RecSpec Roulette: February 6, 2012

 

  
 I love rhythm games. Some of my top games of all time are from the genre. From Gitaroo Man (if I had to pick one favorite game, this would be it) to Ouendan, to Um Jammer Lammy, it is my favorite type of game by a land slide. This edition of the Roulette has quite a bit of them I have missed over the last few years. If you’re a fan of rhythm games, I suggest you pick them all up, they can all be found pretty cheap. Also, I redeem last weeks Meteos switcheroo and play the original article, plus a look at Little Big Planet’s best trailer and the song that accompanied it. Time to place your bets!

Main Bet: Ontamarama  

The hell you say? That’s right, Ontamarama. A rhythm game for the DS published by Atlus. Sounds crazy already right? Well, it is. And it’s one of the most challenging rhythm games I have ever played. The game combines screen tapping and button pressing to create a nightmare for people bad at multitasking. 

There is a timeline on top of the screen going from right to left. When a colored circle hits the end, you have to press the matching button. Simple enough, but before the circle moves across the screen, you have to fill it up. You achieve this by tapping Ontama (little magical creatures) of the same color. So to fill the red circle, you have to tap the red Ontama that appears. The game mixes things up by adding giant Ontama that require 2 button presses, and black and white ones that lower or raise your performance meter respectively. Quite frankly, it is a lot to keep track of. If things get too hectic, you can blow on the microphone to clear the screen. But you only get to do this 3 times in a song. Lost yet? Just...here.

  
  
This game is challenging because of the actual gameplay and the mechanics. The crazy gameplay is made harder because of a few design choices. For hold notes, you have to release the note at the time the note ends or it’s treated as a miss. While understandable, it conflicts with how other rhythm games treat long notes. It’s a hard habit to break. Also, instead of tapping, you can draw a circle around a group of the same colored Ontama to clear them all at once. Problem is, the circle mechanics are a little too precise. You can’t draw too big of a circle, but if you barely graze the edge of an Ontama, it’s not removed. So you have to do another move, which is suicide in a fast song. 

Don’t let the trailer fool you, the music isn’t too bad. The song in the trailer is probably the song I hate the most. There are various genres as expected. Some songs have lyrics, most so far don’t. To be quite honest, I’m only halfway through the game at this point. I keep failing a song called Hypnotronic Death. Which is a pretty decent song. My favorite so far has been Clubhouse Gig, which is a horrible name, because the characters you battle to it are named Club and Gig. That aside, it’s pretty cool.

There’s a story about your character who finds a stray Ontama with the best name ever, Myu. There are evil creatures called the Ditties that are trying to capture all of the Ontama for some evil plan, and they possess people and make them fight you. The story has many moments where you meet someone, only for them to attack you. It’s pretty repetitive at the beginning but once you meet the evil group, things pick up. While there are flaws, the gameplay is a nice change of pace from other rhythm games out there. 

Side Bets


I remember playing this when I bought it for my brother, and failing miserably. My brother’s mockery made me put off this game. (To be fair, this was the beginning of my brother’s rise to being better than me and my sister at games.) Finally picked it up again because Rhythm Heaven Fever is coming out soon. The stages are great, and the game is jam packed full of charm. Definitely one of those games where you need to play it before you pass judgement on it. It’s just crazy how catchy some of the tunes are, and overall it is just a cheery game. Again, also one that can be found cheap. If you have a DS, pick this up. Even if you are waiting for Fever.

Beat City is a clone of Rhythm Heaven produced by THQ. It has the minigames but makes a story out of it. Mimes invade Beat City and suck the music out of the city. A squidlike creature from space comes and turns your head into a speaker, because mimes are evil. It’s a neat way to tie all of the rhythm games together. The music doesn’t come close to Rhythm Heaven, but if you can lower your expectations a bit, it’s pretty fun. Some of the situations are pretty absurd too. One early game has a gorilla distracting an angry old man while lovers whisper secrets to each other. The games also throw more visual flair into it. With people suddenly sporting cowboy hats and weird outfits for no reason. A lot of fun, but not quite up to par with Rhythm Heaven.

I still hate the driving in this game, but the story is admittedly pretty fun. I love the direction this game has taken, adding the multiple characters and their storylines. As much as I hate the driving, I love doing the side missions to earn credits to buy new cars and garages. I don't think I'll finish this anytime soon. Also, playing this game with music from the original Driver is great.

I decided to pick up the real deal after last weeks Meteos Misery, and all I can say is...wow. After playing Disney Meteos, I forgot how amazing this game was.The match 3 and blast off gameplay is just as good. Even if I got a bit spoiled by the side switching in Disney Meteos. It’s just a better game overall. The sound effects and music are among the best in a Q Games joint, and the amount of unlockables is mindboggling. Easily the second best puzzle game on the DS after Puyo Puyo in my opinion.

Future Bets

  • Uncharted 3 Patch 1.04 is live, which means I’ll be playing a lot of that this week. Can’t wait to be Doughnut Cutter.
  • I plan to go back to finish Carmen Sandiego, because it must be done. Horrible puns be damned.
  • Going to open up Driver and Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, streaming fun.
  • I am highly tempted to pick up Resident Evil Revelations. And I actually support the Circle Pad, if it makes the game play better, why wouldn’t you use it?

Final Bet

I’ve said many times that Street Fighter X Tekken has some of the best trailers in gaming right now. But the old crown belonged to the original Little Big Planet. Before this game was out, each trailer made me want to play it more and more. A lot of this had to do with the song choice. My favorite trailer being the Sackzilla trailer. It was accompanied with the song Dancing Drums by Ananda Shakur. While this is a licensed track, I can't help but think about LBP every time I hear this song.  In the final game this song would be the song for one of the Temple stages, but the song will forever be tied with this trailer. Thanks for reading, see you all next week. 
  
  
   


1 Comments

RecSpec Roulette: January 30, 2012

      

  Forgive me for being optimistic, but portable gaming is poised to take over my life again. The Vita is coming out in a couple weeks with a strong launch lineup. The 3DS lineup is also looking pretty good. Last year the only portable game I looked forward to was Dissidia 012. I am also excited for the return of crazy Japanese rhythm games. Between Rhythm Thief R, Theatrhythm, and Rhythm Heaven Fever, things are looking great. If iNiS throws one on the pile, it’d be perfect. The funny thing is that you can tell they are rhythm games because it says rhythm in the title. Toe-tapping aside, time to place your bets!


This Friday I took a trip to the mall, and I make it a habit to stop at the Gamestop and see if there are any crazy used games there for cheap. I thought I had stumbled onto a hell of a deal when I saw them selling Meteos for only $4. Imagine my surprise when I got home and it wasn’t Meteos, but this. 

