Saturday, July 14, 2012

Best of... Final Fantasy Music

Yesterday I posted my Theatrhythm Final Fantasy review. It was a game to commemorate the twenty-five years the Final Fantasy franchise has been in existence. Today I bring back my "Best of..." segment to provide you with my favorite Final Fantasy tracks from the mainline games, I-XIII. We have a swath of categories from Best World Map Theme to Best Final Boss Theme to get to, and after you have read my picks, feel free to discuss them in the comments section below.

[Best World Map Theme]

Runner-Up: Terra (Final Fantasy VI)

The pan flute gives a nice western vibe to this world map theme as it has a march-like tone to it. Then at 1:18 the piece changes to something more hopeful, something that seems fit the world that Terra and friends are currently trying to fight for. The limitations of the Super Nintendo sound card did not stop Nobuo Uematsu from creating some of his most magical and brilliant music in his storied career.

Winner: Main Theme of Final Fantasy VII (Final Fantasy VII)

Starting on a somewhat forlorn note, the world map theme of Final Fantasy VII also just so happens to be the theme of the entire game. The main theme kicks in at 0:50 and doesn't attract heaps of attention to itself. However, it soon picks up steam and is followed by a gentle piano interlude at 1:55. Then we reach the boiling point where the synth flares and the main theme blares at 2:41. Truly a dramatic and emphatic piece that defines the Final Fantasy VII experience.

Honorable Mention: Main Theme (FFI)

[Best Town Theme]

Runner-Up: Troian Beauty (Final Fantasy IV) 

The theme of Troia, a kingdom of women to the west of the world map, it is an easygoing piece that is punctuated by the gorgeous harp synth accompaniment. An arranged version with real life instruments would be released on the Final Fantasy IV - Celtic Moon album. If you'd like a taste of it, feel free to follow this link.

Winner: Kids Run Through the City Corner (Final Fantasy VI)

The soft and warm synths make you feel at home, no matter if you're on the opposite ends of the Final Fantasy VI world or not. Even when the world enters a state of ruin, you can return to a town with this heartfelt theme and feel relaxed. This isn't just my favorite town theme from a Final Fantasy game, it's simply one of my favorite town themes for any game period.

Honorable Mention: Town (FFI)

[Best Chocobo Theme]

Runner-Up: Electric de Chocobo (Final Fantasy VII)

Wipe out, dude! Nobuo Uematsu takes us to the beach with this version of Chocobo theme, a piece from Final Fantasy VII. The surf guitar accompanies the synth melody. We even get an interlude featuring a motif similar to that of the 1963 instrumental hit, Wipe Out. Well, actually it is pretty much a straight copy with a variation here and there.

Winner: Pulse de Chocobo (Final Fantasy XIII)

Nothing to kick up your Chocobo ride a few notches than a pure, fast-paced jazz piece. One of the mainstays of the Final Fantasy series since the second installment is that of Chocobos, bipedal birds that you can ride to and fro to get to your destination much faster than on foot alone. Besides being exceptionally catchy with the percussive beats and uptempo rhythm, Pulse de Chocobo is just a feel-good theme, and you'll need it after playing extended sessions of Final Fantasy XIII.

Honorable Mentions: Chocobo Jam (FFX), Ukelele de Chocobo (FFIX)

[Best Airship Theme]

Runner-Up: Ride On (Final Fantasy VIII)

Final Fantasy's airship themes are generally highly triumphant-sounding and give you a strong sense of satisfaction, piloting a juggernaut of a flying machine. Final Fantasy VIII's Ride On is no exception to this line of thinking. Starting off with a fluttery series of notes from the flute, we soon kick into overdrive with the percussion and the main theme. Ride On even has some electronica thrown in for good measure.

Winner: Highwind Takes to the Skies (Final Fantasy VII)

Once you gain Cid's airship, the Highwind, and enter into the air for the first time, you feel victorious. Of course, your adventure is far from over. Weapons still ravage the world, and some momma's boy named Sephiroth wants to cause you nothing but grief. A more boastful version of Final Fantasy VII's main theme, Highwind Takes to the Skies is a glorious airship theme, my personal favorite.

