Saturday, February 28, 2009

Impressions: Killzone 2

But before I get into Killzone 2, some good news, at least for me: my 360 is apparently already on its way back. It was in the repair facility for probably less than 24 hours; UPS is being incredibly vague (as per usual), but I'm guessing I'll have it back by Wednesday.

I've been really busy this week; work's been crazy, and I've got about 3 or 4 musical project all starting to happen at the same time. I left work a little bit early on Friday and decided to reward myself for making it through a crazy week; traded in a couple games (Halo 3 and Gears 2 among them, which should prove beyond a doubt that I'm not just a mindless 360 automaton) and managed to actually find a new copy of Killzone 2 at my local Gamestop - without a pre-order, no less. Amazing.

I'm maybe an hour into Killzone 2; I've earned 2 trophies, although I think I've finished 3 or 4 levels by now. I have absolutely no idea what's going on, other than I'm supposed to shoot the dudes with the helmets and the orange eyes - I have no idea why, but they seem awfully pissed off at me and my squadmates. I believe I'm on their planet, although there's a lot of Earth/human-like features there - there's garbage bags and stray shoes and dumpsters. Oh, and they speak English, with what I think is a slight trace of an English accent. They kinda remind me of the Combine in Half-Life 2.

The game is, if nothing else, jaw-droppingly gorgeous. There are some stop-start hiccups during level transitions, but those generally occur during breaks from the action so it never really affects gameplay. It is probably the best-looking shooter I've ever seen; and yet it also suffers from some pretty bland cinematography, at least during the cutscenes. For one thing, I have a hard time telling who is who during the first few cutscenes, especially since the player character is sometimes in the scenes; everyone's the same dirty angry soldier, talkin' all tough-like. The soldiers in this particular army have a peculiar mode of transportation; they ride around on the roof of flying machines, without any apparent safety harnesses, which makes them pretty easy targets, if they're not actually flying off the roof. There's no apparent reason for this, either, but even if it's purely to make the game more action-packed and to make you think your character is a real bad-ass, my main problem is that these sequences have terrible camera angles - they're shot from your p.o.v., but you can't move the camera around, and the camera is low to the ground and looking slightly up - which means you can't really see where you're going or what's underneath you, which also means you have no sense of scale. This could be construed as nitpicking, but for a game that's meant to showcase the power of the PS3, it actually comes off as something rather amateur-ish.

Camera angles notwithstanding, my main problem is that I'm not totally sold on the gameplay, and it's mostly because I find myself continually wrestling with the controls. The old line on FPSs used to be, "I can only play them with a mouse and keyboard, I can't play with a controller." The new line, at least for me, is that "I can only play them with the 360 controller, I can't play with the PS3 controller." The PS3 controller feels weird in my hand, and none of the buttons correspond to what I expect them to do. My biggest thing is that the trigger is the R1 button and not the R2, but I'm also constantly throwing grenades when I mean to duck for cover - and the cover system, while appreciated, feels unintuitive and unhelpful.

I fully concede that this is probably due to my own inexperience with the Playstation controller; I'm only now getting to the point where I know where the square button is without looking. It's just that shooters on the 360 feel really second-nature to me - even the bad ones - and I find Killzone's controls unusually tough to get used to. So between the controls pulling me out of the experience, and being in the middle of these gigantic battles that I have absolutely no emotional investment in, I find myself having trouble really getting sucked into the single-player campaign. I'm curious to see if the experience changes in co-op or online; I've not yet had much of an opportunity to try out the online side of the game.

I'd like to try and finish the campaign soon, though, if only because I'm downloading The Lost and Damned the moment I plug my 360 back in.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sony: I bitch, I praise

This post was originally intended to be a mini-rant about Sony's ass-backwards approach to online interactivity, but then I glanced at my RSS feed and they came out with a press release that suddenly makes the PSP instantly relevant again. So: toh-may-toh, toh-mah-toh. I say: why not write about both?

