Saturday, December 31, 2011

Games Get! December in new games!

In an effort to quell my post counts before the year's end, here's a lump of new games acquired in the month of December.

ICO/Shadow of the Colossus Collection

These games are just pure living, interactive art.  For them to get the high-def treatment done right gives these aesthetic PS2 classics a prominent place amongst the triple-A titles currently on the PS3.  This is an absolute must-have on the Sony console.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 2011: Month in Review

This month of December has been quite a busy one, one where I haven't even had time to post anything on my blog for nearly the entire month.  But I guess the only thing I can blame is my PS3.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Extra-Life - Hour 13-24: Professor Layton and the Last Specter

Since I've already posted that I finished the game, I figured I'd use the last 12 hours to wrap up the remaining 12 hours of my Extra-Life gaming accumulation to Professor Layton and the Last Specter.  As difficult it is to believe, I've spent way more than 12 hours when trying to complete this game.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Uncharted 3: Collector's Edition arrives

A little late in posting this, but doing so before Thanksgiving wouldn't have mattered since my PS3 was still in the shop during that time.  But yes, I went for the Uncharted 3: Collector's Edition, with small statue figure, ring replica, and belt buckle.  I can't help it if I enjoy shiny things!

The figure itself is done well, with a loosely-draped attachments and gun.  It will go nicely with the mini statuette from Infamous 2.  Both the ring and belt buckle replicas are nicely made, and would've been perfect with any halloween or cosplay outing.

The game comes nicely adorned in a unique steelbook case, despite the minor flaw with its poorly-glued spine.  I'm gonna have to fix it one of these days, but not today.

All of this is in a nice displayable ornate case that is quite sturdily built.  It sits atop proudly on my fireplace mantle until GameritisGal (aka the wifey) wants it down.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving and PS3 Game Saves

Thanksgiving is a time of thanks and forgiveness, and is something I want to emphasize before I segway into the next topic: backing up your game saves.

The good news is that my PS3 system has been replaced.  The bad news?  My old PS3 hard drive can't be read with all my saves on it.  This is because Sony enables an encryption key that is unique between the hard drive and system such that, should the drive enter another system, it would be completely unreadable.

So now, I have a useless drive that can't be read by any device other than the original PS3, which was replaced.

I've certainly went through my "denial" stage, trying attempt after attempt to recover my old hard drive to no avail.  I've tried swapping the drive from the maintenance menu, I've tried to connect it to a windows or mac to access the files, and nothing.  I get nothing.

So that's it.  Gone are the hours spent in Disgaea leveling up weapons and items.  Lost are the unique levels I've spent days creating in Little Big Planet 2.  All the games I've only partially played through only to hope to finish at a later date...vanished.  I'm definitely wounded from the experience, but at this point there's nothing left to do but to get back up and start walking again.

Thankfully, I have a working PS3 system once more.  Thankfully, my progress still lives on in trophy achievements.  Thankfully, all my DLC is tied to my PSN account so that I can download them once more to my system.  Thankfully, I can return to playing the games I still yearn to play.  I don't have time to be stubborn, to waste time wishing I backed up files.  I've got games to play AND backup.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Super Mario Galaxy 2...completed!!

While my PS3 is in the shop, I'm left with my other consoles.  It's not like I have a shortage of games to play.  In fact, I went ahead and searched for the remaining stars left in Super Mario Galaxy 2.  I've forgotten how much harder it is to find these out-of-reach stars, made even harder by not having any clue where they are located.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

PS3 + Yellow Light = no Uncharted 3

As everyone is well aware, Uncharted 3 has finally released this day.  And, like everyone else, I've been eagerly awaiting this moment since the end of Uncharted 2.  Unfortunately for me, however, my PS3 decided to breathe its last breath this past weekend and go YLOD (or "yellow light of death") on me, effectively halting all Arkham City playing and future Uncharted 3 gameplay.

Professor Layton and the Last Specter...finished!

I'm typically not the type of person that would play any game series out of order, but I found exception with Professor Layton and the Last Specter.  Since the game plays as a prequel surrounding Professor Layton and Luke's first time meeting each other and with the first game (Curious Village) under my belt already, playing this latest game was logically sound.

