Thursday, January 28, 2010

Zero Punctuation catch-up: Darksiders and Bayonetta

In an attempt to catch-up from last Wednesday, I've stuffed both this and last week's reviews into one post. God of War Darksiders and Devil May Cry Bayonetta are next in line for Yahtzee's wit and banter, and boy does he let it loose.

Oh, and I've done minor changes to the blog to accommodate the heftier Zero Punctuation video sizes, which actually makes my blog look more roomier! Probably for the best. NSFW videos below, so enjoy!



Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wii week: No More Heroes 2 and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom arrive

This week's releases sorta snuck up on me as No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom both come out the same week for the Wii.

The first No More Heroes left quite the lasting impression with all its blood, language, violence, and unique visual style. While not many people found the game to be great, it still had a dedicated following - enough to push it past the Wii console and branch out into the 360 and PS3 as No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise. However, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle (for now) is only on the Wii, back to the control scheme that makes you feel like a Jedi badass, except with more red. I'll definitely post some impressions of the game soon.

The other game, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, came at a slightly different afterthought. While I left the E3 floor last year with mixed impressions, it wasn't until I developed better skill at Street Fighter IV that I decided to give this a shot. So far, it's definitely like the Vs. series before, with over-the-top super moves and tons of aerial combos, but with a nice glossy finish and all the Japanese voice acting left intact. While there were some aesthetic changes done to the ending screens, and one character omitted late in the game, it's still not a bad fighting game in the end. For those that want a less button-mashing approach, I suggest using the classic controller or an old GameCube controller; the Wii-mote control scheme simplifies the gameplay to an almost no-brainer style of play.

The pre-order bonus for Tatsunoko vs. Capcom was this pack of 8 lenticular cards, which was both snazzy and shady. The cards themselves are very nice, and the pack is only through pre-order. The "shady" part of it is that there are 13 cards in the entire collection, and you can only get the rest through trading with someone else. In a way, I think this is Capcom's devious way of getting TvC players to meet with each other and get some different rivalries going on.

What surprised me was when I leafed through the instruction manual (mind you, just to look a pictures - I'm a "play first, read later" gamer). Pages started to slide right out!

Turns out that someone forgot to staple my instruction manual! The pages look meant to be read as a book, so I doubt it was intentional. Oh well, I'll probably be too busy playing the game to care.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cleaning house: Making your games used games

I suppose you can classify me as a "hoarder" by general definition, but in my defense, I only buy games that I'm interested in playing over and over again. But even that standard isn't infallible, as the picture above proves. That stack, my friends, is the stack I've officially decided to "dispose" of.

I ran out of time. I have no time. I lost interest. The game was nothing I expected. Whatever the reason, there they were - neglected video games collecting dust. Realistically, the rate of games being released is much higher than the rate at which I can complete them, and their poor traits only increased their shelf life. In the end, these games only had a matter of time before they were out of my life for good.

Unlike a lot of people, I can't just finish a game and part ways with it on a dime to the next game. If the game had an outstanding value to it, keeping possession of it is like putting up a trophy on the mantle; something to tell the gaming world "yes, I've survived to the end boss and kicked his sorry little ass," or "I have yet to finish this game, but it's so good that the ending will surely be great," or "challenge me with this game and you will meet an unfortunate demise."

I've used the analogy before, but a good game is like a good book, and like all good books, only the well-worn ones show signs of quality in a game. All my games that I've kept have been well-worn, and even if I don't actively play them I've lent them to many friends so that they, too, may experience what I had the first time I played that game.

As for the games I part with? I don't dispose of them because I really want to, but out of necessity. And possibly to dissolve my status of "hoarder" among my comrades. And certainly, some of the games you see here may actually be your own favorites. They just didn't fit either my style of games I usually play, they couldn't find a spot among the other games I frequently turn to, or they were simply the victim of their own success (i.e. later game in series, collection of games).

Oh, by the way...GameStop wouldn't accept my Guitar Hero guitar. It just won't go away...

How do you deal with games that have outlived their usefulness in your house?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lego Rock Band...finished!

I have to be honest, when I heard about this game, the "kiddie" songs come to mind, or that the songs are all pop-ish and commonly played on the radio. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you want more people to play any Rock Band title.

With Lego Rock Band, it's much easier to get people to participate, because the song list doesn't alienate people with their heavy metal, indie, or obscure songs. And if you have existing downloads, most of the family-friendly ones will be playable through the game. Thankfully, all my Foo Fighters songs made the transition.

Now after completing this, I've been treating my Rock Band games much like pre-set radio stations. If I want some alternative with some heavy rock, I stick with Rock Band 2. If I feel like some classic Beatles songs, I pop in Beatles Rock Band. And if I feel like some overplayed-but-popish songs, I pop in Lego Rock Band. Wonder what the next radio station will be? I'll probably skip the Green Day Rock Band game, though...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Achievements and Trophies: getting 100%

Let's face it, achievements and trophies are a love-hate relationship. They've ranged from the shameless hoarding of such trivial goals from games like King Kong, to the hair-pulling awards that are almost impossible to obtain. But they all define one fact: that at one point or another, that game was in your system at one point or another.

"So what," you may ask? Well, when was the last time you checked out your trophies/achievements? How many of those games do you only have 1 or 2 of them? If you're like most gamers out there, chances are you're not completing all your games you've been purchasing. And now suddenly your list of trophies are just a chronicle of your failed conquests.

