As I slowly inch my way forward through the 30 days’ worth of video game topics, I arrive upon a pretty easy one, a game sequel which disappointed me. One game in particular springs to mind, but since it is such an obvious choice, I also wanted to briefly discuss one of the biggest crimes a sequel can commit. For me, anyway. We’ll see if you agree. Continue reading Day 22: A Game Sequel Which Disappointed You
I think it’s safe to say that many gamers find tutorials tedious, whether they be an entire level devoted to teaching the basics of a game or frequent interruptions where we are forced to read pages of text explaining every detail of every action we can perform in, even such simple tasks as buying a potion in a store. As if the Buy option was not intuitive enough.
I have long been bothered by tutorials. They cause me to rush through the beginning of a game just so I can get through the boring…hand holding. I don’t think any of us want the game to hold our hands along the way. I bought this game to have an adventure, to have fun, to do things I can’t do in the real world. I’m not having much fun when I try to run ahead and explore and am tugged back by the game’s belief that I still haven’t learned the basics of jumping yet, so I ought to try it a few more times. Continue reading No More Hand Holding
It took about 95 hours, but I am finally done with Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns, and I don’t think I want to play another RPG again for a long, long time. Nevertheless, I ended up having a lot of fun with the game, even if my initial impressions weren’t great. Before I get into my thoughts, however, it would probably be best to summarize what you can expect from this game if you haven’t already played it.
In this game, the world is going to end in about 13 days (less, if you aren’t careful), and Lightning has been tasked by the deity Bhunivelze to save the souls of as many people as possible so they can make it to the new world. You will have more or less time in order to complete this monumental task depending on the number of souls you collect, which is accomplished by completing several main quests and a bunch of side quests in four main locations. The game’s battle system is far better than that of the first two games of the trilogy, as you actually have control over Lightning. Plain and simple. The battles of the other two games largely involved watching your characters while they did everything pretty much on their own, while this one allows you to control Lightning on the battlefield, guard, attack, etc. You have three different schemas you can switch between during battle (kind of like in Final Fantasy X-2, but not quite as…upsetting), and each schema can have up to four commands. You do not level up from fighting, however, but through side quests, which was actually a nice change from traditional RPGs. Continue reading The Completion of Lightning Returns and a Question
If you have ever played the original “Banjo-Kazooie” games, you know they were quite a treat to play. This series starred, as you can easily guess, two characters named Banjo and Kazooie, a delightful bear and bird team that worked together to accomplish all kinds of things, from collecting Jiggies and notes, to saving Jinjos, and defeating enemies, including the evil, rhyming witch Gruntilda that serves as the villain of the series. The main games of the series, “Banjo-Kazooie” and “Banjo-Tooie”, were a really great pair of games for the Nintendo 64. Even though they came out over ten years ago, I have still not grown bored of them, and I still count them as some of the top games ever made. But, as is far too common, series either end or turn bad. In the case of “B-K”, I wish it had ended. I really do. Because many years after the first two games were released, Rareware created another game on the XBox 360, a game that will forever be known in my mind as disappointment in tangible form. “Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts”.
First, let me just say that this game, well, it’s not…it’s not a bad game, exactly. It can be fun. It is different. It can certainly be challenging. But, it is a terrible, terrible “Banjo-Kazooie” game. I mean it. Terrible, with a scoop of spiders on top. T-E-R-ribble. I won’t even mention the fact that the graphics, while good, are of a style that make our heroes look rather hideous, and why is Mumbo wearing overalls…and working as a mechanic, of all things?! I won’t even mention that there are barely any worlds now, and they are not very interesting. Or that the music doesn’t stand out to me whatsoever anymore. What I will mention is that this game has no soul. It’s like our delightful series found itself face-to-face with a Dementor from “Harry Potter” one day and did not make it away unscathed. This game is soulless, and that is why, even though it can be fun, it is a dirty, rotten, no good, “Banjo-Kazooie” game.
For one thing, the game in no way even resembles previous games of the series. The first two involved the teamwork of Banjo and Kazooie, where Kazooie could attack with her beak and shoot eggs, fly, and run up steep hills with her hardcore talons, while Banjo, I must admit, is not good for much else but toting Kazooie around and grabbing onto ledges. And not being as mean. But still. Now both characters are actually pretty useless. Kazooie carries around this magic wrench that can pick up stuff, and Banjo drives. They retain none of their previous skills whatsoever, except for walking. And even that they don’t need, as the game revolves entirely around vehicles, which also has no relation to the series. What, because Banjo got turned into a sentient van once, the series is all about cars now? I think not.