Meteos was one of my favorite DS games. Blocks fall from the sky, and you try to connect groups of three. Instead of disappearing, they turn into rockets and blast off. There were different characters that represented different planets, and each had their own chain rules, gravity, and launch power. Disney Magic still has all this. Instead of characters though, the stages are Disney storybooks. The gameplay is as solid as ever, and they added the ability to move blocks sideways (In the original game you could only move blocks vertically). While this may offend some, it actually isn’t that bad. 
 
 The claw chooses who will go and who will DIE!
That being said, it is such a shame how botched everything else is. It replaces the competitive games with missions. There were missions in the original game, but they were on the side. Your main focus would be to defeat your opponent. Focusing solely on the missions are a poor choice, because it turns the game into an endurance battle. It is not too fun trying to launch 1000 blocks in 3 minutes. There are a couple battles, but they make no sense as far as the story goes. 

Speaking of the story, it is laughably bad. Jiminy Cricket and Tinker Bell ask you for help because someone has been messing with their books. To be honest, I’m not even sure who really was messing with them. Probably Organization XIII. The scenarios presented can be pretty strange. One will have you helping the Toy Story aliens escape the claw, while another has you launching dice back at Oogie Boogie. You can unlock stuff like gallery pictures by beating stages multiple times, which is great because during the game, you won’t be paying attention to anything on the opposite screen. Unfortunately there is nothing of real value to unlock.  The second screen has no functionality at all. I have to admit, some of the game over pictures are funny, like in the Cinderella Stage. Cinderella can’t get to the ball so she’s crying, the animals are dejected, and the Fairy Godmother is dumbfounded because she doesn’t understand her wand. The music is forgettable. Some familiar songs are there but are redone in a bland way. I can’t recommend this at all. Even if you’ve played the original Meteos to death, you’d be better off playing that some more.

Side Bets

Driver history lesson. I loved the first game, hated the second one so much I never finished it, and...that’s it. Driver 2 turned me off to the series. This game has been a ton of fun though. The jumping from car to car is brilliant. I love using it to make chases unnecessarily difficult. Sure, I COULD outdrive the police, but why wouldn’t I take over these two cars and try to ram the police cars? The actual driving is pretty floaty, which takes getting used to, but nothing too hard so far. The story is also decent, as nonsensical as it is. I can’t wait to put more time into this.

This was the diving board back into the wrestling pool for me. As a fighting game, it’s not really too fun, but as a wrestling game, it’s pretty fun. I haven’t played a wrestling game since the PS1 version of SmackDown! but I was able to recognize at least half of the characters because of the legends they had in the game.  The Fantasy Warfare matches are awesome, if only because of the video promos before it. The first thing I did was pick Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage and take on the Tag Team ladder. When I won my first match, I received a trophy called “Mega Powers.” That was amazing! If you don’t understand why, then this game really isn’t for you. That pretty much sums up this game. If you like or may have liked wrestling at one point in your life, it’s a blast. If you haven’t, then move on.

Random Bet: WWE aka Yes, I know wrestling is still fake. 

Speaking of wrestling, I’m totally hooked on it again. I blame my crushing boredom and winter blues. Seriously though, I’m interested in it all over again. I haven’t been interested in wrestling in about 10 years. Strangest thing about this resurgence...I haven’t actually watched any on TV. I watched some matches from past Wrestlemania featuring my old favorites Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho, and watched a couple of the WWE documentaries on Netflix. I even bought A Lion’s Tale for my Kindle (which wrestling aside, is still a pretty good book). Last night was the Royal Rumble, one of the WWE’s big PPV events, so there was a lot of stuff to read online. It’s strange, like someone who studies a foreign country over and over and over, learning everything about it. I did the same with wrestling. I read predictions about what would happen, read reviews and stories about past events. Aside from Whiskey Media sites, the site that takes the most of my side is ESPN spinoff site Grantland. The various wrestling articles there written by The Masked Man were always interesting. It was because of them that I went down this road. I will probably watch Monday Night Raw tonight, and MAYBE just maybe, I’ll be a sucker and throw down $60 for a PPV down the line. It’s kind of exciting, and it sounds horrible.

Future Bets

  • I bought Mass Effect for 360, so there’s another game for my to do list. I won't be caught up by the time Mass Effect 3 hits, but I hope to be able to beat all 3 by the end of the year.
  • I want to get through Driver: San Francisco, which I’ll get back to when I wrap up All Stars. 
  • Sadly, I was excited for Soul Calibur V, but since there’s so much going on right now, I’ll probably just hold off on that for a while. Of course, don’t be surprised if I DO end up buying it (tax money).
  • It’s kinda scary, the Vita comes out soon, and I will probably buy one (thanks again tax money). 
  • I rented Battlefield 3 again (the first time I rented it, never touched it) and Just Dance 3 from Gamefly, add these to Halo Anniversary as Gamefly games I won’t touch. 

Final Bet 

Didn’t do a final bet this week, I decided the best way to wrap up this blog would be to pull a random video game song out of nowhere. This week’s is one of the credit medleys from Sonic Generations. Yes, ONE of them. There was one for the console version and one for the 3DS one. This is the console version, which starts off EXACTLY like the Genesis one. Sonic Generations is a game that has a soundtrack that is superior to the game itself, this medley shows why. It has all of the stages in it, so you can see how much they crammed into this game. A great nostalgia rush.  
 
  
  

Thanks for reading this week! For more random nonsense you can follow me on Twitter or check out my YouTube channel. Questions and requests are always welcome. See you all next week!
1 Comments

RecSpec Roulette: January 23, 2012

      

  
  Hello ladies and gents. The week off gave me time to fix my personal issues and rethink how I was going to write this. I started writing this as a way to get over a failed relationship. That kind of worked, but it was so quickly put together, I made a few missteps.

I really like the roulette theme, but naming everything after roulette terminology, bleh. So I’m going to simplify things (to an extent). Renaming my sections. Main bet is about the top game I’ve been playing. Side bets are the other games. Random bet is well, the random part. Future bets is what I’m looking forward to playing and what I might actually play. Enough explanations though, place your bets!

Main Bet: By default, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (Multiplayer) 


Apologies in advance because this is charted territory (Boom). My boss was on vacation last week, so I ended up working 5am to 6-7pm every day last week. Then football on the weekends. The only game I played this week was Uncharted 3. That is a horrifying feeling. What did I play this week? Nothing? And I’m trying to write a game blog? FOOLISH MORTAL! I digress. I played a lot of Uncharted 3 this week.

The treasure hunting in the multiplayer is what drives me. When you kill a player (or enemy in co-op) they can randomly drop a treasure. If you collect all of the treasures in a set, you unlock one of two things. It will either be a costume piece for your character (my personal favorite: a cowboy hat for Talbot), or a special weapon with multiple mods (rate of fire, accuracy, etc). When a treasure is dropped, I abandon EVERYTHING and run like a man on fire towards it.