It's one thing to tell people you have so many trophies or achievements, but it's quite an entirely different thing if all of them are no-brainer goals that are earned by picking up your first item or taking down your first enemy. While these types of milestones have been minimized over time, games still employ these easy-wins just to satiate the gamers' palette for gameplay motivation.

And I don't know how XBox 360 displays their achievements, but those percentages on the PS3 stick out like a sore thumb. Every time I check out my trophies, it's a constant reminder of which games I've started and never finished. Nevermind the fact I finished one or two chapters - the emptiness says it all.

It's not a question of how many achievements or trophies you have, but how they reflect you as a an accomplished gamer. And that, my friends, is a goal I hope to attain from every game I conquer.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Zero Punctuation review: Torchlight

If your game is like World of Warcraft lite, expect Yahtzee to take notice. Torchlight is the victim this week, so stick around for all the NSFW goodness. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Oh yeah, here's the link. Turns out that I'll have to fiddle around with my blog settings to accommodate the new size of these videos. Will have this fixed by next week!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Gameritis is now on Facebook

I guess now is as good as any to officially announce this, but I've taken my blog to Facebook. Like how TV has migrated many people away from radio and literature, Facebook has the world captivated people away from standard blog reading.

So to follow suit, I've established my place on the social network. Even though I've started this about 3 months ago, implementation is still in its infantile stage, so I'll be gradually adding more stuff in the coming months.

Check out the fan page here, and become a fan today!

Or tomorrow. Or sometime in the future if you so choose.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack In Time...finished!

At a little more than 11 hours of gameplay, I find myself finishing up Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time on Hard Mode. For such a build-up with the previous game and mini-episode in between, I found the story to be shorter than I expected. Perhaps I was so eager to play a lot that I simply breezed through the game without knowing.

Despite all this, game itself is still a wonderful, weapon-filled experience - which is what anyone who's a fan of the series would come to expect. So, let's just put aside the fun of leveling up weapons that do massive damage to everyone on the screen for one second and highlight the other aspects that make the game worth your time.

Open Space

Travelling from planet to planet usually just meant selecting your destination, and then you're into the next level - no flying in-between. Even if there were, it would be a rails-on shooter, similar to Star Fox. But even then, adjusting the altitude to the right height to land your shots were troublesome.

In this latest Ratchet and Clank game, however, they've decided to return the outer space travel, minus the altitude. What's left is a fun space-shooter between levels, without the mess of aligning your shot. All you have is your boost or break, and a simple 180-degree turn, and that's all. And each region is its own isolated galaxy, so you're not overwhelmed by a humongous sandbox of planets.

Clank's Puzzles

The concept of caching multiple versions of yourself to pass levels is nothing spectacularly new in games, but to see it integrated into this game is a nice pleasant escape from the constant shooting and blowing up of objects. Sure, it's a more elaborate version of the typical Clank mini-missions of previous games, but to give him a weapon which reverses damage of objects back to their original state only gives him a little more depth into his missions as well as his character.

Deep Story

Sure, you can play A Crack in Time by itself, having never played Tools of Destruction, Quest for Booty, or even Up Your Arsenal where the villian makes his first appearance. But you would deprive yourself on a well-told story that the gameplay drives so well. And really, without the story, this would be a mindless shoot-em-up game that no one would play at all.

As of this posting, I've clocked in at least another 5 hours of extra gameplay into the game, and have yet tried the Challenge Mode for a greater challenge. And a small glitchy bug in the game's preventing me from cashing in on one trophy. Other than that, the game is worth the time and money to play. I highly recommend it!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New games for the new year

Well, not quite. These games arrived last month during the holidays, so consider this a bit of catch-up on my blog of their existence. Let's just say that I have a few "finished" stamps to...well, stamp, and one of the titles is in this list.

First off, I have Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story for the DS and Little Big Planet for the PSP. Being a HUGE fan of the first two Mario & Luigi RPGs, I expect this game to be no less amusing. As for Little Big Planet for the PSP, my hopes for level creation were revived anew after that promotional event not too long ago, so the game is very much still in my radar.

Lastly, I've finally secured my copy of Ghostbusters: The Video Game. I can't resist the urge to throw down some ghosts with my very own proton pack, and this game is as close as I'll get.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Zero Punctuation special: Awards for 2009

A new resolution is to puntuate (Eh? Eh?) these Zero Punctuation posts with an actual image along with the video. Figured I should go the extra mile this year.

Anyways, this "Lazy Wednesday" brings Yahtzee in a rewards-like ceremony highlighting the gaming year of 2009 using the only arsenal in his possession - his wit.

NSFW, buddies, so enjoy! And if the movie is offset below, here's the direct link.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's Revolutions

It is now officially 4 days into the new "twenty ten" year. Have you put aside your New Year's resolutions in yet? Sure, there are the typical "I'll lose weight," "I'll be more organized," or "I'll get rid of debt" resolutions, but what about gaming resolutions? What about "I'm gonna finish that game," "I'll give multiplayer a shot," or "I'll get my wife to play a co-op game with me?"

Personally, not only am I making those my gaming resolutions, but I'll add "completing RPGs in a more timely manner" to my list. Atlus, I've got my eye on your games.

In addition to completing games, I'm also making a resolution to push out the harder difficulties in games, just for the added challenge. With well-structured AAA games like Batman: Arkham Asylum and Uncharted 2 giving more incentive to do multiple playthroughs, I really don't mind the extra time spent for the added challenge.

And finally, I resolve to post more frequently, and with more thought-provoking articles this new year, instead of just game acquirements, game conquers, and Zero Punctuation.

What are your gaming New Year's resolutions?