Thursday, December 30, 2010

Computer problems...

My laptop has been acting up, it refused to start for a few days, giving me a checksum error and not going past the first few scenes of the windows startup.

I was about to reinstall windows today, turned it on and it gave me a new scene, Windows recovery manager or something similar. I had tried System Restore before, but this time it appeared to work.

So I am back on my laptop now, but rather sceptical...this problem has been going on for a few months, at varying levels of regularity..It might need to go into the shop to see if anything is still wrong.

So if you see a lack of updates or my presence online, it will most likely be due to my laptop having exploded or something.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Now Playing - "Sticky White Stuff"

Merry Christmas people! Hopefully you had a good time so far...the year can really fly past at times. We've had lots of snow the past few days...what did you think I meant by the title? ;D Actually, its also a rather ridiculously named item from Demon's Souls.

I played a little bit more of one of my less played characters on Demon's Souls actually, one I am aiming to turn into a medium-heavy armoured melee build if I put more time into it. Some things are a lot harder with a melee class, but I think I'll appreciate the tanking abilities compared to my rather fragile Mage that I beat the game with last time.

Golden Sun (GBA) - Monday: got to Imil, icy town up north next to the Mercury lighthouse~how relevant for this time of year, the whole place here is iced up =p. Tuesday: didn't get to do much cos we went out at night again, Wednesday: after playing some Blazblue, played a couple more hours, getting through Imil Mines and Peak, and on to the stupid ass desert (I hate deserts in games...omfg, check out the original Crystal Chronicles for a bastard of an example) So anyway, I've got past the desert and done a bit more in the past few days, this game has a pretty good pacing, even if it is a bit too easy, it moves really fast. I'm around 10 hrs in and probably a little over halfway through. Did someone turn on Easy modo?! Next few days after that I blazed through right to the end. So at the moment I'm at the point where I can either go to the final stage of the game or go to the optional dungeon Crossbone Isle to get some more levels, gear and the final Djinn that I need for 100% completion. I'm definitely going to do Crossbone Isle before I go onto the next game, I'm just not sure when I'm going to do it.

Blazblue: Continuum Shift (PS3) - I played a little bit here and there of Blazblue after it finally arrived, but I've been a little bit dissapointed on quite a few aspects of this game. Maybe it was just the whole mess with Royal Mail's delivery failing across the country due to the weather and me having to wait a lot longer than normal for it. It was nearly to the point where I was going to try and get compensation for it not arriving. Anyway, once it arrived I tried it out and was dissapointed that they had really nerfed Rachel, my favourite character. Her moves have been decreased in damage and given some extra cooldown time in places, as far as I can tell. So I've been through the arcade mode with Noel (I got right to the end boss with Rachel and could not beat it... T_T) and the first Story mode section with Ragna. And I've played some multiplayer stuff online and with my friends but the game hasn't quite hooked me as the first game did. Perhaps I just need to give it some more time...There are too many games piling up for me at the moment though...

I got an Ipod Touch for Christmas so I've been buying a whole bunch of apps, including Chaos Rings, Infinite Blade, Plants vs Zombies, Robot Unicorn Attack (and the Heavy Metal edition) and Altered Beast. There are a LOT of awesome games on the IOS. "RISE FROM YOUR GWAVE!!"

So this coming week I'm probably gonna be trying to finish off Golden Sun, start up Castlevania: LoS or some other stuff. I'll be buying a few more games probably tomorrow actually..I don't know why..I have some tokens to spend on the PSN and in some Game stores, so thats my excuse =p

Hopefully you people have been having a good Christmas and holiday period! =D

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

DQVI announcement!

We finally have news about the next DS Dragon Quest game, which will be the last in the Zenithian trilogy-Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation. I slightly preferred Realms of Reverie, but oh well, I would give a limb for this game regardless of what they called it. It will be brought over to America in February. No word yet of a PAL release, but it will happen. =D

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Now Playing - "Whadya buyin stranger?"

Woohooo! I've finished my exams for the semester, so I'm off uni until the 17th of January. Once I get my Christmas shopping done for all the presents I need (I've still not started), I'll be more or less free to do whatever I want for a while. Time to get in some decent gaming and relax! hehe...=p

Anyway, I've been playing little bits of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (PSP) but I think I've hit another wall so to speak. I'm more or less done for the village quests of 6 star level, but one of the required ones for the next urgent is rather hard. Specifically, its the quest in which you have to take out a Diablos and a Black Diablos. My friend who is playing through at the same time is actually stuck on the exact same quest.. I think 50 minutes is quite a tight time limit to have as these particular monsters spend a lot of it's time underground, where, unless you have Sonic Bombs, you can't do anything to them. Anyway, I put it down shortly after I realised how ridiculous this quest is. I'll go back to it in a few weeks or so...

Dragon Warrior Monsters (GB) I've been slowly getting through some more of this game, I now have a Metaly. I'd initially intended to at least breed this to a Metabble or higher, but I forgot just how slowly these metal slimes level will take a long time to get it to learn the skills I need it to get first, so I might just leave it as it is. Its proving an absolute life saver, as it can usually outlast anything its come up against. So far it hasn't died once. So in stupid cases where I come up against Mimics or other insta-kill spell Defeat using monsters, the Metaly is immune (to more or less all magic as well), so it will survive. I've been able to get through multiple floors of dungeons just with it carrying me, until I get to a point where I can get healed or buy revival items for the rest of the team.

So I have at least one definitely strong monster which I will bring to the end game stages, the others ones, I'm not too sure what I want to do with them. I think I'm 3/4 or 4/5s through the game now, not too sure. I'll no doubt play some more of this game this week. Might try and blast through the rest of it.

