Earth 2025: The Text Heavy Internet Game

EARTH 2025

Earth 2025

Here’s an awesome game that I had almost forgotten about. If you’re partial to simulation type games, and are more about solid gameplay and strategy than eye-candy, this is right up your ally. Earth 2025 is a text-based online war-strategy game. Once you pick whether you want to play in a free-for-all, tournament setting, or alliance-based campaign, you’ll be given a bunch of turns, and dropped into the game’s interface. Basically, you will use your turns to allow time to pass by in your country. During this time, your country will develop according to how you’ve set the fund distribution. Once you’ve used all your turns, you’ll have to wait until the next day, when you’ll be given a small, set amount of turns. That’s a pretty huge simplification of a very deep system, though. You’ll have to pay attention to aspects of your country such as the military and industrial strengths (obviously), but you’ll also have to keep an eye on agriculture, and having goods to sell. The great thing about this game is that you don’t have to be a military power-house to be powerful. You can focus all of your resources on making food, for instance, and become filthy rich doing that.

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Rondo of Swords



Lately, I’ve been spending more time playing my Nintendo DS than my Playstation2. The game that’s been keeping my attention is called Rondo of Swords. It was put out relatively recently by Atlus. This game is a strategy RPG, like Final Fantasy Tactics and Fire Emblem. You play a series of battles on a giant grid, usually involving a ton of enemy units trying to destroy your units. What sets this game apart from the rest is its Route Maneuver system. You’ll draw a line on the DS over the squares you want your character to move, and if that path takes them over any number of enemy units, the character will attack those units. You could attack 6 guys with 4 of your characters in one turn! You’ve got to be careful though, because if you wind up in a vulnerable position, the enemy will do the exact same to you.

The setting of the game is the typical medieval setting with knights and princesses, etc. The music from this game is average at best, but that’s not a big deal since it’s a DS game, and you’ll probably be playing it in some noisy places anyway. Graphically, the game looks really old-school. Characters are shown on the top screen in 16-bit style, along with their stats. You’ll view the board on the bottom screen, and when any unit begins an attack or casts a spell, the top screen displays a battle sequence, complete with some nifty spell animations.

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Guilty Gear Series


In this article, I’ll be looking at the Guilty Gear series. It’s a 2D fighting game from Japan that’s been around for something like 10 years. I love fighters. In fact, I have a ton of memories playing Street Fighter against my friends on Genesis and SNES. When I was something like 16 or so, I got into the competitive gaming scene. My weekends consisted of traveling to nearby cities to play in video game tournaments. I’ve been a part of this scene ever since (I’m 23 now), and Guilty Gear is now my favorite 2D fighter of all time. Why? Well, the gameplay is insanely fast and requires nerves of steel. Once you learn how to play, a typical match could have your heart pounding by the end of it. But that’s not all! The music in this game is awesome!

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Arcana Heart by Atlus



The latest 2D fighter I’ve been playing is Arcana Heart, developed by Examu and released by Atlus. At first glance, this game appears totally ridiculous. The entire cast of 11 characters is made up of 10-14 year old girls. The menus are all pink, and the music is extremely bouncy. This is not the type of game I would typically buy, or even pick up at the store. However, look beneath the strange presentation and you’ll find an excellent fighting game. In addition to the 11 characters, there are 11 “Arcana” that the characters team up with before the battle begins. These Arcana provide special moves, and basically act as an assist for the character. The game is much like all the other 2D fighters you’ve played in move-list category. There is a short set of moves for each character, and a more brief set for the Arcana. If you’re getting nailed by a combo, you can use what’s called the “arcana force” (mash all attack buttons), and you will end the enemy’s combo, and enjoy a special benefit of some sort, depending on what arcana you’re using. For example, the time arcana’s effect is that the clock stops while it’s user is using arcana force. You could use that to force a time-out and win by default. You can only use it once, though, and it’ll drain your super meter. There are a lot of different and fun strategies to be put into effect with this game, especially considering the possible 121 combinations of characters and Arcana!

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Phantasy Star Universe for Sega

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Phantasy Star Universe: Ambition of the Illuminus is the latest in Sega’s (Sonic Team) Phantasy Star RPG series. I’ll briefly explain the series’ history. Phantasy Star first debuted on the Sega Mega-Drive in 1988. This game was considered very ahead of its time, boasting features such as 3-D dungeons (remember, this is the system that competed with the original NES). The first game was followed by Phantasy Star II through IV on the Genesis. All of these games were excellent turn-based RPGs, and if you haven’t played them yet, you should! After Phantasy Star IV, the series went on hiatus until 2000, when Phantasy Star Online–the first ever console online RPG–came out on the Dreamcast. This game met with massive success, despite its limited amount of levels and non-existant storyline. The game departed from the traditional turn-based RPG style and took on more of an Everquest-style MMO feel. Players controlled one character and focused on building up stats and collecting rare items. In 2006, Phantasy Star Universe launched on PS2, PC, and Xbox360. It is a very similar formula to PSO, but features many more areas to explore and play through. There are 3 planets, one colony, and a fourth hidden planet compared to PSO’s one planet.

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