Sunday, October 31, 2010

Now Playing - "Pum, Pum, Pumpkin - Halloween Cannon!"

Happy Halloween! Hope you have all been having fun. What did I dress up as? Wat? I've just been playing games for a couple hours...thats more fun! I've been playing some old school RPGs =D *geek*

Half Minute Hero (PSP) - Gotta love>

So I've done the Hero mode now, it took me up to 60%, which I don't really get. Maybe I missed stuff. Anyway, next up-the faaabulous Evil Lord mode. (He just reminds me of the rather fruity Emperor and Kuja from the FF games)

There was also a Turtle sage...where have I seen that before? XD

I'm getting a bit of a craving for some old retro style games. Considering 3D Dot Game Heroes, but I suck at Zelda gaems... :3 What else, maybe Scott Pilgrim game, I tried some of the co-op and it was fun stuff. Will definitely get Cladun when it comes out. 

I was like OMG! Neverwinter Nights on the other day, although I wasn't sure if my laptop would run it. My laptop is a fairly new, so I was fairly confident, just I wasnt sure if my built in graphics card would be up to the task. But anyway, I bit the bullet and bought Neverwinter Nights: Diamond Edition (PC) It runs it alright, just with one flaw I've found. If I change the character's skin colour or hair colour at character creation they turn all metallicy, like liquid metal =O So, aside from this texture issue, it runs fine. I've put some time into it and I'm getting used to the game. I started up a Mage at first, realised she looked like some kind of Terminator 2000 thing, so made a new character, a Fighter and didn't bother changing the skins. I'm seeing a very strong BGII/Kotor vibe with this, as well as seeing how Biowares games have evolved and influenced even stuff like WoW with this one. Anyway, that aside, its good to be playing some games which go back to my roots. I started out playing RPGs on the PC, with Diablo, Baldur's Gate and loads of other good stuff, and I'm enjoying what I've played so far. I still prefer the rich, detailed backgrounds and environments from BGII to the at times rather bland 3D environments of this. I won't criticise it too much, as it did come out many years ago and it was their first foray into a 3D RPG (correct me if I'm wrong), plus its early days so far. All I've seen is the starting area and some of the Peninsula district of Neverwinter.

I tried a bit more of Monster Hunter Freedom 2 (PSP) ...still not quite into it yet. I did one more mission in the Training academy where I had to find Honey from item spots...but I don't understand where to get it or how. I mean...I got given a Bug Net and a do I get Honey with either of those? =/ They are all like "lol good luck, go find it!"

Other than that, I played a bit more of my rockin Elemental Druid on Diablo II: Lord of Destruction (PC), although I'm technically still on the main game content, in Act II where I left off last time. This game never gets old, seriously. I'm kind of tempted to take a character all the way through Normal difficulty, Nightmare and Hell modes as well. I've never done that. I know the game well enough to succeed I think. Plus its about the only way you could possibly call Diablo II 100% done. There are like endless items so thats not on the cards.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Red Wii...

This looks rather awesome. If it is shiny though, a Matt finish would look slightly less good somehow. Its still not quite up to the level of appeal of the Black one though.

Its good Nintendo is bringing so many colours to the DS and Wii range now, but...why did they not include Motion Plus in the Wii controllers from the start? -_-

I've not played my Wii in a while and I don't really want to have to buy 300 peripherals for it if I want to play new games, but its turning into that slowly, I now need to get a Classic controller and a Motion Plus at some point. They have lots of cool games on the Wii store or whatever its called. So many people don't even use it, and its a shame.

I kind of want to get the Black classic pad that comes with Monster Hunter Tri..I really should have bought that at launch as its now fairly expensive. But I was still majorly on the fence about Monster Hunter. (I still am, but not so much)

Thats it for now, a mild, quarter strength rant or maybe its just a talk about the Wii.

Some awesome news.

NIS America has announced they will be bringing some rather awesome looking games over to Europe. I was quietly hoping that they would bring us at least one of either Cladun or ZHP, and it looks like they will be bringing both over to the PSN. I've noticed a lot of RPGs heading straight for the PSN here, probably to keep costs associated with localising for Europe to a minimum. Not only that, we will be getting more Disgaea love. Disgaea Infinite and Prinny 2 will be coming over to the PSN as well! Good thing I never imported Infinite. Although...I can see my memory stick running out in the near future. Maybe I won't get all of these ones.. (Good Old Games) has put Neverwinter Nights Diamond edition up for sale for the low price of $9.99. This is brilliant news as I was actually considering getting NWN soon. And the versions are all very cheap apart from this Diamond edition which has all of the add-on stuff included.

