Sunday, January 30, 2011

Now Playing - "Whack a Shakalaka"

Its been kind of a wierd week actually. Our tutorials and labs are starting up and things are starting to get a bit more busy now at university. And I've been kinda hit or miss when it comes to playing games this week. I've not been largely impressed with either of the games I'm currently playing. Quite often I'd try and find other stuff to do with my time like chatting with people at uni and stuff other than play games. Still, I put in some more time to Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (PSP) which is still pretty fun, even if it is quite hard at the stage I am at now. I'm on the first set of Nekoht's quests, the 7 star ones and there are some that I find way too hard. The double Congalala would be one I thought wouldn't give me problems, but the thing is, their damage is much higher than normal. Add to that a Bulldrome (not hard on their own, but mega annoying when it is in the same area as the Congas) and you've got a nasty quest I reckon. I've tried that one a couple times and most times it has taken 1 of my lives within minutes. Other than that one, the Basarios doesn't seem hard in terms of attacks but it becomes hard when you consider it's health. So its more of a challenge to outlast it and do enough damage before running out of time or Hot Drinks. I reckon I can manage the Basarios if I try out some different weapons and perhaps armour sets.

I've been trying to farm against some weaker monsters such as Rathalos (in the Guild hall) for some items. I managed to kill Teostra or Lunastra (whichever is the Blue one) as it keeps it's health when you beat it. So after smashing it's horn with a Dragon attribute weapon in the first quest, it couldn't use the Flame aura. Easy pickings. So now I've got some more Elder Dragon bones and all the Flame Dragon scales I need for the next upgrade to my Djinn SNS-up to Blazing Falchion.

Also this week I improved my Kirin armour a fair bit with all the money I was making. I got it up to lv12, giving some pretty good Defense and I got enough Kut-Ku Ears to make the 5 Psychic Vision gems for the set. Its my first time using the Autotracker skill~I can see why it is so useful to have. Next up I need to finish off a few 7* quests required to unlock the next urgent which I believe is Monoblos and White Monoblos-they aren't nearly as intimidating as Diablos was to me. Black Diablos have a shitload of health...I hope this one isn't a repeat of that quest that put me off for weeks.

Other than that, I picked up my save on Golden Sun: The Lost Age (GBA) as I was getting near the end of the game. I had intended to finish the game before I started back at uni. While I got close, I'm pretty sure I ran out of time/got distracted. So I put in couple more hours to this, mostly at the weekend really, and I am now up to final dungeon, in fact I've done the final dungeon (its long...) and just need to either a) finish the game or b) go and do some optional stuff to get the final 3 Djinn and couple summon tablets, as well as finish the optional dungeons before going to the endgame stages.

Wow...that was rather boring most likely. I've put some videos of some soundtrack picks I noticed recently.

I think the Hypno theme reminds me of Diablo II slightly, most likely the Act II music from that game.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cali Otaku semester 2

We now know what anime we are watching this semester (including the 2 series me and the others on the commitee decided on last week)

The lineup looks like this:

Baka To Test: to Shōkanjū – 12 episodes

Angel Beats!13 episodes

My little sister can’t be this cute13 episodes

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun 24 episodes(2nd half of series)

I had forgot that I had watched the first few eps of Angel Beats already, and I remember that I quite liked the idea of it. In fact, I don't know why I stopped watching it...out of these new ones, its probably the one I am most interested in. Railgun started off quite slowly from ep14 and 15, or maybe it was just that I was getting tired and bored towards the end when we showed it. We watch 2 episodes of each series each week, and ocassionally the odd random episode thrown in at the end if we have time. Today was something rather wierd suggested by one of the members. Its called Koe de Oshigoto! Its rather ridiculously explicit, so its probably a good thing our president turned it off before it got too far in. We were kinda paranoid that someone from the uni would walk into the lecture theatre and get us expelled/take away the society privileges or whatever.

I'm quite liking the anime we are showing this time round, at least so far. We shall see how it goes. I might write some Impressions of them at some point. I'm also 2 episodes into Full Metal Panic, considering continuing it. So I might write about it also.

I'm getting a wierd sense of de ja vu about Angel Beats...I'm sure I wrote about it before. *checks*

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Now Playing - "Big, pointy spears."