Now that this is done, I'll have to dive into the Diabolical Box and Unwound Future soon.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Batman: Arkham City. 'Nuff said.

Batman: Arkham City has arrived.

Time to kick ass.

Professor Layton and the Last Specter poofs home

While the second and third game still eludes me, I thought it would be no harm in getting Professor Layton and the Last Specter, seeing that the game's story is a prequel to the events from the first game in the Curious Village.  In fact, I've forgotten how fun these puzzle games can keep me enthralled, so it was a welcome change of pace to focus on elaborate puzzles instead of my usual gaming menu of violence and destruction.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Extra-Life - Hour 12: Uncharted 3 Multiplayer

I think I'm probably the 5% remaining players online that is still below level 10 in experience in the Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Beta.  Every online match is a crapshoot with me; I either run to survive, or make meager kills while everyone else is doing superbly and resting comfortably on the level 35 cap.

I did, however, progressed one level to level 9 and am quite close to hitting double digits and reaching the goal I've set during the Extra Life marathon.  Will have to come back to this, however, when I don't feel so defeated.

Extra-Life - Hour 9-11: Big Bang Mini...finished!

I never thought I'd get caught up in any single game during the Extra Life hours, but Big Bang Mini is just so easy to switch on and engage.  Plus, most of the time I'm away from the TV, so my portables are the way to go.  But the extra 3 hours is all I needed to finish the game!

And what a journey to finish the game it was!  There was this one random time when the game actually went to this completely random "retro mode" where everything was all in 8-bit, then exited saying that it may never return again.  I've done some research and found it's a rare occurrence, and that it truly comes at random.

Still have more hours to clock out!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Gameritis Extra Life goal surpassed!! Gaming to still continue!!

Wow!!  I've only started my contribution 2 days ago in Extra Life with a goal of $100, something I wasn't sure I'd be able to achieve.  Well, not only did we reach the goal, but we surpassed it!  I clearly underestimated what could possibly be done in 2 days.  Imagine if I had started this earlier!  For certain, I'll be contributing to this next year, with an earlier setup and bigger goal.

All you gamers should be proud of yourselves!!  $123 will be going to the UC Davis Children's Hospital!  Thanks to all who donated!!

If you still haven't donated yet, there's still a little more than an hour left to contribute!!

Extra-Life - Hour 7-8: Disgaea 4

Thanks to Disgaea 4's lengthy level-up system with weapons, I've easily done another 2 hrs of upgrading my party stats.  At the average rate of half an hour to upgrade a weapon up 10-12 levels, I've successfully upgraded about 4 weapons during the 2 hours.

A third of the way there!

Extra-Life - Hour 6: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game

Quarter of the way so far, one dinner later, and Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game tops off the gaming stack so far.  I've capped the level for 3 of the 4 characters (not including Knives), so it's a good time right now to finish that off.  Was able to climb one more level before the hour mark, though.

Onto the next game!!

Extra-Life - Hour 4-5: Big Bang Mini

Gah, Big Bang Mini sucked me in again!  The levels are quick and fast, the gameplay dynamic and changing.

That, and the wife has the TV.  :/

Extra-Life - Hour 2-3: DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue

Spent the next 2 hours playing DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue, a game whose original I couldn't put down for a while.  Perhaps because there wasn't much change in the sequel did I eventually tire of those long swarms of enemies time and time again that made me stop playing for a while.  But the past 2 hours reminded me of the fun of discovery as I trekked through new terrain and fine-tuned my combat skills!

Gonna have to pace myself.  Moving on to the next game!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Extra-Life - Hour 1: Big Bang Mini

Probably one of the bigger sleeper hits on this portable, Big Bang Mini is a modified bullet-hell SHMUP on the DS that has clever gameplay and an upbeat soundtrack (which was free last year but sadly their site is now down).  Plus, it's a game I haven't touched in a while, which is why playing this game easily sunk my first hour into the Extra-Life 24-hr challenge.

Each section contains 9 levels, with the last level being the boss.  During this time, I finished up the final 7 levels and boss of section 3, and completely finished section 4.

After you make a donation, pick up this game.  There's no excuse not to.  Big Bang Mini is probably in many bargain bins everywhere for roughly $15, and the game is just crazy fun overall.  I might just finish the game after another couple of hours...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Saved a lot on that video game? Why not donate that to charity?

