Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Final Fantasy VII Review – PSN Store

Ff7_eu Yes, this game is now 12 years old, a decade younger than myself. Yet with it’s recent port on to the PSN store, and the ability to play it on my Final Fantasy VII PSP is great for me. I will try and make this review as unbiased as I can, but I’m making no guarantees.


FFVIIbattleexampleThe story starts off with you being Cloud, an ex First Class SOLDIER *cough* with some sevre memory and head problems. Eventually the plot to take down an evil company along with a bunch of misfits, turns in to an epic task to save the planet. Aerith’s death scene is very memorable to any gamer, and was a shocking and saddening moment when first seen. The story starts a mite slow, but advances quickly and starts getting complex. Getting the two secret characters helps to add to more story plot, as does finding out all about Zack (which is all optional by the way).


Cloud-_MeteorainBeing the first Final Fantasy game, and indeed first RPG I’d played, this may be where bias plays in. The ATB system was used in this game for battles, and worked very well. The Limit system would lay the ground work for greater improvements, such as in Final Fantasy X, where one could change how Limits were built up, rather than just by being hit. The world map wandering is good in either landscape or top-down view.


SephirothReviewing this 12 years down the line means that the graphics take a serious knock. Back then, it was all state-of-the-art, “more real than real” stuff, yet now they’re blocky, things are slightly off. I’m adding a score in brackets for this one for if I had reviewed it 12 years ago, but at my current intelligence.


FFVIIOSTThe music however remains undeterred by a gap of more than ten years. I still listen to it these days and enjoy the memories it brings forth.


MateriaHmmm…this is difficult. On the one hand, I could play this endlessly. On the other hand, I have already played this enough to get all I ever could out of it. Yet I come back and play it each time. This wouldn’t be the same for everyone though. If you haven’t done ALL the optional stuff, replay it and get it. If you have, replay it for fun. See what happens when the train crashes, or play along with Don Corneo. You can’t not replay it.

Story: 8/10
Gameplay: 8/10
Graphics: 6.2 (8)/10
Soundtrack: 8.3/10
Replayability: 7.4/10

74.80% (79.40%)

  • 0 – 19% Unplayable - why the hell did I even buy this?
  • 20 – 49% Poor – Certain elements of the game hold it back
  • 50 – 69% Average – More good than bad, but you might need to be a fan to really get in to it.
  • 70 – 84% Good – A nice franchise or single game, that just misses out on being great because of a few flaws.
  • 85 – 89% Excellent – You could play this for ages and be happy
  • 90 – 100% Fucking Excellent – You should have this game and play it every single day.

Want me to review a game? Comment and let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

Monday, 29 June 2009

You want to do what?

150107066 I’m not sure how any DM ever put up with me. So, same wizard character that I discussed here but this happened before that.

Usual quest thing, going in to an enemy hideout from the top. Meaning we had to take a large amount of make shift stairs down, but we had a large pit in the way, so with my wizard and his gigantic staff, I thought it would be a good idea to pole vault across the gap.

“Can I do that?” I had asked the DM, it being my second game ever.
”Pole vault across the gap?”
”So, you want to stick your staff down the hole, then kind of swing across?”

”Okay” said the DM. “You go to stick your 20 foot staff down the hole to vault across, but the hole is 30 feet deep. You fall and lose half your hit points.”
”Ow” (I like to empathize with my characters in D&D)

”’Ow’ indeed.”

The other players eventually helped me up, and I instead chucked the pole to our nimble thief and he put the pole across the gap, and had everyone walk along.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Comic strip script

Pikachu_by_PkmnTrainerJFor anyone who doesn’t know, I’m trying to start off a web comic with my meagre drawing skills and I had an idea earlier, which I can’t put to paper at the moment, so here’s the script for now.

[Blank panel two voices, one on left, one on right]
<Loud Explosion>
Voice 1: What was that?
Voice 2: Wasn’t me.

Voice 1: Well, if the explosion wasn’t you then…
Voice 2: Oh shit. Daddy!

[Burnt out, exploded Electrode in the middle]
[Male Voltorb on left, female on right, both teary eyed, female crying.]

Yeah, sounds kind of rubbish, but I’ll see when I’ve drawn it.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Twilight – A Look At A Book

I might make this a new simply titled segment, as it were, and for the first one, let’s go for the worst book I’ve ever read, and the only one I’ve never finished.


Okay, this blog post is being finished off elsewhere now.

Friday, 26 June 2009

What do I need to write? – By fragmad

Image0028This a guest blog post by fragmad/Ginja/Will. He runs about three blogs, but I prefer his short fiction blog, so I’ll link to that. It’s called Quick Tales.

