Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pause, if not game over.

You may have noticed it's been nearly a 5 months since the last post. Likely that isn't going to change.

I'm not pulling down the blog - I did that once before and regretted it, but I am not likely to post to it again... not for a while anyway (years).

So this is mostly a "it's been fun while it lasted" post.

See ya on the flipside.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snap Judgment reviews VI : The Undiscovered Country

Lots of Nintendo stuff this time around. Some of these will be more detailed comments on games mentioned in the last post. Note on the Dollar rating - I very rarely buy new games, so I put what I would be willing to pay for it. Anything 30 or higher is a very good game.

First batch - on rails shooters.

House of the Dead 2 & 3: Great game. I love this genre, so I'm a sucker for this kind of thing. Playing arcade mode, and yeah, it felt like an arcade on rails shooter. I got past the first boss, and a little further. Enjoyed the gameplay, the reload mechanics, and the ability to just point and shoot. Zombies are fun to kill. And I can see the difference in graphics for the Wii and the 360/PS3. I don't even have an HD TV at this point, but yeah the Wii is a little lagging. But I knew that going in. 20 dollar game.

Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles: Another great one. I've never liked the RE games - I just don't like survival horror. But this is a gun game. Again, I like the reload, and I like the fact I can point and shoot. Multiple weapon types, grenades, story driven collectibles - it is pretty cool. I'm so used to arcade shooters like House of the Dead that the story elements are a pretty cool extra. 25 Dollar game


Bleach: Shattered Blade - this one will take getting used to. An average fighter I think (not knowing the Wii fighters very well), but I love the source material so I am enamored of this game. Doing fighting game on the Wii will tire out my arms. :) And there is a lot to keep track of. Wiimote motion for attacks, Nunchuck joystick to move, buttons for other things, shaking Nunchuck to help energy up for Bankai. Hard for me to keep everything strait. 20 Dollar Game

Super Smash Brothers Brawl - again seems to be average, but fun. 15 Dollar game

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels (and many colons)- I liked this the best of the three, but then again I am a complete Star Wars freak, so a lightsaber fighter is really cool to me. Again will make my arms tired.
30 Dollar game.

The thing I notice about all three - they are very much a "button masher" kind of game - getting exact timing and combos is not as important as shaking the wiimote around. This is fine with me.


Rayman Raving Rabbids: Pretty stupid minigame collection. I hated the unlocking approach. This is a party game, and you should be able to get to everything right away. Do not Buy.
Mario and Sonic at the Olympic games - decent fun, but again, a party game, and I don't generally play video games that way. Boring for single player. 10 dollar game.
Cooking Mama - World Kitchen: Silly fun. Not something I'd normally buy but worth playing. 5 dollars / Rental.
New Super Mario Brothers Wii - as a huge fan of Super Mario Brothers 3, and Super Mario world (and 2d platformers in general) I loved this game. The multiplayer aspect is pretty cool when played co-op. The wife and I both had fun with it. 30 Dollar game.
F-Zero GX: Everything I wanted it to be. Fzero with better graphics. I loved it, and I love these kind of racing games. 25 Dollar game.
No More Heroes - An over the top action game with funky controls and an average combat system. 10 bucks.

Gotta go, need set up behind the kit and bang some drums.

Games played since last post

Cooking Mama-World Kitchen (Wii)
Star Wars: Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels (Wii)
Rayman Raving Rabbids (Wii)
Cooking Mama - World Kitchen (Wii)
Earth Defense Force 2017 (360)
Plants vs Zombies (PC)
Beatles: Rock Band (360)
Rock Band 2 (360).
Wii Sports (Wii).

Thursday, December 24, 2009

After Christmas Report - time to Wii.

As I mentioned in my last post the Wife and I bought a Wii for ourselves for Christmas. We opened our presents on the evening of the 23rd - after I got home from work. I had Christmas Eve off, but have to work Christmas day.

So we had the Wii, a number of Gamecube games, a number of Wii games - along with a number rented from work (I do love my free rentals from Blockbuster); and of course the controllers and memory cards for all the above.

