TakuChat http://www.takuchat.com Mon, 23 Mar 2015 12:55:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae Impressions and Discussion http://www.takuchat.com/final-fantasy-xv-episode-duscae-impressions-and-discussion/ http://www.takuchat.com/final-fantasy-xv-episode-duscae-impressions-and-discussion/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 12:55:36 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27707

So Final Fantasy Type-o finally came out after all these years of waiting, and much to the surprise and dismay of some it was an HD port rather than a Vita or PSP localization, with this awesome HD-Port came something … Continue reading

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So Final Fantasy Type-o finally came out after all these years of waiting, and much to the surprise and dismay of some it was an HD port rather than a Vita or PSP localization, with this awesome HD-Port came something that has oddly enough over shadowed Final Fantasy Type-o, and that is of course the Final Fantasy XV Demo.

So with that in mind Takuchat is having a discussion page about your impressions of the Final Fantasy XV demo!

The Director of Final Fantasy XV, Hajime Tabata, has said on multiple occasions that the feedback for the demo will change the final release of the game, so did you notice something horribly awkward? Did you like something a lot and want it kept? Or do you just want a place to share your awesome screenshots? Well this is the place to do it! So go ahead!

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DragonBall: Xenoverse Review http://www.takuchat.com/dragonball-xenoverse-review/ http://www.takuchat.com/dragonball-xenoverse-review/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 08:55:31 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27655

Been itching for a good ol Dragon Ball z game but feel jaded and afraid from all the previous horrors that have been dropped upon us? Well fear no more! Dragon Ball Xenoverse is here and it is a grand … Continue reading

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Been itching for a good ol Dragon Ball z game but feel jaded and afraid from all the previous horrors that have been dropped upon us? Well fear no more! Dragon Ball Xenoverse is here and it is a grand step back into those awesome beat downs we’ve been missing!

The Story

Here is the quick synopsis of the story-

The Dragon Ball universe has spiraled into chaos as time-traveling villains create temporal distortions in an evil plot to alter the course of time. Players must create their own avatar and travel through time to revisit all the most iconic battles and events in Dragon Ball history and save the world from a dire future. Come face to face with all the most powerful Saiyan warriors and fearsome enemies in fast paced and frenzied Dragon Ball battles on current gen consoles for the first time!

So basically you are summoned by Shenron to help out Trunks, you create your character and go throughout time beating the crap out of everyone to make sure the timeline doesn’t get screwed up.  While basic the premise does allow for some pretty fun circumstances, and depending on which race you choose to create at the beginning of the game the villains/characters will have different dialogue and reactions to you which is a nice touch that makes the games world feel more reactive and alive.

Trunks-Xenoverse-1The characters in the game are of course Dragon Ball Z characters, and they most act like their later series selves, which is a bit strange. Other than that there are the characters that are created for the game its self, which include a new Future Trunks, the Supreme Kai of Time, the villain Demigra and a few others. These new characters are decent enough, they aren’t super memorable or anything but they work well enough to move the story missions along.

My main issue with the story was the art of the animated cutscenes and the direction felt rather awkward at times and very much unlike DragonBall Z to me, but that was not all the time and was mostly during certain parts. Over all though I fond the games campaign mode to be pretty fun.

The Visuals
Here’s Goku looking all sorts of awesome.

The games graphics are pretty impressive, while it wont win any awards for its visuals I would definitely say they are more than satisfactory. Like the previous Dragonball games the game features your typical DBZ characters Goku, Krillin, Vegeta and all the others. There are also your created characters, depending on how well you make them they can look pretty awesome or pretty weird, that is up to you.

Outside of characters there are the environments which have a handpainted feel to them and they manage to have a very Dragon Ball feel to them which is obviously needed for a DragonBall Z game. The only complaint I have for the visuals is that sometimes the flying animation can look odd when you fly backwards, besides that the animations are pretty awesome and manage to carry over the grand and over the top feel of DragonBall Z very well.

The Gameplay

Now for the most important part of a Dragon Ball  game, and that of course is how punching each other in the face feels and thankfully Xenoverse does not disappoint. The combat in Xenoverse is similar to that of the Tenkaichi series, the control scheme is a bit different but if you played the previous ones you should get a handle on this game rather quickly.

The biggest difference with this new game from previous Dragon Ball games is the fact that you can play in battles of 3 vs 3, yes group battles are finally here! No doubt some people got worried when they heard group battles were implemented, but don’t worry 1 on 1 is still there and it still feels great, but the dynamic is completely different than the group fights which can be completely chaotic and intense.

The Online play-Of course with this being a modern Fighting game there is online play, there is both VS and Co-oop for players to do, the versus plays very smooth without lagging or many issues from what I experienced.When  you fight online in group fights it is best to have a group that can work together, if you don’t and the enemies do, then you will die and it will be fast and painful. Then there is the Co-op missions, with these you can split up and conquer multiple groups at once if you are brave, or you can play it safe and attack together. If your team works well together you can quickly destroy even the most powerful of enemies, but if your teamwork is weak you will die.The variety in combat and missions is a nice step up from previous DragonBall Z games, much to my surprise I didn’t get bored with the game quickly, instead I found that the games combat has tons of small things to learn and it can be pretty deep if you want to put in a little time to just learn it, while I would prefer a bit more combos the game does provide a decent amount of them. With the amount of things to do and learn, you can play this game for quite some time without getting bored.

Outside of combat and fighting you have your basic Hubworld, which you can enter online or by yourself, if you go in by yourself there will be tons of NPC characters, but if you go in the online one there will be 100 players there, most of which will be running about acting crazy. In here you can find people to play with or you can act like everyone else and just be completely insane and do weird poses together. It is interesting to say the least.

 

Make your Character-One of the things that is very important to the combat in Xenoverse is how you make your character, when you begin you choose your race, all of which fight very differently and from there you make them look pretty as you’d like. From then on out you start your basic missions and gain experience points, you level pretty quickly and will soon begin to earn points that you can drop into things like your Ki blast or you punch strength. Then there are skills and abilities, you can learn things from masters or you can buy skills from shops. There are a ton of different abilities that can greatly change the way your character fights.  While there is a rather good amount of customization for your character I can’t help but want more, much like with Destiny I feel like the game would have been a bit better if it had been on PS4/X1 only rather than Cross gen.