Mostly Bayonetta (PS3) that I've been playing this week though. I finished it up today after doing the last few chapters. So my thoughts on a game that I had heard a massive amount of hype, then praise for? Well, it definitely does deserve a lot of the good criticism that it gets: its a very slick, stylish action game in the vein of Devil May Cry and other stuff I don't really play. Based on this experience, I am slightly interested in trying out some similar games. The gameplay really shines, it has a lot of variety in it, which definitely makes up for any repetitiveness that the reusing of enemies and attacks brings to the game. There are driving scenes, reaction commands, minigames and lots of other stuff which keeps the game interesting. Some of the action scenes and enemies in this game are downright amazing. Storyboarding and creating this game must have been a crazy experience-they definitely had some inspired people on the team.

So now that I've finished Bayonetta, I'll either pick up a ps2 game, or Oblivion or Disgaea 3 next. Hopefully Blazblue arrives some time soon, as I have no way to prove it if its actually been lost in the post. Amazon's super saver delivery has no way to track it as far as I can tell.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Rehaul of the blog

Blog redesigned-changed it to a lighter theme and a template behind it. Looks slightly cleaner and more professional. Only thing is, things seem more crunched together into the centre.

Let me know what you think on here, or wherever you see me.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Now Playing - "And now this cat is going to barf on me."

In my quest to find something actually fun to play, I've gone into a bit of an RPG-ADD phase this week, playing way too many different games in little bursts.

I tried to progress in the postgame stuff in Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (DS) and did some more grottoes to get more maps, but it really feels like I'm not making a dent. Although fun, I think it will take a lot more time to make any sort of progress into the postgame quests and grottoes. I did realise that you get a map every time you clear one, even if you've already done it. Why did no-one tell me this? To be honest, the multiplayer and postgame stuff is quite poorly understood to many. They might play DQIX and finish the story, and might not necessarily enjoy it that much, but if you put a fair bit of time into unlocking quests, jobs and getting items, it really starts to feel like more of an interesting game, at least to me. The multiplayer game is a lot of fun as well, but sadly a lot of people won't experience it. Online multiplayer would have been so good in this game. Hopefully they will work it into one of their future games somehow...but then again we all know about Nintendo and their submarine launch codes Friend codes and love of all things internet...

I played a bit more of Golden Sun (GBA), not much, but got a few dungeons in, to the first place with major puzzles, Kojima forest. I remember the layout of this bit of the story annoying me. You don't have a town nearby where you can buy healing items or rest because everyone is turned to goddamn trees. So when one of my dudes fell in battle halfway through the tree, I remembered being annoyed at the same bit. Plus I really hate some of the damn puzzles in this game...Anyway, I've got like 4 or so of the Djinn, and I'm liking playing through again, even though its not quite got the same magic for me as it originally did. If I can play through this one without my data deleting itself again (-_-) and play through the 2nd game, I'll pick up Dark Dawn...I've been looking forward to it for ages.

Bayonetta (PS3) Man, this game is awesome, I've got a bit further now-up to chapter 9 I think. Some battles are giving me some problems, like those 3 bayonetta clone-esque things which can somehow resurrect each other. I finally got past that though, enjoying most of what I've been seeing. Its hilarious at times this game, but in places frustrating. Like the obligatory platforming sections...I hate platforming. Anyway, progressing through nicely.

I heard good things about Costume quest, which came out around Halloween I think, so I tried the Costume Quest [demo] on PS3. I had even heard it described as a turn based RPG, and was slightly confused. It hadn't looked anything like that in screens and other stuff I had seen on the game. I guess you could describe it that way, but it is quite a strange, unusual game, with a quirky style to it. I can't really say too much about it, but if you like things told from a childish point of view, you might like this game. Its not really for me, but it is cheap to pick up on the XBLA and PSN if you are.

Hah, I also got back into Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (PSP), so you guys aren't off the hook yet, I'll be talking about this game for another couple hundred hours I beat the Tigrex urgent quest to unlock 5 star quests after a while of trying. It seems it wasn't as hard as I first thought once I knew the attacks it would through at me. Some of them are very easy to avoid, like in most cases, the charge attack. Keeping your health high and weapons sharp is really important, and not attacking more than is sensible in each window of opportunity. Traps are another way that are quite a few people online do things against Tigrex, especially if you are going for fast kills. My stingy nature though meant I didn't want to waste too many materials to make the traps, so I just took along a few barrel traps for some extra damage. It is quite hard to hit it with them though, as it moves around quite a lot, plus the boulder toss attack can destroy the barrels if at the right range.

So anyway, I'm now up to a lv10 Blango set of armour, and I have my Rathian as an alternative. Its upgraded to lv6. I've also been making some progress on weapons, with some Rarity 5's made now-I've got Flame Syphos and Kirin Bolt Indora sword and shields, and enough money and components to make the Tigrex SnS, the Rex Talon. I'm not entirely sure if I will bother with it though, it has less attack than some of my others, also it doesn't have an Element, which could be a good thing or a bad thing.  I managed to blaze through the 5 star quests in a day or two, quickly unlocking the next urgent quest, Rathian and Rathalos at the same time. Instead of trying to press on though, I've been working on clearing up the rest of the 5 star quests. I've just got one left to do, the Lunastra. I've not tried it yet, so I'm not sure what it will be like. I'll either keep trying to do it, or try and beat the next Urgent and progress onwards.

Saturday and Sunday, its been mostly Dragon Warrior Monsters (GB) that I've been playing, and I've actually made some progress! I was stuck on the Skydragon boss in the Wisdom world for ages now, in fact that is what made me put the game down. I just couldn't survive for very long against it-the damage per turn was too high. So I bred some stronger monsters, working on getting my Healslime the Healus ability, and a strong dragon type or two to resist its fire attacks. So when I tried it again today, I pwned it good. Increase a couple times to buff the team's defense, Healus roughly each turn to keep HP at max, Sicklick to make it's defense drop and shiver for a turn, all the while, Twinhits buffing atk and Yellhelp for ridiculous damage on his surprised ass. 

