Being unemployed has its perks afterall! Like giving me time to re-upload and edit my 2014 playthroughs of Virtual Hydlide on the Sega Saturn. That’s right, playthroughs, as in more than one. You can watch the game on Easy or Hard difficulty and ultimately take a peek at Pro Mode… although it’s pretty disappointing after playing the game through twice.
If you find yourself loving the game’s dramatic MIDI soundtrack but hate all my yammering, don’t worry! I’ve also re-uploaded my videOST for the game, featuring all the music with none of the annoying thirtysomething banter. Watch and listen here.
What’s one to do after a decades-long wait for a remake finally starts to pay off? The only sensible thing is to go back to the source material of course! Yes,I’m talking about the recent demo for Final Fantasy VII Remake which was fine and all but it just wasn’t old-school enough.
At this point I’m 39 hours into the 2015 PlayStation 4 update of Final Fantasy VII and I’m knock-knock-knockin’ on Sephiroth’s door, err, crater. It’s been fantastic to play through the game after so long and be reminded of all the characters, events, and plot points I’d completely lost track of. In my search for the fantastically overwrought summon spell — Knights of the Round — I reminded myself of something else I’d forgotten: the chocobo breeding guide and family tree that I created for Videogamers.com back when I was first playing the game.
As I was grinding out battles, trying to capture ‘Great’ and ‘Wonderful’ chocobos on my trek for the fabled Golden Chocobo, I started wondering if I actually cared about any of this in 1997 or if I just used a GameShark to unlock everything. Then the image of the family tree above came to mind and I started looking through the folder of “Old Stuff” on my laptop. After a little HTML cleanup, there it was, my silly little guide for getting a gold bird. It is definitely what I should have been doing in 1997 instead of focusing on college classes. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Anyways, the added “cheats” in the 2015 version have been a great help for expediting this process, allowing you to triple the speed of the game or disable field encounters with the press of a button. I still spent plenty of time with the chocobos, reforging my memories from 1997 and falling for those doofy birds all over again. *WARK*
For the first time since, well, I can’t even remember, I have pre-ordered the Deluxe comes-with-a-lot-of-junk Edition of a game, and naturally it’s a weird one. Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories is a game that 1) I never thought would be completed 2) never thought would be translated to English, and 3) never thought would see a physical release for the West. Thanks to Granzella and NiS America though, I’m happy to say all those things have now come true!
Quick(ish) catchup. The Disaster Report series has been around since the days of the PlayStation 2 when IREM released sequels fairly regularly… until the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. As you might expect, a game revelling in natural disasters, set in Japan, to be released around this time felt a little ignoble. So IREM cancelled the PlayStation 3 sequel along with most of their other games and went back to making pachinko and slot machines. The staff who still wanted to make video games left to form Granzella and were able to acquire the rights to Disaster Report from IREM in 2014. Finally, Disaster Report 4 (known as Zettai Zetsumei Toshi 4 in Japan) was released in 2018 and NiS America shortly came to head up the Western localization for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
And that brings us to today, when I finally pre-ordered the Ridiculous Edition of the game (appropriately for PlayStation 4) after getting a nice bonus paycheck at work to cover the $90 cost. What do I get? A backpack that I can’t read, a soundtrack, a lanyard to hold my employee or school ID (I guess?), and a box that looks like an in-game First Aid kit to unceremoniously shove everything else into.
The tchotchkes don’t matter all that much, I’m just thrilled to be able to finally play the game and throw some support to NiS who I rarely get to buy from because 99% of their lineup isn’t my kind of Japanese.
The first video game actor I remember becoming a fan of is Raphael Sbarge. His character in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Carth Onasi, was a slight crush for me and his voice acting played a great role in that. I never tried to find out who the actor was until I watched Shawn playing Mass Effect and heard that voice as Kaidan Alenko. That was also what got me interested in trying a game I might not have tried otherwise. Since then I look up all the video game actors I like. I follow them on social media if they have one and I follow them from game to game. Part of the problem is, my memory is getting worse for some trivial things like who played who in a video game, which in part may be because the face I put with the voice is not their own.
I kept thinking I should make myself a cheat sheet and I figured I would post it here in case anyone else finds it interesting, so bare with me for how selective I am about who is listed. If I have incorrect info please let me know. This will be on-going as I move through games. I will try to keep it alphabetical by actor’s first name for now. I am also breaking this up into multiple pages, so check the page links at the bottom to see the rest.
Ali Hillis: Liara T’Soni of Mass effect Series, Scout Lace Harding in Dragon Age Inquisition, Lightning Farron in various Final Fantasy games & much more. IMDB
Back when Dragon Age Inquisition came out, before the fans creeped me out and I had to back away, voice actors from the game were very active and popular on social media. I especially remember Greg Ellis (Cullen) and Steve Valentine (Alistair) interacting frequently with fans, but that may be because those are the two I personally was paying attention to.
Ellis was recording phone notifications for free as Cullen. The three files I saved have the following dialog: “Inquisitor, you have a message…OH! Andraste’s tits!“, “Maker’s breath, answer the phone. This is ridiculous.“, and “Can it wait? I’m in the middle of some trebuchet calibrations… Did you just touch my bottom? This is ridiculous oh I’ve fallen down!” The fans were greatly amused, as was I. Valentine saw the potential and did something along the same lines, but behind a paywall of some type that I can’t recall now.
Why am I bringing this up five years later? First off, that was the start of my interest in following the voice actors, and now motion capture actors, from the games I love. More interestingly the service to get these types of personalized audio/video clips from video game actors, musicians, athletes, and more is now a real thing. So we don’t have to hope the actors are willing to take time for free, we can pay them for a birthday wish or whatever else (within reason).
Cameo.com is the site that I found out about from actors in Red Dead Redemption 2 posting on social media. Their site says “Cameo is a platform where fans can book personalized video shoutouts from their favorite celebrities, athletes, or influencers. Our mission is to create the most authentic and memorable fan experiences in the world.”
Here’s a list for you of some game actors I have found:
NEW!Greg Ellis – Cullen in Dragon Age & Anders in Origins Awakenings
I tried searching for others like Greg Ellis, Steve Valentine, Jennifer Hale, but did not find them. If anyone finds more game actors please comment and I will add to this list! Take time to check out the previously recorded items on their pages, it’s entertaining.