All About Games EditionRare occurrence here on the weekly blog: I’m actually talking about games, and only games. Rare occurrence indeed, but it's been that kind of week. New video games abound and plenty to talk about. I finally caved in and bought Beyond Good and Evil HD on XBLA, Pokemon Black, and Alan Wake. I also bought the Limited Edition of Jade Empire off of eBay for the bargain price of $5, free shipping. That hasn't arrived yet, so I'll go into more detail on that another week.
My front-runner for 2011's 2010 Game of the YearAlan Wake has always been a game that's interested me, but apparently not quite enough to get me to pull the trigger on it upon release. Recently fellow GB user Origina1Penguin held a contest in which the winner received a download code for a digital version of Alan Wake. I tried and failed to win that contest, but at least it reminded me that Alan Wake still exists. I'm grateful for that because I decided if I couldn't get my hands on this mysterious title for free, then $7 isn't that bad of a plan B. eBay's been my friend recently.
Instead of going about this in a boring and played out fashion, I decided to write some Haikus. Some are a tad more serious, while others just poke some fun. I hope you’re able to decipher some meaning out of them. I think they all fairly accurately represent how I’m feeling while playing the game thus far. (note: of course haikus are three-lined poems that are patterned using 5, 7, and 5 syllables. There are 10 individual poems below.)
|I’m deep in this dream.|
Never sure of what is real.
Deeper and deeper.
|Welcome to Bright Falls.|
Is that a giant deer float?
Where’s it’s lucha mask?
|Old man sitting there.|
The lime in the coconut.
Ha! I love this game.
|The episode ends.|
This is starting to get good.
Heh, late title card. :)
Scrambling through the forest.
Gotcha! Damn thermos.
|Hey, does this thing work?|
Wait, what the hell’s happening?
This show fuckin’ rocks.
|Wait, is this a dream?|
I thought I was dreaming, but...
What’s going on here?!
|Ford and Verizon.|
A tad too blatant.
|Listen. What was that?|
A dark figure just outside.
Lights go out once more.
|Fog, whipping through trees.|
The sky above darkens now.
No longer alone.
I like that last one about the fog, myself. I'm no poet, but I try. :)
I last left off in the middle of Episode 3 if I remember right. I'm currently trying to track down the *spoilerz!* kidnapper that could maybe possibly have Alice (psst: I bet he doesn't). This game is shrouded in mystery and great atmosphere. I can’t remember any game doing it quite like this, at least not recently. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories comes to mind, and it was great, but Alan Wake has a different feel. It’s better. I'm constantly finding the game to be really amazing. One particularly great detail I noticed when I first arrived at the vacation cabin was that the calender on the wall said 1970 on it. Needless to say, I thought that was weird, but I moved on. Later in the story I find out that the island the cabin was on was destroyed in some kind of volcanic eruption in 1970. Ohhh shit. I’ll continue to play and I’ll probably be writing about this interesting writer and his mysterious circumstances some more next week.
If you have an Alan Wake haiku, then let it fly! (Please use spoiler tags if it relates to any specific story elements!)
It's pronounced: Poke-uh-monThere's been a couple interesting Pokemon blogs since the release of White and Black. You should definitely check these out if you haven't already:
- dankempster explains why "Pokemon Isn't For You Anymore" (!)
- ssj4raditz lets you know what's up after an hour with the game
Yes, new Pokemon games have been released to the land masses outside of Japan! I’ve been playing through the Black version. That decision was based purely on what the cover monster looks like, just like I’ve done with every other Pokemon release (Red version represent!). If I’m honest, I don’t even know what this pokemon’s name is. I just know it as “cool-looking white bird guy”, which is better than “fugly big black guy” (no racism!). I’m curious as to what the cover pokemon’s special moves will be, but I suppose I’ll find out in due time.
As for the game itself: It’s pleasant thus far. Anyone who’s played a Pokemon game before will find instant comfort in the arms of White/Black. I don’t want to blow anyone’s mind, but yo, you battle your pokemon against other pokemon in a turn-based fashion.