When I bought my Blackberry Storm, it came with a bluetooth headset that I never use - until I realized that I could use it as a headset for the PS3. I don't really do a lot of online gaming on the PS3, but I do like communicating with the few PS3-owning friends I have, and chatting is easier through speech than with the clunky text interface, and I wasn't about to spend $50 on a Sony headset or the official chat-pad thing which, speaking of being ass-backwards, look at that thing. So a free solution to the problem seemed awfully appealing...

... except that the process of getting a headset hooked up to the PS3 is not at all intuitive and there was a key thing that I apparently wasn't doing, and I only figured out what I missed through extensive google searches. (It's not just enough that you pair your device; you then must dig into another sub-menu on the dashboard and flip a few switches, and I'd never have figured that out on my own.) A lot of fanboys like to point out that PSN is free while XBL is a paid service, but I say you get what you pay for; if you want to use a 360 headset, you put the plug into the controller and that's it. In any event, I was eventually able to get my headset to work, and so I was finally able to talk with my friend as she kicked my ass in Street Fighter 4 yet again, and I was able to send the game back to Gamefly with a clear conscience, knowing I had tried my best.

As for the PSP news, peep this MTV Multiplayer article for the full press release; the important PSP releases are as follows:
  • LittleBigPlanet (sounds like a port, with added levels and features)
  • Assassin's Creed (and a themed bundle)
  • Rock Band Unplugged (I'm actually pretty curious about this - it'll have its own wi-fi store)
  • Madden 10 and Tiger Woods 10 (meh)
  • MotorStorm Arctic Edge
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy
It's maybe not as jaw-dropping when you look at it like that, but this is a hell of a lot better than the nothing that's been the PSP's status quo for the last year or so. I'd certainly like to see a new GTA title on the PSP (as would lots of people, it would seem).

Friday, February 20, 2009

Stupid poetic justice!

So I've sent my red-ringed 360 back to Microsoft, and, as per my diabolical plan to stick it to the man, bought another one from Best Buy planning to return it once I get mine back.

It's busted. The disc tray only stays closed when it wants to, and even then I'm getting graphical glitches and random freeze-ups all over the place. What's a conniving weasel to do? As Homer Simpson (who also provide the title of this post) says: "It's our ability to weasel out of things that separates us from the animals... except the weasel." Looks like I have some evolving to do.

In other news, this has provided me an opportunity to dip back into Ratchet and Clank Future on the PS3, which I've started over from the beginning. So far, it's fun and awfully purty. While I think (and hope) that the true awesomeness of the game lies ahead of me yet, I have very high hopes given the glowing reviews it got.

And I've played and dug Flower, which I adore because it is actually a game that my four year old can play given the elegant simplicity (simple elegance?) of its control scheme. Not to mention, she is a (small-f) flower fanboy, so the game could hardly be more up her alley. Definitely worth 10 bucks.

Weekend Recap: Reality Sinks In edition

I'd thought I'd handled my 360's recent death rather calmly, all things considered; it happened the night before The Lost & Damned came out, so I already knew I wouldn't be playing it - I imagine I'd have been a lot more pissed off if I'd bought the DLC and then found out my 360 was fucked. And, really, this was a perfect time to try out the PS3 as my main console, and if nothing else this gave me a lot more opportunity to spend with FF7.

Problem is, I was expecting Microsoft to send me a shipping box for my 360 when I did my online support request, and as it turned out, I had accidentally selected the "No, thanks, I'll send it myself" option, which I didn't actually find out until Saturday night, after the local UPS store closed. So I basically wasted a week of repair time that I didn't even know I had. And now, well, I'm really missing my 360.

I certainly had stuff to play for the PS3 this weekend - I downloaded Noby Noby Boy, already this year's front-runner for the coveted "What The Hell Is This Thing?" award, and my rental copies of Valkyria Chronicles and Street Fighter 4 had arrived.

