March 2008

If we die Shepard, I’ll kill you.

Wrex is awesome. Actually pretty much all of the characters are awesome. My main party consists of bitter, cynical Wrex and curious Tali. I’m really enjoying Mass Effect. Bioware really thought through the universe they present. Reading about the cultures, history and technology found throughout the game has been keeping me busy. This game also hits on my love of dialog trees. Though I always have the feeling I’m making a terrible decision…

I’ve only done one story related mission since getting off the Citadel and I already have put 10 hours into the game. On the other hand my brother completed a playthrough in 20 hours so I may not be as far as I suspect from the end.

Impressions

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Smashed

I think my obsession with Smash Bros. is winding down. Having all the characters and stages unlocked takes a big part of the motivation to keep playing away. Not having a serious number of serious players on hand also takes away part of the allure Melee had back in 2001. I still enjoy reading the little text along with all the trophies, and seeing what CDs and stickers I can find, but I don’t think I’ll be playing it for hours on end like I have this past week.

Impressions

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Mass Effect

So here I am starting another RPG that I wont’ finish. I do enjoy them however!

Character creation is both very detailed and limited. You can change the structure of the face very intricately but you are stuck with one hair style, which is the predominant part of the head you will see during the game. Graphics are incredible except for some glitchy shadows and lighting here and there. Anything with planets and spaceships looks like CG from a few years ago. Heck in some cases it looks better.

So far gameplay involves a lot of investigating which is cool with me. I enjoy games that present a fully realized universe and enjoy discovering different aspects the designers have created. This game has a very rich backstory, with little text entries explaining the technology and culture of the galactic system.

Game play is cool so far, basically GRAW with an experience system. Nothing combat wise has been terribly demanding so I can’t say it will be good or bad at this point. I haven’t even really used my special abilities.

Impressions

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Hamburger

Finished the Co-op campaign tonight in N+. The highlight of the night however, was not dodging various guns and weaponry while my cohorts hit a few buttons, but instead the level editor. I made a few levels in under 5 minutes, and they turned out pretty well though they could use a bit of polish. I never really get much use out of level editors, but the 4 player local co-op really helps in this case.

Impressions

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Recap

Played a ton of Super Smash Brothers Brawl this week. I completed Subspace Emissary. Working on 100%, only at 96% so far and I have no clue what I am missing in some of these levels. The challenge board is getting filled up pretty nicely and I still can’t pick a winner in spectator mode to save my life. I completed all the events except the final event on Hard difficulty, went through All-Star mode once, and have at least completed all of the break the target levels. A lot of things to do in this game.

A cool little touch I noticed is when Kirby does his sucking special attack, it affects the cloth and hair physics on characters standing next to Kirby.

Impressions

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What the hell?

Why does Brain Challenge, which shows a grand total of one model at a time have slowdown? It is totally unacceptable. I was considering purchasing the game but put a little effort in your Brain Age knockoffs will you?

Bliss Island, I’m not sure what to say. I can puff the balls into the hole but I don’t get anywhere and more keep coming!

Impressions

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More randomness.

The last level of Subspace Emissary is pretty cool. Basically they take the entire game you just played through and restructure it as a Metroid game. A lot of people are hating on this on the message boards, but I’m enjoying this more explorative gameplay.

I’m terrible at guessing correctly in Spectator mode. Absolutely terrible. I don’t think I’ve successfully chosen the winner ever. The tempting Bonus Chance keeps me at the table, throwing my precious coins away.

I love the “evil” Princess Peach theme. It’s a remix of the castle music from Super Mario World and its awesome. It totally suits the mood of that part of the game.

Impressions

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Memories.

Subspace Emissary has a ton of cool moments, heck Smash Brothers as a whole has a ton of cool moments. But at the moment I’m really tired and I wasn’t keeping notes so think of it as having too much good stuff to remember. Here is a quick list of some cool things: Snake, idle animations, bosses, challenges, stages. Of particular note is the use of music. I knew going into the game that the soundtrack was spectacular. One of the benefits of people ripping every bit of data from a game. What surprised me is how appropriately the soundtrack was used. Sure that remix of the Norfair theme is a little too electronic, but guess what? You are running through a futuristic space laboratory at the time and it works in that environment.

Impressions

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Redeye Smash Brothers

Super Smash Brothers Brawl is good enough to make me stay up until 4 AM playing it. Sure it had help from Daylight Savings Time but working earlier in the day counteracts that effect. Somehow graphically the game manages to be sharper and clearer than its predecessor, which itself had amazingly clean graphics. I imagine its due to the higher resolution textures. Even someone I know who has a dislike for Melee stayed for a few hours to play.

Only thing that really bothers me about the game at this point is the loading. It takes too long and it makes my Wii sound like its 90 years old and on a ventilator. This is especially annoying in Subspace Emissary when it takes a minute to load, you choose your character, you walk across a few screens without fighting anything, and then proceed to load for another minute and choose your same character again. A little bit of sloppiness I wouldn’t expect given the polish in the rest of the product.

Impressions

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Belated holiday greetings

Grr… I made it to skin 19 of 20 in Lumines Live Rockin’ Holiday Pack. The 19th skin, featuring Santa lounging at the beach has a very very slow timer bar, difficult to distinguish star shaped pieces, and at that point in the game a very fast drop rate. At least I know to expect it now and worry more about keeping the board clear than racking up points.

Impressions

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