Honorable Mention: The Big Whale (FFIV)
[Best Dungeon Theme]

Runner-Up: Into the Darkness (Final Fantasy IV)

A song that really sounds like you're venturing deep into the unknown or one that would be perfect for an opera, Into the Darkness accompanies players through the Mist Cave, Damcyan Cave, and Underground Passage, among other places, in Final Fantasy IV. Just like the Troian Beauty track before it, Into the Darkness also has a Celtic Moon counterpart heard here.

Winner: The Phantom Forest (Final Fantasy VI)

A hauntingly beautiful track, The Phantom Forest sends shivers down my spine. Everything from the chord progressions to the instrumentation choices add to the dynamic of despair of this theme, yet at the same time there appears to be some hope around the 1:23 mark. Journeying through the mines of Narshe and other cavernous dungeons with this theme is a welcomed blessing, in my eyes.

Honorable Mention: Dungeon (FFIII)

[Best Character Theme]

Runner-Up: Aerith's Theme (Final Fantasy VII)

I am using the official name of the track here, so that is why it is Aerith and not the western Aeris. Regardless, I digress. A poignant piece for a character who suffers a tragic fate, Aerith's Theme tugs at the heartstrings, especially if you had a deep invested and emotional attachment to the character. I couldn't bear to sit through Final Fantasy VII as I thought it was incredibly boring, but great music is great music. Even without any attachment to the character, Aerith's Theme is a riveting piece.

Winner: Celes (Final Fantasy VI)

A gentle and moving track for a character who has suffered enough tragedy to write twelve memoirs on the subject, Celes is one of the most memorable character themes from a Final Fantasy game. I listen to it and immediately get taken to the famous opera scene, one of the most impressive scenes in the history of the 16-bit and prior Final Fantasies - nay, the Final Fantasy series as a whole. For an even more touching version of the song, listen to this piano collections take.

Honorable Mentions: Serah's Theme (FFXIII), Descendant of the Shinobi (FFVII)

[Best Villain Theme]

Runner-Up: Kefka (Final Fantasy VI)

A theme perfect for a sinister man who wears white makeup and looks like a jester, Kefka is the type of song that escalates. It is a perfect dynamic to his role in Final Fantasy VI. From what he appears to be a lowly follower to becoming the essential king of a new world (with his own cult of followers), Kefka demands respect for actually succeeding in his nefarious plans and ruining the world. Sure, he gets bested by Terra, Locke, Celes, and others, but you have to give the villain props.

Winner: Kuja's Theme (Final Fantasy IX)

Kuja is a theatrical character who resembles someone who should be in some form of Broadway production. Kuja's Theme is solely a piano number. The second to last battle of Final Fantasy IX's song, Dark Messenger, uses plenty of motifs from Kuja's Theme. While the villain's normal theme is desolate and saddening, his battle theme is much more uptempo and sounds like a rock anthem.

Honorable Mention: Golbez, Clad in Darkness (FFIV)

[Best Battle Theme]

Runner-Up: Battle Scene I (Final Fantasy I)

When I say "Best Battle Theme" I mean a theme that plays during most regular battles throughout a Final Fantasy game, not boss, special battle, or final boss themes. With that out of the way, we're going old school with the battle theme from the very first Final Fantasy game on the Nintendo Entertainment System. It says something to the staying power of the original Final Fantasy's music as it still holds up to this very day. A jaunty tune that plays as you vanquish goblins and goons is always appreciated.

Winner: Blinded By Light (Final Fantasy XIII)

One of the saving graces of Final Fantasy XIII was the superb soundtrack that invited players to sit down, unwind, and listen to it. Blinded By Light is one of those songs that doesn't grate on you after repeated listening, and you WILL be listening to it a bunch while you grind for items and play through the game normally. When the chorus strikes at 0:58, you're locked, loaded, primed, and energized. The fight is on, and you definitely feel the need to kick some adamantoise shell.

Honorable Mentions: Battle Scene I (FFII), Battle (FFX)

[Best Boss Theme]

Runner-Up: Battle 2 (Final Fantasy IV)

"Best Boss Theme" pertains to the normal boss themes of the Final Fantasy games and not special boss themes such as J-E-N-O-V-A (FFVII) or The Fierce Battle (FFVI). Battle 2 from Final Fantasy IV, the first Final Fantasy entry on the Super Nintendo, features extreme tension throughout its high octane theme. The theme would return on the Super Nintendo in arranged form in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars in a special and secret boss battle in Monstro Town.