Early in the week I was playing some more of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (PSP) but not really getting anywhere. I'm still on the start of the High Rank quests, I've unlocked 7 star and done a few of them but I usually end up getting badly violated when I try any of the hunt quests. I've also been trying to get a total of 5 Kut-Ku Ears to go into Psychic Vision Gems for my Kirin set of armour. I've managed to smash enough to get 4/5 so far, but I've put the game down in the last few days, partially out of boredom, partially due to uni and partially down to frustration at the difficulty/my suckiness. I need to get a whole bunch of money to upgrade my armour as High Rank is a bit of a difficulty spike, and one that is slowing my progress down as lot.

I didn't do anymore of MH co-op in uni, as the other guy had got stuck at the same bit I was stuck at for ages, the Four Horns quest where you need to hunt Diablos and Black Diablos. Instead, he had picked up Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (DS) so we played some multiplayer on that. I'm really tempted to start playing it again, as I really enjoyed that game and I've still got absolutely tonnes of grinding and postgame stuff left.

So its more been a week where I've just played games here and there, mostly on my Ipod when I get a chance. I downloaded Angry Birds (Ipod) after a recommendation from a friend. Man, this game is addictive! Really well worth the price of £0.59 I'd say, as you get around 10 worlds to play through. I'm still on the first one (2nd page of levels) and liking how its going so far. Really random and funny puzzle game, I guess you'd call it.

I finished up Infinity Blade (Ipod) finally, after around 6 generations. Annoyingly, I didn't get the achievement as I've still not set up my Ipod to get the internet at my cousin's place where I'm staying at the moment. I'm far from an achievement whore, but its just I don't know if I can actually get that one now, and thats like...the one that proves you've finished the game. I guess its just me being a pedantic ass. Still, I enjoyed the game at times, but I was forced to play it in small chunks of time as the Ipod does heat up quite a bit, and the controls seem to be a little fiddly at times. This leads to some immense frustration when you try and parry an attack when you are wanting to simply block it. This usually leads to painful death. The game has some really nice sharp graphics and textures, and a fair amount of customisability. I liked buying and improving my gear. I still didn't figure out what mastering items did other than giving you +1 into your stats (very useful at times.)

I also picked up Bit. Trip Beat (Ipod) - I had seen some of the Bit. Trip games on a stream and I was kind of interested, but I think it did look quite hard. I think it was Bit. Trip Runner that I had seen, not sure though. There were some really good reviews for this one though, at least on the Ipod and I liked the look of it, so put down the 59p for it. I've tried it once so far and I quite like the way it works. Its a rhythm game where you use a Pong type paddle to return the beats to the other side and progress. Its REALLY trippy. I was playing at night just before I went to sleep and it tired my eyes out really quickly, as I had to focus quite a lot on the game. I quite like stuff that has an interesting twist on rhythm in games, I like Gitaroo Man as it was one of the first I played, and I like stuff like Space Invaders Extreme as well, as the gameplay in that is well integrated and linked with the soundtrack. I think I'll enjoy this one, I've gotten a bit bored of all the generic Guitar Hero type games coming out.

I also tried out Flying Hamster Free (Ipod). One genre I'm wanting to get into more is 2D sideshooters, this one looks quite cute and simple, but I still suck at it. Its far from the awesome but ridiculous difficulty of Ikaruga, but I am quite intrigued by this. Again, the only thing turning me off is the slightly higher than normal price point of the full game. Not sure if I'll grab this one.

I was a big fan of the Space Invaders Extreme games, so I'd wanted to try the newer one that recently came out on a few platforms. I picked up Space Invaders Infinity Gene Lite (Ipod) just because of a few average reviews on IOS and the higher price point for the full game of £2.99. You really don't get a lot in this free version, which was a bit dissapointing. I wasn't hugely impressed with what I'd played either, I think I might pick Infinity Gene up on another platform if I am to buy it some time. To be honest, I think the poor reviews are for the Lite version and not the full version.

