Thursday, 27 March 2014

Game Diary: 26/03/2014-27/03/2014

Cardfighters' Clash: SNK vs Capcom (Neo Geo Pocket)
I've been playing this mostly for the last two days, I have a thing for card games so this was a no brainier for me. There are two versions of Cardfighters' Clash, I have the SNK version so I started the game with an SNK deck and have to win all my Capcom cards. Cardfighters' Clash isn't a particularly deep card game but it is absorbing once you get into it, there is something fun about card games like this, it is very basic and the cards reflect that, you can have up to 3 of any card in your deck and when you consider the abilities of some cards you quickly realise that the card game can easily be broken if you get the right cards (a lot of card games have this problem in their early phase). In that sense Cardfighters' is like an RPG, you keep having matches and with each one you win you improve a little. If there is one thing that I think is a huge shame it is that the card game was never adapted into a real life card game because something like Capcom vs SNK would have had some legs as a card game, in my opinion anyway. Also there was a sequel with all new cards and mechanics but it was Japan only, what a shame.

Fatal Fury First Contact (Neo Geo Pocket)
I play tested this more than anything, I'm not really that big on Fatal Fury, I love Garou: mark of the Wolves but that is an entirely different beast to the rest of the Fatal Fury games. This is okay I guess, it isn't as good as King of Fighters R-2, or The Last Balde, or Samurai Shodown II but it is still a decent fighting game.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Game Diary: 24/03/2014-25/03/2014

Guilty Gear X (PS2)
So after a few failed ebay attempts I finally got a copy of Guilty Gear X and was bitterly disappointed when I discovered this PS2 version had no 60hz mode. Guilty Gear was not designed for 50hz, the game becomes far too slow to be played as it was intended to be played, the fast, hectic pace of Guilty Gear is what makes it so fun to play. The PAL version of X is still playable but this is something you'll want to import either on Dreamcast or on PS2 if you have some magic on hand.

Guilty Gear X2 (PS2)
I picked this up a while back too, now I have the vanilla version of X2 to go along with my PC version of #reload. This is a good version, a very good version, has a 60hz mode, the game plays in the correct aspect ratio (my PC monitor doesn't support 4:3 because it's cheap), it's what a Guilty Gear game is suppose to be like. I think one of the things that prompted me to get this was seeing how different the original version of Robo-Ky was to the one we have now. The original Robo-Ky was a re-skin of Ky Kiske who used his ex moveset and had a different standing and walking animation. As far as I am aware he isn't playable, not at first anyway. I love the theme for Robo-Ky in X2, it's just a fucked up version of Ky Kiske's theme, this theme was later dropped in #reload when Robo-Ky became a unique character.

Puzzle Bobble Mini (Neo Geo Pocket)
My Neo Geo Pocket finally arrived and the guy who sold it to me included a boxed copy of Puzzle Bobble Mini which is quite frankly an amazing act of generosity. Puzzle Bobble Mini is pretty damn good, it's no different to any other version of Puzzle Bobble aka Bust-A-Move but why would you want it to be. It's a fun pick up and play title that's for sure.

King of Fighters R-2 (Neo Geo Pocket)
This was a favourite last time I owned a Neo Geo Pocket, it's one of the more common games on the system but it is still incredibly fun and is good for showing off the control stick, I personally think the Neo Geo Pocket Color did fighting game controls better than any other handheld. KoF R-2 is pretty damn easy and can be beaten fairly quickly but at the end of the day the game is clearly a time killer, and a good one at that.

Puzzle Link 2 (Neo Geo Pocket)
I bought this on a whim because there wan't any other cheap games available at the time (all the ebay shops have restocked since). This is a pretty decent puzzle game, it's completely different to any other puzzle game I've played which is nice because they can't all be about blocks and balls. I haven't played this one much so i can't say much about it right now.

Another Code: Two Memories (DS)
I played this years ago but didn't get very far, I've started it again and haven't gotten very far. I'm quite eager to play Another Code this time around because I've always liked Cing's games, Hotle Dusk, Last Window and Little Kings Story are all great titles. It's funny, I own every Cing title except for Glass Rose on PS2, maybe I'll look into getting that one soon.