My character is a Saiyan named Pieza of course, I also made a member of Freezas race, I was honestly surprised to see that I could make one of them and it made me happy to play as one of those shiny headed guys. While I haven’t unlocked  many outfits I have seen people who look completely different than I am even though our initial builds had been the same. So in short there seems to be a ton of items out there to collect and wear. Below are some examples of characters from the Takuchat community-

The Sound

Very early on when you start the game you are greeted with something familiar, something strange. Being that this is Dragon Ball Z that of course is Cha-ha-la. Beyond the obvious Cha-la the games music is surprisingly good for locations and certain parts of the story, one thing is lacking is more intense music for the scenes where people are fighting, instead of having more intense battle music many times the game just continues its calm or normal sounding music which is a bit jarring.

The noises during combat are for the most part good, they sound like Dragon Ball z and when you unleash a furious combo to some poor foes face, each hit leaves a very satisfying sound that makes the attack feel much more intense. many of the ki blast have similar noises as they did in the Anime, which is nice. On occasion the sounds will sound muted though, it is usually caused by everyone blasting each other at point blank which is slightly horrifying.

My main problem with the sound is some of the lip syncing is off, this isn’t just a sound issue but rather a animation one as well since the lip movements can be a bit odd. While it is normal of a Dragon Ball or even an anime game it still bothers me.

Overall

After having sunk in a pretty good amount of time in the game I can easily say I am satisfied with my experience. The combat while not perfect does have a satisfying feel to it, and while it isn’t as deep as I would like it does provide a decent amount of depth to it and the story  while simple and awkward at times does provide some fun with you being able to fight and fix the DragonBall Z timeline. If you’re a fan of DragonBall Z you will most likely enjoy this game, or if you want a fighter that’s a bit different, you should consider checking this game out.

Dragon Ball XENOVERSE is available for the PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360 at a MSRP of $49.99 and PlayStation®4 and Xbox One at a MSRP of $59.99. The game is also available on STEAM for $49.99.

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[Saint Patrick’s Day contribution] [Reviews] Movie Review: Once http://www.takuchat.com/saint-patricks-day-contribution-reviews-movie-review-once/ http://www.takuchat.com/saint-patricks-day-contribution-reviews-movie-review-once/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 04:20:42 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27681 A romance broken down to its basic elements, rebuilt with the utmost conviction, and then given a much more forward-thinking ending than you might expect: this is Once, a modern musical set in Dublin where intimacy is expressed through devotion … Continue reading

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Once - Fox Searchlight Pictures, Summit Entertainment, and Samson Films - movie poster - from http://www.moviepostershop.com/once-movie-poster-2006

A romance broken down to its basic elements, rebuilt with the utmost conviction, and then given a much more forward-thinking ending than you might expect: this is Once, a modern musical set in Dublin where intimacy is expressed through devotion and attention, not through shed clothes. Two people become acquainted, spend time with one another, work hard to create something greater than what either could have done alone, and respect and appreciate one another no matter where their lives happen to lead. And sometimes that’s all a movie needs to be an utter success.


Words fall through me

Once - Fox Searchlight Pictures, Summit Entertainment, and Samson Films - Glen Hansard singing - from http://www.reelworldtheology.com/review-once/

A street musician is playing a rousing song on his guitar in the middle of the day, when a smoker stops to tie his shoes and then runs off with the guy’s property. The musician is right to have panicked, making for an action-packed start to what is otherwise a very gentle movie, but he does eventually get his items returned amicably. Like most of the characters in this film, he (real-life Irish musician Glen Hansard) is not named, nor is his eventual co-lead, played by Czech musician Markéta Irglová. The character count is small and manageable either way, and most of these people feel important to the story and are fun to watch.

While “Glen” is performing another song during the late evening, a girl walks up to him and applauds. She apparently sees him every day, but he never plays this particular song–why not? During the day, the man sticks to songs people will know, so they’ll give him money for playing. He’s not a slacker or a wish-fulfillment vehicle, though: the son moved back in with his father after his mother’s passing, and the two men work diligently in the elder’s vacuum-repair shop. Likewise, she isn’t one to take advantage of another’s generosity, insisting on paying her new acquaintance for his repair work. Though some events feel a bit contrived, such as the girl of course having a vacuum that needs fixing, this is a movie that avoids cheese, where opportunities must be worked for and don’t just fall into the laps of the desiring.

Once - Fox Searchlight Pictures, Summit Entertainment, and Samson Films - Guy and Girl, with flowers - from https://reelclub.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/with-obstacles-come-opportunity-handheld-camerawork-on-a-budget-in-once/
Flowers here have a pragmatic purpose–the girl sells them as part of her living.

Catherine is the girl who got away; our hero loved her, lost her, and devotes much of his music to her, but he’s not quite sure if he wants her back. Despite being generally absent, she remains important to her ex’s developmental arc and is never discarded as romance fuel for the budding couple the film spends much of its time on. The Girl’s father taught her the piano before he died, and she plays as beautifully as her new friend does. She demonstrates a bit of Mendelssohn for him, and the camera makes his look of enchantment plain to see: the film’s rather minimalist storytelling style keeps the dialogue free of clutter.

They then begin to play Falling Slowly. “Oh, how cute,” I think to myself. “It’s been a while since I’ve heard that song.” That version was probably one of the many covers, as this song was written by this film’s stars and earned an Academy Award. Hansard and Irglová share a beautiful harmony; they both put all that they have into their singing, and for Hansard this can sometimes give his voice an extreme intensity that sounds almost like yelling. A misunderstanding of intentions nearly leads to disaster for their growing friendship but sows the seeds for the rest of their story.


The little cracks, they escalated

Once - Fox Searchlight Pictures, Summit Entertainment, and Samson Films - Guy and Girl on a street, apart - from http://whysoblu.com/once-blu-ray-review/
Scene composition is excellent and leaves room for audience interpretation without derailing the plot.

