S-Rank Blog Post #15 - Another weekend, another home open.

So if you've read my last entry you'll know about the weekly home opens I've been enduring. Well it will end in one way or the other within a couple of weeks, infact a few things have gone down this last week. Firstly I'm sure you're all wondering how someone can have a home-open everyday for three months, well I don't know either. I'm not really privy to the details but someone had put a conditional offer in, which was accepted. Since then home opens were still happening. The condition being they'd need to sell their house first, apparently that hasn't happened and the deals fallen through, which was a bummer for a lot of people. I can't really speak for anyone else so I'll just selfishly talk about myself.

On the back of that news I was dreading the inevitable following slate of innumerable open houses but something else has happened. December 10th is the official date on which I'll be renting. After a month or so of trying (and by trying I mean my girlfriend doing most of the work while I looked at pictures of the houses on the internet) we've been accepted as tenants. I'm pretty excited about that, with a slight nervous twinge when I think about potentially having to deal with Telstra again. I can only hope they've got their shit together and I'm online in a matter of days instead of the near three weeks I suffered through last time. But, as I said, this finally means no more home opens, which is what I'm most excited about.

Renting also means more expenses, which in turn equals less money to throw away on the bundles of games I stupidly keep buying and piling onto my already massive stack of unplayed games. This is a blessing in disguise though, as it means I'll hopefully actually play through my pile now and maybe get my completion percentage up. Though it also means I'll have to work more, the job I have now is quite flexable letting me start at pretty much any time of my choosing and finishing at 4. This has resulted in me not really working full hours for a long time which will now also be a thing of the past, which could also effect the amount and times I'm able to boost. Hopefully I'll get this all figured out quicksmart and get a good rythem going again. After a long while of shunning boosting I've recently been joining a bunch of sessions again and I'd hate for all that to have to stop. But I'll count my chickens when they hatch, lets talk about some games.

Phantasy Star II

This was the game I played for most of the time I was offline during the whole Telstra debacle I mentioned earlier. I remember playing it years ago when I was 8 or something and dieing within the first ten minutes over and over. My 8 year old self just couldn't wrap his head around the RPG trappings. Seeing as I didn't want to be getting a whole lot of achievements offline and this game involves a whole lot of grinding and leveling up/exploring it seemed like the ideal candidate for some offline progress. After making a bunch of slow but steady progress throughout the game I ended up hitting some mountain ranges which just snake around with ladders leading up and down every second cliff face and after reaching two different peaks, both of which were the wrong ones I got frustrated and gave up. The next day I returned with my secret weapon; graph paper. I made my own maps for nearly every dungeon from then on until I finally got my internet back and looked up the maps for the rest and smashed through the last bit of the game without much problems.

I would say that unless you are quite a big fan of the old JRPG style games then this one is probably not for you. Personally I'm not really much of a fan though having some history with the game, however brief, and it's sci-fi setting pulled me in and helped me enjoy it. It's not a quick game, you will spend hours grinding levels, and with only 200 points to gain it's not really one for the point whores. I picked if up for 200 points when sega had discounted pretty much everything on XBLA but at it's usual 400 point price tag it's still worth it if you like these games - this one is a classic for a reason.

50 Cent: Blood on the Sand

Once again a game I've finished a long time ago scoots up the list due to helping a friend with some online achievements. I have a certain half ironic fondness for gangsta rap and as such I scooped this game up for ten dollars along with Pimp My Ride featuring none other than Xzibit a long time ago. 50 Cent and his G-Unit is in full effect here busting caps and being as G as can be, with the game being a servicable Gears of War clone. The storyline is non-exsistant and the game was getting old by the time I was nearing the end but the achievements are easy (you need a partner for co-op though). If you just want some easy points while switching your brain off for a while you might think about picking this up.


Torchlight is basically a slightly lighter more World of Warcraft styled Diablo (the original) clone made by one of Diablo's creators, if I'm not mistaken. It's quite good, and if you're a fan of Diablo this is right up your alley. Loot lust is a requirement to enjoying these games as I can see it becoming very, very monotonous otherwise. I thoroughly enjoyed Torchlight during my playthrough as a big fan of the original Diablo, you should know whether you'll like this or not, if you do like these types of games than this is a well produced one and it's easy to get the full 200 points aswell.

The Fancy Pants Adventures

Fancy Pants started out as an internet flash game. This was followed by another before it arrived on XBLA. The Fancy Pants Adventures sees you controling a stickman who wears not only some rather fancy pants but also a whole bunch of different hats too. It's a 2D platformer styled as if someone has drawn it on a page (I think the original flash games were actually created like that and scanned in) which utilizes momentum and wallrunning kind of like an easier version of N+ (unsurprisingly also started out as a flash game). I actually quite enjoyed my run through Fancy Pants, it offerend something quite different and relaxing. It's not exactly an easy 200 but it isn't anything super hard either. The orignal two games are also available to play through in the game so I feel like quite the Fancy expert now. If you're down to collect some squiggles while chilling out and exploring the hand-drawn levels with the occasional test of skill thrown in then this is your game.

Gunstar Heroes

Another Sega classic that I grabbed during their 200 point blitz. This one is super fast and easy with the same statesave anywhere abilities every Backbone Sega port has. It's a sidescrolling platformer/shooter that you can finish within the hour but is entertaining enough while you're playing it. I actually had never played this before so having no nostalgia for it, it still was pretty compelling. If you want a quick completion then this might be what you're looking for.

That'll be it for this week, home open has finished and I have to get back in time for my Dead or Alive 4 boost, in which I could just get my SS Rank, though it actually looks like I may just miss out and have to wait untill next weekend. After tonights boost it'll be a long night of nothing but Skyrim I think as I've managed to finish Deadliest Warrior and after trying maybe 20 times to pass that stupid pirate ship level in Turtles in Time Reshelled Survival mode I've had enough of that for now. See you guys online.