Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Animal Crossing: Wild World: thunderbolts and lightning

It's proper storm weather in Bangaio tonight. Thunder and lightning. But still no coelacanth.

Midweek Challenges - 31/05/2006

Win a game of Pocket Ping Pong 2005.

Complete situation 05 in Exit.

Complete Black on normal difficulty. I haven't played it since last week.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Exit: success on attempt 338

I've finally worked out how to do level 04-09 - and now I've done it it's really easy. The end part of the level involves you having three lifts in the right places so you can carry an injured man between them. No matter how hard I tried, the lifts were always in the wrong place.

I've written up the first situation for the FAQ - I'll be submitting it to GameFAQs once I've got situation 02 done.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Games Night 3227

I went to my friend Kieron's for a games night last night. Since I've got most of my stuff still packed up, we weren't able to play Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles (since I've got the memory card with the save on it), nor Zelda: Four Swords (since I've got the game).

So, instead we played:
  • Conflict: Desert Storm 2. We've got rubbish at this in the year since we last played it. It doesn't help that we've been spoiled by having a whole TV to ourselves when playing over Live. Playing splitscreen, it's pretty difficult to make out where the enemy are. The first couple of times we played it, we did quite well until Kieron ran into a minefield. The same minefield. Twice. We've left it with a save halfway through the level just before a tank which keeps on killing us.
  • Donkey Konga 2. The William Tell Overture is genius.
  • Project Gotham Racing 2. John's definitely improved at this since last time I played him on Live. However, here it didn't help that Kieron kept driving into him. I'm not sure it was on purpose - Kieron can't even aim for a 50-foot wide gap between two walls, let alone another car.
  • Animal Crossing. We visited Bangaio and then Far Away. Kieron would have bought up all of Nook's stock if it wasn't past 11 by then.
Odd how two of the games we played we could have played online anyway ...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Trailblazer: easy arcade mode completed

I played this a bit at lunchtime - it was raining so I was loathe to go out much. My challenge was to complete the first few levels; this was very easy indeed. i think it took me five minutes.

The game has two modes: Arcade and Time Trial. Arcade has three difficulty levels - easy, medium and hard - with only the first being available at the start. Easy mode consists of ten stages, each of which you must run through in the shortest time possible. Any remaining time at the end of each stage is rolled onto the next stage, much as Outrun does.

The first few stages are easy, but once barriers and gaps start appearing on and in the track, it's a bit more tricky. The first time I played I ran out of time in the middle of level 9; the second time I got halfway through level 10, and I completed the game (and unlocked medium mode) on my third time. There's plenty of scope for improving my times in the Time trial though - I've only got two medals so far.

Loco Roco demo

Sony gave away a demo version of Loco Roco with MCV a few weeks ago; I've only just got around to trying it out.

It's fabulous. It's a puzzle platform game, where you control the stage (tilting it left and right) with the only character interaction being a jump and the ability to split your sharacter up into smaller blobs. You have to avoid spikey things and collect flowers. It's very stylistic.

Only one level on the demo, but I think it's already convinced me to buy the game when it comes out.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Midweek Challenges - 24/05/2006

Complete Black on normal difficulty. I have no idea how much further I've got to go, and I'm stuck in one place at the moment which I have to play for half an hour to get to because of the retarded checkpoint and save system, but I think it should be achievable.

Write up solutions to the first ten levels of Exit for my FAQ.

Clear the first few levels (if it has them) of Trailblazer.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Black: Spetriniv Gulag

Level 8. It's very, very hard. After half an hour.

I've got the first part of the level down pat now. I've found the silencer for my sub-machine gun. I know where the shotguns are, how to get around the maze of buildings, and where the two RPG men are standing. I can fight my way all the way to the square with the star column, and then loads of enemies appear. Shotguns, men with shields and magnums, twenty ordinary enemies, and a proper machine gun in the bunker ... it's not fair.

I'm dying before I hit any checkpoints. Surely I must be near the end. I can't be only a third of the way through ...

Exit: earthquake in a hospital

Not a good combination.

Before I start talking about scenario 5, though, a quick word on scenario 4. That was set in the dark, and I found it really quite uncomfortable to play. I felt pretty claustrophobic at times. Luckily, on quite a few of the levels there were switches which turned the lights on (including one level where one of the rescuees was stood right next to it) so that made it a bit easier.

The puzzles are getting pretty hard now. I got stuck on level 04-08 for a while.

Anyway, I'm now on scenario 5, which sees many of the hospital's patients in need of rescuing. Mr Esc has to carry them. This would be fine if it wasn't for the absurdly slow speed he walks at. The rest of the game is hardly a speedfest, but this is just annoying. And why can't I get a fat man to carry them any quicker? They're stronger than me, going by the fact that they can move safes by themselves.

I'm up to level 05-04 now. Not stuck; just got off the train.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Animal Crossing: Wild World: cheating at the fishing competition

Not me, but other residents of my town.

Snake appears to have caught a coelacanth. But it's not been raining.


Friday, May 19, 2006

Black: Graznei Bridge

A first person shooter with configurable controls.

This is level seven, I think. I may have been wrong with some of my previous level numbering. At some point I'll have a bit of a study of a game guide and work out which level was which.

Anyway, this has been the best level of the game so far. It's all played out over the length of a half-ruined bridge, with you haveing to go down onto the struts at times, and onto the gantries at others. For something so linear they've made it really exciting and difficult to progress. But possibly the best bit about the level was the fact that it was really hard but achievable on the first run through (on normal difficulty). As long as you thought strategically, tried to be on a different level to the enemy, and kept an eye out ahead, you could often take out half the enemies before they'd seen you.