So the entire game, every bit of it, involves talking to a bunch of soulless versions of characters from the original two games, but devoid of any humor or personality like they used to have, and completing challenges with vehicles. While the vehicle idea can be fun, as you can not only use quite a variety, like cars, planes, boats, helicopters, which can jump and shoot and carry things, but you can also pretty much build anything you like, as well. This can be a fun concept, and I did like building some crazy vehicles and finding creative ways to win challenges. It just has no place in a “Banjo-Kazooie” game. They should have created a new series in which to use this idea. I wouldn’t have bought it, but there was no need to sacrifice our poor bear and bird. It doesn’t feel like a “Banjo-Kazooie” game in the slightest, when Grunty is driving all over the place, while I’m chasing her down with a tank. You can include music from the original games and have characters that look, on the outside, like familiar characters, but it is not a “Banjo-Kazooie” game. It just isn’t.
So I can’t say I hated every minute of this game. I did have fun, while at the same time being disappointed time and time again as characters I used to like demonstrated that all their charm and personality was indeed sucked from them. This game is just a soulless imposter, parading about with “Banjo-Kazooie” in the title. It’s a real shame, not so much that such a bad “B-K” game was made, but that this great series has this stain on its reputation now. “Still don’t like the vehicle-based gameplay?” asks LOG during a loading screen. The fact that you even had to ask, Rareware, means you know full well that fans wouldn’t be happy with the changes, so either make us an actually good “B-K” game or never make one again. I can’t stand to look at zombified “B-K” characters ever again.
Ducks and Bolts
Over a year after buying it, I finally got around to playing “Final Fantasy XIII-2”. Am I slow or am I slow? Wait, don’t answer that. Anyway, I often hear that you should have an actual theme of some sort for your game posts (really, not just a disjointed bunch of rambling?), something I am not very good at. But, starting now, I’m going to try that. Behold my trying. But first, a summary.
Different from what you’d expect, even though Lightning is on the cover, this game actually stars her sister, Serah, and a new character named Noel. Apparently, during the events at the end of the previous game, Serah had remembered seeing Lightning, but then suddenly, her sister was gone, and no one else remembers seeing her at all. (Quit with the booze, Serah! Gosh.) Well, it turns out something weird happened to the timeline, changing what really was supposed to happen (the details of which I never fully worked out), and when a man from the future shows up (this is where Noel comes in, because he’s the man, okay, I’m sure you got that), Serah finds that Lightning is in a place at the end of time called Valhalla, and her sister had sent Noel to the past to find Serah. (Is this making any sense?) Well, whether or not you understood all that, what happens is that they then embark on a quest that involves them traveling through time, solving paradoxes, and trying to restore the true history of the world. And of course, try to reach Lightning in Valhalla.
As confusing as my summary is, this game has a, well, it’s a mostly understandable story, for an RPG. Even though I still don’t fully grasp why this game’s antagonist thinks that screwing up history is going to achieve what he wants, or what happened in the game’s confusing and very disappointing ending (I get it, you’re going to have a third game, but can we at least finish this one, please?…), I still enjoyed the game for other reasons, while I was a bit disappointed to varying degrees by others. First, the slight disappointments.
First of all, this game is quite different from traditional “FF” games. That doesn’t mean it’s bad (despite the common notion I’ve been hearing that seems to suggest if a game differs from other entries of the series, it is automatically dubbed as terrible). But, I do admit that some aspects of the game do make me miss the usual “Final Fantasy” formula. This game only involves Serah and Noel as playable characters, along with a third creature to fight alongside you, consisting of one of dozens of monsters you can collect and level up, which is fun and strange at the same time. Like I said, different does not mean bad, but I do admit that I miss having a bunch of new, interesting characters to meet. I like Noel a great deal and have since grown attached to Mog the moogle (they’re always named Mog…) once I got over being repelled by the excessive cuteness (I’m sorry, Serah, but I’m just not a fan of you), but overall, I still think this game is lacking in the character department. The game also has the same battle system as from “FFXIII”, where the characters mainly fight on their own, and you’re mainly there to switch paradigms so they can change to different roles (like Medic and Ravager and stuff). It’s all right, but I do miss the older games where you had more control over your characters. The gameplay was still fun, though, and includes some pretty challenging puzzles at various points throughout the game. Those clock ones. Oh, my aching brain, forced to actually…think!
