Weekly Rundown - 10/31-11/06

Games this week:

  • Xbox 360 - Lost Odyssey, Left 4 Dead 2
  • Playstation 2 - The Suffering
  • PSP - Persona 2: Innocent Sin

I know, it seems like a lot of game playing in this past week, but, it was all really concentrated on the weekend. And even then only because I was stuck at the house. It's been a rough week, otherwise, not a lot of game playing during the week.

Continued with Lost Odyssey, that game's super fun still. I just passed through a "spooky" town with talking crows running shops and possessed folk and angry automobiles. Still on disc two, but, if the length of disc one is anything to go by I probably only have another three or four hours before I'm on to disc three. Still enjoying it immensely, particularly the memories that you unlock. Those are super interesting and easily my favorite part of the game.

Also for the Xbox 360, played a bunch of Left 4 Dead 2 with my friend Tebo. That probably marks the fifth or sixth time I've played it, yay! It's a very multiplayer focused game that's not much fun by yourself. And being someone who doesn't particularly enjoy random match-ups on Xbox Live, for obvious reasons I feel, and not knowing practically anyone else with any interest in playing this game with me, I don't get to play it that often. But it's wicked fun when I do!

And for the Playstation 2, I started playing The Suffering. Nifty little horror game, it's got a great, creepy atmosphere to it, although it's very slow on the story side so far. I'm hoping that picks up as I progress further. It does a good job of hooking you in very quickly with a "things are not what they seem!" plot but hasn't gone anywhere yet. We shall see!

And of course I played some more Persona 2: Innocent Sin. See any entry in past weeks on that game.

And then that's it. See y'all next week!

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Weekly Rundown - 10/24-10/30

Games this week:

  • Playstation 3 - Batman: Arkham City, DJ Hero 2
  • Xbox 360 - Lost Odyssey
  • PSP - Persona 2: Innocent Sin

Games!

Finished up the Riddler stuff in Batman: Arkham City. Collected everything in the main story mode, did everything, and beat the New Game Plus mode. Touched a couple of the combat challenges, but, much like the first game, no interest when there's no story. And to that end, despite being so very excited for the Nightwing DLC that comes out today, I don't think I'll be buying it. I just don't care about the challenges and it would probably be a waste of $10. But, anyway, barring a sudden urge to spend all of my money, I'm done with Batman: Arkham City. Play it if you can, it's phenomenal.

Also for the PS3, DJ Hero 2. Yep, that game's fun. Very short-lived for single player, obviously, but for $20 I was happy for the time spent with it. I'm sure I'll continue to play with it for a while, though, it's just not worth talking about. I did start trying Hard difficulty, though. Way more engaging and fun, but, dude... I don't mean to blow anyone's mind here, but Hard mode's hard.

Anyone remember something like two weeks ago I said I was stuck in Lost Odyssey? And then there was a whole lot of Batman and I didn't touch it? Picked it back up, and almost immediately figured it out. I kept going right at a section where I was supposed to go left. I thought they took you to the same place. Anyway, I put another five or six hours into that. It's a very good game. Jansen's starting to grow on me. There are still a lot of really dumb jokes but there are some genuinely funny comments from him. The combat mechanics are still pretty darn good, albeit getting a little complicated now. I'm sure it will all click with a little practice, though.

And finally, as with every week, played a little more Persona 2: Innocent Sin. I think a big part of the reason I'm playing it so slowly is I know I'm going to hit a wall before long. I don't like the fusing for Innocent Sin and the crazy number of cards you have to get for anything decent. I'm basically still using the personas they start with for that reason. And I'm dreading the idea of grinding it out. Grinding out levels is one thing; grinding the conversation system over and over again is another thing entirely. We'll see how it pans out, though.

And that's it. See y'all next week. Also, I just noticed that I failed to post last week's here... whoops. If anyone cares, it's here.

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Weekly Rundown - 10/10-10/16

Games this week:

  • PS3 - Portal 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum, DJ Hero 2
  • PSP - Persona 2: Innocent Sin

It's been all Playstation this past week. I'm super excited for tomorrow because when I get home from work there should be a box containing BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY. And I can't wait.

