Archive for August, 2010
So, I’ve got two PSPs. An old Japanese launch model, the size of six houses, and a lovely slim, light PSP 2000. I’ve had OFW on the brick and CFW on the 2000. Trouble is, I’m a good boy. I pay to download real copies of games and buy real UMDs, which I can’t play on CFW. (Not without fucking about patching things and torrenting files and shit, anyway, and life’s too short.) So for the last, I don’t know, year or so, I’ve only been using my horrible old PSP, wishing I could play my games on the nice, newer PSP. So I bit the bullet and put the latest OFW on my PSP 2000. Now I can play my games on my good PSP. Hooray! EXCEPT for the fact that Gran Turismo for some reason I cannot begin to fathom locks its save data to the PSP it’s created on, so to play the fucking game I had to delete many hours of play and start all over again. Fucker.
Still, it’s a glorious game – once you turn off all the horrible, fun-sapping driving aids and put the physics on Professional – and hopefully now I’ll play it more now it’s on a much nicer console.
New levels! Hooray! Finished them all easily enough, but I’m thinking getting three-stars on them all might prove very, very tricky.
Competent Out Run-inspired racing game without branching paths. Haven’t played it much yet, but it seems to do what it sets out to do.
Yes, I am still playing this every day without fail. It must have overtaken Animal Crossing for the “consecutive days played” record. Shame that I always stop blogging about daily games, so I can’t actually prove it.
No huge fancy projects today, instead I spent time tidying up, building paths and expanding my castle’s walls.
At least I didn’t flood my castle with lava today. I managed to do that twice yesterday. It’s not destructive, but it’s a pain to clean up.
I have many happy memories of playing DoDonPachi Dai Ou Jou on my Playstation 2. Hours spent learning the scoring system and trying to get high scores. I never used continues, never saw the end, but I loved it to death.
Now we have Dodonpachi Resurrection on the iPhone – Dodonpachi and a mobile fucking phone! – and it is glorious. I haven’t yet learned all the ins and outs – and I’ve only played the iPhone mode, haven’t touched arcade mode – but it’s wonderful.
Cave, I love you.
Rumours are doing the rounds that Disgaea may be appearing on the iPhone. People are getting excited, but not me. I would dearly loved to see it, but I think it’s far more likely that any Disgaea that does appear will be a port of the “visual novel” Disgaea Infinite. Mark my words.
Instead, let’s all spend 59p to examine the roots of the SRPG genre with Megadrive classic Shining Force. It’s a simple emulation of the original game, with a terrible virtual d-pad that would ruin any game that wasn’t turn-based. Seriously, I’m completely comfortable with virtual pads and sticks these days, but kept finding myself moving in the wrong direction. It doesn’t matter one bit in a game like this, but it’s a bit, well, shit. Surely Sega could do better?
The game itself, though, seems lovely. I’ve never played it before, but the non-battle parts are so classically 16-bit RPG that I immediately found myself warmed by a comforting nostalgic glow. It even starts with you being woken up after passing out. Ah, the good old days!
After wandering around talking to townsfolk, it was time for the first battle. A simple grid-based battle system that didn’t require any sort of glance at the instructions.
I lost first time – if your character “dies” then you fail, but got through it second time. Then it was on to another battle, this one taking place on the world map. It’s really rather lovely and I spent much longer playing it than I thought I might. I really hope I can concentrate on this long enough to finish it. If not, at least I’ve now played one of the founding fathers of a genre that I love.
Originally a Playstation release, RPG/brawler hybrid Corporate Fury was only released in the US and in very limited quantities. It’s since become something of a cult classic, with copies fetching silly prices on eBay, but you can now play it on the iPhone. Hooray! It’s the same game, but has had a graphical makeover (using the original assets), has been nicely adjusted to the touch screen and has a much, much friendlier save system. (In the original, you could only save back at your quarters. While you can still do that now, there’s also a “save anywhere” system, making it much better for handheld gaming.)
Actually, no, that’s all bollocks. Corporate Fury is an iPhone original that just happens to feel like an old Playstation cult hit. Not any game in particular, mind, it just has that air about it. There are no camera controls, it’s got a nostalgic dark, neon-lit ugliness about it and the angular characters feel like they’ve been smoothed and refined from blocky, poorly-textured originals.
If it had been released fifteen years ago it would still be sitting happily in those “Best Games You’ve Never Played” lists.
It is, however, the space year 2010, so how does it work now?
Really rather well, actually. It’s got an excellent premise – you’re part of a company where you have to get promotions by fighting your superiors for them. It’s Fight Club meets Wall Street, with a hint of Klingon politics. I like the world, even if I’m not a fan of the way it’s portrayed. The graphics are technically fine, with solid environments and some nice lighting, but I find the whole look aesthetically displeasing. It’s all very dark in a 90s style and to my mind it’s just plain ugly. Which is partly the point, obviously, but that doesn’t make it fun to look at.
The game consists of running from place to place on the open map, aided by a game-saving GPS system. You talk to people, buy upgrades with credits earned in fights and, well, fight lots and lots of people. When you get into a fight you and your opponent appear in an arena (an empty swimming pool or a rooftop, for example) and then you get to punch and kick them into submission.
Fights are a fast and furious frenzy of wonderful button-mashing action, but don’t, yet, involve any sort of tactics. I’ve not needed to experiment with items and upgrades so far. I’ve changed my clothes and used an expensive terraforming device that seemed to do fuck all, but that’s it. (I’m saving up for a weapon now.) I think greater complexity may come later. (I think I’m playing on Easy, too, which probably means I’m not having to learn the nuances of combat as quickly as I might otherwise have to.)
It’s all a bit of a grind, having to enter lots of standard matches to earn credits to buy upgrades to progress through the story, but it’s a good grind. Being able to save anywhere means I’ve found the best way to play is to start the game between other games, do a few fights, then leave it for a while. As such, it’s perfectly suited to the iPhone platform.
It’s good stuff, basically, and seems cheap at the current price of £1.19. (Remember, this isn’t a review, only my first impressions. Let’s see if I stick with this one past the novelty phase.)
I built a huge statue of myself on a hill overlooking my castle. That’s probably slightly worrying, isn’t it?
I also added a prison cell to my Secret Shrine of Evil, too. That might be a slightly worrying, too, now I come to think about it.
You know R-Type. Everybody knows R-Type. It’s been around since round about the time of the Industrial Revolution and everyone’s played it on at least six different formats. If any game’s a classic, it’s R-Type.
The question is not how good a game it is, but how well it works on the iPhone.
The answer: really rather well.
There are lots of control options, but I’ve only used the virtual d-pad option, which shrinks the screen so your thumbs don’t get in the way of the action. A sign of someone actually thinking when porting the game and very welcome indeed.
It’s also been released for the very fair price of £1.19, so if you need yet another version of R-Type in your life (and you probably do) then you could do worse than take a look at this one.