Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Halo 2: Big Team Battle and Team Snipers

Thank God for Big Team Battle. It's about the only way I ever win anything nowadays, since there are enough other people on my team to make up for my ineptitude.

However, I had a good game of Team Snipers tonight on the relatively new Elongation map. It was a good game, with the lead changing a few times, and it ended up a draw. So, so nearly a win to my team though - with two seconds to go I and a teammate came across one of their team and we both hit him one before the time ran out. A more accurate shot, or even one more shot, and he'd have been dead.

I had quite a few games; when you're playing with and against decent people it's a great game. But there are far too many American teenagers online.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Advance Wars: Dual Strike: Pay Dirt

My word. I'm now onto day 51 of this map and I'm no nearer to making any progress. Every few turns I wipe out most of his force, but then he wipes out most of mine, and we're back to where we started. On day 41 I finally managed to capture the base in the centre of the map.

I think I might restart ...

Pokémon Sapphire: aimless wandering

I do appreciate the fact that, in all Pokémon games I've played, they number the roads in the order that you ought to use them. It makes it much easier to work out where you are.

I didn't play this much, but I got reacquainted with my team. They're a bit crap really, but I love them.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Project Gotham Racing 2 online

I like this. Not only because I can beat John and Kieron at it, but also because of the way the game plays. It's really smooth and stylish, and strangely relaxing just talking away as you race.

You'd think they'd make the additional content free by now though. I bought it when it first came out, but John and Kieron got the game a lot later, and by that time the online races weren't as prevalent as they were to start with - so there was little point in them buying the content. But I want to race them around Paris!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Midweek Challenges - 22/02/2006

Win a game of Halo 2 online. Considering that last week I didn't even play it at all, I might get a bit closer to achieving this this time.

Get an A on another Advance Wars: Dual Strike 2CO map.

Play some of Pokémon Sapphire, so I can work out what I'm up to.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Advance Wars: Dual Strike: Twin Isle: I got an A

Yes, I could. It didn't take too long to replay, since I know what to do. I raced down and scraped an A - full marks for speed and power but I lost a little for technique.

Never mind.

Advance Wars: Dual Strike: Twin Isle: I got a B

B for BOO.

I was playing with skills turned on, but still with only one CO, and this made it rather a lot easier. I found the best tactic was to race down and take the southwest bases, because that allows for a two-pronged attack on the middle.

My challenge was to get an A on this, but I'm not sure if I can be bothered to replay the same map again ...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Advance Wars: Dual Strike: Twin Isle: too unfair

I've been trying to play this with one CO and no skills, as I've managed for every other war room map so far. And it's just too hard. The computer player starts with many more cities, which means that it produces a neotank, then a megatank, far too quickly. I've just given up halfway through a game where I'd managed to capture the bases in the SouthWest of the map, but was being thoroughly pounded everywhere.

I managed to get an A on this map in Advance Wars 2, but Kieron believes that the computer starts with more cities in the DS game, which unbalances it too much. So I'm going to try playing with skills turned on.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Tony Hawk's American Sk8land: a million points in East LA

I finally did it last night - I managed to get two huge combos in one run and so earnt a total of 1.1 million points. So, that's the first five levels cleared.

I then went on to do the 'interesting' tasks on Alcatraz - COMBO, SKATE, hidden tape, and so on - all in three runs. Now I've just got to explore the level to try and find places and routes to get big combos.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Tony Hawk's American Sk8land: the hidden tape in Vans

Finally, I've managed to collect the hidden tape in Vans. It's been a bit of a sticking point for a week now, and it turns out to be incredibly easy. Rather than trying to jump from railng to railng all the way from the other side of the level, I just grinded (ground?) up the bannister of the staircase which leads to the spectator gallery, and jumped right from there to land on another rail, which took me to the tape.

So, Vans is complete, and I just need to get a million points on East LA to complete my weekly challenge. Oh.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Midweek Challenges - 15/02/2006

Clear all goals for the fourth and fifth levels of classic mode in Tony Hawk's American Sk8land. I've found the hidden tape, I just can't get to it. But it doesn't say "get to the hidden tape". Bah.

Get at least an A ranking on Twin Isle in Advance Wars: Dual Strike. I will get around to playing this, really.

Win a game of Halo 2 online. I've not played this for a while ...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Animal Crossing: Wild World: an update

I've not reported on this for a while, so here's the latest:
  • I bought 600,000bells worth of turnips and sold them for 2,800,000bells, so I paid off two mortgages and now have a six-room house.
  • Nibbles won the Bright Lights competition after I voted for her five times out of six - only because I like her and she bribed me, since all the lights were the same.
  • Baabara and Poncho have moved out, presumably to someone else's town.
  • I tried to hold a boot fair last night by putting loads of stuff I wanted rid of by the town gate, and opening it. Unfortunately, the connection crashed over and over again, meaning that nothing really came of it apart from a lot of frustration. I'll be trying again later in the week.
  • Nintendo left a message on my town notice board, and sent me a letter, apologising for not being in contact sooner. In their letter they made a mistake by confusing "to" with "too". Fools.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Tony Hawk's American Sk8land: East LA

I still can't get the hidden tape on Vans. Very annoying.

I have, however, cleared most of the goals on East LA. All I've got to do now is to collect the trick signs (which is theoretically easy, it's just that I muck up the timing of the acid drop at the end), and get an overall score of over a million. I'd have got that score yesterday if I hadn't bailed and lost a 600,000 point combo. Very annoying too.

I do like this game though. Really, it's quite an old-style game, with point and skill goals, and no real storyline to it. Yes, they tried to bolt on a story mode, but it doesn't really work too well. Instead, it's really about leaning tricks and combos and being good at the game.

