tempest in a teacup

the pointless musings of a strange recluse

A worthy cause

It’s time for a random post about the games I’ve been playing!

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Change is upon me

Don’t really have anything substantive to say right now, other than the fact that both Crysis games are off the backlog, and that Call of Duty 4 is now added to it.

In the meantime, have some moonwalking Hazama.

Watch in HD if you can!
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Random thoughts about random games

My personal life has been undergoing a bit of turmoil recently, but I’ll leave that for another blog entry. For now, I thought I’d jot down some thoughts about a bunch of games I’ve been playing recently.

  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
    Great sequel, although somewhat easier than the first game. That said, it had some great set pieces (the battle on the train was particularly entertaining) and the final boss was a lot more fun than UC1’s. Definitely worth a buy if you own a PS3, but you probably knew that already.
  • Sonic and Sega All-stars Racing
    This game honestly surprised me. It’s a Mario Kart clone through and through, but it’s a pretty good one. Decent selection of tracks, and although there are a few too many Sonic characters, there are a few interesting nostalgia Sega picks like Opa-Opa, Bonanza Bros, Alex Kidd and of course Ryo from Shenmue. The balance could be better (right now it looks like flying characters are at a disadvantage while bike characters are overpowered) but it’s still rather fun to play.
  • Crysis
    Pretty damn fun. The first half of the game lets you tackle your objectives in a fairly open-ended manner, while the second half ramps up the difficulty and throws tons of gunfights at you. Both are good fun, although the vehicle sections have some pretty annoying controls (VTOL sequence, I’m looking at you). And of course, the game looks gorgeous. I’d recommend not getting the Steam version if you have a 64-bit OS, though – for some reason it doesn’t include the 64-bit binary. On top of that the game occasionally just runs like a dog on my admittedly pretty good PC. Given that Warhead runs so much better I have no idea why the first game is such a hardware hog.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum
    I’ve said pretty much everything I wanted to say about this game over at the Orochinagi forums and I don’t feel like typing it all up again, so here’s a link to the relevant thread for you to read.
  • Sonic 4: Episode One
    The more I see of this game the less it interests me. So much for classic Sonic – what we’re getting is Sonic Rush Adventure in HD with crappy physics and speed boosters up the arse. I’ll stick to my copy of Sonic CD for my classic Sonic fix, thanks.

As for the backlog, now that I’ve beaten Crysis, this is what’s left:

  1. Crysis Warhead
  2. Deus Ex
  3. PoP Warrior Within
  4. PoP The Two Thrones
  5. PoP (2008)
  6. Resident Evil 5 (STILL looking for someone to play this co-op with me…)
  7. God Hand (got to the third area, promptly got my ass handed to me)
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I keep forgetting to update this thing

I haven’t been updating because of some real-life issues I’ve been having that I’d rather not go into here. That said, here’s what’s been going on with me:

  • Added some more titles to my backlog thanks to Steam holiday sales: Mirror’s Edge and the last two titles of the PoP trilogy (as well as the newest one).
  • Immediately removed Mirror’s Edge from my backlog because I beat it in 3 days
  • Removed Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword from my list after beating it over Thanksgiving weekend.

More significantly, I upgraded my PC pretty much as far as I think I can take it – swapped out my old Core 2 Duo E6750 for a Core 2 Quad Q9650, which is about as fast as I can take it without buying one of the ridiculously priced Core 2 Extreme models. More cores certainly make a huge difference in games like Left 4 Dead 2, and to a lesser extent in Team Fortress 2. I also replaced my 8800GTS 512 with a GTX275, which has helped with some of the more graphic intensive games that I’m still working through (like Lost Planet). I also needed a new power supply for the new card, so I grabbed a simple 650W Antec one.

Just those three parts set me back a fair amount, so much so that I think my next ‘upgrade’ will probably involve just building a new box so I can get in on all the awesome i5/i7 action.

That said, I’m tempted to download the Crysis demo again to see how well these new parts hold up.

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After one long year

Fallout 3 has finally been evicted from my DVD drive.

(Because I completed it, not because I got fed up with it)

And no, I’m probably not going to buy any of the DLC, since the game itself didn’t impress me that much to begin with. And I don’t think I’ll be missing anything…not with the backlog that I have.

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Whittling down the backlog, yet again

I’ve been trying to clear the list of games that I haven’t beaten yet so that I can get back to buying new ones without feeling guilty (particularly since the holiday release season is coming up). So far, I’ve managed to clear Assassin’s Creed off my backlog, and am pretty close to calling Beyond Good & Evil done as well.

