Now Playing: April 2016

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Since I never did a Now Playing article for either February or March thanks to my PC being out of commission, I figured I’d do one for April.

Why a week sooner than I’d usually aim to do it? This is because I don’t see myself having much time or interest in gaming in the coming weeks. My free time is more spent these days watching movies or TV. I feel it doesn’t do me any good to tell myself I’m going to play a game later on knowing I’m probably not going to bother. It’s a pointless expectation to have if my interest isn’t there when the time comes.

Now don’t take me as one of those “I’m done with gaming” types. That’s preposterous. It’s much more along the lines of “absence makes the heart grow fonder” things. Time away from playing games will ultimately help me get more excited to play them.

In these last two months I did play and beat Jak 3 (PS2) and Uncharted 3 via the Uncharted Collection on PS4. The former was fun until the final boss. Trying to shoot specific spots without any sort of auto aim in a vehicle that only shoots straight ahead is not what I call fun. The latter was fun and Drake was a wonderfully voiced character as always, but the constant big set piece escapes from crumbling structures got old very, very fast.

I also played some of the RPG Star Ocean: First Departure on PSP. It was fun for about 5 hours and, as usual, I lost interest. Rarely does an RPG keep me entertained these days.

I do want to eventually finish The Legend of Kage 2 (DS) and Bully (PS2), but those will have to wait until my gaming mojo returns.

In the meantime, I’ve watched A Clockwork Orange and was surprised how much I enjoyed it. The scenes you usually see about the movie are from the beginning section and that never convinced me to watch it. However, a breakdown of the movie via Renegade Cut showed me other parts of the film making it much more intriguing. This is something you simply cannot accomplish for me by avoiding spoilers as the Internet community would have you believe.

A Clockwork Orange was an excellent piece on society’s view on criminal punishment and rehabilitation. In that regardless of debt paid while incarcerated the victims still want a piece of payback for themselves. It’s actually quite sad and makes Alex, the main character, sympathetic by the end. At the end, though, it seems as if Alex reverts back to his old ways. Is this the case or am I reading more into it than is there?

Finally, I’ll leave you with my new acquisition of Painkiller: Hell & Damnation. Thanks for reading!

painkillerps3

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Now Playing: June 2015

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In the last month of adventurous video gaming, I had jumped from the Game Boy Advance to the DS and started with Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure. As I’d said at the time early on it was an interesting with platforming and a puzzle game together. Unique is definitely the word to describe it. However, as the game progressed it became a bit too daunting in difficulty for its own good. I stopped short of finishing it because I didn’t want to ruin the memories of it actually being fun when it was.

I moved onto Solatorobo: Red the Hunter (CIBfridays). It had a fun story and adorable characters. While the gameplay is basic, it at least doesn’t overstay its welcome like most RPGs do. It may not satisfy long time RPG fans at around 20 hours in total for both parts of the story, but it works well for those, like myself, who don’t play many RPG titles.

At the same time I also was playing Steal Princess. Unlike Henry Hatsworth, this game is exactly what you think of when hearing it’s a puzzle platformer. This wasn’t a game I expected to complete, but what I did get through was enjoyable.

Next up I plan on going back to the PS3 and playing Call of Juarez: Gunslinger and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.

THIS MONTH’S GAMING STATS:
* Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure :: Tealand 5-1; 69%
* Solatorobo: Red the Hunter :: Lv. 14; 20h36m
* Steal Princess :: 12h11m; Volcano 7

150 Levels and a Part Two

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On my recent DS activities after playing Henry Hatsworth has been fun. The XSeed developed Solatorobo: Red the Hunter had a story that wrapped up after ten chapters. Then the credits rolled as you’d expect, but then it informed me that there’s a part 2 and it’s…now. That’s right there’s a second part to the story.

My thoughts on the actual gameplay is it’s usually a one button affair with some jumping in the mix. Jumping to throw an enemy does more damage so it’s a thing you’ll want to do. Otherwise the game has tons for story, despite the story itself being rather basic. You’ll be tapping the A button a lot to get through dialog that seems unnecessarily at times. Almost as if the characters are Rachel Maddow in how they over explain the simple things going on. Regardless the characters and world are endearing even if the many dialog boxes get annoying at times.

I’m also playing Steal Princess at the same time. It’s quite the different game. It’s a puzzle platformer with six worlds consisting on 25 levels each. This makes for 150 levels in total. Some are very easy to figure out while others have me reaching for an FAQ. Either way its a worthy Atlus game to get.

At the time I bought it I was trying to get a $10 GBA game, but Amazon sent me Steal Princess instead…twice.

Have a good one!

Complete In Box Fridays – Solatorobo: Red the Hunter

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In preparation of starting to play my next DS game I figured I’d feature said game in a Complete In Box Fridays feature. The 20th one at that. The game is CyberConnect2 and Xseed Games’ Solatorobo: Red the Hunter.

Despite owning this game since it was released in 2011, I know only a few things about it. It’s an action RPG with a predecessor on the original PlayStation from 1999 called Tail Concerto.