Winner: The Decisive Battle (Final Fantasy VI)

Whether you're fending off Ultros or punishing Deathgaze, you will no doubt hear this boss theme plenty of times along your journey to stop the empire and then later on restore balance to the world. The Decisive Battle simply seems to get better with age year after year. I talked earlier about how I was impressed with how Nobuo Uematsu worked with the limitations of the SNES hardware to create some magnificent soundtracks. Well, he really had to work with the limitations on every platform he worked on, and I think his work was better for it.

Honorable Mention: Battle 2 (FFIX)

[Best Final Boss Theme]

Runner-Up: One-Winged Angel (Final Fantasy VII)

A cliche choice, but it is not my number one favorite final boss battle theme. It was extraordinary then, and it is extraordinary now. When you're Sephiroth and you want to appear mighty intimidating, you turn into a heavenly body, summon a meteor to wipe out the entire solar system, and have a theme featuring a choir chanting in Latin as well as your name. It's a fairly lengthy piece, too, and one that makes you get into serious mode as the one man or being that is standing in your way of completing your quest to save the world is Sephiroth.

Winner: Dancing Mad (Final Fantasy VI)

Not just my favorite final boss theme from a Final Fantasy game, but from any game in history, Dancing Mad is marvel of a piece. As you defeat the tower of espers that lead up to the final confrontation with Kefka, the song is set to shift and flow into the next movement, four in all. Like One-Winged Angel, it was extraordinary then, and it is extraordinary now - perhaps more so. But don't take it from me. Listen to the full grandiosity of this final boss theme for yourself. And after you have finished with that, scope out this sensational Distant Worlds orchestrated version complete with chilling choir.

Honorable Mentions: The Final Battle (FFIX), The Extreme (FFVIII)

[Best Overall Soundtrack]

Runner-Up: Final Fantasy IX 

While Final Fantasy IX didn't receive many top candidates in the form of winning categories, the soundtrack as a whole remains my second favorite of all Final Fantasy scores. With songs like Zidane's Theme, Freija's Theme, Hunter's Chance, You're Not Alone!, Vamo' Alla Flamenco, Dark Messenger, Battle 1, The Airship, Hildagardy, and The Final Battle, you really can't complain about the variety and quality of this soundtrack. Nearly every track is a keeper, and all have their special moments that equate to one unforgettable video game music score.

Winner: Final Fantasy VI

Simply one of the most tremendous soundtracks in gaming to have ever existed, Final Fantasy VI features incredibly moving, exciting, and touching pieces. There's pieces like Aria Di Mezzo Carattere, Battle, Searching for Friends, Setzer, Mt. Koltz, Troops March On, Forever Rachel, and songs I have already mentioned in this article like The Decisive Battle, Kefka, Dancing Mad, Terra, Celes, The Phantom Forest, and Kids Run Through the City Corner. Nobuo Uematsu said of the soundtrack that he wanted the listener to feel the music as opposed to thinking about the music. Well, this soundtrack certainly feels like it is without a doubt one of the greatest regardless of not using authentic instruments and high quality sound.

Honorable Mention: Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy IV


That about wraps up this installment of Best of. I hope you enjoyed seeing my thoughts on what my favorite pieces of Final Fantasy music are in the various categories provided. What would your choices be, and if you're not familiar with Final Fantasy and its music, what songs appealed to you?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Nielsen Data Shows What PS3, 360, and Wii Owners Want Most For Rest of Year

I like data. I'm talking about stats and figures, not the character from Star Trek: The Next Generation. He's likeable, though. Regardless, have you been wondering what gamers like you (I should add just a small fraction of gamers like you) are anticipating for the rest of 2012? Well, wonder no further. If you're interested in where this data came from, it "was derived from online interviews of 4,823 male and female active gamers (those who own at least one current generation console and actively play on and purchase games for that console), between the ages of 7 to 54. The timeframe for the data collection was June 3 to June 30, so consumer measures may shift further as marketing efforts heat up over the rest of the year." link

What an utterly boring list. Not to thumb my nose at anybody, but 3/4 of that doesn't interest me. It says something about the PS3 side when no first-party titles such as PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale or LittleBigPlanet Karting are listed. And I didn't even know the Wii had more than five titles left in its life. Though I must admit that I do care about The Last Story and Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. Everything else just doesn't gel with my tastes. That obviously doesn't mean these games listed aren't worth playing - they just aren't for me and my eccentric tastes.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (3DS) Review

Retro Review Month generally deals with games that are on platforms prior to this generation. However, I am always willing to make exceptions. Technically, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is as retro as it gets. It takes thirteen Final Fantasy titles, grabs some classic songs from each game, and throws it in a blender to make one rhythm game. It couldn't be more retro if it tried! Here's my detailed judgment of Theatrhythm.