Lumines Plus (PS2)
This fucking game. I absolutely fucking love Lumines, I love it's music anyway. When I used to have a PSP this was ion my opinion one of the systems better games, alas I do not own a PSP anymore, how would I play Lumines without a PSP? Turns out Lumines Plus on PS2 is the exact same game. I actually like the game better on PSP, Lumines is not a game you play in short bursts nor would you want to on a PSP (you'll get hand cramp). Lumines has one big difference over other puzzle games, it isn't designed to be played for five minutes, when you play Lumines you sit down and keep playing until you game over, then you start again. Lumines is a game that takes a lot of skill and focus to play so you end up putting 100% of your focus into the game and seeing how far you can go, the further you go in the game the more stage skins (and songs) you unlock, it is an incredibly rewarding system that gives the game a sense of progression, once you get good at it you can make a single session on the game last half an hour or more and even if you spend 30 minutes getting to level 50 only to die you'll still want to start over and go through it all over again. That is the sign of a great game.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Game Diary: 20/03/2014-23/03/2014

Super Smash Bros Melee (Gamecube)
Nothing to say other than playing competitively so much really makes you feel the difference when you turn on items and start playing as characters you wouldn't normally play as. Competitive Melee is fun but every now and then it is nice you have a stupid match like Pokeball's only or a Jigglypuff 4-way where you can only use the rest attack.

Burnout 2: Point of Impact (Gamecube)
I'm slowly pushing through this, winning cups on sitting at a time. I'm not looking forward to doing them all again to unlock the challenges I missed out on the first time.

Sniper Elite (Wii)
Sniper Elite on Wii is nothing more than a shoddy port of a mediocre 2005 PC game, the game controls like ass and it takes some time to adjust. Each mission is taking me on average 40 minutes to an hour because I don't know what I'm doing, the controls aren't made very clear in the games instructions, it doesn't help that all the tutorial videos the game shows you at the start are from the PC version. I'd hate to think what this would have been like had it been played with the Wii Zapper as intended.

Pangya! Golf with Style (Wii)
I played on this while I was waiting for something to download on my PC. A lot of people scoff at this stuff but I really enjoy some of those casual play Wii games, they all get put together as cheap budget game rubbish but there are some great casual games on Wii and this is one of those said games. I've already spoke about how the sequel betters this in every way but it is still great fun.

Trauma Center: Under the Kinfe (DS)
Playing through the same stages as in Second Opinion make me realise how much the gameplay has been refined between each Trauma Center game, it isn't that Under the Kinfe has aged badly but everything was done a lot better in the later games. I find some simple things to be bothersome to do in under the knife, some times the game won't count a stitching even though you clearly stitched over the cut.

Tetris DS (DS)
I finally did it, I finally beat all 20 levels of a Tetris game, I don't know what made me play so well all of a sudden but my screen was hardly full when I completed the final line. This is my favourite version of Tetris by far and it is a shame that it won't be playable online anymore come the end of May (not that I can play online with my DS Original).

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Game Diary: 17/03/2014-19/03/2014

Super Smash Bros Melee (Gamecube)
I don't really want to talk about this much anymore, I've played it a bit, I'm still getting better, I won a match against a person I couldn't beat previously and I didn't get picked to represent the University at the game because I never attended any trials because I was too obsessed with playing Guilty Gear.

Animal Crossing (Gamecube)
It's been a while but I finally gave this a play, nothing has changed in the weeks I've been away, there are lots of weeds and one of the towns people left but I don't feel like I've missed anything at all. I guess taking a break from the game was good for me as now I feel like I can play it when I feel like playing it.

Trauma Center: Second Opinion (Wii)
I'm pretty much done with this for the time being. I've moved onto something that is better in every way.

Trauma Center: New Blood (Wii)
I started this, I finished this. When I encounter a game I have never played before and get into it I end up feeling really good, I never wanted to stop playing this game. The game is a huge improvement over previous Trauma Center games, the game is a lot faster, the story has much better pacing, the gameplay has more variety and a lot of things that were annoying or frustrating in the previous games (getting a miss for putting objects back on the trey) have been removed. What puzzles me then is all the negative reviews for this game that criticise it for being too difficult and frustrating, maybe it's just because I played this coming off Second Opinion but I didn't find New Blood particularly difficult, I'll admit the early levels were clearly more complex than those in Under the Knife and Second Opinion but it wasn't a difficulty spike by any means.