The girl introduces the guy to her mother and to her daughter, Ivonka. The women speak Czech to one another, and the lack of subtitles forces the audience to depend as much on these girls for friendly and genial translation as the guy does. The older woman does think her own daughter’s new friend is handsome, though. Fortunately for the younger, she has an opportunity to write lyrics for said friend’s new song.

Much of Once’s music is laid over scenes of people simply living their lives, as these characters don’t just randomly break out into song and dance in public. Dublin as seen throughout the movie is simply beautiful, to the point where even scenes of people walking around late at night become fine art, and if dimly lit cities and colorful daytime stores are something you find romantic, you will devour this movie’s cinematography. The camera’s lack of steadiness makes the film almost feel like a home movie, and while some songs go on for slightly too long, the two leads are consistently excellent. The music also sounds amazing over headphones, as the main girl’s voice sounds like she’s actually in front of the viewer, while the guitar and other instruments play in the viewer’s ears.

The film keeps its central romantic and musical relationships growing, eventually gaining the involvement of a financial loan and a recording studio. Despite this, other than an important twist every so often, there isn’t really a plot, nor is there any epic, high-stakes drama or third-act collapse that forces some sort of race against time to avert catastrophe. Instead, some lovely party scenes showcase various random individuals singing songs of their own choice, including a number of traditional pieces; after the abrupt beginning, the movie as a whole greatly benefits from its persistently gentle demeanor. Some stories establish grand story frameworks and immensely detailed worlds, yet they distinguish themselves on the strength of a few small-scale but exquisitely written moments. Once is built on those moments, and while few of them feel unique, many of them feel special.

Other than a massive number of F-words and a few other profanities clumped erratically throughout the film, the dialogue and character interactions are a joy to behold. This is a romance built not on shallow sensuality–which is actually brought up and dissected–but on the responsibility that both of the story’s leads are given for not tearing apart their own lives just to be with one another. This man and woman are not perfect people, with the former treating his father’s motorbike irresponsibly and the latter raiding her daughter’s piggy bank to buy batteries, but they deeply care for one another and each other’s well-being. The girl’s arc is especially commendable since even in the midst of her deepest anguish, she does not run from her difficulties but does everything in her power to correct them. The movie’s unexpected ending powerfully evokes suspense and a desire for closure before leaving the audience an amazingly sweet present.

Once - Fox Searchlight Pictures, Summit Entertainment, and Samson Films - the two, staring at the water - from http://screenrobot.com/movie-musicals-beginners-guide/


Conclusion: Someone to fall upon

Once feels almost like a case study of how to design a classic romance, even as certain subtle details take its approach far away from the ordinary. This is not a movie that feels like it throws away the potential of its story or characters just to force a particular outcome.

The narrative seems to truly challenge the audience, which is something I always welcome in romantic stories, since they can otherwise risklosing their value if their establishing events seem too convenient.

The soundtrack is of course wonderful, and the low-budget production values are given wonderful use. Despite some content issues with language and the occasional weird sexual reference (the Fair City mini-scene feeling like a particularly random advertisement for that soap opera), Once really does feel like a mature movie that accepts its protagonists as imperfect people but continually encourages them to learn and grow, and for that, this little piece of Ireland is quite a remarkable treat.


Image sources (property of Fox Searchlight Pictures, Summit Entertainment, and Samson Films)

- Movie postersource
Glen singingsource
Man and woman, she with flowerssource
The two, distantsource
The two, staring at the oceansource


This article was originally written and published for my movie-review blog, Projected Realities.

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[Reviews] Movie Review: Persepolis http://www.takuchat.com/reviews-movie-review-persepolis/ http://www.takuchat.com/reviews-movie-review-persepolis/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 03:40:33 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27677

If you love foreign animated films like Studio Ghibli’s fare, Persepolis will be right up your alley. An adaptation of co-writer/director Marjane Satrapi’s biography, this hilarious, heartbreaking, and wonderful film tells the story of the young ‘Marji’ as she grows … Continue reading

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Persepolis - 2.4.7. Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and others - movie poster - from http://www.impawards.com/2007/persepolis_xlg.html

If you love foreign animated films like Studio Ghibli’s fare, Persepolis will be right up your alley. An adaptation of co-writer/director Marjane Satrapi’s biography, this hilarious, heartbreaking, and wonderful film tells the story of the young ‘Marji’ as she grows up during Iran’s Islamic Revolution and its aftermath.


Life is precious; embrace each moment

Persepolis - 2.4.7. Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and others - young revolutionary Marji - from http://www.reelingreviews.com/persepolis.htm
She is a handful, and may she always be.

Marji is an adorably excitable little girl who overflows with energy, loves Bruce Lee, and wants to be a noble prophet someday. How will she make sure old people don’t suffer? By “forbidding” it, of course! This is Tehran, 1978, where women don’t have to wear veils, and friends can dance to music, at least when they’re not calling for the removal of the shah, Iran’s king.

Much of Persepolis is a frame story, told by an older and less idealistic version of its heroine, and viewers also receive a short history lesson about Iran’s politics and how other nations end up getting involved. Iran becomes a modernized country, but what few freedoms and civil rights her citizens enjoy largely go out the window. Eventually, soldiers with tanks and gas masks begin shooting and killing protesters, and the movie shows us a silhouette of a person bleeding out. His fellows use him as a rallying banner. Marjane’s parents narrowly escape the fighting, and she is sent to bed; eventually the shah’s statue is pulled down, his palace surrounded. These sequences and the film at large are presented in a beautifully unique style of animation that doesn’t quite look like any form of cartooning I’ve ever seen. Most of the movie lacks color but more than makes up for it with a vibrantly detailed black-and-white contrast.

Persepolis - 2.4.7. Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and others - Marji and Grandma - from https://bokunosekai.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/persepolis-a-controversial-animation/

Marjane is a complex little girl who one moment has to hear about an ex-prisoner’s torture and the next is playing silly if slightly morbid games with her friends. Having not even begun her adolescence, she has no comprehension of what a “communiss” is, why a number of them have been killed, and what is really going on in the world just outside her door. Yesterday’s domestic enemies have become the new heroes, Marji’s uncle Anoush boldly encourages her curiosity despite having just been released from prison, and elections are coming soon. Surely the people will defend their freedom no matter what.


