Monday, April 30, 2007

Pokémon Sapphire: to the Pokémon League

Maybe not yet.

Sootopolis City gym offered little resistance to Manectric, with a little help from Gyrados and Kyogre, so I've now completed the gyms and can control any pokémon going. And I can walk up waterfalls, which apparently will be very useful in getting to the Pokémon League.

But I'm not going there yet. My pokédex stands at 80 owned, 126 seen, and there are some big gaps. I've been exploring the sea routes (some of which have changed since the storm, I think) and fighting the swimming trainers. Again, Manectric can take things down in one hit, but I've instead been using Gyrados in order to beef him up. Combusken had the Exp Share, and he evolved into Blaziken this morning.

As well as the sea routes, I've been exploring the sea bed. I've caught a few pokémon there, but at the moment I'm on the hunt for a relicanth. I've seen one a couple of times but both times was unable to catch it. It's pretty rare, it seems, and I'm having to fight loads of clamperls in my hunt.

Still, at least Gyrados (and Blaziken) are getting experience from it.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Canis Canem Edit: I like the redhead

There are, it seems, no blonde girls at Bullworth Academy. But the redhead is lovely.

I'm now 15.63% through the game (it helpfully tells me) and ... well, it's good. It's not amazingly great, but it's very playable, with a good sense of humour, and nicely put together. There are some annoying aspects, like the fact that the bully gang just tries to beat you up all the time, and when you first start seemingly nobody likes you at all. There's the rigid lesson structure, which at first I found a bit constraining but now it's actually suiting the game a lot more - partially because I've realised that trying to complete the lessons gives you more spare time in which to do the missions.

I also like the timed aspect - the way that Hallowe'en came around and there were special themed missions. I've no idea whether it would have stayed Hallowe'en until you completed those missions, mind - whether it's properly timed in terms of number of days played, or if it's based on mission completion rates. But anyway.

I've completed the chemistry and gym classes, and have unlocked the photography and workshop classes. I'm really bad at English - making words out of random letters (those who've played Scrabble against me in the past can confirm that) - and I've failed the last art class once, so it should be possible. Other than that I've run one errand into town, and lots of errands for nerdy type people. And I've got the redhead to snog me. Several times.

Pokémon Sapphire: Kyogre owned

As in, I own him. He didn't give up without a struggle, though. I stated off with Manectric, and spark, which not only took off around a fifth of his energy each hit but also paralysed him. Kyogre had a few tricks of his own, including hydro pump which killed any pokémon faced with it - even when it wasn't very effective. Ouch. After a few turns I had Kyogre down to a tiny bit of energy, paralysed, with low attack levels. And I threw ultra ball after ultra ball at him, alternating that with reviving another of my pokémon so the battle didn't end. And the seventh ultra ball captured him.


So it's stopped raining, and all is well. Now I can go to the Sootopolis gym.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Pokémon Sapphire: it's raining!

Since Diamond and Pearl have just come out in the US, it won't be too long before Nintendo of Europe decides that they might want to think about starting to localise them. So I've gone back to Sapphire to try and actually get to the end of a pokémon game. It was a choice of this or LeafGreen, and LeafGreen is currently unaccessible .. and I still can't bear to face the final four again.

So, I picked up after beating Norman; five gym badges down. I've completed two more gyms now (one against bird pokémon and one against psychics), and chased Team Aqua around the world a bit. I've caught a Manectric, and he's great - his spark attack one-hit-kills loads of enemies. Combined with Gyrados's surf, and we're an unbeatable team. I've been around the safari park a bit, and caught some very odd pokémon. I've dived to the bottom of the ocean and found Team Aqua's hideout.

And then everything went funny. Team Aqua had a red orb; I had a blue one. It started to pour with rain. Everything flooded. Now I'm on the way to an undersea city where it still rains. Gulp.

New Super Mario Bros: completed!

Well, to all intent and purpose. I've not only got to the end of the game, but have also unlocked worlds 4 and 7, and completed each of the levels in those. I've not got three coins for every level yet, but some of them just seem pretty impossible. And I think I've missed some exits, since some bonuses like the warp cannons remain locked off.

I love the game, but I think I've played it too much now. Maybe sometime I'll go back to it and find the other secrets. Not yet, though.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Unexpected absences

I've not been posting here, I know - real life stuff had me not in the mood to do so. But I'm getting on with it now, and as a result I've got lots of stuff to update. I'll try and write more on each of these over the next few days, whenever I next play them, but for now:
  • I've completed New Super Mario Bros - unlocking all worlds at least.
  • I'm completed a few more levels of Jungle Strike, even a level set in the pitch black.
  • I've completed the bronze levels of Excite Truck.
  • I've made nearly six million dollars in my US Theme Park.
  • I'm on the fourth world of Sonic and the Secret Rings.
  • I've gained the sixth badge in Pokémon Sapphire and got rid of Team Aqua from a research institute.
  • I've attained a fitness age of 22 ... once.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Theme Park: Americans are easy to please

After losing quite a lot of money in Japan, I sold my park an moved instead to the US, where business has been brisk. I've made over two million dollars now, and have a huge park with an awesome roller coaster. And lots of people being sick.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Sonic & the Secret Rings: following the pterodactyl

Onto Dinosaur Jungle now, which is a lovely stage with cacti everywhere and some strangely Starfox-Adventures-alike dinosaurs. Really pretty though, perhaps more so than the desert. I've still got qquite a few stages locked on both the tutorial level and Sand Oasis, but I'm going for the storyline now and will come back to those later.

The storyboarding is really well done - the artwork harks back to Sonics of old (not quite the chubby Sonic 1, more Sonic 3 era) and Sonic always looks better drawn in 2D. The story's really quite cliched and dreadful, to be honest, but that's hardly why I wanted the game in the first place ...

Am enjoying this indeed, whatever deKay may say.

Theme Park: trouble in Japan

Oooh, I'm near bankruptcy in Japan. Visitor numbers are dropping, and my rides are all starting to blow up, despite me having loads of mechanics. I'm able to place a few things around that I couldn't in England, which seem to be drawing in more crowds, but they're expensive and I'm really constrained for funds. I might have to go for a few years not buying anything just to get out of debt.

But even though it's much harder than before, it's still the best version of Theme Park ever.

Sonic & the Secret Rings: phew, just made it


It's a Sonic game, in 3D, that's not got the word "Adventure" in its title, and it's, well, good.

Really good, in fact.

It started off a bit iffy, with an overly-long story board, and then some tutorial missions which were meant to be in the pages of a book but instead just look brown and really really boring. they only took 20 minutes to get through, though, and I've now finished most of the Sand Oasis stage, which is very pretty indeed.

The developers have realised that the whole fun of Sonic is that you're barely in control, going fast and just missing obstacles, and this game's essentially an on-rails into-the-screen running game, where you can move left and right across the track but can't really choose your path. And it works really well with the remote controls, tilting to move and pressing the button to jump. Although I do wish you jumped when you pressed the button, and not when you let go of it.

I've now built up a nice library of special skills, though it took me a while to realise that you have to equip them in your skill ring before you can actually use them. I was doing the mini-turbo move like an idiot and getting nowhere for ages before I actually turned the skill on.

I'm getting bronze medals on most of the stages (resulting in the "phew" line in the title - oddly, when you don't get a medal at all, Sonic says "no problem", which is rather more upbeat), though I expect I'll be able to get the silvers later once I've got more skills available. In the meantime, I'm working my way through the levels.