I’ve known him for a while, and he writes some damn good stuff, so take a look and read some of it. Especially his Moon Station story, which starts here.

If you want to do a guest blog post, just e-mail it to me, at pkmntrainerj@gmail.com and it’ll go up. There’s some conditions if you want to do a review, but apart from that, it’s all fair game.

I spend a lot of time giving issues like this a lot of thought. It saves me from thinking about important and worthy subjects like getting a job, or finding a stable relationship, or the really important questions in life like what is good and evil? This kind of thinking is the shallow end of worthy subjects, but it's good stuff to nail down. I'm sure what I'm talking about can be taken across to other disciplines such as drawing, or anything remotely creative, but I'll stick to my own thing. That's putting words in readable order one and another that entertain other people.

Now I'm hesitant to say that I need anything as banal as inspiration in order to write anything. I don't need inspiration to cook a fucking fantastic meal, or even to get out of bed. Indeed I strongly suspect that anyone who claims they are waiting for inspiration in order to write anything really doesn't want to write anything. They just want to enjoy the mystery and the glamour (what?) of writing without putting the effort in.

Fuck them!

No what I need to put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard (apart from food, shelter, support), is purpose. I have to be writing for a reason. Sure, that reason can be practice, it could be to convey a message, or just the sheer bloody entertainment of it. There has to be a reason though.

I feel like Will’s described when I draw too, there has to be a reason for it. Whether it's just to entertain myself, or because it's in my head aching to get out.

There is one reason that I will never again use to write something. I'm never going to write something to impress anyone. Especially if it means that they never see what you write because you are too shamed by the results. But that's me and my own damage.
I slowly came to the realisation that purpose was a central need for me when writing anything by reading a book on writing plays called 'The Art of Dramatic Writing'.

It's a good book, and if you want to know how to write a good play you can do no worse than reading that book. The first chapter was a small revelation for for me.

That first chapter poses that most successful plays have a premise. "True love conquerors even death," for Romeo and Juliet for example. And that these successful plays are always driving towards demonstrating that premise.

For me it really is no different. Everything I write, and to be honest everything I do with gusto has a purpose. I don't do things senselessly and at random despite appearances of often doing exactly that.

What's the point of this? Just sharing an idea.

Hope you liked fragmad’s post. If you want to do a post, then send me an e-mail and it’ll go up, and I’ll link to your blog/site.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

“When I first met her, it hit me.”

This was my post for the Fanpop Writer's Group, which is a fiction piece based on the prompt above. I feel that my writing doesn’t get in to a good flow right away, but this only took me a few minutes. Hopefully you all like it. I also tried to not use any spoken word in this, and think it worked okay.

When I first met her, it hit me. The sudden realisation that I loved her. There and then, even before knowing her name or anything about her, I knew that I loved her. No-one else in the room seemed to matter, and people's voices were muffled background noise to me.

She walked over to me and started to nervously speak, but I grabbed her hand before she could and simply held it. A large gruff man sidled alongside her and said something I didn't hear.

I enquired as to what he had said, and he uttered a series of coarse and curse words against me and then strolled off with her, showing his ownership, as though something this precious could be possessed like a necklace.

I gave chase, and encountered them kissing in the icy wintered parking lot. Overcome with emotions of love, anger towards the gruff man and a small adrenaline rush, I swung my fist around at the guy who seemed a lot taller close up.

He crushed my hand in his much larger one as I let out a yelp of pain. I attempted to push my head in to his chest to knock him back, and though he stumbled slightly, it didn't have much effect.

As he shoved me back he laughed to himself, and spoke some words to the woman I loved. I saw a chance to run at him, and try to disrupt his balance and took it. Mid-run, I slipped on some ice, but continued to go, sliding in to the man with both of us heading for a larger patch of ice.

On reflection, I should have realised that the patch of ice was covering a lake. We both slid on, myself being flung further down and then scrambling to get out before it gave way.

The gruff man did not seem so lucky. The woman I loved was screaming and shouting his name, though I do not recall it. She exclaimed that he was unable to swim, as his large body sank beneath the splinters of ice.

I could only watch in horror as bubbles began to float to the surface, and then couldn't move as they ceased to come up any more.
I looked at the woman I loved from the other side of the lake, and she simply shook her head through tears. She may have been the woman I loved, but I had just killed the man that she loved.

