Archive for January, 2009
I had great fun with this. It’s basically Resident Evil 4 2, if you see what I mean. Some wonderful gunplay and panicky moments. I am a bit concerned about the whole thing being co-op with an AI companion, though. That doesn’t often work. She didn’t seem bad in the demo, actually, but I’m still worried.
The rest of the Internet seems to hate it, but that’s not unusual. The Internet hates everything.
Testing out different cars. It’s a shame that the first car seems to be the easiest to get good results in. In later cars, the pack just pulls away from me when I think I’m driving well.
Oh, and did I mention that this game is astoundingly good? Because it is.
Ah, good, the challenges have now got hard. I’m stuck on a “get 250,000 in seven balls on an awkward level” one. This is a good thing.
I thought there’d be some good fish last night. Evening, snow, should bring the fish out, right? Apart from a koi, though, nothing of any interest. Did draw Blanca a new serious face to replace the lovely effort by Dimrill, though.
Started a new game. Went to Venus and did the planetary battle tutorial. Well, sort of. I couldn’t do the first part, so just won the level without any tutorial messages. Might try that again some time, then. Hard to control with a trackpad without knowing any shortcut keys. Might see if I can find if it installed a manual when I downloaded it from Impulse.
Anyway, after the planetary battle, I decided to go and help the military take on the evil Dominators. Except my ship was far too slow and I was only a third of the way to the rally point by the deadline. I heard, though, that there was a black hole about to open up in a nearby system, so went there. Either it had been and gone or I couldn’t detect it, though. Not seeing any sign of a black hole, I decided it might be nice to go and scavenge some stuff from a system the Dominators were invading.
So I jumped there. Picked up some nice equipment… then realised that I had a problem. FIrst, I noticed that the Dominator invasion was over – and they’d won. No friendly ships or planets in the system. Just me. Alone. Second, I realised that I used all my fuel travelling to this system, so couldn’t jump out again.
No fuel. Nowhere to refuel. And a ton of Dominator ships bearing down on me.
(I’ve also realised that I can’t remember how to unlock areas of the map that are blanked out when you start. I thought if I got close to them they’d be uncovered, but that’s not the case. Hmm.)
Turn-based strategy, which seems very hardcore to me, but which is probably incredibly simple by the standards of beardy PC wargamers. On my 1024×600 screen I can’t see much of the map and the armies list screen seems hard coded to 1024×768, so the bottom is cut off, but otherwise it runs okay. I got through the first tutorial and won, even though the “Entrench” button it asked me to press didn’t exist.
(I also tried the same company’s Civil War game demo, which is very similar and in a time period I’m more interested in, but that has many more screens that get cut off at the bottom, rendering it unplayable. D’oh.)
I’d forgotten how much this game likes to kill you. I played one game, in which I did the tutorial missions, then got killed by a pirate as soon as I’d finished.
I started a second game, did the tutorial missions again (with a quick detour to sell some weapons to a planet experiencing a civil war), then got a mission to deliver an historic computer virus named “Windows” to some chaps who wanted it for research purposes. The first problem was that I had to deliver it to a system that wasn’t on my map. So I headed out in the direction of uncharted space and, er, was shot down by a pirate. (I might have made it to safety, but I was also being shot by a transport ship I’d tried to rob earlier, who obviously decided to bear a grudge.)
Two games, two early deaths. I could reload, I guess, but I think I’ll start again.
Also, the planetary missions crashed the game when I tried to play them. I think I’ve worked out why, though, so they may be okay in future. Though I’m not sure I want to play an RTS on a trackpad, so I may just avoid them.
This is Peggle, but with different levels. Okay, there’s an additional Peggle master with a (seemingly rubbish) power, slightly different challenge types and at least one extra skill shot, but it’s more a level pack than a new game. Taken with that in mind, this is excellent. I’ve played every level in the original Peggle countless times, so this is wonderful. I get my Peggle fix without the familiarity. I’ve been through Adventure mode once and am now doing the challenges. None have been very hard so far, but it’s early days. I’m sure it’ll be making me cry before too long.
Or “Bookworm Adventures Deluxe”, if you’re being extra picky.
See, I’ve always liked the original Bookworm, but it goes on forever, because there’s no real danger if you’re being careful. Bookworm Adventures puts a structure around the game and changes some rules. You’ve got a much smaller grid, letters you’re using don’t have to be adjacent to each other, you have special power-up gems and, most importantly, you use your words to damage enemies. The better the word, the more damage you cause. Add a silly story around all this and some mini games (some of which are ace, some of which… aren’t) and you’ve got a game which is much better than the original.
Still, it’s no match for Peggle, despite what some reviewers would have you believe. And talking of Peggle…
Looking at my Achievements list, it seems I’ve not played this since October 2007. That’s far too long, because this is a brilliant game. It’s rock hard, but brilliant. I’ve been getting enough points to unlock new series, but I’m not troubling the winning cars. It’s exhausting, because there’s absolutely no time to relax, even on the straights, which are few and far between. The feedback is amazing. The graphics, sound and – crucially, the rumble all come together to let you know exactly what’s going on. And talking of the graphics, it still looks very lovely indeed. And it handles wonderfully, with the different cars all feeling very different. It’s a great, great, great, great, great game.
Just rock hard.
Online, though, is a different story. There were no ranked matches being played, but I found a player match. Had to sit in the lobby for ages waiting for more people to join, but once we got five people together it was brilliant. Just like single player, but with cars that made mistakes and reacted to me. Also, I wasn’t awful. I came second in most of the races, behind someone called Landofspring, who came first every time – but not by miles. It was even fun when I crashed into a wall near a jump and had the cars behind me land on my roof and zoom off into the distance.