Greed. Like Nathan in the stories, I’ve been wrecking myself looking for the treasures. Playing modes I don’t like because I can only get Lazarevic’s KAL-7 in that mode. Talbot’s FAL-SS can only be got in Hardcore (which is horrible because you can’t use boosters to raise treasure drops). Everytime I think I’m over it, oh look, a new treasure. The game is sadistic. This game just tries to makes you mad and I’m done with it. I think. My brother likes playing it a lot (true story: Uncharted 3 cured his Skylanders obsession) and he might drag me back into it. Oh god.

Random bet


The San Francisco 49ers got knocked out of the playoffs, and thank goodness. I’ve been a 49ers fan since I was a kid, but they haven’t had decent success since I was in middle school it seems. When they made their move in the playoffs, I was excited, yelling, etc. It makes it hard to play games when watching football. The whole day Sunday I was watching football pregame shows and reading previews. It was exciting. Frisco hadn’t been that close to the Super Bowl in years, and even though they lost. It was exciting. All in all, great season by the Niners, thank god I can stop stressing though. By the time overtime happened I was a wreck. Sports. Love em.

Future Bets 

In earlier posts I mentioned a January Steam Journal, that is dead now. I’ve barely had enough time to play any games. So a game a day pace was just too much to keep. There are three games I am thinking about diving into. Dynasty Warriors 7:XL, Halo Anniversary, and Driver: San Francisco. I’ll probably play Driver because I loved the first one. Or I might play more Skyrim. PS3 version and it still hasn’t exploded yet. That’s enough for today. Til next time folks.
1 Comments

RecSpec Roulette: January 9, 2012

 

 I’m sorry to state the obvious, but getting sick sucks. You think that you’ll be able to spend that time playing games, but in reality you can’t. My January Steam Journal is behind because of that. I did get a good start on it though. I plan to spin it off into its own blog, so this week’s roulette will be its last. My goal for this month was to avoid spending money on games. I think that’s going to derail this week. While we are talking about derailing, I think I am going to do a shift next week, rearrange some things, upgrade some things. You know, maintenance. No outside bets today. Each game will be in detail. Time to place some bets!

What have I been playing? Steam games of course!

Skyrim Update: My stealth conjurer is now a light armored, warhammer wielding warrior. Also, I hate Argonians. No way a daughter of mine will marry some slimy lizard scum. (Speaking for my character, I swear). Moving on, every inside bet this week is part of my January Steam Journal. Where I’ll try to play a different game every day. 

You know what bothers me about this game? The character you play as reminds me of a Tom Goes to the Mayor character, and that really irks me. The actual concept is neat. You can move and jump, but the main way to move is to rotate the world around you. This has led to some cool puzzles, like delivering a banana to a monkey so he can move out of your way. I don’t know if this is because of the setting or the ambient noises, but I can’t really get hooked onto this game. 

This competitive 2d airplane shooter is a blast, proving that an experience system plus perks can get me interested in just about anything. There are a lot of planes to choose from, with different speeds and weapons. I’ve been partial to the bomber, because it’s takes a little more punishment. I’ve only been playing against bots, but I still had a lot of fun with Altitude. There are the usual deathmatch modes, along with a rugby style mode. My favorite is the base defense one, where you have to pick up a nuke and drop it on the enemy base. This is a fun one.

This game’s premise is so simple, you move left and right, you have an action button, and a button that flips gravity. Your crew has been warped all over and you have to find them. The platforming in this is fantastic. It reminds me of Super Meat Boy. There are specific rooms where you have to time the gravity switch to make it across, it’s frantic yet satisfying. Also, the music is pretty good, although a bit grating after looping for the hundredth time. I’ve saved 3 of my crew members, each in a different section that has its own trick. One is a constantly moving room, another deals with barriers that flip gravity while you’re midair. If you liked Super Meat Boy or just platformers in general, you should pick this up. It’s even available on the 3DS now.

Hard to believe this game came out in 2008, it didn’t seem that long ago. If you’re unfamiliar, Braid is about a man who is in search of a Princess who may or may not exist. It is a platformer that allows you to rewind time. This can be used to redo a poor jump or more frequently to solve a lot of the games puzzles to get puzzle pieces. I’ve traversed (not completed) through all of the worlds except the first one, and I’m not sure what to make of it. I enjoyed a couple of the worlds, while others haven’t impressed. That’s a shame, because the story is interesting, and I want to see it through. Getting every puzzle piece looks like it will become a chore way too soon though. I loved the stuff with your own shadow (you perform an action, and when you rewind time your shadow will repeat the action you just did). I’m not the completionist type, but I may force myself to finish this. 


The (more) random section of the blog. This week: Books!
I bought one of the new Kindles, and the first thing I did was put the Sonic Dash and Spin manga on it. It’s like a combination of Sonic and Ren and Stimpy, it was pretty bizarre. Then I found out you could read books on the thing, and it truly became a magical device. As far as actual reading, I put a lot of the free classic books on there (Invisible Man, Sherlock Holmes, Dracula) and I bought the Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway (my favorite writer). Haven’t read any actual books in at least a year, so if you have any good book recommendations, please let me know. 

    
Poor planning is still better than no planning...right?
The second half of last week was smashed together because I was sick, kind of like this blog. Next week will bring a few changes, hopefully for the best. As far as the future goes, more steam games, more Skyrim, and I will probably pick up Amy on 360 (or maybe PS3 if it comes out this week). Might actually review that one, because it’s been awhile, and I was a fan of the last game Lexis Numerique put out there, Red Johnson’s Chronicles. Until next time, thanks for reading. 
 
For more of my random nonsense follow me on twitter ( @recspecreno) and check out my YouTube channel   http://www.youtube.com/user/RecSpecReno 

10 Comments

RecSpec Roulette: January 2, 2012

 

January 2, 2012. Let's kick this year off right!

 Happy New Year duders and dudettes! I hope your resolutions are still holding up. The Steam sale is finally over, and thank goodness. I mentioned this last week, but this January I plan to play a different Steam game every day. I'm going to call it the January Steam Journal. I will probably write more about this later in the week, but the first game will be on here. Maybe if this picks up enough momentum, I will spin this off into its own thing. Then again, how much can I REALLY write about Universe Sandbox? I have nothing video game related to talk about in the Zero Bet section, so I'm going to talk about food, sorry in advance. Time to place your bets! 


I can definitely say that I'd put some chips down on these.