Then there is what was called Super Dimensional Game Neptune in Japan. I remember reading about this on RPGamer a while back and never expected it to come out over here. It is now! It will be coming out in North America and Europe some time in 2011 under the name Hyperdimension Neptunia.

It seems to be a really quirky, light hearted RPG which parodies and pokes fun at a lot of things gaming. I'll be looking forward to seeing what kind of reviews this one gets. NIS sure has a lot of games on the go at the moment, and I hope they live up to the level of quality they were claiming they would get them to a while back.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Stupid temperature...

There have been some really cold days this week and last week, giving me a kind of on/off cold and sore throat which I can't seem to get rid of completely. 

But today it was fairly mild, just ridiculously wet for the most of the day. So I can understand that they would have the heating on in the uni buildings, but man...they kinda overdid it. It was roasting pretty much everywhere I went. I was actually sweating at times... ;_; I even felt like I was gonna pass out and fall asleep later on in the library. I had to go upstairs to find a cooler floor of the library to work in.

Now, I'm not exactly saying that they should leave the heating off or pump cool air through the air conditioning, but I hate it when its like makes it so hard to keep alert...a few other people I was talking to said they were falling asleep too.

I don't even know why I'm posting this here..maybe just venting some steam or something. I like having a blog for this kind of outpouring of my mind.

What it looked like in my uni lecture theatres:

Perhaps minus the sun...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Now Playing - "Might as well piss on a frog"

I'm in the middle of quite an intensive bit of the uni's trimester at the moment. We've got Class tests coming thick and fast; one each week for each of the 4 modules. I've done 2 of them so far-Fundamentals of Pharmacology and Pathology and Geometrical Optics, the latter of which I find rather hard at times. (Largely due to the lecturer's way of doing things (craply)) Anyway, this is about the games I got a chance to play this week, not uni stuff. I played a little bit of Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey (DS) over the first few days of the week, but its not a game I can ever seem to get much time put into. Once I finish up the other game I've been playing, I'll try and concentrate on this one for a bit. I am liking the way things are going, and I reckon I have some strong demons on my side. I'm just under 24 hours into the game, and I'm a few quests into the Carina sector. (That might've been where I was last week...I really don't think I've made much progress)

I'll try and get past this boss later tonight perhaps, if I get some time. I've got a few TV shows to catch up on.

Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero? (PSP) I picked this one up on Thursday, started it up and got absolutely addicted to it. Its some kind of wierd combination of my suckiness at these games and my obsessiveness coming together which means I keep playing until I succeed, even if that many poor Prinnies die. Platformers do seem to make me rage though, A LOT. I'm about 9 and a half hours through this game and on the final stage now. Its quite hard at times, but its really quirky and fun, it has a lot of really awesome geeky references, anything from Star Wars to Dragonball Z. If you like the Disgaea games or if you are just a fan of platformer type games, check this one out. Its been worth the £8 I payed for it by a mile. 

Some of the gameplay could have been tweaked here and there though. I've had a few cheap deaths that were unavoidable surely. I'll get knocked by an enemy and sent flying into other enemies or off cliffs. Maybe they left that in intentionally though.

Monster Hunter Freedom 2 (PSP) I borrowed this off a friend in my class at uni as he's a big fan of the series and I said I was interested in trying some of the games out. I've only put about an hour or two into it so far, just to see what it was like. It plays very much like the demo of Freedom Unite I played, apparantely the games on the PSP are all incredibly similar, just with more or less content really. The stories are pretty much non existant, but what you really play these games for is the amount of quests, items etc there is to get through. The controls though, really need improved for me. I don't see why they cant map the rotate camera to the shoulder buttons. That would be much more intuitive for me. I had some fun with the mindless slashing of dinos. I think I put it down in a bit of a rage though when I couldn't time the cooking well enough to get a Well-Done Steak. I'm really crappy at timing related stuff like that, and for such an early quest, this seemed to have a RIDICULUOUSLY small window of opportunity to cook the item needed for a quest. Take the steak off too soon, you get a Rare Steak, too late and you get a Burnt Steak. Maybe I was just doing it wrong or something...but it seemed bizarrely hard.

I might pick it back up at some point, to try and see some more of the quests, I've barely made a dent in the training quests.

So other than Prinny, I didn't put much time into games this week. A combo of studying for exams and football during the evenings. I'm nearly done with Prinny though! =D

Monday, October 18, 2010

Now Playing - "driving through the business district in a tank!"

It was my birthday on Sunday and I haven't played that much of any games really, but played some on Saturday and Sunday. Had some friends over on Sunday to Monday so didn't have a chance to write this post...or sleep much either to be honest XD Damn was a good laugh though.