Trauma Center: Under the Knife (DS)
Playing the above games made me want to go back and try the original DS game again as I never completed it when I played it years ago. It's weird, I never thought I'd find the wii controls better than the DS for a game like this, I don't think it is a case of Wii controls being better than the DS touch screen. Under the Knife was the first Trauma Center game and it shows, there are so many small differences in the gameplay that I'm glad were removed or refined in later games, for example in Under the Knife you have to suck up liquids manually which makes draining fluids harder because you cannot move the drain, the syringe also has to be filled manually every time you use it, there are other differences like this too and I'm glad they were dropped from all future games (I can't remember if they returned in Under the Kinfe 2, I hope not).

Metroid Prime Pinball (DS)
I'm glad to have this again, I hardly get to ever play it but I really like pinball, I know there are lots of pinball games like Pinball FX but I've just never been interested in it, games like Metroid Prime Pinball, Pokemon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire and Devil Crush though I'm quite fond of.
My copy came with the DS Rumble Pack and I always forget how useless these things are, they have such a weak rumble that you might as well tape a vibrator to your DS for all the good it does.
Metroid Prime Pinball is a pretty good take on the pinball format, it has a lot of the things I like, lots of metal bits, loud noises, gameplay that becomes rewarding as you get better, it has its gimmicky bits but I don't mind them because it gives you a quick break from juggling balls around the board. It isn't a ground breaking pinball game or anything but it does everything right as far as I am concerned, multiball never gets boring.

Go Go Cosmo Cops (DS)
So this is a game I bought despite never having heard of it and not having any information to go on. I more or less bought this because of the box art, namely the bit that says Namco. I'm kind of into Namco games, mainly their earlier stuff. I don't know why I went and bought this, I think I just wanted something new and different.
Anyway this game is actually decent, it reminds me of those DK King of Swing games Nintendo Made years ago. I haven't played very far into this but it seems very arcade like in its design, like the game took one idea and just ran with it to see how far it can be taken. Interestingly this game according to Wikipedia is a European exclusive, Japan didn't even get this (it was cancelled). 

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Game Diary: 15/03/2014-16/03/2014

I've realised something, I haven't played Animal Crossing in a while, my town must be in a sate by now. Playing video games have been painful this past week because I've had really bad skin chapping on my hands and just when I've healed one bleeding split another appears. My thumb feels like it's been sand papered and I'm having to type with my middle fingers because the tips of my index fingers are all dried up and hurting.

Super Smash Bros Melee (Gamecube)
It's Sunday so the video game league did their Sunday sessions, I decided I'd treat everyone to cooked cheesy nachos but the bastards were 15 minutes late so the nachos went cold and in the end I had to eat them all on my own.
Anyway I did a hell of a lot better today than I did on Wednesday and in many ways I have redeemed myself, I'm making less mistakes and I've learned to beat the people I was struggling with previously. The group of people who I play Smash with are all starting to show improvement which is great because the more they improve the more I can improve.
Smash Bros is out for Wii U and 3DS at the end of the year but to be honest I have doubts about it, I can see it easily being like Brawl where the game speed has been reduced and the random elements have increased, Nintendo don't want to make competitive games they want to make "fun" games even though the design of games like Melee worked because it was a good game competitively and casually.

Trauma Center: Second Opinion (Wii)
I beat this after getting hooked and playing it non-stop for 3 hours. It's weird when this originally came out years ago I thought it was an incredibly difficult game but now I manage with it, I guess as I have gotten older I've become better at using the Wii controls. I really like the challenge in this game, it's the best kind of challenge where you know you are being pushed but at the same time know you can handle what is being thrown at you. I could easily move onto Trauma Center: New Blood right now but I want to keep playing this for a bit longer, I beat the game on easy now I'm trying to do the same on normal, I still have 7 missions left to finish but they are extreme difficulty levels, they are harder than any of the previous levels when played on hard mode, or they are supposed to be anyway.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Game Diary: 11/03/2014-14/03/2014

I've had a busy week, finally saw the dentist, the good news is I do not have to have a root canal... yet... I'm on a new filling for 6 weeks to see if I'll need a root canal or just a new permanent filling. Anyway video games.

