X Rebirth - PC Review

The latest set of updates have turned this game around for the better

Fairy Fencer F - PS3 Review

A humorous, fun JRPG that does a lot of things pretty well

SteamWorld Dig - Wii U Review

Creative and fun, but with flaws

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair - Vita Review

A spectacular follow-up to the original game

Metro Redux - Xbox One Review

It is absolutely worth going back to the underground for these updated titles

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gaming thoughts 12/15/11 - Lots of Gaming

Here is one few people will feel sorry for me on - but it's hard to keep up with all those nice big games lately, isn't it? And with Christmas right around the corner, more will be rolling in, I assure you. Not that I don't already play too much (and some people like Coffee seem to believe I am a game tester for a living), but now that witner's settling in and I have some time off courtesy of work for the holidays, I plan to buckle down and play some more titles.

What have I been playing? Well, other than

Xbox 360:

- Risen
- Dragon Age: Origins - Ultimate Edition (this in and of itself has several games in it)
- Castle Crashers

PSP:

- Lunar (just an rpg to poke at when I'm in bed)

PC:

- Neverwinter Nights 2
- Grotesque Tactics 2
- Gyromancer
- King's Bounty - Crossworlds
- Neverwinter Nights 2

PS3:

- Record of Agarest War
- Hydrophobia: Prophecy
- Several different PlayStation Minis
- Heavy Rain

On top of all that, I have been poking at my barely-breathing RPG Maker project, Summoner and my MUD as we usually have some holiday themed shenanigans on there for the players to participate in.

One question I have - I could post more blog posts, and have been scheduling them about every 3 days for the last several months. Is that pace good enough, or do people want to see them more often? The reason I'm unsure is because I went through a phase where I was doing posts every day, sometimes even a few a day, I got almost no comments during that period. I'm not sure if maybe I just had too much content for people to keep up with or not. Many times though, I have blog posts scheduled out a couple of weeks in advance, so I could definitely post more frequently if there was an interest.

Next question - what have you been playing? Do you have a glut of games forming a considerable backlog for you? I can't even begin to list them all out. While I do work for a software company, it is not Microsoft, Nintendo, Sega or Bioware - I just don't sleep a whole lot. Why? Too many games to play...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Playstation Minis - a few quick hit reviews

So recently, I picked up Playstation + for a few months on something of a whim. I wanted to transfer some save files, there were a few deals that caught my eye, so basically I did the 'responsible' thing and spent $17. Given the headaches I got from trying to re-up my Xbox Live Gold account recently (more on that soon), I figured maybe I would get something more out of this.

So far? I've been pretty pleased with it. I've gotten a handful of free games, and it's exposed me to some Minis I probably wouldn't have tried otherwise. Here's a quick rundown on the recent ones I've taken a shot at:

Street Smart - okay, this game is clearly an older titles made before more notable 'beat 'em up' titles. This was probably an arcade cabinet game and not something designed for the PSN by any means. The title is pretty much throwaway. I played through it once. Very simple one on one fights against 8 opponents across the country with very basic attacks. I kept thinking it was meant to be a quarter eater. 1/10

Alien Zombie Death - This is a fun and simple game, but really only in limited doses. It's a very basic shoot 'em up style title with pretty cool visuals. It's a very basic 2D shooter where you use square and circle to shoot to a side while you move about taking on hordes of aliens that continually fly at you. It's nothing fancy, but considering Minis are lower budget games that are usually designed to be 'quick fixes', this one was decent. 7/10

Speedball 2 Evolution - I kept thinking of the old Genesis game, Mutant League Footbal. You have a couple of teams that can score points for disabling opponents, hitting various targets in and around the arena, and for scoring actual goals. High score wins at the end of the timer. The premise is not bad, but the execution is a bit lacking. The graphics aren't bad, but players are completely nondescript and it's hard to tell one from another. Also, what could be sports title with a bit of strategy usually devolves into just beating up players from the other team with slide tackles because you'll earn more points that way than if you try to actively score. There are some cool RPG-like elements where you are in a league, with prize earnings, that you can put into your players to better them. Still, there's a lot to learn right off of the bat, and the after a few games I grew a bit bored overall. Not a bad effort, just not a great one either. 5/10

Age of Zombies - Yup, you can tell a couple of these titles were acquired around Holloween. Anyway, this is another shooter style game, but with more of a twin-stick/Smash TV feel to it. The game is pretty accessible, and there is a lot happening on the screen at once. I actually liked little touches like the voices and the music for different time periods. Sure, the game is not terribly deep, but for a quick fix pick up and play Mini? This is just about perfect. 8/10

1000 Tiny Claws - Here I've saved the best for last. This is a cool little game where you run around using a sword to knock bugs off of the flying platform you are on. There's openings in the platform, at the edges of the platform, and you can power up a special attack or just whack them until they're on the back, waiting to be knocked off of the edge like little (okay, sometimes big) crawling hockey pucks. The story is a bit ridiculous and the game's actual controls could be better. It would likely have felt better using the analog stick and not the D-pad, but it's easy to pick up and play, great in small bursts and is so far my favorite of the Minis I have gotten to play.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Quick shout-out - 8-Bit Variety Show

I was already trying to figure out if there was a way to get a bit more traffic over to the 8-Bit Variety Show. I don't usually listen to podcasts (and by 'usually' I mean: I've listened to like 4 ever in my life) - but BitNick has posted 4 podcasts to his blog and I've been enjoying them quite a bit. Sure, he plugged my blog on his most recent podcast, but I was already hoping to get a few more people over there and listening. He's got a forum here as well for feedback on the site.

His writing is funny, and I think the podcasts have been entertaining as well. Give it a listen, pay a visit and give the guy some feedback - I know he'll appreciate it and so will I. :)

- Chalgyr ("Ch"urch, "al" Bundy, "gyr" like a growl, grrrrr) hehe