I can't really talk about Noby Noby Boy, because I have no idea what it is. I was certainly excited to check it out, as my love of all things Katamari runs deep, but NNB is just plain weird. I'm not even sure it's a game, to be honest, nor am I sure what exactly it is you're supposed to do. Then again, the game's creator doesn't really know what it is, either, so I guess you get what you pay for.

Valkyria Chronicles is a sort-of strategy RPG, and while I can appreciate that it's doing something new, I really don't like strategy RPGs, and after finishing the first mission I already knew I wasn't going to like it. So there's that.

Then there's Street Fighter 4. I feel terrible for not really liking it. I feel pretty confident in calling it the 2nd best fighting game ever made (next to Soul Calibur), and it certainly brought me back to my childhood years in which I'd routinely beat the hell out of my younger brother on the Sega Genesis version of SF2. But the truth is that I think I'm kinda done with fighting games; I have neither the skill with which to be even marginally successful in online play, nor the patience to learn. I tried Arcade mode on Very Easy with 3 or 4 different characters and I couldn't even make it past Round 3 with any of them. I tried the Trial mode, which ostensibly teaches you all the moves, but it's done pretty badly and the nomenclature they use to describe moves went way over my head.

I can totally respect why other people are going apeshit for it, and I really wish I felt the same way. I suppose if my wife were interested in mashing buttons with me, I'd probably put in a bit more effort into getting better at it, but she is most definitely not interested, and so it'll be going back later this week. I kinda want to give it one more go online before I send it back, though, if only to see if I can get my headset to work (in advance of Killzone 2's eventual release).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Release Calendar: Recession-Proof Economy edition

I don't mean to scare you to death, but we're in the middle of an economic shitstorm right now and the videogame release calendar just went from "zero" to "how will I eat?"

This is just the next 5 weeks, starting right now:

Week of 2/14
  • GTA 4: Lost and Damned DLC (which I can't play b/c my 360 is busted! GAAAAH)
  • Street Fighter 4
  • Noby Noby Boy
Week of 2/22
  • Killzone 2
  • Star Ocean (360) - I'm intrigued, but I can wait
  • Dead Rising (Wii) - maybe I'll get this version and actually finish the damned thing
  • Puzzle Quest Galactrix - or I could just play this for the next year
Week of 3/1
  • Halo Wars - I don't think there's any way my 360 comes back in time for this
  • MLB09: The Show - I'm not listing the 2K MLB game because it's going to suck
  • HAWX - the demo was pretty awesome
  • Phantasy Star Portable (PSP) - any reason to dust off my PSP is noteworthy
Week of 3/8
  • Resident Evil 5
Week of 3/15
  • GTA: Chinatown Wars (DS)
  • Resistance (PSP)
After that, release dates become subject to rumor and speculation; still, though, this is enough to put a serious dent in anybody's wallet. Good luck and godspeed.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Well, that happened


My 3rd 360 just died.

Not the dreaded 3 RROD; just 1, but none of the steps on could help, and so I gotta send it back.

I guess this means I'll be playing FF7 for a bit longer; it also means I have to avoid Lost and Damned spoilers like the plague.


EOiNA: FF7: golden shiny wires of hope

I've logged roughly 10 hours in Final Fantasy VII; I finished Shinra HQ, made it out of Midgard and am now in the Inn at Kalm, about halfway through Cloud's story of his experiences with Sephiroth.

With the release calendar suddenly starting to get interesting (especially with SF4 and GTA4 DLC hitting tomorrow) I wonder how much time I'm going to be able to invest in FF7... but even if I stopped now, I feel like I totally understand why this game is considered a classic. The story is remarkably sophisticated and, well, adult, far more than I expected, especially out of a JRPG released in 1997. I am especially impressed with how much personality there is in each crudely-rendered polygonal character; it's impossible to make out anything beyond the most basic human forms, and yet they're all expressive and animated with an unmistakable clarity. I have absolutely no idea where the story is going, but I feel pretty invested with these characters already (even though I'm pretty sure there's no way anybody could get away with making a character like Barret anymore).