So it looks like I'm making progress now and starting to enjoy this game more. I really like the 2nd game and I'm hoping I can get into this one as much as I did for the sequel.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Goddamn, its freezing...

The other day, our Combi boiler broke down, which means we have no central heating or hot water from the taps. So its pretty damn cold here, seriously, the other day I had about 3 or 4 layers of clothes on, 2 scarves and a pair of gloves and my feet were still numb.

Anyway, the repairmen came up and fixed it, so we had heating for a night and a bit..but the same problem came up again now, so it is back to the cold until at least Monday, when someone will be able to come out and fix it again. Something seems crappy about this company, the boiler, or maybe the repair people's job...

At least the weather is getting a bit more mild, and the snow is melting away...somehow its still very cold inside though.

To be honest, I don't wanna sound moany-I prefer being too cold rather than too hot, but its no fun having numb hands, makes killing monsters in MHFU harder =p

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Now Playing - "Shine Get!"

Man, I really need to put more effort into posting more regularly on here, its really started drying up. I've tried to not let it go completely to shit, but uni work has really been taking the majority of my time, so I don't have much time to play games, and as a result, not much to talk about on here, especially in my Now Playing posts I do every week. Anyway, I'll try and work on that and put in some time when I can. This week on Sunday (when I normally try to post these), I played a few other games for limited time each, for a few reasons: to see what I might play next, for something other than MHFU to talk about here, but mostly just for fun and a break. When gaming starts to grow old, or anything resembling a chore, its time for something to change in my opinion.

Bayonetta (PS3) This game is FUN! It can also be pretty tough, some of the bosses. I was stuck on the one at the end of Chapter 2 for a while mainly because of the camera angle being so close to the action, so it really doesn't give you a lot of time to react. So to beat it, you really need to pay attention to what the boss is doing. The only bad thing is that the camera shakes around a lot, and the boss moves all over the place, so sometimes I had no idea where I was and if I was safe or not. Anyway, I'm really liking the game so far, its so quirky and stylish. For me, not much of an action game fan, I'm quite intrigued by this game, and if I manage to finish it and enjoy it, I'll probably track down some of the Devil May Cry games. Plus I just remembered I need to pick up the God of War collection for the PS3. Thats why I traded in God of War I on the PS2 at least.. 

Anyway, I'm looking forward to playing more of Bayonetta in the next few weeks, if I can find some time in between revision for my final exams this semester.

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (PSP) Again, what I've been playing most of the week. I don't think I've made much progress since last week, but I'm not sure. I now have a few more sets of armour, the full Rathian and Ceanataur, which along with my Basarios, don't think I will use much. Maybe the Rathian if I upgrade it, as I like the Health+30 ability. But what I've been concentrating on is my Blango mail set. It is up to lv10 now, and I got 5 Warmbreeze jewels to add an extra ability, Cold Resistance [Hi] so it means I am immune to all cold environments, rather cool, and I hope it will help me against the Tigrex, which is the boss I am stuck on. If I beat it, I will have done all the quests from 1 star to 4 star, and unlock the next level of Elder's quests, 5*. 

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey (DS)  I don't think I'm ever going to finish this or MHFU if I don't concentrate on one or the other for a while, they are just such deep games...they really require a lot of time (something which I don't have a lot of right now) to get through. Anyway, I put a bit more time into exploring the 4th sector, Delphinus, trying to get new demons recruited, as I slightly screwed up my team. I was really keen on getting some demons that knew stat boost spells, so I ended up with like 3 or so of them which are only really good at stat boosting. So I need some that I can use to kill enemies efficiently, with skills like Maragi, Mazio, and the other elemental spells that are really useful in these games. Right now, I have some holes in my team, so I'm working on that and the early stages of Delphinus.

Dragon Warrior Monsters (GBC) I tried a bit more of this today and man, the difficulty really spikes on some of the bosses. I'm probably going to need to breed another team for this one I'm on currently. Either that or grind massively...each turn the Skydragon boss in the Wisdom world pwns with Fire damage across the team every turn, so I'm likely going to need monsters resistant to fire to even stand a chance. Don't think I'll play much more of this any time soon. Even though I find it fun for the most part, the bosses really annoy the hell out of me, and I don't really like the way the worlds are done, they really improved things in the 2nd game.

OMG..the snow is causing all kinds of trouble here. I was stuck on the train for half hour this evening after my geometrical optics revision lecture (which went on from 2-after 7:30, I left early). But to be honest, I got off lightly, there are 5 hour delays on the M8, no buses running in Edinburgh, few taxis, and reduced buses in Glasgow...

I have 3 exams remaining and I seriously hope I can get in on time...I've got a few backup plans ready though.


Man this is full of awesomeness, me and some others at uni were talking about Pokemon the other day and looked this up and started singing along in the library.

Brings back memories, for sure! XD

Gorubi, Gorubi!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Now Playing - “It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.”

Wow, its starting to feel like Christmas almost!(?) I'm one of the least Christmassy people you could ever meet, as I usually focus on whatever coursework I can until my exams before Christmas are done, and then leave around a week or so to try and get my Christmas shopping in and relax. Man, I'm looking forward to a holiday. We even have some deep snow over most of Scotland and the UK from what I've heard. It helps to make it feel more like Christmas...but I just hope it doesn't cause too many problems for transport and stuff. I have some exams before Christmas, one this week in fact, and I want to be able to make it on time on the train.

