Authors Posts by Ado Raneses

Ado Raneses

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educates the 30lives staff on a daily basis about the virtues of Bailey Jay. Help.

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In line with the network’s goal of providing quality programs that appeal to many Filipinos, The Kapatid Network is tapping into an unlikely source of viewers: us gamers. On the heels of their previously-popular miniseries, “I’m in Love with a Dota Player”, local megastation TV5 turns to Square-Enix’ beloved Final Fantasy franchise as inspiration for their next big afternoon soap.

In a blockbuster deal signed last week by TV5’s Head of Broadcast Operations Jeric Mariano and Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda, the network will be slotting in their adaptation of Final Fantasy VIII in their afternoon programming block, now dubbed “Pinakahuling Pantasya.”  “It’s a captivating story that will put to test the value of friendship and love and will unravel a well-kept secret of the mercenary force, SeeD. The drama is topbilled by respected actors and actresses in the country,” Mariano states in a press release issued today.

Gelli de Belen
Gelli de Belen

“Pinakahuling Pantasya” combines the best of the old and new generations of acting talents, led by a powerful trio of two veterans and one upcoming young female star in the lead roles. Playing the major roles of Squall and Rinoa will be Jericho Rosales (dubbed “Buhawi” in the localized adaptation) and Angel Locsin, respectively. Performing as beloved goofball Zell isequally-beloved goofball Vhong Navarro, with Alice Dixon, Edu Manzano, and Vin Abrenica rounding out the rest of the cast. The series is helmed by award-winning directors Eric Quizon, Argel Joseph, and Bb. Joyce Bernal.

De Belen on her role as Sorceress Edea Kraemer: “It was hard kasi recession sa States, everybody values their job, so that was my fear na if I leave for a long time, baka mawala yung work ko dun… Then I spoke to my boss, good thing he understood naman. That was the sign na kapag pumayag siya then I’d really push through with TV5’s Pantasya.”

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Final Fantasy VIII, released 1999 for the PlayStation has sold over 2 million units worldwide and is one of the most popular RPGs of the late ’90s. TV5 (formerly known as ABC 5) is a major Filipino commercial television network based in Mandaluyong City, Philippines. Owned by TV5 Network, Inc., solely owned by MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. which in turn is a wholly owned subsidiary of the beneficial trust fund of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company headed by business tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan.

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Good news, PC gamers! Taiwan’s Biostar has partnered up with their official local distributor to start offering full, three-year warranmties on select products sold here. In our estimation, this is a fairly competitive warranty that definitely makes grabbing their ‘boards a very enticing proposition. Three years is just about enough time in between upgrades, so it’s nice to have that extra piece of mind that you’re covered in case your motherboard conks out. Because, hey, it happens to the best of us.

 

Press Release follows.

***

November 10th, Manila, Philippines – BIOSTAR, based in Taiwan, is growing the distribution network in Asia and is now partnering with EA GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS INC. and offering a full 3 year warranty for products sold in the Philippines. BIOSTAR is famous in various computer product family areas including: Embedded solutions, Mini PC barebones systems, Graphics cards and Motherboards.

BIOSTAR “A58MDP”, micro-ATX form factor that supports AMD Socket FM2/FM2+ APUs and offers native support for USB 3.0 and dual-channel DDR3 memory motherboard is the most cost effective solution in the market. The board features the latest BIOSTAR technologies such as BIOS Flasher and BIOS Online Update for easy updating and restoration of the BIOS, as well as BIO-Remote2 for remote control of the system via Android and Apple devices.

Another popular board, based on the Intel H81 chipset, is the “H81MHV3”. It supports Intel 4th generation Core i7 and Core i5 processors, with integrated HD 4600Graphics, memory speed supports up to 1600MHz. The H81 chipset has two SATA 6Gb/s ports (plus four SATA 3Gb/s ports), and two USB 3.0 headers. The H81MHV3 is a great combination for low-cost but with rich features; video output includes HDMI support as well as USB 3.0 support. It makes it a great option for small form factor systems where you rarely have more than one discrete card and two SATA drives. Being Intel based boards, they also feature Intel Rapid Start Technology and Intel Smart Connect Technology.