But, despite the disappointments, there was one big aspect to the game that made it really stand out to me. And that was time traveling. I’ve heard of other games that have that, but I don’t own many that involve such things myself. Yeah, Link travels between childhood and adulthood in “Ocarina of Time”, but rarely do I play a game where I travel back and forth between 700 years of a game’s history. That’s right, 700 years. Some people may dislike that each location is separate, so no exploring big, huge worlds, and many locations only seem different in terms of weather or time of day, despite visiting it 200 years later. They are lacking in some aspects of the time traveling, I must say. But, there are some areas where they do great.
You see, Noel comes from a world set 700 years in the future, where the world is barren, and he has become the last human left alive. This last-man-on-Earth story has always been of interest to me. How sad would it be to be utterly alone? Not like, my boyfriend left me, and I’ll never find someone else, and I’ll die alone! But, like, there is not one other person out there. Anywhere. Sure, people can bother me, but living in a world with absolutely no one, which only occurred after all the people you cared about died, would be pretty darn hard, to say the least. His world is hopeless, and that’s why I care so much for Noel and his story. He decides to get help from the goddess Etro, and he receives this help in the form of time travel, so he can travel back in time, find what caused his world to become the way it had, and stop it. (I would travel back in time and convince Rareware not to butcher everything their “Banjo-Kazooie” series stands for. A bit less noble, I know, but lots of “B-K” fans would be pretty happy.)
That brings me to my theme. Or really, this game’s theme. Forgive my corniness, but this game’s theme is hope. Not the character, the idea (though, it is ironic that a character created during the previous game has the name of Hope). A man like Noel should have given up on hope, really. No one’s out there. What else is there to do but survive and wait for death? Serah had hope. Lightning had disappeared and really had no chance of coming back (or “no hope” should I say?). Everyone had some kind of hope, including the villain, whose still rather ridiculous plan was all in an effort to save the one he cared about, which caused me to pity him even while I hated him. Which even gave me some hope that he would change. Hope felt for the villain and by the villain. Hope for two sisters being reunited. Hope for…gasp…the world!
This game is about that idea, not about time travel. Time travel just allows you to see the possibilities of the world, and when you see something horrible is going to happen centuries in the future, you can’t just wallow in despair at what’s to come or just go about your life, thinking, well, I’ll be dead before it happens anyway. You have to have hope. Hope that you can prevent the horrors of the future or else untold destruction will occur. Without hope, there is no chance the future will change because no one will even try to fix it. In a way, hope is actually life because to live without it is no life at all, is it? And without it, people like Noel will have to watch everyone die around them until they have nothing left. Come on, have hope. For Noel.
So there, I managed to write about a theme, even if I came off as sappy, but hey, I tried. This game is not perfect, and it doesn’t need to be. It is fine that it differs from other games of the series. Luckily, it has enough heart that it is still wonderful. I was especially touched by Noel’s hopeless story that turned into him giving the world a second chance, and as I said, I couldn’t help but see the antagonist’s side of things, despite how wrong it was. Don’t pass this game up just because it’s not the same as the other “FF” games you love. And don’t dislike this game too much if you already have played it. This game still may not compare to other games of the series, but it has a unique form of gameplay and a heartfelt story that makes it beautiful in my eyes. I have hope that you will come to love it. Yes.
The Duck Who Traveled Through Time and Didn’t Even Use the TARDIS…
Recently, I decided to go back into “Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection” on my XBox 360 to check out more of the games it has. This single disk consists of over 40 games for the Sega Genesis, a console I’ve never had. (I strangely have more games for the Genesis than the consoles I really do physically own.) This is a rather overwhelming number, so I had yet to try out all of them. I had saved “Phantasy Star II”, “III”, and “IV” (I still haven’t unlocked the first one) because, being RPG’s, I assumed they’d be rather long. Finally, I decided to give them a try.
I started with “PSII”, and I was immediately confused. I had no idea what to do. None. And they made a hassle out of everything. Go here to heal. Go here to bring a character back to life. Shouldn’t healing wounds and resurrection be located in one easy, convenient spot? I found you can buy a weapon for a character, but they may not use it. Stupid Nei was largely useless, as she never fought in battle. So I bought her a dagger, and she wouldn’t take it. So I wandered aimlessly around the world map, wondering what in the universe I was supposed to be doing, getting attacked by a bunch of giant bugs and frogs while the main character (Rolf, I think?) randomly attacked enemies with little input from me (you tell him to attack, but you don’t choose what to attack, and then he takes several turns attacking random enemies, while you watch and shake your head in disapproval). And Nei. Well, she stood there. After being killed by a mosquito (and not even because of contracting West Nile virus) yet again as I continued my aimless search for apparently nothing whatsoever, I gave up and went to “PSIII”.
