Friday, July 31, 2009

Making a list, checking it twice…gonna find out if I can beat it tonight…

You’ll find that, as you grow older and more maturer (well…at least older), there is less time to spend on your favorite video games. And unless you find the one job that allows you to play games constantly or you’re Adam Sessler, games will always be categorized near, if not, the last item on your mental list of things to do.

For me, everything else precedes games, but games will be on the agenda when there is some free time available. But even then, I’m often times left just struggling with constant pausing and disjointed gameplay due to life’s many interruptions. So I fell back to a proven method of getting things done – making a list.

It’s been reported somewhere that people that write down lists of things to accomplish reach those goals faster and more often than those that don’t physically write them down. Something about physically manifesting them to actual goals that you can check off with a pencil as you go through them. Think of it like your personal achievements/trophies list.

Scoff at it all you want, but it seems to be working. I spend some time making a quick list of things to do, then when I have time, I mark off as much as I can while I play. Then again, the goals I put aside for myself are quite small – finish one level here, complete a few golf courses there. But organizing the small nuggets of gameplay into these short goals help me maintain focus on what needs to be played.

Does this take away from enjoying the game? Not really. I’m already having fun playing, but with my objectives organized, I become more focused at what needs to be done, and waste less time just wandering around.

Give it a shot. Make a list of things you’ll need to complete next and see how it goes! Results will vary, but if you have little to nil time, this might be a good alternative.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Zero Punctuation Review: Wii Sports Resort

You will never find anyone more revolted with the Wii than Yahtzee. So you’d think that a game fully utilizing the WiiMotion+ will sway even the most negative gamer.

You’d think so, but then you’d be wrong.

So Yahtzee has the pleasure (er, displeasure?) to review Wii Sports Resort for the Nintendo Wii. Oh joy, this is gonna be fun.

As with video games, I remain unbiased towards Yahtzee’s reviews, and enjoy them for what they truly are – less than 5 minutes of ranting wit that can boil down to what most of us are feeling deep, deep inside but are afraid to actually say. It’s still his brand of humor and that’s what I enjoy the most out of these reviews.

The only argument I have against his review is when he casually calls out table tennis as just tennis all over again. If he bothered with actually trying to utilize the WM+, he’d discover that the motions to perform top and back spin were quite accurate, making the game even more enjoyable and more unique.

Then again, he’d probably tell me to fuck off and play a real game.

Think that was NSFW? Just wait until you check out the review below. Enjoy!

Oh, and I’m still getting the game. Not that you should care.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hammerin' Hero...finished!

Probably as a result from watching a lot of Game Center CX, I felt motivated once more to pursue that ever-elusive end-game credits screen, so I took out what I could find in my sights...which was Hammerin' Hero.

Granted, it was a game that had its shares of flaws and slowdowns. But through it all, it was still a game - and through Arino's eyes, it was a game that begged the challenge to complete it, to take it down. So, with a fresh new attitude towards video games, I tackled my procrastination and finished the game in one ftell swoop.

I haven't had this feeling since April, when I finished Rhythm Heaven. And, much to my surprise, there is still some redeeming replay value left in the game. There are more people (friends AND enemies) to search for to fill my info database, and there are also the harder difficulties per level to attempt. To get me to still play a game after the end credits rolled is not an easy task, so to see Hammerin' Hero get me to play the game immediately after I finished it is certainly pleasant.

Now, I don't feel so bad getting those figurines with the game's purchase. Plus, I get to mark off another game from my backloggery list!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gamer's TV: Game Center CX

With so many good-looking games being released nowadays, it's easy to forget the retro games that started it all. Sure, there are lots of games now that use the 8-bit style to bring back the feeling of the good ol' days, but who will play the games from yester-year?

Enter Shinya Arino of Game Center CX fame. This Japanese comedian, along with a filming crew made up of Assistant Directors (or AD) and staff, plays any given game for up to one full day, trying to accomplish set challenges against any old game of the day. These games can range from an old Famicom title, to any Nintendo Disc system title, to even a PS2 or Dreamcast game back in the day.

What makes the show so captivating is Arino's rational reactions to each game as he conquers (or in some cases, fail to conquer) the challenges set before him. You not only get to visually see his frustration and exhaustion as each hour passing by takes his toll, but he constantly narrates his actions in an almost child-like innocence. Add to that the typical suspense-driven cues and black-and-white dramatic screenshots, and you have a pseudo-drama every episode - except it's still just a comedian, playing old games, and being filmed the entire time.

And it's not just Arino that captivates the audience. The games in each episode take center stage, taking us back to that particular game's flaws and quirks exclusive to that era of video games. Who doesn't remember the vague storylines, the poor hit detection, or the obscure cheats that no one would find unless they bought a strategy guide?

Despite the fact that Arino is suppose to complete the challenges on his own, he still receives assistance from his staff and AD on occasion, especially when he must return to a certain section of the game after a game over. And they provide just as much amusement as Arino does when playing as well, sometimes exceeding expectations, and other times failing just as poorly as Arino did.

In the end, you don't really need to be a gamer to enjoy the level of old-school frustration and innocence of retro games. Game Center CX is one show that you'll be glad to stop your gaming to watch.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Zero Punctuation review: Red Faction Guerrilla

Ah, memories. I remember playing the first Red Faction game on the PS2 and its "destroy anything" mentality. After telling me that I can essentially blast around anything and not take a door, I went to the first door in the caverns and blew the cave along the left side consistantly, burrowing a tunnel that carried me to the other side. Sure, the entire ordeal took almost 10 minutes, but it was very satisfying to blast my own exit.

After two iterations on the PS2, designers decided to try their hand on the next-gen consoles and bring it's "destroy everything" mantra in Red Faction Guerrilla. I have to admit, the appeal of destroying whatever you see still makes me giddy like a kid. Yahtzee apparently also enjoys destroying everything he sees.

His NSFW review below. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Zero Punctuation quartet: A true "Lazy Wednesday"

If I can't put up an interesting post, the very least I can do is post up the backlog of Yahtzee-reviewed games here. So, here you go - 3 weeks worth of Zero Punctuation, including a 4th for today.

Usually I'd have something unique to talk about for all 4 titles here, but...yeah...very...lazy...

NSFW, and enjoy!


The Sims 3

Ghostbusters: The Video Game

And this week's review, Overlord 2

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Summer laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag...

First off, my apologies for the extreme lack of posts here. Summer has officially arrived, and with it all the energy-sapping heat rays. Overwhelmed with a sense of guilt, I vow to post something this week to recover.

But boy, the heat....