You Spoony Bard: Infinite Undiscovery Part One: Mixed Blessings

Infinite Undiscovery

Developer: tri-ACE

Publisher: Square Enix

System: Xbox 360

Released (NA): September 2, 2008

Released (AU): September 4, 2008

Released (EU): September 5, 2008

Released (JP): September 11, 2008

There were three kinds of people in this world: people blessed with “Lunaglyphs” that let them use magic, and “unblesseds”, who could not. Some of those blessed with lunaglyphs were high-ranking members of society known as “Aristos”. They protected the average folk known as “meages”. Unblesseds were usually killed or abandoned at birth.

As a result of being born during a lunar eclipse, the game’s protagonist, Capell, was an unblessed and was abandoned as a baby. Despite this, he was taken in and raised in a troupe of bards. He knew how to play the flute.


One day, he was thrown into a prison without knowing why. He was rescued by a mysterious girl named Aya, a member of the Liberation Force. The Liberation Force fought against the Order of Chains. The Order of Chains managed to set up several chains between the Moon and the planet, causing natural disasters and monsters to emerge from the nearby area.

Capell could sever the chains, presumably due to his lack of a Lunaglyph. And so it went that Capell joined the Liberation Force, alongside their leader, Sigmund the Liberator…

…who looked just like him.

It is eventually revealed that Sigmund could no longer cut the chains because he had his Lunaglyph removed when his son was born because he was an unblessed. This also reversed Sigmund’ aging several years, so that he looked as young as the 17-year-old Capell, who was his son. He died protecting him.

March 13, 2010: In the wake of severing the moon-chain on the Zolan Coast, Capell had to talk to the grumpy Edward, who thought he was merely an imposter of their old leader, Sigmund. It didn’t go well.

Now, we leave for Kolton by boat.

There were some strange items littering Zola that weren’t there before we severed the chain.

Invisible enemies attacked Kolton, but Capell could reveal them with his Percipere song. Strangely, only he could even see the monster at first.

Then, the lunar rain began to fall, and Edward fell ill after acting more aggressive than usual. A little boy named Vic, who was being attacked by the invisible monster, led us to Halgita to find a healer for Edward, and Vic joined the party. I figured right off that he was special.

I’ve only played this game for 18 hours according to the in-game clock, but it’s strangely memorable in a happy way throughout.

We took a teleporter to the Cobasna Timberlands. It could only be activated by playing Percipere.

Halgita was Sigmund’s hometown. Another town already? We barely had any fights in the Timberlands. 😦

Vic learned that someone who can heal Edward lived deep in the Timberlands.

March 14, 2010: The Timberlands remind me of the forest from Dark Cloud 2.

Which I still haven’t beaten. 😦

I loved DC2 and other recent Level-5 games.

March 17, 2010: Unlocked High Enchanter! Yay!

I’m annoyed by the Timberlands. There are some stupid barriers cutting off parts of the jungle, and I can’t find any new paths. I have to go through the barriers.

When we first traipsed through the Timberlands, Vic said something about how trying to go past the barriers could get you into a world of hurt or trouble or something. Who cares! I’m desperate now.

Ah-HA! The barriers just take you to different parts of the jungle. But they don’t seem to lead anywhere.

Vic said that his brother died of the same affliction affecting Edward.

When Vic overreacted to Capell grabbing him to keep him from falling into the river, I grew suspicious that Vic may actually be… Victoria!

Little did they know… that a kunoichi was watching them. She and Capell met in Halgita’s palace, where they were still maintaining that Sigmund was still alive and that Capell was Sigmund. Apparently, Lord Tohma gave the kunoichi an order to protect “Sigmund the Liberatior”…

I only found my way through the Timberlands by making a map and tracing the paths of the barriers. What the hell is this, Phantasy Star? Foreshadowing!

We finally found a shack out in the wilds. A grumpy guy named Kiriya waited inside. But Savio, our elven aristo friend, knew him and he begrudgingly let us inside of his house.

The kunoichi watched them all the way.