Lastly, BIOSTAR is also going to release a new “Gaming” series motherboard soon, so stay tuned for more great things from BIOSTAR.

H81MHV3 – http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en/mb/introduction.php?S_ID=693

A58MDP – http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en/mb/introduction.php?S_ID=704

For local Philippine representation contact EA GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS INC. at the website: www.EAGLOBAL.com.ph

About BIOSTAR

BIOSTAR, a manufacturer dedicates in motherboards, graphics cards and industrial computing systems. Since its establishment in 1986, the BIOSTAR GROUP has become a major motherboard supplier in the PC industry. In order to pursue continuous growth, BIOSTAR has invested heavily in acquiring the physical and human resources to excel at research and development. With a constant emphasis on quality, BIOSTAR always seeks to offer products with the highest price-performance ratio.

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages. We here at 30lives.net is proud to present our new review series, Retro Reviews. Sometimes we all have that itching to play something from the past, something close to our hearts and we are not that different. All of us, right here in 30lives.net, will never let go of our childhood as they were precious to us and to our readers. We start our series with an old indie game: Frank’s Advanture 2.

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Franks Adventure 2 was released by the now defunct?/retired developer Wiesi-Mausland (Now called Wiesi) back in November 2003. This was a follow-up to the hugely popular Frank’s Adventure released earlier in October. Frank’s adventure 2 vastly improves everything that was great about the first game, while also removing the few negative things that hurt the original. It can be classified as a sandbox adventure game with item-trading as one of its biggest points.

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It’s frank.

 

You play as Frank, just a regular guy who seems to have a talent for entrepreneurship, meeting people and a taste for adventure. Immediately the character relates to the player due to his desire for adventure and fun and love. After the saving the publishing company that he works for in the previous game, his boss asked trusted him to help their main branch in the city to help their financial situation. Frank, being the professional and great businessman that he is, bought a plane to the city to save the publishing company that he loves so much.

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we should be like Frank and be a professional

 

Immediately after taking control of Frank, you’ll see the difference in graphics from the original. Sharper and clearer outlines and colors, tall buildings and busy streets. The game map is nearly 1.5x the size of the original, and there are more dangers in the city than the countryside in the first game. Crossing the street feels just as dangerous due to the many cars, and other surprises that you encounter during the game that truly challenges anybody who wants to complete the game. Character models are also improved massively with the semi-celshading (remember this was 2003) that produces more realistic looking characters during the time of course.

The catchy music that plays while you move around the city is relazing in contrast to the busy streets. However, because of the limitations of the time and the developer’s own indie cred, no voiceovers were given for the great dialogue in the game. They won’t lose points for this because it also shows how focused Frank must be to block out all the distractions in the city just to finish his goal.

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Characters with great unique personalities and backstories. This was ahead of it’s time.

 

Controls are insanely simple and you can pretty much play this game one-handed, a great feature at the time compared to other games released at the time. This is actually the best and greatest thing about this game. More games need to be playable one handed especially in our more busy lives.

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Cameos from some popular characters are here

 

 

Franks adventure 2  was released free as well, and still accessible in the internet. This truly is, one of the greatest indie games released in history and was very influential for many games that we enjoy today.

You can play Frank’s Adventure 2 online at Newgrounds. http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/134777

only magic can support those puppies.