Which I'm not.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Midweek Challenges - 08/02/2006

Oh dearie me. Only one challenge completed from last week. I did make quite a lot of progress on Tony Hawk's, but I can't manage to get to the hidden tape on Vans. Very frustrating.

Clear all goals for the fourth and fifth levels of classic mode in Tony Hawk's American Sk8land.

Finish the fourth level of Rainbox Six 3.

Get at least an A ranking on Twin Isle in Advance Wars: Dual Strike.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tony Hawk's American Sk8land: sick scores

So called because by the time you achieve them, you're sick of the level you're playing.

Official Xbox Magazine Demo Discs

OXM is a dire, dire magazine. Luckily, I managed to get hold of a load of demo discs from the front of the magazines without having to have the magazines themselves. I've had them for a while but never sat down to go through them in earnest.

Well, now I have. I didn't bother with games that I've already got, for obvious reasons. As a result, the majority of games I played were pretty dire - Futurama being a particular lowpoint - with only a few holding my interest at all. Amped seems pretty good, and Crazy Taxi 3 is quite fun - but not as fun as Crazy Taxi on the Dreamcast.

Also on the discs were movies - some trailers for games (which I ignored, because they're crap) and some showing either amusing bugs in games or high score runs. There were a disproportionately high number of Halo movies - with people blowing up warthogs, trying to explot glitches, finding hidden rooms - it was quite obvious there was a shortage of good games in the early days of the console!

So, interesting as they were and are, it's not really worth me keeping the discs, so they're off to the boot sale next time we go.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Rainbow Six 3: bye bye RPG

There was a trick to that outside area after all. Rather than dashing out, getting shot at, and the person with the rocket-propelled grenade blowing up the plant, I instead slowly opened the door to the outside and spotted an explosive barrel. I shot it, and four enemies ran around the corner - so I was able to eliminate them with my sniper rifle before they hit any of my team. Went outside, shot the men in the window above, and then realised that one of the four that I killed at the start was the RPG man. Lucky he didn't fire at me, really.

So, that mission's complete. I'm now exploring the house belonging to the president of the oil company, who's been taken hostage there.

Super Monkey Ball Deluxe

I bought this just after Christmas for £10, and haven't got around to playing it yet. This is quite amazing given the amount of fun I had with the first two games on the Gamcube. I suspect it's party due to the knowledge that most of the levels are the same. But still.

I couldn't find the option to play a "traditional" game - where you're presented with levels one after the other - so instead went for story mode, where each level consists of around 20 trays and you must pass ten of them to continue. This is rather different to the previous games, where it's necessary to complete every tray of each level. And it makes it rather a lot easier too.

In Super Monkey Ball 2, you could be stuck on a level for ages because you couldn't get past a single tray. Anthropod, for example. But now you can decide not to play Anthropod, but a different level 4 tray instead.

I still played Launchers, however. I like that level, it amuses m. I managed it on my fourth go.

The controls are much less responsive and defined than on the Gamecube games. It really is a struggle to keep the monkeys on the level even when there's a relatively wide path. For example, what was Beginner level 10 in the original game (and is now called something like "Exam Level A") held me up for a couple of falls, whereas I can do it first time, every time on the Gamecube.

But it's still a great game. I'm trying to find the new levels, and some of them are really good - getting rid of the gimmicky switches of the second game, and instead relying on simple design. For example, there's a really cool swirly one where you have to spin into the middle and then out again. I can't describe it very well. Anyway, go too fast at the beginning and you can jump over the ridge into the swirl near the exit. But if you do that, it's easy then to jump back into the beginning groove again.

I look forward to multiplayer.

Rainbow Six 3

Yes, I'm about 5 years late.

I've played through a few missions of this online with my friends. Well, I say "through" - I think we've only ever completed one. But i've never played it single player.

Tonight I got through the first two missions - one set in an alpine village, and once in a blockaded tunnel in Switzerland. It's fun, if a bit nerve-wracking at the same time. In the second mission I took along a sniper rifle, which was excellent - I managed to kill half the enemies without them knowing it.

The only thing that lets the game down is the AI - both on your colleagues and on the enemies. Enemies will hide behind a car and shoot just over the top of it, so you can't get them. And then they stand up to reload. Dur. Your team mates run all over the place, and get in your way as you're lining up a shot. Dur.

I've got most of the way through the third missions, but have got stuck at a point where you enter a clearing and there's someone hidden behind a corner with a rocket launcher. I think I need to find a different way into the area so I can kill him before he kills the hostage I'm meant to be rescuing.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Animal Crossing: Wild World: I'm a bellionaire!

Well, I've got a million bells anyway. Someone on rllmuk had a price of 553bells this afternooon, so I did a couple of runs over there. I left him with 30,000bells and had 1,200,000bells when I returned. So I've paid off my latest mortgage (which was 600,000bells) and have got a nice sum to invest on the stalk market next week.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Midweek Challenges - 01/02/2006

Well, I did play Advance Wars: Dual Strike, but kept getting very frustrated with it. It's almost like the other games on the DS have spoilt it - Animal Crossing, Mario Kart DS, Nintendogs, Meteos - all are either short-term games or relaxing. Advance Wars isn't - each game in the war room is a big commitment and it almost makes me not want to play it. Which is a shame.

But I will play it. I will.

Go through my pile of Xbox demo discs to look at anything interesting before I get rid of them all.

Clear all goals for the fourth and fifth levels of classic mode in Tony Hawk's American Sk8land.

Get at least an A ranking on Twin Isle in Advance Wars: Dual Strike.