It looks a bit like I am turning into a casual gamer :O ! Of course, this'll never be true. I'll play something nice and hardcore this week.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

1UP's worst videogame boxart from 2010

Awesome link from over at 1up. Keep reading (or skip) to the last one, thats one of the ones that gave me most laughs, partially down to the comments.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Anime shiz ~ Semester 2

Remember back a few months ago I said I had joined up with the Anime society at my uni and joined the commitee for it? Its a fairly good laugh, the society. Some of the people I get on with quite well on some level of mutual geekiness somewhere or another. I didn't really focus on watching many of the shows we screened last semester, even if I did go along to [most of] the screenings.

Now that our term has started up again, I'm gonna try and put forward some better suggestions for series to screen this semester. The way that it is decided what is watched is by a 'pilot battle' week and a commitee meeting, both of which are this week. We just had the screening of the series and the theme this time round seemed to be more obscure stuff, with a lot of quite interesting looking anime, as well as the usual comedy/ecchi stuff.

The list of episodes was like this:

Legendary Gambler Tetsuya


Full Metal Panic

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu

Sailor Moon Live action

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun

Kuragehime (The Jellyfish Princess)

Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit

Denno Coil

[I might be missing some, but I can’t remember]

Out of those, we ended up rechoosing Railgun as we never managed to finish it last semester, I forget how...and Baka to Test. I wanted FMP as well as Baka to Test, but I did enjoy Railgun and it'll be good to watch more of. So this Friday we'll have the last 2 series that'll be screened this semester.

Oh, for those of you interested in ongoing and new anime, Anime news network have their Winter 2011 Preview up here. They usually do these each season and I look at them ocassionally but never get round to watching anything. Maybe this time. I've more or less been out of anime for a while now, at least at home. I don't know why exactly, I just haven't been watching much recently. I'm thinking of starting up Full Metal Panic though.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Now Playing - "I heard a rumour that you're an idiot, is there any truth to that?"

I start back at uni tomorrow, which is always stressful for me, as I'm always nervous I won't be able to readjust my body clock to early starts. I've been practicing going to sleep a bit earlier than normal and getting up earlier for the past couple days. Then again, I stress out way too much about the stupidest things... ;_; I mean I am looking forward to going back to uni as well because I've started getting bored with not enough to do in my days off. A month is probably a little bit too much for a Christmas holiday (its more than I'm used to, or perhaps its just I've had way too many of these Christmas breaks already at school and uni beforehand...)

I've been trying to move on with my save of Golden Sun: The Lost Age (GBA) and finish it up by the time I start back at uni. I got a bit sidetracked and bored at times, but I am still enjoying this game. I'm now on the second bit of the world map that you can unlock, at the Shaman's village about to do the road of trials. This is as far as I've been in the game I believe. I didn't get this far when I first played the game originally. There is so much more to do in this game than in the first game, definitely. And to be honest, I've been using a guide a little bit more than I would normally do with a game, but for some reason I want to 100% complete this game as I did so in the first, transferred my data via a Gold password (I actually have a GBA cable but couldnt find a second console) so I can get a total of 72 Djinn in this game I think. So I'm going for that, as well as the optional quests and whatnot. I don't know if I'll be able to get all the items in the game on this playthrough, but I'm trying to get as many as possible.

Towards the end of the week, I started up my file on Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (PSP) again. I had put the game down a month or two ago because I was stuck on quest with 2 Diablos, one normal and one of the Black variant. It was a bit of a wall for me because I had got more or less as strong weapons as I could get with the quests I had unlocked. My armour could always use some work, but I had upgraded my Blango set pretty far as it stood. So I eventually got past that after trying a few different things, Sonic Bombs, Flash Bombs, Traps and Tranq bombs to catch them. I managed to catch the Black one after whittling it's massive amount of health down with my Princess Rapier to try and poison it when I could. It(and most monsters) seems to get poisoned when they are vulnerable. In this case, when you Sonic Bomb it out of the ground. I had tried an Ice attribute sword and shield, and use it to cut their tails off, but I didn't have massive success with reaching the tails with the rather short range of the SnS. So other than Ice, poison is fairly effective in killing the Black Diablos, or at least taking some of it's health away.