I've been donating to Extra Life for 2 years now, and I figured I should just jump in like everyone else.  Really, we're ALL gaming at one point or another, so why not do it for a good cause?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gamers unite! Donate to Extra Life and win fabulous raffle prizes!!

Let's face it, gamers nowadays are extremely frugal; we save money on any sale we can get, we buy used if necessary...heck, there's even a dedicated site for us cheap bastards.  Over the years, you've probably saved hundreds of dollars waiting for game prices to drop, price-matching incorrect ads, and finding the perfect combo to use that buy-two-get-one-free deal.

So there's no real excuse for not donating to a good cause, especially if it involves video games.

Monday, October 3, 2011

When cross-promotion goes bad...

Foot-longs and Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Beta

For a moment, let's ignore the debate of promotional tie-ins into non-related companies, and how product placement has nestled a place in video games.  What if I told you you can not only play Uncharted 3 multiplayer online, but you're able to transfer all your accumulated stats over to the game once it's released?  Cool, right?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Korg DS-10 Synthesizer Plus and playing non-games

Creating music is not an easy thing to do.  Not many people actively play with instruments or synthesizers to figure out what sounds good.  In the video gamer cliche, that number is even smaller.  So, to appeal to gamers a product that demands a full respect of the creative art of music compilation is a very hard sell.  Little Big Planet 2 was probably the most successful game to introduce a music sequencer that everyone was willing to try.  To a lesser extent was Electroplankton, giving DS owners the ability to remix familiar Nintendo sounds and songs.  To an even obscure extent, PSX owners had MTV's Music Generator to create their own beats.  And yes, I was one of the few that actually owned that.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Another classic on the 3DS...Star Fox 64

In a largely-stagnant library of 3DS games arrives Star Fox 64 3D, one of the great N64 classics in 3D form to the portable screen.  I knew since E3 that it was a game I was looking forward to, but it wasn't until I watched how polished the opening scene was that it was an instant buy in my book.

But this marks the second game I bought for the 3DS that was a remake.  And while the nostalgia is pleasant and warm, it's still a desperate cling to the past - of an age when games were still adventurous and daring, pushing past the envelope of potential.  Where's that risk now?  Where's that daring new game that will make people go "wow, I thought I was through with games...until now."

Oh well, back into my Arwing.

Child of Eden at a steal

In search for more uses for my Kinect, I've purchased Child of Eden for the Xbox 360, more recenly for a sudden sale at Best Buy that knocked the price 75% off.  From the same person that created Rez, Child of Eden is a rails shooter in first-person this time instead of third-person, with all the trippy and colorful polygons that defined its predecessor.

With the Kinect version, the ability to lock onto enemies and fire is integrated to their Kinect accessory.  I'm looking forward to interact with this kaleidoscope mindfuck.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

3DS Ambassador Program and 10 Free Games

If you were like me and was one of the early adopters of a Nintendo 3DS, you probably felt a little betrayed with the recent $80 price drop down to $169.99.  In an effort to not completely alienate people who bought their portables early, they initiated the 3DS Ambassador Program, which gives these people access to 20 free games - 10 NES games, and 10 SNES games - to download.  

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Disgaea 4 arrives...6 days early?

Perhaps it was because I placed my pre-order months ago, but on the same day that I conquered Disgaea 3, I receive a package in the mail.  I was aware, certainly, that my package had been already shipped, but I thought it would take a full week for the game to arrive on time by September 6th.  Lo and behold my surprise when I get Disgaea 4 a full 6 days early!

Disgaea 3...FINISHED!!

In following Gameritis tradition, I must deploy an individual page to commemorate this achievement.

I finished Disgaea 3!!

"Days until Disgaea 4" challenge Milestone - Day 7 - Disgaea 3...FINISHED!!

In preparation for the 5-6 attempt at the second-to-last level, I decided to spend the extra 10 minutes leveling up a powerful axe up 20 levels for my axe-wielding character.  In the end, I ended up practically doubling his 1000-point Attack stat to over 2000, making him stupidly powerful compared to everyone else.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gameritis, v2.5

It's been almost 5 years since I started this Gameritis blog. What started as a way to monitor what games I've finished as I finish them has become an outlet for my inner gamer. Whether or not this blog is read or not, having one puts a written perspective upon myself and my "affliction." Which is why I've decided to make a few new changes to the site!

