Sunday, 15 July 2012

:B: - Heroes of Might and Magic V

As part of a new internal initiative, I've been using the Fortune Cookie to pick 5 games to play for 5 hours each. This time round, Heroes of Might and Magic V was chosen. It's a spinoff of the Might and Magic RPGs, and is a strategy game set in the same sort of universe.

I have a confession. I'm not very good at strategy. Real-time, turn-based, I'm just no good at all and so it was with delight that I saw the HoMMV has an option to automatically play out the majority of fights. Yes, yes, missing the point of the game, but honestly, I get a lot of joy out of exploring the map, managing my resources and bolstering my defenses. So you can shut up. I still fight some of the battles.

4/5 stars

:B: - Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is a rhythm game most easily likened to Elite Beat Agents or Ouendan. You tap and swipe the screen when the markers appear, and the music is from Final Fantasy games. With me so far? It gets complicated, which by now you have to expect from a Final Fantasy spinoff.

There are three kinds of songs: Field, Event and Battle. Each has a different way of the markers appearing, and each requires different stats on your characters to get the most points. You pick a team of 4 from the leads of each main FF, and can unlock more later using shards. They each have stats which effect the types of songs in a different way, to hopefully get better items (such as the aforementioned shards). There are more nuances than this but I'm not even sure I fully understand them myself.

There's also three modes: Series, where you play three songs from each main FF plus an intro and outro; Challenge, where you play to get the best scores; and Dark Notes, which are randomly generated depending on your team level and is where all the systems come together with great effect. There's a hell of a lot to be getting your teeth into here.

The game is well designed and the graphics are great, and of course the music is good too. If you like rhythm games you might like this, if you like Final Fantasy you might like it, but if you like Final Fantasy and rhythm games you should go out right now and purchase this.

Now, what do I have to do to get Capcom to make this for Breath of Fire?

5/5 stars

Sunday, 1 July 2012

BIT.TRIP RUNNER - Past the wall at long, long last

You may remember about a year ago, my rant about Mingrawn Timbletot, the first boss of BIT.TRIP RUNNER. This is a boss I've been banging my head against for long before that post was made.

Well, yesterday I beat the motherfucker. I kicked his ass right so hard that his ancestors will feel it. And I feel so bloody good about it.

The annoying thing is that the rest of the game doesn't seem that hard. I blew through World 2 today and beat that boss in two tries. Now, normally I'd just think that it's because I'm better than I was, but I only beat Timbletot last night and I have a clear memory of him. I can say with wholehearted conviction that boss 1 is harder than boss 2 and that that is really poor game design. To lock two thirds of your game behind (from what I can tell being at level 3-3) the hardest wall in the game is to do a disservice to your players and is a quick way to get people to not buy your next game. So just a heads up, Gaijin Games.

But anyway, I'm powering onwards to the end. Here's to the finish line!