Kill ‘Em All!1

cool picture
The Witch and the Hundred Knight

The Witch and the Hundred Knight sounds like a storybook fairytale full of magical creatures, royalty, enchanting forests, lavish kingdoms and eloquent speaking characters to fill your imagination of happiness and love. The game has all of this actually, with an extra spoonful… no, mouthful.. no, maybe a tub full of evil with an awesome soundtrack and deep and strategic gameplay. Development started in 2010 and was released in Japan on July 25, 2013. The localized release for the US is on March 25, 2014 while Europeans can except the game to release a little earlier on March 21, 2014. The Witch and the Hundred Knight (I’ll shorten it to Witch Knight) is an Action-RPG with Rogue-like qualities where your main goal is to help your master pretty much destroy the world. You play as the Hundred Knight, a tiny black familiar that kinda looks like Midna from Twilight Princess, to serve the foul-mouthed, slender, pretty, and powerful swamp witch, Metallia. You start out as a dumb and weak familiar with little to no abilities but as you progress through the unique and interesting story, you’ll start to figure out a lot about the game’s setting and the mystery of Metallia’s life while learning strategies for combat. The dialogue in WitchKnight is one of its best qualities as it will keep you interested in reading/listening through the whole script. It also comes with both English and Japanese voice acting. You’ll slowly start to realize why Metallia is a stone cold bitch as you learn more about the story, while accompanied by character art in the dialogue screens.

only magic can support those puppies.
Only magic can support those puppies using that Bra.

The soundtrack of WitchKnight is incredible as it feels cheery and quirky despite the game’s dark humor based storyline. It doesn’t feel repetitive at all and helps keep you alert through some of the grinding you need to do. Most enemies have their own voices too and the sound of the pillars you need to find is an important part of the gameplay. Witchknight has a nice storybook look in terms of its stage design and colors. They all seem to look good together as if it looks like a painting. Although the game is 3d and plays in 720p, the in-game character models really could have been much better. It’s already 2014 and even if the game was developed in 2010, the character models could have looked a little bit more… “HD,” a little sharper and a little less PS2-like. Would have been great if they could have made the characters stand out from the background more, especially Metalllia’s. For the gameplay, combat is basically hack and slash with some QTE’s for dodging. However, as the tutorials will show you, there is a lot more to the gameplay that it seems. You will need to develop a strategy per stage due to the Hundred Knight’s GCals, enemies and weapons. Gcals is basically like charmander’s flame. As you move through the stage, it slowly lowers until reaching 0 which will make you incredibly weak. You also have access to 5 types of weapons, with 3 weapon qualities among all of them. The rogue-like nature of WitchKnight also gives you random loot and weapons, a limited storage space (at first) and random bonuses depending on how much combos you pull out. There’s also a damage-chaining and a grading point system that could have used a tutorial but is actually easy to figure out once you notice it. There are many mixes of strategies that you’ll need to use every time you go out to fight, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Because of the combat system and customization you’ll be doing, the game can be pretty easy or pretty hard, depending on what you use and what level you are. Stat growth is dependent on what facet/form you will use throughout the game. While it might be tempting to spam attacks, the 5 weapon system will actually make you think about not spamming certain attacks to certain enemies. I recommend playing in Hard mode, just so it feels more fun.

You need to use specific weapons or your damage will be worthless.
You need to use specific weapons or your damage will be worthless.

Despite the need to grind in some stages, it doesn’t really feel boring and you definitely need to be alert because you need to monitor the Gcals, your HP, and what weapon you use, and the way of attacking you do. It’s hard to go on auto-pilot mode because of this, and that’s a great thing for the game. WitchKnight has a top-down view style and the controls are solid. The game also allows you to move the camera around which is very useful for this type of game. A concern about the camera though, is that certain stages have elements like trees or houses that block and hide your character. This is mainly annoying during combat, especially since you need to know what’s going on and what to do. And again, the character models sometimes blend too well into the background that it may sometimes be hard to find enemies especially if their colors are similar to the stage. Thankfully, the locking system will be able to counteract some of these issues. Those character models still really should look better even if the game was developed in 2010.

Stages look nice and painting-like but the Character models really could have looked much better.
Stages look nice and painting-like but the Character models really could have looked much better.