Mostly Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (PSP) I've been playing this week..still addicted to it! I'm not really sure how (if at all) I've been progressing-I've just been working on armour sets and improving my weapons and armour until I can get through the quests I haven't done. I'm currently on the 4 star quests, with 2 more to do I think. I've unlocked the Urgent required to go to 5 star, but its the Tigrex and from what my friend said, that thing sounds hard. So I'm just more or less grinding up some decent gear before I even attempt it.

I've currently got a full set of Blango mail, upgraded to *checks*... lv7. (Wow, I forgot I had upgraded it so far =D) and a variety of Sword and Shield weapons, a few of which are green rarity. Upper Battleaxe and Deadly poison are probably the most powerful ones I have, but I am wanting to improve my Frost Edge+ and some of the others.

I've also been working on some other sets of armour, like the Kut-Ku (I need 1 more Ear), Basarios and Plesioth. This game just drains my time..seriously, it can easily distract me for entire days at a time.

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey (DS) I finally made a bit more progress in this game this week. I got past the final bit of the 3rd sector, Carina. And now OMG at the story! It's remaining interesting..I just wish the game as a whole could keep me as hooked as the story does.

So if I'm going to be playing much more games this week, it will likely be more Monster Hunter...boring, I know (at least, it will be for some of you.) But I have to say, if you haven't tried the games, at least give Freedom Unite a shot. You can get it for dirt cheap now, and it can keep you occupied for anywhere up to 1000 hrs depending on how much you do.

To make up for my lack of decent Now Playing posts (and in fact, any other content), enjoy this song - one of my favourite tracks off the Freedom Unite OST

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Now Playing - “Attack its weak point for massive damage”

Depressing to think that my final exams for the semester are fast approaching. I still found some time to play games, of course! ;D 

For a large chunk of the week and weekend I've been absolutely obsessed with Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (PSP) Either redoing quests I've done to try and get materials for new armour, or working on the 4 star village quests, I've been playing this game a lot. I'm starting to see that it is getting quite hard in places actually...some of the 4* quests are rather nasty. Kushala Daora (in the picture) hits hard, but I think I have all the gear I need to beat it. I just need a degree of luck...I have a Poison Battleaxe and Blango Gear to cut out the cold status, get some Quake resistance, and hopefully poison it somehow or other to reduce it's wind aura...that thing is annoying when it hits the right angle. What it'll do will be to turn to face me as I attack it, then the wind aura will knock me straight back. If it is quick enough, it will start up an attack which can hit while I am still knocked down from the aura. Such broken mechanics at times in this game....I really need to play a game that is more simple for times of frustration. I am very tempted to pick up Cladun, but then again, I have a couple games that I haven't even put time into, that I got really recently (Bayonetta, Oblivion goty, 4 Warriors of Light.)
Anyway, when Monster Hunter isn't making me shout profanities, it is somehow really addictive...I still can't really pinpoint what it is that makes it so appealing. I mean, it is surprisingly deep for such a simple game on the surface. I've already sunk a huge amount of hours into it and I still don't understand a lot of the gameplay concepts and mechanics in it. Skill Trees for one thing, I'll have to ask my (MH fan) friend at uni about it and some of the other stuff.

I made an account at the Gamerbase in the local HMV near my uni. Basically its got a load of consoles, PCs, tvs etc and a good selection of games to try out. You just need to pay £3/hour, or a bit cheaper during mornings and evenings, and you can try out any of the games they have. A good thing to occupy the odd free period at uni. So me and a few of my friends played some multiplayer stuff for a bit. We played some Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty (PC), Left 4 Dead 2 (PC), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PC), Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock (360) and one of the Total War games, I forget which one. I was probably most interested in Starcraft 2, as I loved the original game back when I was in school. So it was good to try this game finally. My computer wouldn't be able to run it unfortunately. I built up a fairly good Zerg army, but I didn't actually get round to fighting any of the enemies... =p

They didn't have Black Ops downloaded yet, so we tried some multiplayer games on MW2, and it was the first time I'd played this as well. (Yeah, I'm not much of a CoD fan) I was quite impressed with the responsiveness and sharpness to the graphics running on the PC. If I had the choice, I'd obviously get it for PC. But right now, the only way I could run it would be on PS3 or 360.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What games to buy next?

I'm not finding much time to actually play games at the moment, but that doesn't stop me wanting to buy new games. European gamers are getting some good releases coming out over here, in my eyes at least. There isn't a big difference between the US release and our one over here, in quite a few titles.

I've now got a few titles on my radar, so to speak... Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman, Disgaea Infinite, Cladun: This is an RPG, Call of Duty: Black Ops (but I think I'll pass on this) and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. On this last one, I'm intrigued by the multiplayer, but I really think I should play the 2nd game before I try it.

Disgaea Infinite is a visual novel, and apparantely pretty short, but I will pick it up at some point when it is cheap.

We've got a few on the way as well; Hyperdimension Neptunia, and Blazblue: Continuum Shift (they have an annoying habit of pushing it back many times). I'm also thinking about Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, if I manage to finish the quests in the Freedom Unite before the release some time next year. The trailers look rather awesome. Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is pretty much a must buy for me as well, although I might have to play through the 2nd game at least again before I play the new one. So, some good titles on my radar, might get some for Christmas hopefully =3 Way off in the distance most likely is Disgaea 4. I'm a big fan of the first 2 Disgaea games, and still haven't round to the 3rd, but I will. 

I already preordered Hyperdimension Neptunia on a whim. I hope I don't regret it...Other than that, I'm really considering Cladun, even though I've heard mixed things. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Now Playing - "Use the boost to get through!"