Back to the Old Nostalgic Grind

Even though the quality of Final Fantasy has declined in my opinion over the years, the one constant that keeps me coming back are the sensational soundtracks that accompany each game. Even with the departure of the incomparable Nobuo Uematsu as series composer, the consistent quality of music for each game remains unrivaled. What better way to celebrate the music and the 25th anniversary of the Final Fantasy franchise than a rhythm game? This is uncharted waters for the series, but it seems like the perfect pairing. Has Theatrhythm Final Fantasy given us a competent rhythm game bearing the Final Fantasy name, or are those hopes just a fantasy?

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy's main gameplay has players tapping, sliding, and holding their stylus down with terrific timing to the notes that horizontally scrawl on the upper screen. I'll refer to these notes as Triggers from now on. The aim of the game is to perform the appropriate action as the Triggers cross the mark on the right side of the screen. Some request that you simply tap or touch the bottom screen while others have you holding the stylus down or quickly sliding the stylus in the specified direction (left, right, up, down, diagonally, etc.), though the latter can be infrequently read incorrectly by the game. Depending on your timing, you earn more points. If you are perfect with your timing on a given note, you receive a Critical rating. If you are somewhat fast or somewhat slow in your movement, then you receive a Great or even Good rating. Being off or doing the wrong action in the wrong direction gives you a Bad rating. Finally, letting a Trigger pass by without doing anything results in a Miss. Both Bad and Miss ratings end any kind of chain of completed Triggers you had going. Chains are important because they increase your point total as you successfully hit more Triggers in a sequence.

Basic is essentially Theatrhythm for dummies.
(I still had some problems early on, though!) 
But the gameplay isn't as simple as all that. No, Square Enix and developer Indies Zero got some RPG into their rhythm game. You begin the game with a cast of thirteen Final Fantasy all-stars, each representing their own mainline game (i.e. FFIV has Cecil Harvey, FFVII has Cloud Strife, and FFX has Tidus). When you begin a game you amass a party of four members. Party members earn experience points and gain levels just like in a typical Final Fantasy RPG. As they gain levels, they earn new skills and abilities to assist them in the actual rhythm performances of Theatrhythm as well as increased stats such as upped Attack and Agility. Within each rhythmic performance, if you as the player fail to perform the appropriate action (tapping, sliding, holding, and whatnot) receiving a Bad or Miss rating on a given Trigger, your party takes damage and the life gauge on the top right corner of the screen lowers. If the bar gets to zero before you complete a song, you get a Game Over. Thankfully, the aforementioned skills and abilities can help you out such as giving your party increased attack capabilities when their HP lowers to a certain rate.

There are three main modes to playing Theatrhythm: Series, Challenge, and Chaos Shrine. Series is a mode where you play through music from each of the thirteen mainline Final Fantasy games. The downside of this mode is that only the Basic difficulty is available at first, and it's really easy for rhythm game pros. Nonetheless, you need not play the Final Fantasy entries in order. Each title has five songs that you play through in a successive fashion. The start and ending of each game, Demo Music Stages (DMS), play the same - a crystal rests in the center of the touch screen, and as music notes reach its center, you tap the screen. Unlike the other types of rhythm romps in Theatrhythm, these types of stages cannot be failed, and they also can be skipped at any time.

The years shown are from the Japanese
releases of each Final Fantasy entry.
The ham and cheese, if you will, of a Series mode sandwich are the Battle Music Stages (BMS), Field Music Stages (FMS), and Event Music Stages (EMS). The Demo Music Stages always bookend these three types of stages, though the BMS, FMS, and EMS don't always show up in the same order; it differs depending on the Final Fantasy game you select.

