I only recently realized that LA Noire is coming out very soon. It looks great and I have high expectations of it but somehow… it slipped under my radar?
If the game does what it wants to do well, it’ll be one of the best games of the year, and considering who’s making it, this could very well be the case.
I however am hesitant to throw down the full 50 euro for a PS3 title and to my surprise, you can’t really get it for much cheaper anywhere else.
Even if the game falls to mediocrity, it’ll not ruin the week with The Witcher 2′s release and DiRT 3 literally a week after.
So the 3ds has been out for a little while and I have had mine for as long. I must be honest that I currently haven’t used it too much yet considering all the time I’m investing in other games right now, but in total I’ve spent some 15 hours with the console, and 3 hours with an actual 3ds game, so keep that in mind. First of all, the console comes with these AR(Augmented Reality) cards that when detected will show things in 3d which you can move around and play mini games with. That was my first time seeing the 3d and honestly, it took some getting used to, you can’t move the console at all as it’ll break the 3d effect. But it’s a good introduction to what the system can do.
After that I went on to play a bunch of Pokemon: Black, and really felt that the console is really comfy in your hands, compared to my DSi at least. A similar comparison is for example an iPhone 3 and an iPhone 4. The rounded edges of the 3ds really help in that regard. It’s a bit heavier but that doesn’t matter.
So I then recently ordered Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars which is a top-down tactical shooter rpg. It’s probably the most interesting game from the launch lineup and I toyed around with the 3d slider turning it off and on. I actually like that the 3d effect is optional and is there solely to make it looks better and give everything a sense of depth. For example characters and dialog will be in front of the tactical map and menu’s really stand out that way. It’s a surprisingly smooth look and I really dig it, it made me realize that this is the way game should probably work the 3d in though many will probably shove it in your face.
Dragon Age 2
So on to the second topic I wanted to mention which is Dragon Age 2. I previously let know via twitter, an update video and on the blog that stuff wasn’t going too well with it and my copy was at least a week late. It has since been in for a while and I’ve recorded roughly 6 hours of it and I’m having a good time with it. I’ve not uploaded it yet as I’ve still got a bunch of fallout new vegas to upload (and record!) as well as another project that you’ll see in the future. All of these are lengthy projects and will last me several months.
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
I mentioned Golden Sun in an earlier post, but that feels like it was many months ago at this point. Some of you may not even have heard of the original games, so let’s say they’re probably the best Gameboy Advance games, at least in my opinion. What these games are then in short are lighthearted rpg’s with a lot of focus on the personality of the characters helped by the facial expressions that keep popping up during gameplay/conversations.
There is a certain kind of flow and smoothness that just worked so darn well for these games and luckily to say, that still persists in this sequel so many years later. I was afraid that that ‘Golden Sun feeling’ would be gone, but the game initially starts with the original warriors of Vale and their offspring as things go wrong during shenanigans. From there on out the kids get tasked to go on a grand adventure which is basically planned by their parents.
However as they head out things go amiss and bad things start happening and the kids get forced to take a different path which was planned by some strangers who just showed up. So from that point on the game opens up, but the objective noted on the Save-screen will always point you to where you need to be. You go to a LOT of towns, civilizations and villages which have their own stories and troubles and this wouldn’t be an rpg if we weren’t getting involved in any way, right?
So you meet a lot of people, get new people to tag along with the party and at times even have 10+ people following you which I didn’t expect. After (what took me) roughly 30 hours though the game becomes fully open and gives you a very big part of the world to simply explore with an objective that boils down to; go collect these mystical orbs with your newfound powers and also collect this special set of gear. So…. that was rather overwhelming but kind of fun initially. I admit to having to look up at one point where I was supposed to go, as I had forgotten to meet a certain King when I was supposed to.
The final 5 hours were actually really tough in the way of combat, you have to venture out into the darkness where strong monsters are who can ‘permanently’ debuff your characters if not straight up kill them, in some cases in 1 or 2 attacks. This becomes a real problem when you’re facing 3 or 4 of these enemies at once, mind you. But I managed to pull through and got to the final encounters which certainly felt grand and I managed to beat it on my first attempt with literally my last possible chance which ended up a critical attack.
All in all I have to say that it’s a great rpg for anyone that is even remotely interested in rpg’s and it certainly gives you value for the price seeing that it took me 40.5 hours to complete.
Dead Space 2
After playing more Dead Space as mentioned in the previous post, I managed to complete it this week. After chapter 7 which I got stuck in, I managed to finally beat it and from there on there were some exciting moments which made me glad I played the original first. It really kept up the pace and was very exciting until the end.
Before I bought the game I watched some video reviews and in the comments someone spoiled the ending, which did keep nagging at me especially in the second half of the game. However.. it turned out to be a lie, luckily. I’d like to say more but I really don’t want to give anything away. It’s a game you should really play, it’s an excellent action third person action game with good atmosphere, though that mostly seemed to play in the earlier chapters for me.
So a while ago I was looking through the top apps for my iPhone and stumbled upon Sleep Cycle, what it said to do is basically wake you at a pleasant moment in the morning. Considering we all hate that standard hard beeping alarm, I figured I’d give it a go and with only costing 99cents, there’s not much to lose.
