R&R 7/1: I'm Back

(Still no header image. I'm debating as to whether I really need one or not, considering the frequency of my updates)
 
I'm not really surprised that it's been over a month since my last blog, and neither are you, I'm sure. Whatever, I write when I have something substantial to write about, so stop complaining. First things first, a couple of things tangentially related to playing video games has happened this past month:

  1. I finally made enough money to gut my fried computer and get (mostly) brand spanking new parts.
  2. I went camping. For most people, this means getting away from it all, including electronics. This is somewhat true for me, but it also gives me an excuse to play a bunch of portable games.
 
And now, for the main attraction, video games:

Ghostbusters: The Video Game

GHOSTBUSTERS
  I literally just beat this game. I got it on steam during when it was around $4 since I can actually play it now. I'm not a mega-fan of the movies or anything, though I definitely enjoyed them. Even so, the game was a lot more fun than I was expecting. Wrangling ghosts was pretty sweet since it actually felt like a struggle (I played this game with a 360 pad. Yeah, I know.) Also, the story is definitely a strong point with Aykroyd and Ramis behind it. But really, Ryan's review hit everything on the head, so go read that or watch the quicklook. I will say that one thing that was in the back of my mind the whole time was, since the fan service doesn't cater to me much, I can't help but wonder what Zootfly's prototype would have turned into...
 
 
 
 

Wipeout: Pure

 Twitchy
Oh man. I haven't played this game in a while. Counting my most recent playtime, I've racked up somewhere around 70 (I think) gold medals, and brother, I only have gold medals. On the other hand, it doesn't look like I'm too far past halfway done, what with two more speeds to go, though I don't think I'm good enough to do anything past the third speed. I just can't think and react that fast, and I'm not about to spend my time learning every bend of those tracks.
 
 
 
 

The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass

 OCD
I stopped playing this because there was some room that explicitly said it had treasure in it, but I couldn't find it, so I resolved to look up a FAQ sometime. Of course, that never happened, and the game started collecting dust. It's a bad habit on my part that is, unfortunately, not just with Zelda games, though I have a similar excuse for not finishing Twilight Princess. Anyway, I picked it up again while I was away from civilization and just continued with the story. In just two more sessions, I had found the third metal and had me a evil-god-killing sword. I am now sitting outside the, what I assume to be, evil-god's room... debating on whether I should go back and get that effing treasure. 
 
 
 

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

 Frustrating
Despite GTA: Vice City being one of my all-time favorites, this PSP spin-off is a put-off for some reason, and with my recent playtime, I know why: targeting. I played Vice City on PC, so aiming was a breeze. In Stories, I feel like a tank without all that, you know, anti-bullet-ness. Maybe I just suck at it, but I feel like I absolutely HAVE to have armor if I want to survive walking down the effing street much less a mission. I'll come back to it after I look up some armor locations, because fuck if I'm going to spend any of my hard-earned money on that shit.
 
 
 
 
 

Blur

Glowy
Oh, right. Blur. Man, I have got to play this some more! Seriously, this game is awesome. And I'm not just saying that because it may just be a racing game that I'm actually good at. Only playing online twice, I've played four races, three of which I got in the top three and two of which I got in first. Granted, I'm still really early on and playing the "Learners Permit" (or whatever) gametype, but dayum. Good times.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Outcast

640x480
I don't really know why I included this here because I really don't have much to write about it yet. Seems fun, and the movement/shooting seems pretty modern all things considered (I just started, okay, leave me alone! *cries*).
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Orange Box

 Classic(s)
The Orange Box, you ask? Yes. The Orange Box. During the PC-less scary times, I had an itch to scratch, and his name was Gordon Freeman. With the announcement of Portal 2 being the "best console version," I figured, if I end up getting Portal 2 on a console, the PS3 would be it. Therefore, to keep my collection in line, I should get TOB on PS3. Yes, there are some framerate issues here and there, but only in non-fighting-flaming-zombies parts. Still a fantastic package, still totally worth my monies.
 
On a side note, I noticed that, in Episode 2, even when you slowly walk past/into those antlion grubs, they still squash with a fantastic racket. Chalk it up to Valve's tendancy to not animate what's going on (like cranking a wheel, for instance) but I couldn't help but wonder why those grubs were dieing so spectacularly. So, I drew a pretty (ugly) picture with my conclusion.
 

 Freeman PUUUNNCH!!

(Maybe this is why I don't have a header image yet...) 

That is all. I will hopefully return next month (probably) with my continued video gaming-related exploits. And maybe more crappy comics.
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R&R 5/19: Ratchet & Clank Hates Me

(One day, I'll make a header image for this thing...)
 