I tried to shake away the tears too, and started to flee as others piled outside and the police sirens began. I've not stopped running since.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Happy Father’s Day Den


Hey, Den. Doubt very much you read my blog, but Happy Father’s Day, if I didn’t say so with a card and gift already. Hope you enjoy the gift that I got for you. At the time of writing, I’ve no idea what it is.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

facebook vanity

facebookYou may be aware that facebook now offers up usernames for users, or vanity URLs as they have been called a lot. I thought I’d check and see if certain famous characters have been claimed by anybody as often happens when usernames first become available. If you do claim one, or know of one that’s gone, let me know. Let’s see, well know characters first.

I’ll try some Pokémon now.

  • Pikachu – Really, no-one has Pikachu?
  • Magikarp – For some reason this directs me back to the homepage. One last try.
  • Ditto – No luck here either. Maybe one more.
  • Oddish – Finally, A HIT! I expected a friend of mine to have this, but he wasn’t as lucky.

Kingdom Hearts folks. Hmmm…Organization XIII?

  • Roxas – Got one first try!
  • Marluxia – That’s been claimed too.
  • Luxord – That’s been claimed as well.
    I’m sure all the Kingdom Hearts characters names that can be claimed have been done.

That’s all I can be bothered to do. What’s your vanity URL, anything good? Seen any decent ones? Let me know.

Friday, 19 June 2009



38 cents. What the heck can you even get for that? To me, it actually works out as about 23p, so what could I get for that?

img1210165178I could buy a Cadbury’s Fudge, and have a small amount of change left and probably not much else. Why am I going on about 38 cents? That’s because it’s what I got from last month’s advertising, which you see plastered about the site. I also get a small portion when people visit my blog, so if you keep visiting, I’ll accumulate a small amount of cash.dollar_sign_smiley_sticker-p217766239362699014q0ou_400 Not that I’m getting a large amount of money, or am encouraging further visits. I guess this post was a way of letting you know that you’re doing some good by reading all the rubbish I write, and thanks a bunch for it.

Hopefully, in three years or so when I accumulate the $100 needed to get it in my bank account, I can offer up an incentive sketch, or something cool.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

I mastered neurology, and big bang theology

Yes, yes, I know. It’s numerology in the song. However, I had used a quote from Lost before to discuss my head problems, and now we’ll go with Linkin Park.


I did a previous post on this, just to kind of inform people of what had happened, but now I have an appointment scheduled at a hospital to check out what’s truly wrong with me.

I’ve been discussing it with people and the general feeling is that it’s some kind of epilepsy, these people aren’t medical professionals, but I still value their opinion.

But, yeah, I’m off to see a neurologist today and I shall see what they say.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Bags of holding are not nice places

8_swim_350x300 If you’re following me on Twitter you probably saw me make note of this recently.

I’m a big geek, there’s no denying that, and back in my teens I did play some Dungeons & Dragons with a few mates, which was actually Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2.0 I think.

Either way, I had a wizard chap, whose name is lost to me and I’d acquired a bag of holding a few games back, which I was constantly using to store all of the loot we found.

A few games later, when we had all (four – six of us playing) obtained steeds and rode in to a new town for a quest, we were directed to a deep dungeon cave, and told to saddle up our horses.

“Oh! I’ve got an idea. Can I just put my horse in my bag of holding?”
I’m sure I rolled for something, but can’t recall.
”Yes,” replied the DM, “but remember to take it out later.”

So, horse in my backpack along with all other trinkets and so forth and we went plodding about the dungeon taking down enemies. Then our gaming session came to a close as nightfall fell back in the real world.

A few weeks later, we got back in to it, and came across a large lake, wherein we needed to swim underwater and get under a small cavern to retrieve the item we’d been hired to get. We had a quick scrabble of ideas, and then the thought crossed my mind.

“Hey, what about my horse?” (I had named it, but I forget what)
”Fine, check your bag of holding.” spoke the DM with an evil undertone.
”Your horse is dead. After being left in the bag for the week or so you’ve spent in the cave, it starved and is now beginning to have it’s flesh fall off.”
”Oh…” I pondered a moment longer. “Could I use it to swim across, as a kind of floatation device?”
”I suppose you could…”
”No wait. Better idea. If I shove my head in to it’s mouth,and then swim underwater using it’s lungs for air?”

I drew a crude sketch at this point, demonstrating my ludicrous plan and spoke of it further, while the rest of the group laughed and gave me odd stares.

”Okay,” the DM noted. “You can do it.”
”No rolling?”
”Nope, no rolling.”

So, I swam across and under and got whatever magical thing it was we needed. It triggered a boss fight on land, and my horse’s corpse was incinerated by the boss (I think the DM didn’t want me to reuse it) and I snagged some experience points by using magic missile whilst coming back to land.