Sonic CD

I finished this during the week, and I am completely floored. This game is great, even though this feels like a Sonic the Hedgehog reboot (Certain sequences like the infinitely looping water sections are straight from the first game).  The boss battles are strange, but I appreciated them as the game continued. They are pretty clever and it seems like some thought was put into them. I was expecting a "normal" battle against Metal Sonic, where you have to hit him 8 times while dodging his attacks. The actual boss battle is a race, you vs. Metal, with Robotnik chasing you both with a death laser. It's probably one of my favorite Sonic battles of all time.

 The time aspect is cool but kind of useless, until you try to get a good ending. To get a good ending, you can either complete the seven special stages (chasing UFO's in a 3d space, pretty irritating) or destroy the generators in the past versions of all the acts. Now each act has three objectives. The first is finding a decent way to get into the past. That means hitting a Past sign and getting enough speed to make the jump,  It's a lot harder than it sounds. Second is finding the generator, making you explore the stages a bit. Third is getting to the goal, obviously. This adds a lot of depth to the formula, it's refreshing.

Also, the Japanese soundtrack is fantastic! I played with the JP soundtrack because I like Cosmic Eternity over Sonic Boom, but I didn't expect such a gap between them. To me, Sonic CD isn't an epic battle between good and evil. It's a goddamn Sonic game, fun and comical and light. The US soundtrack is dark and moody and brooding, the JP soundtrack samples a funk song for the boss music! Then again, the final stage music in the bad ending route is darker than anything the US soundtrack throws at you. It basically tells you (as in you the player, not Sonic) that everything is done for. Creepy as hell, but still awesome. So maybe the mood thing doesn't hold up, but I love the JP soundtrack.

Magicka (Day 1 of January Steam Journal)

After hearing good things about this, I couldn't help but pick this up when it went on sale. I bought the complete pack, which has all the DLC, so immediately I was enthralled by the costumes. I settled for picking the mage with a pistol, how cool is that! Also, there's a tentacle one, and a soldier one, and a detective one, it's so cool! This game has brought out a childish joy in me. Combining elements is pretty cool, and I love finding different ways to tackle situations. One boss had me trying to link two different spells, only to realize I was over complicating things. The writing is all right, nothing spectacular so far, but there are some neat moments. I also love the way everyone talks in that game. This game is a neat package, I don't think I'm quite done with this one yet.

ChuChu Rocket!

Since I blew out a tire this week, I figured it would be a good time to get a new set of tires, I had been putting it off for a long time anyway. While waiting, I got to mess around with ChuChu Rocket! on my phone. If you are unfamiliar, the ChuChus will run in a straight line, turning when they hit walls. Your goal is to place arrows so they run towards their rocket.    Later on they will add cats that you need to avoid, and sometimes direct the cats away from the ChuChus. It is a great phone game, easy and quick (so far).    

I've dabbled a bit in these, but I would bet for or against these.
 
 Another great game that ends in space.

  Puyo Puyo! 20th Anniversary- Finished the Wii version's story mode. 25 stories complete.

Skyrim- Now working on making stupidly powerful weapons, hoping my PS3 version doesn't explode.

And Yet It Moves- Started this, pretty neat so far, but something seems missing from it.

Beat Hazard- Played for the Steam Xmas achievement. Still amazed by how much is in that game.

Super Meat Boy- Haven't played this in forever, I don't think I can play it anymore, my skills have rusted over. 


     

Zero planning, zero purpose. The (more) random section of the Roulette 
Bringing a dish to a party can be a scary experience. Do you really want to bring booze to every party the rest of your life? Yes, you could go to a grocery store and buy the neat organized party platter, but that might get expensive. What if you get invited to a potluck party? What do you do then? \ 

Stealing this idea from my aunt, but each person should have a dish they can fall on in case of party situations like these. Make it your signature. It doesn't have to be 5-star restaurant quality. I make a simple rice dish consisting of white rice and cooking cream cheese. That's it. But people love it and it's mine. Where am I going with this? One day you will be invited to boring adult parties where you will be judged by the dish you bring in. Prepare now so that when that time comes, you'll be ready. Heck, if you want to borrow my idea, here you go. 
 
Ingredients, 3 cups of white rice, 2 10oz containers of Italian Herbs and Cheese cooking creme, found in your local supermarket. 
1. Cook the rice

2. Mix creme into completed rice, make sure you mix thoroughly.

That's it! It's just one of those basic things I've learned as an adult, get yourself a simple signature dish. Not a dessert either! As I said, people will cop out with desserts, you want to stand out without standing out. 


There's always hope for the future right?

  This has become the section where I lie, because I never play the games I am going to set out to play. I WANT to play Skyward Sword (need to start that sometime right?), Halo, and Dark Souls. I'm going to line up the Steam games I'm going to play this week for sure, and I'll probably start uploading some Puyo Puyo videos. Maybe even write about it. 2011 has been a great year as far as gaming goes, here's hoping 2012 is just as good. Thanks for reading.   

  For more of my random nonsense follow me on twitter ( @recspecreno) and check out my YouTube channel   http://www.youtube.com/user/RecSpecReno

4 Comments

RecSpec Roulette: December 27, 2011

      

It never seems like I can catch up on what I want to do (posting this at 3:30am because I passed out before I could finish last night). Christmas is done and over with, yet there are so many games to play. STILL a lot of games to play. That is a great problem to have. First things first, no Game Gear game this week, may return next week, not quite sure yet. Next up, I finally finished my Game of the Year list, and to my surprise, Sega shows up twice. My games this week are going to be numerous yet short. Since I've mainly been sampling from stuff I picked up from the Steam Sale. A good thing about this year is that I've actually played every game that I've bought, unlike last year where I bought every five dollar indie pack. Still haven't played all of those games. More on that later, first up, some Wii games.

Inside Bets

Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math: The Lady Liberty Larceny  

So I made the mistake last week of thinking Doctor Lautrec was a Layton clone. Turns out the real Layton clone was here the whole time. This Wiiware game (for 600 points on the shop) borrows a lot from that game. From finding hidden hint coins to offering Prestige Points per puzzle (Think picarats). I've only put an hour into the game, but I'm pretty sure I am halfway done. Because there are only 10 puzzles in the game.

That game reminded me how insane the Carmen Sandiego world is. You are an agent of Acme sent to recover the Statue of Liberty, which has been stolen. How you ask? By strapping a rocket onto it. The suspects are part of an organization called VILE because of course they are. The list of suspects are full of witty names like Jacqueline Hyde. To be honest, everyone likes puns in that game, from your annoying contact from Acme to the random people you meet (Herr Doktor Doktor Doktor, no joke, that's a real character name). If you're not familiar with the Carmen Sandiego games, I probably sound crazy. One last thing, I like how the game uses the Wii remote like a phone at times like No More Heroes did. Carmen Sandiego herself will call you at times just to mock your progress, then give you a hint before dropping a pun on you and hanging up. Good times.

