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Rosethorn’s Ramblings: Site Update

Welcome back again.  As you can see, we are starting to populate the site with new content.  There are few new writers and contributors waiting in the wings with new content.  If you are interested

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Rosethorn’s Ramblings: Site Update, GaMExpo, Nerdvana Con, Life Updates

What to Watch: You Tube

Top 5 YouTube video’s of the past week (with one blast from the past). Each week, on Tuesday, I am going to post 5 videos I think are worth watching on YouTube.  I’d love to hear what you

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What to Watch: You Tube

Rosethorn’s Ramblings: Welcome Bac

Welcome back to Killer Betties! It’s been over three years since I’ve made a post, but I am back. Before I get to what I’ve been doing for three years, I want to talk first about The

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Rosethorn’s Ramblings: Welcome Back, TWD, The Bar, and Other Random Thoughts

Football Manager 2017 Review

Football Manager 2017 is a football management simulation video game for the PC developed by Sports Interactive and published by Sega. Gameplay: In terms of gameplay, it is really fun. You can create

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Football Manager 2017 Review

Volunteers Wanted

Killer Betties is going through some growing pains and we need more bodies (and pens) to keep up with it. If you have any interest in writing video game reviews, previews, interviews or editorials, p

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Volunteers Wanted

Football Manager 2017 Review

0
by on October 22, 2017 at 4:39 pm

Football Manager 2017 is a football management simulation video game for the PC developed by Sports Interactive and published by Sega.

Gameplay: In terms of gameplay, it is really fun. You can create your own tactics, buy and sell players, and play some soccer games. The most important part of gameplay is the tactics because if you have good tactics, you will most likely win the game. If you don’t, you are going to struggle. The interface is really easy to learn and navigate. It also tells you important info about your job security, how much money the club has, what division and position the club is in, among other things. The most important things on the interface are Tactics, Scouting and Board. Scouting is really helpful if you want to make some new signings. Your scouts go to every place in the world to try to find some talent good for the squad. The board is where the job security is. Job security tells you how secure your job is and the pros and cons of your management. You can make requests for a bigger transfer budgets, stadiums, and youth facilities.

There are many features like Create-A-Club, Online Career and Challenges. In Create-A-Club, you create your own club, and try to lead it to glory. You can create the badge, kits, name and more. In Online Career, you create or join a server, and face up against a manager. You can compete for glory or you can just have a fun time playing the game. In Challenges, you try to complete challenges pre-determined by the game. My favorites are The Savior Cometh (in which you have to save a team from losing their division (relegation)), The Invincibles (where you have to go the rest of the season unbeaten) and You can’t win anything with kids (in which you have to try to win trophies with young players). 10/10

Graphics: The graphics are 3D models that aren’t bad but they aren’t great either. The pitch and other stadium features are spot on. 7/10

Replayabilty: The game can go on forever. The game doesn’t end unless you retire. This means that you can do challenges set by yourself, manage some of the best clubs for a long time or get an international team to the World Cup. You can go on for 500 years and still be managing Liverpool. 10/10

 

Music: There is none and the only sound there is in the game is the crowd, but that’s optional. ?/10

Conclusion: All in all, the game is amazing and I recommend that you try it if you like soccer. Even if you’re not good at first, you can watch tutorial videos, listen to the tips the game gives you, and have a really fun experience. With the gameplay, interface, and replayabilty values, I want to give this game a 10/10 but the 3D models aren’t that good and there’s no music, so it earns a 9 out of 10.

Score: 9.0

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‘Grandia III’ Review (PS2)

0
by on March 30, 2006 at 8:54 pm

As fun as Grandia III is, it lacks in depth and game time; the game lasts anywhere between 30 and 40 hours depending on how long your battles last and how much you run around building up your characters (which you won’t need to do as the battles are not challenging). On the other hand, you will want to do plenty of battling once you have had the pleasure of using the combat system. Pleasure it is, as this game has one of the best combat systems of any RPG game, anywhere. Before we get to that though, we’ll look at what else Grandia III has to offer.

