Friday, 17 January 2014

PS3: Tekken Revolution

I'm not a violent or even very aggressive person in any way, but from time to time I like to play fighting games. Stylish moves, cool characters and a generally pretty look are what draws me to these games. Eye-candy, that's where it's at! As a rather casual gamer, I also appreciate games that do not require me to spend hours practicing my moves before I can properly get into the game.

One of these games that I've been playing recently is Tekken Revolution for PS3.

My absolute favourite character so far is Lili. She is cute, poised and graceful, and has a variety of beautiful gymnastics-style fighting moves. She is one of the initial characters available from the get-go, no need to collect a massive amount of gift points (earned from online and arcade matches and login bonuses) for a chance to unlock her.

Of the unlockable characters, I have managed to unlock two: Christie and Dragunov. Both of them are quite fun to play, but I need to put in some practice with Christie first before I can really use her in anything but easy arcade mode battles. Her fighting style is fun and effective, but perhaps a bit more complex than, say, Lili's. Hence the need for practice. I like her though, so it is possible that I actually will some day take the time to get to know her moves a bit better.

I also played my very first online matches in this game today. As Lili, of course, since she's the only character whose moves I'm a bit more familiar with. I chose to play Ranked Matches, and won 4 out of the 5 I played. My rank is now Disciple (4th dan). At the moment, the highest attainable rank in the game, according to tekkenpedia, is 24th dan. As a quite casual gamer, I'm sure I won't be progressing very high up the ranks before the matches get too tough for me, but that's fine by me. I'm happy to leave the higher ranks to those who are more dedicated to these games and thus way more skilled at them!

Friday, 3 January 2014

PS3: Rune Factory: Oceans - An Introduction to the Characters

One day, two good friends, a girl and a boy, were just going on with their lives on Fenith Island, when suddenly a lake they were passing started to shine with a bright white light. They stopped to see what was going on, and the next thing they knew, they were transported to another Fenith Island. It was clearly Fenith Island, but the people were all strange to them, and a lot of things were not as they knew them to be on the Fenith Island they lived on. To the player, it became gradually clear that they had been transported in time to the future, but the characters themselves deduced they had somehow crossed over to an alternate reality.

They also realised they had another problem: somehow, the girl's spirit had become an uninvited guest in the boy's body, and the girl's own body had completely disappeared. At around this point, the player got to name the two characters. The boy's default name was Aden, but I prefer to call him Lenn. The girl's default name was Sonja, but I prefer to call her Linn. So, my reader, meet the main characters: Lenn and Linn. Cohabiting the boy's body caused a bit of a dilemma when taking a bath or going to bed for the first time after the incident, but mostly, Lenn and Linn didn't let it slow them down. As Linn puts it (she is translucent in the pictures because she is a spirit):

The characters they met on this new Fenith Island didn't seem too weirded out by this strange occurrence, either. Odette, the first person they met there, is a good example:

I think it was Odette who remembered that something similar had happened a long time ago, but didn't remember how the situation had been resolved. It was decided that Lenn and Linn should stay on this new Fenith Island and make the inn's guest house their new home. Perhaps, in time, they would meet someone with the knowledge required to help them.

As Linn and Lenn were gradually introduced to the island's residents, Linn made an observation:

And Odette agreed with her assessment:

And so I think it is time for you too to meet this colourful cast:

♥ ♥ ♥

The Most Notable Characters on Fenith Island (so far)

The Three Sisters
Lily is the eldest of the three sisters who own the inn on Fenith Island. In my opinion, she is also the cutest. I love her hair! She is quite clumsy and a bit of an airhead, but also very charming and cheerful, and plays the lute beautifully.
Odette is the middle sister, responsible and pragmatic, and just generally a "take charge" kind of person. As well as an inn keeper, she is also a Dragon Priestess and a Fenith Island tour guide.
Violet is the youngest sister. She is a little shy and awkward, but has a heart of gold. She also works as a nurse at the church, so if you ever get ill, she'll be the one to cure you.