So what you have to do is disable the phone from going off, or locking and then turning up the volume so you’ll be sure you’ll wake up. So what the app really does is use the iPhone’s ability to sense motion so it can feel when you move when it’s placed on the bed. On the first 2 nights it’s said it’s just making a baseline for you, but it worked perfectly from the get-go. What you do is you set an ultimate waking time and the 30min(by default) before that, you might get waken up. In my case this is between 7 and 7.30am, during this time if you move enough so that you’re in a light sleep state, the alarm will go off, which I’ve set to some of the very soothing default sounds.
I have to say that after using it for 6weeks now, I love this app. It’s continuously waking me up at a pleasant moment and very gently, yet never failing to do so despite me being a heavy sleeper. The only drawbacks to it are that because the sound is on, you’ll hear notifications which to me is e-mails which come in during the night and the fact that you probably need to sleep alone for it to work properly, but I’m not sure on the latter.
The other thing I wanted to talk about in this blog is… Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. I previously played through the GBA’s Golden Sun games and absolutely loved them. They had such character and were solid rpg’s with some puzzle elements, it really simply worked. Now I’ve started playing the new DS game and after the initial 6 hours I can say that it certainly sets itself aside as a Golden Sun game, the dialog, expressions, puzzles and solid fighting are all there and it’s very entertaining to figure out how to get chests or djinn that you’ll see around. If you’re wondering if it’s a worthy successor, I feel pretty confident to say that it is.
I’ve recently received my Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals and Golden Sun: Dark Dawn games for my Nintendo DS as I ordered them on a holiday sale mentioned in an earlier post. I as of this writing have not touched Golden Sun yet, as I first want to get into Lufia as I was looking forward to that the most. I have very fond memories of the SNES lufia games, which I feel like may have been my first rpg’s, or atleast the oldest rpg’s with the best memories for me.
Going into the game it immediately dawned upon me that it is infact a re-imagining of the original, and it isn’t even a turn-based rpg anymore. The story and characters have also been revamped, the story more than the characters though. The biggest change is that the combat is actually realtime and it has basically turned into an action-rpg, there’s still items and stats and enchancements and different skills/spells.. but it’s all overhead view and judging from the first 4 hours, it works very well.
So far I’ve gotten the 4 original characters with me that I remember, but there still seems to be 2 more character slots in the menu so I’m curious about how that’ll turn out. The way you move around the world so far has only been through menu’s, but that’s not really the focus of the game. It really focuses on the characters and the action and both those aspects work very well, there’s some really good dialog among characters and it doesn’t take itself too seriously, which has to be appreciated.
So in short it’s looking like Lufia’ll make for a really enjoyable action/platforming rpg with good characters. I also have to commend them for having good voice acting, it does add to the experience.
So just yesterday DeathSpank released, a game I anticipated quite a bit. So I decided I’d grab that from the playstation network and while I was on there I remembered Flower, Pixeljunk Shooter and megaman 10.
I decided I’d buy them all at once as I’d get an extra charge on my mastercard anyhow. So to give you a very brief summary of my experience with said games so far:
DeathSpank is great fun, seriously. It’s a very non-serious action-rpg and man, it’s not an easy game. But the humor’s quite enjoyable and the weapons and armor you get are great. An example is a quest reward: “Helm of Pointyness” or the Chicken Gun. If you have xbox live or a ps3, you should probably check it out.
Pixeljunk Shooter is not a new game at all anymore but I remember seeing it being played and it looked like a lot of fun with the fluid dynamics.. and guess what? It is fun to play.
I’m not too far in, just started the 2nd Episode and got the introduction to the magma suit which lets you melt away ice by shooting lava, while trying to not burn alive the people you’re trying to save.
Flower, a weird one. It’s either a love-it or hate-it kind of game and I frankly don’t know where I stand. I bought it purely out of curiosity and it’s certainly an interesting ‘game’.
Megaman 10 — it’s… megaman. It looks fine, even on a big monitor and it plays alright, but I quite realised how bloody awful I am at these games. I’ll definitely have to come back to it later to see if I can struggle my way through it. It’s not a high priority game for me but a good one to have around for that moment I do feel like playing it.
Furthermore I’ve been playing quite some Dragon Quest 9, which is just out for the DS. It especially helped last night while we had a 3.5hour long power outage. But I’m about 15hours into the game and I’ve had 3 boss encounters so far which are actually getting kind of tough. The game itself is a really solid jrpg, it doesn’t seem to do anything radically different from other rpg’s, it’s extremely traditional. Saying that though I’ve just arrived at the town where I’m going to be able to switch classes so that’ll be interesting especially considering I’ve invested a bunch of skillpoints into the “Minstrel” class which is what you start out as. I’m assuming though that it’ll just refund you those points, which would be neat.
So as a final point I’ve actually started to watch the Harry Potter movies as you hear so many good things about them. I got reminded of them due to that new lego harry potter game being released which apparently plays through the first 4 movies. So right now I’ve only watched the first movie, the philosophers stone, and I can say that I felt a bit awkward watching little kids at times but the movie’s definitely well made. Though it seemed to just rush from major event to major event, not much small talk or character building. Perhaps they didn’t think it was necessary because so many people have read the books?
That Guy with the glasses –> The Room.