Here's the thing: I'm pretty neurotic about hanging on to borrowed goods. This game belongs to a colleague at my office and I can't just hold on to it indefinitely, and my understanding is that FF7 could easily take 100 hours to get through; with all the new games coming out, it's pretty likely that I could be idle in this borrowed copy of FF7 for some time, and that would just drive me crazy. But buying my own copy of 7 looks to be a pretty expensive proposition; the cheapest it's going for on Amazon is around $60-70, whereas I could get a new, unopened copy of FF8 or FF9 for under $20. If any FF veterans happen to be reading this: how are 8 and 9? (My PS3 will not play PS2 games, so FFX is out for the time being.)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Twice a Widower

The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated. You wouldn't know it by my total dearth of posts of late, but I am in fact alive and well. Which is more than I can say for my Xbox 360. Yup, my 360, born on July 7, 2007, has died at the ripe old age of one-and-a-half, the second such console to die in my service. So that kinda blows. Thankfully, Best Buy still has a 30-day return policy, so I'll just pick up an Xbox 360 Arcade, pop in my hard drive, and use that until Microsoft sends me my refurbed unit. (This ingenious ploy is inspired by a buddy of mine who, back when Best Buy used to have a 90-day return policy, would buy a top-of-the-line air conditioner from them annually in early June only to return it in late August.)

So why have I been so quiet lately? Well, I don't really have a great excuse, and certainly not an interesting one. You know, busy at work, no games coming out, blibbety blabbety bloo.

A few quick blurbs on what I have been playing:
  • Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts - This game was really a pleasant surprise. I can't say I'm surprised it hasn't sold given Rare's recent track record (though I am a fan of Viva Pinata), but once you get past the kiddy look and general awfulness of the writing and characters -- which I will grant you are pretty big obstacles -- there is an extremely fun game here. My library just really needed a game with a high fun factor and low stress factor. This game is a great break from all the gritty shooting stuff, and I'll be using it to cleanse my gaming palate for months to come.
  • Left 4 Dead - Still love it, especially now that I've recruited by three brothers to the fold and we have weekly Versus games going on. Can't wait for the other two campaigns to be Versus-enabled when the (free!) DLC comes.
  • Half-Life 2 - Started it over for the 5th time or so. This time I'm gonna chug all the way through including Eps. 1 and 2. Great pacing, great fun.
  • MLB '08: The Show - I'm now 85 games into my season, so I should have it all wrapped up by the time MLB '37: Laser Baseball is released. I was happy to hear about the new feature in the upcoming '09 version that lets you record your own heckles. You can bet I will be asking my four year old daughter to record "GO BACK TO BOSTON!", which she dutifully shouts whenever we see the Sox live.
  • Call of Duty: World at War - It's exactly what you'd expect, which is not a bad thing at all. Unless you'd expect it to suck just because Treyarch developed it, but it turns out that, given enough development time, they can create a roller coaster ride to rival most developers, if not quite Infinity Ward.
  • Fallout 3 - I've stalled. It seems like I've been waiting way too long to become a badass who has enough frackin' ammo. I'm sure I'll return and grind it out eventually, because I do want to get to all that great content eventually.
  • Fable 2 - Also stalled. Still waiting to fall in love with the game as much as anyone else. This'll probably gather a fair bit of dust before I pick it up again, if at all.
  • Resident Evil 5 Demo - Haven't played it yet, since I want to go it co-op and Jervo keeps standing me up.
  • Saints Row 2 - See Resident Evil 5 Demo above.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Quick Impressions: Flower, Onechanbara

Didn't have a lot of TV time yesterday, but I ultimately did get to download and play through Flower, a PSN title that I'd been looking forward to for an absurdly long time.