The Shopkeepers
Bismark is the older of the two siblings who own the general store. He's really responsible and a stickler to the rules, but also shy and socially awkward, and less manly than he'd like to be. And completely terrified of talking to girls.
Sierra is Bismark's younger sister, and a real troublemaker. She hates work and, to Bismark's continued exasperation, habitually plays hooky from minding the store. Always on the lookout for anything fun.

The Sainte-de-Coquille Household
Beatrix is the mayor of Fenith Island, but prefers to spend her days digging for treasure in her back garden. Finding a treasure would certainly help, as the family used to be very rich, but fell on hard times and lost all their wealth. That is not the reason why Beatrix is hunting for treasure, though. She says she does it for the thrill and adventure of it.
Electra is Beatrix's daughter and handles most of the mayor's duties. She also loves making accessories and doing housework. A very hard-working and level-headed young lady.
Maerwen is a dark elf and a kind of an au-pair, both living in the Sainte-de-Coquille mansion and working there as their maid. She is on cultural exchange from the dark elf homeland, and clearly has much to learn about the social customs of Fenith Island, as she can be quite rude at times, even to people she cares much about.

The Blacksmith & The Brother
Elena is the blacksmith of Fenith Island. She loves tinkering with her golems and is a wealth of information on them. Likes to stay up till the small hours and wake up late.
James is Elena's older brother, and hands down the cutest bachelor on the island. He's a really nice guy, but way too attached to his sister, constantly watching over her and worrying about her. When I get to the endgame and can choose to play as Linn, I will cure him of that - he doesn't know it yet, but he and Linn are going to get married and live happily ever after.

The Church Residents
Father Gerard is the island's slightly creepy but kind-hearted and well-meaning priest. He has a secret which will be revealed to you when you become better acquainted with him.
Pandora introduces herself as an evil arch-sorceress. She is not originally from Fenith Island, but appears there after Linn and Lenn bring home a statue from one of their adventures. Turns out she was experimenting with a spell to turn things to stone and accidentally turned herself to stone. After Linn and Lenn return her body to life, she is very grateful to them, and names them her minions number 1 and 2 as she resumes her interrupted plotting to take over the world. Father Gerard lets her stay in a spare room at the church, as she naturally has no place of her own on the island.
Kelsey is a shy, orphaned boy who Father Gerard has given a home at the church. Very quiet and timid.
Quinn is an outgoing, tomboyesque orphaned girl who, like Kelsey, lives at the church in the care of Father Gerard. Constantly bossing Kelsey around, dragging him into her athletic, energetic games.

The Adventurers
Bacchus is a seasoned old sea dog, now retired from adventuring and residing on Fenith Island. Lily's most fervent admirer. Burly and rowdy, but mostly good-humoured.
Joe is Bacchus's grandson, but not nearly as burly as him and only interested in surfing and fishing, and thus a bit of a disappointment to his grandfather.

Jocelyn is an archaeologist who visits the island on Thursdays and Holidays, setting up shop at the church plaza. Lives somewhere off the island with her husband and children.

Mikoto is a dedicated warrior who performs guard patrol on the island every day and gets up early to practice sword fighting before starting the walk around the island looking for trouble.

♥ ♥ ♥

Each character has a "friendship meter" the player can fill by interacting with them and giving them presents (limit once per day per character). Each character also has a favourite present that fills the bar up faster than anything else. Once the bar is full, the next time you talk to the character you get a "friendship event", a cutscene where you learn more about that character and deepen your friendship with them. This event raises your friendship level with that character and resets their bar - fill it up again to get your friendship level with that character up another level.

I love how each character has their own, unique favourite gifts and friendship events that are unlike those of any other character. Each friendship event is fun (though some are a bit more serious) and feels like it has been made with great care and attention to detail. Getting to know each character and learning more about their past, who they are and what secrets they have is one of my favourite things to do in Rune Factory: Oceans. Everyone on Fenith Island really is a character!