This game looked a little nicer. But, other than that, it was little different. I still had no idea where to go. I continued to wander the world, oh, a forlorn figure I was, getting beaten up by baby chickens of all things. This time, my character didn’t even get a useless companion to follow him about, and the battle system was very confusing. Now I didn’t even know how to select any options but attack. Once again, I gave up.
Then, I started “PSIV”. I liked this. Something was actually happening. Right from the start. People actually gave me clear indication of what I was supposed to do. Both of my characters (nay, minutes later, I received a third member to my party) actually fought enemies. Imagine that. They actually attacked things instead of standing there! And I had more control over them, too! You’d choose a move for each character, they’d do what you said to the enemy you specified, then, you chose again. Alas, a game that made sense! To make things even better, my characters even walked much faster than the slowpokes in the previous games. Watch them zoom about! And now, as it should be, taking a nap not only healed wounds but brought the dead back to life! All is right in the world again!
I did not give up on this game. No, I did not. This one was a lot of fun. I actually understood it. There was even an actual story that I was aware of. Look, I can even summarize it. This game starts out with two hunters named Alys and Chaz who are investigating an issue at this academy. They are joined by the scholar Hahn (who was a total weakling, but at least he put forth some effort into vanquishing enemies, unlike some people I know…), who helps them defeat the monsters in the academy’s basement. They then head out to investigate more problems, and as our heroes travel the planet of Motavia, they find all manner of strange things going on, including earthquakes in one village and large areas of quicksand overtaking parts of the desert (I suppose sand in the desert is a problem). And not only that, but an evil man named Zio has been causing problems, too, as he has done such things as destroying a whole village and turning everyone to stone in another. As they journey to stop these problems, they meet many new characters, and they find their quest is bigger still. Eventually, our characters even travel into space and take on a villain much worse than Zio, one that threatens the galaxy.
The battle system in this game is fun. It is turn-based, and you get to fight with up to five characters at once (rather than three like in “Final Fantasy”). Everyone chooses from various actions, including attacking or using skills or techniques, and then they all do their thing. And repeat. As I said, the fighting in this game is a lot better than in the previous ones. One problem, though, is all characters attack one after the other after you make decisions for each of them, and you don’t always know what order your characters will attack in, so it makes planning ahead a little difficult. I often had one character heal someone that was dead before someone else brought that character back to life. Well, that was a waste.
Another thing that I don’t like in this game is the names of skills and such often make no sense. It is quite hard to figure out what they do and fight as effectively because I just can’t remember what each one is for. I get some of them. Res is for restore. Rever is revive. Deban is to raise defense. But, guess what sar is for. Or saner. Or githu. Can’t, can you? They should have either given you a description of what these moves do or make them sound more like what they do. I was quite baffled. Sar heals everyone on your party. Would you have guessed that? I can’t tell you what the others do. Because I don’t know.
But, those are small complaints and mainly the only problems I had with the game. It was still very fun, and another thing about this game that is my cup of milk is that it has a lot of characters. Characters change quite a bit throughout the game, and you never have more than five at once, and it’s fun getting to use such a variety of characters. They each have different sets of moves and different weapons. There are also android characters, which can’t be healed in the normal means, but they automatically restore health when you walk around or come back to life once a battle is over if they die. Pretty swell. And like I said, there were a lot of characters. If I counted right, there are 11 in total, I believe (most of which wear capes, I noticed). (“Final Fantasy” usually has about six characters.) Of course, it can be annoying when you get used to a character, only to lose them. Raja could restore a character’s magic, which was awesome, and I wasn’t able to find anyone else who could (perhaps they could, but the moves were too vague). I was annoyed when he left my team. Come back, strange green man with a dorky sense of humor! Come baaaack!
Anyway, there’s not tons more to say about the game. It was just fun, and I enjoyed traveling around and fighting enemies and meeting lots of new characters. It didn’t have the most complex story or characters in the world, but the story was interesting, and I did like most of the characters. (Rika’s my favorite.) It was also fun playing such an old RPG. It is the oldest RPG I’ve ever played through, I believe, (unless “Illusion of Gaia” for the Super Nintendo counts, but I’m unsure). I certainly liked it more than “Phantasy Star II” and “III”. They may be fine games, but I didn’t get into them like I did with this one. And this game made the “Genesis Collection” even more worth it.