There are certainly some comparisons that can be made between Flower and Flow, the previous PSN effort from ThatGameCompany; there's no score, there aren't any "lives", there's no time limit, and both games feature a motion-control scheme that's intended to be as intuitive and unobtrusive as possible. More specifically, Flow and Flower seem to be aiming for a different pleasure center in your brain than what you may be accustomed to.

I seem to recall one of the developers describing the game as being "a flower's dream", and I must admit: the game reminded me very much of dreams I've had in which I'm flying. The motion-controls are a little bit touchy at times but they never got in my way - I was able to soar and loop at will. Each blade of grass appears to be individually rendered, and the sensation you get when you swoop into the ground and the grass is pushed back is just breathtaking.

If you have the means, I highly recommend it. I feel like $10 is just a tad too high, but it's a remarkable experience - if you're open to it.


On the other hand, I popped in my GameFlown copy of Onechanbara this morning; it is the exact opposite of Flower. Let's just leave it at that.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Beatles Rock Band Set List: a considered guess

Joystiq published a story today confirming (from Paul McCartney, no less) that there will be 45 songs in the upcoming Beatles Rock Band game out later this year, spanning "early days, Liverpool, then psychedelic, and on from there." As a huge fan of both Rock Band and the Beatles, I have a pretty vested interest in how this game turns out.

I should point out, though, that my intense love of the Beatles is really only focused on their post-Rubber Soul material. Paul, however, says that the setlist will run the gamut. I'm gonna say 15 of the 45 songs will be pre-Rubber Soul:
  1. She Loves You
  2. I Wanna Hold Your Hand
  3. Love Me Do
  4. Help!
  5. I Saw Her Standing There
  6. Please Please Me
  7. A Hard Day's Night
  8. Can't Buy Me Love
  9. Eight Days a Week
  10. Ticket To Ride
  11. Yesterday
  12. I Feel Fine
  13. Paperback Writer
  14. Rain
  15. We Can Work It Out
Those last few songs aren't exactly pre-Rubber Soul, but I was having trouble being generous with the early stuff. In any event, that selection seems reasonable, and as far as I can tell there's no need for keyboards. Which makes the remaining 30 songs a bit trickier to parse out; once they stopped touring and stayed in the studio, they started writing and recording songs that probably could not be performed by only the four of them - "Eleanor Rigby", for example, is done entirely with strings, and "Tomorrow Never Knows" was recorded in outer space, in the future. And unless this game introduces a keyboard peripheral, there's going to be quite a few classic songs that are going to be very difficult to play without one. ("Hey Jude" and "Let it Be" spring to mind.) But they can't outright ignore those songs, either; they have as much to do with the Beatles' enduring influence and legacy on popular music as their earlier, more conventional stuff. So they're gonna have to split the difference somehow.

Here's my best guesses as to the remaining 30 songs, which I'm picking based on a combination of historical importance, instrumental arrangement (with an emphasis on keyboard-less tracks and songs with riffs as opposed to chord strumming), Paul's being alive and John's being dead, and personal taste. I'm leaving out a lot of favorites (how can I possibly leave off "I Am The Walrus"?), but here goes:
  1. Revolution
  2. Get Back
  3. Drive My Car
  4. The Word
  5. In My Life
  6. Taxman
  7. She Said, She Said
  8. And Your Bird Can Sing
  9. Doctor Robert
  10. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  11. Getting Better
  12. Good Morning Good Morning
  13. A Day In the Life (I have no idea how, but it has to be in there)
  14. Hello Goodbye
  15. Strawberry Fields Forever
  16. All You Need Is Love (guitar plays the string parts?)
  17. Back in the U.S.S.R.
  18. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  19. Birthday
  20. Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey (not an obvious choice, but every instrument is doing something interesting, and there's gotta be at least one unexpected song)
  21. Helter Skelter
  22. Come Together
  23. Something
  24. Octopus's Garden
  25. Here Comes The Sun
  26. Mean Mr. Mustard -> Polythene Pam -> She Came In Through The Bathroom Window -> Golden Slumbers -> Carry That Weight -> The End
  27. Get Back
  28. Dig a Pony
  29. I've Got A Feeling
  30. The Ballad of John and Yoko
Obviously there are some major omissions; I opted to cut out anything piano-based, and I generally chose upbeat songs as opposed to softer acoustic songs, which leaves out quite a lot (including quite a few of my favorite Beatles songs). And my entry at #26 is assuming that Harmonix will be lumping the famous medley that closes out Abbey Road as one track; none of those songs really stand out on their own (except maybe "Bathroom Window") but they would make for an epic "final boss", with a long drum solo and those 3 rotating guitar solos.