Super Smash Bros Melee (Gamecube)
I played this at the Gaming League on Wednesday, after my play on Sunday the League wants me to represent the University at Melee when they do their vs event with another University at the end of the month. I played poorly, I can't even hold all the shame after Wednesday, I did okay playing teams but there is one guy there who plays Shiek and he is basically better than me from what I figured, maybe I'd edge him in a one-on-one. Anyway I got some people together and we did a 5v5 crew battle and we got wrecked. For those who don't know a crews battle is when you get 2 teams of people and have them put their stocks together, at the end of  each match the loser stops player and is replaced by the next member of their team, if the winner lose any lives in the previous match they have to suicide until they have the same number of lives as at the end of the last match.
Anyway my crew lost and the other team had 2 guys left, a lot of us made mistakes in our games, I went into the last game with a live advantage but the guy still beat me, I could make all sorts of excuses but it is simple as me not knowing how to take on Donkey Kong with Captain Falcon. Captain Falcon only has close range attacks, Donkey Kong has powerful close range attacks that can be charged, I'm quite aggressive when I play, the other guy played defense and camped under platforms so I could not approach without risking a Donkey Kong punch.
Since Wednesday I've been trying to improve my play so that doesn't happen again. I forgot to mention but I overcame some things before the Wednesday session, while I was visiting home I beat All Star on one life and beat Event 51 by using Jigglypuff's critical hit move over and over, turns out he's the character you are suppose to use for it. Now I have all the stages and all the characters.

Trauma Center: Second Opinion (Wii)
The difficulty is starting to settle in, all I will say is bomb disarming is super hard, it's just one big puzzle and you will always get stuck on the same bit for several minutes, I hate it man.
I'm better at the game than I used to be, the missions I used to fail at constantly are much easier for me now, swings and roundabouts. I forgot how much I really liked the writing in this game, Atlus games always seem to have decent character writing.

Super Swing Golf (Wii)
I can't think of anything to expand on since I last played it because I've only played 6 holes since the last update.

Pangya! Golf with Style (Wii)
I picked this up after reading up on how Super Swing was the sequel. They really didn't change much between the two games, like they are the same game near enough, same graphics, same engine, same levels, same motion detection, it isn't a big difference between the original and the sequel. The sequel does have some clear improvements, it has more content and modes, the controls are better, you can do things with the d-pad that the original demanded you did with motion controls and unlike the original the sequel tells you if your shots are straight or off aim and curving.
I like both versions to be honest but the sequel is better in every way on the principle of having come out later, it's as simple as that.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Game Diary: 04/03/2014-10/03/2014

Super Smash Bros Melee (Gamecube)
So I watched The Smash Brothers on Youtube last week, if you haven't seen it you should totally find the time to watch it, it is one of the best video game documentaries I have ever seen (and I consider myself a documentary fan). Anyway watching the Smash Brothers has caused a awakening in me, the last couple of weeks I've been pretty anti-social when it comes to games, all I've really done is play Guilty Gear and a bunch of other games that no one else is interested in. I spent most of the weekend just past  playing Melee and unlocking content. All-Star mode is giving me far more trouble than I would like to admit, I'm going to blame the game spawning items, many of which are capsules that contain explosives instead of items, I've been killed by those things so many times that I reckon I'd beat All-Star mode easily on one life if there were no items at all besides the hearts you have between stages. As difficult as All-Star mode is it has nothing on Event 51, Event 51 is one of the most one-sided boss fights in any games ever, you vs. a team of Giga Bowser, Mewtwo and Gannodorf, a team of characters who have their AI set to counter everything you do, oddly enough I can kill Giga Bowser easy because he is such a big target, Mewtwo and Gannondorf are the real problem characters because they are covered by Giga Bowsers bulk while countering all of your attacks, I still haven't beaten it and I cannot get the Final Destination stage until I do so.
I played Smash mutliplayer on Sunday with some people from the Gaming league, it might just be the hours I spent on Friday and Saturday playing the game but I absolutely wrecked them at the game, well okay I'm not so hot at free for all matches where it is 4 players because I never taken them seriously but when it comes to 1v1 and teams I am absolutely on fire, I suppose it helps it was under the terms that suit me best as a player, items off, friendly fire on, stocks, certain stages banned, the competitive play style suits me quite well. I'm not saying I'm good at Smash I'm just a lot better than the 5 people I played it with on Sunday, that said I am slightly envious of the guy who knows how to Wave Dash and Dash Dance, I need to learn how to do those, I compensate a lot with my Air Smash skill, most of my kills come from Captain Falcon Knees and forward jumping Falcon Punches.
Anyway Smash Bros, not much needs to be said about Melee as everyone knows it is good.

