haven't met her for a few years and KL Sentral would probably the place which I least expected to see her. Wow, pleasant suprises are actually...well..pleasant.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make here is that how each sequence of event leads to another. If the tire didn't get punctured, if we hadn't need to fill in the spare tire with air, if I could't get on that LRT, and if I performed my prayer at school, I probably wouldn't have seen my friend there. Now I know why they call it the 'wheels of fate'.

The Wheels of Fate - 暁の車 - performed by See-Saw in their album, Dream Field

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Gamin' Watch! - September edition

Last week, I went and had my monthly visit to the local video game store Gamer's Hideout just to see if theres anything new. Well, that visip ended up having me picking up not just one, but two games at once. I really can't tell what got me into doing that. Suffice to say, I was just powerless to resist the temptation of good video games. Of course, at the time I couldn't say for sure whether those two games are any good. After spending some good time with it, here's what I have to say about them:

Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise is a sequel of sorts to Viva Pinata (du-uh), that game from two years ago. However, saying its a full fledged sequel ain't really quite right. Perhaps thats why Rare (the developer) decided to just add a sub-title rather than just calling it Viva Pinata 2..

That's not to say that the game is no good because theres just no other game quite like it. Don't let the cute and cuddly look of the pinatas to fool you into thinking this is a kids game - the gameplay can be very demanding yet at the same time satisfying. A gamer who does not like this game is, well...lets just face it, don't even call yourself a gamer. Just play the game, you'll know what I mean.

The other game I bought was Tales of Vesperia. After my frustration with Lost Odyssey, I find it hard to bring myself to buy yet another Japanese RPG - it doesn't suite my taste anymore of late. It was fortunate that I gave this game the benifit of a doubt because it turned out to be completely awesome.

The game has some issues though. My main gripe with it comes from the fact that its a Japanese RPG, and it shows. The story can be summarised as JRPG template 6 or 7. It didn't exactly drop my jaw but the way it presented is so good that I was able to look pass that problem. It is probably the closest thing to an interactive anime. The characters, to me, are the most lovable bunch since Final Fantasy 7. The game also has a good sense of humor which had me totally excited to listen what the characters are gonna say next.

I also fell in love with the game's battle system. It plays like a dumbed down fighting game, but with just enough depth to keep battles interesting. The boss fights are also the highlight of the game. If you are even remotely into Japanese RPGs or find it hard to pick one up because they don't change much since 15 years ago, you should defintely give this one a try. For me, it reinvigorated my love of not only the genre but also of anime.

Now, I should probably restrain myself from buying another game until Fable 2 comes out later next month. To all the gamers - Happy gaming!

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