Four Phantasy Ducks
I finally got around to playing “Halo 4”, which I’ve had sitting around since not long after it came out. This game sees the return of Master Chief, which is good, because I rather missed him in “Halo: Reach”. Never leave me again, Chief. The game starts with Cortana waking the Chief up from cryosleep on the Forward Unto Dawn, which seems to be abandoned. Except for some Covenant, of course. Forgot why they’re there, but whatever. I needed something to shoot. Ahem, after some action, the ship crashes onto a strange planet, and the Chief’s and Cortana’s adventure begin. The Chief will have to fight more Covenant and a new enemy, the Prometheans, while Cortana is suffering from rampancy, as AI’s can only survive seven years before degrading (and she’s eight, oh, sorry, shouldn’t reveal a girl’s age, should I?).
This turned out to be yet another epic “Halo” game. Due to the lack of subtitles and the fact that I am easily distracted, I often am not able to keep up with the stories of “Halo” games. (I just get through by following the little arrows everywhere. Or I’m reminded of my current task when Cortana nags at me. Leave me alone, the Chief is busy looking at the pretty scenery!) This time, I paid attention, and while I still got confused, what I remember and understand of the story was interesting. And I’ve always liked the relationship between Cortana and the Chief, and it was fun to see more of it in this game. And there also seemed to be more of them going about on their own, too, which I liked. And I liked seeing the Chief’s concern about Cortana’s rampancy. It gave the game a bit more of an emotional aspect to it, which I liked. And it made me like the Chief more, too. Now I feel a bit more sad watching him die time and time again. Oh, he just re-spawned, I’m cool with it now.
Anyway, this was an amazing game. Not only does it have the same usual awesomeness that the series has always had, but it has new stuff. Like I said, there is a new set of enemies, which means a new set of weapons. Hooray! (These new weapons even include a gun that incinerated the Chief, to my absolute horror, then, when I finally managed to grab one, it indeed was called the Incineration Cannon. I feel…so powerful. I will reduce you to ash! Bahahahaha *hack hack* hahaha!!!)
There are also a couple new vehicles, the Mantis and the Mammoth. They liked M words the days they thought these up, I suppose. The Mantis is pretty awesome and isn’t so much a vehicle as a robotic suit (kind of like the thing Ripley uses to kill the alien queen at the end of “Aliens”, but with more armor and guns). And the Mammoth looks to me like the most ridiculous monster truck you’ve ever seen. It’s seriously and absolutely absurd. (And I agree with Cortana. Someone was indeed overcompensating for something….) I did have fun riding on it, though. Weeee!!
Anyway, shortly into the game, after pressing every button on the controller until I was once again familiar with what they did, I was reminded why I buy XBox consoles. I love “Halo”, and it’s the main reason I get Xboxes. And that’s saying something, too, because I don’t usually play M-rated games. But, buying a console just for one series seems a bit silly (even though I did buy a PS3 mainly just for “Ratchet and Clank”, shut up, leave me alone, don’t judge me!), and I was thinking recently that I wouldn’t buy the next XBox console. I still am unsure what I’m going to do, but after playing this game, I realize it would be hard not to be able to continue with the “Halo” series. But, I don’t know if I can justify paying that amount of money just for a couple “Halo” games, and then I have yet another console to find a place for, and so on and so forth. I suppose we’ll see.
But, I do like the “Halo” games quite a bit. I’m just impressed by them. And not quite in the way you’d expect. Yes, they are great games, with great stories and graphics and gameplay. But, I’m also impressed to find an M-rated game without much of anything other than violence. The women actually get to be fully clothed (Cortana doesn’t count, she’s an AI). There is minimal swearing. There is no…naughtyness. Just violence. And even so, that doesn’t seem terrible to me, either. Yeah, I shot an alien, and there was some blue blood. My goodness. I’ve seen more gore from falling off my scooter. Now that was rated M. I’m just impressed with a series that has such a rating, but doesn’t then feel the need to cram in every bad thing they can just because of the rating. I enjoy getting to play a series that is more realistic (well, if enhanced soldiers fighting aliens is realistic, but you get what I mean, right?), without all the nasty stuff. It’s nice. I like playing as Mario and jumping on flying turtles and eating red and white ‘shrooms, but sometimes I just want to get a gun and shoot some aliens. (Bad aliens. I have no quarrel with good aliens.) But, such high-rated games can often be too raunchy for the duck. Well, “Halo” lets me get my alien-shooting fix. Because they clearly care.
So anyway, anyone who reads this post, just get the game. It’s awesome. I don’t even care if you don’t have an XBox 360. Just buy it to simply have its glorious presence in your home. Then, buy a 360 because, seriously, having a game for a console you don’t even have is just plain silly. What’s wrong with you? I just wish the update that came with the game didn’t completely change my 360’s start-up screen. The old one was better, and it took me a long time to find where they hid my achievements. I shall mourn its loss.