We first meet Yuki, the main hero, in his hometown. He is a younger boy who is completely obsessed with building a plane and becoming a pilot. His mother, yes, his mother, climbs aboard his newest plane without him knowing. The trouble begins when her weight, which the plane was not built to handle, drags the plane down and they crash smack dab in the middle of trouble. Of all the games ever made, not one comes to mind where the mother and the son are fighting alongside each other. Miranda is younger – in fact she looks like she could be Yuki’s sister – and there are some really great moments of her showing why she is the mother. Already this game is different. Or so you think. In the beginning the game has a lot of great storylines, which seem very off the beaten path. As the game plays on, the story slowly starts to become more and more standard. Common elements, such as the young guy forced to be the hero, the girl who needs extra protection, good versus evil, and saving the world (that may not even know it’s in trouble), eventually prevail. There are some interesting ways in which the story is told though, such as conversations around the dinner table, which allow you to choose the order of who speaks and when. What is most disappointing is the introduction of characters who you think are going to be major players, that never show up again. There are holes in the storyline and there is no depth to it at all; it leaves you to imagine a lot, and unfortunately, those things you are forced to imagine should be presented to you in the game.

Like many other RPGs this game has a lot of focus on presentation. The characters themselves are animated very well. While every once in a while their mouths don’t go with their words, they are still really well done. The environments are beautiful at times, with perfectly placed rays of light or a setting sun. The cutscenes are incredible and this is one of the places where the game really shines. They are perfectly executed and full of excitement or emotion. The way they are directed tells the story well and the graphics are outstanding. The music is well chosen for each stage of the game, and while not completely out of the norm, it is well done just the same.

Another downfall to this game is the length. As mentioned before the playtime is around 30 hours. Part of this comes from the fact that the game is completely linear. In the early stage of the game there are few – maybe only one – minigames and side quests. As the game goes on, it gets even worse. While in most RPGs you can wander around for hours fighting and completing other quests, most of the time in Grandia you can’t leave the storyline. In fact your character will say something to get the team to turn around and get back on track. There are no chances – especially in the beginning – to explore. Once you move on to disc 2 you can fly around in the plane and explore a little more, but there is not really much to see. It has become the norm for a RPG to be replayable, choosing different quests, adventures, and doing things in a different order. There isn’t much replayability in Grandia III. Once you are done, you are done. Unless of course you just really like the combat system.

The combat system in this game sets the game far and above the rest. It gives you so many different creative options when in the midst of a battle that every battle can be completely different than the previous, if that is what you desire. The system works by watching a circle at the top left hand corner of the screen. There is a circle in the middle of the bigger circle, on which your characters’ faces will move around. On the outer ring, the enemies follow their circle, and if you pay careful attention to them and what they are doing you can stop them right in their tracks. There are three sections to this IP gauge. The first is the command phase. This is the phase where you will decide which action you are going to take. The next phase is the execution phase and this is when that action is carried out. Once your character hits this line, he or she uses the magic, attack, or item usage that you have chosen. The third area is a waiting period that is stuck between the other two phases. This works the same for the monsters, and in fact this is where the battle gets fun.

During the time the monster is waiting to reach the execution phase, you can cancel its attack by using either a critical attack or a special attack. This will stop the monster’s attack and move it back a little on the IP gauge (or a lot) depending on which attack you used to cancel. If you use simple attacks, you will build up your skill points for your special attacks. The combo attack will not cancel the monster’s attack so just be forewarned! Keep a close eye on that monster because you can actually know ahead of time what monster is doing what attack. Be careful! The monsters can also cancel your attacks. In some cases this can make a battle very long, especially when you are up against a boss; it may be because you spend too much time canceling their attacks and defending rather than being on the offensive. So just pay special attention to that IP gage. If you time your attacks right you may even get an aerial attack that happens when a character hits a monster into the air and another character attacks that same monster while it is still up there. This does more damage and looks really cool! If you can finish a battle without taking any damage, it will add extra skill points to your gauge. For those people who like less the battles and cringe at the word strategy, you can turn on an option where the other characters help to tell the character who is taking his turn what he should do to be most effective. This is actually really cool, as it makes battles a little easier and more enjoyable for those of us out there that may be new to gaming or just really stink at strategy.

As far as items go, you can equip mana eggs, which help to amplify your magic. You can also extract the magic from the egg and equip it to yourself to give your character a new magic skill. The same goes for books. You can equip the books to improve strength, health, etc. Or you can extract a new skill from the books to add to your arsenal. The only disappointment here is that there is not an abundance of items to be found in the game. This can be major downer for RPGers who lust after stronger weapons, and just plain cool armor.

This game has mild language usage and a little drinking as well, but when it comes to RPGs this may be a really great game for younger players. It is not nearly as deep and dark as some of its counterparts, and with its talk of dreams and aspirations, it may be one that parents won’t shudder at the thought of buying their children. Grandia III is a fun game, with its quirky characters, great graphics and awesome battle system. It may not be for the serious RPG player, but it definitely has some great elements and is worth the buy.