That's my guess. What's yours?

EOiNA: FF7 initial impressions

Before I get started, I think it's reasonable to assume that the statute of limitations on Final Fantasy 7 spoilers expired at least 10 years ago; the game came out in 1997 on the PS1, which was two generations ago. That said, the whole point of this feature is that I'm playing this game for the very first time, and so I certainly wouldn't want anything spoiled for me. So, then: I'm not going to put any spoiler alerts in my posts, but I would also ask that nobody puts any spoilers in the comments.

Here's my current status: I was able to play for about 30 minutes or so last night. I blew up the first tower (out of 8, I presume) and am currently at the first save point after getting off the train.

My initial impressions are, to be honest, much better than I'd anticipated. I'm not even really sure what I was anticipating, actually, but I was thinking it would be a bit more stereotypically JRPG-esque - something a bit more anime and cutesy and twee, like a young boy on a farm, hoping to see the world, golly gee.

Instead, the game starts with a literal bang, without really telling you who you are except that some of the people on your team think you're a bad ass, but the large sassy black man on your team doesn't trust you at all and thinks you might be a traitor, but in any event you and your crack squad are hell-bent on destroying this energy tower which is somehow evil.

I was pleased to recognize this opening level as something I'd played in FF7:Crisis Core on the PSP, and I figured out the battle system almost as quickly, as something I'd played in both Chrono Trigger on the DS and the Penny Arcade Adventures on XBLA; it's quasi-turn-based, except you have to wait between actions. (This initially confused me to no end in both PAA and CT, but I figured it out almost immediately here.)

There's no question that graphics have come a long way since 1997, and yet the game's art direction and sense of style do a fantastic job of obscuring how primitive it looks; I can only imagine how impressive it must have looked in its proper context. And the FMV cut-scenes - my God, even though they look horrifically compressed now, they still fill you with awe and wonder. Which is what cut-scenes are supposed to do, really. Back in the late 90s, cut-scenes felt like rewards for finishing a level; they featured incredible production values and were something to look forward to. Whereas now, everything's done in the same engine, so it's more like you're taking a quick break and you're more often than not inclined to skip ahead; this is why we praise games like Portal and Left 4 Dead where there are no cutscenes and the story is told contextually. Up until FF7, I was convinced that the original Oddworld games did this cut-scene-as-tasty-carrot-on-a-stick better than anybody - and yet after only 30 minutes, I'm already fully appreciative of FF7's staggering FMV prowess.

That said, the game is definitely antiquated in certain respects. The game uses the d-pad to control movement, which is crazy because there's 2 perfectly good analog sticks sitting right there not being used, and you need to press the X button in order to run - and because the default movement speed is ridiciulously slow, I found myself running all over the place, and you should never have to push more than one button in order to move at a satisfactory speed. And maybe it's because the PS3's emulation isn't perfect, but I found some strange glitches here and there, specifically in battle - selecting an enemy to attack felt a little clunky, and the arrow that points to your target didn't always show up. I think the biggest thing for me to get used to, though, is that the game uses the O button as the default action/confirm button, as opposed to the X button. (Of course, everything about the PS controller still confuses me, as I'm used to the Xbox's color-coded ABXY.)