Just to give you an idea of what I need to work through, here’s a list of stuff I’ve bought but have yet to finish, in rough order of ‘completeness’:

Beyond Good & Evil (PC) – just about at the end
Fallout 3 (PC) – about to head to Rivet City, but I have no idea how far that is in the game
God Hand (PS2) – cleared the first area
Company of Heroes + Opposing Fronts (PC) – 3 missions into the Normandy campaign
Fallout (PC) – yes, the original, fresh off GOG.com
Descent & Descent II (PC) – ditto
Resident Evil 5 (PC) – freshly purchased, played two missions in co-op
Oboro Muramasa (Wii) – beat one level

So yeah, wish me luck, I guess.

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The list of doom, August edition

Here’s last month’s edition.

Games that have been knocked off the list due to completion:

  • Devil May Cry 4 – Beat it on Devil Hunter, although honestly I don’t think I’m really done with it yet. I can’t say that I’ve really mastered any aspect of the game (except maybe Nero’s Devil Buster but it’s LOL EZ anyway).
  • NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams – I’ve gotten all my C ranks and unlocked the true ending to the game, so it’s leaving the list. I’ll still keep trying for A ranks and better scores from time to time, though (it’s a freaking score attack game – who wouldn’t). Maybe I’ll put some footage up here when I try it out.
  • Zack & Wiki – I’ve beaten the main story quest, but I haven’t found any of the hidden treasures yet. Still, that’s good enough for me for now.
  • Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition – Beat it shortly after my last list of doom post. I’ve fiddled around a bit with the other modes (the Ada side missions and the Mercenaries minigame) but I haven’t gone back to the game yet.

Games still being played:

  • Super Mario Galaxy – Would you believe I’m still stuck on that one Luigi purple coin mission?
  • Advance Wars: Days of Ruin – Really haven’t touched it at all.
  • Sonic Rush Adventure – That last Sol Emerald is a bitch.
  • Mass Effect – I’ve just finished up the Noveria story quests. It seems that there really aren’t that many main story quests which is a little alarming, but I’ll see what happens. I’ve started to get a good feel for my final opinion on the game, too…and it’s a little uneven.
  • Beyond Good & Evil – Still fun – I’m right after the part where Pey’j gets kidnapped (spoiler).

Games that were started and beaten over the course of the month:

  • Metal Gear Solid – Great boss fights, great sneaking areas, terrible gun controls, WALL OF PLOT is annoying.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance – Boss fights are somewhat less great, sneaking is much more fun, gun controls are better, WALL OF PLOT is still annoying.

New entries on the list:

  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence – Not too far in. I can’t say I’ve gotten the hang of CQC yet – for some reason every time I try to grab someone from behind I end up throwing them and setting off an alarm.
  • Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword – this is surprisingly good for a handheld conversion of Ninja Gaiden. There are some cutbacks (simplified combos, only one melee weapon and two ranged weapons) but otherwise it’s fast and furious just like the console versions.
  • Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune – my first PS3 game! Think Gears of War crossed with Resident Evil 4 with a minimal bit of Tomb Raider splashed in for good measure. Very polished and slick – nothing to complain about so far.
  • Bionic Commando: Rearmed – I never played the NES version, but even so this game is pretty cool. While the levels and bosses themselves are pretty well-designed, I particularly like the Portal-style Challenge Rooms.

And that’s it for August!

It just occurred to me that my Wii backlog is basically empty now (except for Galaxy). Any Wii game recommendations? Keep in mind that I’m a lonely bastard who plays games by himself all the time.

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The list of doom, July Edition

Here’s last month’s edition.

Games that have been knocked off the list due to completion:

  • Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition – well, Dante’s route on normal anyway. I’ve started a Vergil playthrough, but it’s more like something I can do if I’m in the mood. With this I can finally claim to have beaten a DMC game!

And that’s the only game I managed to beat last month.

  • Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition – Still on Mission 5-2.
  • Zack & Wiki – No progress here either.
  • Super Mario Galaxy – Took a few stabs at clearing that Luigi coin mission, and the closest I came was 80-something coins before my reflexes failed me.
  • NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams – I set my sights a little lower and decided to go for all C-ranks first so I could unlock the true ending to the game. Unfortunately this is easier said than done because some of the side missions are really fucking stupid.
  • Advance Wars: Days of Ruin – Gathering dust. For some reason I simply can’t bring myself to finish that particular mission.
  • Sonic Rush Adventure – Set a few more personal records in time attack, but otherwise nothing else. I’ve noticed that the physics in this game are quite broken (at least as far as Sonic games go).
  • Mass Effect – I’ve unlocked my character’s specialised class (went for Shock Trooper) and after spending ages on sidequests I’ve finally started on the main story quests again. Still pretty good so far – the universe is interesting, and conversations with the supporting characters tend to reveal some interesting nuances over time.
  • Beyond Good & Evil – Played a bit more. This feels like a Zelda game with most of the tedium/treating the player like he’s five years old stripped out. So far, having a lot of fun with it.

The only “new” entries on the list?

  • Diablo II: Lord of Destruction – Nostalgia got to me after the Diablo III announcement. I’m rebuilding my old Zeal/Fanaticism Paladin (boring build, I know, but it was the first D2 character I ever made). In addition I’m playing a summoning Necromancer for playing online with PenPen.
  • Devil May Cry 4 – So far it’s definitely easier than both Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 3, but still rather fun. The Devil Bringer isn’t quite as interesting to me as the instant rev and other frame-specific moves like Table Hopper and the instant Exceed, which are the main source of depth in Nero’s play style.

Stay tuned for next month’s update, when I reveal pretty much the same list with no changes whatsoever!

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The list of doom, June Edition

Here’s the original list.

Games that have been knocked off the list due to completion:

  • Psychonauts – I didn’t get all the scavenger hunt items, etc, but I was level 50 by the time I hit the final boss, and he didn’t give me much trouble.
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time – Excellent game, but that final boss was far less challenging than the platforming area that led up to him.

Updated progress for the remaining items:

  • Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition – No progress made. Haven’t touched my PS2 in a while, actually.
  • Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition – Mission 5-2. @#%@ Regenerators.
  • Zack & Wiki – No progress made. I don’t expect any will be made for a while, actually…
  • Super Mario Galaxy – No progress made. That Luigi purple coin mission is really hard if you just bumrush it without any planning (like I tend to do)
  • NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams – Finished the main story on both sides (not that it was hard, there being only 3 levels on each side and a common final level + boss fight). But I always try to play platformers to completion, so my next target is A-ranking everything. Yes, that includes that music mission in Memory Forest, a mission whose designer really needs to be shot.
  • Advance Wars: Days of Ruin – I, uh, played a few more turns of mission 13. Still haven’t beaten it.
  • Sonic Rush Adventure – I’ve been doing more time attack runs than Sol Emerald hunting, if you get my drift.

New entries on the list:

  • Mass Effect – Level 20, just picked up Liara T’Soni. I’m playing as a Soldier, and will be going for a Paragon rating, like the goody-two-shoes that I am.
  • Beyond Good & Evil – I actually haven’t gotten very far in this game because of a weird bug that causes my framerate to drop like a stone when I’m in the overworld. Just to remind you all, this is a 2003 game having problems running on a 2006 video card.
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The list of doom

Some of you know that I have a pretty sizeable gaming backlog. A lot of it is games that I want to play but haven’t gotten around to buying yet (Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection is currently #1 on that list), but there’s also a pretty big backlog of stuff that I own but I haven’t gotten around to finishing yet:

  • Psychonauts (I put some effort into beating it this past weekend, and finally reached the endgame…I had to skip a lot of optional stuff to do it though)
  • Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (I’m at about 60% completion)
  • Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition (level 15, right after beating Vergil for the second time)
  • Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition (mission 3-1…which is proving to be annoyingly long. Oh, and I have almost no ammo left)
  • Zack & Wiki (the last puzzle is so ridiculously hard)
  • Super Mario Galaxy (technically I’ve ‘beaten’ this game already, but I need to get one…last…star!)
  • NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams (2 levels in on each side)
  • Advance Wars: Days of Ruin (I’m on mission 13 of the campaign but for some reason I can’t bring myself to finish it)
  • Sonic Rush Adventure (Blaze’ last Sol Emerald is giving me trouble)

This is not a state of affairs that I’m particularly happy with, given that there are other high-profile releases coming up that I’d like to devote my time to…in particular Mass Effect drops at the end of the month, and the PC version of Devil May Cry 4 arrives next month.

So much gaming to do, so little time :(

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