But looking back, I decided to replay Batman: Arkham Asylum on Hard mode and clear up some Trophies/Achievements I didn't get when I first played it. And it's as great as it once was. Obviously more difficult on Hard mode, but, not terribly difficult.

I played a little bit of Portal 2's co-op campaign earlier in the week. Hopefully I'll get to touch on that. It hasn't become too difficult yet, but I keep hearing that all of the brain-bending puzzles are contained in the co-op. So, I'm looking forward to that. It's funny, though, and super cute. You can make the robots play Rochambeau. Too cute!

I went shopping at Big Lots on Saturday and I came upon a copy of DJ Hero 2 for $20. So, obviously, I picked that up. I've been curious about it, but, haven't seen it for a price to make me try out another plastic instrument. But I got it home and it's freaking great. It's so much fun! And even songs I don't like are okay in this remixed format. Great fun. I don't know how much multiplayer I'll get out of it, since I don't think any of my friends care, but, I'm still enjoying myself.

And finally, I played a little bit of Persona 2: Innocent Sin. Not much. 'Bout an hour. I'm not sure how I like it, yet. Conflicted. We'll come back to that another week.

And then that's all! Sort of light week, I've been sick. Next week will definitely be all about Batman: Arkham Asylum!

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Weekly Rundown - 10/03-10/09

Games this week:

  • Playstation 3 - Portal 2
  • Playstation 2 - Beyond Good & Evil
  • Xbox 360 - Lost Odyssey, Halo: Reach
  • PSP - Persona 2: Innocent Sin

Happy Monday, everyone. Holy crap, I made up for the light gaming last week.

To start with, I finally played the cult classic Beyond Good & Evil. And there's a reason it's so beloved: it's a pretty effin' good game. It's obviously not without fault, like some incredibly punishing stealth sections and flip-flopping the camera controls when you switch to first-person mode. But there's nothing game-breaking and there are is some great writing. The characters are well-written, the story's interesting, there are laughs, and there are somber moments. There are NPC characters with dialogue that implies a history with the main character, Jade, and the world just feels legitimate. But I played it this weekend, so, that's out of the way. I don't know how I feel about a sequel, assuming it ever actually escapes Development Hell and gets a release. I almost feel like you could cut the stinger after the credits and just have the game stand on its own.

Another game I started and finished this weekend was Halo: Reach. Another game I kept hearing great things about. And, frankly, I do think it's the best Halo game. The Noble team is comprised of some great, albeit a little cliche, characters. The gameplay is tight, as all Halo games are. I do think some of the things added are superfluous, like the armor abilities, but it doesn't harm anything. It's just extra. The story does get a little ridiculous with the constant noble deaths of the Noble team, though. It loses its sting when they happen one after the other. The final one is definitely something, though. Definitely something. Also, maybe I'm remembering the Halo universe incorrectly so feel free to correct me, but, did they pull the whole "Cortana is Forerunner AI technology" thing out of their ass? The whole tying Cortana into the Halo: Reach story doesn't quite make sense. Assuming I'm remembering the previous games correctly.

Another game I finished last week, Portal 2. I really like Portal 2. The puzzles seemed a lot easier than the first one, though. More about the characters in the second. I've heard that all the brain-bendy puzzles are in the co-op stuff, but, I haven't found a partner to play them with yet. But as for the solo campaign, Wheatley is amazing. Cave Johnson is also very funny. The writing is just hilarious. Also, SPOILER: my favorite character, aside from Wheatley, is definitely the space sphere from the end. Love it! END SPOILER Also, I completely love the lack of a cake reference. I'm extremely pleased that they didn't feed those particular twits.

Lost Odyssey is proving to be pretty entertaining. The story with Kaim is great and the whole struggle with being an immortal. The dreams are definitely the best part. I already missed some, it looks like, which is going to be frustrating I bet. We'll see. I'm stuck right now, though, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do to move forward.

And finally, Persona 2: Innocent Sin. Haven't played it much this past week. I'm honestly starting to think I am just over the handhelds. I'm also tired of the conversation system that's present in the first and second Persona games. There are so many variables involved that I basically need a FAQ because I can't memorize it all.