Wow, I haven't done a R&R blog in over a month. But hey, you need time to blog ( or an unhealthy amount of alcohol); these last few weeks have been killer and it's not going to get any better until June. You see, my sister is getting married. It's kind of a big deal.
 
Anyway, on to games. First up is: 

Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction

I've never really been into games with anthropomorphic fuzzy things in them. But I decided to get R&C a while ago while it was on sale. It took me a long time to actually put the disc in the drive, but I'm glad I did. I can see why R&C is such a loved and long-running franchise - good story, intense combat, competent platforming, crazy weapons and gadgets and great graphics. Insomniac sure knows what they're doing. That said, it felt like a game from last generation, not in a bad sense, but more of a nostalgic sense. I can't really explain why, but I can tell R&C's roots are in the PS2 even though I haven't played any of the PS2 R&Cs (for shame). Despite my aforementioned general dislike of these kinds of games, I liked Tools of Destruction enough to get Quest for Booty while it was on sale a while ago. This was, of course, right after sending Hamz a message saying that I couldn't get in to R&C. Silly me.
 
 Hawt
The reason for the blog title is because of a little issue I bumped into during the last two levels of the game - I couldn't use the weapons vendors or even look at my weapons in the menu because doing so would freeze the game, requiring a hard reset. What made it worse is that I hunted down all of those freaking schematics for the crazy bad-ass gun, and could then never use it because I couldn't modify my already full quick select. Not to mention that I very nearly ran out of all of my ammo during the final boss fight. 
 
Anyway, I finished it.  Now onto Quest for booty... eventually.
 

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

 
While we're on the topic of last-gen platformers, this is one I picked up from the PSN store a while ago and have been struggling through ever since. I first saw this game when my friend rented it whenever it came out, and man, I wanted to play it. Even with nostalgia-goggles off, it's still a fun game, it's just that the game design in many spots is... antiquated. For example, I'm lost 90% of the time. Sure, the god-voice-thing gives you verbal directions on where to go while you're in the underworld, but it's usually something like "past something, and beyond something else is another thing. There you'll find one of your brothers - kick the vampire-juice out of him." That would be all well and good if I knew where "something" and "something else" were! Navigation's a bitch.
 
Still, there's a lot of things about this game that are different, and most are awesome. For instance, the open world and dual-realm stuff is pretty neat. and I like that you can't just punch dudes to death (excepting those puny humans) because they're friggin' vampires. You need to impale them with the sparse weaponry or dangerous things in the environment to kill them dead. Of course, this changes a little later in the game. I don't want to give anything away for those that haven't played it, but I kinda wish they would have expanded the combat in a little different way, because now I feel like I have to have full health all the time. Anyway, I guess I'm not too far in this game because I'm playing it on my PSP and I hardly have a good reason to be playing my PSP over anything else I own unless I'm lying in my bed, unable to sleep for one reason or another - and that rarely happens. Like, ever.
 

Other Stuff

I should get my copy of Red Dead Redemption in the mail tomorrow; I'm pretty excited about spending the better part of an otherwise boring birthday in R*'s early 1900's western. And no, I haven't forgotten about my decision to finish Persona 3... I'm just putting it off. Honestly, I'm quite frightened.
 
Well, that's a crappy way to end a blog, but hell, it's almost midnight and I'm effing tired. Thanks for reading.
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Kick-Ass Retrospective

I've been playing a lot of Kick-Ass recently. I am tired of playing Kick-Ass.
 
Well, despite everyone's warnings, I went ahead and got it... for science. Turns out, it was pretty much exactly what I expected - a mediocre brawler that'll be more fun co-op... and possibly inebriated. Regardless, Frozen Codebase did a pretty good job for a eight-month project. They said they had to narrow their focus on the essentials, and that's exactly what they did. I don't regret my purchase (too much), but with that said, AjayRaz, odintal and pretty much everyone else in that thread were right. Don't get it unless you know what you're getting into.
 
Anyway, to fulfill the "science" part, I edited the wiki page and wrote a review, which I would be most grateful if you would check out. It's my first one ever, so let me know what I can do to make future reviews better.

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I think I hate myself.

I'm thinking about finishing Persona 3.
 
Saying it like that might not sound crazy to you, but you have to look at it from my perspective. I haven't touched it since last summer for a good many reasons, but recently it seems like there's also a good many reasons why I should try to finish it now.
 