So when I've had a chance to play games this week it has either been stuff on the PSP or the laptop. Only for a few hours at a time really, I was trying to study for my Pharmacology test which we had on Friday. Anyway, Diablo II (PC) has been entertaining me so far. I never really used the ability "x% better chance to find Magic Items" much, but after getting told about its potential from a friend, I decided to try and abuse it as much as possible this time round. So any time I see items with that ability that are remotely decent, I'll equip them and try and kill as many enemies and open as many containers as possible. The results so far have been really good. Much better than I had expected. Normally, in my other playthroughs, I'd only have 2 or 3 set items at most by the time I got roughly half way/3 quarters through Act III. But on my Druid at the moment, I have around 9 or so set items, as well as 2 Unique items (although, annoyingly, I got 2 of the same one...) Add to that a whole bunch of Rare items, gems, and a lot of runes that I only seem to see later on in the game, and I have to say, I'm amazed at the results. I'm considering that it could be down to the latest patch, which I never had before. Perhaps they retweaked some percentage stuff somewhere. Anyway, its a lot of fun, this character. The only thing I am worried about is when I get to the higher difficulties and enemies are immune to elements, for example. I've already had 2 Fire Immune special Fire Elemental druid doesn't like them..

Neverwinter Nights (PC) Making some very slow progress. I'm still on the first quest you have to do, making my way through hordes of enemies in the Prison district. I really should try and save some money so I can hire another party member, as I'm dying a lot. I'm still not quite drawn into the game, the world or my character as of yet. Hopefully that'll change, as I don't want to have this as one of those games I'll never finish.

I played some more of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (PSP) during the week, finally getting past one of the bosses that had me stuck (the damn Khezu.) I think there is something about quite fast paced games that gives me trouble at times. I don't play enough of them and its probably down to my reaction speed or something. Anyway, I'm still liking this game, but not as much as the initial time where I got completely addicted to it. It seems like it could get quite repetitive-they do a lot of reusing maps, pallete swapping, and there are some rather formulaic quest types. Still, its some simple, but rewarding stuff. I love seeing my character progress towards the next armour set or weapon upgrade =D

Bayonetta (PS3) I traded in a few old games I wasn't going to play or finish any time soon to get Bayonetta and Oblivion Game of the Year Edition. I completely forgot about the criticism around this version of the game. I've installed the game and the loading times still seem really long..I don't know if thats something present on both versions but oh well. It looks good enough with the HDMI cable I've got plugged in to my PS3. The action is really good in this game so far, but I think I really suck at it. I kept losing at like the first battle where you have to get 3 Torture attacks in 5 minutes. So I turned it to Easy mode...don't laugh lol.. Anyway, I like what I see of this game from the first half hour or so. I've put it on hold for a while. I don't want to get too far and not have a chance to play it during the week. Might leave it till I have some more free time.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Now Playing - "I will show them the true power of a pervert!"

Sunday again...this semester at uni is starting to pick up pace fast. For the past 4 weeks, we've had 1 class test a week, we've got one this week as well. Then an IT test next monday as well. Its just one of those formality things you need to go through to graduate. Many unis have similar things here I think. Anyway, only a few weeks more till we take a break for Christmas now(after 2 or 3 exams though T_T) Even so, it somehow seems like it was a while since I last posted on here. So here's a little on what I've been playing a few games this week, in varying amounts.

I finished up Half Minute Hero (PSP) earlier in the week. Its a fairly short and sweet game, but some of the modes do drag on a bit. Not necessarily in length, but they just feel a bit simple and bland compared to the Hero mode and Evil Lord mode which had some really quirky dialogue as well as pretty fun gameplay. The first mode, the Hero mode which is based on the RPG genre is probably the most fun and intense, it goes downhill slightly after that, but I still had a lot of fun with the game, especially considering the price I got it at.

I eventually got convinced by a friend to pick up Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (PSP) and I've got really addicted to this game. It is really simple but fun and rewarding stuff. Its definitely not for everyone though...its very grindy and perhaps repetitive, depending on how you do things. It also has a really high learning curve, which puts a lot of people off initially. But once I gave it a chance, I'm really enjoying playing it. Its quite cool on co-op as well, it really adds to the fun. I really like just going out and getting the items needed for a new set of armour or weapon. There is something really rewarding about getting there in the end. I still can't find my damn Velocidrome Head for a weapon upgrade. Its a 2% chance at low ranks....Still, its quite fun stuff. 

So far I've done the 1 star quests and have a few more of the 2 star ones to get through. I can see myself putting a lot of time into this. Why can't more games be this addictive? I'm actually stuck now, damn Khezu...I beat it fine when I was co-opping with my friend at uni..but doing it on my own is much harder... -_- 

Didn't touch much more of Diablo II (PC), apart from I raced through the end of Act II with my Elemental Druid. I do a lot of damage, so I kill the enemies easily, but I found surviving for long quite hard. Especially against the Act II boss Duriel, who could trap me with his cold element slowdown and wipe me out in a few hits...I should really buff up my Dex and Vit stats instead of concentrating so much on Magic (I already have around 70 magic at lv23 or so if I remember rightly..)

Haven't had much of a chance to play Neverwinter Nights (PC) yet though, I want to put some more time into it when I get some time. Maybe next week cos I won't have a test late on in the week...I  really need to get back into Strange Journey as well though...I don't wanna put my save game aside for too long, like I did with Digital Devil Saga. 

Other than that, I played little bits here and there of Super Street Fighter IV (360) and Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (PSP) Only really did multiplayer stuff with my friends at the weekend. Finally got to try out the Arena mode in Birth By Sleep. The racing game is as unimpressive as in the game. Seriously, why no power ups? The battle stuff though is a bit more fun, either co-op or against a friend, you fight each other with a time limit I think (I skipped all the tutorial stuff).

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!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


So I'm now part of the Anime society at my Uni, Glasgow Caledonian's 'Cali Otaku' society.  I've only been to the first 2 meetings of the year but I'm somehow already the club's Secretary. It was more or less down to me knowing the president from last time I was at uni in Glasgow. I met him through Glasgow Uni's Anime & Manga Society and mentioned to him the other week that I might be interested in either of the current commitee positions if he needed someone. The Uni's student association requires commitees of all it's societies and clubs it seems, at least if they wish to be funded by the association. So getting the positions filled was essential to the survival of the club.