First off the Gamecube games - I really enjoyed the ones I got - Geist, Mega Man Anniversary Collection, and F-Zero GX (F-Zero being one of my favorite SNES games, and one of my favorite games of all time). Decent games, and ones pretty much exclusive to the system. I also got Paper Mario but I haven't played it yet. The wife got a slew of RPGs (6 of 'em) - which was one of the reasons we got the system, so she had access to the GC RPGs she hadn't played.

Now take the title of this blog - Confessions of a Casual Video Gamer, and the fact that Rock Band 2 (and to a lesser extent the various Guitar Hero games) have dominated my video gaming time - you would think that I would have had a Wii already. But to be honest I scoffed at the controllers. The thing is I like "Hardcore" games, I just usually am not good at them. I personally think that the Hardcore/Casual split is mostly illusion. But I do have a particular approach to gaming - I normally can't sit down for hours on end to play - I need smaller chunks that when I was a youth. Then came Rock Band, and Peggle and Plants vs Zombies, and playing older console games on emulator (with save states and such) and I find I am solidly in the so called "casual" zone. And Rock Band really proved to me that non standard controllers can work.

So what Wii games did we play - Wii Sports (of course), Bleach Shattered Blade, New Super Mario Brothers, No More Heroes,Houses of the Dead 2 & 3, Boom Blox and a few others. I find myself really enjoying the approach most of these games have to control - notably the Boom Blox and Wii Sports. They are really a different kind of game than what I am used to (I loved Flower too BTW). I find myself being more active playing them, and really liking the fact I can sit down (or more likely stand up) and play for 5 or 10 minutes.

Another big bonus for the Wii is "light gun" games, especially on rails. I love those games, I've loved them in the arcade, with Duck Hunt, the Menacer (remember that?), and Elemental Gearbolt. But there just aren't that many games for them on standard consoles. The Wii has a ton of them - and don't think for a minute that this fact didn't color my desire for the machine.

It is also interesting to play "standard" games with Wii controls - No More Heroes (an Action Game) and Bleach: Shattered Blade (Fighter) both felt very odd with the control schemes - not necessarily worse, just different.

And the Wife and I played more games together - we do the occasional Lego game together, but we actually played for large chunks of time together. I really like that. I don't care for 1 on 1 competitive games, and I really don't like online, but playing with a loved one in the same room - that has something to recommend it.

So all in all I have really had a blast playing with the Wii. And I think I will keep doing so, for a long time.

Gotta go, need to bowl another line or two.

Games Played since last post:
F-Zero GX (Game Cube)
Geist (Game Cube)
Mega Man Anniversary Collection (Game Cube)
Boom Blox Bash Party (Wii)
No More Heroes (Wii)
House of the Dead 2 & 3 (Wii)
Wii Sports (Wii)
Rayman Raving Rabbids (Wii)
New Super Mario Brothers (Wii)
Bleach: Shattered Blade (Wii)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Digital Christmas

The wife and I have no kids (much to our dismay) so we can spend money on, and spoil, our inner children. :)

So we really only got ourselves one thing this year - a Wii. And accessories, including a Wavebird, Gamecube memory card, and a number of older cheaper games, more GC than Wii but some of each.

The last Nintendo system we owned was a SNES. No N64, no Gamecube. I can play the few 64 games I want to on an emulator, and the Wii played Game Cube games (are you listening Sony, sheesh). So this purchase really is for two generations of games for us; and definitely made the machine purchase follow our "No new console until there are 10 must have games" - even counting GC games as half a game.

I work on Christmas day, so we will be doing our Christmas festivities on the Night of the 23rd, and on Christmas Eve. Yeah.. work. I work part time at Blockbuster... and I get up to 4 game rentals a week. So I will be blowing through our Wii section to check out every game the store has, to see what is worth buying; Did the same thing when we got the PS3 and the 360.

So wish us a Merry Christmas and sore wrists from too much motion control, and I'll have a report of my thoughts in a week or two.

So back to blowing up Covanent and Flood.