Having two (indestructable) team mates helped as well!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Far Cry Instincts: retarded controls

There is one thing that makes me angry in gaming. I think, indeed, there is only one thing. And that is this: non-configurable controls.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but the first first-person shooter I seriously played on a console was Quake 3 on the Dreamcast. There's only one analogue stick on a Dreamcast controller, so it's necessary to put 'look' on that stick and 'move' on the other. It's more important to be able to aim with the analogue stick.

This control setup was best on Goldeneye too. Look with the analogue stick, move with the C buttons, meaning that you were also able to use A and B plus two shoulder buttons. Perfect Dark also required it.

So, look on the left, move on the right.

I don't mind if people prefer it the other way around. In some ways it might make more sense - your right hand might be more accurate (if you're right handed), so aiming could work well there. But I'm well entrenched into the left-look-right-move camp, and I really can't get used to the other control method. But it's not really a problem; it's hardly difficult for developers to just let people choose which stick should be used for which action.

So why the fuck don't they do it? I struggled with XIII for a week before giving up. They've removed the control scheme I liked in Confict: Desert Storm and Conflict: Desert Storm 2 and Conflict: Vietnam for the latest in the series (Conflict: Global Strike). And now Far Cry Instincts continues the retardedness. I've spent a frustrating two hours geting through the first area and thinking I was doing quite well, until I found three enemies together and they killed me while I was running around backwards looking at the ground. It's so frustrating - it looks gorgeous, and the story seems intriguing, but I just know I'll never put it on again. Nor buy the followup, nor buy the 360 version, nor buy anything on consoles from Crytek again.


Outrun 2006: Outrun class cars

I've not spent many of my Outrun Miles before, which meant that when I went into the showroom I could afford not only the plain vanilla 360 Spider (my preferred car in Outrun 2 on the Xbox) but also the Outrun class version.

The latter is almost too powerful for its own good. I even have to brake for the chicane at the end of the opening stage on both Outrun 2 and SP. I'm sure I'll get used to it, but at the moment it's like careering down the track being driven by David Blunkett.

It makes the Coast 2 Coast mode a bit easier, though.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Midweek Challenges - 17/05/2006

No, I didn't set up my Xbox, and no, I didn't play Exit. Huh.

Complete five more stages in Exit.

Play the first level (if it has levels) of Far Cry Instincts.

Clear the intermediate levels of Flagman on Outrun 2006.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attourney: the final chapter

It took most of my 'challenge' week, but I've finally finished the game. The last case wasn't as good as the others, but it did have some DS-specific elements in which were quite cleverly done.

One warning: don't finish the game on the train; people will look at you oddly when you're forced to shout "objection!" into the mic ...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Midweek Challenges - 10/05/2006

Complete case five of Phoenix Wright. I'm about two days in now, so over half-way.

Set my Xbox up and connect to Live.

Complete five more stages in Exit.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Pre Evolution Soccer 5: Chelsea FTW

(FTW = for the win, in the land of the shortcut typists)

I'm flying along now. I've won some games 8-0. Nobody's close to me at the top of the table, at all. Hoorah.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Outrun 2006: Flagman flagging

Well, I've beaten all the novice challenges now, without much difficulty at all - in fact, the only thing that was at all tricky was the final race, on which I continuously got overtaken by five or six cars on the last corner. Hardly fair. I've started on the second lot, which are quite a bit harder, and have also started some of Clarissa's challenges, which you need to unlock by getting to that stage in a continuous race in the first place. I've not unlocked many yet ...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Prince of Persia Revelations: stupidly weak hits

I'm stuck on this boss. She loses a miniscule amount of energy each time I hit her, and every time she hits me I lose a quarter of mine. Yesterday I had her down to her last 10%, and then she hit me three times in a row.

Midweek Challenges - 03/05/2006

Complete the second set of flagman races on Outrun 2006 Coast 2 Coast.

Win five more matches in PES5.

Finish the first day of case five of Phoenix Wright.

Monday, May 01, 2006

'Fixing' an N64

My brother bought an N64 off of eBay. The seller told him that it worked properly, and it was delivered in a shoe box wrapped in bubblewrap.

It didn't work.

The seller then told my brother that if it got broken in the post, then that's not his fault. Well, no. The responsibility lies with the seller up to and including the point at which the parcel is delivered to the buyer. Including the postal system. If it's been broken by the Royal Mail, it's up to the seller to put in a claim for compensation.

My brother asked me to have a look at it, anyway, to see if I could fix it. After a whole minute of investigation, I found the problem: the plug has had the fuse removed. Furthermore, the console-to-TV lead was missing (although this takes a standard TV lead, so that's not too much of an issue). I put a new plug on the lead, and used my console-to-TV lead, and it seems to work fine now.

Well, sort of fine. The analogue stick on the controller is absolutely dire, registering only when tilted completely to the left or the right. As an indication of how bad it is, I played Mario Kart 64 and struggled to win the Mushroom Cup races on 50cc.

So, basically:
  • the N64 could not have been working properly when it was sent off,
  • the Royal Mail did not break it, and
  • the seller, cdatoys, is a bit of a fibber.
My brother wrote to Mr Cdatoys, telling him that the console was broken, and the response?
i tried being reasonable with you but you left neg feedback, as far as im concerned youcan go to hell