My favorite Final Fantasy mini-game

  • July 6, 2011
  • James Skemp
I've had Final Fantasy VIII for many years, but have never finished it. In fact, I've never gotten through the first disc. However, having recently started it up once again, after picking up an electronic copy on the PSN (I still have the original, but this is the only legit way to play it on my PSP), I have to say that Final Fantasy VIII contains my favorite mini-game of the series, and perhaps one of my top favorites of all.

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Review: Parasite Eve

  • January 16, 2011
  • James Skemp
The following is a review of Parasite Eve, for the Sony PlayStation (1). Almost six years ago, back in 2005, I found and picked up a copy of Parasite Eve. I don’t recall the exact circumstances on why I picked it up, but I’m willing to bet that seeing ‘Squaresoft’ on the jewel case had more than a little to do with it. With The 3rd Birthday’s U.S. launch fast approaching, I put the first Parasite Eve back on my list, having not played it since a short time after I bought it, and even then not having finished the game.

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Shadow Hearts: Covenant leveling information

  • September 6, 2010
  • James Skemp
As I continue to look through my old files I found leveling information for Shadow Hearts: Covenant, from December 2005 to January (1st) 2006. I've converted it from an ODS file to XML, and am making it available. Shadow Hearts: Covenant leveling guide. Since I have a leveling guide for Shadow Hearts: From the New World (previously written about), it almost makes sense to go back and play the original Shadow Hearts to get information for that game as well.

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On Achievements and Trophies

  • May 16, 2009
  • James Skemp
To a very large extent, I consider myself to be a gamer. Around the time the NES came out, my family picked up an Atari 2600, used. I don't know who sold it to us, but I can remember going with my dad to pick it up at my school's playground (that was the meeting place). At a later point we picked up an NES, via my dad, and then my mom bought us a SNES.

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What I've been up to (Feb '09 edition)

  • February 14, 2009
  • James Skemp
As my last post may have suggested ... I've been playing games. Here's a small taste of the games currently on my plate. Playstation 2 Shadow Hearts: From the New World was close to completion .. before I bought an Xbox 360. Persona 3: Fes still remains to be started, and ditto for Persona 4 ... Yes, I didn't even start Persona 4. Yes, I know how good reviews said it is.

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Shadow Hearts: From the New World leveling information

  • December 27, 2008
  • James Skemp
A leveling 'guide' for Shadow Hearts: From the New World is now available; Shadow Hearts: From the New World leveling. Not only should it have been written up and posted a while ago, it gave me a good chance to use XSD (XML Schema Definition). I tried creating one for my tracking my vehicles' gas usage, but failed. Having worked through the issues on this one, I think I now know what I did wrong.

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Playstation Home Beta: First impressions

  • December 26, 2008
  • James Skemp
Eh. I think it looks really good, but I'm not sure a 3d world is what really drives me. That's about all I've got to say at the moment. Definitely looks good, but ... if you don't want to meet people, what's the point? Side-note: Couldn't find the themed environments.

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What makes a good video game great?

  • December 19, 2008
  • James Skemp
A while ago I was reading a thread asking individuals what games they had last played multiple times. Unfortunately, I actually have a hard time coming up with more than a couple, even though I'm sure I must have played games all the way through when I had more time (id est, in college). The only two I could think of were Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

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Persona 4 pre-order goody = wow

  • December 10, 2008
  • James Skemp
Mustn't ... look ... too ... closely ... (already ruined one surprise) Atlus certainly out-did themselves this time, with the Persona 4 pre-order goody. While I was expecting the "Visual Data" bonus to be large enough to fit behind the game's case, like the Persona 3 bonus, this one is actually graphic novel sized. Very nice Atlus, very nice. And, with reviews like this, looks like we can expect a Persona 5 in the near future.

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I own an Xbox 360

  • December 3, 2008
  • James Skemp
So I did it. Back on November 17 2007 I purchased a Playstation 3. I had debated, back and forth, the purchase of that versus the Xbox 360. At the time the Xbox was having quite a few issues, including overheating, power block malfunctions, and the wonderful RROD. However, as time has gone by, the number of complaints has gone down. Some say that the issues are basically resolved, and you just need to find newer systems.

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Review of LittleBigPlanet: BradyGames Signature Series Guide

  • October 25, 2008
  • James Skemp
Rated 5 stars. Rate this review on Amazon. Purchase this guide or game through Amazon. First of all, this is a beautiful guide. Every time I pick up one of the Brady Games guides I'm impressed with the quality of the actual item. Nice smooth pages, great colors, etcetera. About 66% of this guide deals with the story mode. This involves a checklist of items for each level, as well as hints and tips on completing them successfully.

