Games to Revisit: Pepsiman

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Pepsiman is an action video game developed and published by KID for the PlayStation. It was released in Japan in March 1999, and is based on American carbonated soft drink Pepsi’s superhero mascot with the same name, and focuses the player on avoiding obstacles by running, dashing, and jumping, while Pepsiman automatically runs forward through each of the game’s stages.

The game was made with a low budget, prompting the decision to make videos in-between stages that show a man drinking Pepsi, as they were cheap to produce. The game also features 3D cutscenes, which the future visual novel writer Kotaro Uchikoshi created 3D models for. While an American publisher did look into acquiring the rights to publish the game in the United States, it ended up being a Japan-exclusive game.

If you don’t know this game, you’re either too young or you have been living under a rock. This game can be considered as the great grandfather of Temple Run and Subway Surfers, I don’t think there was a game that followed the same game-play back then.

As cheap as the cutscenes are, the game is actually fun and I remember I spent hours on it. I’m not sure if I would consider the game actually having a story but my god the theme song gets stuck in your head for hours.

The game can be finished in one hour, it’s not exactly that long. There’s nothing much to say about this game but it’s a good time killer and I had fun revisiting it.

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Games to Revisit: Final Fantasy X

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Final Fantasy X is set in the fictional world of Spira, consisting of one large landmass divided into three subcontinents, surrounded by small tropical islands. It features diverse climates, ranging from the tropical Besaid and Kilika islands, to the temperate Mi’ihen region, to the frigid Macalania and Mt. Gagazet areas. Although predominantly populated by humans, Spira features a variety of races. Among them are the Al Bhed, a technologically advanced but disenfranchised sub-group of humans with distinctive green eyes and unique language. The Guado, which are less human in appearance, with elongated fingers and other arboreal features. Still less human are the lion-like Ronso and the frog-like Hypello. A subset of Spira’s sentient races are the “unsent”, the strong-willed spirits of the dead that remain in corporeal form. In Spira, the dead who are not sent to the Farplane by a summoner come to envy the living and transform into “fiends”, the monsters that are encountered throughout the game; however, unsent with strong attachments to the world of the living may retain their human form. Other fauna in Spira, aside from those drawn from real animals, such as cats, dogs, birds, and butterflies, include the gigantic, amphibious shoopufs (which are similar to elephants); and the emu-like chocobo, which appears in most Final Fantasy games. Spira is very different from the mainly European-style worlds found in previous Final Fantasy games, being much more closely modeled on Southeast Asia, most notably with respect to vegetation, topography, architecture, and names.

There are seven main playable characters in Final Fantasy X, starting with Tidus, a cheerful young teenager and a star blitzball player from Zanarkand, who seeks a way home after an encounter with Sin transported him to Spira. To do so, he joins Yuna , a summoner on a journey to obtain the Final Aeon and defeat the enormous whale-like “Sin”. Journeying with them are: Kimahri Ronso, a young warrior of the Ronso tribe who watched over Yuna during her childhood; Wakka, a blitzball player whose younger brother was killed by Sin; and Lulu, a stoic black mage close to Yuna and Wakka. During the journey, they are joined by Auron, a former warrior monk, who worked with both Tidus’ and Yuna’s fathers to defeat Sin 10 years prior; and Rikku, Yuna’s cousin, a perky Al Bhed girl and the first friendly person Tidus meets upon arriving in Spira.

I think this game is a J-RPG classic and every gamer I know have heard of Final Fantasy series whether through earlier releases or newer ones after Final Fantasy X. I remember the hype around this game back then, I was still in school and was completely addicted to PS2.

The story is very interesting and I think what attracted me the most in this game are the characters themselves. The characters are very like-able and to some point relate-able as well, and of course I’m all for a love story that Yuna and Tidus shared that made me tear up by the ending. Like every rpg you need to grind EXP for hours because the boss fights aren’t that easy which I enjoyed because it gave challenge to the game.

Can we talk about the music of this game, the tracks blew my mind. I cannot listen to “Zanarkand” track without getting emotional, sometimes I would actually tear up.

The HD remastered version got released on Steam and I instantly got it because I really miss this game, it gave me a surge of memories the moment I saw the main menu.