The Duck, Most Feared of all the Covenant Troops, Also Doubles as a UNSC Vehicle
I thought I’d write about the games I got rid of. I sold them because they weren’t very good…or I had more than one copy of it. It’s kind of embarrassing how that happened. But, anyway…
I had two copies of “Kirby Superstar” for the Super Nintendo because I thought my first order wasn’t being sent. Then, it was. They both worked great, but one had a cleaner cartridge, so I kept that one and sold the other. I think I got a decent price for it. It’s one of the best Kirby games, I’ve heard. That other copy is staying with me. Now I just need to sell my extra copy of “Hunter: The Reckoning”….
A game I sold recently was “Mirror’s Edge” for the XBox 360. I saw an ad for the comic, and it looked cool, so when I saw that there was a video game for it, I had to try it out. But, I didn’t really like it. It’s hard to explain really. I just didn’t. And the colors were mainly white and this intense red, which is probably supposed to be artsy, but was unpleasant to look at. I left off in this building where people kept shooting at me, and I couldn’t find the exit. The game is in first-person, and you run and jump around on rooftops and stuff, which was interesting, but still. The comic may be much better, but I just wasn’t a fan of the game.
I also sold “The Lord of the Rings: TwoTowers” or whatever it’s called for the GameCube. It could be quite difficult, and not in a fun way, plus it had some yucky violence, despite being rated T. Boo.
“Croc 2” for the Game Boy Color, the game that chose to have passwords instead of save files. So you’d have to enter passwords to continue from where you left off, but these passwords often didn’t work. After replaying levels many times, I finally made it to the end, but couldn’t beat the final boss. I gave up, and it got sold. Bye bye.
Another game was “Warriors of the Lost Empire” for the Playstation Portable. I guess it takes place in ancientRomeor something, and you choose between four playable characters, two guys, two gals. I chose the woman with the extra good magic in hopes that she would later get healing spells. I likes me my healing spells. The game consisted of going through a whole bunch of pretty much identical dungeons. When you died, you had to start over, but didn’t lose anything, so there was no incentive to try not to die really. I finally beat it, but I don’t know why I bothered. There wasn’t much plot-wise, and the way you upgraded things made no sense. The artwork for the characters when they spoke was pretty, though.
I also sold “Spyro: Season of Ice” for the Game Boy Advance. It was too hard and annoying, and I could never beat it, even though I got close to the end. But, falling to my death so many times and being completely unable to find any more of whatever I needed to move on got old, so I quit trying.
“Bomberman Max 2: Red Advance” for the Game Boy Advance was annoying. It was one of the only Game Boy games I could beat, but I just don’t like it. Your character apparently gets shrunk somehow, but I don’t remember much else about what was going on, except the game was just silly. I particularly remember world 2, which was a library, I think, and I kept getting cornered by enemies, which is quite a problem in Bomberman games because if you try to flee, you’ll touch the enemy and die, and if you use a bomb, it will kill both the enemy and you. And the music was annoying. I can still remember it. Meh.
I found that “Super Mario Advance” is a Game Boy Advance version of “Super Mario Brothers 2” or something, which I have in “Super Mario All-Stars” for the Super Nintendo, the one where you can play as Mario, Luigi, Peach, or a Toad, and the characters pick veggies and throw them at enemies. The difference, creepy sound effects. Considering that it gave me the creeps, and I already had a better version of it, selling it was an easy decision. And I got a decent price.
Occasionally a Game-Selling Duck
I was thinking about things that bother me. I’m not even in a bad mood or anything. I was just thinking about them. Like how things are so hard to open. With beverages, you need to have a steely death grip on the lid to get them open. I have received so many injuries doing just this. I cut my thumb pretty badly once opening a can of Pepsi. And then there’s the times when it says to pull the tab, and there is no tab. Or there is, but you can’t pull it. Or it says “cut here” on a re-closable bag and when you do, it cuts it in a way that the zipper doesn’t work anymore. And then there are the dreaded packages that are completely encased in plastic and are a weird shape, so even if you start cutting it with scissors, the plastic then makes an insurmountably sharp turn that your scissors have no chance of overcoming.
I also hate constellations. Never do they look like what they should. This blob is a person, this blob is a horse. Maybe constellations are supposed to look like something after it’s been mangled in a horrible accident several times. If someone said, hey, that looks like a bear that was flattened by a tank and then blown up, I might just agree. But, until then, absolutely not. (Actually, I would then just question if it, indeed, was possible to flatten a bear with a tank.)
