Saturday, 8 March 2008

An uninspired ramble

After coming to terms with the fact that my PC could no longer serve me in a functional capacity without a reformat I overcame my inhibitions and formatted my poor excuse for a personal computer – unfortunately for me my inhibitions returned seeking unholy vengeance and I spent an entire day trying to get my wireless internet connection back up.
After much hair pulling and regular fits of anger in which I swore to throw the ‘fudging’ (you know what I mean) thing out the window and immediately purchase a Mac I got it up.
During these fits of blinding rage I played some games to calm myself and ensure I don’t make good on those anger induced threats, since I’ve spent the last few days reading a large law book which I have a sneaky suspicion was written to encourage law students to commit suicide I thought I’d ease back into blogging by talking about some of the games I’ve been playing over the past few days, so here goes.

Since buying my Wii I’ve made a measly two purchases from the virtual console, the first was Ocarina of Time and I am more than satisfied with it – it’s Ocarina of Time for god’s sake, who wouldn’t be satisfied.
My second purchase was yesterday, while lazily browsing through the list of virtual console games I happened upon Gunstar Heroes (apparently I missed the release), after freaking out for a few minutes I put the game on download and watched the progress in eager anticipation.
A short play session later I found myself scratching my head and working myself up into a frenzy trying to figure out why I loved this game so much as a child, this was not the game I remembered it to be. I played this game through a number of times on my Mega Drive and enjoyed it more every time, but during my recent play session with it I was more than bored, I was frustrated and annoyed.
Back when I first played the game I was obsessed with the co-op, to the point that I ended up forcing everyone from my sister to my dad to play through the game with me, but I couldn’t even play through the first level this time -- mainly due to the annoying controls and gameplay mechanics , the most frustrating of which I found to be the throw mechanic, if you get too close to the second player while shooting it results in your character grabbing his teammate and throwing him across the screen which more often than not kills them but at the very least lands them in the middle of an enemy picnic. After beating the first boss I decided that my memories of playing the game as a child were too important to destroy so I ended the torture and gave up.
I’ll go back and play it again later, I owe the game that much but I guess I’ve learned my lesson -- I’ll think twice next time before playing a beloved childhood treasure.

As well as Gunstar Heroes I've been clocking up some serious hours on the Halo 3 multiplayer, nothing too exciting but it is surprising to me (and a number of people on my friends list judging by the messages I received) mainly because I’m not a big fan of the Halo despite buying all three games (don’t call me a conformist).
I forced myself to play through all three single player campaigns mainly to do justice to the thirty or so pounds I spent, but I only remember enjoying the first Halo campaign on co-op. Since then I haven’t taken much notice of the games, I understand why people like it but it just didn’t click with me. Halo fans and Xbox owners in general will preach that the multiplayer is the greatest thing since Quake but even after many wasted hours on the Halo 2 multiplayer I couldn’t see what the fuss was about.
It didn’t help that the yardstick I was measuring it against was Counter-Strike on PC, and let’s face it – there aren’t many multiplayer first-person shooter games that can stand side to side with Counter-Strike without soiling itself.
I felt that the Halo multiplayer lacked the finesse and refinement of Counter-Strike, when playing Counter-Strike there is a clear distinction between experienced and new players, if you had spent time playing the game, practicing and familiarizing yourself with the game mechanics luck would play a lesser role in the flow of the match, you could make it through multiple rounds without dying by simply relying on skills gained through experience. On the other hand after a few games the gameplay of Halo became perfunctory, I was simply running at people with the trigger held down and using the melee attack once I was within range, with the occasional grenade thrown in of course, I wasn’t having fun.
In case you hadn’t noticed I have been referring to my experience with Halo in the past tense, why you ask, well – er, H-H-Hi, my name is Tamz..a-a-and-and I’m a Halo addict.
After being totally engrossed in the Call of Duty 4 multiplayer I decided to give Halo 3 another shot and to my surprise I found myself having fun and remaining fully engaged throughout the lengthy play sessions. The simplicity I once felt hindered the experience was now drawing me in, sure it still doesn’t have the depth of Counter-Strike but I enjoy not having to be as precise and calculated, I can run in with my pants around my ankles and just shoot anything that moves, if I tried that in CS there would immediately be a bullet lodged in my head.
Needless to say I’m having a lot of fun and will definitely be playing more of the game.

I’ve also been playing a few arcade titles including Geometry Wars, Undertow and Puzzle Quest.
Again I’m a bit late to the Puzzle Quest party but you know what they say-- better late than never.
After spending a whole day trying to find the game on the PSP I decided to just buy the 360 version, although it’s the better version I would have preferred to have it on the go. It’s a great variation on the Bejeweled formula, the injection of RPG conventions gives the classic gameplay formula a new layer of depth which I am loving.

Other than that I’ve ordered a copy of Persona 3, I had the chance to play the game for a while when it first came out on a friends US console but since I have a PAL console couldn’t carry on, now that it has been released in the UK I’m looking forward to devoting my spare time to it.

Anyway I think that’s enough rambling for now, I promise my next entry will be something mildly interesting as opposed to this mindless dribble.

Thoughts collected!

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