Kiriya said that the thing afflicting Edward was glyph sickness. A side-effect of his lunaglyph blessing. Kiriya gave us a beautiful crystal called a Lunytol, and said that it should suppress the lunaglyph. Edward’s not gonna be happy about that.

It’s all because the lunar rain increased the power of his glyph. He can’t handle it because he’s “merely” a human, not an aristo.

If Edward’s lunaglyph is not restricted, he will either die, or, more likely, turn into a monster through a process called “vermification”. The Liberation Force resolved to bring the Lunyton to Edward before either conclusion could come to pass.

Then Savio asked Kiriya to join us on behalf of “our Queen Svala”, and he did!

By the time we returned to Kolton, people were fleeing in droves. A panicked Michelle said that Edward’s lunaglyph burst and he went on a rampage. When we found him, the vermification had already started, but Kiriya assured us that we could still use the Lunyton on him.

I’m not exactly sure how, but we earned a Situation Bonus for stopping Edward within three minutes. Er… go team?

This might hurt,” warned Capell as he plunged the Lunyton into Edward’s body.

Somehow, Capell saw images from Edward’s past. He grew up happy, but it all changed when his father or father figure died. Edward left his home and was menaced by an ogre…

Sigmund was the one who saved him. By then, Sigmund already had Balbagan and Eugene serving under him in the Liberation Force. Edward begged Sigmund to let him join.

Edward has not coped with Sigmund’s fate. Capell has to save him from his internal darkness, before his lunaglyph goes back to normal…

The wall between him and Capell shrunk.

After Capell saved Edward, he claimed that it was time for him to leave the Force because his glyph could be a liability. Capell was offended because he did not have a glyph and he was still willing to fight.

Or rather, he did not have a choice…

No one else knew. I’m not surprised. He never said otherwise.

Later, Aya asked (OK, demanded) that Capell be more honest to her. Then, Edward apologized and said “it would be an honor to fight alongside you”.

Hey, leader,” said Edward. “Tell us where to go.”

First, to Halgita”, replied Capell.

Now, we have to worry about the lunar rain turning characters into monsters unless they’re aristos or not in possession of a glyph.


Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Six

Sonic Spinball (1993)

The Museum description pokes fun at Dr. Robotnik’s “Pinball Defense System”. 😛

Spinball tries to combine pinball and platforming, with Sonic as the ball. That aspect makes enough sense, but it’s a difficult game; three lives, no continues. Some of the music is fine, but certain other tracks, like the one for the high score screen, are so cacophonous and industrial it makes some of the Silent Hill tracks seem like smooth jazz. It almost gives me a musical seizure.

Original Score: 2/5

Continue reading Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Six

Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Five: Ire Emblem

Ristar (1995)

A colorful platformer from Sonic Team. You can definitely tell from the presentation. Ristar uses his extra-long arms to grab onto platforms, enemies, and health-ups. The game also shows you all of the planets you’ll go to between rounds.

Ristar is charming and cute. IDK if it was what Sonic Team was going for, but the game gives me Kirby vibes.

How did I guess that the lava world was going to be called Scorch? It’s a tough level.

I like this game a lot. It’s fun to watch enemies ricochet around the edges of the screen. A speedrun of this game would be great to watch.

Original Score: 3/5

Revised Score: 4/5

Ristar figurines can be randomly found from “gachapon” machines in Shenmue I and II. Will the starboy reappear in Shenmue III? Time will tell.

Continue reading Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Five: Ire Emblem

Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Four

Golden Axe (1989)

GA has some visual flair, but I’ve never really liked it. The enemies are so cheap. It’s not that the game is hard, it’s just annoying how enemies are constantly surrounding you for cheap shots.

Original Score: 2/5

Golden Axe Warrior (1991)

Someone named a country Firewood?

This is a Zelda ripoff. The graphics are cute, but the music is kinda annoying.

Continue reading Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Four

Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Three: It’s Flicky

Dynamite Headdy (1994)

From the Museum description: “Being a puppet is never easy. If you’re not tethered by a bunch of strings, some puppeteer has his hand where hands ought not to go.” O.O

Headdy has an archrival with the awesome name “Trouble Bruin”.