There weren't that many people interested in being on the commitee, leaving me and another guy to get the 2 free positions, secretary and treasurer. We weren't really bothered about which position we each got, so I got given the secretary position even though I don't know that many people in the club yet. 

I think I'll be quite good at the position though, as I am fairly organised with my notes, timekeeping and writing. 

Anyway, they have series which run for the entire academic year (one screening per week) as well as some series which were decided upon today. Its something they've been doing for a few years from what I've heard. The members bring in 2 pilot episodes of anime or other shows like live action stuff. After they've all been shown, the members vote on what shows they would like to see shown throughout the year.

We ended up deciding on High School of the Dead (which I just finished on my own the other week) and Toaru Kagaku no Railgun. I voted for Railgun as well as Pani-Poni Dash. My choices after that would have been Hellsing (which I've seen, but is pretty damn awesome) or some Live action thing that was about a guy whose thoughts can be heard out loud. It was a cool idea, I can't quite remember the name of it right now...

Anyway, I don't know what the purpose of this post is. Just a bit of what is going on. I might post some more about uni stuff and how the club goes, as I'm slightly skeptical whether I will enjoy it or get on with people there. I may rant about stuff in the future.

Also, I may do an Anime Impressions post on High School of the Dead, as I'll end up seeing the first 12 episodes twice overall it seems... sigh T_T I dunno, I did enjoy it but at the same time I didn't like the way the story slowed down and ended rather dissapointingly. Edit: I forgot I did an early impressions post of it already a while back. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Some PAL game release updates.

So it seems waiting (for long periods of time) is the right way to do things if you are a PAL gamer with interests in anything remotely niche as I've found out recently.  

Deathsmiles (360) For a long time after the US release it seemed like this game wouldn't be coming to Europe. I had considered importing it, but after reading up on the game, it turns out this one was region locked on the 360. Which is strange, because the developer Cave had intentionally left the region locking off a few of their releases to help the import community out. The strange thing is, I've not played many of these kind of games, and never played anything by Cave before, but after reading about it and seeing some video footage, I was really interested. Plus, the fact that this was the first one by the developer to actually come out in America was ringing alarm bells, and I had hoped it would come out in Europe and PAL regions as well. Well, it seems it will be. It hasn't been confirmed by Rising Star yet, but it will apparantely be coming out some time next year from them. I hope it isn't just a rumour, but I've found a few mentions of it online. Here's hoping! Gothic lolita characters, crazy bosses and 2D bullet hell shooter goodness-I'm sold!

Lunar: Silver Star Harmony (PSP) This one is confirmed to be coming over to our PSN sometime fairly soon I believe. First I heard of it was when I checked PSN the other night to find a demo up. I'd been interested in seeing what this game was like but after hearing mixed things, I decided the high price for importing might not necessarily be worth it if I didn't like the game that much. So I quickly decided to download the demo and then go searching for some news online. I've still not yet tried the demo (I'll play it and update this post once I've finished it) but it seems once the game is released on PSN (and it should be noted that it will be PSN only here) you will start your game with bonus gear of some kind if you decide to get the full game and still have data from the demo. So I'm definitely interested in this one as well. I'll try the demo and see if it will be my thing. It will be out in PAL regions on the 13th of October.

Blazblue: Continuum Shift (PS3/360) Us PAL gamers had to wait a fairly long time to get the first Blazblue game, and while we've not had such a long wait this time around, it seems excruciating at times how long we have to wait. I can't really describe why I feel so maniacal about Blazblue...I didn't play that much online on Blazblue: Calamity Trigger mainly because I sucked, but I had a lot of fun with the multiplayer both online and with my friends in person. I got the original game on the 360 but I'm perhaps leaning towards the free online play of the PS3 version this time around. It would probably suit my sporadic use of the online features slightly better. I have seen a few imported PS3 copies in one of the shops around here, but I'm going to wait and pick up the special edition when it comes out here.

I'm hoping they clear up some of the stupid things from the story mode. To 100% complete character's story modes you need to lose to each opponent, as well as finishing some in certain ways ie. with Distortion Drives or whatever they were called. The story was about as clear as mud as well, but hey...I had some fun with it. The first game had really nice graphics, music and characters. Hopefully this one will build upon the first's successes.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (PS3/360) This is probably one of my most anticipated games coming out for the rest of the year, and it was nearly going to sneak under my radar until I did this post because I don't have as much time to play games or trawl gaming news sites now that I've started uni. Anyway, I have high hopes for this one and I really don't want it to be just another generic God of War clone. With the talent involved in the making of the game, I'm really looking forward to its PAL release date of October 7th, or some time after that when I end up grabbing it. It comes out October 5th in North America and apparantely December 16th in Japan. I don't know the reasons behind that, or if its true to be honest.

Other than those, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona was released recently on the PSN, along with Front Mission 3. The SMT franchise gained a substantial amount of fans outside of Japan in the past year or so with Persona 3 and 4 getting released, and this is where the Persona series started. I've heard mixed things about the game but I am tempted to pick it up, and its good to see games like this coming out here, even if it is just on PSN. 

On another note, I took a look in one of the independent game shops in Glasgow and as always, saw lots of awesome stuff. On the import front they had SMT: Strange Journey, SMT: Persona (PSP), SMT: Devil Survivor, Disgaea Infinite, Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories and quite a few other titles I was interested in. I'm still looking out for Lucifer's Call (Nocturne) but I'm never gonna find it. I may ask them to order it in for me some time as a last resort.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Now Playing - "Reload this!"