Moments are short; fill them with meaning

Nearly the entire country votes for the Islamic party. Half of Iran is illiterate, and only nationalism and religion can unite her. One person has to flee danger alongside family members; another person visibly drowns himself in his bathtub. Yet another person’s sister is killed. Numerous events leave Iran’s army weak, and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq takes the opportunity to strike. Using a foreign enemy as an excuse, Iran’s government begins abusing and killing its own people, and laws become much more oppressive in just a few years. Girls must now wear full veils and salute the fallen martyrs. Notably these characters each have different faces, which given the simple art style is really impressive.

Persepolis - 2.4.7. Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and others - bombed Tehran - from http://www.tboake.com/443_osama_f11.html

It is now Tehran, 1982. The veil means freedom, women are told, and yet they must hide themselves from the eyes of men. People are dying over ideas like these. Several young students are sneaking in pieces of foreign cultures such as ABBA records. More powerfully, when one man is perversely rude toward Marjane’s mother, she stands her ground while this lack of freedom becomes the new norm. Stranger still, some old women–whose stark attire reminds me of the character No-Face from Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away–treat Marjane rudely and act as though their harsh yokes are long-held traditions. The world-building in Persepolis’ early stages is convincing and oppressive, especially with heartbreaking sights like a 14-year-old-child being tempted to fight and die in war for the sake of heavenly women; some of the “police” are hardly older. Another family gets arrested over, basically, playing cards and alcohol, and the nation’s “health care” prompts me to be thankful for my blessings.

Remnants of normalcy exist, such as people watching Godzilla, which looks amazing in this style of presentation. Persepolis’ moods are every bit as high-contrast as that style, and any given moment can be striking, such as when Marjane repeatedly deconstructs her teachers’ heavily idealized treatment of the new regime and its policies, or heartwarming, like when Satrapi is talking with her grandmother and receiving valuable advice for how to treat the less scrupulous people she will meet. Ultimately the time comes for Marji to leave Iran–in tears, despite her parents’ optimistic outlook–and this marks a big turning point in the development both of her own story and of the movie that tells it.

Persepolis - 2.4.7. Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and others - ABBA - Dancing Queen - from http://www.reeldc.com/persepolis.htm


Life is meaningful; learn from every experience

Persepolis then narrows its scope and makes more of an effort to emphasize Marjane’s own personality and how it changes with each passing event. She winds up at a Catholic boarding house, not hugely superior to the lifestyle she had to leave. She then meets a bunch of smokers and punks, some of whom introduce her to ideas such as nonchalance and nihilism, along with unfamiliar kinds of music that prove quite an acquired taste. Through all of this, the movie’s general refusal to preach to the audience pays dividends, such as when Marji is delighted to simply gaze upon fully stocked grocery shelves, while some of her new acquaintances complain about “having” to spend Christmas with their families.

The heroine continues from home to home, in some cases due to returning one evil treatment for another and being kicked out, and while this doesn’t always make her look like a sympathetic character, the real-life Satrapi deserves a great deal of credit for not “whitewashing” her own life story. She’s stuck trying to assimilate to Western culture despite not really understanding it, so she studies a lot of philosophers and begins building her own maturity. Her puberty sequence is hilarious, with different body parts inflating to extremely exaggerated degrees, but she ends up being a really pretty young woman. Somewhat understandably, she hesitates to talk about her Iranian heritage because of the negative ways that too many people around her think of Iran in general and her people as behaving.

Persepolis - 2.4.7. Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and others - starlight romance - from http://www.moviemail.com/film/dvd/Persepolis/

Many of Marjane’s most questionable behaviors pop up in her approach toward romance. Her relationships are very hit-or-miss, but from an artistic standpoint, some of those scenes make use of animation in incredible ways to do things that could never happen in real life or would look silly. Unfortunately, even though many of her breakups are not her fault, Marji doesn’t really seem to learn from her string of failed relationships, in terms of what actually makes these kinds of interactions stable and healthy.

In the bigger picture, the movie doesn’t completely forget the importance of its context, showcasing the immense tragedy of war as well as a commonplace lack of understanding for why the conflict started in the first place. Iran in the film is said to have had thousands of political prisoners, many of whom choose death instead of renouncing their ideas. Many streets and avenues are named for these martyrs, but for their families, street names are all they have left. A giant mural of a woman holding her war-dead son looks like Michelangelo’s Pietà.

Through all this, Persepolis finds opportunity to be happy and even humorous without making its dramatic reason for being feel trivial. “Eye of the Tiger” gets a cameo. Marji tears off leg hair. She does athletic dances. She draws a very lewd caricature of her art teacher, who’s showing off a censored version of Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, and mood changes only rarely feel abrupt or inappropriate. That being stated, it’s definitely understandable that some authors dislike the movie’s Marjane-centric change of focus. While the later aspects of her story can sometimes lose grip on their important context, Satrapi’s own narrative does remain interesting and is marvelously told throughout, regardless of the consistency of her motives or behavior.

Persepolis - 2.4.7. Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and others - anti-American mural - from http://www.gamespite.net/toastywiki/index.php/Media/Persepolis

The movie’s production values are usually incredible, boasting a wonderful soundtrack complemented by a truly distinctive art style that arguably rivals some full-color cartoons even in the midst of its own simplicity. If there is a low point, it’s the quality of the English dub–while passable, the voice acting isn’t great compared to the original French and is nowhere near Ghibli quality, even as some viewers may appreciate that the dub is sometimes less crude than the English subtitles. Some depictions of fierce profanity, sexual innuendo, and especially depressing violence (including a few brief mentions of rape, take note) feel a bit intense for the rating but not ridiculously so. Young girls might get more from this movie than might boys, due to frank and intimate discussions of topics including breast health. Still, viewers of both sexes can learn from Marjane’s pragmatic approach to tearing down arbitrary and sexist policies in the society around her.

One of the story’s most interesting thematic decisions is its treatment of God and religion. Cynical for most of the film, if sadly understandably so, this treatment changes without much explanation late in the story and seems forgotten about by the end minus some slight and unexpected comedy. The bigger problem is that the movie’s straightforward application of a “be true to yourself” message feels self-defeating in a story that includes villains. One scene accidentally deconstructs this by proving some arrogant individuals to have shallow and not ideological motivations, but this is otherwise a message the film doesn’t seem to know what to do with. Beyond this, Persepolis ends on a solemn but high note, having told behind it a rich story and leaving the audience with few answers about Iran yet not a lot of room for questions. The end product feels at times unique and familiar and is certainly a fine choice for viewers looking to be challenged by their entertainment.