Something I really appreciate is the graphical upgrade. There's some clever tricks going on with camera usage and angles that makes the game feel fresh. Things toward the bottom of the screen look larger than things towards the top of the screen. Seems like this game would look great in 3D *cough*. I just crossed a huge bridge in order to get into the newest town. As I ran across, the camera panned up and over the bridge while zooming out. It's a great effect. I thought the fancy camera tricks would end there, but once I got to the new town, I realized the bridge was just the beginning. This entire town is... crazy! It's hard to describe, so allow me to find a YouTube video of it. There's got to be one. Ah, here we go. Disregard that young-un's voice, or put it on mute if you'd like. Anyway, I really like this city. It's a bit confusing at first, but you get the hang of it soon enough. It adds some flavor and spice to the old town layout formula. I remember getting to Celadon city for the first time in Red and being underwhelmed with the sky-scrapers. Celadon is supposed to be a giant city! Well, that problem's finally solved.
Referring back to dankempster's "Pokemon Isn't For You Anymore" blog, I don't necessarily agree. I see his point that they're making these games to hook new generations of kids each time, not satisfy us old-schoolers, but I'm plenty satisfied. Here's what I wrote in the comments section of that blog:
Well written, but I don't agree. :P
You should definitely play White and Black; they're great games.
I've been playing Pokemon as long as anyone else. I remember carrying my purple GB Color around the store and having other kids ask me, "which version is that?". Since then I've played each generation and never gotten tired of it. I often don't finish games, but I always found myself not only finishing Pokemon games, but going back for more. Yes, the original games will always be king for anyone that played them, but by no means are the new games "not for us". I'm not tired of the formula yet.
Just my opinion.
I'm not even entirely sure what it is about Pokemon that keeps dragging me back for more. Is it the catching and collecting of pokemon? Is it the simple yet deep RPG mechanics? Is it just Childhood nostalgia that I don't want to give up? I don't know; maybe it's all of those things. So far though I really like Pokemon Black/White. It's near exactly what I'd expect, and still exactly what I want.
A brief taste of good... and evil!Beyond Good and Evil HD: What a headache! Nobody freak out; I mean that literally. I wasn't able to play a whole lot of this after finally giving in to its siren call and buying it. Turns out I just happened to get a good-sized headache and that feeling of being terribly motion sick just after I started. I think I am mildly sick though, so I hope this isn't a recurring event once I get better. I barely got to the part where I'm about to take the hovercraft for a spin and I couldn't handle the headache any longer. One time when I was a kid, I ate a grip of Nutter Butters in the car and got terribly car sick while doing so. That was the last time I ever ate Nutter Butters. Now, every time I think about them I nearly gag. Anyway, my point is that I was trying to avoid this happening with this game, so I decided a nice long break was in order. As you can tell, I've got tons of other games to play, so not too big of an issue. Hope to get back to it soon.
There was something I noticed during that short stint, however. That is that when you press a button and trigger an action--I think B--it makes a sound that seems exactly like the Tweetdeck notification noise to me. The first handful of times that noise went off I was checking my phone and finding nothing. I'm such an idiot sometimes.
What I did get to play of the game, I liked. Seems right up my alley and I can't believe I never got around to it in the time frame of its initial release. I've watched the entire Quick Look, and that just got me more excited. I'll probably jump back in this week and write about it next. Bring on those stealth sections! I look forward to seeing what all the fuss is/was about.
I'm starvingI promised myself that I'd finish this before I ate, but man I'm STARVED. Time to wrap it up. Just wanted to mention the horrible destruction in Japan. I don't know a lot about earthquakes, but apparently an 8.9 is fucking huuge! My thoughts are with everyone there, and I hope they're able to recover quickly. What an awful event. Also, quickly, Lupe Fiasco's new album "Lasers" has been released. I made a sick playlist of the entire album that I'll post below for your listening pleasure. "I Don't Wanna Care Right Now" and "State Run Radio" are probably my favorite tracks right now. He's one of the few good rappers out there imo, so take that for what you will. Lastly, I'm thinking about evolving my blog layout and style in some mysterious ways. It could include custom graphics, ala Aurahack's blogs. Anything to make my blogs look less cluttered and more like his would be cool beans. So look forward to that! ...Maybe! Oh yeah, and I'm totally going out with a stolen sign-off.
Love from Rip City,