Let's start off with the most challenging of stage types, the Battle Music variety. Here, there are four tracks, each designated to one of your four party members. As Triggers move from left to right across the top screen, you must perform the necessary touch screen input as they pass over each character's mark. When I originally saw this setup in a trailer, I was worried on whether or not the player would have to touch a specific part of the touch screen depending on which tracks the Triggers were on. Thankfully, this doesn't matter. You can touch anywhere on the bottom screen to satisfy the game. As you fortuitously tap, slide, and hold on Triggers, you give damage to the enemy on the other side of the screen. The goal here is to defeat as many enemies as you can. The more enemies you defeat, the more experience you earn and the better chance you have of coming across an item or other collectible. If you are perfect when a series of silver Triggers arrive (which results in what the game calls a Feature Drive), you can unleash an astonishingly powerful summon like Ifrit, Shiva, or Odin to take out your foe. Having characters that have high Attack and/or Magic is paramount if you wish to take out an abundance of enemies in one stage. Having high HP and a high level also gives you more wiggle room if you miss a myriad of Triggers that would otherwise make you get a Game Over.

Show that Behemoth who's boss.
Then there's the Field Music Stages that, unlike the BMS, require you to focus on one string of Triggers as opposed to four. The leader of your party (who incidentally always earns the most experience at that spot) saunters along a field, moving right to left. Along the way he or she passes by various landmarks from Final Fantasy games. For instance, in Terra's Theme from Final Fantasy VI, your character will see Figaro Castle glistening in the desert sun while in Final Fantasy IX's field stage, the famous Iifa Tree looms in the background. Just as you can in the BMS, you can touch the bottom screen anywhere when each Trigger overlaps the mark. However, this changes when you have to hold the screen. Then you must move the stylus to follow the green holding line to hit each midpoint. If you obtain the Feature Drive in Field Music Stages, you get to transform into a blazing fast Chocobo, moving with much greater speed than your normal character can. Depending on how much ground you cover in an FMS, you get a better chance to earn items. A character with high Speed is recommended for these types of stages.

As the band Toto once sang, "Hold the Line."
Lastly, there's Event Music Stages. These put up various game footage of the series title you are currently playing. Unfortunately, Theatrhythm uses the original Japanese versions of the Final Fantasy games, so in the 8 and 16-bit era titles you get Japanese symbols instead of English. This also spreads to the soundtrack where songs that were originally Japanese stay Japanese. This is fine if you care about authenticity, but what about the rest of us who have nostalgia for the English iterations of these games and adore the cheesy lyrics of Melodies of Life? It just yells "lazy localization" to me in some regards. Regardless, back to the EMS. Here, the Triggers pop up all along a line that moves all around the top screen. It isn't a linear line like in the previous two stage examples. What can be a killer is when a song like the heartfelt Celes's Theme changes tempo, as well as in post Final Fantasy VI Event Music Stages when the background of the top screen is full motion video. It makes trying to follow the Triggers particularly distracting. Earning a Feature Drive in this type of stage allows you to view and play an extended ending of a given song and video.

Relive your favorite Final Fantasy 
moments in these event stages.
But therein lies the problem with Feature Drives and the whole RPG element of the game. In order to receive a Feature Drive, you must have items and/or abilities equipped to a given character. However, in order to score higher than 7,999,999 points and receive an SS ranking or above, you must have nothing equipped to your characters at all. This is especially egregious in Challenge Mode, the mode where you can play any unlocked song freely, where you want to go for the largest possible score. This essentially removes the RPG element of the game entirely.

As you complete songs you earn Rhythmia, the stuff with which you unlock in-game content such as Encore songs and Music Player and Movie Player content. New stuff constantly unlocks at increments of 500, so in essence you always have something to bait you into playing more. You can receive Rhythmia bonuses at the end of songs for having a high chain of Triggers in a given song, beating a song for the first time, having an all male or all female party, using the lead character of the series you are currently playing (e.g. using Squall for a Final Fantasy VIII song), and other notable accomplishments.

That said, as my tagline of this review suggests, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy can be an extremely long grind. Building up characters to worthwhile levels, earning new songs and unlockables through gaining more Rhythmia, fighting the same bosses over and over again in hopes that they drop the items you want, etc. It gets exhausting after a while and sort of overwhelming if you try to do it all at once instead of piecemeal.