That was a fun time. I’m such a big bloody geek. And I love it.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

What to expect if you follow me on Twitter

@wilw (Wil Wheaton) made a post a while back, on what to expect if you follow him on Twitter so I thought I’d try and emulate him and make a similar list, because it’s 2:45AM and I’m veeeery tired but want to blog.


  1. I send out a lot of Tweets, frequently about stupid stuff that's just amusing to me. From time to time I will send out several in just a few minutes. You probably shouldn't follow me on your phone, because it's going to get annoying. I have friends who are so prolific, I don't follow them on my phone, and they're my friends! I have friends who don't follow me, because I tweet way too much for them. It's cool, I know text message charges can be expensive, and I wouldn't follow me, because I use Twitter a LOT. I don't plan to change that, either. It's fun and I like it.

    That one hasn’t been change from Wil Wheaton’s original post, because I feel it holds true for myself. Yet I know a few people that follow me on their phones. Man, I feel sorry for you all.
  2. I will sometimes tweet about stuff that people tend not to give a crap about like Pokémon or Kingdom Hearts, or even utter nonsense and song lyrics.

  3. I try as hard as I can not to tweet any spoilers for TV shows and video games that I “become aware of” but may slip up occasionally, so if you like the TV show Lost, for example, and don’t see it until Sunday, it may be wise to unfollow me for a day or two. I won’t be offended.
  4. I’ll sometimes have mass conversations with people, which you won’t see unless you follow them, so sometimes it’s worth checking my actual Twitter page.
  5. If you’re trying to engage me in conversation about something, please make sure you know what you’re on about first of all.

I think that’s about it, and if you don’t follow me on Twitter, click hither, wandering traveller.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days – Xion *spoilers*

AxelRoxasXionSo I couldn’t wait and ended up reading about Xion and a bit of the 358/2 Days storyline. So, as it says at the top, there’s spoilers in this.

So, Xion is a puppet created from Sora’s leaking memories by Xemnas. She resembles Kairi because of Sora’s strong memories of her. Then when Roxas defeats her, he absorbs her and is thus able to dual wield keyblades. Thus being why Sora can dual wield when Roxas is willingly absorbed by him.

Xion_as_sora_nightmare Just…no. It sounds very stupid. However, were I describing that Roxas is the body & soul of Sora, born when he lost his heart to the darkness by choice. Or that Naminé is born of a blend of Sora & Kairi’s body and soul when Kairi’s pure heart restored Sora and is able to mess around with the memories of Sora and those close to him (i.e. party members, Riku, Kairi). These things do sound foolish in practice, but when you’ve played through, they do make sense.


Then, I learned that at some point, Xion (being created of memories and taking on many different forms) appears as Ventus from Birth By Sleep, which always seemed like the more interesting game to me. So now I’m pondering on how Sora, Xion, Kairi or Xigbar (who sees her/him as Ven) is/are related to a Keyblade Master of ten years past before any half of them even existed (Sora & Kairi were just kids, with Kairi still being at Hollow Bastion).

If you’re not confused, congratulations, you know your Kingdom Hearts stuff.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

So I fainted…again

ist2_1650217-figurine-faintPerhaps if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you saw this post about when I passed out back in April.

I ended up having two more of my things a few days ago, and passed out both times within the two hours. Went to the walk in centre and got some medicine to last me a few days.

But I have a hospital appointment upcoming, it just means that now I need a risk assessment at work, and have to explain it all to everyone.

I hate explaining it, because it all sounds so stupid and not real.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Pronunciation is the aspiration of this dictation

I always find pronunciation and slang really fascinating, as well as the origin of words. Do you know what a jitty is, or a snicket? Do you say right the way instead of right away?

The Fanpop Four in LBP Even take my own user name “PkmnTrainerJ”. How the heck do you pronounce the first four letters? Apparently even the Fanpop staff have debated it too.

Apparently papa pronounces it as “Pikmin”, whereas Dave corrects him and tells him it’s actually “Pokémon”, but said quickly. So kind of like “Puhk-mun” if you want to get it right.

Do you know any slang words that are much more local to you, or variations on usual words? I don’t know why I’m like this with words, I just am.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Brawl Snapshots

Cudge! As a stage!I’m not sure if this comes under social networking sites really, but it’s been a while since I did the first one. On Brawl Snapshots, a Game Cults site, users upload stages and photos of Super Smash Bros. Brawl and if you like them, you +1 them.

Good photos are featured and there’s contests too. You can also download any stages you see on there to use on your Wii, which is wicked cool.

Look at his butt!