Reason #1 : I just finished watching the Persona 4 Endurance Run

A little late, I know. The funny thing is, the Endurance Run got me interested in persona, which lead me to buy Persona 3, but I got burnt out on both around the same time. Now that I've finished watching the ER, it kind if makes me want to finish P3. Why? Well, recently, I've been thinking about P3 and why I stopped playing it. One of those reasons was that I had read a few horror stories about Nyx (who I'm a in-game day or two away from facing, I think). This led me to doubt my personas and party members, with which I have been destroying pretty much everything in my way up until this point. I guess watching Vinny and Jeff plow through the end of P4 has convinced me that I have a chance, too. (This is not to say that I think Vinny and Jeff did bad. I mean, how would I know? All I know is what I've read in the comments, though I'm sure many people would be yelling at me if I were in Vinny and Jeff's position.)
 

Reason #2 : I just bought Persona 4 on the cheaps

I mean, I guess it's not a huge deal to finish P3 before starting P4, but I guess I'd just like a little closure. 
WARNING: this part is about to get a little sappy, but stick with me.
When I started P3, it was at the beginning of the summer semester at college. A good many of my friends were not around, and I was commuting an hour to and from home to work/class. Needless to say, things started to get monotonous real fast, so I latched onto the setting and characters of P3 pretty hard.
 
 Video game crush? Check.  Yeah, yeah, I know...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I realize now that, subconsciously, I didn't want the game to end because I was a part of that world, and ending the game meant returning to my own. Pretty pathetic I guess, but given the circumstances at the time, I'm not ashamed to say it. If anything, it's a testament to Atlus's ability to create interesting worlds and characters.
 

Reason #3 : I don't want to buy P3P (yet)

Well, now I'm bored for completely different reasons, so I've been playing a lot of my backlog recently (which I write about semi-regularly in my R&R blog). Persona 3 is in my backlog, and for one reason or another, I've been itching for it again. Let's just say that I've been dangerously close to buying Persona 3 Portable a couple times recently, which is something I'd rather not do (at least until it gets cheaper). So I hope finishing P3 will squelch any impulse at buying P3P.
 

Bonus Reason : Sweep told me to

Indirectly anyway. In his recent blog, he talks about returning to old games, and more importantly, a huge factor in why one may stop playing a game: progression. Now, a lack of a feeling of progression wasn't a factor in why I quit playing P3. If fact, I was progressing quite well, so if anything, I shouldn't have quit at all. Therefore, Sweep demands it, and what Sweep wants, he gets.
 
Well, I've laid out, for you and for myself, my reasons for quitting and finishing P3. I hope to be removing this game from this list soon. Thanks for listening to my ramblings.
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R&R (4/10): I Suck at Video Games

It's been awhile since I've updated. Stuff has happened.
 

I beat some games:

 
I'm not going to write about all of these because, frankly, I've forgot some details, but I'll give my thoughts on a couple of them. I guess I should update a little more often.
 

Turok

I wrote (aka complained) about this game last time. Those perceptions didn't change throughout my experience. Needless to say, I wanted it to end, and I was glad when it did.

N.O.V.A

It was better than I was expecting (no tactile feedback on thumbsticks kind of bothers me). Yeah, the control scheme was still a little tricky, but at least the game seemed to know and made up for it by giving you a generous shield system. By generous I mean IT GIVES YOU A LOT. It still felt too much like " Halo on iPhone" for obvious reasons to anyone who's played it (or heard about it... or seen screenshots...), but it was still fun.
 

Freedom Fighters

I don't know how I missed this when it came out. I found a used copy in Amazon's warehouse and played the fudge out of it. My first impressions? "Damn, this game is hard!" - I kept getting killed by every kind of Russian-engineered-death-causers until I figured out I could jump between the different areas. For instance, a helicopter was giving me crap (I totally sympathize with Ryan now)  while I was trying to rescue some POWs or something. So I go take out the helipad, then come back and finish rescuing the POWs. I just read that last sentence again and realized it doesn't convey what I want it to... essentially, you can accomplish one of the two goals on a map, move to a different area and do another, then come back and do the second objective. So, it's not open-world, but it's close. Fun, fun game, and yes, it does need a sequel.
 

I also started some games

Far Cry 2

Okay, I started this game a long time ago. I thought I kept my save file, but I didn't, apparently so I started all over. But, I got the blonde french girl as my "first and best buddy" so it's all good. Though, I wonder if this means we're in the "friend zone?"
 

Wolfenstein

I got this game on the cheaps recently and started playing it last night. Needless to say, I'm pretty excited to start killing cultist Nazis again... too excited.
 

