Friday, June 30, 2006

Richard Burns Rally

Surprisingly decent, in fact. The only thing is that it's rather hard, so I'm not sure I can beothered to play it again. Maybe it'll just click sometime.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Midweek Challenges - 28/06/2006

Complete situation 05 in Exit. Please, please, please.

Complete five more missions in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.

Try out Richard Burns Rally on the Gizmondo.

Get at least an A for every grand prix on Mario Kart DS.

Exit: bye bye fatty

Still not worked out how to complete level 05-10, I'm afraid - I can't work out how to get the normal adult out of the bottom-left corner of the level before trapping them in there. But I have found great delight in pushing heavy crates off the edge of higher platforms to land on the fatty. I hate the fatty.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories: killing the mayor

Frustrated by Prince of Persia, I put this in and remembered that I'd got to an annoying mission where you have to kill the mayor of the city, but he's running in the park and if you go in there with a weapon around 32,792 secret service people start shooting you.

I have found a most elegent solution. I went and stood by the mayor's cars, and used my flamethrower on them. They didn't explode, luckily - I suppose they're armoured and protected. Hmm, I should have stolen one. Anyway, apparently the mayor had been alerted and was making a run for it. Hmm, I wonder where to ...

Anyway, this led to a minute of comedy, with policeman after policeman and bodyguard after bodyguard running towards me and then falling over and dying. Eventually, the mayor turned up and died too. I left the cars to stop burning, then jumped over them, picked up his mobile, and ran back home as quick as my little legs would carry me.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Dr Kawashima's Brain Training: I'm not so thick

I've had a few days running now with a brain age of 24 or 25, which is lower than my real age. I think that doing sudoku puzzles against a timer encourages you to concentrate more on one thing, which I think is something I have a tendency not to do.

I think my favourite training game is low-to-high, although I'm dire at it. In the later stages, I don't even get to see all the numbers before they disappear.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Games barbecue number 14

John cooks some very nice chicken.

I spent yesterday afternoon at John's, with Kieron, playing games. We played mostly on the DS, with a session on the Xbox thrown in the middle.

Yesterday morning I'd gone into Chips on Orpington High Street and had found them selling Big Brain Academy for £20. Big Brain Academy isn't actually released here until the 7th July - the Friday after next - and indeed it was the US version. I bought it.

So that was the first game we played. We competed at counting coins, recognising silhouettes, and memorising sound patterns. It shouldn't be fun, but it is. I won. Of course.

We also played Mario Kart DS (I didn't win but should have done), Tetris DS (I won in the mission mode, and really in the normal mode too, except that the game got it wrong), and Halo 2 (I didn't win, because I'm crap).

I got home very late and had to get up early this morning. That's not going to help my brain age.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Prince of Persia Revelations: run away!

I've made it to the next boss, and I have a feeling I'm going to once again get tired of the game and not play it for a month or so. The boss is a big troll-like thing. One touch and you're dead.

So, you have to run away, making sure to hurry so the floor doesn't collapse beneath you or he catches you up. This is made rather difficult by:
  • the camera, which won't turn corners quick enough for you to see when to jump
  • the general colour scheme, which means you can't make out where there are bars to jump onto
  • the fact that it's sunny, so the PSP's screen looks all washed out
  • the horrendous inaccuracy of the PSP's analogue stick
In effect, it becomes a chore, having to play it over and over again by trial and error. That's just not fun.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Midweek Challenges - 21/06/2006

Burnout Legends was unfortunately packed when we were moving house, so I couldn't play it and won't be able to for the foreseeable future ...

Get to the next checkpointy bit in Prince of Persia Revelations.

Complete situation 05 in Exit.

Complete another five Sudoku puzzles in Dr Kawashima's Brain Training.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dr Kawashima's Brain Training: I'm thick

I've played this quite a few days running now, and my 'brain age' has been steadily getting lower - but whether that's because I'm getting cleverer or because I'm getting used to the puzzles, I'm not sure. It's a great little toy, and very diverting. My best brain age has been 20, but that was a one-off ...

The sudoku puzzles included are excellent. The user interface is so easy to use, and they're clearly split into basic and intermediate levels. Some of the intermediate levels have had me stuck once or twice, but there's nothing unsolvable about them. I've completed 22% now.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Prince of Persia Revelations: die - just die!