Guilty Gear X2 # Reload (PC)
I said I wouldn't be playing this again for a while but I've been playing it, how about that. Playing this again has made the differences between this and Accent Core really apparent. So it turns out this has a anime trailer to Guilty Gear X in the Gallery. I just want to talk about this animated Guilty Gear X trailer, I do not know if there is a fully animated Guilty Gear X trailer or if this was a one off but I have to say, the animation is cool, the English voice dubbing is absolutely fucking atrocious, I can't even do it justice in words it's just awful, Legend of the Overfiend had better dubbing than  this Guilty Gear X trailer and Legend of the Overfiend was a creepy ass animated horror/porn film from the 80s.

Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus (Wii)
I haven't played the arcade mode much on this since I got it, instead I've been going through the story mode with different characters. When you think about it Ky Kiske's canonical ending is kind of bothersome when you think about it, so spoiler warning right here, in Guilty Gear 2: Overture (which I have never played) Ky kiske has a son called Sin Kiske, it is revealed that Sin is the Son of Ky and Dizzy. In Accent Core Plus Ky Kiske's story ends with him getting into a sexual relationship with Dizzy, who is a Commander Gear (gears are  man-made humanoid bio weapons with Dizzy being the daughter of Justice, the previous Commander Gear), in Guilty Gear XX Dizzy is 3 years old but has the body of a young woman because of rapid aging. Now I know what the context is but no matter how you spin it Ky Kiske fucked a 3 year old girl. I never thought I'd play a game containing a scenario where having sex with a 3 year old wasn't technically wrong.

Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)
I haven't touched this in ages because I was stuck on a boss, fought boss again, he wrecked me, I must grind harder. I like Xenoblade but oh man do you need to grind a lot in this game and do a tonne quests to get better items, I'm a good 35 hours into Xenoblade, when it grabs you it is an amazing game to play and I am so happy I was lucky enough to get this for cheap before it become really expensive.

Burnout 2: Point of Impact (Gamecube)
Nothing to say here, went back and replayed some of the cups because I didn't win all the races previously, just content unlocks really. I have Burnout 3 on PS2 now so when this is finished I'll be moving onto that.

Trauma Center: Second Opinion (Wii)
So I came into some money recently, I won't say where I got it but I can assure you it was totally legit and there was nothing dodgy involved, either way I went out over the weekend and bought 40 games so you'll probably start to see something different on here as the weeks go on.
Trauma Center is a series that years ago represented one thing for me, total frustration, the Trauma Center games are really hard, they're really, really hard. I like these games both on DS and Wii but they are really hard! I have to be honest I like Trauma Center though, I think the the Trauma Center games were a bit understood by many people at the time, they were in many ways made out to be Surgery Simulators when they were in fact action games all along, I compare them to he Ace Attorney games in this aspect, take a profession that sounds exciting but is actually a bit mundane and make it more exciting than originally imagined.
I don't know who the artist was for the Trauma Center games but I really like the art style, when Atlus want to they can make all sorts of great games, not just RPG's.