RATING: 4 out of 5
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Forza Motorsports Review (Xbox)

0
by on May 16, 2005 at 11:49 am

For the longest time, the best racing simulation on the consoles has been Gran Turismo. I played the first, the second, and the third. I loved them all. I was excited to hear Gran Turismo 4 was coming… until last fall. I was at the Penny Arcade Expo, watching a kid play some random Xbox racing sim at the Microsoft Game Studios booth. It looked good, no doubt about it. The thing that caught my eye though was that his bumper was damaged and dangling from the back of his car. Damage had never been in Gran Turismo, and I loved this aspect in other racing games. The name of that racing sim was Forza. I went home after that and looked over the information available for it. On paper, it seemed to be everything I loved in Gran Turismo, plus a lot more. I played a demo of it at a local Gamestop. It must have impressed me enough, I bought an Xbox the day Forza shipped.

It doesn’t take long to realize the basic gameplay is almost identical to Gran Turismo. You have various events that require certain cars. You have many upgrades and options for tuning the cars to maximize their potential in these races. The similarity ends here though. In order to play future races in Gran Turismo, you were required to beat certain races to acquire a bigger license rating, but not in Forza. Instead your driver gets experience based on how much earnings he wins in a race, and future events are unlocked at higher levels. For instance, there are several races that require your driver to be level 10.

The first thing you do when you first play Forza is make a couple choices. In the beginning you must choose a home region(North America, Asia, Europe), which will dictate the prices and availability of cars and parts. This choice brings you to your next choice, which is deciding on your very first car. You have a little over $20,000, just enough to buy any starter car. Some of the starter cars are pretty bad, but some are actually pretty good. I chose Europe and could get an Audi TT. It’s no supercar, but at least it’s not a slow hatchback. They explain in the manual that some cars will be common everywhere, and thus will be cheap everywhere. Some cars are only common in certain regions, so they will be cheaper in that region and normal price everywhere else. Some cars are rare in all regions, and thus are more expensive than other cars. Along with other statistics of your car, you have a rarity rating. This rating improves when you get upgrades for the car. Your earnings at the end of each race also improves due to a bonus based on how rare your car is. You have to spend money to make money after all.

There is a highly adjustable difficulty system. The harder you make the game, the more earnings you will receive in each race. You may need to adjust settings for a balance of difficulty. For example, you can turn off the stability assistance to net a 10% increase in earnings, while taking off fuel/tire pit stops in endurance races for a net loss of 25% earnings. The better you get, the more challenging you may want to make it so that you can get that cash faster.

The usual tuning upgrades we have come to expect are in Forza, plus a lot more in the visual department. There are complete body kits to purchase, various spoilers that affect down force differently, window tint, wheels, and more. There is also the best editor ever in any racing sim for customizing your paint and creating decals. In Need For Speed: Underground you can customize about 4 layers on your car. Comparatively, in Forza you have 600 layers to work with.

If you choose to turn on simulation damage you’ll experience a whole new racing game. If you hit a wall head on, you may your headlights shattered or your bumper barely hanging on — depending on how hard you hit the wall. Smash in one of your fenders and your car might want to turn right all the time. You’ll also take a hit to your earnings at the end, as the repair bill is taken right out of whatever credits you may have earned.

Something Gran Turismo has always been lacking is multiplayer. In Forza, the developers went all out on it. You can race online via Xbox Live for credits that you can use in your single player career. The best part of playing Forza online is probably the ability to swap parts and cars with other people. This can be a cheaper way to get parts for your car or a way to get more money for a car you want to sell. The ELO ranking system is used to determine who races who online, so you never have to worry about being put up against much better race drivers. It takes in account many variables to determine who you should drive against, such as how much a win or lose could help or hurt you.

All is not perfect, there are a couple quirks with the game. Sometimes it seems I am touching another car even when I can see we aren’t touching. That is made worse by how badly this affects your driving. Barely touching another car or a wall seems to just spin your car out of control, something I’ve never seen happen so drastically in a race before. In a game like this, losing control means you lose the race. This has been a huge frustration for me. Another big frustration is, I never have enough money! I have to redo races I’ve already beaten just to make enough money to get a couple upgrades that might be enough for another car to win a race I haven’t done yet. Due to restrictions on races, I have to find some way to spread out $4000 in earnings across 5 cars, when a single part could cost more than that. I think higher earnings per race could help.

Is Forza a winner? Definitely. I think any Xbox user should grab this game if they haven’t already. It’s few frustrations are greatly outweighed by the reward of hours of fun gameplay.

RATING: 5 out of 5
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