Now that I am two weeks into my uni course I'm starting to get an idea of how the timetable will be and what we will be doing throughout this semester at least. I'm enjoying it so far, even though it does look quite hard in places. Geometrical Optics is going to have some tricky physics type questions I think. Anyway I've had some free time but not a huge amount of time for games really, although I do have a long weekend just now (I've got Thursday-Monday off because of a Bank Holiday or something) and I've been playing some games during the last week or so. I've got some impressions on some relatively recent releases actually.

I played some of the Halo: Reach (360) multiplayer on Saturday and today when my friends brought it over. Took ages to initially set up as I hadn't configured my Xbox's online settings (I just got it back from being repaired.) but once we got it set up we played a bit of the multiplayer online. At first, I wasn't too impressed as there are a lot of things different to Halo 3 (and ODST I guess, but its closer to that than 3.) The main things putting me off were the health system similar to ODST, getting used to the new weapons and their slightly different gameplay and the armour abilities being rather annoying at times. Although, they all seem to have their strengths when used right. So they are kind of balanced from what I can tell after a few hours of playing and watching my friends use them. 

The weapons feel much more tactile I guess (don't know if that is the right word), it actually feels like you are firing the weapon, with recoil and sound effects of really good quality. The sniper rifle was initially pretty strange for me, as the targeting reticule expands vastly after firing. So the recoil from the first shot basically stops you from getting another easy shot in straight succession-the result from what I can tell so far is that it is slightly harder to kill with it. But I got used to it pretty quickly, actually getting MVP on like the 2nd Team Snipers game I played. No-scopes ftw! They've also tweaked the meleeing to make that less abusable. I found myself shooting until the enemy's shields were down enough, meleeing and getting surprised how many times they would still be alive afterwards. So the shoot the shields down+melee combo from 3 seems to be a bit less easy to pull off. (Which is good) BR is also fairly different, it still has a scope but it fires less bullets with each shot it seems. Its called DMR now, dunno what that stands for... Still seems like a very strong weapon. Pistol seems to be going back to the Halo 1 & 2 days as well, its very fast and good at mid-long range. ODST had a similarly strong pistol..and I just hope they haven't made too many broken weapons. 

What else...the veto system is gone from online. Now you vote on one from a selection of maps/games. The major flaw being the fact that if you are playing with more than 1 player on the xbox, all your votes go to the same selection. Terrible. Bring back the veto system. Along with the server issues, that is one thing that definitely needs to be adressed in the next patch or update.

Anyway, despite all those minor things, I got used to the game and had some fun with my friends on it. I'm kinda tempted to pick it up at some point..but there are so many games that are in that same boat...and in fact so many games I have and still have to start. 

I've put in a fair chunk of time to Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (PSP) now and have been enjoying it for the most part. I'm 13 or so hours into Terra's story and liking the characters. Terra seems to have a bit more depth than say Roxas or Sora, at least so far. Its got some fairly cheesy dialogue, but then again, it is a Disney-Square Enix franchise, and its been pretentious and cheesy since the early days. If you didn't get a substantial helping of cheese you would probably feel ripped off in some way. 

I'll start with some things that annoy me about it. Firstly, it seems a bit more bland than KH and KHII. I liked in the PS2 games how the worlds were slightly longer stages, you had cameo appearances from main characters from the disney films in question and the enemies and bosses had a distinctive feel related to the world depending on what Disney world you were in. For example, the Heartless and Nobodies in Agrabah actually fit in with the world. In Birth By Sleep, they basically reuse a lot of the same Unversed enemies. They don't seem to have a different appearance in each world. So it does feel a bit bland, short and boring at times. Its also missing the characters joining your party I think. They were one great thing about the KH games, as well as the party's appearance changing in each world. (Halloween Town designs for Sora etc were some of my favourites.) 

Secondly, it really stretches the PSP to its limits in some areas, where you get some slowdown occurring. This might be a good thing as it shows they've really pushed the boat out, but for me it is a negative, as they could have accounted for this. When you get the option to choose between 16bit and 32 bit in the config menu and 16 bit is the default, that is an indicator that perhaps a different engine, or textures or whatever should have been used. I'm no games designer but something seems wrong there..just slightly though. I've not had too much slowdown on my current settings.

I don't like that there doesn't seem to be that many cameos from Disney characters though. I'm fairly far through Terra's story and really haven't seen anything of Mickey and anyone else. They added a distinctive flavour to KH and KHII, adding a lot to the feel of the worlds and the story. I think there should have been more cutscenes, not just ones focussing on Terra and his flashbacks. I guess I am less than a 3rd through the game though, so we shall see how it goes.

What else? Well, I am enjoying the game..which is a good thing. =p I'm liking that they've tried not too overcomplicate things with all this nonsense about nobodies, organisation XIII, Heartless, different worlds, experiments, masked guys. As good as Kingdom Hearts II was, it was bloody confusing. I dunno, I'm guessing they will start throwing some plot twists in there towards the end game of BBS, but so far I'm not hugely impressed with the story, but at least it is easy to understand. Xehanort is one of the most stereotypical 'Disney' villains I've seen...I could tell from a mile off that he was a bad guy. I'm still interested to see what is going to happen with him, the others and Terra. Must play more.

I would say that I like the Kingdom Hearts games, but I don't know if I would call myself a fanatic... Urgh...I don't want to start flame wars or anything. I just wanted to get across my initial feelings on Birth By Sleep. Even though I've highlighted some of it's shortcomings, I still think its a good game so far. I'm having a blast playing it so far.