And that's all for last week. See y'all next Monday! Also, worth noting, this took me three hours. I am so very sick and easily distracted. Sadface.

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Weekly Rundown - 09/26-10/02

Games this week:

  • Playstation 3: Resident Evil Code: Veronica X HD, Portal 2
  • Xbox 360: Lost Odyssey, Gears of War 3
  • PSP: Persona 2: Innocent Sin, Half-Minute Hero
  • Playstation 2: Persona 3 FES

Format change! I keep playing games late Sunday night, so, I'm going to start doing these Monday morning so I can include those games with their appropriate week. Onward!

Played a little more of The Answer portion of Persona 3 FES. Unimpressed, moving on. Especially since it's way of "being more challenging" seems to mean "you need to grind more". No thank you.

To go back, and yet forward, in time a bit, Persona 2: Innocent Sin got a remake on the PSP. Picked that up and started playing it. I'm barely into it, so not much to say. It's cool seeing some characters from the first game making a reappearance.

Also on the PSP, Half-Minute Hero! That game's super entertaining, I finished the Hero 30 campaign, although I still need to go and get some of the branching path levels. The humor in the game is great, lots of ribbing but still paying homage to classic RPG tropes.

Keeping it in the Playstation family, bought Resident Evil Code: Veronica X HD on Friday. Should be a review up either today or tomorrow for it on Player Affinity. Short version, it's old Resident Evil. Tank controls, color-and-shape-matching puzzles. If you didn't enjoy the item management, stiff controls, and terrible below B voice acting of the first couple games, don't buy this one.

Wheatley is the reason I was up last night playing games. Finally started Portal 2, and I am absolutely in love with Wheatley. Possibly the funniest character of 2011, for me. Not much else to say, I've barely started. It's puzzley in the Portal way, so far. I know there are new elements later, but I haven't reached that point yet.

And finally, the outlier, the Xbox 360. Started Lost Odyssey. I've been meaning to give this game a chance so I finally installed all of the discs and booted it up. Not super far into it, other games keep monopolizing my time, but it's interesting so far. The combat's pretty standard RPG fare with a little bit of The Legend of Dragoon thrown in with some timed button pressing, but the character Kaim Argonar is intriguing. Especially whenever he unlocks a memory. There's a lot of reading involved, but it's done well. More to come on that.

And for the last game, Gears of War 3. Was starting to go through the campaign and gather collectibles but I just don't find myself wanting to. Tebo's birthday needs to be sooner so I can just buy him a copy of the game without it being weird. I need my co-op buddy in the mix.

And that's it. Kind of a rush job, but, I didn't play much of any particular game this week, except Code: Veronica. See everyone next week, hopefully the list of games will be shorter.

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Weekly Rundown 09/19-09/25

Games this week:

  • Xbox 360 - Gears of War 3
  • Playstation 2 - Persona 3 FES
  • PSP - Half-Minute Hero

Hullo hullo all, how's things? So, let's start with the brand new game this week, Gears of War 3. Bought Tuesday evening, finished it Friday evening. Fucking great game! It's been a pretty awesome journey to see Epic's storytelling muscle grow from the first Gears of War to the third. There's an emotional weight here that was starting to show itself in the second game but it was heavy-handed and brief, although still quite effective. There are several new guns that are fun as hell; my personal favorite is the retro lancer, which lets you run up and bayonet an enemy through the chest and lift them into the air. It's awesome! The one shot is also pretty satisfying, if a little unwieldy. The story wraps up pretty nicely, although it'd be great if there weren't so many loose ends flapping around from the second game. Ah, well. Now I'm going back and collecting all the stuff hidden throughout the levels. Collectables! Maybe at some point I'll touch the multiplayer. I've played a little bit of co-op here and there when people would jump in from my friends list. And two matches of competitive. I think I'll end up sticking with Horde mode, Beast mode, and co-op campaign.

I played more of Half-Minute Hero as well. That's an entertaining little portable game. It's bite-sized and perfect for the PSP and has an interesting humor that likes to skewer general RPG tropes. Really, that's all I have to say about it. It's simple, quick, and very easy to pick up. If you have a PSP and enjoy classic RPG games you should probably give this a go. Granted, I've only played about two hours of it, but that's my opinion thus far. I'll let you know if that changes.