Monday, August 29, 2011

"Days until Disgaea 4" progress - Day 4 - Not all trophies earn bragging rights

In the past 3 days, I've spent whatever free time I had to buffing my party's current weapons in Disgaea 3, which required vast trips into the Item World.  For all you non-Disgaea players out there, gamers have the potential to upgrade any item in the game by parsing through the Item World and conquering the random dungeons generated inside. Every dungeon you successfully pass is another level upgrade for your weapon.

Friday, August 26, 2011

"Days until Disgaea 4" progress - Day 1 - Surprises and Sacrifices

I've managed to successfully finish off the last 2 levels of Chapter 7 in Disgaea 3 last night, giving me a lot more confidence in my party of mishmash characters.  I don't know what's the average number of characters players create, but since we're only given a limit of 10 characters per map, my party is not much more than that.  In fact, only about 8 of the characters in my party are custom made.  The rest were characters that joined on their own.  But for such a small group of character to select from, I'm doing surprisingly well.  Aside from the typical main characters, this is what I have:

  • 1 fist brawler (m)
  • 1 axe fighter (m)
  • 3 mages - fire, ice, and wind (f)
  • 1 archer healer (f)
  • 1 shooter thief (f)
  • 1 spear fighter (f)

In the upcoming battles, however, I may need more magic users, so I may spend some time doubling up on fire, ice, and wind characters.  Another healer would be good, too.  Then I can buff up the rest of my party to have more health.  Currently, my mages, healer, and thief all are less than 1000 health, which can't withstand even one skilled attack from enemies.

The one thing I'm learning to accept during this challenge is the fact that not all my characters will survive in the end.  In my early days of playing a Disgaea game, I've tried my best to keep everyone alive, so that everyone got a chance to survive and level up; if anyone died at any point, I would reset the game and start the level all over.  As you can imagine, I never got very far because of this.  But realistically, I could've probably finished the levels even with the sacrificed characters.

A good example is in the last level of Chapter 7.  Due to storyline aspects, I was already short one player, but I had Mao (the main character) still.  Halfway during the battle, Mao took a fatal blow due to a misjudgement in the enemy's attack, leaving me slightly upset.  However, I still had the upper hand in allies and attacks, so I did the best with the remaining people I had left.  The lesson here?  Party members dying is not the end of the world...unless it's part of the story.

I can't believe I'm very close more chapter to go!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The "Days until Disgaea 4" self-imposed challenge.

So Disgaea 4 is coming September 6th.  And yes, I've made my pre-order for it already.  And no, I have not finished any of the previous Disgaea games prior to it.  But in the days before it's released, I hope to change that.

From today until Disgaea 4's release is about 13 days.  So I've challenged myself to complete Disgaea 3 at least once before the game comes out.

I'm already making some progress, on the second-to-last chapter right after the 4th level.  I have roughly 6 more levels to go before I reach the end, but each requires me to consistantly power myself up more and more.  Even with assistance from the official strategy guide, Disgaea 3 is just a wealth of micro-management to digest.

To sweeten the deal, I've foolishly purchased some discounted DLC for the game as well as incentive.  The thing with this DLC is that it's only unlocked after you finish the game once - which means my purchase would be in vain if I never complete the game.

I'll try to post some day-by-day progress, all leading up to Disgaea 4!

Shadow Complex...finished?

I didn't expect to finish Shadow Complex this fast.  The ending came suddenly, and felt a little anti-climatic.  And after 6.5 hours, the game felt like it should have had a bit more meat on its bones.  But aside from that, the game is quite the Metroid clone, except your protagonist has a penis.

While enemies respawn in places after you progressed far enough, there doesn't seem to be much replay other than scouring the map to find all the places you didn't explore before.  And with my character at level 17 (out of a potential 50) and armed to the teeth with 90% of my armor, the only things that can cause lethal harm are the environment dangers of electrified water, lasers, and thermal ovens.

Even with the training missions, Shadow Complex feels a bit shallow in content.  I'd probably have to start a new game all over just to feel the full enjoyment of the game.

