Why the hell haven’t you played Chrono Trigger yet?

Every few weeks I will write an article on what I believe to be the best games you need to play before you die. These are games from all platforms and all differing in genre and gameplay, whether you play them or not is completely up to you, but I’d recommend it – Nath

I imagine most of you has played this, but I’m putting it in any way as it is one of the best RPG games ever made. The characters, storyline and gameplay are absolutely fantastic and it has 14 different endings! That means you can play it 14 times, how epic is that!

 

It was first released in 1995 for the SNES by Square, now known as Square Enix, it has gone to be redeveloped for the Playstation 1, Nintendo DS and Smartphones. You play the silent protagonist called Crono, who has large red spiky hair and is armed with a sabre and lives in 1000AD. You go visit the Millennial Fair in town to see your friend’s experiment with someone you bumped into and basically everything goes to shit because otherwise there would be no game. You have to go back in time and rescue your friend but whilst that happens, you end up being transported forward in time to 2300 AD where the apocalypse has happened and friend you bumped into decide it would be better to try to stop this from happening. Basically a giant shit storm and you have to be the good guys and stop Fallout 3 from becoming a thing.

The is the premise of the game, your party travels backwards and forwards through time in order to prevent the apocalypse from occurring. Simple storyline for an RPG game, but the way it engrosses you is brilliant as you are constantly wondering where you’ll end up next and what might happen in each era you visit. All the characters are from different eras too, Chrono, Lucca and Marle are from the present. You later find Robo the robot (not very imaginative) from the future, Ayla from the prehistoric age and finally Frog, a talking frog with a sword. That’s a frog with a sword. You shouldn’t need any convincing.

The gameplay is simple, easy to understand and very fun. Each character has their own magic element, but when a new technique is learnt, they can be combined with other characters to make extremely powerful combos. Some are done with 2 characters and some with all 3.

I know some of you may be thinking that the graphics aren’t great, but if the storyline and the gameplay is solid then graphics don’t matter. Seriously, this game is worth your time and energy. I genuinely believe it is up there as one of the greatest RPG games ever created. Happy cycloning.

Nath

Kill it so I can wear it

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The problem with playing Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate almost exclusively in multiplayer is when I return to my solo game I’m pretty much THE shit. For those of you that don’t know, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is a game where you hunt monsters (ironic, I know) and when you’ve killed or captured them, you get bits of them which you can make into weapons and armour. It’s like pokemon, if you were the one beating the crap out of Pikachu, then making a sword out of him and proceeding to beat the crap out of his mates with your new zappy sword. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate has three tiers: Low Rank, High Rank and the Holy Grail of G Rank. Because I’ve racked up nearly 200 hours playtime, almost exclusively in multiplayer, I made G rank my bitch quite a while ago and am currently wearing some kind of demonic overlord as a fine hat. Cue me returning back to my solo village and the townspeople are being terrorised by something that I wore as a shoe twelve levels ago.

Whilst the single player is fun and engaging, it’s the multiplayer that really shines for me in this game. Not because I get to pwn all the n00bs online as MH3U is a purely PvE game, but because I get to play with my friends in my living room. It’s understandable as to why this game is on Nintendo consoles since it incorporates something Nintendo adores; being physically social with people whilst gaming.

Part of the great functionality between the Wii-U and the 3DS really gets to show off in this franchise. I have Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on my (Pikachu) 3DS XL (suck it) and my partner has the game on our Wii-U. However will we play together?? OH WAIT THEY THOUGHT OF THAT. The Wii-U acts as a hub which up to three 3DS handhelds can connect to and Lo! You’re all in the same lobby and can run around beating things in the face with their brethren to your heart’s content! Again, it plays into the game’s hands as Monster Hunter is not afraid to use ‘old skool’ difficulty when it comes to big monsters. You’re fighting a poisonous dragon, it’s not going to be easy thus it’s great to have a friend around to distract it (read: Be bait) so you can chug and antidote.

I personally think that more games need to abuse this feature. I can’t count the number of times we’ve ended up having a pizza party with everyone playing Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate whilst we hunt the thing the lowest level person wants to wear next. A lot. Because Brachydios needs to drop that damn gem so I can upgrade my Dual Swords DAMMIT!

 

Kii

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 6 – Fun License

Buenos dias ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, brought to you by The Lost Lighthouse. This week we discuss our first experiences with the Playstation 4, the pretty decent looking Days of Future Past trailer that hit this week and briefly mention the TMNT trailer (spoiler, it is just like every other trailer you have ever been underwhelmed by). We recorded this episode yesterday morning, hence the general level of disinterest, mumbling and pointlessness (even more so than usual!).

Our main talking point this week was virtual reality gaming, including the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus, our thoughts on the future of the technology, and the concept of a virtual reality sexual encounter with Zuckerberg.

If you have any thoughts. questions or opinions anything this week you can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.

Enjoy!

Download this episode (right click and save)

 

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 5 – Two Fingers

Good day ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to The Weekly Rapture, brought to you by The Lost Lighthouse. This week we discuss anniversary editions of games, pointless video game films, and the many upcoming X-Men films and how many times Hugh Jackman is going to play Wolverine, while Adam boasts about his holiday and decides that a lot of the films released last year weren’t that great, and Gary tries to start a Kickstarter to buy people presents, mainly because he can’t afford to do it himself having wasted all his money on other Kickstarters.

