Summer has always been particularly conducive to gaming, what with the rising temperatures (especially evident by the unbearable heatwave that has stricken the better part of the country this past week) and the abundance of free time these lazy months afford. Really, who would want to go outside when there are so many good games to catch up on right in the comfort of home? The staff know this all too well, and as we can see this week, a lot of us are using this time to make some headway through the titles we never got around to finishing.
Well, this past week has (god forbid) been engulfed by my PS3 and the mighty Demon’s Souls. I am at a place now where it is less grueling (though still damn hard) to progress through the worlds. Not for a very, very long time have I played a game which offers such a feeling of reward as Demon’s Souls. Online is implemented brilliantly, as is the sense of fear and foreboding that awaits me at every turn. I have had this game for about a year now, with progress being slow, but concise, in that every attack you perform must be carefully thought through or it’s curtains.
Whilst I love Nintendo (obviously), my time has been deservedly swallowed recently by this amazing game. Thinking about it, Demon’s Souls is my favorite game of this generation so far, and I cannot wait for Dark Souls to be released (which I will probably still be playing this time next year).
I’ll be continuing my second play-through of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King this weekend. Having recently been introduced to Little King’s Story for the first time, my inner sim addict has been running at full power the past couple of days. There’s something strangely rewarding in running around my ever-increasing town raising morale and speaking to the same residents multiple times each day. I’m not quite sure why, but I won’t deny how proud I feel when my adventurers complete a behest! I should really be carrying on with Donkey Kong Country Returns and Kirby’s Epic Yarn along with all the other titles on my long list of uncompleted games, but never has the phrase “Just one more day!” been so apt.
If I do manage to tear myself away from my Wii though, then I should really turn on my neglected DS and play a bit more of Chrono Trigger before I forget what’s happened!
M. Noah Ward
After beating Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story the other week (holy cow, the first RPG I’ve finished in years! who cares if it’s for kids?), I’ve gone back to 2008’s Lock’s Quest, perhaps because I naively feel indestructible. I’m on a roll with this whole “finishing games started” thing, and Lock’s Quest, a favorite game of 2008 that stymied me just a third of the way in, is a title I’ve long wanted to finish.
Yet the reason I quit the game (well not a violent “quit!”, more of a “ooo, this other game is newer and shinier!”) was because I reached a point where I was stuck. The game’s battles come in waves of five, generally, and once you start a set of battles, you’re locked into them because the game politely– or perhaps rudely– autosaves incessantly. And given that battles require “source” energy to build defenses, if you start a set of battles without enough source in the bank, you’re pretty much screwed. You can’t abandon the battles to grind for source and then come back later. So, at “Day 37” (of 100), I got stuck. And then I felt I had better games to play.
But avast, Fifth Cell, I have returned to conquer your delightful tower defense game. Day 25 and counting… the moment of truth is nigh. Meanwhile, I’ll play more League of Legends and hopefully some more Super Mario Galaxy.
Ivy the Kiwi? for DS has proved to be a very trying game. It’s a lot of fun, but at the same time frustrating. I realize that after the first fifty levels, there are remixed levels to complete, but I’m calling it quits after World 10. Collecting every red feather in every level is so satisfying, but it’s time for me to move on to another DS game. This time I’m choosing a nice, easy game: Elebits: The Adventures of Kai and Zero. I found it new for $10 some time ago, and it looks to be a relaxing, undemanding game.
Mega Man Legends 2 for PlayStation is still a fun work in progress. However, I have discovered one of the most tortuous ordeals I have ever had to experience in a video game: the water level. MegaMan (Volnutt) moves like molasses in water, and enemies that were once easy to dispatch become absolute terrors while submerged. After forcing myself to conquer this nightmare (which took a whole afternoon), I am relieved that I will never have to do it again. And of course, I am heartbroken that I will never see a sequel to this great game.
I’ve reached the Zero Virus in Mega Man Network Transmission for GameCube and dispatched it. That’s the end of the game, right? Wrong! Without spoiling much, new story events unfold and ShadowMan and PharaohMan become available to fight, and I’ve defeated ShadowMan and maxed out his battle chips. Next to fight is PharaohMan, but first I took on a unique enemy: the mole. This interesting enemy appears in a closed-off part of PharaohMan’s stage. The object is to shoot him before he disappears. Interestingly, it doesn’t matter how much damage you do– he needs to get hit 10 times to be defeated (and he drops a Recov300). However, there’s a small chance that the next time you go to the mole’s area, you’ll find a purple mole2! He appears and disappears in the same way, but it takes at least 150 hits to defeat him. If you take too long between hits, he will vanish and leave nothing behind. But I toughed it out, hit him all those times, and got a PopUp chip! This great reward for all that hard work makes Mega Man invincible for at least 20 seconds! Now I have to decide if I ever feel like doing that again…
Like so many others I’m sure, Ocarina of Time 3D still tops my list. I’m a ways into Master Quest now, which I am ashamed to admit I never played before this version. I’m going for 100% completion as usual! The friggin’ bats are even more annoying now with the double damage.
It’s been a long while now, but with the announcement of Smash 4 and the persistence of old friends, Super Smash Bros. Brawl has once again entered my gaming life. It’s been quite a few months since I last played the game, but when I got together with some guys who wanted to play and they were all like, “I dare you to use Jigglypuff, Phil!” so I did (and of course still won :P), it ignited my passion once more. This won’t be good for anyone.
Alas, my backlog continues to grow ever larger as I prove just why I should not be allowed to have my own credit card. In addition to downloading the 3D remake of Xevious off of the eShop, I also purchased this week my very first non-Nintendo console ever– a Dreamcast (I’m always fashionably late to parties). In truth, it was something I had been looking into for quite some time, and now that I had the sufficient funds, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to take the plunge. The console itself hasn’t arrived yet, but the one game I ordered– Shenmue— already has, mocking me from the shelf with its promise of uninhibited exploration. I have a couple of more Dreamcast games on my immediate wishlist (namely Maken X and Grandia II), but I decided it would be best to hold off on those a little while longer until I recoup some of my expenses.
As for games I actually did play this week, I got around to dusting off my neglected copy of Dragon Quest IX (in addition to the obligatory sessions of Pokémon White, of course). I bought Dragon Quest on a whim last summer (I had never before played an entry in the series, but I was lured in by the prospect of multiplayer adventuring), and I immediately fell in love with it. I initially stopped because the game has since become associated with some painful memories, but I am glad to say that has not been much of an issue. Whether I will stick with it or not remains to be seen (I have the unfortunate habit of jumping between too many titles and not finishing any of them), but I am happy I decided to revisit it this past week.
You’ve seen what’s been on our gaming plates, now let us know about yours! Share what you’ve been playing in the comments section!