Puyo Puyo!! 20th Anniversary

So, a bit of background information. Puyo Puyo has come over to the states four  times. The first was Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, which was a reskin of Puyo Puyo but with Dr. Robotnik and robots from The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. Second was Kirby's Avalanche, which was a reskin of the second Puyo game, Puyo Puyo Tsu, with Kirby characters. The third is Puyo Pop Fever, which came to the DS and Gamecube. The last was the previously mentioned Puyo Puyo Tsu, brought to the Virtual Console as an import. You can get all three on the VC or Mean Bean Machine on Steam.

If you're not familiar with the series, blocks of Puyo (little creatures from a RPG series called Madou Monogatari) drop, and your goal is to match four or more of the same color. When you match four, they disappear. It is a competitive puzzle game, and your goal is to do bigger combos to bury your opponent with garbage Puyo (colorless that only disappear when connected to a group).

Puyo 20 is a collection of characters and modes from the last 20 years. Think of what Tetris DS was to the Tetris series. The game has a story mode for each of its 24 characters, which differentiate themselves by their dropsets, so there is more to each character besides the look. There are at least 15 different modes too.  This game has the most play time for me (over two versions, the DS one came out in June, Wii version came out a couple weeks ago.) and there will be more to come on this.  Consider this an introduction. If your only look into the series was with Mean Bean Machine, get ready to have your mind blown.

Outside Bets

Steam Sale! I am going to shoot to play a different game on Steam every day in January for at least an hour or two. Complete overdose. So get ready for that. (Spoiler: I doubt I will make it.) I've been scratching the surface with these games to get ready.

Jamestown- I don't even know what counts as bullet hell these days. I think this counts. A pretty nifty shooter. Haven't tried the co-op yet.

Frozen Synapse- I love the simultaneous turn-based system in this game. Haven't really dug too deep with this one, but I am starting to pick up a bit of the basics.

Hard Reset- Best menus ever! This shooter is the first old-school PC style FPS I've played in awhile (that's a genre right?) so the whole "KEEP SHOOTING THINGS, QUICKLY!" was a bit overwhelming the first time I played it. Looked nice though, will definitely go back.

E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy- Played this for a half hour or so. Still shaking my head at the absurdity of it all. 

Uncharted 3: My brother and sister hit the max level, all through co-op. I finally got to 55 (Desert Talbot unlocked). We put WAY too much time into that game.

Zero Bet

 Wires and Dials!

I finally got the mixer I got for Christmas set up, wires and all. It's a pretty awesome device, so many wires and dials!. I was able to mess around with it and record my playthrough of Lady Liberty Larceny. Not much else with it though. I ordered the right cords so I can pretty much do what I want with it. Having a bit of an issue with multiple people though. Had a Skype call running through it pretty well, but everyone on the phone would end up hearing the game audio. Nothing a splitter can't fix though.   

 I guess the main thing is to build confidence in recording audio over games. My motivation behind this is strange. I'm just trying to have fun with it, you know? It would be a bit strange having all this stuff and not using it. As I've said before in my previous commentary related blog. It's a lot harder than it looks. You have to be on your toes, and always have something to say. I guess this will get easier with more practice.  

  
  

Final Bet

First thing I'm trying to do is survive the Steam sale. Hopefully I can play some more Lautrec. I still haven't touched Halo Anniversary yet. Pushmo and Super Mario 3D Land will probably continue to collect dust on the shelf. Honestly though, I predict more steam stuff, and finishing Carmen Sandiego. 

1 Comments

RecSpec Roulette: December 19, 2011

    

Hello, ladies and gents, welcome back to the Roulette. Just wrapped up a crazy week and started another one. Spent a good deal of time with family, so I wasn't able to finish my GotY list yet. I did do a blog on my favorite game songs of the year, and I was able to look back at my list from last year. As I type this I am waiting for a very important package, which you will no doubt see/hear about later on this week. I was a fool for thinking that last week was my last week where I would be pressured, oh well, hopefully things wrap up by Christmas Eve. Oh, and the goddamn Steam sale started this week. So I will buy a ton of games I will NEVER play. Just like last year. Anyway, on to the games I've been messing around with.

INSIDE BETS

Any game past this point doesn't mean anything as far as my GotY is concerned, if I didn't finish it by now, tough luck. I did play a bit of this and a bit of that. This was more of a gathering week for the cold winter ahead. The only game I really spent a good deal of time with was Ghost Trick. I really haven't played anything this week.

Ghost Trick

Last week I came off as indifferent to Ghost Trick, and I still stand by the fact that the puzzles drag early on. But man, that game does some crazy stuff later on. You encounter a different kind of Ghost Trick, and the puzzles got way more intense. I think the part where I left off last week was right before I got hooked on it. The game gets a hell of a lot better in the second half, and the ending is ridiculous and awesome at the same time. Oh right, there's a fourth wall breaking moment that ranks among the best of all time. I don't want to spoil it, but the last time I found a moment like that so cool was MGS4 with Screaming Mantis. Ghost Trick starts off slow, but the game is one of top handheld games this year.

Doctor Lautrec and the Forgotten Knights  

This isn't a Layton clone. I thought I was funny naming my profile Hershel Layton, wrong. That game starts you off with a stealth section then a turn-based battle against a spirit hiding in a treasure. There are normal puzzles too, like French crossword puzzles. I'm only an hour in, but it has been a good hours. Loving the characters in this, Lautrec may come off as a complete dick sometimes, but he's a lovable dick. And he totally has a monkey in his hat. A shame that I won't get to this game for a bit, it shows promise.

OUTSIDE BETS

Sonic CD is a lot of fun so far, I find it hilarious that even though I've played it here and there over the years, I've never time traveled in that game until I played the 360 version.

Skyward Sword, still haven't touched it.

ZERO BET: Mixin' it up

So, I finally bought a mixer. I've dabbled in a bit of streaming and video recording. But a big issue was putting commentary over it. I had a quick fix by using my computer as a skype relay point, but that became too unreliable and too hard to control. I've been looking at the Xenyx 802 for awhile, and since it's Christmas time, decided to go for it. Now all I have to do is buy $40 worth of various cables and adapters, not to mention a decent mic and headphones. I can't wait to put my stupid game adventures and commentary on YouTube.  I spent the night I got the mixer trying to draw out what I needed, here's the results of that. I'm really excited.


GAME GEAR BET: Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Formerly known as the Game Gear Game of the Week. This game was my first video game. My grandfather bought me a new GG with Sonic 2, and man, what a horrible game to start me off with, if only for that first boss battle. You fight this antlion on a steep ass slope. Well, you don't fight anything, Robotnik throws rocks at you hitting the antlion. A stupid boss, but one of the hardest EVER! Go too far to the right, death because of how steep it is. The resolution on the screen is so small that you have barely any time to react to what rocks Robotnik throws at you. 

