Happy Friday

Mmmm CocktailsI haven’t been writing much because I got a stack of games to review and I’m playing a lot of Street Fighter IV. I’m also trying to finish writing a wordpress plugin, but now I’m not sure if what I want it to do is even possible. Or maybe my PHP skills are too weaksauce.

I do want to post about this delicious cocktail the BF made. It’s refreshing, has banana and lime, and best of all, it’s super strong. I think we’ll serve it to some friends we’re having over for dinner tomorrow.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Persona 4 (a review)

Now that I’m close to opening the last dungeon in Persona 4, I’m qualified to give a full review of this game. It’s my favorite Persona game so far. It might even be my favorite SMT-type game, but I’ll need to finish SMT3: Nocturne to determine that.

Some have said that Persona 4 is more like Persona 3.5, which is partially true. The engine is the same and the battles are largely the same except for some well-regarded tweaks. Being able to control all your party members is what really made this game better than Persona 3 for me. When a party member did something stupid in 4, there was no one to blame except me.

I also enjoyed the story more in Persona 4. Sure, it’s not as epic, but I could relate to it more and the mystery of the Midnight Channel murders drew me in. The social links also had more of an impact on me by providing small story arcs that were actually engaging about each character in the game.

One thing I didn’t like about P4 was the pacing, though it may be largely my fault. Because I wanted to have as much time as possible for social links, I would usually beat a dungeon 2-4 days after I unlock it. This wasn’t really hard as long as you were good at fusing personas. Most of the normal enemies were fair (other than a couple of insta-death enemies) and the boss battles were challenging, but not impossible.

I’m usually a pansy when it comes to boss battles, but I found all of Persona 4’s bosses to be fantastic. They were challenging, but never cheap. If I had problems with a boss, I would usually go to the velvet room and fuse a persona to counter that boss’s strengths. There were a couple of fights where I barely scraped by with just my main character alive; those were exciting.

Now that I’m at the the last dungeon, I’m sort of sad to see it end. I’m not the type to replay games, especially not 60+ hour games, and I’m not planning on replaying P4 for a while. Thanks to my army of awesome personas, I feel encouraged to tackle SMT3 again and maybe finally beat it.

If this is the last game you play on the PS2, you won’t be disappointed. What a great way to say goodbye to the PS2.

Some Stuff I Wrote

Some may already know this, but when I’m not writing here, I write in a few other places too. I write game reviews for Siliconera and I do weekly restaurant reviews for Culver City Beat. If you haven’t figured out from reading all my posts by now, I love games and food.

I don’t know if this is helpful or not, or if anyone cares, but I’m thinking about just doing a weekly or bi-weekly link dump of other things I’ve written recently. That way, people won’t be out of the loop if they only visit this site.

This week, I reviewed Elebits DS on Siliconera. The game was surprisingly fun because I was expecting something childish and boring based on the game cover. Boy, was I wrong. It’s an adventure game like Zelda, but with puzzle elements and collect-stuff elements from Pokemon.

I also wrote a review of Tara’s Himalayan on CCBeat. I’ve had lunch at this restaurant a handful of times already and I’m still not sick of it. I always order their mango lassi because well, I can never refuse it. My favorite dishes here are the momos, which are like dumplings, and the chicken tikka — a chicken curry stew almost.