Wikipedia has this to say about the game:
Disaster Report is a survival action adventure video game created by Irem in Japan. It was released for PlayStation 2 in 2002 in Japan and released in USA the following year. The game deals with survival and escape from a slowly collapsing artificial island. While dodging falling buildings and debris from periodic earthquake, the player must find a way to the evacuation place. Also as a reporter, the player must investigate the inside of disaster.
A sequel to the game, Disaster Report 2, is planned to be released in 2005 and will, instead of an earthquake, be a tsunami disaster. There are a multitude of characters that seem to be playable and the game is apparently scheduled for a European release as well as the US and Japan.
While accurate, it doesnít even touch on the fact that the Agetec localization was goddamn terrible. But thatís ok, the premise gave me enough reason to play it, Iím a fan of Engrish and subtitles not matching up to voiceovers, and the occasional culture shock of straight Japanese to English translation. Real fast, Iíd like to point out that this is yet another
title where the sales would have probably doubled had they used the original
box art instead of what they decided to use.
† Can you guess which is which?
I've also included a comparison of the sequel as well to the mockup that was sent into Sony (which obviously got denied because Agetec sucks (and not for any other reason). I know this because I got inside information on it. Seriously.
When I booted up my PS2 I was greeted by Engrish in what was seemingly a punishment for not having enough space on my memory card. I wish Iíd gotten a photo of it and itís not a hard thing to reproduce by any stretch, but Iím lazy and donít want to get the game off the shelf again. Youíre just going to have to trust me.
The premise of the game is to live. That's it. Well, it's really make it out alive
, but I'm pretty happy with living considering the game has massive slowdown for seemingly no reason and inconsistant gameplay (God of War got its inspired rafter walking from this title). Despite all of that, the game is fun. Or should I say, it's more fun than it has any
right to be. Anyway, I set a time limit for my playtime on this title today - 5 deaths. Making good on the promise of inconsistant gameplay, I managed to live for about 3 hours without any sort of danger, and then BAM, died five times in about 10 minutes.
That's pretty much what gameplay feels like most of the time. There are constant tremors whenever your player is around anything precarious - including completely peaceful zones. Despite having no real enemies to speak of, or should I say, any enemies besides the Entire Island - it's simply an unsafe game. Which is what they were aiming for, and that's pretty much what makes the game fun as well. The timing on a lot of the scripted events is great (i.e. you take a step off a platform that's about to fall and right when your foot hits the ground everything behind you falls apart).
Along the way you meet a variety of strangers, but all of them want the same thing despite how confident they act. They want your help
because you look so....trained to survive a massive natural disaster
. Needless to say, these people are crazy. The character doesn't have the best controls and can't climb up anything that's neck height or above. In fact, he's a big pussy and I'd rather be controlling Rambo. Somehow, the game remains fun.
Greg wants your help and is a total jackass. But this isn't a sandbox. You're going to help him.Karen wants your help. But she won't let you...well....ah, fuck it. Here's the next dialogue box.She's asking to go first because she's not wearing panties. I'm helping her escape a crumbling island and I can't even get a peek? What a cruel bitch.
And so on. You meet lots of people this way and there's an entire relationship chart (that I forgot to photograph) that tells you how far your relationship has progressed. Karen trusts me because I'm her hero. You wouldn't know if you'd only seen the panty scene. Also, you meet a decent number of people like this:
These people are dead. They are of no use to you. The game won't even let you swap your clothes with them even though I'm sure I could use something a little more durable. Comeon! Look at me!
I'm wearing a denim goddamn outfit! At least let me take his styling brown pants made of an unknown material! Oh, the angel in the corner. One of the unlockables is a bunch of different compass types. I hate to say it, but it's a pretty compelling collection they've got going on there. I actively searched for new ones. Though, the frog trying to lick the dead guy's ass was far more humorous than it should have been.
After I got that angel I died. Five times. And that was the end of my time with Disaster Report for the month. It's a shame and I look forward to playing it again in May.
Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga is a spin off of the original Shin Megami Tensei series of video games. The main difference between this and the series is the inability to summon demons to fight along side your party.
Notable features of the game include the ability to shape shift between demon and human forms in battle, and a return of the "press turn" battle system from Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. Also the story is not completed within this game. It is continued in Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2, similar to the .hack series of games.
One big difference between Nocturne and Digital Devil Saga is that you can change your equipped skills at will instead of just at level-up and un-learned skills are NOT lost forever. The game features a mantra system where Atma gained after battle can be used to "download" new abilities at a saving terminal. Atma is also gained by devouring enemies in battle. In the English language version of the game, one of the highest mantras is called "Wikipedia", an apparent reference to the free encyclopedia of that name; in the Japanese version, it had the unrelated name 'Kunitsukami.'
Ok, honestly I'm at the end of the game already. That is to say, I've got two optional bosses and the final two bosses left to kill. The down side of being at the end of the game? I'm nowhere near a high enough level to actually kill the two optional bosses. This is driving me fucking nuts
. So, really, I didn't choose to play DDS2. But rather, it forced me to
grind in it for a bit.
For those of you that know nothing about this game, here's a huge spoiler. The two lead characters meld to become one androgenous super being in the final dungeon. It's pretty disgusting. Your hair looks like an Oreo, you have man tits (definately not full on female bewbies), and you wear a cod piece. This is, by far, the worst part of the game. In theory, it's fine. Two souls become one and all that. Great, fine, I can deal with that. The resulting form (including the demon form) is just annoying as hell. Oh hey look, I have a picture.
Yea, it's shitty, but you get the point. I'm one ugly he-dude. Here's a picture of the boring and completely uninspired demon that results from the merging.
Seraph is the one on the left. The red one with triangles on his back. That bad motherfucker I'm fighting is Moksha (or somesuch). If I ever went into battle properly prepared I'd whoop his ass. Unfortunately I never do. I'm ok with that
as he's the second to last boss and I'd still like to beat the optional bosses. Here's what happens when you die. I only include this because, well, I find it interesting.
First, Schrodinger the cat appears.
Then the cat uhm, turns into ash, and it says what you see above. I've found lots of translations, none of them please me...help?
Anyway, that's about it. I played for a while and died. Then I didn't play anymore. I know, not terribly exciting, but I've already dropped 35 hours into the game. I really didn't need to spend much more time with it. I did, however, get three levels and finish up acquiring three full upper level mantras. So I'm proud of my progress. You should be too if you know of my hatred for any sort of grind. Unless that grind has to do with the Battle of Chi Bi.
Oh, one last thing. The Omoikane. Yea, these guys are awesome. Essentially they can only be damaged by one element, it's relatively random (you can guess the weakness by attacking the first one with nearly anything). If it's shielded, the second one will be weak to a specific element. If it's not shielded, well, lucky you, you won on the first try. If you damage it, you get tons of exp and money (or something, I've never bothered trying, I just know the system). If you use almighty damage, you see the following.
Almighty damage is a spell type that creatures have no protection against. There isn't a void or repel almighty. It's guaranteed. The Omoikane don't allow it in their little game. Despite that, I use it anyway. If you fail with a serious attempt the first one will usually say "RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!" which isn't nearly as amusing as the above.
That's about it, I have no clue what I'm playing on Day 2, but I'm sure it'll be something equally obscure and annoying to most of you.