Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Game memories: A

Afterburner Complete (32X)
For years I'd wanted an arcade-perfect version of Afterburner. The CPC version wasn't too bad, but rather slow. The monochrome Spectrum version was awful. The Master System and Mega Drive games were getting there, but they just didn't feel frantic enough. This did. I got a 32X a couple of years after the Saturn came out in Pink Planet in Bristol for, I think, £20, and with it came Afterburner, Virtua Racing Deluxe and Star Wars Arcade. Afterburner was an amazing port, just what I'd wanted since first playing the arcade game years before, but given the competition it was quickly at the bottom of the pile.

Ace Combat 6 (Xbox 360)
Previous Ace Combats (plus Air Combat on the PS) have been OK, but this is great. HD really does add to this game, searching the skies for opponents and with loads of screen set aside to just see how pretty it is.

Animal Crossing Wild World (DS)
I remember once hearing that someone had an 800+ price on turnips on a Thursday, when I had thousands of bells invested. I went and stood outside the pub opposite work, in the rain, so I could use their Cloud wifi and trade my turnips in.

Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap: a book on a bookcase

I got the mole gloves so I can now dig through dirt - and finally worked out what those filled-in cave entrances were about. I've also found power bracelets which let me move objects like bookcases when small but don't appear to let me move little boulders when big. I'm now on a mission to return overdue library books. Don't ask.

I've returned two, and have found the third, but it's on top of a bookcase. There's a note on the table nearby which hints that if there's a problem I should just run headlong into it - but using the pegasus boots and running into the bookcase doesn't do anything. There's another one of the sparkly trees out the back of the house, but other than that nothing. I can't work out what to do.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Burnout Paradise: building up my car collection

But very slowly. I've just got my B licence, which indicates I'm halfway up the progression (since I'm sure it won't stop at A), and I've only found and unlocked 12 cars out of the 57 it claims. The game just feels almost too big - I've not touched on bikes yet, or the Surf Island extra bits. I found the same with Burnout Revenge in the end, that it just seemed a bit never-ending, and at least that had a more rigid progression structure.

Still, this works well as a game, and I'm enjoying the racing aspect. I feel I'm missing out a little from not learning the map in full, but that's just a bit too much of an ask. I do miss the aftertouch takedowns though, and I've heard that every road has a crash junction event but haven't seen how to trigger these as yet ...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: big plant down

Finally finished the forest temple, killed the big plant. Now I've been told I've got to go west. It was in red, so it must be important.

I'm getting very confused though, between what's happening in Twilight Princess and what's happening in The Minish Cap. I may need to put one on hold for now!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap: not being able to dig

I'm in the Fortress of Winds, and am stuck. I know what I need - something to suck up or dig through or otherwise destroy the big foamy blocks that are strewn across the level - but I've been everywhere I can get to in the dungeon, many times, and there remain a couple of rooms that I just can't access. This is most frustrating.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Phantasy Star Portable: excitement

There's a lot of story I'm wading through. A lot of buttons to learn. A lot of menus and options and items.

But there's a lot in common with Phantasy Star Online. Monomates, sabres, and swords mean that the game has, for me, a shallow learning curve, and the first few missions have reminded me of my exploits back in 2001 on the Dreamcast. Unlike Phantasy Star Zero, the controls work well, and the addition of other members of your party mean that it's an easier game at this early stage. Which is a good thing.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap: collecting elements

While Twilight Princess has slightly stalled, I've been playing The Minish Cap on my commute to and from work, and it's been captivating. The storyline is semi-standard, with Zelda being frozen in stone, but it's Vaati who's the enemy rather than Ganandorf, and the world is inhabited by the Picori. Link has a magic hat who used to be a sorcerer, and he can shrink and grow at select portals. Half the trick is working your way around the world as a dot, where you can't mount steps or traverse puddles.

I've made quite a lot of progress; I've mended the Picori sword, and fused it with two elements. Some of the objects collected are pretty innovative - the gust jar which hoovers up dust and grass, the cane which flips objects over - though there are as ever the stables of the boomerang and bow and arrow. The Game Boy Advance suffers from only having two buttons to which you can map objects, so there's frequent breaks to reassign actions.

It's very different from The Wind Waker, Ocarina of Time, and Twilight Princess, and indeed very different from Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks. It reminds me most of Oracle of Ages, which of course is because it's by the same team - but I never finished that so I'm hoping this has a little more staying power ...