Our main talking point this week was board games and the best examples of fun games to get into. We (mostly Gary, being out resident board game guy) chat about the gateway games to introduce some friends to, and what our favourite games are.

If you have any thoughts. questions or opinions anything this week you can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Enjoy!

MERCS: Welcome To The Cause

So we return to posts about the different wargames we enjoy. In this post I’m going to talk about MERCS. Me and a few friends discovered MERCS at Salute. Well it all started by me seeing a battle foam bag I really liked and that tuned out to be a bag designed for MERCS.

After taking a look at the minis and the rulebook we decided to take the plunge and buy a faction each. The background story behind MERCS, in a nut shell, is that countries and their borders have dissolved and now massive corporations dictate the borders and their territory. The full history can be found on their website. One friend bought the CCC, the American based faction. They’re an all rounder of a unit. They have nano armour that repairs itself and some great weaponry! A solid first choice. Another chose the Sefadu. An African unit that relies on speed and maneuverability. I choose the FCC which are a freedom fighter movement. They rely on quick moves from cover to cover and automatic fire weapons. The also have a grenade launcher that is a nightmare, which often keeps the enemy in check.

I think the first thing that grabs me is the artwork. Just look at it! Simply amazing. I love the comic book feel to it all.

sefadu_vs_waza

MERCS is a tabletop 32mm skirmish game. The main difference between MERCS and other skirmish games is that there is no tape measure needed. Each character has a card detailing their equipment, armour, stats and special abilities. The card also has grooves that fit the models base in it and the character moves the distance of the card or several depending on the models stats etc. It’s a hard thing to explain in a short space but it’s really unique.

ErK0GXnGYv816EJH3fWORZlVs3KNOmEwJuHDRTbbCw=w326-h217-p-noThe game itself has a strong following in America and Australia but not so much in the UK. If you get a chance for an intro game I’d give it a go. I really enjoy the game, though I would say looks a little rules heavy to begin with but they are quite intuitive. It does have a clever system where you introduce certain rules after a couple of games so you get the basics secure.

I’m not going to give it a score or a rating but I’ll simple say I enjoy the game and will definitely keep playing it.

As an added extra the company that makes this game is also raising funds for MERCS:Recon. A MERCS based board game which can be found here.

Byyee
Gary

The Lost Lighthouse Reviews: Eldritch Horror

Name: Eldritch Horror
Players: 1-8
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Tagline: “A Board Game Of Global Mystery”

So, this was probably one of the most anticipated board games of the year. It’s pretty much a squeal to one of FFGs most successful titles, Arkham Horror. A quick run down of Arkham Horror: you and a team of investigators solve “mysteries” around the fictional town of Arkham, trying to slay monsters and close gates. All in a desperate bid to prevent an eldritch god from consuming our world.

Where Arkham Horror was set in one place, Eldritch Horror is a global affair. The first thing you can tell when opening the box is that, once again, FFG is giving you a lot of bang for your buck. It’s bursting with great components and the card style is simply superb. The board itself is presented very nicely and it even includes a useful legend for travel routes. You also get a quick reference guide for anything you might get stuck on mid-game. This is a great idea! Through play testing they have clearly found points in the game where you might get a tad confused and supplied this to help keep the game going at a fast pace.

Eldritch HorrorThe game itself seems to me like Arkham Horror with slimmed lined rules and a slightly faster pace. You are against the clock to save the world, in this case the clock is the well named “doom track”. You also have a cool “omen track” which dictates exactly how f**ked you are! The main aim is to solve 3 “mystery” cards, I like these a lot. They really add to the narrative. The game play is spilt into 3 phases: the action phase, the encounter phase and the mythos phase.

In phase one you perform actions like travel, buying items, resting etc. In phase two you have an “encounter”. This is my favourite phase, FFG have done amazingly here. Depending on where you are on the map you have a specific encounter for that location, and there are a lot! Very cool. Phase 3 is the mythos phase. This is where the bad stuff happens! This can be anything from gates spawning, monsters appearing, the omen chart changing and the doom track counting down!

Now, did I enjoy it? I hate to use a cliche but it’s not you, it’s me. I think I want more out of this game. At some points I had lots of fun but during most of it I found I was just going through the motions: move here, pick up a card, roll some dice, move here, pick up a card, roll some dice. Maybe I was just having a off day. There are two mechanics I hate in this game, and I really mean HATE! The first of which is the “delayed” mechanic. If you get “delayed” you basically miss you next turn, all games can be improved by losing the “miss a go mechanic”. The worst thing though is that, at points, this game encourages you to become delayed by giving you reward if you do so! The second thing I hate is very occasionally, depending on cards you draw, if you fail a test you may have to shuffle a solved mystery back in the deck! Bear in mind these mysteries can take around an hour to solve if you’re not doing well.

I feel I’m putting too much of a negative vibe into this review. I do enjoy this game. The problem is it’s a very narrative game, why is this a problem? If your players really dig the Lovecraftian mythos etched into this game then it’s not, what so ever. In fact it’s a good thing. But if you are playing with people who don’t know their Yog-Sothoth from their Dunwich horror then the narrative won’t impact on them nearly as much. Also I would not want to play with more then 4 players, maybe 5-6 if they are experienced with the game. On the plus side you can go globe trotting with a bull whip and a bottle of whiskey! Who doesn’t want that?!

Overall I would recommend this game if you enjoy anything Lovecraft. If you don’t then maybe try something else.

Gary