Super Swing Golf (Wii)
I don't really follow golf as a sport but I actually like Golf video games, Mario Golf on Gameboy Color being the standard that I use to measure the worth of all other golf games. Before I start I must say Super Swing Golf is a bit of an odd case because the game goes by two names, the names are Super Swing Golf and Pangya! Golf with Sytle, turns out what I have is not in fact what I thought it was but is in fact the sequel.
So in America you have Super Swing Golf which was then followed up by Super Swing Golf Season 2.
In Europe you have Pangya! Golf with Style which was then followed up by Super Swing Golf.
Can you see how confusing that is when searching on google!?
Anyway this a pretty good, it's basically a clone of Camelot's Everybody's Golf games (speaking or which there is an Everybody's Golf spin-off called "We Love Golf" that is also on Wii). I found the controllers a bit finicky at first, because of the Wii controller there is a delay when you bring the club up so if you try swinging in one fast motion the shots all end up under powered with the ball barely moving, then again I don't play golf so for all I know the weight of the golf club could cause a delay in swings in real life in which case fair play to the developers for doing that.
I was expecting taking swings to be a nightmare that would rely on luck but it turns out that you can get better with practice, after about and hours play I found my drives were becoming more straight and were not being misfired as often.
Super Swing Golf is a really satisfying game once you get used to the controls, I don;t know about you but I become a lot more expressive with my body language when I play golf games, when you get a birdie or get a chip in it feels immediately and awesomely satisfying and you can't help but grin, Super Swing clearly has a learning curve but it is a easy to adapt curve, Golf games is something the wii does well, it is almost like the system was made for it. I think games like this got ignored by most people because people played Wii Sports golf and decided the system probably wasn't cut out for golf due to the short comings of the system.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Game Diary: Oops

I've been pretty damn busy this last week. For you 3 people who read this expect a big up date tomorrow.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Game Diary: 28/02/2014-03/03/2014

Pokemon Silver (Gameboy)
My interest is pretty much starting to waver again, I had a go at battling Red but his Snorlax killed my team so I'm going to have to grind more. Heracross was a bad team choice in this game, he doesn't know any good fighting moves, at least there is Mega Horn to look forward to when I can bother to level him up to Lv 56. The MVP of my team is easily Nidoking, if I get him up 10 levels he will be able to sweep most of Red's team on his own.

Timesplitters 2 (Gamecube)
Every other week I remind myself that I have a huge backlog of games I have started but haven't played very far into, Timesplitters 2 is one of those games. Most of these kind of games I play through and then get rid of afterwards, this game was on that list but after playing it I have had a change of heart. To be fair to the story mode it isn't the main attraction of the game (the multiplayer and "arcade" mode is) but for what it is I really enjoy the single player levels, sure the controls are a little wonky being an early Gamecube FPS game (good luck sniping) but the missions are short and well paced and are the kind of thing I would enjoy replaying from time to time.

P.N.03 (Gamecube)
Hard mode keeps getting harder and now the final two regular suits have appeared and cost 600,000 points each to buy, looks like I'll be spending a few more hours slaving away at the trial missions so I can afford to buy and upgrade them so I can unlock the final two suits when I complete the Hard mode. I really enjoy this but the developers went way too far with their reliance on the trial missions, I know the main game is super short but I'd be enjoying the trail missions a hell of a lot more with the suits and power ups were a little bit cheaper.

Burnout 2: Point of Impact (Gamecube)
There is something incredibly uplifting and frustrating about Burnout 2. It is uplifting to skillfully charge your way through opposing traffic while doing burnout combos but at the same time it is frustrating when you can be having a really good race and still be punished by the games rubber band AI. The original Burnout was pretty bad with it's AI because you could time out of a race in first place really easily yet finish below 1st in a race where you had time left over because you crashed near the end. Burnout 2 still has the latter problem, you can time out but it will never happen, instead the other racers will just become incredibly fast when you are racing your best. Rubber band AI is nothing new but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus (Wii)
I finally got my copy of this back after leaving it back home by mistake, my time with Accent Core was fun but it will probably never get played again now I have this version, it is literally better in every way. I'm a bit bored with playing Arcade mode so I've sank some hours into the story mode. The story mode is incredibly unbalanced with its difficulty, the hardest fights are often in the middle of a characters story because that is when you get put into one sided fights against boss versions of characters who have regenerating health, the only way to beat them (besides being a complete pro) is to hit them with a one-hit-kill attack and those almost always miss against the story AI. That said though I am enjoying all the new content, now I can play as Kliff and Justice without having to unlock them.