Archive for March 2010

Loot Whoring

March 6, 2010

I’ve been playing a ton of Borderlands the past few days.  I had heard that a lot of the game’s motivation for you to play is the different random items you can collect, not unlike Diablo or Phantasy Star Online.  I hadn’t played many loot focused games in the past but their concept has always intrigued me.  I like the idea of having a completely custom character, having weapons and items that no one else has.  I even purchased the Diablo Battle Chest about a year ago and gave it a whirl.  I was having a blast with my level 14 Paladin, but something weird happened with my game and I can’t reinstall it, my computer just won’t even recognize that the disc is there.

When I saw Borderlands on the cheap on Amazon I jumped at the chance to get back on the loot whore horse again.  Now that I’ve sunk about 10 hours in the game and have a level 20 soldier I can honestly say that the gear isn’t what is driving me to play that game.  Don’t get me wrong I love the game, it’s a great fun ride there just isn’t enough different types of stuff to collect to get me too excited.  There are a few different types of guns, grenades, shields and mods but I think what really gets me hunting for that sweet gear is armor.  I like having a character that looks badass and has the stats to back it up.  In Borderlands you can customize you character’s color at any time and that’s about it which is a bummer.

No, what is really guiding me though that game is killing  the very same monsters that kicked my ass earlier.  I loved back after Giant Badass Psycho in the safehouse when I was level 20 after he had decimated me at level 18.  That’s where I get my gaming high, character growth and knowing I can get past a part that was impossible before. I suppose some of that feeling does come from the items I get, but i don’t feel any attachment to them like I thought I would. I do however like when I get items that I can’t use til a certain level, getting to that level and then destroying all that I come across.

I haven’t tried playing with anyone online yet and I can’t say that I will.  I’m not the type to play a co-op game online with random people.  It’s not so much that I don’t like socializing with random people (which I don’t really) it’s that I never feel like in the same league with the people who play games 24/7 and would just be dragging the team down.

Despite my not getting into the loot side of things, Borderlands is still a great game.  All the RPG stuff with a game that controls exactly like Call of Duty combined with an interesting art style make for an awesome experience that I could recommend to anyone.

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Quirky

March 5, 2010

Is the exact word I would use to describe the game I’m gonna right about today, Dynamite Headdy.

The cover only shows a fraction of how wacky this game is

I first rented this game during the glory days of Blockbuster and 3 day rentals.  I rented a lot of games back then but this one stood out enough that when I saw it on the cheap at K-Mart I begged my parents for it.  The premise for the game is simple, it’s a 16-bit platformer with a Contra-esque weapon mechanic only the weapon is a small puppets head.  That’s right you’re a puppet with a detachable head and from what I can tell you’re fighting the Dark Demon’s minions through a large scale puppet show all while being chased by a robot cat.  Pretty crazy right?  Well it gets crazier with some of the bizarre boss battles (which there are many, this is a Treasure game after all) including this one:

Oh My

This is a boss you have to fight during a shump-like stage that starts off as a giant baby head, then grows older as you do more damage to the giant child.  My favorite boss battle of the game is Spinderella, she’s not the wildest boss you fight but she does have some kickass music and is pretty epic.  Speaking of Spinderella, there seems to be a boss battle in the Super Mario Galaxy 2 trailer the has the same basic layout only in 3-d.  The secret final boss should also be mentioned here.  If you do well enough in the bonus basketball game (bizarre) you receive a number.  You do this 4 times to get 4 digits which you use after you defeat the Dark Demon backstage.  The secret final boss turns out to be a fat business man at his desk in his high rise office with a giant sign above him that says “MONEY”.  His corporate minions will also come from all sides to aid him in battle.

There’s also tons of random weird things in Headdy.  Such as the use of the Nutcracker Suite as a theme for the 1st boss battle, or Heather Headdy’s purple love interest with detachable hands.  The tech of the game is also something that I found to be out of the ordinary, with some levels featuring a primitive form of 3-d animation something not found in too many Genesis games.

Either because of or despite it’s weirdness, Dynamite Headdy is one of if not my favorite game for the Genesis.  It has a charm not matched by it’s contemporaries and definitely stands out above the crowd to those who played it.  I’ll close with the Southtown Theme, which I’ve written about before but it bear’s repeating.  It is simply a great song in a great game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv-mfTsw_s4&feature=related

Bracing for Impact

March 3, 2010
Final Fantasy XIII

It's coming

Final Fantasy XIII, a game that was 1st shown 4 years ago and has had an insanely long develop time, will finally be upon us in North America in a matter of weeks.  Will this game be worth all the time a money Square Enix put into it or will it just fall to the wayside like so many JRPGs this generation?

I must admit my own excitement for the game has been subdued since I initially saw it.  With all the poor quality JRPGs I’ve spent 60 bucks each these past few years, it’s hard to get into another one 100%.  And it’s depressing to watch this genre of game have such a fast downfall.  JRPG’s, during the 32-bit era, were exactly what I wanted from a game. They were long, complex and colorful experiences that required a lot of investment from the player.  Keep in mind this was during my high school years and was a nerd with no job, so I poured all my leisure time in these games.

I’ve continued to follow this genre right up until Lost Odyssey and Tales of Vesperia for the Xbox 360, neither which I beat or thought were all that great.  Is it just my tastes in games changing with the times or were these just poor releases on Japan’s part?  I’m not too sure, but what I am sure about is that my love for the RPG certainly hasn’t faltered.  I’ve latched on to Western RPGs in a big way this generation with Fallout 3, Oblivion, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age.  It just seems like Bioware and Bethesda can do no wrong in the past couple of years and many of the eastern developers can’t even get a decent game out.

Despite all of this I will be buying Final Fantasy XIII.  I put well over 100 hours into Final Fantasy XII and have enough confidence that Square will not let their flagship franchise become irrelevant and mediocre.  Will it coming out just around the corner news about how the game plays has been steady and I haven’t missed much.  A lot of the early criticisms seem to be for it’s linearity and I’m not sure how I feel about this.  On the one had Final Fantasy X was extremely linear and I played and love it, but with massive free world that XII offered I’m not sure if I can go back.  I guess what I really want in a current gen Final Fantasy game is a Final Fantasy XII-2.

I’m sure I’ll enjoy Final Fantasy XIII even if it’s just for the visual eye candy the game will dish out en mass.  The thing I’m most worried about, however, is the music.  Out of all the trailers and gameplay videos I haven’t heard one song that catches my attention.  If you ask me what is one of the immediate things I think of when you ask me about Final Fantasy I would definitely say the music and with this not really catching me is disturbing.

Only time will tell if this game will live up to it’s predecessors or will continue the downward trend of the JRPG.  I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts on it when the game ships in 2 weeks.

On a side note, I recently purchased Borderlands and that game has me hooked on “one more quest” pretty bad.  Hopefully I have some deeper impressions later as well.