As you’d likely expect, Solatorobo doesn’t exactly pop up out of nowhere when shopping for games. I’ve certainly never seen it anywhere. It’ll come as no shock whatsoever that Solatorobo currently fetches $63 for a complete copy. As you’ll see in the photos below, a complete copy consists of the typical DS game case, manual, and game card along with a soundtrack on CD all in a nice cardboard box.

Speaking of the photos in particular, you can click on them for a closer look.

I’m off to play this game now. Wish me luck!

BOX FRONT:
cibf-solatorobo-box-front-tn

BOX BACK:
cibf-solatorobo-box-back-tn

MANUAL & GAME FRONT:
cibf-solatorobo-manual-game-tn

MANUAL BACK:
cibf-solatorobo-manual-back-tn

SOUNDTRACK FRONT:
cibf-solatorobo-ost-front-tn

SOUNDTRACK BACK:
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SOUNDTRACK INSIDE:
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SOUNDTRACK BEHIND CD:
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#CIBfridays

Now Playing: May 2015

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It’s been a month of portable power playing the Game Boy Advance and DS. The latter of which I’d recently started the first of four random games. I finished up CT Special Forces and The Scorpion King: Sword of Osiris mid-month. I also knocked out Wario Land 4 a few days later.

In that same second hyperlink above I also talked about my time with Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure. I was probably around world 3 at the time. I’ve since progressed to 5-1. Skills I didn’t know about until I watched this longplay video (by one of the people behind the game’s development) included the ability to power-up projectile attacks with the puzzle mode. You’ll see what I mean in the video. You’ll also see show difficult the game is in comparison to earlier worlds like world 3. In fact, this is why I have to sadly report I’m done with the game. It just feels unfair at times and more so on 5-1 than ever before.

I really liked what I played of Henry Hatsworth up until that point. I don’t want to sour the memories of the fun I had by getting pissed off. It’s unfortunate, but I will be moving onto the next game I have planned to play.

Speaking of which, I never did list what those other DS games were. They are Solatorobo: Red the Hunter (the next game I’ll be starting), Steal Princess, and Kirby: Mass Attack.

*****

HART & USAGI PODCAST | SPACE SUPLEX PODCAST

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Igarashi’s Magnum Opus

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I was quite amazing news recently when Koji Igarashi asked if fans wanted a new game in the style of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Fans responded in droves showing support for Igarashi’s vision to do this type of game when Konami wouldn’t. Not only did the fans say “Yes, we want to play what you have on offer,” but they also showed it with cold hard cash. As of this blog post the project has 20 days to go on Kickstarter and it has gained over $2.6 million!

The game in question is called Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. I know a number of gamers personally that have given some of their hard earned cash to Iga’s game. I, myself, not being one of them, but I’ll gladly purchase the game once it’s released to show my support. In fact, I know I’ll be buying the version for the PlayStation 4 that’s going to be released into retail stores on disc. Team Hardcopy for the win!

I’m a big fan of Igavania games. I enjoyed the initial classic in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and going so far as to give it my Game of the Year award for 2014. On episode 52 of the Hart & Usagi Podcast, we chatted awhile about out favorite Castlevania games. Mine, in addition to SotN, were Aria of Sorrow and Portrait of Ruin. Add to those Super Castlevania IV and Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest from the “classic-vania” titles and you have my top five all-time favorites of the entire series.

Get hyped because you don’t see games like this anymore!

Interviews with Igarashi:
GameSpot | USgamer | The Jimquisition

From GBA to DS

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After playing through a total of six games on the Game Boy Advance, I decided to do a similar thing, but instead on the DS. I chose four random games to play and they are: Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure, Solatorobo: Red the Hunter, Steal Princess, and Kirby: Mass Attack.

But first an update on the last GBA game played…

The objective of Wario Land 4 is to help Wario get rich quick. The game is structured in four groups of four levels with a boss and the end of each. You can only fight the boss once four pieces of a gem are found in each of the levels within that group. After beating all of them can you then face off against the game’s final boss. It’s not the most difficult game Nintendo has ever produced, but at least half the bosses will give you some trouble. Wario Land 4 isn’t something I’ve heard much talk about over the years since its 2001 release, but it is worth your time.

The first of the DS games I’m tackling from the list above is Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure. It’s not a puzzle platformer. This game is a puzzle game and a platformer at the same time! The top screen is the platforming and the bottom screen is where the puzzles happen. Switching between them on the fly is as simple as pressing the X button. Both are fun in their own right and each effect one another. Defeated enemies are vanquished to the puzzle screen where you must clear them off. If they get to the top they will attack once again. Power ups can be acquired which also go to the puzzle screen. If cleared they will allow you to have it on the platforming screen. It all works much better than it first seems. A recommended DS title if you’re looking for one.

*****

HART & USAGI PODCAST #63 – May 10th 2015 (@HartandUsagi)
Matt, Mike, and Dan chat Game Boy Advance, Konami, rating for PC game Hatred, and more.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2015/05/10/hart-usagi-podcast-63-game-boy-advance/

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SPACE SUPLEX #18 – April 28th 2015 (@SpaceSuplex)
Anthony and Matt chat Extreme Rules 2015 and more.
https://hartarchive.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/space-suplex-podcast-ep-18-get-extreme/