And for my grand finale, I beat Persona 3! Huzzah! Well, I beat the main story. With a final game clock of 105 hours and 54 minutes. And kind of immediately wanted to jump back in with my clear save, but, I don't think that's a good idea. It's eaten up enough of my time. But it was a very powerful ending, and I don't understand why the bonus content The Answer exists, as it seemed like a pretty straight forward ending. I have started the bonus content though, which is touted as being 30+ hours. It should be noted that the main game was said to be 70+. Anyway, I started it, got past all of the beginning stuff to the first save point. And it's already kind of leaving a bad taste in my mouth. It just seems so unnecessary with some obvious "Oh, geez, how do we keep the whole multiple Persona gig going after how we ended The Journey?!" I'll keep at it and give it a chance, though. But I'm already preparing myself to leave it unfinished, I don't need to put another 30 hours into Persona 3 FES if I feel the FES part is unsubstantial.

And that's it! I'll see everyone next week!

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Weekly Rundown - 09/12-09/18

Games this week:

  • Playstation 2 - Persona 3 FES
  • Nintendo Wii - Super Paper Mario
  • PSP - Half-Minute Hero

Hello again! Another week, several more hours of playing video games. So! Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES. Same! Was doing a bunch of grinding, got tired of it, started pressing on. Hopefully I won't be underleveled for the final boss. Cross your fingers, everyone! Only other significant news, I crossed the 100-hour mark. I have now played this game for more than 100 hours. Go me!

On the Nintendo side of news, Super Paper Mario. I'm not enjoying it. I've gotta be close to the end, though, so maybe something super amazing will happen in the last couple levels and blow my mind and make the previous 15-18 hours worth playing. But as it stands now, it's too gods damned long. Its gimmick, the 2D to 3D thing, doesn't stand up for the entire game, or even for the first half of it. On top of that it just wastes time and forces backtracking and the whole thing seems designed to take up as much time as possible. I'm just not having fun playing the game which is polluting the writing, which is well enough, although not as good as previous entries, as I've said in previous weeks.

And finally, started playing Half-Minute Hero after officially giving up on and consequently shelving Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. And it's pretty entertaining! It's perfect, bite-sized chunks, as a handheld game should be. And it pokes fun at various RPG conventions which I find super amusing. Thankfully, it's also pretty simple to pick up and jump into. I'll have more to say as I continue to play it.

And that's it for this week! See y'all next Sunday.

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Weekly Rundown - 09/05-09/11

Games this week:

  • Playstation 2 - Persona 3 FES
  • Nintendo Wii  - Super Paper Mario

Simple week again.  And no, I didn't play any Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.  And no, I didn't start anything on my PS3 or Xbox 360.  I was supposed to start Dead Island so I could review it for Player Affinity, but, there was a little mix-up and misunderstanding and I did not get a copy for review.  Alas.

Anyway, you know the drill by now.  Played some more Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES.  Continues to be pretty damned fun.  I'm almost certain I'm in the end game this time for real.  At least until I start the bonus content The Answer.  And I'm already at something like 96 hours.  Let's see if I can max the game clock on the main game!  Probably.

And on the Nintendo side of things, I started Super Paper Mario.  I'm more than eight hours in, and it started out promising.  I liked Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door better; I preferred that battle system over this.  This game trades the standard Mario RPG mix of battle screens with timed button-presses in favor of classic stomp-on-enemies and gain experience.  I just don't find it as much fun, and frankly it's a more irritating system.  Although the actual leveling serves little purpose beside increasing your hit points, so, it's almost negligible and there's no way to track your progression and how much experience you've gained, or even how much experience you're getting after defeating enemies, so... yeah.  I also thought the previous game was more amusing.  But! it's always nice to see Nintendo try new things within a franchise, even if I don't care for the changes.  And I am enjoying it, just not as much.  The last couple levels have been trying my patience for boredom, though.  A water level followed up by a reskinned water level (space, which controlled suspiciously like the water levels). Not a lot of fun.  The end of the space section was fun, though, nice little gameplay change and an amusing boss fight.  Other than that, some weird gameplay choices.  Like a section where I literally had to just hold down the right direction button for 5+ minutes.  But I'm past that, and hopefully on my way to better things!