Another thing worthy of my hate are video games where you can’t save. Oh, the hours I spent replaying and replaying the Super Nintendo’s “JurassicPark” and “Joe and Mac”. Every time I give up, I must start all over from the beginning the next time I try. I am fortunate that all the old Sega Genesis games I have are on the XBox 360, which allows you to save them, even when the originals didn’t. If they hadn’t been so kind, I would have never surpassed World 3 in any of the Sonic games.
“Porky Pig’s Haunted Holiday” for the Super Nintendo. It deserves a post all of its own. Maybe it will get one.
I know there’s more, but that’s all I can think of right now. Maybe later.
A Bothered Duck
I am celebrating a decade of nerd-dom (which was in the end of December, so this post is only a little late). It’s been a great ten years of gaming. Ten years of adventures, shooting space pirates and Covenant forces, jumping on turtles, killing Heartless and Nobodies, and collecting Chaos Emeralds. There’s been laughter, surprises, heartbreak. Almost every one of my favorite characters either has died or no longer appears in any games, which has been a disappointment, but besides that….
At the beginning of time…I wasn’t here, so let’s fast-forward. It feels like a while ago, but I guess it’s not. The first console I had played was the Super Nintendo. Skipped the Nintendo entirely, but whatever. The SNES was and is still a great console for its time, but I was kind of afraid of video games back then. Yes, afraid. And I was crap at them then, too. But, then I got the Nintendo 64, which looked so much better, and I played tentatively at first, but then, I was jumping into the deep end. I have played almost every day since then. But, some may wonder why I would spend so much time on such a silly thing.
You see, I like adventure, and yet I am too wimpy to do anything in real life. Not only is there little adventure in the real world to begin with (at least, not like in the movies…or video games), but it’s such a dangerous place. With video games, you can do things that are either impossible or that you would never do for real. Oh, if only I could use Fira and Thundara on people I didn’t like, then, summon a monster to finish them off. In Jak II, I found that stealing people’s zoomers was such fun (except when the Krimzon Guards started chasing and shooting at me). But, in real life, I of course, would never really steal a vehicle or run from the cops. And all of this, while sitting on a comfy chair in your own home. Isn’t it a great world we live in where you can do so many things while sitting? Well, maybe not, but still.
And speaking of all that sitting, I’d just like to debunk the myth that video games make you fat. After playing almost every day for ten years, I should be as big as a good-sized house. But, I am not. Also, some people think video games rot your brain. Rot is not the right word. Sure, your brain oozes a little, but that’s normal. Just wipe that brain-goo out of your ears, and get back to gaming, darn it!
But, seriously now. Ahem. Video games are relaxing, and we all need some times to just sit and blast the crap out of some zombies every one in a while. Trust me, you’ll feel years younger.
But, back on topic.
The N64 was what got me into games, and I’m not sure what really made me less afraid of these delightful creations, but my fear soon dwindled. How proud I was when I defeated my first chuchu in “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask”. I know, that doesn’t count for much, considering that a chuchu is just a blob with a silly grin on its face. But, I started being able to finish harder and harder games. I was accomplishing all kinds of little things each day, it felt like. Things that only existed within the world made by the video game creators. Though, I wasn’t completely satisfied back then. I remember wishing that video games had good graphics, which actually happened sooner than I expected. Anyway, after a while, I started running out of games to play. I was finally playing my Super Nintendo games without fear, which were awesome, but I still was getting bored, until the GameCube came out.
So, as you can guess, I bought one. First game was “Super Smash Brothers Melee”, which totally knocked the socks off of the prequel on the N64. (Literally, as the game is indeed not wearing any socks.) It was awesome! And Young Link was so adorable! I got a whole bunch of games, including my first Metroid game, “Metroid Prime” and my first Sonic game, “Sonic Adventure 2: Battle”. Once again, though, as the years went by, I got bored again. There were no more good games coming out, it seemed. So I decided to get something I had wanted for years. Perhaps it made Nintendo cry that day. I am sorry. But, I got a Playstation 2.
I had wanted a PS2 so badly ever since seeing commercials for “Kingdom Hearts” and the first “Jak and Daxter”, KH especially. And yet, seeing as these things cost money, I just stuck with the familiar Nintendo consoles. But, I am so glad I betrayed the big N and bought a Sony console. So darn awesome! The above-mentioned games are two of my favorite series ever, with Kindgom Hearts being quite possibly my top favorite. I love all my consoles, but the PS2 is still one of my most treasured.
