Tuesday, 28 February 2012

:B: - Everyday Genius - SquareLogic

I love puzzles. Any kind of puzzles, but especially puzzles in videogames. Specifically games dedicated to one type of puzzle (not to rag on Professor Layton, he's cool too).

SquareLogic is sudoku with a few more rules, basically. It starts off on a 4x4 grid and goes up to... I don't know. Probably 9x9. You have to figure out the numbers with rules it gives you instead of being given some other numbers. If you like sudoku, you'll love this.

I've given it 4/5 stars, not because it could be better, but because every time you do a preliminary set of levels (of which there are about 59 sets of 13), you unlock a further 150-800 puzzles just on that set. I do really like the game, but I think there's probably more puzzles in this game that I'll be able to do in my entire life so I'll never be able to see it.

I say pick it up. Just be prepared for it to take up a large portion of your life.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

:B: - RPG Snake

I did this a couple of weeks ago but I forgot to mark it down. There's not a lot I can say about it. It's Snake, but with a hero as the snake and enemies as the dots. It's kind of difficult to play and there's only 9 levels, and I'm unhappy I paid for this. I could have got two milky bars with that 99p. 2/5 stars.

New - DoDonPachi Resurrection Deluxe Edition

I ended up trading in my Final Fantasy XIII-2. I was unlikely to play it again, and I could get extra for it because it was within two weeks of release. I got this instead.

Either you know this series and want it already, or you don't and you won't be interested. It's a bullet hell shoot-em-up, one of the more well-known ones. As of yesterday (17 Feb 2012) it was on sale in Gamestation for £10, so if you want it, now is the time. It comes with the soundtrack as is customary.

I've played a single game so far and it's pretty much just more of the same, so you know if you'll like it or not. Have at.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

:B: - Final Fantasy XIII-2

I didn't quite get to the end of Final Fantasy XIII-2. It's a shame, truly, because my journey through the game was almost definitely the most fun I've had with a JRPG in a long time. However, there's a new contender for 'most frustrating last boss ever', at least in my eyes. Spoilers, obviously.

The final boss comes a bit out of nowhere. It's three Bahamuts, two of which are less powerful and a third one with more than a million HP. You need to beat the first two before being able to fight the third, and they regenerate fairly often. I was using a strategy I found on the internet which was working pretty well for me.

You have to stay on your toes during the battle to quickly swap Paradigms so you take less damage. It's a stressful experience because you can't take your eyes of the screen for even a second, because if you miss them advertising an attack and you don't switch to Sentinel quick enough, it's game over. It was on my third attempt when I quit.

I'm not someone who can sit down and do the same bit over and over. The third time, I was 30 minutes into the battle and the main Bahamut was almost down to half HP. I was keeping my HP up religiously and one of the lesser Bahamuts regenerated back into battle. He used an attack I'd survived many times already but I went to swap to Sentinel anyway. I wasn't quick enough, and that attack that shouldn't have killed 3 fully-healed characters, did.

I haven't lost so much good will to a game so quickly in a long time. I loved the journey, truly I did. I like the battles, I love the stat-balancing, I love finding fragments and I even thought the story was pretty good. But I just can't deal with final bosses that take an age to beat and have attacks that kill you in one hit. I really, really can't. Give him loads of HP, fine. Give him super strong attacks, fine. But don't, for the love of god, give him both.

Up until now, this game was a certain 5 stars. But after that battle, I just can't bring myself to because I'm too bitter. 4/5 stars.

:B: / :C: - Jane's Zoo

So I have this guilty gaming pleasure. I have a bit of a thing for time management games. I'm not totally sure I can adequately explain why I find them appealing. It might be because they're kind of soothing, but ultimately I have no idea why I like them.

Jane's Zoo is one of the aforementioned type of game, set in a zoo. You have to feed/clean/entertain/cheer up your increasing stable of animals and get a certain score to proceed to the next level. There's 40 levels, and expert score to achieve on each one, but beyond that there's nothing else to do so it's not a particularly long game. Once you have expert on all 40 levels, that's it - and it's not a particularly difficult feat.

I did have fun, but I can't really recommend buying it. It's cute and enjoyable, but paying more than a couple quid for a game that lasts little more than two hours leaves a bit of a sour taste. 3/5 stars.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

New - Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Metal Gear Solid HD Collection

It was a big day for releases on Friday. There were three games I would have happily bought out on the same day; Soul Calibur V, Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Metal Gear Solid HD Collection.

After reading reviews, I decided against Soul Calibur V. The single-player content has apparently been reduced to very little. I have no desire to play a Soul Calibur where my only offline options are a single Story mode and arcade battles. Where's weapon master mode? Individual stories? Challenge tower? Hell, even that sort-of strategy mode from the third one would have done. I have little to no desire to play against others, especially using my spotty internet, so I gave it a pass.

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection on the other hand was always going to be a must-buy. It came out elsewhere back in November and I have no idea why it took them so long to bring it out here, but hey, at least I didn't have to split my time between Skyrim and Metal Gear. I've only played it a little bit but how GOOD is Metal Gear Solid 3? I played it back on the PS2 way back when it came out and it was actually top of my favourite games ever but I forgot how awesome it was. There are bits I didn't even catch back then - like Snake making dick jokes. It's going to be great going back.

Finally, there's Final Fantasy XIII-2. There were a lot of things I hated about XIII. I could go on at length about boring environments, too-lengthy battles, little party customisation and the enormous amounts of exposition that explained nothing. I got halfway through Chapter 7 (about 14 hours) before giving up and trading the original in, and have no regrets about doing so before reaching the end of the 'tutorial'. However, after reading the reviews for XIII-2 and playing the demo, I felt confident that not only had they fixed most everything I hated about the first, and in the process made what was probably going to be everything I like about JRPGs in one game.

And out of what I've played so far, I don't think I'm far wrong. At this early stage of 8 hours in, I'd happily recommend it for full price.