Have you ever played this game ? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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These Videogame Characters are Villains in Disguise

There’s a fine line between good and evil. In fact, many so-called good video game characters tend to have an evil side that remains hidden until you examine their actions. They can defend themselves by claiming, “It came from the heart,” or “Hyahhh!” so that we may overlook their flaws, but don’t let them fool you. Here is a list of seven characters who would make the perfect villain.

1. Princess Peach — Super Mario

If video games have taught us anything, it’s that facing the final boss means the end of the game is nigh. Bowser was the main villain of Super Mario Bros. and hasn’t been fought just the one time. To many Nintendo fans, he’s considered the main villain. But why would a plumber go through all that trouble just to save a princess who rewards him with a cake and a thank you, only to be captured again and you have to restart the whole thing? Is there more to her than meets the eye?

Princess Peach knows that Mario is wrapped around her little finger and that she can manipulate that mustachioed man to do her bidding. If she’s having a feud with Daisy, she might pretend she was kidnapped by her, and before you know it Daisy’s kingdom is in ruins! Let’s be real for a moment. Who’s to say Peach didn’t play the captured card a few times just to mess with Bowser? Could she be the ultimate Mario villain? That’s one game I want to play!

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2. King Mickey — Kingdom Hearts II

How is Walt Disney’s beloved mascot a villain? In Kingdom Hearts II he stays hidden most of the time while apparently telling other characters to help Sora through his quest. Then he shows up already wearing the Organization XIII cloak, knows all about the Big Bad, and yet remained hidden. He didn’t even help Sora until much later. Just what is Mickey hiding?

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3. Aerith — Final Fantasy VII

The iconic moment every RPG fan remembers is when Aeirth died, but it also left the biggest question hanging: Who did Aerith really love, Cloud or Zack? This is why she should be a villain — she broke the code of love when she fell for Zack, but then played Cloud. Maybe in the end Sephiroth was doing Cloud a favor and redirected him to the one he should be going for all along: Tifa.

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4. Sans — Undertale

How many times did you repeat the Sans battle? I bet the theme song was lodged in your head for days while you recalled his taunting words. Sans can be a villain because he’s got abilities most of the game’s characters lack — such as teleportation, which he refers to as “Shortcuts.” He also uses the most powerful attacks and breaks the fourth wall by being aware of the protagonist stats, save function, and number of times they died. Yep, he’s like a skeletal Deadpool.

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5. Link — The Legend Of Zelda

Have you ever really stopped to think about some of the bosses in The Legend of Zelda? Technically they are huge animals who are really the victims. I’m not kidding, they’re either forced to transform, locked in a small room or trapped within a magical mask. Basically, Link is killing animals who have absolutely no idea what’s going on and he’s still called a hero in every Zelda release.

Sure, Link may be the savior of Hyrule, but at what cost? Breaking and entering? Destroying valuable furniture? Animal cruelty? Theft? And let’s not forget poor, poor Mr. Potter and his shop of fantastically expensive pottery. He never even saw it coming.

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Go ahead, call him Zelda.

6. Conker — Conker’s Bad Fur Day

Conker’s Bad Fur Day was released in 2001 on Nintendo64 and was rated M, so you know that despite its cutesy cartoon style, it was deemed offensive and outrageous. Conker could be a perfect villain because he’s a jerk. No, seriously, he’s a huge ass and not ashamed to admit it. He’ll saw teddy bears in half, steal a poor caveman’s cave wife and, at some point in the game, he’ll even urinate on those around him. This is one squirrel that would make a devastating foe!

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7. The Hunting Dog — Duck Hunt

Do I need to explain this one? Give  me the opportunity to go one-on-one with this smug bastard. It’s not going to end nicely for him.

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I need to take a moment to calm myself after seeing this GIF

Do you agree or disagree with this list of covert villains? 

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Underrated Horror Games You Might Have Missed Over The Years

Over the years, we’ve received plenty of great and not so great horror games. The great ones have usually gone on to give us (and our favorite Let’s Players) heart attacks, but every now and then, one of these great scares slip through the cracks into obscurity to be forgotten. With that said and with a pumpkin spice latte in hand (it’s that season after all), we’ve gathered a list of creepy horror games you might’ve never heard of, or overlooked over the years.

1. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (2009)

The Silent Hill games are known as some of the most iconic horror classics in the video games industry. While some of the games of this franchise are well-known, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories didn’t get that much love. The concept of the game is quite different than the usual Silent Hill games that fans expect, as it focuses more on combat evasion and creates your personal fears in the game. Initially released for the Wii in 2009, this stellar entry in the series ended up being severely overlooked.

2. Neverending Nightmares (2014)

A unique experience with pencil hand drawn graphics, Neverending Nightmares explores the depths of a depressed and insane mind, which was actually inspired by the lead designer’s own struggle with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) and depression. The game was released on Steam in 2014 after a successful kickstarter campaign and then later it got released on the Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita.

3. Siren (2003)

If you are a fan of Japanese horror movies, this game is definitely for you. Siren sets you in a creepy atmosphere filled with zombified people and dark rituals to resurrect a god. Yeah…that escalated quickly. It was released back in 2003 on the Playstation 2 and re-released as a remake for Playstation 3 with the title Siren: Blood Curse. So that’s twice now that this game has slipped under the radar. Maybe third time’s the charm after all?

4. Claire (2013)

So you probably think that games can only terrify you if they’re in a 3D world, right? Wrong! Don’t underestimate the power of 2D games because Claire is one of the most underrated and frightening indie games ever created. It takes the psychological horror genre to a new level and it also has few similarities to Lone Survivor. The story follows Claire, the main character as the name implies, throughout her life from childhood to adulthood. It explores her life along with the darkness that comes from being raised in broken home. The game was released on Steam in 2013 and recently for the Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita in August.

5. Obscure (2005)

Five stereotypical high school students discover a dark secret hidden within their school and it involves the teachers, and of course, the principal. The main characters consist of a shy reporter, a cheerleader, a jock, a nerd and a stoner – already you can see the promises of a great teen slasher movie. The game has few similarities to Resident Evil in terms of combat and combining items, but is different and terrifying enough in its own way. It was released for the Playstation 2 and Xbox on 2005.

Halloween is over and gone, but the great thing about horror games is that they’re a blast to play any time of the year. The next big horror release will be Resident Evil VII in just a couple months, so definitely check out these hidden gems. We hope this list of games will help scratch that itch until then.

Have you played these games before? What is your favorite horror game of all times?

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Games To Revisit In October

I have an annual tradition in October to play horror games since it’s the spooky season so I have a special list of games I always revisit. We don’t really celebrate Halloween in my country, the only reason we get excited about it is because Pumpkin Spice Lattes actually. I thought of sharing my list of games that I always revisit during this season and maybe you’ll give me recommendations to try out.

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Neverending Nightmares (PC)

It’s an interesting game which is inspired by the lead designer of this game Matt Gilgenbach’s personal struggles with obsessive–compulsive disorder and depression. What I love about it is the art style, it’s hand drawn line art and I’ve never seen a game that uses that I think.

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The game lacks dialogue so it leaves the player to interpret what’s happening as the story progresses. The game explores a depressed mind and showcases nightmares, and self-harm scenes which can be a bit gory. It’s a great game in my opinion and I recommend checking it out.

Dino Crisis 2 (PSone)

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One of my personal favorite survival horror games and can I just say Regina’s hair is goals, seriously she made me want to have red hair like her. I played this game around the time I watched Jurassic Park movies so I was deeply into the whole dinosaurs gimmick back then. I still replay this game because it’s one of the PSone classics along side with Resident Evil and Silent Hill.

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I wouldn’t consider this game to be survival horror as it has few elements that define it to be a bit more action adventure oriented at the same time. The gameplay is almost similar to Resident Evil, the camera angles are horrible but not frustrating like some games. The story is really interesting even though I didn’t play the first part to understand some points of the game but it’s not that hard to keep up, it’s an amazing game I highly recommend trying it out.

Siren (PS2)

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I’ve played quite a number of weird games and this is one of them yet I still enjoy it. Japanese horror games were at its’ peak during the PS2 days and this one got my attention because of the unique graphics and creepy storyline.

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The game uses the butterfly effect in mission objectives in each stage to progress into the next stage which is played out in the perspective of ten survivors.