The only problem I have with my darling PS2 is that it’s the most confusing console ever. The on switch is in the back, and trying to stop a game is weird. The game keeps going when you take the disc out, I found, so I’ve had to figure out different ways of retrieving my disc without the game still playing. You know, I probably should just turn it off the way the manual tells me to. Yeah, that would probably work.
Anyway, I later got the XBox, and no, not for “Halo”, but because the third “Hunter: The Reckoning” only came out on it. (Why I was such a big fan of that series at the time, I’ll never know.) I did eventually get “Halo” when I was running out of games for my new console, which didn’t take long. I don’t know why I didn’t get it sooner. The best thing the XBox has, methinks. But, I got the poor console near the end of its reign. I don’t think it was very long before the 360 came out, so no more new games for the XBox.
Luckily, more games still came out for the Cube and PS2, including the amazing “Kingdom Hearts 2”, which I think I got the day it came out. I also replayed old games I had, and at that point, I had so many, it wasn’t boring at all. But, I’m a naughty little duck, and when the Wii came out, I told myself I didn’t want it, but I watched it carefully.
A new Metroid Prime, Paper Mario, and Super Mario game. Oh, I’m not missing anything, right? No, certainly. But, then “Super Smash Brothers Brawl” came out, and as you probably know by now, I am a weak duck. A very weak one. And I had to get the Wii. But, I checked every store, and none were to be found. I had stupidly bought the games already, and the days left to return them were running out. I had about a month. So I paid extra for one on Amazon. I’m a very foolish duck. But, I cannot resist the call of a new console. Oh, how I have sinned in my weaknesses!
And it’s a delight! The motion sensing stuff is so fun. There’s such a variety of things you can do in different games. Some games don’t make much use of the motion, such as simply making you shake the controller around to attack. Seriously, folks. But, some games do much more, from drawing, to pulling off enemy shields, to controlling your character as they walk on a ball. My arm actually got tired in some games. I got sore from playing video games! I’ll be totally ripped in no time!
But, do you know what happened next? I bet you do. The next options left for this plot to branch off to are the XBox 360 and Playstation 3. What do you think I chose? I loved the PS2, so naturally, the PS3 would be the next obvious choice, and yet I went for the 360. Why? The 360 is the only console that can play the current Rareware games, which is one of my favorite game companies, it was cheaper, and there were no games on the PS3 that I wanted and couldn’t get somewhere else. Have you noticed that PS2 games are still sold in stores? They even still make games for it, it seems. At least, as far as I know. Every Playstation-only game I’ve wanted so far has also been available for the PS2 or PSP, both of which I have. I’m surprised by this shocking move by Sony, and there must be some reason behind it for making more money, but I like that they do that. We’re not forced to buy the newest console to play the newest games. That is part of why I haven’t bought a PS3 (sorry Sony), but it’s also what makes me like them even more.
Anyway, though, the 360 is a delight. And you can play the new Final Fantasy games (well, game so far) on it, which gives me less reason to get a PS3. (Another sorry, Sony. I still wuv you.) This console is much better than the original. It seems more friendly and even comes with a free Tetris-y game called “Hexic”, where you match 3 or more of the same colored hexagons to make them disappear. And it comes with free trials of other games, too! I got the Final Fantasy XIII edition of the 360, which simply says the name of that game on the side (or top, depending on how you place the console). It also came with a pretty box. Yay! But, yeah, the 360 is a fun console. And they got rid of those weird black and white buttons the original XBox had. And now it has four of those trigger-type L and R buttons instead of two. I like trigger buttons. It feels like you’re really shooting stuff. Yeah.
I also love the gamer points you can get on the 360. I have 2550 so far, which probably isn’t much compared to other people. But, anyway, the points are fun because who doesn’t love getting points? And it encourages you to do things you wouldn’t always bother with. Sometimes it’s just things like get all of these, get 30 of those, finish the game on the highest difficulty setting. Or sometimes it’s things like kill a certain number of enemies with a certain weapon or get through the game without getting hurt. Sometimes, it’s weird things, like win a race by passing through the finish line backwards, which I tried, but failed. I wish the Wii did that. Does the PS3? Oh, and another fun thing is, while I never got a Sega console, I can play 49 Sega Genesis games on the 360 with “Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection”. That’s right. Ultimate. Take it seriously.
Anyway, that’s a hopefully not boring summary of my gaming history. (Oh, I also have a Game Boy Color and GB Advance, though neither really need mentioning.) Ten years from now, I’ll treat you guys to my twentieth anniversary! Now won’t that be nice? Maybe we’ll have virtual reality by then. I can be a Spartan for real! Well, almost. Gasp! Will I ever get to use a Keyblade for real?!
By the way, sorry that this post was so huge.