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey (DS) I've put in a few more hours to this and now I'm into the 3rd sector, Carina. At times it really frustrates me. I'll make lots of progress only for something stupidly cheap to happen and make me lose a chunk of progress. But when I do get places in the game, I really enjoy the story and battles. Probably the thing I enjoy most about the gameplay side of things is just fusing demons and recruiting new ones. The SMT games always have a lot of depth to the demon side of things. In fact, I'm looking forward to trying out Lucifer's Call...but I am apprehensive about it. If I struggle with DDS, DS and SJ at times, I've heard Nocturne/Lucifer's Call is much I might find it hard. I just hope I have the patience and time for it.

I got a couple games for my birthday but didn't want too many as I've got a few I want to play and haven't even touched yet. One of the ones I got was Super Street Fighter IV (PS3) My brother got me this one and I'd already played a lot of multiplayer when with my friends (they are insanely good at SF games) but never really played many of the trials or Arcade mode stories. So I was glad to get the chance to try out the Arcade mode and other stuff. I love fighting games with lots of stuff to do, and this one has a whole load of characters and challenging things to do and unlock. I didn't play much of it so far, just some on Sunday before some friends came over. I managed to finish the Arcade mode with Akuma in the end. (Seth was damn hard, even on easy mode T_T) I also started learning Guile so I could get the hang of charge characters. I'm pretty good at the timing, but still getting used to the buttons and how to follow up with other moves. I'm fairly pleased with how well I know the game even though I've barely played it, just because I played so much multiplayer over at my friend's place.

Final Fantasy: The 4 Warriors of Light (DS) I just started this one up to see what the opening was like and I really like the graphical style. I can see why some people won't like it. It could be lumped into that ugly 3D DS game group. I think it really adds to the charm of the game. Its got a kind of Animal Crossing/Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles feel to it. I've literally only played up to the first save point, so I will save my comments for when I've played more of it. Plus I think I could potentially put a lot of time into it. Things with job systems and lots to grind and master are quite often my cup of tea.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Some new trailers

Some of Square Enix's upcoming games have had me interested for a while now, and I just saw these videos on youtube today. Enjoy ;D

This never fails to make me laugh

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunflower Seeds - Tate Modern - 12 October 2010 to 2 May 2011

I saw this story on the news today and it really blew me away. The attention to detail that has gone into this is amazing. Check it out, or go along and see the exhibition if you are able.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Now Playing - "All worlds begin in darkness, and all so end"

Played some bits and bobs of some games this week. Didn't make much progress apart from in Kingdom Hearts, and some Strange Journey. I'm considering starting up another game of Final Fantasy Tactics: WotL or at least continuing with my save. They've got a playthough of the game going on at one of the sites I go to, and I said I'd take part. But FFT is such a time-intensive game. I need to get some more non-rpgs hehe...

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (PS3) [demo] - yeah, I played this! But only the demo... =( I really wanna pick the game up some time soon but I don't know when I'm going to have time to play it any time soon. So my thoughts on it (at least on what I played)? It feels like a God of War type action game, but with a definite Castlevania feel. It has the sub weapons system, so you can pick up Throwing Knives and whatnot. The lock on is automatic so when I threw Throwing Knives they automatically went towards the nearest enemy I believe. It might cause some problems if you don't attack the one you want I guess, but it might work out well. Its hard to tell from the demo.

The graphics, audio and presentation are top-notch for sure. The mini-cutscenes which showed some werewolve type enemies in the rain were amazing. The reflections and lighting for the water were very well done and I'm really looking forward to seeing more of the game. The voice acting is of high quality as well. I heard some of Patrick Stewart's and Ewan McGregor's lines and was impressed with the stuff in the demo. 

I'm really interested to see if the story will deviate much from the rather simplistic Castlevania template. Kojima is someone that has become quite divisive for his storytelling. Myself, I'm really intrigued to see what his cinematic approach will bring to this series (which is one of my favourites.)

As far as I'm concerned, it looks a pretty cool game so far. Now I need to get the full game (and find some time to play it...)

I finished off Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (PSP) this week. I thought there would be a bit more story after I finished the 3 character's stories but apparantely there isn't. The story seemed to be a bit unfinished, and on a rather bittersweet note. I won't give away anything, but I guess it does have quite a good story. It just ends on a positive, upbeat but slightly sad note.

Compared to the other games, it doesn't feel as strong in terms of charm and atmosphere. It suffers from being on the psp slightly in that it can't do as much as say a PS2 or PS3 game could do. I really liked in KH and KHII that you got Disney characters joining your party temporarily, as well as having Donald and Goofy available. That added dialogue, and lead to a more diverse, interesting game. I touched on this before, and same with the enemies in this game. They don't feel quite as imaginitive or unique as the other games, and some feel a bit too recycled. 