Overall, get the game for a quick Metroid-platformer fix.  If you crave some more, look elsewhere.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rez HD added in continuing quest for Xbox-only titles

I realize the title above is not entirely true, seeing that Rez HD started on the Dreamcast and migrated to the PS2 before making the virtual jump to XBLA.  Unfortunately, I've never had the pleasure to experience this game in its previous iterations until now.

The game plays like your typical on-rails shooter, where you're on a fixed path taking out enemies as they fly past.  You play a small program in a human-like shape, trying to infiltrate the main system.  You have the simple abilities to lock on to targets to take down multiple enemies at once, and you can deploy bombs for a quick area kill.

What makes the game a greater thrill for me especially is the game's presentation.  Similar to watching commands on a command prompt screen like linux or dos, your actions are listed like executed programs to the upper left corner of the screen, detailing all actions done.  If you lock onto enemies, it says so.  It also details when you fire, when you bomb, and when you take damage.

Leveling up your character is not only a nice visual upgrade, but it also increases the number of hits you take and the number of lock-ons you can perform.  But the task to do so requires you to collect 8 health icons just to progress to the next level, yet it takes only one hit from an enemy to bump you down a notch.

The challenge factor of the game is a little unbalanced, with conditions fluctuating from fairly simple to extremely difficult, but the game's short enough for you to keep trying again and again.  Plus, the programmer in me geeks over the "lines of code" that appear in the upper left.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Shadow Complex, to fulfill my "Metroid-vania" urges

In a focused effort to only grab the "creme de la creme" of Xbox exclusive titles, I've downloaded Shadow Complex (1200 Microsoft points) on XBLA.  With a very familiar map system and level-up stats, it's no secret how the game gets its "Metroid-vania" label.  What sets the game apart is its clever use of camera angles and detailed backdrops that make the experience more than a platforming romp through static level design.

After playing a lot of Dead Nation these past few weeks, the gameplay in Shadow Complex came almost naturally.  You move with the left analog stick, while aiming your gun's laser sight with the right analog.  And not only do you have free-angle aiming of your gun, you can take out enemies in the background thanks to the depths of certain rooms.  In one, you'll have guards running towards you from the background, and your laser sights (when aimed properly) will aim straight into the background, allowing you to gun them as they come towards the screen.

The playful use of different camera angles also keep the game's story fresh and lively, and reminds us how Shadow Complex is much more than your typical platformer.  Most of the time it emphasizes the level's scope and depth, and sometimes it's there to assist for hard-to-see angles.  And sometimes it gives you a front seat on a hot turrent gun ready to take out a group of unlucky soldiers.

The game's item-upgrading system is practically in parallel with Metroid with the progressive gun upgrades and gradual increase of grenade inventory.  And the level-up system improves your character stats over time, increasing things like precision and stamina.

Shadow Complex is a good mix of old gameplay style with a new graphics look, and will tickle the "Metroid" and "Castlevania" bones in veteran gamers.

Fruit Ninja Kinect slices its way home

My wife, GameritisGal, is half the instigator for me acquiring the new Xbox 360 console with Kinect, really wanting to play more Dance Central at home.  Which is fine.  When I told her that Fruit Ninja was coming for the Kinect, however, she became quite obsessive on when the game's coming out.  I'm glad that it came out today, which is selling for 800 Microsoft points - $10 to us nickel-and-dime people.

Compared to the $0.99 and $2.99 prices on the iPhone and iPad respectively, Fruit Ninja Kinect is hoping to bank much of the increased price on the fact that you don't need to smear smudges on a screen to slice strawberries.  With a flail of the arms, you too can be a ninja, slicing imaginary fruit!

Here's hoping GameritisGal doesn't knock my block off.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gamer Fanboyism, and why there's no place for it now

Fanboy - it's a stereotype that has grossly evolved over the years, dividing gamers into compacted factions of "this is better than that" all across the board.  Whether it's console vs console, console vs PC, company vs company, genre vs genre, or game vs game, it's an ugly war that rages between all gamers.  Any marketing executive would argue that fanboyism, positive or negative, is still publicity in their eyes.  But, is our verbal hatred toward the lesser party denying us of quality games?  When does gamer pride turn to gamer ignorance? 

