Friday, April 29, 2011

Pilotwings Resort: completed!

I've completed the free flight mode, in any case. The last info point was in the middle of the ocean; the last stunt ring was hidden around the back of the golf island.

I've not perfected all the missions, but I will one day. It's such a relaxing game to play - and the 3D adds to it hugely.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Halo 3 ODST: completed!

My home console game of choice for the past couple of weeks has been ODST, the fourth in the Halo series despite the fact it has a 3 in the name. I believe it's considered part of Halo 3, but I can't quite see why since the story as far as I remember doesn't really fit alongside Halo 3's. I could be wrong.

I remember this having a relatively muted reception when it was first released, with people not liking a lack of variety in levels, thinking it was too short, and having a story where you don't play as Master Chief. It does seem shorter than most Halo games, but that's no bad thing since it's actually of a length where I'd consider replaying it. This is helped by the fact that the story is really well told, with an initial scene explaining the game - splitting up the troop - and the rest of the narrative told by an interpolation between Rookie finding clues as to what happened, and flashbacks during which you take control of other members of the team. With you all meeting up in the end, and fleeing a burning Earth.

While the setting was all similar - all around New Mombasa - there was plenty of variety in the types of game, with various levels demanding sniping, explosives, getting past hunters or just a load of grunts and elites. The original Halo required a bit of puzzle solving to work out how to get past different levels, and this is no different - though with the Rookie parts, there's further need for exploration and it's all a bit more eerie. There's a good range of weapons on each level as well - meaning you can often find a beam rifle when you need one.

And as for not playing as Master Chief - so? The only part that grated was when controlling Buck, who kept on shouting idiotic gung-ho phrases which were far too American, which I'd never do. Other than that, the only difference was the need to pick up health kits occasionally, and the fact you can't jump as high. Not a huge problem for a game not designed around jumping.

I've got Reach to play now - but I'll not start that for a while, I think. Halo is good in smaller doses.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Space Channel 5: chu chu chu!

I'm still not sure if they say "chu" or "shoot".

Back in 2006, Owen posted about Space Channel 5. He wanted to try again five years later, to see if he could get past the first level. Unfortunately, he never got the chance to.

In his memory, today a number of people from ugvm and RLLMUK have played Space Channel 5 - the idea being to at least finish the first level. Owen said he got kicked out because his view rating wasn't high enough, so I presume that's after the robot battle. I ended the level on 21%, well above the 15% cut-off.

The graphics have aged quite badly in places - walking on the spaceport roof, for example, the pre-rendered background looks like it's at a different angle to the characters. And background characters seem to have rectangular heads. The rhythm of the music is difficult sometimes, but after calibrating the TV to 'game mode' it worked OK.

I played the first section a few times, though, since my Dreamcast kept coming up with disc read errors to start with. I hope it's not on the way out. I would normally just get a new one but I recall PSO characters are tied to the console.

Anyway. Space Channel 5. Sorry Owen, it's not that hard to get past the first level. But I did it for you, so you can say you've done it now.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pilotwings Resort: a strange sense of déjà vu

I wasn't overly impressed with Pilotwings on the SNES, so was pleased to see that the 3DS game bears very little resemblance, with even a different structure to the missions.

It's also a lot easier; I've completed (but not perfected) most of the main levels now, and have found the majority of information points and stunt rings, balloons and rings in the free flight mode. I can understand the complaints about it being light on content, but it's such fun to play that I'm happily going back through missions trying to improve my score.

My main disappointment is that the location is the same as that used in Wii Sprots Resort. I've flown over that island so much now that there's not much left to explore. We'll need somewhere new for the next game.