I am totally on board, though, and I'm definitely looking forward to diving back in. I do indeed see what the fuss is all about.

And I should also confess that I've already come up with more game ideas for this EOiNA feature, and that I'm maybe a little embarassed about it because there's quite a lot. I'm gonna lose all my street cred!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Everything Old is New Again, Part 1: FFVII

Again, sorry for the lack of posts lately; I've been pretty busy with some music stuff over the last week or so, and there hasn't been much to play.

That will soon change, however. Today I'm announcing a new, hopefully recurring feature called EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN, wherein I (and Gred, if he so chooses) play classic games for the first time. This feature is especially timely because when I get home from work today I'm charging up my long-dead PS3 controller to play a borrowed copy of Final Fantasy VII, which (as you may have guessed) I've never played.

I'm doing this because I'm starting to get excited about next year's FFXIII for reasons I'm not sure I can explain - especially since my experience with FF games is strictly limited to a few hours with III and IV on the DS. For one thing, I've been getting a little burnt out on turn-based RPGs, especially since so many of them end up being quite similar. I haven't even necessarily played that many,* but I've played enough to spot an annoying cliche from a mile away. I would imagine that my experience playing FFVII for the first time, in 2009, is going to be quite different than everyone else's, especially with regard to annoying cliches, but since everyone insists the story is one of the greatest of all time, I'll do my best to keep everything in the right context.

...It occurs to me that I might not be able to play tonight after all, being that Lost is on (and then my wife will want to watch Top Chef). Hmm...

*JRPGs (and other turn-based non-strategy RPGs) I have played (that I can remember off the top of my head):
  • Skies of Arcadia, Dreamcast (adored it)
  • LOTR: Battle for Middle Earth, Xbox (hated it - the computer cheated all the goddamned time)
  • Blue Dragon, 360 (didn't finish it, meh)
  • Lost Odyssey, 360 (finished it, was quite impressed)
  • Eternal Sonata, 360 (liked it, but didn't finish)
  • Eternal Arms, 360 (wanted to like it, but lost interest)
  • Final Fantasy III, DS (didn't finish... got the general idea and got bored)
  • Final Fantasy IV, DS (see FFIII)
  • Chrono Trigger, DS (still technically playing, although I'm stuck)
  • Star Ocean something, PSP (got insanely bored in about 10 minutes, which probably isn't fair)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Weekend Recap: Superbowl edition

I apologize for the lack of posts lately; the post-holiday doldrums have settled in, apparently, and I haven't found that much blog-worthy news of late.

I've polished off the Anchorage DLC in Fallout 3, and I've decided that I'm not going to play any more Fallout until the level cap patch hits; I hit level 20 even before I started the DLC and the way I figure, I might as well get rewarded for killing things. It's odd - for the entire course of the game, I was always struggling with money, but now I'm suddenly rolling in cash.

Finished The Maw; it's a cute, fun, better-than-expected XBLA title, but I'm not sure I'm ever going to touch it again. I think I mentioned this the other day - I like my XBLA titles to be the sorts of things that I can continually play over and over again, be it something arcade-y like Geometry Wars or something puzzle-y like Puzzle Quest or Bejeweled 2.

Speaking of which, there's a Bejeweled mini-app on Facebook that I'd been getting obsessed with during my less-busy hours at work, and so I fired up my XBLA version over the weekend. Is there any other game in the 360's library with tougher Achievements? My God.

Finally, I had a friend over yesterday before the Superbowl who'd never played Left 4 Dead before, so we sat down and did the airport level from top to bottom. I think I'm still buzzing from the experience; it was absolutely thrilling and we could not stop high-fiving each other for the rest of the day. I keep forgetting how absolutely incredible that game is; I need to be playing it more often, especially in this dry release period. Maybe we'll put a SFTC L4D night together or something.