Conclusion: Experiences are powerful; fill them with blessings

Persepolis - 2.4.7. Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and others - Marjane standing tall - from https://bokunosekai.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/persepolis-a-controversial-animation/

Little remains to be said about Persepolis. It is for the most part a wondrously crafted film with likable heroes, deplorable villains, memorable scenes, and perhaps every kind of human emotion from laughter to anguish and back. Marjane Satrapi’s story feels somewhat like an epic film told in reverse, but even as her fellow Iranians could have received more attention in this children’s-length but well paced film, Marji’s story never loses its impact and importance even in its silliest moments.

Freedom is a jewel to be cherished. It comes with a great and heavy price, and many that pave the way for it to be shared never get to experience it in this world. This story is not universally “about” feminism, extremism, government, economics, different cultures, or any of the other numerous themes that are brought up, but all of these aspects serve to show just how precious and fragile liberty really is.

Despite what you may have seen on the news, the Iran of Persepolis is not a country of nothing but tyranny and violence. Life goes on as it has and as it will, as much as it can, and many of these people continually show that one of the hardest things to take from someone is an idea. This is a movie full of ideas, some of which lie outside the story’s own grasp, and in the end, the story and its heroine-author give the audience an implicit mission–not merely to live, but to work so that others also can, and to value that life without worry of cost, so that all the world will know that it is precious.


Image sources (property of 2.4.7. Films, Sony Pictures Classics, and others)

- Movie postersource
Young revolutionary Marjisource
Marjane and Grandmasource
Bombed Tehransource (some spoilers)
Classic recordsource
Starlight romancesource
Mural on wallsource
Marjane standing tall – as Marjane and Grandma


This article was originally written and published for my movie review blog, Projected Realities.

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Behold BloodBorned Launch Trailer http://www.takuchat.com/behold-bloodborned-launch-trailer/ http://www.takuchat.com/behold-bloodborned-launch-trailer/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 00:23:06 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27673

With Bloodborne coming out pretty soon From Software decided to release the launch trailer for Bloodborne.Check it out in all its glory below- BloodBorne Releases for The PlayStation 4 on March 24th for North America and March 27th in Europe. … Continue reading

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With Bloodborne coming out pretty soon From Software decided to release the launch trailer for Bloodborne.Check it out in all its glory below-

BloodBorne Releases for The PlayStation 4 on March 24th for North America and March 27th in Europe.

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What has changed with Final Fantasy XV http://www.takuchat.com/changed-final-fantasy-xv/ http://www.takuchat.com/changed-final-fantasy-xv/#comments Sun, 08 Mar 2015 01:19:15 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=26654

Now in case you missed it, Final Fantasy XV previously Final Fantasy Versus XIII had a few new trailers released during the past few months, and with these trailers are some notably large changes. With these new re-reveal trailers we were given … Continue reading

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Now in case you missed it, Final Fantasy XV previously Final Fantasy Versus XIII had a few new trailers released during the past few months, and with these trailers are some notably large changes. With these new re-reveal trailers we were given some new insight into the games new and updated direction. So with that in mind I decided to make a walk through showing the changes the game has gone through. Now let us begin!

The Early Years.

To begin with let us first talk of the game’s initial development.Of course we will start with the game’s announcement. At E3 of 2006, Square Enix announced Final Fantasy Versus XIII as part of the Fabula Nova Crystalis, where  it was revealed as a PS3 exclusive.It was revealed with a CG trailer, a year or so after that an extended version was shown with the Cloud DvD.

In a November 2007 interview with Dengeki-(source), Nomura confirmed that Final Fantasy Versus XIII will have airships, towns and a world map. See the quote below-

The other day,” said Nomura, “I saw a test of an airship flying over the world map./ It’s the same scale as past FF games, but even then, it’s so wide that you can’t make out the first town.”

Two years after the reveal a different version of the first CG trailer was exhibited at DKS3713 2008 party.

In the December 2008 issue of Cloud Message Magazine, we got to see some Final Fantasy XIII Versus concept arts and very early gameplay beta tests showing off other areas and even what looks like the world map. You can see those here.

The earliest version of the game that was shown was a technology test that ran at Tokyo Game Show 2009, the test showed Noctis running around a town and some large fields with some very large monsters, the footage was so early that the NPC’s were borrowed from Final Fantasy XIII.-Source

With the release of the Japanese version of Advent Children Complete DVD (April 2009)  we were given a new trailer, this one would show Noctis and Stella meeting. This was an early stage of development and the games visuals would soon change drastically for the first time. ( Video Here)

Soon after at TGS 2010 Square Enix unveiled gameplay footage of Noctis running around random locations and fighting a Behemoth ( see below interview excerpt). We also got a good amount of new information from Famitsu around this time, see the interviews highlights below-

Excerpt from translation by Adriasang:

 

The camera angle is for the most part what’s shown in the screens […] They were originally consideringswitching to an overhead view when you moved into the outside world […]

The city scene is actually a battle screen. Normally, it would have a command menu and other information. […] In the actual game, you’ll fight as part of a party.

Nomura revealed that you’ll have access to a car. You can board and disembark your car whenever you like.

It looks like you’ll encounter monsters out on the field. Some will be roaming about, with Nomura citing an example of a behemoth walking around on a hill in the distance. In other instances, monsters will appear quickly.

In this week’s “Flying get” column, there was a bullet point about the game featuring both symbol and random encounters. I presume this is where these points come from. Nomura did not specially mention symbol and random encounters, though, so it may be a bit too hasty to picture an RPG-like system.