Finally, after another four attempts, I've managed to beat the woman in black and rescue the woman in red. The woman in red said something (still no subtitles), the ran down some stairs as the roof collapsed. The stairs were destroyed before I could go down them. So now I'm off on another path. I've learnt how to use ropes to swing against walls now, which is quite handy.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Burnout Revenge: check this!

Or, rather, don't 'check' this. The whole 'checking' (hitting cars going in the same direction) idea is really, really rubbish. It makes the game far too easy, and as a result almost no fun.

EA's annual updates claim another victim.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Midweek Challenges - 14/06/2006

I've not played Exit all week. Oops.

Complete situation 05 in Exit.

Complete 20% of the Sudoku puzzles on Dr Kawashima's Brain Training.

Complete the third location in Burnout Revenge.

Play Burnout Legends so as to be able to set a challenge next week.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Black: just Black

I've managed to get past where I was stuck. It was a difficult fight, but by throwing grenades behind the shielded people I worked out you can get a clear shot at their head. I was so close to a checkpoint.

So, I played through the last level. After getting access to the building and bunker, there's quite a lot of single-corridor linearity with the occasional big room firefight. And the tension builds up - you lose radio contact with your team, there are machine gunners ready set to eliminate anyone walking down the tunnels ... and then you find a thin tunnel leading to the bottom, where there's a big room. There's a checkpoint as you go down. This is over an hour and a half into the level.

I stood in the doorway and looked around the room, and took out a few people. Then moved back into the tunnel, and took out a few more who chased me into it. And then the room was silent. I moved forward to look around. Still no movement. I decided to go into the room proper.

And then the screen fucking goes black with the words "There is a problem with the disc you are using, it may be dirty or damaged".

Of course, ejecting the disc to see if it's dirty or damaged resets the console. And it's not that my copy of Black is dirty or damaged. It's that Microsoft cut corners when it came to sourcing reliable DVD drives for their console. Not that they'd ever admit that. Oh no.

I am absolutely livid. It's a wonder that the TV, Xbox and controller are still in one piece.

I'm going to say I passed my challenge. I would have completed the game, I reckon. I had full health, full health packs, nine grenades, 600 ammo on the M249 and 500 ammo on the M5. There was a checkpoint just before this fight - which surely must have been the last. I could have restarted until I completed it. But there's no way I'm playing that game for a good few weeks now.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Burnout Revenge: fighting back against good games

Part of the thrill of Burnout games has always been the weaving in and out of traffic, trying to get past cars without hitting them. Weaving in and out of the traffic, on both sides of the road.

In Burnout Revenge, you get extra boost for hitting cars travelling in the same direction as you.

Whoever came up with this idea is an utter idiot.

I also had to unlock the second location before I could access any crash junctions. These are the best part of the game - you must cause as much damage as you can in a single crash. Four gold medals so far!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Midweek Challenges - 07/06/2006

I know I've not exactly been keeping up to date with this blog recently. I've been rather busy of late, meaning that all my gaming time has disappeared - and there's nothing more dull than a blog which says "I've not done much" over and over again. Still, I'll set myself the challenges, to give me some motivation ...

Complete the first location in Burnout Revenge.

Complete situation 05 in Exit.

Complete Black on normal difficulty. I haven't played it since two weeks ago.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Exit: no escape from situation 05

Level 05-10 is a very big one, meaning lots of backtracking (slowly) and having to do loads of stuff over and over again unless you're lucky the first time.

I can't be bothered, so I'm replaying some of the earlier levels.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Pocket Ping Pong 2005

Thank God the Gizmondo died. It means there'll never be a sequel to this absolutely shit game.

It's largely uncontrollable. The graphics are glitchy. It doesn't always respond to button presses. The whole screen bobs up and down (as if you were viewing it from your character's perspective) but that just makes you feel motion sick. You can't see your bat, so you have no frame of reference as to whether you can hit the ball. You can't really control where you hit the ball - often you can be stood still in the middle of the table, receiving a slow, easy ball, and you'll hit it off the side of the table.

And for some reason you play as a skimpily dressed girl. It's almost as if the developers heard that the Gizmondo was advertised as a 'portable Xbox' and decided to do their own version of DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball. Except they made it crap.

Out of 14 games, I've won 3. And they were flukes. Rubbish.

Loco Roco demo: lies

It says there are 20 flowers to collect. I have collected 19. There is no other flower. I have been everywhere. I am annoyed now.