Its been ages since I did one of these posts, well kind of...I did a bit of a massive recap as to what I've been playing recently in the last post...Anyways, I've been playing some games in between uni and other stuff. Actually, I've not done much more for uni other than the lectures and labs in the first week. I have a day off this year(Tuesdays), but apart from that and Wednesdays, its quite a busy timetable. So I've managed to procrastinate to a satisfactory level so far, at least in terms of games... =p
My laptop charger broke for my laptop a few days before Christmas. Either my dad is psychic and knew that was going to happen, or it was his need to buy uneccessary new gadgets every christmas. Either way, him and my mum got me a laptop for Christmas, which I am still trying to get used to. The touchpad is a bit annoying, as it will often jump if I am typing and touch it, highlighting words I've typed, so what happens is I either start typing a few paragraphs back or just deleting huge chunks of text. So thats a bit annoying. Its also managed to crash and blue screen a few times.. I don't think its the greatest laptop ever, but its new and shiny =) I still want to pick up a replacement charger for my old laptop as it has a lot of files on it with my uni stuff, bookmarks, music, save games for some of my steam games and a few other things I could use. Well I'd rather have access to them than not. Then again, money is a bit of an issue...I need to somehow ration my money at the moment, eating frugally and all that, purchase a few of the games that come out in the February-March onslaught (I'm going to figure out what ones need to be bought that won't be available in shops after launch or the ones that will go up in price hugely.), and save enough money for presents around the time as well. I could really use a job.
So the things I'd really want to get if I have the money: I don't think The Last Story (PAL special edition) will be able to wait. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 might be a good pickup, but might go cheaper on ebay over time, like I'm hoping to do with Radiant Historia... Also I'll have to get Tales of Graces f whenever that comes out in Europe. Tales of the Abyss didn't even come out in shops so I don't want to risk not being able to find it...
Games that will have to wait (and there are some excellent looking games here..) Final Fantasy XIII-2, Mass Effect 3 (really would like to pick this up if I can)
The February-March slew of games releases has started and it looks like I'n going to have to wait a bit to play FFXIII-2, hopefully I'll be able to pick some games up when they drop in price a little bit.
After finishing off Tales of Phantasia a few weeks back (around the 20th of December that I finished that one...I only remember because it was my last day of Semester A, and I had a dentist appointment the same day) I started up Tales of the Abyss (3DS) and played it for a few weeks, putting in just over 60 hours to finish the main story. I found the characters a little annoying at times. Perhaps the main character annoyed me at first, but he really grew on me with time. He had some lines where it actually made me burst out laughing, just from how obscenely impolite, brash and arrogant he is. The story went through quite a strange turn at some point (I'm being deliberately vague, as many people may not want it spoiled) and this lead to the group of characters becoming a bit seperated and essentially abandoning the main character. As comrades, they are all ridiculously secretive and ready to drop each other at the slightest thing. Anyway, I'm pretty pleased with the way the story went, it takes a few twists and turns before turning out quite nicely. Graphically, it doesn't seem like they have done much with the game though, it looks nice for sure, but it doesn't seem to change much from the original PS2 game. Thats the same with a lot of aspects. It doesn't really include the 3D element to a great extent or put more in in terms of additions. So it remains a pretty solid, but not that different, port of the PS2 RPG. So it comes recommended if you can find a copy of this game. It didn't really seem to come out in shops anywhere on the UK high street. So I really hope online sales are good and Namco Bandai decide to bring more Tales games like Graces f and Xillia our way.
Actually, after playing this and finishing it, I started up a new game+ as I really like the way newer Tales games use the grade shop so you can buy bonuses for the next playthrough and always wanted to try it. And it seems I will do some more of this game now. After going back to uni and having Monster Hunter Portable 3rd (PSP) take up a lot of my time, I think I'll be playing some more 3DS. I signed up for a 4th year Optometry student's dissertation project. They were looking for volunteers to assess any deterioration or improvement to the binocular vision system's ability to fuse images and perceive 3D stereoscopic images after using the 3DS for an hour per week. I was quite interested in the sound of the project (being an Optom student myself, and owning a 3DS) and to see the outcome of their study if I can in the end. So I'll be playing Tales of the Abyss (3DS) in the 2D mode (as part of the control group) for a new game+ run. He did mention that since me and my friend had 3DS's, we should use our own and since we were quite big gamers, our fusion was quite good already. My friend Kris was nearly off the chart using a prism bar test to assess his brain's ability to fuse double vision(diplopia) together. Damn kids and their young eyes... If you are interested more in the study I'm taking part in, feel free to email me or comment below. I don't think I've explained things too well in the post here.
Over the Christmas break I played a lot of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PS3) with my girlfriend (who I must thank for getting me Skyrim!) and got through the main story eventually. Its really an amazing, enthralling game at times. There are a few faults I found that kind of detracted from my experience. Perhaps playing on the PS3 was not the best choice, but I heard that both console releases were (equally?) buggy and glitchy. Sometimes it will lead to hilarious glitching out objects in the world or unusual sights such as Wooly Mammoths falling from the sky randomly.
Some of the AI isn't done too well. Companions or people travelling with you will sometimes dissapear or get confused by other NPCs, terrain, stairs (OMG Lydia, learn how to use stairs!) and other things. It just doesn't seem well polished enough for an Elder Scrolls game. I realise they HAD to get it out for that really nice release date (11.11.11) but it really could of benefited from some extra testing. Sure, it is a massive game, and play testing must be an absolute nightmare, but come on Bethesda. Nonetheless, it is a very good game, and I really enjoyed playing through it. Amazing music and some very good world building here. Definitely one of the better games to come out last year.
I started up Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation (DS) after I couldn't decide what to play. I have a lot of DS and PSP games that I need to get through, and I asked my girlfriend to pick out on for me from a handful, I think which included Tales of the Abyss (NG+), Valkyrie Profile Lenneth, Persona 2: Innocent Sin and Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation. So I've put in about 15 or 20 hours to this game so far and I think its quite different to the other games closely related to it (IV and V namely.) I'm liking the degree of mystery and how they are not explaining things right away, building the story up slowly. Actually, the game is a little slow moving at times and I think, like with all DQ games, that can put people off. In fact I've been taking a break from this game due to my current MHP3rd obsession, and I hope to go back to this game soon before I forget too much of the story. Maybe the 3DS project I'm taking part in will make me play this after my hour-per-day sessions.
OH! I nearly forgot completely! I was going to do a seperate post for an event I went to recently, I might leave my impressions to that post. All I'll say is that I got to play the Vita a week or two ago at a pre-launch event Sony had brought all across the UK (I think?) Stay tuned for that in the next day or two. I'll be giving mini reviews of a lot of the launch games and what I think of the system itself. =)