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LittleBigPlanet - First day, first thoughts

  • October 25, 2008
  • James Skemp
Right or wrong, GameStop was in stock and selling pre-orders of LittleBigPlanet today, so I was able to pick up my copy, along with the official guide. Thus far I've gone through four complete areas, and picked up the trophies accordingly. On only the first level did I actually get a 100% (but not the Ace award), and with the later levels, I had to retry a number of times.

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Specialists guide/listing for Disgaea: Hour of Darkness (Playstation 2 Greatest Hits)

  • October 12, 2008
  • James Skemp
A brief guide/listing of specialists for Disgaea: Hour of Darkness (Playstation 2 Greatest Hits) is now available. While there are other guides available, I didn't find one that I could easily print out and make note of which character had which specialists. Now I've got one. Comments appreciated.

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LittleBigPlanet - New site and available for pre-order

  • August 7, 2008
  • James Skemp
Got a notice of http://littlebigplanet.us.playstation.com/ in my Gmail account a few moments ago. I was unaware that LittleBigPlanet was already available for pre-order. I looked at Amazon, but, quite frankly, I want it rather quickly. BestBuy.com doesn’t have it listed, but Gamestop.com does, so … my first online purchase through that site. Store pick-up selected, of course. What I don’t care for is that there will supposedly be different items available for pre-ordering, depending upon where you do so.

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Thoughts on PixelJunk Eden

  • August 1, 2008
  • James Skemp
This morning Charter fixed whatever issues they were having, so I was able to purchase and download the full version of PixelJunk Eden. I played 30 minutes this morning, and many hours this afternoon/evening. (When I shut down for the last time, my rank was 1013 - I'm sure it's already changed though.)  As the demo suggested, this game is the closest thing to a masterpiece I've seen in a very long time.

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Playstation 3 Firmware 2.41 and running fine

  • July 10, 2008
  • James Skemp
While not yet announced on the official blog, Firmware 2.41 is out this morning for the Playstation 3. No word yet on what happened with 2.40, but, that's to be expected I suppose (and unfortunately). (I didn't get 2.40 when it was out - they seem to release these in the morning, and most days I'm at work in the morning.) Now if only you got something that really mattered when you got a trophy/achievement/what-have-you .

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Review: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots: The Complete Official Guide (Piggyback softcover)

  • June 22, 2008
  • James Skemp
The following review is for The Complete Official Guide of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The short story: If you're new to MG, BUY THIS BOOK. If you want to completely* understand this game, BUY THIS BOOK. If you want to have a book that you can be glad you spent every penny for, BUY THIS BOOK. :D MGS4 is my first experience with the entire Metal Gear 'saga.

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Metal Gear Solid 4 - Completion 1

  • June 20, 2008
  • James Skemp
Naked Normal Total Play Time: 20:31:09 Continues: 7 Alert Phases: 107 Kills: 326 Recovery Items Used: 39 Weapon Types Procured: 52 Flashbacks Watched: 164 Special Items Used: Not Used Title: Hawk Unlocked: Hawk, Rabbit (on purpose), Inch Worm, Lobster, Hyena, Cow, Panther Completion 2 Liquid Easy Total Play Time: 08:06:42 Continues: 0 Alert Phases: 16 Kills: 0 Recovery Items Used: 0 Weapon Types Procured: 63

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Metal Gear Solid 4 - 2.5 hours in

  • June 12, 2008
  • James Skemp
Wow. Imagine Black, but with stealth, better graphics, and less damagable property, but definitely better sound and effects. That's Metal Gear Solid 4. Despite the fact that I don't play these types of games very often, I only died three times. (Granted, I'm playing one level above wuss.) However, I'm not very fair in, since I've actually been something of a collector in my travels. I've also yet to get used to the sneaking about (oh, you have to hold the button down to grab them, then slash), so I've basically been stealth walking about, bailing out militia.

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M.C. Escher comes to the Playstation (demo)

  • April 25, 2008
  • James Skemp
After all the hype, I finally had the chance to actually play a demo of echochrome, the M.C. Escher-ish game that's coming out for the Playstation 3 and PSP. The first Google result, for a YouTube video, gives an excellent presentation of what the game is like. However, at least in the demo, the camera controls seem sluggish. Perhaps the Sixaxis motion control would make this easier - I haven't tried it yet.

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Playstation 3 and the HP Pocket Media Drive

  • March 30, 2008
  • James Skemp
When I purchased my new HP a6360t, I also added in a HP Pocket Media Drive Bay, which allows me to directly connect in a HP Pocket Media Drive. In turn I'm easily able to add 160GB or 250GB of additional drive space, whenever I need it, to store various media (documents, music, photos, videos, etcetera). One thing I was curious about was whether the drive I had, a HP 160GB Pocket Media Drive, could be directly connected to my Playstation 3.

