Sunday, November 28, 2010

Burnout Legends: coupe with no accent

I dusted off my PSP for my recent trip to South Africa, but it wasn't until the way home that I got around to playing anything on it. That thing was Burnout Legends, which is much better and much worse than I remember. It's still a long way from the console games in terms of content, but the way they've taken the tracks from the first couple of games and added takedowns and the later games' mechanics works really well. There's a nice sense of weight to the cars, and it runs at a fair pace.

But the controls on the PSP are awful, and it becomes a matter of luck as to whether you complete a course. Not so much of a problem for the road rage or race events, but the burning laps become really hard.

When I started I was half way through the second car class, and now I'm half way through the third - though I've given up on trying to get golds for everything.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future: completed!

So, despite the odd plot and the tenuous lock puzzles, I completed the story of the game, then went back in to clear up the ten-or-so puzzles that I'd missed as I went through. This was a particularly long process, since it meant having to talk to everyone again (in some cases more than once), and in the end searching a tree outside the hospital. And then I completed the parrot and toy car games, and the sticker books, and the bonus puzzles, and everything.

At some point I'll download the weekly puzzles and work through those as well.

One thing that I noted as I played through the game was how little I remember of the first two Laytons. It's great as you play through, but it's generally quite forgettable, and there's very little reason to replay. It's a one-off experience, and I look forward to the fourth game already.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future: plot deviations

A giant moving fortress, built under London. More to the point, built under a city under London.

How odd.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future: more funny voices

I'm sure that some of the lines spoken by Luke and the Professor are from different actors. They don't sound to be in the same voice at all.

I'm making steady progress through the game, and have been playing for around ten hours now. The story is a little convoluted, but that may be because I'm spending quite a long time chasing down extra puzzles and solving the parrot and toy car minigames. The parrot is odd - when he first appeared, it was hinted that he'd help to sniff out hint coins which remained unfound, but he's done that a whole one time so far. Maybe it's serving me right for naming him Sparrow. It was funny at the time.

The characterisation still feels consistent after two and a half games. Luke is an excellent sidekick to the slightly-stuffy Layton, and it's those two who make the game. Other characters are perhaps a little too odd at times, which throws Luke and Layton into a much more congenial role, along with the few other characters (such as Becky, the hotel girl).

The puzzles are more closely woven into the game, but I can't help but feel they are less well designed than in the first game. There's only been one which I thought was a bit oddly worded though - and that was ambiguous rather than just being wrong.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future: funny voices

Again, it's the US title - I'm not ruining the look of my Layton collection!

With Colour Cross finally out of the way, I've been able to move onto the third Layton adventure, which is set in London ... while I'm out of the country. Still, it's not as if it's a particularly realistic interpretation, feeling more like Paris or Brussels at times, so the homesickness hasn't kicked in just yet.

I've rarely played DS games with the sound turned up (it's not the done thing on public transport) so I'm not sure if this is the case with previous games in the series - only some of the phrases are spoken, and which are and which are not seems to be relatively random. I must have played at least some of previous games with the sound, since Luke and Layton's voices are familiar, but I don't recall being confused over usage before.

In any case, I've now completed the epilogue and the first chapter, which is about twenty puzzles in. I was disappointed to read that there were only 120 puzzles included, but I've found a hidden puzzle - number 144 - so there must be a few more than in the main story.

And it's an odd story indeed. No spoilers, obviously.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Colour Cross: completed!

Colour Cross is a picross-type game, with a few differences - there are always multiple colours, never any blank spaces, and it's got a fair few annoying aspects to it:
  • A few colours on each puzzle are very close to one another (with four shades of red on one puzzle) - this makes it difficult to see what is outstanding to be filled in.
  • The backgrounds can be either blue or yellow (with little pictures scrolling diagonally). Some puzzles have both blue and yellow tiles to place. It's really hard to see where bits are missing.
  • Each puzzle is timed, with penalties for placing the wrong tile down. This stops you going wrong, but when playing on a bus, I often amassed a hour's worth of penalties just because the squares were too small.
  • On larger puzzles, you have to scroll around the play area just to see the clues at the top. You can't do this using the d-pad though.
  • The general presentation is pretty awful. You frequently get dumped out to the main menu and have to go back into a submenu, when it would be far easier to have a "next puzzle" button.
It's biggest fault, though, is that there were a few instances where it wasn't possible to complete a level without guessing. And I always guessed wrong.

Despite this, it's all I've been playing on the DS for ages, and I've finally completed it. I feel like I can put it to bed at last - even though, due to an annoying bug, although I've completed every puzzle three of the avatar unlockables remain locked. It's all a bit shoddy really.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Crackdown: end of an era

Ooh, what's that?

I've not seen one of them for a long time. Well, not in the original Pacific City, anyway. It seems to be glowing.

It's not even that high up. It's on the top of a building, yes, but it's only about ten stories up. If that. And I could jump over there easily. Surely the final agility orb isn't just a jump away?

Oh, yes, it is.

500 agility orbs; I thought it would never happen. Now I can play Crackdown 2 with more gusto, without feeling that something's missing. As long as nobody mentions that I've got 272 of 300 hidden orbs.