Game Over: Sonic Colors

January 18, 2011

Last year I beat my first Sonic game ever. I’m not what you would call a Sonic fan. I didn’t own a Sega system until the Dreamcast so I only ever got to play Sonic games occasionally during the Genesis days. I liked the original Sonic games okay, but after a few levels the games charm wore off on me. More recent Sonic games have done an even poorer job at capturing my attention. That is until Sonic Unleashed. I played a demo of Sonic Unleashed and really enjoyed the day stage that I played, but I never bought it to play the whole game because of all the bad things I heard about the night stages where you play as the Werehog.  When Sonic Colors was announced I was instantly intrigued at the prospect of playing a whole game in the style of Unleashed’s day stages. This designed decision proved to make a great game, and my new favorite Sonic game; although I don’t know if I could really tell what it was before.

There is a clear inspiration from Super Mario Galaxy in Sonic Colors. From the amount of side-scrolling sections, to the power-ups (most specifically the drill power that Sonic has), to the epic orchestrated score of the games start menu. The game is overall done very well. Most level bring something unique so I never felt bored by any of the levels, the too few and far between between cut-scenes looked nice and made me laugh. The cut-scenes before boss fights were strange in that they don’t show of the actual boss and has not dialog coming from the boss either, Sonic just talks to himself. I think this was done on purpose based on Sonic’s own questioning on why none of the bosses talk back to him.

I’m glad I bought Sonic Colors. While I wait for Sega to possibly make a sequel, there is plenty of game for to go back to. There are a red rings hidden each level and I missed many of them from earlier levels that require going back through once you unlock power up from later in the game. There are also leader boards for each level that I could try to place on if I felt like I was good enough to do so. I’ll just stick to having fun rather than frustrating myself over high scores.

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Muramasa: The Demon Blade

December 8, 2010

The last few weeks I have been playing Muramasa and weighing my love of Japanese art work against my hatred for pressing up to jump. I’m not a big fan of the combat in Muramasa and I’m saddened by the simplification of the item system from the one used in Vanilla Ware’s previous title, Odin Sphere. Still, when I play it I am having fun despite its shortcomings.

Muramasa has an interesting story, full of Japanese mythology. I have only been playing through Momohime’s story. I’m not sure how far I am on that path but there is a corresponding story of a boy named Kisuke to play as well. Even with this large amount of game to play; I get the slightest feeling that Muramasa was rushed to release. Perhaps my expectations were too ambitious but I would have enjoyed more characters to interact with, more stores to shop in, and more vestigial areas to explore that add nothing but a deeper atmosphere to the world.


Cave Story DSi

November 30, 2010

Let me start off by saying that out of the many great games that have come out this year; for me, Cave Story ranks right up near the top if not the very top (I do understand that it originally was available all the way back in 2004). That said, starting today Cave Story has FREE demo up on the Wii Shop Channel. If you haven’t tried Cave Story go download it now.

Cave Story is also now available on DSiWare now, for 1000 Nintendo points. I have played it for little while, I just fully leveled up my Bubbleline before I stopped playing. It’s great as expected. What could be better than Cave Story you can play easily while on the toilet?

THURSDAY 12:46AM

I just beat the Island’s Core only to realize that I failed to take the correct steps to beat the game the way I wanted this time around. Now the question is, do restart a new game on Easy (because I know I can beat the game on Normal already), or do I restart a new game on Normal again?

THURSDAY 6:05 PM

I decided to go with Normal again. I started an Easy game and just felt bad for myself. I’m back in the Bushlands and I must say I’m not looking forward to going back through the Sands, other than for puppies.


New Wii Ware Demos

November 23, 2010

I just finished playing through the 4 newly available demos on WiiWare.

And Yet It Moves

It’s pretty good puzzle platformer but nothing that I would want to buy.

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ThruSpace

I tried playing it with the remote sideways and it was very hard, once I played with the remote and nunchuck the movement of the blocks became much easier and the game clicked with me. This would easily fit into the Art Style series.

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Jett Rocket

Probably the best looking WiiWare game. Not as great as Super Mario Galaxy but it definitely is taking ques from it. I still don’t like way the main character looks (much like how I don’t like the character from And Yet It Moves). It plays well too.

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Bit Trip FATE

The Bit Trip series has been pretty good so far, I liked Bit Trip BEAT and Bit Trip Runner is one of my favorite WiiWare games but Bit Trip FATE bored me.

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Game Over: Autumn

November 7, 2010

I have been waiting to make this post until I finished just one more game that I have been working on. I have bundled 3 games into this Game Over; where I blurb about games that I have finished.

Super Scribblenauts

The original Scribblenuats was a hype machine. Its ambitious premise and sharp art style made it a phenomena before it was even released. Despite some minor issues with the first game; like controls for Maxwell and and many of the Action stages, I really enjoyed Scibblenauts. Sadly I never finished the first game. I had no real intention of playing through all the Action stages and at some point other games distracted me. Once Super Scribblenauts was announced, I traded my old Scribblenauts knowing that if I want to get me some Starites that I would inevitably play the superior version.