Another negative thing about the game is that even though it guides you through a tutorial for many of the features of the combat system and the game itself, most of the tips appear only during the loading screen and there is no ability to find these tips in the options or extras. The tips are very useful and could have been easier to access. But I guess it also makes the game more challenging, so it didn’t bother me that much and it helps players think about things which is something of a lost art these days. No tutorials option might alienate stupid people though. Some of WitchKnight’s features such as raiding houses and upgrading weapons do become useful, it also feels unrewarding and unneeded at times. Repeating the stages also doesn’t feel necessary to finish the game. Only super-completionists may really appreciate these features of WitchKnight. In conclusion, The Witch and the Hundred Knight is a solid, well-made game. It’s very enjoyable to play, the story is great and interesting (for me anyways), the characters are very unique and have plenty of personality, the soundtrack is great to listen to and is well worth buying the Limited Edition for. 1 – GET IT? METALLIA’S JAPANESE PRONOUNCIATION SOUNDS LIKE METALLICA, SO I USED METALLICA’S FIRST ALBUM AS A REFERENCE FOR A TAG LINE. IT IS ALSO A REFERENCE TO THE EVILNESS OF THE WITCH METALLIA

:yes I Liked These

  • The combat system in relation to the item customization
  • The music is great and should be in your playlist
  • The characters are fun
  • Metallia is such a great heel
  • I like the dark storyline; if you think it’s too dark, you’re too sensitive

:kobeyuck  I don’t like these

  • The PS2-like character models in 2014
  • So many bars at the HUD to monitor
  • Sometimes the background and elements makes your characters hard to see

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The Guided Fate Paradox can best be described as a game with lots of big words in it. It also happens to be a hybrid Japanese RPG/Roguelike/dungeon-crawler. It is also a game where you need to grind. And a lot of it. Or maybe not so much. Thankfully, the punchline here is that the game happens to be unexpectedly fun.

I’m not a fan of grinding. I have terrible ADD and get bored pretty quickly; I was afraid that might happen while playing The Guided Fate Paradox. Thankfully, NIS America’s latest grindy/Anime-infused game has personality. The atmosphere is bright and colorful, the characters are nicely designed with many memorable lines (and have their own voices too! Something we take for granted in this day and age but still greatly appreciated). To briefly sum up the gameplay, it plays a lot like a strange amalgamation between Disgaea, Diablo and Torchlight.

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The story is very interesting and can get pretty deep and will sometimes make you think. Since I’ve been watching too much Anime lately, I’m afraid that I’ll mix up the character’s names (Ed. Note: this is the flimsiest excuse I’ve ever heard about skipping cutscenes). I’ll give it a shot though: you play a normal, boring guy (clearly intended to be relatable to the player, see: wish-fulfillment) named Renya. One day, this pretty lady in a maid outfit says you won the lottery. The prize? You become God. And now, since you have all these magical deity powers, you have to answer certain peoples’ prayers, like a Cinderella who is questioning her fictional existence in a book, or a bullied zombie kid; all the while trying to save the world from a sharply dressed Satan with some plot twists along the way. It’s like an anime Bruce Almighty with some nice DFCs and villains.

You’ll be seeing a lot of (skippable) dialogue in the game especially when starting but you might be missing a lot of funny, or useful dialogue though. The tutorial is accessible anytime in the menus. The game’s music is catchy and does most situations. The original song is pretty fun to sing along to. You also have the option to listen to original Japanese audio or a pretty good English dub.

Combat can feel repetitive and might make your brain go on auto-pilot. You kill monsters in a random dungeon and loot items then repeat. Know that the game is hard and can be frustrating mainly because you lose all your equipment and half your money if you die. I didn’t know this until it happened (though the game did tell me but I skimmed through it. I think). This isn’t a game that you should play continuously for a long time. Take some breaks and you’ll appreciate it more. There are plenty of weapon and equipment that you can loot and each has their own ability and is upgradeable. Fate paradox is a deep game and you will want to read the tutorial to understand it all. This isn’t a pick up and play game and completing and enjoying the game means you need to understand mostly everything you do.