Anyway, now that I've beaten that quest, I am stuck once again. This time on Shen Gaoren, the final Urgent quest from the Village Elder in MHFU. I've been using Sword and Shield the entire time through the game as its a fairly good beginner's weapon set choice. I'm really struggling with doing enough damage to Shen in the time limit I have for this quest. SnS is one of the weakest weapon types in the game, but I like it as it is fairly well rounded. It is fast, light, defensive and has a pretty good range of elemental and status weapons. So I've been trying out a few other options, such as buffing my attack, using extra ballista shots and a whole bunch of bombs, large, small and bounce types. I can get his legs bright red and make him fall, but finishing him off before he nukes the town is proving rather tough...I've tried making bowguns as it is one of the easiest ways to take him down, but I'm a bit of a newb at those. I've not decided if I'm gonna concentrate on blademaster weapons such as my SNS, forge a hammer or go into HBGs for this guy. Ideally I'd like to just continue on with my trusty sword and shield and go through the entire game with just the one type of weapon.

I'll catch up with my friends in uni tomorrow and ask the one guy who got me into Monster Hunter in the first place about Shen. Hmm, I tried out a Hammer after watching a few videos and managed to do the Shen Gaoren rather easier. The damage it puts out makes it cower down a lot more often, which is crucial for preventing damage to the town it seems.

Monday, January 10, 2011

New ideas for features.

I've been thinking of writing a few features on the blog. They will most likely be a series of posts with a common theme or goal to them.

1) Retrospective series on old game series.

In these, I was thinking I would do a maximum of 3 games in each retrospective, and talk about my experiences of the first hour of each game (and the game as a whole, although I'd just be playing the first hour of each). Also in there would be a bit of history on the series and why exactly I do or do not like the games. They will of course be games that I've played already so that I can talk in depth about them. I'd like to talk about the 3 games and how they link together perhaps, influence one another and other games in the genre (or other genres as the case may be)

They might be parts of series, or maybe entire series if I can play the main games within the 3 game limit.

My ideas for which games to play as part of this series so far are:

The Final Fantasy series (namely the PS1 'trilogy' of FFVII, VIII and IX)

The Castlevania series (perhaps the GBA or DS metroidvanias as there are 3 of each)

I'm open to other suggestions for series that you want me to cover. It'd be better if the games are some that I've finished. Failing that, you can suggest games for me to pickup and do some posts on. A list of the games I have can be found here. Final note would probably be that they will most likely be RPGs, but not necessarily. They aren't the only thing I play (nearly though =p)

2) IOS buyer's guide for RPGs.

This was the one I just came up with after having a look around the (at times hard to navigate) Apple App Store. Basically the idea will be to compile a list of must have titles for a genre. I'm more than likely going to be doing this on RPGs, as they are my favourite genre. I've found that since receiving an Ipod Touch 4th gen at Christmas, the App store can definitely be hard to find what you are looking for. It has a few different ways in which they sort things, but you really need to do a lot of browsing and searching to find things. I couldn't really find something along the lines of a list of the top RPGs available on the net. So, I will try out as many interesting looking games for the IOS and attempt to compile a guide which might help people with similar tastes find decent games.

Alternatively, I could try this on other platforms as well, such as the DS (which many will be holding off on buying now, but they will of course continue to sell like hotcakes)

3) Top 5 Features.

Yeah these have been done to death on the internet, whether it be in blog format, video format or whatever else. Still, I find them quite interesting to read through, to see other people's preferences for favourite games, or specific aspects within games.

I have a few ideas for top 5's; the one I want to work on most is Top 5 games with outstanding art styles. Thats my arty side coming to the surface. =p I'm more than likely going to stay away from soundtracks. Even though I'm quite into music in general, I can never decide on entire soundtracks and the order in which I would rank them. I'm really indecisive, so that doesn't help me putting together lists, top 3's or top 5's.

Hopefully I've described these musings of mine in a remotely interesting fashion, furthermore, I hope I can actually find time to bring some of them to fruition. *Evil laugh* >:)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Now Playing - "I can happily declare that the 'Cake' is not a lie!"

