Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle (PSP) – This game, made by NIS America, the same company that created the Disagea series, is a cross between Final Fantasy Tactics and Disagea. I was initially hesitant about trying this one out, due to being intimidated by the battle system and all of the stats and their meanings..Now, I understand that sounds fairly unintelligent (I promise you that I’m a pretty smart guy), but sometimes in an RPG, the customization is a little too over the top. Phantom Brave is like a slightly toned-down version of Disagea. Although loaded with stats, percentages, and mechanics like combining characters, combining weapons, combining characters with weapons, combining items with..well, you get the idea, the game is actually not that difficult to wrap your head around . Long story short..you play a young girl named Merona who can summon phantoms to fight alongside of her as she tries to make a living helping out townspeople on different islands. You create your own group of phantoms (they can be fighters, mages, hell, even little rabbits or slimes), you equip them with weapons and you confine them to objects on the battlefield. Confine a mage to a flower or tree and their magical power increases dramatically, confine a fighter to a stone block or column and their attack and defense increases. My only complaint is the turn limit for each phantom; after a set number of turns, your phantoms disappear. The game can be pretty unforgiving as far as difficulty goes at certain parts but not to the point of making the game completely frustrating. Well, as long as you are ok with backtracking and level grinding that is. =)
Super Street Fighter IV (360) –Yeah! That’s right! Super! Not Arcade! Not Ultra! Friggin’ Super! Screw you, Capcom! Actually, I’m a huge fan of the entire Street Fighter series. I just really wish that Capcom would cut back on the different versions of basically the same game with a couple new characters added into the mix. I think that if they held off on releasing Super, Arcade and Ultra, they could have combined all of the new characters, stages, and mechanics into Street Fighter V. Anyways, this game has been a staple of our nerd nights for a couple of years now and will probably continue to be going forward. I think that Shawn secretly likes to play it because it causes me to throw tantrums and curse uncontrollably at the TV like no other game. I’m on to you, you rat bastard.