My profile & gallery are here and I’ve made a few stages like the Pixl (allies from the game Super Paper Mario) ones, which I particularly like. Thoreau is my favourite design and one to battle on, so please let me know what you think of that.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

A chain of memories

When you remember one thing, that leads to remembering another and then another and then another. Our memories are connected. Many pieces are linked together like they’re in a chain that makes up each of us. I don’t actually erase any memories -just take apart the links and rearrange them. You still have all your memories.

Okay, I took that from Kingdom Hearts: Re: Chain Of Memories, but thought it would be quite apt.

My cousin and I were discussing memories and childhood, and somehow ended up on earliest memories. She told me that hers was when it was either my fourth birthday, or her fourth birthday and her memory is of me showing her how to paint the number four.

Now this sounds fine, and a nice memory, until she mentioned that I had actually managed to draw it backwards when painting, akin to the one below.

backwards4However, we were alerted to the mistake and corrected it, so it probably looked kind of like this in the end.

correct4What the fuck, four year old me? Get out. We landed back on my earliest memory, and I guess that’s what the point of this post is apart from mocking my artistic skill back then, which I doubt has improved much.

So, my earliest memory, is being a small baby on the bus with my mother, and apparently going off to my grandmother’s. I whack my head as we drive round a corner, and that’s about all I remember majorly until starting school. I recall being given lots of books about something that was happening in the family, but I don’t remember any content of them.

Anyways, it would be cool to hear some early memories from peeps.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Guest reviews/posts

GUESTgif I know what I’m doing now when it comes to reviewing games and after a good month of blogging, I realised it can be irritating to crank out a few good blog posts, so here’s my plan for being lazy. E-mail any reviews or posts to pkmntrainerj@gmail.com and I’ll get it up here on the blog. According to SiteMeter, I should average around 300 visits a month, and 295 page views if that influences you in any way.


You can review whatever you like, so long as you stick to the 2009 review style that’s on the blog. Include pictures in the e-mail if you like, but if not I’ll find pictures and the like. If you’re reviewing something I haven’t yet (such as books/movies) please replace the five video game categories with appropriate things. As long as there are five percentages, the overall rating works.

Regular Posts

Regular posts can be about anything and everything, send them along to the same e-mail.

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change blog posts as I see fit for whatever reason I choose. You will receive an e-mail to tell you when your blog post will go up and a link will be given to your blog/website for visitors.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Square Enix E3 Predictions

squareenix Square Enix mentioned that the company will reveal three previously unannounced titles at E3 2009. Rumour reported that two of the which will be sequels to their bigger franchises.

That’s from the website The Magic Box and you’ve probably seen it in various places. A few days after this blog goes up, we might know more, but I’m going to offer up a few predictions, let me know what you think.

200px-Sora-2 Kingdom Hearts III

KH Insider had their April Fool’s joke be that there was a Kingdom Hearts III announced, and it would have been a good joke, but it was spoilt. Nonetheless, the slew of spin-off Kingdom Hearts games for DS, PSP & mobile phones will all have been released soon, and fans are waiting for another ‘main’ game so announcing it at E3 and seeing some cool video for the next Kingdom Hearts game would be good.


Chrono Series Game/Mana Series Game

Though I’ve never played the Chrono series, it’s DS rerelease seemed to go well and I know people that have got enjoyment out of it, and Europe had never really seen it before this release so it gave European users a new experience. To not carry on with the series would be foolish.

The Mana series could also do with a new game as well, perhaps something on the PSP rather than sticking to Nintendo’s console to mix it up.

Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy fans have wanted a remake of the game for some time, and were taunted by the technical demo above to show off the PS3’s power, and then taunted by an updated opening after the end of Crisis Core, and it would be a cash cow for Square Enix. I will be shocked if this isn’t announced. The other two are more wishes than predictions. What do you think?

Monday, 1 June 2009

It’s June!


It’s June now, so let’s run through all the good things that come with June. I don’t know if I’ll do this at the start of each blog month. We’ll see.

Sims 3sims3 The third numbered game in the “The Sims” series is due out this month, with all new great stuff, and much more flexibility than the last game. I’ll certainly be playing this to death.

iPhone 3.0
iphone3.0498x367 3.0 beta is already out to those with jail broken phones or app developers, but for the rest of the iPhone users, 3.0 and all the wonderful bits that come with it.

Week Off
197020_res1_KickBackThese are rare to me now that I have to do management work, so weeks off are much more appreciated now. I’m going to kick back and do bugger all.

home2_29More driving lessons will surely come in this month, and now I feel I’m really moving along with them. Driving instructor is a great laugh too and finally…

I’m amazed that I’ve managed to keep this blog going properly for a good month or so now, so you can expect more reviews, more generic crap about my life and maybe a few guest reviews.