"Nintendo is for kids."  "Xbox is for hardcore gamers."  "What's good on the PS3?"  All these remarks are used on a daily basis, like a stick poking a hornet's nest, yet few are ever supported well.  Why is that?  Simple - they are short and abstract, two things that forums and comments thrive on for heated fanboyism discussions on the internet.  But even the opinions one uses to support these claims are fallacious because they're just that - opinions.  Someone out there just hates seeing lots of games geared for children on Nintendo, or sees that there are only Halo and Gears of War players on Xbox, or that they can't find something of interest at all on a PS3.  Someone just finds one thing that they do not like about something, and then throws out their opinions out there as if speaking for the greater good.

But why all the hate?  If you don't want to have nothing to do with something, then just leave it alone.  Just because it does not bring you enjoyment and satisfaction doesn't mean you need to project that feeling to others to "help them not make a bad choice."  There are plenty of good games around, and some of them are exclusive to certain devices.  Is it that hard to be an unbiased gamer and play games simply because they're good?

"Nintendo is for kids." - Try playing Eternal Darkness.  Sure, it came out for GameCube, but you can play it on the Wii.  A story well-told through the heroine's generations, Eternal Darkness is most certainly dark and bloody, and its insanity effects will have you practically question your own.  Another good game is Epic Mickey, with its dark undertones of an alternate Disneyland.

"Xbox is for hardcore gamers." - Don't like FPSs?  Try out something like Shadow Complex for "Metroid-vania" style gameplay.  Or play Dance Central on the Kinect and get your groove thang going.  And then there's Fruit Ninja coming for the Kinect this Wednesday.

"What's good on the PS3?" - If you're an SRPG fanatic, you can try your hand on Disgaea 3.  Or maybe some good ol' platformers like the Ratchet and Clank or Sly Cooper series.  Or if you like action, there's Uncharted 2 (with the sequel coming out in November).

There are good games all around, and if you're a true gamer, you can find a good game anywhere, on any platform.  It shouldn't matter what system it's on, or where it's from.  If you enjoy a game, then what's stopping you from playing it?  Someone else's opinion?  Please...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Xbox 360, Dance Central, and GameritisGal

I've acquired an Xbox 360 with Kinect and Dance Central over the weekend, completing the trifecta of gaming consoles in the household.  And while I performed the initial setup and got the system going, it was my wife, GameritisGal, that started right on Dance Central.  I'm happy and glad that she's all into it, but it's a bit weird to have someone else in the house looking forward to games as much as I do.

And she's definitely looking forward to Fruit Ninja Kinect when it comes out Wednesday.

So, now that I have an Xbox 360 now, can anyone suggest any exclusive games on it besides Gears of War and Halo?

Limbo downloaded...and finished!! (Already?)

I just purchased Limbo for the PSN over the weekend...and finished it a day later.

That's not to say that the game isn't good at all; it's very stylish and dark, and the gameplay is simple and uncluttered.  The $15 price tag, however, left me feeling like I slightly overpaid for the experience. 

There's still a few more rounds of replay in the game, but they'll only be for earning other trophies and showing off the gruesome deaths to others.

I recommend this game.  I'd recommend it more if you can find it for sale.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Feeling charitable? Humble Indie Bundle #3 is here for you!

What better way to donate to charity than to get some awesome games for the act?  Humble Indie Bundle #3 is set to do just that with its latest bundle of games.  In the bundle you get:

Also, they threw in a sixth game, Steel Storm!  Not enough?  Well, for your donation, they'll throw in the previous Humble Indie Bundle #2 as well, which includes:

And might as well throw in the ability to play Minecraft for free until August 14th, when this bundle is over.

While you'll get Bundle #3 for any donation you wish to donate (whether it's $0.01 or $100.00), you'll only score Bundle #2 if you pay more than the average, which is just a little more than $5 at the moment.  And you have control over how you want your donation to be distributed - to just developers, just charity, or an even distribution to all parties.

But you really can't go wrong with getting games for donations.  And some pretty nice games, from the looks of the lineup.

Needless to say, I've made my contribution and will be heavily enjoying these games soon enough!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tales of Monkey Island...finished!

I believe a quarter of my developed wit came from the clever wit-involved sword fights in Monkey Island.  I'm not talking about the Tales of Monkey Island episodic games, but from its earlier predecessors.  To take something active like swordplay and convert it to a still-engaging thinking man's game is no small task, and is ultimately one of the many references that defined the series up until now.