From leveling up to stocking up on items,
the grind is definitely on in Theatrhythm.
Regardless, that does mean you get a lot of bang for your buck as there is a lot of content to be found. Each of the 70+ songs of the game have three difficulties. Basic has slow moving Triggers while Expert ups the ante with faster, more numerous and consecutive Trigger types (oh, the humanity at those directional slides all in a row!), and Ultimate? Forget about it - at least for me. Then there's the bevy of upcoming and current downloadable songs which cost a dollar apiece. Not only do they give you new music to enjoy, but they have their own backgrounds to adore. Want to experience a Cosmo Canyon-inspired Field Stage? Have at it!

The final part of the trio of music mode options for Theatrhythm is the Chaos Shrine. By earning Dark Notes, you can participate in these two movement games: one field and one battle. The higher the Dark Note number, the more difficult the Dark Note. And did I mention that the Triggers are absolutely positively randomized each time you play a specific Dark Note? There is a good reason to play Dark Notes, though. If you succeed in getting far in the field stage, you face a boss during the battle stage which can drop sensationally valuable crystal shards. These come in multiple colors, and collecting all eight of a given color unlocks a new character to play as. From FFVII's Aeris to FFVI's Locke, there's plenty of crystal shards you'll want to grind (there's that word again) for to unlock your favorite Final Fantasy all-stars.

Outside of the main musical modes, there is a bevy of options. You can listen to unlocked songs and watch unlocked movies in their respective players. You can collect and read up on CollectaCards, earned through playing battle, field, and event stages as well as through special passwords. There's even something for stat hounds that records and stores how long you've played, what characters you've used the most, what songs you've played the most, how many critical hits you've gotten, how many perfect chains you've nailed, and the encyclopedic list goes on. In addition to all that, there is StreetPass functionality where you can trade profile cards and Dark Notes with a passerby and Multi Play with a local friend who owns their own 3DS and game card. You have a profusion of activities to occupy yourself with in Theatrhythm, possibly more than in any other rhythm game to date.

Theatrhythm has an exceptionally cute chibi art style that perfectly creates a uniform look for all Final Fantasy characters and monsters. Even ol' Safer Sephiroth doesn't look all that intimidating when he's in chibi form! The game is just a vibrant delight, and the 3D effect actually helps push the various Triggers out to the forefront to make them simpler to see. As for the music, you may or may not like the selection of songs provided. It's all subjective anyway, but a lot of great ones are there like Aerith's Theme (FFVII), One-Winged Angel (FFVII), Dancing Mad (FFVI), Blinded By Light (FFXIII), Saber's Edge (FFXIII), Theme of Love (FFIV), Behind the Door (FFIX), Waltz of the Moon (FFVIII), Blue Fields (FFVIII), and as I said, more downloadable songs to come. Even the arranged tracks that occur during menus are exceptional. And by the way, yes, you CAN turn off or lower the volume of the chimes that occur when you respond to each gameplay Trigger to make your musical and rhythmic experience less of a bother if you so choose.

Can you obtain the elusive Perfect Critical Chain?
Ultimately, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is an amazing rhythm game that is a tremendous love letter to Final Fantasy fans the world over. You don't need to be a fanatic to like what is here. You just need to like extremely capable rhythmic gameplay. The actual music is just a bonus. The variety of wonderful arrangements throughout the series' history has been a Final Fantasy hallmark, and my favorite aspect of the series. The incessant amount of grinding necessary to get everything in the game is annoying and sometimes smothering, but taking the game at your own pace will ease the burden for the most part. If you are in the market for a rhythm game that is filled to the brim with content in the present and in the future with DLC in the form of new songs, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy gives a brilliant performance.

[SuperPhillip Says: 8.5/10]


Thursday, July 12, 2012

E.X. Troopers (PS3, 3DS) New Screens

E.X. Troopers is a vibrant third-person shooter part of the Lost Planet universe. Unlike the source material, it has loads of lush color, yet it keeps the bug-busting gameplay. You may or may not dig the anime aesthetic, but you'd be hard pressed to deny that this game looks pretty darn cool. Hopefully we see E.X. Troopers outside of Japan. And if your trigger finger has got a serious itch, why not check out some gameplay footage?

Dragon Ball Z HD Collection (PS3, 360) Box Art, Debut Trailer, & First Screens

Phew! A whole bunch of new media has arrived! Two of the best Dragon Ball Z games get remastered in glorious HD, Dragon Ball Z Budokai 1 and Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3. Added to the game, and a must for the HD platforms, is trophy and achievement support.