Archive for July, 2010
Played some more of this last night. The story’s still a bit odd, which makes it far more fun than the generic guff that you get in many games of this ilk.
I had to play the third mission twice after letting one of my characters die the first time round, which resulted in the Game Over screen. (I can actually use her abilities, but she doesn’t have any healing powers and is rather fragile.)
It’s good stuff, but all my questions remain unanswered. I wish there was some sort of proper guide within the game. Hopefully I’ll become comfortable with it as I play more.
I’m up to the “expert” cup now and, to be fair, it’s got a bit harder. Mainly because the other riders keep knocking me off my jet ski, the bastards. Nothing is more annoying than respawning just in front of a competitor who then knocks you flying before you’ve had a chance to do anything.
That said, I’ve still not lost a race, but I did get a silver medal, rather than gold, on one race. Not sure how that works, I guess it’s based on completion time.
No, seriously, WHAT?
“From the makers of Canabalt.”
That should tell you everything. You’ve got a simple, ferociously addictive little game that costs £1.79. And you can play it on the web for free.
Just bear in mind that it’s a lot simpler to tap on orbs than it is to move the mouse over them and click. My average score is a lot better on the iPhone than the web version, at least.
My only real problem with is it that my name breaks the high score tables. I’m using the same account or Canabalt and Gravity Hook, but it doesn’t look like the high score tables in Gravity Hook are prepared for my user name.
So, yeah, if you’re reading this, developers, it would be lovely to see a fix. I know it doesn’t matter globally – I was one of the first to get the game, so that’s probably the only time I’ll be in the global table – but it would be nice for my local high score table to be formatted properly.
It’s a tactical SRPG thing. Think Shining Force, Fire Emblem, Disgaea, Jeanne D’Arc, etc. I’ve not played it much yet, but first impressions are pretty good.
The trouble with a game like this is that it’s pretty impossible to recommend based on the forty-five minutes or so I had with it last night. I’ve done a couple of battles, yes, seen some of the story, but I’ve not really got into it yet. I’ve got so many questions.
How should I upgrade my mechs? (Or whatever they’re called in the game, I’ve forgotten.)
Why can’t Luke use any abilities even though he’s got lots of Will? (His Use button is always greyed out, but only for him.)
Is there a way of seeing how much damage I’ll actually cause in a fight? (The battle screen has huge amounts of information on it, so I may be missing something here. I can see a weapon’s power, but it doesn’t seem to translate into actual hit-point damage very well.)
If I could find answers to these questions then I’d feel a lot more comfortable with the game, but the tutorial is nearly useless and there’s no in-game help or manual that I can find.
So, I bought the full version. I’ve done the first two championships, both of which were almost insultingly easy. And, yes, the frame rate is pretty terrible. Doesn’t spoil the game for me, but if they could update the game to improve it, that would be lovely.
In short, then, lovely sunshine, big waves and brilliant controls, but a poor framerate and a lack of any challenge (initially at least).
I got past the age puzzle easily enough with a pen and paper next to me, so I wasn’t stuck for long. (There is an area you can scribble on built into the game, which is nice in a pinch, but it’s no substitute for the real thing.)
Nothing else has stumped me yet, though I did get one puzzle wrong because I misread it. D’oh.
I’ve heard that there are some puzzles coming up with very unclear instructions, so I need to keep an eye out for those.
It’s like Waverace, only not quite as good. The same old story.
The full version does, though, cost a relatively expensive £2.99. That takes it out of complete impulse territory, so it’s a good job there’s a Lite version to play with.
And what a good Lite version it is. A three-race championship, quick races on the same track and three jet skis to unlock. (Look, if they’re not jet skis but something subtly different, I don’t want to know, okay?)
It’s great arcade fun, the wave physics add a lot to the races and I’m very impressed. Only two things are stopping me from hitting the buy button to purchase the full version.
The first is the lack of difficulty in the Lite version. Even on Hard, it’s very easy to win races.
The second is that there are some reports of frame rate issues when you get the faster jet skis. Not sure if that’s a problem for everyone, though, or someone trying to play the game on a first-gen iPod Touch or something.
Anyway, I’ll probably have caved in and got the full thing by lunchtime, so I can find out for myself.
It’s basically Professor Layton but not quite as good. It is, however, a mere 59p compared to… hang on… £11.97 for the cheapest copy of a Layton game. (Thanks GamesTracker!)
You’ve got talky cut scenes, you’ve got puzzles, you’ve got currency you can use for hints hidden in each scene, etc. You’ve even got bonus puzzles in your backpack. It’s all very familiar – which is no bad thing.
One thing I don’t remember Layton having is mini-games. I’ve only come across one so far – a woodchopping one, very much like the one in Oregon Trail – but I suspect there may be more.
As with Layton, everything grinds to a halt when you get stuck, but that goes with the territory. (You can spend in-game currency on hints – and even by more using real money, but I’m never going to do that.) Last night I got to a puzzle that involved calculating ages of a mother and daughter and I was far to tired to work it out. I’ll give it a go with a pen and paper next to me at some point.
Still enjoying Miner Distrubance, despite not being completely comfortable with the controls. The buttons are fine – and stopping your character from moving while the dig button is held down is a wonderful, thoughtful move by the developers – but doing single hits with the analogue stick (necessary for dropping, rather than removing, blocks – is a bit of a fiddle.
It’s not game-ruining – and I think I am slowly getting better – but it would be nice to be able to play without having to be so slow and careful.