  
  

Funny thing about that video. That is the first time I've noticed that you can bounce off it. Amazing! 18+ years of torture from that fucker, and there was an easy trick to it. Still not foolproof, but it's not a complete loss anymore.

The Act intros are funny too, why is it showing Sonic and Tails if he is kidnapped? Nostalgia? "Sigh, I miss when me and Tails went to the Scrambled Egg Zone." The best part of that game is the bad ending, where a solemn Sonic is running through a field, then looks up into the stars and sees the ghost of Tails, shot in the head. I mean, you don't really think it's a star...do you?

This game was full of nightmares.

FINAL BET

My very important package came in today, so it's all about that. Maybe some Lautrec, and maybe some Steam stuff. I also downloaded the new Carmen Sandiego game, because goddamnit I want a Layton clone. A majority of my week will be playing with some random streaming and video stuff. My game of the year list will also be up sometime this week. Until next time.

For more of my random nonsense follow me on twitter (@recspecreno) and check out my YouTube channel  http://www.youtube.com/user/RecSpecReno

1 Comments

RecSpec's Video Game Song of the Year Extravaganza

In case you haven't noticed, I am a weird individual. Most of the music I've listen to is game related. If you wanted to break it down, I'd say it's about a 3 to 1 ratio game music to normal music. So I decided to write out a list of my top game songs. I am not musically trained and I don't know the first thing about music. So I apologize to you all who I offend with my descriptions of songs, a lot of these are more about the moment they are tied to than the song, but here you go. Links provided of course.

Before getting to the top ten games of this year, I believe some appreciation is in order for some songs that didn't come out this year.  I've discovered some pretty awesome game music from years past. So then, here's m y top 5 Of, but not from 2011 list.

5. Dr. Fetus' Castle- (Super Meat Boy)

 I just missed playing Super Meat Boy in 2010. Back in January I tore through this game (okay, maybe it tore through me) and loved the soundtrack.  I know if people had to pick a song from the soundtrack one of the versions of Betus Blues would probably take the top spot. For me, I would have to pick the theme from the Chapter 5's Dark World. Strangely enough, this song wasn't even in the 360 version because of a mistake.  The other Dark World themes were variations on the Light World songs, but The Rapture shook things up.  

4. Stardust Speedway Bad Future (Sonic CD)

You know what, keep Sonic Boom. I've been enjoying the Japanese soundtrack for Sonic CD a lot more than the American one. I learned about this song from Sonic Generations, didn't recognize it at all. Of course I didn't, this is from the Japanese version.  I don't know what the hell the "singer" is up to in this song, probably trying to summon some spirit from beyond the grave. The melody is great and the siren effects are pretty cool too. If it's any consolation, it's also my current ringtone.

3. Theme of Strange Klug (Puyo Puyo 15th)

Puyo Puyo 20th is a game you will hear a lot more about soon. That game came out this year, yes, but this song is from an earlier version of the game. It's a fast and hectic song, perfect for a dramatic battle, but in this puzzle game, it's great too. Nothing beats the various spell shouts while this song plays in the background.

2. Pleather for Breakfast (No More Heroes)

No More Heroes' soundtrack will probably end up as one of my favorite soundtracks of all time. The song "The virgin child makes her wish without feeling anything" was what sold me on the game, a fucking random yet amazing moment. And I haven't seen a game with such a great boss theme lineup since Metal Gear Solid 3. I could only pick one, and "We Are Finally Cowboys" is a fantastic final battle theme with a equally fantastic name. But Pleather for Breakfast is better. It has stuck in my head since I finished NMH.  The song starts off fast, and only builds up and builds up. I have no idea exactly what the girl singing is saying (One of the lines sounds like Ecstasy, yes, no?), but that doesn't stop me from loving this song.

1. Philistine (No More Heroes 2)

Sometimes you wonder if the characters can hear the music playing. Other times you know they do. Before fighting Margaret Moonlight on top of Guan's, you've heard about the song. Everyone who hears the song learns it...before they die. Philistine is catchy as hell (as noted by Travis Touchdown after the battle), with some pretty amusing lyrics. The song is CONSTANTLY ragging on Travis. (You think the fire in your eyes makes you a tiger in disguise? Dream on you goddamn pussy!). Did I mention how catchy this song is?

Now onto the top ten of the year. Before I begin, I should just state that Sons of Skyrim isn't on here. It was the last one to be cut. Nothing against the song, I just found these ten better than it. With that being said, onto the Top 10 Video Game Songs of 2011.

10. "Theme of the Devil's Flute" Professor Layton and the Last Specter, Tomohito Nishiura

I'm a huge fan of the Professor Layton soundtracks, they are unique and are great when you want to just relax. The main theme's in the Professor Layton games have always been top quality, this one is better than Unwound Future's by far. I love the assortment of instruments used.  Also, I love those accordions!

9. "Main Theme" L.A. Noire, Andrew Hale

Winner of the "Menu song most likely to be left on for hours at a time." Say what you will about this game, I enjoyed it quite a bit. This menu theme was just great to listen to.

8. "Everything's Alright" To the Moon, Laura Shigihara

When the events come together in To the Moon and you find out why Johnny wants to go to the moon and everything mysterious about River's actions click all at the same time (when you go back to the past), it is heartbreaking. The moment afterward, where one of the main characters decides that the best course of action to accomplish THEIR goal is to pretty much ERASE River from Johnny's future? Just devastating. The whole montage of all the events in Johnny's life with River being replaced by the new future is hard to watch. The song "Everything's Alright" is a great song on its own, but the pairing with the scene makes it stick with you, long after you finish the game.

7. "Shadows of the Damned" Shadows of the Damned, Akira Yamaoka w/ The Damned

That's a mouthful. The self-titled credits song was performed by the punk band The Damned, in case you were lost there. Both of the songs that play in the credits (this one and Broken Dream) were great, but this one takes the top by being more upbeat than the typical solemn songs usually reserved for credit sequences.  

6. "The Last Battle" Dynasty Warriors 7, Haruki Yamada

I love the music in the Dynasty Warriors series, so picking a song from DW7 isn't too surprising. The Last Battle hits a higher level than a majority of the songs. This song is set aside for the final battle in the game, where you are fighting to end the Three Kingdoms Era by performing the fatal blow to the Shu Kingdom. It's the first time that the storyline extended this far into the Three Kingdoms history, so the final battle was already going to be a pretty big event. It's just surprising that the song with it was so great too.