Resident Evil 4

PS2. I've never really been compelled to play a resident evil since I watched my friend play the original on the PS. Some dogs jump through a window at some point... Anyway, this is the game where the title of this blog comes from. I had tried playing this game before, but kept dying early on in the village when they swarm at you that first time. For some reason (I guess I had just watched Brad play a quicklook of RE5 Desperate Escape - running in circles like a chicken with it's head cut off) and I got through that part on the first try. Turns out, I didn't even get to the late title card. Disappointed in myself, I saved, quit, then cried myself to sleep.
 
Anyway, thanks for reading.
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Making Progress...

 
Well, my journey toward gaming bliss is on its way: Tonight, I finished Batman: Arkham Asylum and  Condemned 2: Bloodshot.
 
And, like I said in my previous blog post, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Bioshock 2 are in the mail as we speak. Net gain: 0. Oh well.
 

Thoughts on Batman: AA

First of all, absolutely amazing game. I totally understand why it was one of the top 5 games of last year.
One thing I didn't like so much, though, was the much lauded combat system. Maybe (probably) I just suck at it, but I couldn't help but feel like I was just tapping square on every half-beat or so, only pushing triangle to counter, and double-tap X to dodge (by the way, a dodge is supposed to be real quick - double-tapping kind of sucks).
 
A combo system that I like a bit more (though it has its own flaws that I'll get in to) is the one in the Watchmen game. Dynamically stringing together different combos based on what you need (e.g. area, knockdown, or extra damage attacks) feels so good to me... until you get interrupted by needing to dodge (by rolling around like a 'tard - I'm looking at you, Rorschach). Regardless, Batman still had it's intense moments during fights. Did I mention that game is awesome?
 

Thoughts on Condemned 2

God, I started this a while ago. You know when you haven't played a game in awhile, so you push all the buttons to figure out the controls again (no, this game didn't have an in-game button layout that I could find) and you end up wasting shit? Well, I wasted a taser shot and threw my lead pipe off the catwalk. Damnit. Not to mention my latest save was right when a 'roided out druggie is sprinting straight for me. "Oh shit! What does this button do!? Damnit!"
 
Anyway, the reason why I stopped playing this game in the first place was because I was convinced I hit a glitch where the door to the next area wouldn't open. First time back in, I look at the giant wheel in the middle of the effing door, hit X... and the door opens. Sigh.
 
Oh, and as it turns out, I had been playing this whole game with the brightness setting WAY too dark. I thought it was just that the game itself was dark (which it is) because I've never really had to adjust brightness levels before. Sure enough, while in the menus looking for a controller layout, I figured "Ehh, maybe it wasn't a glitch and I just missed something in the dark." Well... yeah. Not my brightest moment (Ha! Another pun!).
 

What's Next?

I started playing Turok while I was getting  a "bad gateway" error from this site... now I remember why I quit playing it the first time...
 
Maybe it's because I'm playing the PC version, but it's buggy as all get out. Missing textures, missing geometry (an enemy fell through a hole in the floor that was obviously not supposed to be there, so I jumped over it... the next hole was too big to jump...), scripting problems, you name it. And the quicksave function is pretty broken, at least for the section I played. When I got to a certain part, I quicksaved because I heard gunfire. I charged in and died. I load the quicksave... no gunfire? I go forward, and there's no gunfire because there's no enemies. I got through what looked like a pretty tough part by repeatedly quicksaving, dieing, and loading.
 
And this is all in about 45minutes since the spot where I quit last time...
 
Well, time to play some more. Wish me luck...
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A Realization and a Resolution

Today I made two lists, mostly for myself. The first is "Games I Need to Finish" and the second is "Games I Need to Start." Both of these lists include AAA titles, classics, and games that are all generally considered "good" from this and last generation. 
 
Each list is about 30 games long.
 
Now, I consider playing games to be a hobby and with that comes a certain amount of "collection" but holy jeebus! 
 
I couldn't have made this list at a better time either. Having just graduated from college with a BS in CS and on the hunt for a job as a game programmer, I have limited income at the moment. This has led me to cut the number of games I want to buy (released from late last year until I get a job... including all these hot new releases recently) from about a dozen (at least) to just a few, including games my friends and I decided to get for some multiplayer shenanigans.
 
Now, I am getting Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and with the amazon credit I'll probably look into getting Bioshock 2 because I'd like to try the multiplayer before the community dries up (ha! pun!) if it decides to do so, but I'm getting nothing else unless there's a really good deal for it. This means no Bayonetta, Darksiders, Dark Void, No More Heroes 2, God of War 3, Heavy Rain, Metro 2033, Just Cause 2, Splinter Cell Conviction, Red Dead Redemption, or even Mass Effect 2 (gasp!) among others.
 
Essentially, I have realized I have a lot of good games to play, and I going to try my best to not buy anything else until these lists get a lot shorter.

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