I meant, as always, to post this on Sunday, but I ended up staying over at a friend's place, having a few beers and playing some games online. So anyways, better late than never I guess =p We were playing Super Street Fighter IV, Halo Reach, Blazblue: Continuum Shift on XBL multiplayer for a bit of a laugh. I'm surprised by how sound the people on Blazblue are. Usually, a lot of the games on Xbox Live are full of 13 yr old kids who swear at you in undecipherable high pitched screams [One reason I don't generally like Xbox Live.] But after 2 games in a row online, our opponents sent us messages saying good game, or something equivalent. We got chatting to one or two of them, including one guy who had a Castlevania reference in his name, so I had to praise them on that! XD

[Possible spoilers, I'll try to keep em to a minimum though.]

I finished up the last few chapters of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (PS3) this week. I had heard that ending was described as wierd and "wtf" by quite a few people online. And to be honest, I can kind of see what they meant. It is indeed a departure from the norm for the series. Still, despite all the games minor flaws and annoyances for me, I definitely enjoyed playing it. It has some amazingly atmospheric areas and I like how they build up the story and mythology with the cutscenes, scrolls, bestiary type thing and narration, it adds to the depth of the game. Some parts of the game seem a bit unneccesarily drawn out, towards the end, the game doesn't really do a good job of why you go to certain areas. The story could really be considered one of the weak points in this game, as could be the music. For me, the soundtrack doesn't stand up to some of the others in the series-this one seems too ambient and quiet. That might be partially down to the sound effects in the game overriding it. I'd have to get a look at the soundtrack before I make my final verdict on it.

My favourite areas were probably some of the ones where you are in the Vampire's Castle around the middle of the game. It has some amazing backdrops, especially when you are outside and see the entire castle exterior. I might do some more of this game on another difficulty in preparation for the DLC; Reverie and Resurrection, which come out in a few months. I'll save the more spoiler heavy stuff for then, possibly including a review if I can find time.

I played some Ipod Touch stuff when Golden Sun had been pissing the hell out've me. I actually finished up Infinity Blade and Plants vs Zombies. Plants vs Zombies is pretty damn awesome, even though it does drag and get a tad repetitive in places. I just love the quirkiness it has. It really shines through in the ending credits song. I'll embed it below, don't worry, there are no spoilers for the *cough* story. But if you haven't finished the game, play through it yourselves and see what you think. Good fun game, definitely recommended. You can get it on mostly every platform now I think, minus DS, Wii and PSP. Infinity Blade is one of the most talked about IOS apps mainly for the graphical prowess. It really taxes the Ipod Touch 4th gen that I'm playing it on, seriously, the thing started heating up like I hadn't seen before. Graphically it definitely looks nice, I give it that. The lighting and textures are very well done, but when it comes down to it, it is mostly a point and click environment you can move the camera across. That was pretty much the only way they could probably have got away with this level of graphics I think. Gameplay wise, I'm a little let down by it. I don't really like the combat, which is more or less like Punch Out, so I've heard. You can hold left or right to dodge and you can block or parry. Those are your defensive skills, then you've got the standard attacks, mega attacks, super attacks and magic as your offensive options. I think thats it, its pretty smooth stuff in combat, but I can see it getting old fast. To be honest, I don't know if I've finished the game yet. Its Bloodline 1 which I've done, I think it counts as 1 playthrough even though I didn't beat the endboss. What happens is you get pwned, and your descendants carry on where you left off, with your level and gear. Its a fairly short game(only 10 or so enemies per playthrough), but I don't particularly feel short changed in any way. The graphics and opportunity to try this out are both well worth what I payed. I got it for half price at £3.50. I'll definitely be playing more of this and PvZ in the future, doing more playthroughs. I like the whole pick up and play in short bursts idea of gaming that the IOS devices give you. I've also got Chaos Rings (apparantely a fairly lengthy RPG) and a few others to take up my time when I go back to uni.