The game resurfaced soon after when Nomura and Square released a full 6 minute trailer showcasing a good amount of the games story and gameplay. Watch it below-

-The Big Change-

In 2011, developers began to hear about next-generation consoles, and the team decided to make Final Fantasy Versus XIII into Final Fantasy XV, but this was not public knowledge yet. While the game was rebranded, the ideas of having a different story from previous Final Fantasy games and  action-based combat did not change. Nomura had to confirm this during talks of the game being rebranded as the next numbered Final Fantasy, but after being told it wouldn’t be a problem, the project being moved into Final Fantasy XV and onto “Next-gen” consoles went ahead. See Nomura’s quote on the matter below-

“When we started talking about the shift to FF15,” he said, “we discussed with the company about whether it was really okay considering we had action-based battles and all these other things we tried to do because it wasn’t a numbered title. That was not a problem for them, so our direction hasn’t changed.”

During July 2012 the development team got some new faces when Wada ordered the Final Fantasy Type-0 team to join the Final Fantasy XV development. This order would eventually lead to Hajime Tabata taking a leadership role in the team, which would further down the road lead him to taking Nomura’s place as director. During this time of transition the game’s development was re-examined and the gameplay team, the CG team, and the game engine team were all merged in order to ease development.

Come another year and we get another new trailer for Final Fantasy Versus 13, this trailer premiered at E3 2013, and during this trailer it was revealed that the game was now a PlayStation 4 game (later reveled to be on Xbox One as well), at the end of the trailer it was publicly shown that the game had been turned into a main entry in the series, that entry being of course Final Fantasy 15.

See that trailer below-


With the trailer we saw some changes to the game, not only from a visual standpoint but the HUD was also different showing some new areas and a different style to it. Soon this would change.

Now to the newest of the updates,this year at TGS 2014 Square Enix showed off a new trailer for Final Fantasy XV, this trailer showed the largest changes for the game. It also showed off many new locations and redesigns.

Not too long after we were given an opportunity to see some tech Demos, a walkthrough and another trailer at Jump Festa. Click the links to find those.

With these new trailers came a ton of new updates and new changes, below I will give a quick run down of the changes.

Sadly it is not all good news when it comes to Final Fantasy XV, with the transition to Final Fantasy XV from Final Fantasy Versus we have loss a few things or had some changed, below is the list-

  • Character Switching is gone, you only play Noctis now.
  • Blood seems to be gone, instead there is an oil like substance.
  • Combat is no longer like Kingdom Hearts. Details here.
  • World Map seems to be gone, now it seems to be a more western style open world.
  • The ability to equip all weapon types is gone, or at least vastly changed so it is not the same (guns and such are out).
  • Manual in combat weapon changing seems to have been replaced with decks.
  • Character switching Combos are gone(You can combo your attacks across character changes — that is, you can keep your combo going when you switch the character you’re currently controlling.)
  • Three member party, it is now four.
  • Hitting enemies with your car seems to be gone.

We do not know if the things below will be in the game, though they seem to be gone-

  • In Final Fantasy Versus, it is possible to ride on monsters and aim at specific parts of their bodies.
  • Magitek armor, which “you can actually control and ride.”
  • Air Ships may appear. That is up in the air.
  • Other Party members; Before, it had been said that the group would be larger than the 4(though guest are confirmed)
  • Cell Phone Pics, Noctis was going to have the ability to take pictures with his cellphone.
Who is to blame for this mess?

Now many people will be quick to jump up and blame Nomura for the long delays on the game, but really it is much more complicated than that.

When will new information regarding Final Fantasy Versus XIII be announced?

Nomura: “Even within the company it’s a very delicate problem. The date when we can concretely lift the ban has been decided and we are preparing for that moment. Maybe the details as to why information couldn’t be released might be touched upon at the next information announcement. I’m sorry it’s already overdue, but please wait just a little more.”-source

Beyond that here is another quote from Nomura-

Nomura:”With Final Fantasy Type-0 finished, it’s Final Fantasy Versus XIII‘s turn to shine” -source

When looking at these quotes together it seems to point out that Nomura wanted to show the game but was not able to due to other games releasing and the higher ups at Square holding him back. While we have no definite way to prove it, all the evidence does point toward our theory.

Even more sad is the fact that Final Fantasy XIII-3 took resources from Versus; this was revealed when FF Dream spoke with SquareEnix’s Julien Merceron, and in their discussion they were able to unearth a few details about Final Fantasy 13-3 and Versus 13. In particular when speaking of Lightning Returns they stated that development is moving along swiftly, and that the game is currently undergoing focus testing. In regards to the tech behind 13-3  they stated that it is using elements from Final Fantasy Versus 13.

Couple these together and it shows that Final Fantasy Versus was screwed over by poor management from the higher ups at Square Enix. Luckily for us with Square’s recent changing of power we have gotten a much more open viewing of the games that are in development (for ones that are decently in development).

 The Characters and How far they have Come-

For this part it will basically just be images as we have still learned very little about the characters in the game. We mostly just know the looks. So here we go!

Noctis
Noctis

 

Stella
Stella
Prompto
Prompto
Galdioulus
Gladioulus
Ignis
Ignis
King regies
Regis

 

 

 

As you can see the characters for the most part have come quite some way, with many of them going from more anime like designs to more realistic proportions. Whether you think that is good is up to you, but you have to admit it is fun to see them change.

Personality wise we do not know how the characters have changed during development, though it has been said that they have remained the same we have no definite way of knowing as we have not seen very much of the characters personality so far.

 

 

 

What might the future hold-

It seems that most the changes are over, but that might just be for the current time. With the  Episode Duscae demo coming with Final Fantasy Type 0 we can obviously expect new information to start to pour down on us. The question that lays before us is will the demo actually bring change from the feedback of its fans, and will the game truly still be the epic vision it was once dreamed up to be.

 

-Sources-

link1-link2-link3-link4-link5-link6-link7-Info ban source-Battle System Details-Final Fantasy Versus XIII World maps-Nomura Leaves Final Fantasy XV

What has changed with Final Fantasy XV

Stella
Prompto
Noctis
King regies
Ignis
Galdioulus

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New Final Fantasy XV Footage At PAX East http://www.takuchat.com/new-final-fantasy-xv-footage-at-pax-east/ http://www.takuchat.com/new-final-fantasy-xv-footage-at-pax-east/#comments Sat, 07 Mar 2015 22:26:31 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27631

Square Enix held a “Behind the Game Designs of Final Fantasy XV” panel featuring the lead game designers Wan Hazmer and Prasert Prasertvithyakarn at PAX East today. Below are their duties as lead designers (via Gematsu) Prasert “Sun” Prasertvithyakarn - … Continue reading

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Square Enix held a “Behind the Game Designs of Final Fantasy XV” panel featuring the lead game designers Wan Hazmer and Prasert Prasertvithyakarn at PAX East today.