This platformer was developed by Treasure. It’s a colorful and quirky game with potential.

The second level is called Toys in the Hood. It seems that several of the level names are references to movies.

One of the powerups puts Headdy to sleep, a la the Sleep “ability” in some Kirby games.

This game is fun, but has a learning curve and no continues (but some lives).

Original Score: 3/5

Continue reading Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Three: It’s Flicky

Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Two

Beyond Oasis/The Story of Thor (1994)

The latter is a cooler title for this action-RPG with music by Yuzo Koshiro.

The box art is so completely non-indicative of the game. Even a group shot of the characters would have been better. What is this game supposed to be from the box?

The graphics are nice with a well-done intro that sets up the story.

The game uses a lot of sound effects from the Streets of Rage series.

This game seems to have potential, but I guess it didn’t impress me much back then because I only gave it a 2/5.

The game received a prequel on the Saturn called The Legend of Oasis. It was released in Europe and Japan. Maybe it did not receive a North American release due to the weirdness of Sega’s American branch and its terrible boss, Bernie Stolar. They did not want to release certain 2D games so that they could show off the system’s 3D capabilities.

Continue reading Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection Part Two

VGJ Miscellany #1: Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection, Part One: Beast Mode

Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection

System: Xbox 360/PlayStation 3

Developer: Backbone Entertainment

Publisher: Sega

Release Dates – NA: February 10, 2009

EU: February 20, 2009

AU: February 20, 2009 (PS3)

AU: February 26, 2009 (X360)

This classic collection lets you play over 40 Genesis, Master System, and arcade games from Sega. The features of the collection include the ability to save, load, and reset the games at any time; HD support; visual smoothing; interviews with some of the people behind certain games; a look at the game’s box art and cartridges; and a few pieces of trivia for most of the titles.

The format of these reviews is inspired by a retro collection review in the old Animerica magazines (I think it was a review for the Atari compilation for the PS1). The reviewer gave a quick blurb to most of the games. I’ve wanted to try something like that ever since.

Continue reading VGJ Miscellany #1: Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection, Part One: Beast Mode

VGJ Quickie: Resistance: Fall of Man

Resistance: Fall of Man

Developer: Insomniac Games

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Release – JP: November 11, 2006

Release – NA: November 17, 2006

Release – EU: March 23, 2007

This was Insomniac’s first game for the PS3. This FPS takes place in an alternate history 1951, with the US and UK allied against a new enemy: the alien Chimera.

The main character is American Army Ranger Sergeant Nathan Hale. He had a resistance to the virus spread by Chimeras that usually forced the infected to undergo mutation.

Nathan gained the ability to heal quickly, as well as enhanced strength and reflexes. Cosmetically, the color of his irises changed to gold, just like most Chimera.

Continue reading VGJ Quickie: Resistance: Fall of Man

Heavy Rain: Final Thoughts

May 19th, 2010: One of the last chapters takes place from the viewpoint of a young boy who fled their house with his brother on a rainy day. Their father was abusive, and the boys did not want to deal with another one of his drunken episodes, so they decided to have an adventure at a construction site. But their adventure turned to tragedy when one of the boys, John, fell into a damaged pipe, which trapped his leg. The rain threatened to fill the pipe with water and drown John, so his brother fled back home to get help from their father, but he was too drunk to help.

John’s brother returned to the pipe. Before he drowned, John begged his brother, Scotty, to remember him.

He did. In one of the worst ways possible. Continue reading Heavy Rain: Final Thoughts

Heavy Rain Part Two

March 29th, 2010: Continuation of “The Bear” chapter. It was the most intense chapter yet.

The Bear was the first of the five trials that Ethan undertook to save Shaun.

Ethan found an origami figure of a bear with a message inside of it: “ARE YOU PREPARED TO SHOW YOUR COURAGE IN ORDER TO SAVE YOUR SON?” Continue reading Heavy Rain Part Two