I continued on my save game on Golden Sun: The Lost Age (GBA). I really don't remember that much of the game actually. So it has been cool revisiting some of the areas in the game that I went through last time I played the game a few years ago when the game came out. I never actually finished it. I think I got stuck on some puzzle involving the boat. Which is my next point. The game is definitely harder than the first. I've died more than a handful of times in battle, and definitely got stuck on some of the puzzles, which on one hand, are much better disguised. They succeed in blending interactive objects into the world slightly better than the first game. On the other hand, some of the puzzles are really not intuitive, and some are just downright poorly designed. It shouldn't really be a negative that puzzles are tricky, because they should be. Just some of the design in this game seems a bit questionable. There is a real lack of direction sometimes. They'll just neglect to tell you where to go. Its like they want me to pull up the FAQ again. Then when I do find out where to go, its apparantely back halfway across 1 or more continents on the world map. So it doesn't have a very good flow to the game, in my opinion, especially on the world map and where you have to go next.

Then there are some of the dungeons. They are fairly well designed for the most part, some seem a bit long, moreso than necessary. For example, Air's Rock is a dungeon around 6-7 hours in roughly. It is apparantely the longest dungeon in the game, and is very long in comparitive RPG terms. There shouldn't be such a long dungeon this early in the game, that much should be obvious.

In the dialogue, it is quite interesting for the most part. The story is quite intriguing to me as I never actually finished it. They have set up quite a well fleshed out mythology which is quite nice and simple. Simple but effective, having 4 elemental powers and a host of Psynergies derived from them and different cultures and civilisations becoming powerful as a result of these. Some of the conversations with NPCs are a bit too long, ie. the one on the boat with the pirates and 2 lots of townspeople. They can be slightly drawn out, and in fact frustrating at times. I don't like that they give you choices between yes and no when only one of them is accepted. Sometimes you'll be pressing No and the party or the NPCs that decide you really meant Yes.

As much as I am tearing this game a new one, I am enjoying it. It has some amazing graphics for the age of the game, these were one of the selling points of the Golden Sun games back in the GBA days and its a fairly nice throwback RPG in many ways. It has quite an oldschool feel to it.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Now Playing - "An evil desert? Is that even possible?"

I meant to post this yesterday(Sunday) but completely forgot. I went out for a while to the pub with some people from school that I hadn't seen in ages. Pretty good to catch up with them again after so long.

Anyway, I've been making some progress in games, finishing the main stories of 2 games, albeit rather short here are some of my musings.

Finally...I finished Dragon Warrior Monsters (GB). I've had this game for quite a while now after a friend sent me it randomly for a birthday a while back. He knows me pretty well, and I hadn't even told him that I had played the 2nd one of these games but never saw the first anywhere, and he sent me it up. He had played through a fair bit of it, but I dont think he had finished it. Compared to Dragon Warrior Monsters 2, there are definitely some balancing issues, this one seems harder a) to grind in and b) to breed a good selection of monsters early on. Still, once I had got past the ridiculously long late game dungeons (the longest one is 29 floors, and then a couple back to back strong bosses) I had access to a good selection of monsters and good places to grind, so managed to bring my team just up to speed for the final battle. I like in some ways the simplicity of the games. They remind me of the early pokemon days, where it doesn't matter about EV training, stats are determined in other ways, mostly by breeding, which you can put various degrees of effort into understanding and using. These games are kind of cheap for the carts only, so I'd definitely recommend trying them out if you like the pokemon games, the dragon quest/warrior games, or the more recent Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker games (they are basically the same idea and have wi-fi online as well...something is still keeping me away from Joker though, I've not tried it.)

I started up a New game on Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (PS3) earlier in the week. I chose the Easy difficulty, which is a bit unusual for me...I usually choose at least normal if I have a choice, but I figured, I get trophies for all difficulties but more than that, I suck pretty bad at Action games like this, so went for Easy. It seems to be a good fit so far, its not far too easy, some of the fights give a fair bit of a challenge (namely the Titan bosses, which are Shadow of the Colossus inspired battles.) I'm enjoying the game for the most part, its got a really nice Castlevania atmosphere and feel to it in places, but it does seem different in many ways. I'm not entirely sold on some of the stuff-it highlights objects you should be looking for, for example ledges, or objects you can interact with your whip analogue, the combat cross. So it doesn't really let you do it for yourself. On one hand, it means you won't really get stuck, but on the other hand it does feel like they think the player is too idiotic and has to be told everything to do... The enemies are not too interesting, they are fairly generic so far, but I'm really impressed with some of the graphics and areas you visit. The game looks amazing. I'm currently on chapter 8/12 and going to try and finish the game before the end of the week. Lost series 6 is taking priority in my PS3 right now though, so its slightly on hold til I finish Lost up. No spoilers by the way! I tried to isolate myself from everyone else who had finished it way back when it aired in the US, I prefer waiting for the DVDs and marathonning the shit out of series like this. =D