Controller layout has a learning curve but learning is worth it because it makes navigating much easier. Camera angles can be annoying but you can change the camera angle. It would have been better if at least a silhouette of your characters appear when your view gets blocked. One more issue for me personally is the diagonal layout of the level. Even after putting many hours in the game, it still annoys be mainly because it’s not natural.

The Guided Fate Paradox is a long, sometimes tedious but quite fun and entertaining game. It’s a niche genre but fans will definitely love this game. It might be too deep for new players but the tutorials make it accessible and easier. Can’t say enough good things about the game, so here’s my final recommendation: go buy it.

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Do Not Fall (Run For Your Drink) is a platforming/puzzle game where you play as a Bunny who is trying to make healthy drinks like pineapple juice or water. Actually, I’m not so sure with the story either but that’s not really important. The goal of the game is to finish each level and reach the goal using platform jumping and dashing, puzzle solving, and unlocking doors by gathering the scattered keys in each level. Sounds easy but almost each tile that you step on breaks apart in roughly 1.5 seconds. Not to mention the various obstacles and annoyances (I don’t consider them enemies) that you have to evade or allow to fall to their deaths. There are also challenges in each level with certain conditions that can make the gameplay much more challenging.

You may have low expectations when you first look at the game (I know I certainly did) but when you get into the game, you’ll slowly realize that you’ve been playing it much longer than you scheduled yourself to. The game presents you with three modes: single-player, multiplayer and online. two Difficulty levels with Normal (two lives) and Hard (one life and things move around faster just a teeny tiny bit).

Do Not Fall (2)

Visually, the game looks good. Even with the bright and colorful graphics, you can still have a sense of depth from the background and the game’s main area. You’ll also be able to tell the depth of certain tiles if they are higher or lower (or maybe not if you’re panicking about the time limit). Character design looks plain and dated but that’s not really a problem for most people. There are some nice CG movies about the drinks but I don’t know why it’s there.

The game’s background music isn’t memorable but it isn’t annoying either. I can describe it as happy and relaxing but you might forget about it while playing the game itself. There’s no voice acting in the game aside from the standard dying scream and some “YEAH I’LL WIN!” words from the main characters. Sound effects like when your dash ability has returned are great and can be helpful to finish the levels.

The gameplay itself is actually pretty fun and frustrating at the same time, which is a good thing. The first levels are cake and may turn people off but as you progress, the game becomes more challenging with bigger levels of multiple depth and harder obstacles. There will be a lot of trial and error and a lot of deaths along the way which will piss you off and make you want to finish the game some more. I played the game mostly on normal mode because I wanted to enjoy the game more. Hard mode is pretty fun for people who want a challenge as the game becomes a little bit faster and checkpoints are gone. Each stage also has a challenge such as not getting hit by sheep, or collecting a certain amount of screws.

Do Not Fall (3)

Replayability is average because I feel that the game doesn’t have enough appeal for most people to continue playing it after they complete the game. Aside from the grading system of F to S, completing the challenges and bonus stages, I don’t think I would crave playing it for a long time. Multiplayer mode can be fun with real human beings but I wasn’t able to fully take advantage of it because I am a basement dweller and I only played with the very simple minded AI. There are 6 multiplayer modes that are based on Soccer, King of the Hill, Capture the Flag and others. There are also worldwide scores for competitive people and an online mode that may or may not have a community (currently).

For $10 on the PlayStation Network, this game is pretty fun and well worth the money especially if you want a nice happy fun game that can relax and slowly enrage and raise your competitive spirit. My main negative for the game comes from the fact that you can’t change the controller layout or even use the D-pad which would be great for this game.