Monday, September 22, 2008

Essential Sudoku DS: transportation

Up to puzzle 679 now, which means that I'm over two thirds of the way through the game. It's only taken me a year and a half. At this rate I might have completed the game by the time the DS2 comes out.

Oh, and the last puzzle I talked about didn't require guesswork. It did mean I had to develop a new technique, though, of using different colours to progress down a path until it was proven to be a dead end.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Elite Beat Agents: Jack Flash isn't Jumpin'

EBA is a rhythm action game, where you have to tap circles on the touch screen in time to the music. It's a sequel of sorts to Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, but it's fully localised using western pop music and storylines. Well, the storylines are a bit odd, but not as odd as Japanese ones often are.

I bought this ages and ages ago, but only ever played half of it before playing something else. As a DS game, see, it's at a massive disadvantage in needing the sound to be heard. I normally play DS games with the sound off, on the train without headphones. It's only that I'm in a hotel room that I've been able to put the time in to play it properly.

I was playing on "Breezin'", the easiest difficulty, and managed to get all the way to the last song on my first go. But Jumpin' Jack Flash is rather hard, espcially the last segment which shows sequences of 14 notes that you have to hit. Ouch. After seven attempts I finally got to the end, with a bit of a poor score but enough to see the end sequence. All the characters from the rest of the game came to cheer me. Hooray.

I'll try on a harder difficulty now ... I can't call it completed when it's only done on easy!

Sega Superstars Tennis: popping puyos

Having played the Xbox 360 version of this when my brother visited, it was an impulse purchase when I saw it for $20 in the US. I played it a little while out there, but Professor Layton and Space Invaders Extreme, as well as Ring of Fates, meant it was put a little on the back burner. That, and the stupidly large difficulty step in the single-player game.

Now I'm stuck in Riyadh, I've had some more time to sink into the game. In particular, I've been playing through the mission mode, which puts tennis into a variety of different Sega games, including House of the Dead, Space Harrier (rather disjointed from actual tennis, it becomes more of a shooter with no returned balls), Monkey Ball (which has little to do with Monkey Ball but instead opts for a pool or billiards feel), and Puyo Pop.

The last of these is quite clever - puyos fall from the top of the screen as normal, and you must hit them with the ball to make them disappear. There's no combos, puyos don't disappear automatically when four group together. It's made difficult by the controls, however, since it's difficult to accurately judge where you'll hit apart from on the serve. In addition, it's really hard to hit anything above the top row of puyos. This last point becomes annoying when the clear puyos, which you can only get rid of by vanishing coloured puyos adjacent to them, start lining along the bottom row. Most annoying.

One of the Puyo Pop stages took me ages to clear - one where you had to keep playing for more than 70 seconds - but after that I whizzed through the rest and mission mode is now complete. There are a far few single-A scores, some double-A, and many AAA. I'm not sure I can be bothered to redo the As though. Back to the single-player tournament, where I'll once again breeze through to win the final, and then lose spectacularly on the bonus round.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Braid: going at 88mph

It's very stylish, very clever, but it makes me feel just a bit daft. I can't work out how to get roughly a third of the puzzle pieces in the first two worlds, which is all I've tried so far. I have a horrible feeling that I may need to play later levels, and get new abilities, which would mean my half an hour trying to make a certain jump was just a bit pointless.

Bangai-O Spirits: run (but not too fast)

I worked out how to get through the Mr Driller level - taking it slowly worked, but it was tricky to get through the last gap before the blocks fell down.

Now I'm on a level where you have to run through a twisty passage - or rather walk, since the walls are lined with explosives. Except these explosives are set off by a missile at the start, so you've got to rush. And there are blocks in the way that need to be destroyed, except you can't fire too much at them or you'll set explosives off in front of you and behind you, and you'll die.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Bangai-O Spirits: crunch big boss

I finally worked out how to kill the big ninjabot - I boosted behind him, and during the 24 hours it took him to turn around, I hit him with my sword, over and over again. It still took me a few tries, since the level was a little constrained in terms of space and if he turned enough he could still swipe at me to kill me, but he eventually went down.

Now I'm stuck on a level where there are a mix of destructable and indestructable blocks - and if you hit the destructable ones then the indestructable forms a solid wall between you and the target. Most odd.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Crackdown: to the max

During our online games night on Thursday, while we were waiting for John to turn up, Kieron suggested we have a quick go of Crackdown. I've not played it for ages, but it's a great game and we were quickly causing havoc. I got the agency supercar and was driving around the roads launching cars into the air. Great fun.

I played some more today, finally maxing out my driving stat so that I'm now a fully upgraded super person. I enjoyed myself so much that I went and bought the extra content, and had a great time driving the buggy around, doing tricks. I managed to do all the tricks needed for the stunt driver achievement, but I still need to work out some way of keeping my car in the air for six seconds ...

I also found a couple more agility orbs and a smattering of hidden orbs. I've got 8 agility left to find, and 81 hidden. I'm now hearing the orb pulsing noises again.

Wii Fit: pleasing results

Wii Fit gave me a fitness age of 25 this evening. I am most chuffed.

Rainbow Six Vegas: cooperation is correct

Kieron, John and I played through around a third of the game cooperatively on Thursday evening. Both John and I have completed it before, but it was Kieron's first time. He'd set himself up with a face using the camera, which was hilariously bad and looked like he had a comb-over. Most amusing.

At least when you're playing single-player, your teammates do what you tell them, and they don't press the wrong buttons. On a few occasions we worked out a cunning entry plan into the room, got ready ... and then one person went in early, or opened the wrong door, or even instead of opening the door, threw a grenade into the closed door which bounced off and killed someone else. I won't name names. Mainly because that last one was me.

It works really well, but that could be expected given that the single-player game effectively has two computer-controlled characters in it for most of the story. Oddly, the story and voiceovers appear to have been removed from the coop game, meaning that John and I had to tell Kieron what was going on ... which wasn't helped by the random order I'd picked levels in ...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Bangai-O Spirits: ouch, big boss

This is excellent. It's like the Dreamcast game, but it's quite different too. The idea of choosing weapons before each stage is cool, though you often have to play a stage and fail once before you can work out what is best to use.

The only thing that's frustrating is that I can't work out how to kill the big big boss robot, on the eighth level of the Treasure's Best group. Anything I fire at him just gets reflected back, and then he kills me with two swipes of his sword. I've moved over to the puzzle levels instead for a while, before I no doubt go back and solve it first time.