I finished up Golden Sun (GBA) this week, doing Crossbone Isle and then going on to the final stages of the game. Its very easy...I don't think I died more than once the entire playthrough. I realised that I've done Crossbone Isle before, last time I played through the game. I also imported my save data for Golden Sun: The Lost Age. I'm going to play through it next probably. At times I really enjoyed playing through this game again, but at other times, some of the dialogue seems needlessly padded out and rather annoying. I definitely enjoyed it more back when it came out, but it has been pretty cool to revisit this game after a few years. I'm a bit dissapointed at how short the game is, even to 100% finish everything, it wont take you more than 40 hours probably. I'm not actually too sure on certain things, like what the level cap is, because you can import your levels as you take data to the 2nd game.

Valkyria Chronicles artbook

I'm slightly stunned actually, it seems Udon Entertainment, one of the few companies outside of Japan involved in artbooks for games and anime, is bringing out a translation of the Valkyria Chronicles artbook, Valkyria Chronicles: Design Archive.

I was browsing through the Book Depository's site and stumbled across this for preorder. I'll definitely be picking this up, as I love the artstyle in VC, and this saves me having to shell out for an imported Japanese copy of the artbook. Plus it'll be in English!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010's gaming progress

Happy New Year everyone! Hopefully you've all been having a good holiday season so far, and I hope you have a good year of 2011.

In my eternal quest to finish my backlog of games, I've been tracking my progress on the backloggery, a site designed for people to record their collections and get to know other people with similarly perilous amounts of unfinished games. I'd say that using the site has definitely helped me stop buying so many games actually, as I can actually see in terms of numbers how many games I have, instead of just having a stack of games on the shelf. I've taken a note of the games that I've finished and 100% completed in 2010, and I'm quite pleased actually. I've kept my amount of games unplayed in check and finished up many RPGs and other games that I'd been meaning to play for a while.

Finished (ie. finished the main story)

Final Fantasy VI Advance (GBA)
Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (DS)
Halo 2 (Xbox)
Final Fantasy IX (PS1)
Castlevania: Judgment (Wii)
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS1)
Dragon Quest: Hand of the Heavenly Bride (DS)
Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII (PS2)
Dragon Age: Origins (360)
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
Flower (PSN)
Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)
Blazblue: Calamity Trigger (360)
Mass Effect 2 (360)
Kingdom Hearts II (PS2)
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor (DS)
Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (PSP)
No More Heroes (Wii)
Suikoden Tierkreis (DS)
Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days (PSP)
Final Fantasy X (PS2)
Castlevania: Curse of Darkness (PS2)
Sakura Wars: So Long my Love (Wii)
Tales of Eternia (PSP)
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS)
Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (DS)
Demon's Souls (PS3)
Ys Seven (PSP)
Valkyria Chronicles (PS3)
Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (PSP)
Super Street Fighter IV (PS3)
Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero? (PSP)
Half Minute Hero (PSP)
Bayonetta (PS3)
Blazblue: Continuum Shift (PS3)

100% completed

Flower (PSN)
Golden Sun (GBA)

Master runs/challenges

Pokemon SoulSilver (DS)


I'm still taking part in RPGamer606's RPG marathon, even though my progress has slowed due to university starting up. I'm aiming to finish up Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Golden Sun: The Lost Age and Dragon Warrior Monsters next, and then go onto Golden Sun: Dark Dawn and Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey.

The year has actually gone really quickly...being at college or uni really takes a lot of time. Still, I've enjoyed the year for the most part. Some gaming highlights for me have been the talk of the 3DS, Demon's Souls release in PAL regions(its one of my favourite games this generation) and experiencing some rather awesome RPGs I missed out on at release-FFIX for one.

I've got a few ideas for a some features coming soon, some Game of the Year lists, and some retrospective playthroughs of old series. I will see what I can do. Currently it feels like I am cursed with technology: things seem to break when I even go near them.