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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

So Many Games...

Things were a little too hectic yesterday; hence, no post. But my Xbox 360 has been soundly beating poker lately in the "monopolizing my free time" contest. There are many times that I just have to stand back and be thankful that video games (or interactive entertainment, if you prefer) continue to play a major role in my life. There are so many games out there that I'd still like to play. And I don't see that list getting any shorter in the coming months.

Anyway - let's get on with it!

On the Xbox 360 side of things, King Kong has been getting most of my business. For a game that has pretty sub-standard graphics and sound, it's a pretty intense game! The musical score works very well with the on-screen action and really helps drive the game forward. It's funny how a game with such an intense and driving score can, at the same time, deliver speech and sound effects so poorly. I can't tell you how many lines of dialogue I've missed because I couldn't hear them over the music or various jungle sounds.

[I was just thinking...I believe the game allows me to control the volume of speech, music and sound effects. I'll try tweaking those settings and see if that changes things. If so, King Kong is a damned near-perfect cinematic gaming experience!]

I've managed to clear 4 out of the 9 achievements available to the tune of 400 GamerPoint. I feel they're well-deserved though. I really, really hate bugs and much of the game up to this point has involved fighting off a number of disgusting, giant millipedes. Sick.

I plan on having King Kong finished in the next week or so. I'd have it done sooner but I'm also playing other games on the side.

Speaking of other games, I've decided to put Blue Dragon on hold for a bit. I felt like getting back to a little driving/shooting gameplay. With that in mind, I loaded up Just Cause last night for the first time since last summer. The game is colourful and pretty fun. I can see it getting a little repetitive down the line but I don't mind repetitive as long as there are gamerpoints in it for me. I've decided to try and finish off as many of the side-missions, collecting missions, stunts, and checkpoint races as possible.

I think sandbox-type games fall quite close to RPGs when it comes to my favourite game type. For some reason, I really like the collecting missions. In GTA, I spent countless hours finding all the hidden packages. In Saints Row, it was CDs and tags; Assassin's Creed has flags (though I have not yet begun to collect those); Crackdown had agility orbs and hidden orbs (I've been thinking about buying Crackdown a second time since I had so much fun with it in the past).

Just Cause has packages scattered across its gameworld. Each package seems to belong to a specific group of packages that must all be collected before an achievement is unlocked. For example, I collected 5 packages in a small village and received the Back-Door Action achievement worth 5 GamerPoint. I like Just Cause's implementation of delivering achievement points in small but manageable chunks. Well done Eidos!

In the next few weeks, I plan to continue playing King Kong and Just Cause. I should be able to get both done before picking up GTA IV. I plan on detailing both games in more detail in my upcoming posts.

On to the Nintendo DS...

After 6 months, I finally finished off Phoenix Wright: Justice For All. The game was alright but I found it a little tedious and frustrating at times. Trying to figure out which item to present in court grows tiring when you know that a couple mistakes will force you to reload from your last saved checkpoint. Thankfully, the game allows for the frequent saving of games.

In all fairness, I found Phoenix Wright: Justice For All to be pretty funny and entetaining most of the time. There are a couple good jokes in there that had me close to laughing out loud on the bus. Of course, I stifled the laugh for fear of looking like one of your typical commuting crazies. All told, I'm glad I played the game but I'll be looking to sell it on eBay due to its non-existant replay value.

Next on my DS plate are Trauma Center: Under the Knife, New Super Mario Bros., and Final Fantasy III. I'm hoping that a little surgery, some plumbing, and a whole lot of Chocobos will help me pass the time during my daily commute.

Finally, I plan on creating a couple pages that will be referenced via a link in the right-hand column of this site. One page will list all the games I've played along with some sort of totally-subjective score. Another page will list all the upcoming games that I'm looking to buy or play. I'll see if I can get those pages up in the next couple weeks.

Ok - that's it for me. Have a good one!

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