5. "Trauma" Ghost Trick, Masakazu Sugimori  

Ghost Trick is the surprise game of 2011 for me, coming back from the dead to have a place in my heart. This song is memorable because it is tied to two of the most memorable moments in the game. One being the moment after helping Jowd escape from the prison (the prison escape is what caused me to shelf the game for 10 months). Where after all that, he gets caught by none other than Kapanela. The other is when Sissel finds out his real identity. A huge reason these moments stick out is because of this song. It's good to see Masakazu Sugimori working with Shu Takami again.

4. "Setting Sail, Coming Home" Bastion,  Darren Korb

"Build That Wall" and "Mother I'm Home" are both extremely catchy and great songs. Putting them together? Wow, what a great combination. Those three songs are the best trio of songs from this year hands down. They are all great, even if they don't seem like much at first. The true brilliance of these songs shine through when you catch yourself singing or humming them later without warning.  The reason Setting Sail gets top billing? It's definitely greater than the sum of it's parts.

3. "Cantata Mortis & God In Fire" Dissidia 012, Takeharu Ishimoto & Kidneythieves

012 was a letdown, but the final boss theme was superb. This is a two part song, with the first part being general Final Fantasy boss music, with the ominous singing and orchestra. That alone isn't anything too great, but halfway through the song, it transitions into God In Fire. That transition is amazing, with the choir singing along with the intro to the song. God In Fire is a great song by itself, and would easily make this list. The addition of Cantata Mortis pushes it to another plane.

2. "Firewater" Dead Rising 2: Off the Record, Oleska Lozowchuk feat Sinister Growley

Do you want to know why I bought Dead Rising: Off the Record? I wanted to fight Chuck Greene, the hero of DR2. That was what pushed me over the fence. So when this game came out, I got to this sequence (actually, me and my sister did) and holy shit, his theme is fucking amazing. This song is my kind of song. This rock song talking about how Whiskey (Firewater) gets rid of all your problems goes well with how they changed Chuck Greene's appearance. The funny thing about it is that he was the same as how I played him in DR2, we even called him Grungy Chuck, always running around in his boxers with his booze, good times. Right, back to the song. This song lays out what is running through Chuck's head after losing his daughter (She bites the dust in the initial outbreak in Off the Record). It's an amazing song. So close to winning, how freaky would that have been. Dead Rising having my favorite song 2 years in a row...

1. "Exile Vilify" Portal 2, The National

I just want to paste the lyrics here and call it a day. Exile Vilify is a brilliant song by the National. And it is easily missed if you aren't looking for it. The way it ties into the Portal story is great, especially if you've read into some of the stuff about the Rat Man.  It is a very moving song. This also introduced me to The National and their music. This song is one that has stuck with me all year. Bittersweet, even. Exile Vilify is worth listening to even if you haven't played a Portal game. Easily one of my top songs ever, and not just game music either.

3 Comments

RecSpec Roulette: December 12, 2011

 

 Welcome to the latest spin of the RecSpec Roulette. I actually feel pretty good writing for two weeks in a row. Hopefully I can keep it going. You know, before the laziness sets in. In addition to the general talk about what I've been playing. I added a couple new sections and changed some names around. Outside Bets is where I will talk about a few games VERY briefly. Zero Bet is the name of my random one off section. This week it is about modding my Wii. Next week it may be about my Sonic the HedgeNog recipe, not sure yet.  It will be something strange though. There is also the Final Bet section, which is what I plan to do in the next week. It's nice to have goals. Oh, and there's a bonus section in there too. Don't want to spoil it just yet. But now, place your bets! Here we go!

GOTY Wrap up

I'm not a respectable games journalist. Hell, I'm not a respectable ANYTHING. But I like the self-inflicted pressure of making a GotY list. I'll probably have mine up this Sunday, and the only games I am going in depth with this week are the last ones that made it into the door (Sorry Zelda). I started both of these games, and then put them aside for awhile.  These two were the ones I decided to play through before making my list. Strangely enough, I'm not even finished with both games yet.

Bastion

For the record, I never watched any of the Building the Bastion segments on Happy Hour. I had no idea what this game was.  The main reason I bought Bastion was the overwhelming positive response from the people I follow on Twitter. I couldn't get into it. The combat system didn't really catch my attention, and I didn't feel the need to continue.

When I picked it back up this week, it still seemed a bit slow. To be perfectly honest, I never really enjoyed the combat until I picked up the Galleon Mortar, one of the last weapons in the game. Why did I keep playing? That game has a lot of charm. The game is bright and colorful and the narrator is an excellent fit. The story was also pretty good, punctuated by the vocal themes throughout the game.  I thought I was done, but I keep seeing that the NG+ was worth going through. Some even being as bold as saying it was the best use of New Game + ever. I guess I'm not done with the Bastion yet.

Ghost Trick

My mindset regarding this game is a strange thing. I loved the demo, picked the game up at launch, and played through about nine chapters. Then, I stopped. I remember the last sequence I played, a level where you have to help a prisoner escape without being seen, being horrible. Because of that, I stopped playing it, and it sat on my shelf for months.  Ten months to be exact.

I started playing it from the beginning again. My brother played a chapter so my save data got wiped. I still hate how that game works. I like EVERYTHING else about that game, but the gameplay kills me. I cannot play that game for more than an hour at a time. Way too much trial and error for my taste. A simple quicksave option would have done wonders.

Haven't finished it yet, but I did pass the prison sequence that I quit at last time. It wasn't as bad as I remembered, so I wonder why I shelved it for so long. Either way. I'm still chugging along. Which is a shame, everything else about that game is fantastic.

Outside Bets

Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends would like to remind you that maybe Capcom isn't so bad with their rereleases. You need both DW7 AND the XL disc for the full experience. They call it Remixing.

Uncharted 3 has the best online taunts out there. I think I used the "Pump" taunt more than I used the trigger in some games with my siblings.

Pushmo is a great 3DS downloadable, and reminds us that you don't need to sell your souls to survive as a developer. Looking at you, iNiS. 

Saints Row: The Third is finished, the whole last mission and the branching paths are awesome. Glad that game could keep up the fire until the very end.
  
All these games and not a single Wii one. Does that make me a Wii hater, not really. Me and my Wii have had...other plans.

Zero Bet: Bombing my Wii

In preparation for an import game I will be recieving soon, I had to look into how I could play this game on my North American Wii. I'm not looking to pirate games, just play a game I own that is from another region. I feel stupid after the fact. The whole process took about 15 minutes, no joke. I wanna talk more about it, but since this dances on that legal gray area, I'll just move on. I can play import games now, which will be great when my package shows up next week. Hooray for that, looking forward to spending Christmas with Satan and friends. As an added bonus, I can go back in time (not literally) and dig up some old favorites, in a section I'm going to start calling...