And that's it for this week.  I put Lost Odyssey into the 360 disc tray, but, haven't started it yet.  Maybe next week.  See ya!

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Weekly Rundown - 08/29-09/04

Games this week:

  • Playstation 2  - Persona 3 FES
  • Nintendo Wii  - Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon
  • PSP                 - Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

Hello, hello.  Easy week, it was basically all Persona 3.  Everything I said about that still stands.  The story got real heavy early in this week.  Kind o' bummed out my whole day.  And then I thought I was at the end, but it just kept going and it appears I've got at least another two in-game months to go.  Huh.  And then when I'm done with that I still have The Answer to get through, which apparently will be another 30 hours.  There's a lot left.

But other than that, I popped in Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon today and finished that up.  The endgame is kind of difficult to trudge through.  It takes place in a lot of tight corridors, which is a bitch with the flashlight mechanic.  Turning 90 degree corners proved to be as difficult as the combat mechanics, which are decidedly not improved by tight quarters.  Aside from that, though, the ending was a letdown.  The calamity that befell the human race and is the big mystery and really the driving force for the game's story is ridiculous once finally revealed.  But it's a very pretty game and a very atmospheric and emotionally charged game.  Well worth my time.  I'm thinking about writing up a thorough review, we'll see if I can find the time.

And, of course, a little more Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.  I... don't know if I'll ever finish that game.  I'm thinking very hard about preordering Persona 2: Innocent Sin for the PSP and then playing that instead... I'll get back to you on that, Persona 2 comes out on the 20th.

And that's it.  Persona 3 was very good and it monopolizes my time.  See y'all next week!

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Weekly Rundown - 08/22-08/28

Games this week:

  • Xbox 360      - Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
  • Playstation 2 - Persona 3 FES
  • PSP             - Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

It's basically just been Persona 3 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 this week.  Been a busy week outside of games.

Just to get it out of the way, Persona 3 FES remains largely the same.  I hit a little bit of wall with a boss who kept casting Megidola and just whooping my ass.  But I pushed through it and now it's back to business as usual.  Which is fine, because it's awesome.

And the same goes for Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.  At least in the being about the exact same as last week.  Not nearly as awesome, though, but it continues to grow on me.

I finished the Anti-Registration campaign for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 this week.  Started up a second playthrough to go through the Pro-Reg side of things.  Anyway, I don't like MUA2 as much as the first game.  I've been wracking my brain this week trying to pinpoint exactly why and I think I came to a conclusion: it's just not as much fun, both in the story and in the gameplay.  And it's very difficult for me to play the game without comparing it to the previous entry.  It's a sequel, that's what happens. 

To that end, and in regards to the gameplay, there are less characters, half as many unlockable costumes per character, and fewer powers.  And what few powers you have are no longer mappable to the face buttons.  Where they are is where they will always remain.  The fusion powers are awesome in concept, but, there are only so many different ones and you basically find yourself seeing the same animations over and over again, as opposed to the awesome momentum meter powers from the first game that were huge and flashy.

The in-game character models look better, as long as you don't get too close, but the prerendered scenes do not.  They're still fun to watch if you don't get hung up on the visuals; there's plenty of action and there are some funny moments.

Which brings us to the story; the first Marvel Ultimate Alliance was goofy and just an awesome excuse to have all of these playable Marvel characters in a game.  Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 seems to have taken the idea of a big character roster and tried to build a serious story around it and, for whatever reason, it kind of falls flat.

If I took the time I could probably go in to more detail on the game, but, this'll do.  Basically, it's not bad, but it pales in comparison to the previous game.

Finally, some awesome news, as of this week I start writing for Player Affinity, specifically the PS3 department!  I imagine these Weekly Rundowns will probably be the same and stay put, but, there'll be some things exclusive to that site, particularly in regards to reviews of new games and a lot of articles on gaming in general.  Anyway, I will greatly appreciate any and all support you could all give me!

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