Below are their duties as lead designers (via Gematsu)

  • Prasert “Sun” Prasertvithyakarn - The lead gamer designer for the Buddy team, which is in charge of the AI characters and how they behave with the player—how they battle, how they walk, how they talk, etc. Sun says that many people take these AI characters for granted, because in most games they’re just there for the sake of the story, but in Final Fantasy XV, they play a significant role, and they’re trying to create a “revolution” in terms of what these AI characters can do.
  • Wan Hazmer - The lead game designer for the Culture team, which is in charge of creating cultures for the world of Final Fantasy XV. This includes building civilizations, food, and the stories behind the towns surrounding the game’s world map. Hazmer says that they don’t just want to make a town to be a rest stop, they want it to be rich with culture.

Backstory

When you’ve spent your entire life looking out at the serrated city skyline, it’s easy to lose yourself in the sprawling Duscaen landscape. The prince and his retinue were halfway to Cauthess when their daydreams came to a sudden, screeching halt—the Regalia’s last gasp before giving out to the unpaved backroads.

Now they were truly lost in the landscape: broken down by the side of the road with the Disc well out of walking distance. The Archaean, Titan, would have to wait. He’d been dormant for ages anyway. The first order of business was getting back on four wheels.

Key Features

  • A New Generation of Final Fantasy: The latest platform technology brings Duscae to life, rendering fast-paced action against breathtaking backdrops under a sky that changes in real time.
  • Open World Exploration: Guide Noctis and his entourage over the plains, through the woods, into the dungeons and around the outposts of Duscae as players roam freely about the expansive region.
  • Action-Packed Combat: Final Fantasy XV is the first Final Fantasy flagship title to give players direct control over combat in real-time, resulting in an exhilarating action RPG experience.
  • Summoning: Uncover the astral power that will enable Noctis to call larger-than-life vengeance down from the heavens.
  • Engaging Quests: Adventures great and small await in Duscae.
  • English and Japanese Voice-Over: Enjoy English or Japanese audio with English, French, German, Italian, Japanese or Spanish text.

 

We were also gave a ton of new trailers to stare at while we wait for the demo to hit-

Chocobo Post Trailer-


Buddies Trailer

Combat tutorial

Gameplay

Here are some little bits of info about the Demo-

  • No Chocobo rentals ( demo onlyP)
  • No Large towns
  • There are multiple types of Buffs in the demo-See them below-
  • –Fresh – Slightly increases attack, defense, and EXP gained.
  • –Prime – Greatly increases attack, defense, and EXP gained.
  • –Sharp – Increases critical hit rate.
  • –Immune – Negates status ailments.
  • Ai Characters will call you over to interesting things
  • In the Demo the main quest is killing the Behomoth
  • A certain Blonde guy broke your car in the demo

 

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Here Is Our First Decent Look at the Gameplay of Mevius Final Fantasy http://www.takuchat.com/here-is-our-first-decent-look-at-the-gameplay-of-mevius-final-fantasy/ http://www.takuchat.com/here-is-our-first-decent-look-at-the-gameplay-of-mevius-final-fantasy/#comments Sat, 07 Mar 2015 01:01:58 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27629

Square Enix has released the first real gameplay trailer for Mevius Final Fantasy. You can view the minute of gameplay below- More from TakuChat PS Vita Mobile Review #6: Switch Galaxy Valkyria Chronicles Duel Review – the browser card battle … Continue reading

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Square Enix has released the first real gameplay trailer for Mevius Final Fantasy. You can view the minute of gameplay below-

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BloodBornes Online Features Detailed http://www.takuchat.com/bloodbornes-online-features-detailed/ http://www.takuchat.com/bloodbornes-online-features-detailed/#comments Sat, 07 Mar 2015 00:59:34 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27627

Over at the games official page you can view the summary of how the games multiplayer works, check it out- Co-Op Up to three players can group up together online, with the objective being to defeat the boss in the … Continue reading

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Over at the games official page you can view the summary of how the games multiplayer works, check it out-

Co-Op

Up to three players can group up together online, with the objective being to defeat the boss in the area (guest players receive a word upon success).

A game is started when the host player uses the “Hunter Calling Bell” item to call other hunters. Likewise, the guest players use the “Resonant Bell” item to join another person’s game. Once connected, the host and guests play together in the host’s game instance.

A session will end if either the host or the guests die, or if a “Separating Shot” is used to retreat back to one’s own game. Matchmaking is done automatically, but passwords can be set to ensure the right players group together as needed. Passwords can be up to eight characters and are only used for co-op play.

Player-versus-Player

Player-versus-Player, or PvP, matches are one-on-one bouts that take place in pre-determined areas. The player being invaded is the host, while the aggressor is the guest.

A match is started when the guest uses the “Ominous Resonant Bell” item to invade a user’s game. The host has either started a co-op session or used an Ominous Resonant Bell as well to trigger the appearance of a Bell Chiming Woman. The guest proceeds to invade the host’s game instance, where the two duke it out.

The rules are simple. The host can be invaded when they’re in areas with the Bell Chiming Women, who normally appear either as part of c-op play or when an Ominous Resonant Bell is used (though there are occasionally areas where she’s just present in general from the start), an guest can return back to their own game once they’ve defeated the host (or have been defeated by the host). Killing the host will grant them a reward.

A session will also end if the host enters a boss room, or if a Separating Shot is used to return the guest player to his own game.

Asynchronous Multiplayer

Blooborne also has asynchronous online element. Players can leave hints and messages for other players in other game worlds. Graves are erected where players have fallen in the game world, and touching them replays how they died. And players can see phantom images of other players running around in the same areas for a limited amount of time. So it’s essentially Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls in this area.

Chalice Dungeon

Chalice Dungeons are split into two types: normal and randomly generated. Both can be played offline and online, but random ones require connecting to the internet once in order to connect to a server and download data. Players’ Chalice Dungeons can be publicly accessible and shared online.