But is Super Scribblenauts really all that superior?

Super Scribblenauts has an improved interface, an emphasis on puzzle stages,  improved controls, and the addition of adjectives that can be applied to the nouns; which drastically changes how you can solve puzzles.  The use of adjectives makes for my favorite parts of the whole game; those being the the stages where you must wear and equip objects that will appeal to a group of different people, the stages where you have to place an object between other objects and it must share a quality with those surrounding objects, and the single level where you battle a witch by summoning  monsters that have opposite qualities to the monsters she summons.

I had fun the entire time I was playing Super Scribblenuats but I feel like that time ended too soon. It’s a shame that there wasn’t a mode that took the stage types that I mentioned as being my favorites and mix in a random component to them so that they could be played over and over.

I really enjoyed Super Scribblenauts and I look forward to what 5th Cell has in the works. They just announced an Xbox Live Arcade game called Hybrid. I hope to be posting a blog in the near future on what I think 5th Cell should do with the Scribblenauts game engine.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn

I also recently beat Kirby’s Epic Yarn. It’s a game that anyone could beat if they wanted to. Having a completely accessible game is something Nintendo has being toying around with for some time now. I believe I read somewhere that when Nintendo was working Mother in Japan, Shigeru Miyamoto had noted that he didn’t care for playing RPGs but was interesting in the fact that with enough time you could level up high enough to beat them even if you had little skill. More recently Nintendo has developed the Super Guide, a tool that plays a difficult section of a game for the player so they can continue on past something too difficult for them.

Epic Yarn takes yet another approach to this idea with the inability to die. The security blanket knitted into Kirby’s Epic Yarn did make the game very easy but it did not take away from the game’s fun. I savored every uniquely designed level. I would even get excited to see a clever way traditional and non-traditional stage settings were made with fabrics. That is not to say there was no challenge to the game. Scoring a gold medal in stage would some time be a bit difficult and later challenges offered by your apartment neighbors could get nerve racking. Kirby games aren’t known for being too difficult, but they are almost always fun and this is no exception.

Read my early impressions of Kirby’s Epic Yarn here.

The 4 Warriors of Light

Tonight I finally beat Final Fantasy The 4 Warriors of Light. I like playing  role playing games but it is not often that I finish one. I currently have over 20 RPGs that I have started and never finished. This game won me over quickly with the art style, the music and the initial simplicity and eluded variety. The 4 Warriors of light takes a page from the early console role playing games but delivers with more modern trappings. The story and sense of direction is gained through dialog with towns people  and bosses. The battle system is simple; with a almost perfect automated targeting system, but offers more and more depth with each new class, or crown, unlocked.

Listen to the music or Buy the music

Read my early impressions of The 4 Warriors of Light here.

Now do I continue with The 4 Warriors of Light of do I get back into Dragon Quest 9?


Epic Math

October 18, 2010

Here is a word problem.

What do you get when you take, Sonic the Hedgehog,  Animal Crossing, Yoshi’s Island, Kirby’s Adventure and string them all together with colorful yarn?

Answer: Kirby’s Epic Yarn

I have played for about 4 hours so far and it is fantastic. More than even New Super Mario Bros. Wii; Kirby’s Epic Yarn reminds me of all the things that I love about playing video games as a child. Nintendo has always made games accessible and still have an edge, but Epic Yarn takes that idea up a notch with this outing. There is no traditional life bar in this game, you instead collect beads throughout the levels and if you get hit they will fly out of your body Sonic the Hedgehog style. You can run though each level hitting every enemy and fall in every hole, you can still make it through. The catch is collecting beads work as a score on how well each individual level is played and then rewards the player with a bronze, silver or gold medal based on the number of beads. The beads also work as the games currency; which can be used to buy furniture for your apartment or even add another level to you apartment complex. This is where the mini Animal Crossing game comes into play. You can even play games with your neighbors and the will in turn give you new wall papers.

The major gameplay change for this Kirby is that he can no longer steal the powers of his foes. Instead, he uses Transform Patches to gain new powers. These transformations are much like the ones in Yoshi’s Island, but instead of a helicopter, Kirby changes into a UFO, instead of a submarine, Kirby changes into a dolphin (although he turns into a submarine when he normally swims), instead of a train Kirby changes into a Tank, and instead of a mole, Kirby changes into… well, it’s pretty much the same thing. Infact the game is so similar to Yoshi’s Island and Yoshi’s Story that I could easily see this game starting out as Yoshi game early on.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn is great fun. Go out and buy a copy, it’s available today. Or go rent it, whatever. Just play this game, it’s fun for all ages!


Just thinking about Other M

October 17, 2010

I really like Metroid Other M. I’m still not sure if it’s because I recently played  and beat it, or if it is that good of a game. What I do know is that I had fun playing it initially and I have fun when I just mess around with it at work. I know it hasn’t sold very well; mostly because people don’t want to like it and thus can’t like it. I will be highly recommending Other M to parents looking for Christmas gifts for their children (along with Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Donkey Kong Country).