Siren is set in a Japanese village named Hanuda. With strong religious beliefs important in the area, the locals like to keep to themselves and have sought to keep Hanuda isolated from the outside world. Following the interruption of a ritual near Hanuda, and a subsequent earthquake, the village teeters between time and space, with an infinite sea of red water replacing the mountainous territory. The crux of the story focuses on the efforts of Hisako Yao, the leader of the local religion, to resurrect or re-awaken a god through a ceremony. The ‘Siren’ of the title is the god’s call, summoning Hanuda’s residents to immerse themselves in the red water, thus creating an army of subordinates called shibito “corpse people”. The shibito then go about building a nest to house the god’s corporeal form once it is summoned, as well as killing and converting any remaining humans left in Hanuda.

These are the games I would recommend checking them out for October, I’m planning to make this a series for each month where I list three games from my gaming experiences since I played way too many games and I would like to share them.

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Fangirl Moment: Legend Of Mana

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If you are anything like me, I’m obsessed with JRPG that I want to play them for a living. These colored hair pixel heroes makes me turn to a child as if I’m in a toy store screaming around while my mother thinks of disowning me. Apart from the usual known RPG like Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, I’m more into older ones back in PSOne console. To be specific, I absolutely love Legend of Mana and I consider it one of the most underrated games of all times.

Legend of Mana was released back in 1999 on PSOne by Square Soft and it’s basically part of the Mana series. “Legend of Mana is set in the fictional world of Fa’Diel. The Mana Tree, the giver of mana and life for the world, burned down almost entirely nine centuries prior to the events of the game. A war erupted between faeries, human, and others seeking the scarce power of mana that was left. When the war concluded, the burnt Mana Tree slept as it regrew and the many lands of the world were stored in ancient artifacts. A hero, controlled by the player, is self-charged with restoring the world, and mana, to its former self. The Lands of Fa’Diel are populated with a large number of different creatures, including humans, faeries, demons, the jewel-hearted Jumi race, plant-like Sproutlings and Flowerlings, miner bears called Dudbears, and shadowy beings of the Underworld known as Shadoles. Fa’Diel is also the home of a host of anthropomorphic animals and objects, as well as monsters from other Mana titles such as Rabites, Chobin Hoods, and Goblins. The player controls the protagonist of the game, who is either a male or female silent protagonist. The character is unnamed and no information is given about their past; their history and personality is meant to be determined by the player.” – Legend of Mana Wikia

The game world is shaped by the player when placing the artifacts which creates the dungeon or town for example, I could place an artifact of a town named Domina next to the main character’s home place on the map while someone else playing this game could place it below. The main storyline is a bit lacking because the game wants the player to experience all of the side stories and just create the character personality in my opinion. The main goal is to restore the mana tree and return life to the land but that’s just an easy way to describe the character as the hero and follow most JRPG route, that’s not what the game only offers because as I mentioned before it has many side stories which adds more attributes to the character personality not only a hero but also a friend and a helper to those who need help.

What draws me mostly to this game is the music, I played this game when I was 11 and till this day I still hum the music I heard in this game. The music was composed by Yoko Shimomura who also composed for various well-known games like Parasite Eve and Kingdom Hearts. I think music gives the game a memory which you won’t forget, you could hear one the tracks now as an adult and it’ll instantly make you remember the dialogue said during it and which location exactly.

Back to my point of the storyline, I mentioned before that there’re many side stories or branches. For example:

  • The Jumi Story
  • The Dragoon Siblings Story
  • The Centaur Love Quest
  • The Rabbit Merchant Adventures
  • The complicated love story of four childhood friend
  • Treasure Hunting With Pirates Adventures

And few others I obviously forgot to include but I can say these are the most memorable ones. I could go on in explaining each one but I feel my keyboard will grow hands to slap me because my inner child is excited slamming buttons about this game so I’ll just mention that the Jumi storyline was my favorite and like any child about to enter the teenage years, I had a massive crush on Elazul who was one of the main characters of that storyline.

In conclusion, I think this game offers more than usual JRPG because of the story having so many branches for the player to explore and intertwine between the lands. I would totally recommend this game to any JRPG fanatic as I am.