Monkey Island games reward clever players with a hilarious take on the pirate life, and Tales of Monkey Island is no exception.  The five-episode series does a great job reminding us of what makes a Monkey Island game memorable, and the wit here is as sharp as ever.  If you're a fan, you owe it to yourself to at least give the game a try.

Frankly, I want to see more of these point-and-click adventures.  They certainly hold a special place in my gamer heart.

Back to the Future: The Game...finished!!

I'm such a fan of the Back to the Future trilogy.  It's something I don't mind watching over and over, and I find much more enjoyment every time I do.  So there was some reservation when the Back to the Future: The Game episodes came from Telltale Games, despite the acquirement of Christopher Lloyd reprising his role and an almost-vocal equivalent to Marty McFly by A.J. Locascio.  It wasn't until I heard that Michael J. Fox was lending his voice to the final episode that I actually bought the bundle and had a look for myself.

This wasn't my first Telltale game.  In fact, I downloaded the Tales of Monkey Island episodes before this and completed those as well, (What?  I didn't post that?  I'm ashamed!) so it's not my first dip into the Telltale pool.  And after playing through two seasons of two different games, I'm very pleased with Telltale's work.  It's something when the game gives you a lasting impression, but it's another when it makes you want to relive those moments again, and both games (especially BttF:TG) make me want to play through them again.

Personally, I found the new storyline to the original series a welcome addition to the plot, and I hope to see a second season from them if it's ever possible!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dead Nation...finished!

My wife asked me why I enjoy playing horror games yet never like to watch them.  I told her that with a game, I have control on when I die; with a movie, I'm invested in character to whom I don't know whether they will live or die.  I hate surprises, but I like it when I have somewhat control over them.

Anyways, I finished Dead Nation, the other free game from Sony after their online downtime.  I'm quite pleased with the game, and it definitely warrants more playthroughs, much like the other free game InFamous I downloaded as well.  The game becomes equally as hectic when you play co-op, which I highly suggest you do with this game.  Nothing like yelling to your friend to cover your back as you get flanked from both sides with hoards of zombies.

Friday, July 8, 2011

InFamous 2...finished! (as good guy)

A sandbox title should keep you playing "in" the sandbox for as long as you want, with no concern for time or urgency.  InFamous 2 does a great job doing this in all their side missions, shard-collecting treks, and random city navigation.  If I didn't want to do a story-based mission, I can hit up a side mission.  If I don't want to do a side mission, I can randomly collect shards or find dead drops.  If I don't want to do that, I just enjoyed myself surfing around the city.

If there's one thing I'd add, is that the shard sense should've expanded to the dead drops as well.  I wouldn't never considered the last dead drop location I had left in the location that it was in.

There's still the joy of being evil in InFamous 2 to complete, but I'll do that once I finish being evil in the first InFamous.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The trials and tribulations of playing online...and enjoying it.

So after a few rounds of the Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Beta, I realized something that wasn't new to me at all - that I'm a good online player.  Not good as in "headshot from 200 meters away," but good in staying in an online match and playing it.

I'm one of those players that don't care whether or not a game has online features, who is quite content killing the computer AI whose sole intent is to fall by your hand.  I'm used to being good in games and completing them, walking out from explosions without turning back and looking like a bad ass.  Online, however, I'm as good as dead.  Nothing happens the way you plan it, and your most elaborate kills turn out to be shooting the final bullet at someone else's target's barrage of bullets.

But I still consider myself a good online player.  Despite shooting like a blind man, I still rank up - maybe not as fast as the skilled players out there, but I get my kills every now and then.  And while I don't enjoy seeing my body crumple down like a paper doll, I don't get aggro or go into a verbal rampage.  And I try to stay through from match to match just to show that I'm not a quitter; that to quit a game mid-match is worse than being a sore loser.

And while eventually all the weaker players get weeded out and people are more confident in kicking out lesser players from their team deathmatch games, I will still be adamant in sticking around.  I shall forever play by Amy Hennig's motto - to "not take [playing online] so fucking seriously."  Thank you again, Amy, for understanding hesitant online gamers like me.