Still, I had a lot of fun with Terra's and Aqua's story. Aqua was definitely my favourite as I prefer playing as Mages. I did a lot of grinding with her and found it was more interesting-I got bored less when I was using spells to nuke enemies that took much longer to kill with the Melee characters. (Especially Ventus-he has fast, weak attacks and I really didn't enjoy playing through with him.)

What happened to the original trio you may ask? Well, some of the characters from the original games make an appearance or two in Birth by Sleep, which seems to be a prequel by about 5 or 10 years.

I made a little bit of progress in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey (DS)-I got past some stupid bit that had me stuck for a while. So I'm still slowly getting through the Bootes sector. I'm on the last mission of it now (actually I think I was at this bit this time last week) and I'm going to play some more.

I might start up another game to go along with SMT, but if I do that, I'll not make much or any progress in Strange Journey. Its apparantely quite a long, deep game. Oh, I picked up Lucifer's Call on Amazon the other day. Not sure when it will arrive (or when I'll be able to play much of it) but I'm glad I finally got it (and for a very reasonable price.)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Now Playing - "Hands off the panda!"

I didn't find a huge amount of time this week to play games unfortunately, but here are some thoughts on what I did play. The main game I've been trying to get through, and the one I've played a fair bit of is Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (PSP). I've now played through two of the three character's stories (Terra and Ventus') and while some things are starting to feel a bit stale, they change enough each time you go back to the worlds with the various characters so it doesn't feel too boring. I really didn't like the some of the quests where you needed to fetch x items to continue...that bit in Ventus's story where I needed to find the goddamn bits for Cinderella's dress actually made me put the game down for a couple days. Things like that and the minigames being incredibly unforgiving pissed the hell out of me. Actually, in some really intense boss battles the fiddly nature of the command deck did kill me when I had to stop moving in order to cycle through to the command I wanted to use (like a Cure spell). Still, I'm enjoying the hell out of the game for the most part. It has some really epic battles. It does kind of seem like the story is running a bit thin now that I've been through it 3 times (even though the timelines are slightly overlapping)-it seems like every main plot event has been already, and things might be different in the bit after all 3 stories (I hope that the finale is good.)

The voice acting is really dissapointing. I don't care how much people want to try and defend it. Its not good in my books. Aqua feels so awkward, like she is struggling with every sentence. Terra is fairly dull and lifeless. It does have some fairly good performances, but they aren't brilliant. Xehanort and Master Yen Sid were two that slightly stood above the rest. I feel I'm forgetting someone but perhaps that is it in a nutshell. Forgettable voice acting. The soundtrack isn't overly impressive either.

As much as I've ranted here, it is a pretty decent game and I'm looking forward to finishing it off to see where the story goes. Anyway, I reckon I need about 5 or 10 hours to finish Aqua's story and the game completely. Might be able to do that this week, we shall see.

Lunar: Silver Star Harmony [demo] (PSP) So I played some of the demo of this game and wanted to get through it to get the clear save game if I ever got the full game when it was released but I put the demo down. It was just frustrating me that I couldn't save in the middle of it-I had to put my PSP into sleep mode each time instead of turning it off. Also meant I couldn't play KH until I finished the demo. So anyway, my intial thoughts on the game. (Keep in mind the fact that I never played the original games) It looks to have a fairly cool 90s anime style aesthetic, for the most part good although some characters and monsters do look horrendous. It has one of the ugliest dragons I've ever seen, fullstop. It has feathers and some ridiculous looking things that look like dog ears. Yeah, no thanks.

It has a fairly strange look to some of the menus, texts, symbols and icons. I'd even go so far as to say it looks like a flash game similar to like Adventure Quest or some RPG that someone has made themselves on RPGmaker or some crap.

It has some fairly boring combat at times, and what really annoyed me was that the enemies appear on the overworld and dungeons (ok, thats not bad) and they RUN FASTER THAN YOU. So if I want to evade them and skip by them to get through the dungeon quicker, no that won't work. I'll need to get a bit of luck so they don't see me. Fairly annoying, but I am curious to give this a better shot. I may play through the demo when I have some free time and have a buildup of patience somehow...

Blazblue: Calamity Trigger (360) I played some more of Blazblue and actually won some games online! Not many, but I'm up to like lv16 or so on the multiplayer. Frustrating how good some people are at fighting games...I think I'll definitely get the next game though when it comes out. I like this game too much not to.

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey (DS) I didn't put much more time into this game this week. I finished up a story mission and thats about it. Did some exploring, levelling and getting demons but didn't make much significant progress. I think its a fairly long game, so like Etrian Odyssey it will have to have my full attention if I intend to actually finish the game.

Sorry for the short post (with no pictures, videos or whatever)-I'm not on my laptop at the moment. Will try and make it more interesting next week!