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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Rocket… men…

Reading impressions online before I played the game, I was of the mindset that Rocketmen could be one of the worst XBLA games yet. I was plesantly surprised. Customizable characters was an unexpected touch. Not the most detailed character editor, mostly switching models and color but still a welcome addition. Gunplay is much more slower paced and deliberate than most 2-stick shooters. Levels are based on forced scrolling through the environments which is somewhat annoying as either places you want to search are scrolled offscreen or the screen takes its good old time as you push against the edge of the screen trying to progress. Terrible running animation. The XP/Shop system could be pretty cool, but from only one level its hard to say.

Surprisingly good, potential purchase if things slow up in the future.

Impressions

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Insert a puzzle related pun.

As the name suggests, Puzzle Fighter is a better competitive puzzle game than Lumines. A big part of this is the crystal crash gem every 25 pieces. It allows for come from behind wins in a way shrinking your playfield does not.

Impressions

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