Oh my. This was so peaceful and so lovely when I played it on Saturday night. Half an hour melted away like delicious chocolate ice cream.
Such a wonderful toy set.
I love it so, so much.
(I took a video, but it failed to upload to YouTube. Sorry.)
Apologies for the lack of updates for the last week or so. I’ve been off to the hospital a million times and have had a birthday – and one of my birthday presents was a game. Can you guess which one?
Yes, I’ve finally got my own copy of Demon’s Souls. I’ve missed it since returning my borrowed copy, but now I’ve got my own Black Phantom UK edition. It’s a lovely package, with an art book, CD and strategy guide.
As this is the UK version, though, and I was previously playing the Asian version, the game didn’t pick up my old save file. That turned out to be a good thing, given that I couldn’t remember any of the controls or how to play.
Still, it all came back fairly quickly and it only two me two hours to clear the tutorial and dispatch the first boss. Haven’t played much since then, but I’ve poked away at level 2-1 enough to get to the horrible bastard spider boss. Whereupon I used all my healing items and then died. It’ll be back to 1-1 to pick up some supplies, then. Sigh.
I’m glad my memory wasn’t lying to me about the game, though – it’s just as utterly, relentlessly, punishingly great as I’d remembered.
It’s Street Fighter IV. Only more superer.
I’ve mainly been using newcomer Juri, because I can with her. Not very often, but I’ve got a ranked match win rate of over twenty percent, which for this old idiot thumbs is pretty incredible. Of course, I’ve not played online since the weekend, so everybody’s now probably got used to fighting her and I’ll never win another match.
As well as fighting ranked matches online I’ve also been playing Arcade mode and tried out an endless lobby with someone from rllmuk. It’s a setup where up to eight people sit around playing winner stays on. It’s a good job that watching Street Fighter IV is highly entertaining, because I didn’t win a single match. I don’t think I even won a single round, thinking about it.
Anyway, this is probably the best fighting game ever, even playing on a thumb-wrecking SixAxis pad. It’s one of those simply essential video games that come along every now and again.
Spend some Noby Noby Boy time on both versions over the weekend. The iPhone version had the most play overall, because I’ve always got it in the palm of my hand, but I had a great time with the PS3 version, too. Considering how simple both versions are, it’s amazing how long I can spend just playing with them. No goals, just simple toys.
In the old days I might have messed around with a Rubik’s Cube, moving it around with no intention of solving it, or played around posing an action figure. Now I’ve got Noby Noby Boy. It certainly makes much more sense to think of both versions that way than to think of them as games.
P’shaw. I know the Yakuza games are much-loved by the Japanese and the three or four westerners who bother to buy them, but it’s another demo that did nothing for me. I started the game, went into a club, watched a dull cut scene, then found myself in a big fight against multiple enemies. The fighting controls felt stodgy and I had no idea how to kill the main foe. His health bar never moved, but I managed to get him to whip out a sword by hitting him when he was at the top of some stairs. No idea why it only happened there, but it was the same in two attempts. In both attempts, I couldn’t work out how the hell I was meant to fight the guy when he had his sword out and so died quickly.
Might be a great demo to show off how things have changed to fans of the series, but it didn’t work for me at all. Much as I hate lengthy hand-holding tutorials, a little pop-up box of tactical hints now and again might have been nice.
I loved Fahrenheit, so was looking forward to Heavy Rain. The demo, though, was just a little disappointing. It’s all very depressing, seems to mostly consist of barely-interactive cut scenes and the one action scene in the demo went on for so long as to become quite funny. Also, the visuals are nice but dim and the voice acting it all right by video game standards, but not good enough for the moody noir feel the game seems to be going for.
I’m intrigued by it all, but the demo didn’t sell the game to me at all.
I do wish Marvel Vs. Capcom 2′s Easy difficulty setting was a bit, you know, easier. It’s still great fun to play for ten minutes here and there, but it’s not the type of game I’m going to be sitting down to play for extended sessions. In the old days I would have, but in the last decade or so it’s gone from a main meal to a snack, so I won’t be getting the practice I used to. A difficulty setting where I could win more than one fight would be lovely – and I don’t even win the first fight most of the time.
I would blame the controller, but I don’t think that’s the real issue. I think I’m just older, out of practice and generally just worse at the game than I used to be. I’ve never been great at fighting games, but as I’ve pushed into my mid-thirties I’ve definitely seen a reduction in my reaction times in games like this. I’m a long, long way from only being able to play turn-based games, but I’ve not got the lightning fast thumbs I had in my youth.
Given the limitations of the app, I spent an awfully long time messing around with Noby Noby Boy last night. Just flicking BOY around and twisting him around objects, making him wander around photos and using the real-time view through the iPhone’s camera to have him crawl around my house.
I also gave the PS3 version a quick go. I visited Jupiter for the first time and had fun in a rainbow tube. Then I just reported my length to GIRL – I wish there was a way to link iPhone and PS3 accounts – and went to bed.
Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 is one of those games that I remember very fondly from my Dreamcast games. (I’ve even got the strategy guide stuffed away in a cardboard box somewhere.)
After all, who couldn’t love a game where you can have Ryu, Wolverine and Jill Valentine facing off against Dr Doom, Venom and Mega Man? And it’s all built around and insane Capcom fighting engine that goes all out and ends up reaching ridiculous heights. Maybe it’s not the most technical Capcom game, maybe not the best balanced, but it’s pretty bloody awesome.
So when I saw it was half price on the PlayStation Store this week and cost a mere £5.49 I had to go for it.
It succeeded in putting a huge grin on my face, even as I faffed around on the character select screen trying to choose a team, and the grin didn’t fade when I started playing. I’ve forgotten all the moves – except for the obvious ones from the Street Fighter guys and gals – but there’s nothing wrong with rediscovery.
I was, however, a bit shocked at the difficulty level, even on Easy. Either my memory’s playing tricks on me, I’ve lost all my skills or this version is a lot harder than the old one. Whatever’s going on, in the twenty minutes I had to play around last night, I only managed to win one fight.
Hopefully it’ll all come back to me, but if it not then it’s still worth it for the spectacle and the fanboy glee of it all.
Now, on payday, maybe I’ll look into getting some sort of fighting pad. The ASCII fighting pad I had for the Dreamcast was a treasure. I wonder if there’s anything that good – and cheap! – out for the PS3?
No, seriously. The game made me sick. Okay, I didn’t actually vomit, but after one online race I felt like doing so. Not because it’s an awful game, but just because the framerate was absolutely terrible. I felt very, very ill after playing and had to turn off the console and couldn’t play anything else for the rest of the evening. Horrible.
Shame, as I like what I see, outside of the problems. It’s got nice customisation, a Puzzlings-esque art style and I rather enjoyed the time trial I tried, where the framerate was pretty bad, but not sickeningly so.
There’s definitely potential for a fun little kart racer, but only if the framerate’s improved enough so it doesn’t make me feel physically sick.