Games Played since Last Post:
None (see timestamp)

New Years Resolution

I was reposting some of my blog entries over at my 1up page. And as I looked upon the history of my blog here, I despaired. Last entry months ago, and only 11 this year - that wasn't what I signed up to blog about - silence.

So this is my New Year's resolution - a blog every two week. I'm actually going to try every week, but I know myself, so I will shoot for every other.

So cross your fingers, and hope for my attention, and we'll get this thing back up an running again.

So back to blowing up the Covenant and Flood.

Games played since last post:

Too many to name, but here are some highlights

Plants Vs Zombies (PC)
Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis)
Zelda II (NES)
Rock Band 2 (360)
Lego Rock Band (360)
Guitar Hero 5 (360)
Band Hero (360)
Guitar Hero Van Halen (360)
Little Big Planet (PS3)
Pixeljunk Monsters (PS3)
'Splosion Man (360)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Multiple Musings

Lots of random thoughts - and I usually try to keep one post per one topic, but not today.

Beat God of War 1 yesterday (yeah, really late to the party). Awesome game. I've played a couple of "clones" before (Conan for instance). The graphics were amazing for the PS2 and the storyline felt like a Greek tragedy, or something from Greek Myth. It really worked. The gameplay was generally good, with a few annoying jump and balance things that weren't all that fun. Next up Halo 3 (then God of War 2, then likely Star Wars Force Unleashed or Brutal: Legend).

Have been playing a lot of Soul Caliber IV - trying to unlock everything so I can make characters. :). Fun stuff. A while back I got a SFIV pad (not arcade stick) with 6 face buttons and two shoulder buttons, and really really good d-pad (and no analog sticks). I use it for all my fighting games now, and it really helps. I've made some anime characters, comics characters and some other Video Game characters (Chun-li and Bison).

It turns out that I tend to play music games most of the time (no surprise) and play everything else for a couple hours total on the weekends. Works for me.

Speaking of music games, some really cool stuff coming up.
Tomorrow - Guitar Hero 5 - which imports some World Tour on Disc, the WT DLC, and will import Smash hits (with rumors of Metallica, Band Hero and Van Halen). Lots of new challenges, the ability to use your 360 Avatar as your character, and some really nice songs. I can't wait.
A week from that - Beatles: Rock Band. It's the Beatles, what else do I need to say. And they are releasing an album a month for the next three months - Abbey Road, Rubber Soul and Sgt Peppers. Whoo hooo.
Then Brutal Legend in October - an action game spawned from heavy metal aesthetics.
November has both Band Hero and Lego Rock Band - targeting families and kids more than any previous music game has.

Looking forward to some rentals in the next few weeks, will comment on them when I get them.

Now back to banging on my bongo drums.

Games played since last post:
God of War (PS2)
Soul Caliber IV (360)
Zen Pinball (PS3)
Miniputt (PC)
Peggle Nights (PC)
Rock Band 2 (360)
Guitar Hero World Tour (360)
Singstar Queen (PS3)
Orange Box (360)
Little Big Planet (PS3)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

About Time

Guitar Hero announced that songs from GH:World Tour and GH:Smash Hits will be exportable to GH:5 and that all but 6 songs of the WT DLC will be compatible with GH:5 (odds are on the Hendrix songs). This is really a great thing for them – it could spur sales of World Tour or Smash Hits to export the songs, and if they keep this up going forward, it means you can have a huge library of songs from GH to play all at once.

Of course, Rock Band did it a year ago. But partisanship aside, I am really happy to see this. I enjoy both franchises (I do prefer Rock Band, but I still really enjoy GH). So to be able to have so many songs on GH is a good thing. And they keep putting one Queen track per game, so if they export, I'll finally be able to do a 6 or 7 song Queen set. :)

Another bit from GH:5 is the ability to play as your Avatar (360) or Mii (Wii). I think this is pretty cool. That will be what I do when I get the game in a few weeks. And some games are having clothes you can buy for your Avatar on the 360, so it would be cool to buy a Rock Band Shirt for my Avatar and play Guitar Hero with it. :)

Back to jumping through holes and ignoring GladOS

Games played since last post:

None (look at the timestamps)