Updates

An update will go live on release day, which will include online optimizations, enhanced game performance and usability, and a few other things.

PlayStation Plus

Sony clarifies that PlayStation Plus is required for co-op and player-versus-player, but not required for downloading updates and getting the necessary data to generate a Chalice Dungeon. ( thanks to Gematsu for the translation)

 

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Here Is The Future of Gaming Engines. http://www.takuchat.com/here-is-the-future-of-gaming-engines/ http://www.takuchat.com/here-is-the-future-of-gaming-engines/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 22:32:39 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27619

Well the Game Developer Conference has been going on for the past few days, and with it of course we get to see th future of gaming engines and what they will bring.Below you can see some sizzle reels of … Continue reading

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Well the Game Developer Conference has been going on for the past few days, and with it of course we get to see th future of gaming engines and what they will bring.Below you can see some sizzle reels of the engines that will be making games for us for the next few years-
Unity 5-

Unreal Engine 4-

Cryengine-

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Metal Gear Solid V Special Editions Detailed http://www.takuchat.com/metal-gear-solid-v-special-editions-detailed/ http://www.takuchat.com/metal-gear-solid-v-special-editions-detailed/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 22:17:24 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27615

In case you missed it, Metal Gear Solid V is coming out September 1st WordlWide. With its release there will be two versions of the game, the day one edition and the Collectors edition. The Day One Edition will get … Continue reading

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In case you missed it, Metal Gear Solid V is coming out September 1st WordlWide. With its release there will be two versions of the game, the day one edition and the Collectors edition.

The Day One Edition will get you-(59.99$)

  1. A Map (Can only get with the retail version)
  2. Adam-ska Special Handgun
  3. Personal Ballistic Shield (Silver)
  4. Cardboard Box (Wetland)
  5. Fatigues (Blue Urban Snake Costume)
  6. Metal Gear Online XP Boost

The Collectors edition will get you (99$)

 

  • Half Scale Replica of Snake’s Bionic Arm
  • Collectible SteelBook
  • Behind the Scenes Documentary & Trailers Blu-ray Disc
  • Map
  • Exclusive Packaging
  • Fatigues (Black Ocelot)
  • Fatigues (Gray Urban)
  • Fatigues (Blue Urban)
  • Fatigues (All-Purpose Dryland)
  • Venom Snake’ Emblem
  • Metal Gear Online XP Boost
  • Metal Gear Rex Helmet(MGO)
  • AM MRS-4 GOLD Assault Rifle(MGO)
  • WU S. PISTOL GOLD(MGO)
  • Windurger S333 Combat Revolver
  • Adam-ska Handgun
  • Maschinen aktische Pistole 5 Weiss Handgun
  • Rasp Short-Barreled Shotgun Gold
  • Personal Ballistic Shield (Olive Drab)
  • Personal Ballistic Shield (Silver)
  • Personal Ballistic Shield (White)
  • Personal Ballistic Shield (Gold)
  • Cardboard Box (Rocky Terrain)
  • Cardboard Box (All-Purpose Dryland)
  • Cardboard Box (Wetland)

Additionally Japan will be getting a limited edition Metal Gear Solid PlayStation 4. Check that beautiful beast out below-

 

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Behold The First Gameplay of Mevius Final Fantasy http://www.takuchat.com/behold-the-first-gameplay-of-mevius-final-fantasy/ http://www.takuchat.com/behold-the-first-gameplay-of-mevius-final-fantasy/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 08:24:37 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27612

Shown during this years GDC, it was shown during a Unity 5 highlight reel, check it out- More from TakuChat Kojima giving GDC 2013 talk to show FOX Engine workflow for Ground Zeroes In The News: Kojima At GDC, New … Continue reading

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Shown during this years GDC, it was shown during a Unity 5 highlight reel, check it out-

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Metal Gear Solid V Release Date Set. http://www.takuchat.com/metal-gear-solid-v-release-date-set/ http://www.takuchat.com/metal-gear-solid-v-release-date-set/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 08:04:36 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27610

Well, the release date was leaked of course and with it a video of Kojima talking, the release date is September 1st, worldwide on all systems. This will be the “last” metal gear, check out Kojimas quote below- “I always … Continue reading

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Well, the release date was leaked of course and with it a video of Kojima talking, the release date is September 1st, worldwide on all systems.
This will be the “last” metal gear, check out Kojimas quote below-
“I always say this will be my last Metal Gear, but the games in the series that I’ve personally produced – Metal on MSX, Metal Gear 2, Metal Gear Solid 1, 2, 3, 4 and Peace Walker – and now Metal Gear Solid 5 constitute a single Metal Gear saga,” Kojima said in an interview with IGN.

“With Metal Gear Solid 5 I’m finally closing the loop on that saga. In that sense, this will be the final Metal Gear Solid. To me, this is the last Metal Gear.”


MGSVizzle by projectbeastpree3leak

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Final Fantasy Type-0 Hd Gets Another Comparison Video http://www.takuchat.com/final-fantasy-type-0-hd-gets-another-comparison-video/ http://www.takuchat.com/final-fantasy-type-0-hd-gets-another-comparison-video/#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 23:58:59 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27606

Square Enix released another video showing the PSP version compared to the HD-Port of the game, you can see it in the video below- Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is to release on March 17th in North America, the 19th for … Continue reading

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Square Enix released another video showing the PSP version compared to the HD-Port of the game, you can see it in the video below-
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is to release on March 17th in North America, the 19th for Japan and Australia and March 20th for Europe.

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Check Out BloodBornes Newest Boss http://www.takuchat.com/check-out-bloodbornes-newest-boss/ http://www.takuchat.com/check-out-bloodbornes-newest-boss/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2015 22:33:50 +0000 http://www.takuchat.com/?p=27603

From Software and IGN released a video of one of the games many bosses, check it out if you aren’t afraid of being spoiled- More from TakuChat Some new BloodBorne Gameplay 50 seconds of off screen gameplay for BloodBorne BloodBorne … Continue reading

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From Software and IGN released a video of one of the games many bosses, check it out if you aren’t afraid of being spoiled-

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