Game Gear Game of the Week: Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine

Yeah baby! Dr. R and his lean mean bean clean steaming machine returns! If I was Captain Ahab, Mean Bean Machine would be Moby Dick to me. More specifically a glitch that used to scare the hell out of me as a child. I've mentioned this before, but randomly I would get a message saying "Check Cable" that had a picture of Dr. Robotnik looking like he was strangled by something. It happened so much, I assume it was real. Now that 17-18 years have passed since playing it so much, I'm not really sure if it existed or not. But yeah, Mean Bean Machine! The port of the Sega Genesis classic. Classic match 4 gameplay, and...okay so I'm playing this just for the glitch. Leave me alone. But hey, if you want to see the riveting Scenario mode in its entirety, here you go. 

  
  

Final Bet

List city! I hope to have THREE different lists up by the time the Roulette comes back around. Two GotY related, one not. Also, I want to play through Bastion again, and finish Ghost Trick once and for all. Maybe throw in a little Xtreme Legends. This is my last self-inflicted pressure week, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! If you liked what you read you can follow me on twitter (@recspecreno) or check out my YouTube channel for more stuff. Also, if you want to PM me some questions, I'd do my best to answer. See you all next time.

5 Comments

RecSpec Roulette: December 5, 2011

                 

Welcome to the first spin of the RecSpec Roulette*, my weekly spot to tell tales of my weekly gaming endeavors. Since this is the first one, I have a lot to write, going all the way back to the beginning of November. Don't expect walls-o-text every week. Just this one. I have some ideas of where I want to go with this, but I just wanted to write about all the stuff I was playing this week, clear it out of my writing backlog. And if you want to just comment on my quickly thrown together banner and leave, that's cool too, really. Sadly, I probably spent about 6 hours on that thing. No art skills here. All lamenting aside. Let's place our bets and spin!

*Note that RecSpec Roulette is just a name and will not contain any actual betting. Sorry.

Skyrim

Let's get this out of the way. Skyrim's great. I'm playing on the PS3. Things are swell. I could write pages upon pages about Cat Sassin's adventures, (he's a Khajiit, get it?). I'll spare you.

Finished Dark Brotherhood and the College quest line. Almost done with the Thieves Guild. None of these were able to hold up to the Dark Brotherhood line in Oblivion, but who cares. Overall I have been having a blast. My character is focused on Stealth/Conjuration when I mess things up. Since I have the stealth ability of King Kong, the Conjuration really comes in handy.

Holy shit moment:  This. Second would be my Dremora Lord decapitating an enemy so the head rolls and triggers a bear trap right in front of where I'm hiding.

Saints Row: The Third

After Bombcast after Bombcast telling me how awesome this game was, I had to give in. For the record, I'm not a fan of the GTA series. Enjoyed 3, meddled in Vice City, and haven't spent any significant time since. Because of this I never felt the need to play Saints Row.

Is this an unfair comparison? Maybe, but guess what? I'm loving this game. I love the utter insanity of it all. I love the RPG aspects to it. I love the way they use the music in the game. I love the way I'm able to do a touchdown dance over a dead cop dressed as Leon Bell. The best part is that I'm only halfway through. It's a game I can just have fun with. Sadly, that's a rarity these days.

HS Moment: Tripping over a flagstone, breaking your neck, and dying. Seriously, http://deckers.die

Shadows of the Damned

I bought this soon after it came out, played the first chapter, and shelved this. Finally finished this, and I just love the setting and the characters. I became a huge Suda fan after playing through No More Heroes this year, and this game is vulgar, ridiculous, and just fun...if you ignore the combat. The combat feels like RE4/5 but sloppier.  I had fun with everything except actually playing that game. But everything else was good enough to keep it great. I was surprised at how much this game made me laugh especially the storybooks. Also, hearing someone try to reproduce the sound of a harmonica is one of my favorite things in a game this year.

HS Moment:  The chase sequences. Every time that enemy showed up, it was a miserable experience. I mean that in the best way possible.

To the Moon

I wrote a review on this game. To sum it all up, it's fantastic. The story is so great, you should be able to forgive the basic gameplay. I won't write too much because I'd just be copying it from the review. You can download the first hour of the game for free here (it's about 4 hours long, so that's a quarter of the game. And it's not too demanding of your PC. The way that game makes the big reveal is pretty hard hitting. And over a week later, still thinking about parts of that story. I really want to try playing through it again if I get the time. I think it's a game that everyone should at least try.

HS Moment: One of the main character's decisions near the end of the game. I really need to stop thinking about this game. It's making me want to play it again.

Sonic Generations

Sonic is like that girlfriend you once had (the series, not the hedgehog). Things went fantastic for a while (Genesis), things get worse, but you still love her enough to try and keep things going (Adventure 1 and 2), then you had a destructive break up and stayed distant for awhile (Sonic Heroes on). You don't hate her, you want her to be happy. There are times when you and her try the relationship again, and it ends worse than it ever did before (Sonic 4). Doomed to repeat for all eternity.

Sonic Generations is that brief moment when me and the Sonic series remember the fun we had together, but also had a blast in the present. No commitment, no future plans, just a once-off moment where I had fun. Sonic is what it is, and there is no changing that. But damn, I had a lot of fun with that game. The Genesis Era was fantastic, Dreamcast fun but slipping,  Modern Era a wreck. That game is so much like the series to me. I couldn't help but think the people working on the game were in on the joke. Hell, Crisis City (the Sonic 2006 stage) was EASILY the worst in the game, just like 2006 was the worst game in the series. For better or worse, this is the definitive record of the Sonic series. I'm glad that I played this. Oh right, the music is spectacular.  

HS Moment: TWO ROBOTNIKS! Such great dialogue between them and the other characters, such a shame that it preceded a pathetically miserable boss fight.

Tails: It's Dr. Robotnik!  

Retro Eggman: Nobody calls me that anymore.

Me: sigh

Uncharted 3

A great story, finished it from Chapter 5 on in a single day. Some combat parts aside, the overall experience was always fun. While I liked story mode, I've been having more fun playing the co-op multiplayer. Arena mode is a blast, especially playing with my brother and sister. I played through the beta and the Subway trial, and I'm still having a lot of fun with it. Wish I had more to say, but it's more Uncharted. It's familiar, but still good.

HS Moment: Any of the drugged sequences, which may seem weird considering the set pieces in that game. But they showed most of them so far in advance, you knew what was coming.

Future Bets: This week I'll probably play more Skyrim and Saints, but I really want to try to finish Ghost Trick and Bastion soon. Also, Skyward Sword hasn't been touched yet. I don't think I'll get to it before the end of the year. 

If you've managed to read all the way up to this point, congrats, you've made it to the end. I promise the next one will be a lot shorter, and will be less of a mountain of text. Thanks for reading. Til next time.

If you want to read more of my randomness you can follow me on twitter. Or check my YouTube channel for more strange stuff. 


2 Comments