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey (DS) I've been putting an hour or two into this here and there, and slowly getting through the second sector, codenamed Bootes. I'm enjoying it so far, its got a distinctive SMT vibe going on, with some gameplay aspects from other games in the series. Some are quite dated, like the negotiation system which frustrates me greatly at times. I don't like that you can only have 10 or so Demons at the same time as well..I'm terrible at deciding on which to fuse and which to keep...but I'll get used to that, 10 is more than enough really. I really don't like when your demons level up and want to learn new moves. Its the same as in Nocturne I think, the old move will be replaced, not always with an improved one. You can't tell what move is going to be learnt, but then again you can just stop them from learning the new move to start with..It seems clunky and unneccessary(I can never spell that word.) So I'm around 10 or so hours in and think I'm getting near the end of the Bootes sector. I found a sidequest I want to do though; it involves escorting some of the decoy squad back through the dungeon, and fighting a rather nasty boss. When I last played it got a cheap Mudo (instant death) spell on my main character giving me a game over after I had hacked away at it for a good 5-10 minutes. So I've not played it since then..apparantely that is a SMT recurring theme across many of the games, instant deaths...

I will go back to it some time soon, as I'm enjoying what I've seen so far. I'm just catching up to around the same play time in Kingdom Hearts (although I've put in more time to BBS than SJ now, probably to do with the pacing.)

Friday, September 24, 2010

New Xbox! =D

I got my Xbox 360 fixed finally! Hopefully no more Red Rings for moi! T_T

Dunno if I'll even have enough time to play it though, with uni and all. Think I'll check and see if my Gold subscription is still on, might jump online for a bit. =p

Rather randomly, I got to Radiant Garden in Birth by Sleep. Its pretty cool how you get to see what its like before the main 2 games when it is known as Hollow Bastion. I always liked that area, its nicely designed and has really cool music, which they have kept a similar track for in BBS. Here's 3 of them, Radiant Garden and Hollow Bastion songs from the OSTs:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Now Playing - "Whats Tibetan for RPG?"

I've had a fairly hectic week so far as I just went back to uni on Monday 13th. I didn't think I'd have many classes until this coming week, but the uni has started doing things a bit differently and having lectures and everything else in the first week. So we were thrown in the deep end a bit but I got used to the routine fairly quickly. I didn't have much time for games but because I didn't have my laptop through with me I wasn't able to do a post last week so this one will cover stuff I played for the last 2 weeks.

I was playing a lot of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3) on Hard and Crushing difficulty. I managed to finish Hard mode without too many problems, and surprisingly didn't find it boring or stale (this was my 2nd time playing it.) I enjoy the pacing and variety between the stages. They have you doing different things throughout the game. There are a few places where I don't particularly like going through, like the bit with the tank going through the village streets for example... Its a really fun game, both multiplayer and story mode and a fairly easy one to platinum if you are into that sort of thing. There are a few tricky trophies in there, killing 75 enemies in a row without dying and beating it on crushing, for example. I'm not much of a trophy whore, never really been that into getting them all unless I like the game enough to play more of it. I reckon I will try and get the rest of the medals, trophies and unlockables in this game though. Its definitely a must have for PS3 owners, I know most have already played this by now, but anyone out there who hasn't, I'd recommend this once more. Also, if you guys have any suggestions or recommendations for games that are similar (in terms of overall enjoyment factor) I welcome them. But I should note I'm not the greatest platformer fan. I know Uncharted 2 does things differently to what it used to be like, but it still feels limited compared to what Assassin's Creed did. I liked some aspects of AC, but it really dissapointed me overall and as a result, I've not tried the 2nd one. I probably will when its dirt cheap, its in the same boat as Bayonetta, Dante's Inferno and the Bioshock games for me.

I've managed to find around 13 or 14 hours somewhere to put into Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey (DS) and I've really liked it so far. The game world has really drawn me in, from the environments and quality of the script describing things and building up the story to the music, which is something else. Its really powerful operatic stuff, with some kind of gregorian chanting(?) on a lot of the tracks. Very deep and dark and really adds to the seriousness of the game. Perhaps the way the characters react to certain situations is a bit flat, but then it would get old if they were questioning things every two seconds. Teams like the ones in the game would probably be prepared for the unexpected from the outset. The Demon Negotiations are probably the most frustrating bit for me, as I#m trying to register as many as I can. It seems very trial and error and even then it is very unpredictable and hard to succeed at. 

It looks like there is a lot to do, but I am making progress probably quicker than I did with DDS and Devil Survivor (the only other SMT games I've played) as the gameplay difficulty seems to be fairly balanced. It doesn't seem overly easy, but sometimes you will get randomly and cheaply owned by either getting surprise attacked, critted or having all  the enemies pwn your main guy at once. Definitely enjoying it so far though.

Other than those main games, I played little bits of A Witch's Tale (DS) and Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (DS). My first impression of A Witch's Tales is not very good so far, the combat is really poor. Battles go on way too long and even normal enemies can wipe you out from time to time. It actually started out as an action RPG in Japan I believe, and for some reason was changed to a turn based RPG for English audiences. I like the style and characters, it has a slightly Nightmare before Christmas/fairytale world and I quite like it even though at times it does feel a bit childish, like it was intended for younger audiences. Graphically, it doesn't look particularly great but its nothing horrendous. I'm willing to let it slide perhaps, when or if I go back to the game. I put the cart away after only putting in around 2 or 3 hours to it..that was partially down to wanting to play Strange Journey though. Dragon Quest IX's postgame stuff is as hard as always, I've not quite made the jump up because I don't know exactly where to go first or what missions to do first. I do want to play more of it but its kind of impenetrable to me currently. I really liked playing through DQIX and want to give it some more of my time at some point, even though it might actually be impossible for me to 100%, depending on whether or not I can get Treasure maps some way other than going to events like PAX or whatever in America... T_T

I finally got my hands on Kingdom Hearts: BBS! Hopefully I'll find some time to try it out (and not drop SMT:SJ as a result.)