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Warhawk: Game Mode: Top 25,000(s) Analysis - 1/18/2008

  • January 18, 2008
  • James Skemp
I'm a statistics kind of guy. I like numbers, since they're logical. I also like trends, and all that. So, here's a look at the current trends for what it takes to get into the top 25k, 50k, 75k, 100k, 150k, 200k, and 300k in the various game modes in Warhawk. Undoubtedly I'll have another post like this next month, around the same time. With over 417,000 players, total, these equate to around the top 6%, 12.

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Warhawk: January 2008 goals

  • January 14, 2008
  • James Skemp
Right before Christmas of 2007, I purchased a copy of Warhawk, for the Playstation 3. I didn't pick it up until the day after Christmas (what a bad idea; I should have just purchased in store, but ...) and have played a mere 16 hours (94 games). With my total points of 1153, I'm only 113315 out of the 410195 players, world wide. Granted, that's not too terribly bad, but I need to make a goal if I'm going to apply myself.

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Dragon Quest VIII: Character leveling overview

  • January 8, 2008
  • James Skemp
A guide covering the necessary experience to, and benefits of, leveling the four major characters in Dragon Quest VIII is now available. View the Dragon Quest VIII leveling overview. Comments and corrections appreciated.

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The future really is Blu ...

  • January 5, 2008
  • James Skemp
Catching up on the news, it seems Warner will be switching over to Blu-ray, exclusively, after May 2008. What surprises me is that they're just now saying that this is ending the format wars. The fact that Warner was supporting both, while Fox, Disney, Lion's Gate, MGM, and Sony were only Blu-ray (compared with Paramount and Universal going HD DVD, after Paramount was effectively paid-off) suggested, to me, that the 'war' was already over.

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XML creation: Part 8

  • January 1, 2008
  • James Skemp
In this guide, I'll be creating an XML file to store the Playstation games I own, and ultimately make the XML file 'pretty' for Web browsers. I've done this in the past, with my vehicle gas XML document. In part eight I'll be expanding upon our XSLT to group games based upon the system they belong to, as well as modify our XSLT to use xsl:appy-templates. This time ... I won't be going into a recap of what I've done in all seven of the previous parts.

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Playstation 3 and the Linksys WRT54G Wireless-G Boardband Router

  • November 24, 2007
  • James Skemp
While I initially hooked up my Playstation 3 a week ago, when I was posting to the official PS forums today, my second post, I was doing so to recommend a version of the router I'm using. Since both items are pretty popular now, it makes sense to write up a quick guide on them, I suppose. My equipment First off, there's my setup. I've had pretty experiences with Linksys, but poor experiences with Netgear, so Linksys I am.

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10 random reasons why I bought a Playstation 3

  • November 21, 2007
  • James Skemp
Reason #1 Mr. ROFL. Reason #2 I already own a Playstation and Playstation 2. When I can get a machine that will play those games, why wouldn't I keep with it? After all, the Playstation has never failed me. Reason #3 Free online play. With wi-fi support built-in. Reason #4 Heavenly Sword. This was the first real Playstation 3 game I played. With the trailers, I was expecting a Devil May Cry kind of game, but wow.

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Game Informer and the Xbox 360 / Playstation 3 debate

  • November 11, 2007
  • James Skemp
In this world, there's a number of people who get paid for playing video games. I am not one of those people. This is a good reason to trust the people, with a grain of salt, when it comes to said video games. Recently, I've been trying to decide between an Xbox 360 and a Playstation 3, for my next-gen console, since we all know that the Wii isn't next-gen.

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Persona 3 Shuffle trick

  • August 18, 2007
  • James Skemp
I've spent a couple of hours, the last couple of days, playing Persona 3 (Playstation 2). After winning certain battles, you can get a 'shuffle' mode of two or three cards (at least, as far as I've gotten). So, you see what the cards are, they turn over, and then they're shuffled. They are all usually good, but just to different degrees; for example, you might already have what one of the card would give, and you've been getting real crap for what another card would give, .

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How to backup Playstation 2 memory cards?

  • September 9, 2006
  • James Skemp

I'll be needing to get a new Playstation 2 memory card shortly, since the I've got less than a MB left on each of the two cards I currently have. While there's some extra Final Fantasy X saves that I could go through and delete, I'd really like to backup the saves that I have to my computer. After a bit of searching, I'm just not sure what to purchase ...

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