Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sonic Generations: not awful music

The 'Modern Sonic' take on Emerald Coast was mostly side-on, in fact, and played better than the 'Classic Sonic' one.  I'm on to Radical Highway now, which is one of the few levels I remember from Sonic Adventure 2, other than the city one.

The music in this game is actually really good - it's standard Sonic light rock, but the old tunes have been altered really nicely with differences between the two acts.  I'm back to enjoying this after my previous frustration.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sonic Generations: awful instadeaths

I'm still enjoying this, though markedly less so since 'Classic Sonic' got the homing attack and the side-on levels started to be reliant on it.  The homing attack makes sense in 3D, where you can see ahead of you and move towards the targets.  In 2D, the targets are frequently off-screen until the last minute, by which point it's too late to react to them and you fall off the bottom of the screen, again and again and again.

As a result, it took me ages to get past Act 1 of Emerald Coast, because it required a lot more learning of the level than the previous levels.

It's a shame, though, that even the best Sonic game in years doesn't distract me from Mario Kart 7.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Child of Eden: moving up

I loved Rez.  I loved the way it enveloped all your senses and felt easy and natural.  I loved the way the music evolved with the game, and it was built around rhythm in the same way that Daytona and WipeOut are.  I loved the sparse stylised visuals and short structure of the game.

I still love it, but now I love Child of Eden more.

Sure, the Move controls are a little flaky at times, not recognising the flicks to launch projectiles - a bigger movement works better but then you lose where the crosshair is - but on the whole removing the control pad makes this even more involving than Rez and draws you deeper into the game.  There are times when the immersion is broken, like when the game decides that you can't move around the area when previously you could, but this just highlights to me just how transfixed I become.

Is that a good thing?  For the game, yes.  It makes playing this more of an experience than I would ordinarily be used to, and as a result is quite draining.  It's certainly not a good thing for Justine, since she's likely to feel very ignored whenever I play it.  Then again, she's the one who bought it ...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Crackdown 2: end of an era

It's easier to find agility orbs in Crackdown 2.  For a start, the map screen tells you how many you've found in each area - meaning that my search was restricted to Green Bay (after, that is, working out where Green Bay is, since it's not marked on the map).  There's still a large area to cover, though.  I flew around a bit in helicopters, and using my thrusters and wingsuit, but couldn't see it.  So after completing all the wingsuuit rings, I decided to try some stunts instead.

I spawned an SUV and headed to the beach.  I jumped around in the car a lot, completely failing to get through the vehicle stunt rings.  And then I saw it.

Shining above me, reaching out.  I jumped up there.

A hidden orb!  How exciting.  But that's not all.

Agility orb number 500.  I'm well behind the first game on the hidden:agility ratio, though, with only 212 hidden orbs found.  For now I'll take the achievement.

Sonic Generations: awful cutscenes

If there's anything worse than cutscenes with bad voiceovers, it's cutscenes where only a few words have bad voiceovers.  Worst of all are cutscenes - which are effectively static or with a little animation - of two characters standing side-by-side with loads of badly-written text, where a few words have bad voiceovers.

Luckily, that's the worst thing about Sonic Generations so far.  I'm actually really enjoying the levels, striking as they do the right mix of nostalgia and modern-day polish; the physics on Sonic feel right, although I do keep tying to do a roll with modern Sonic - the boost isn't yet as obvious.  The 3DS version is much more of a side-on game than I've seen of the home console versions.

I've completed Green Hill, Casino Night and Mushroom Hill now, and am up to the Metal Sonic race which, as with the equivalent in Sonic CD, is just immensely unfair until you learn the level.  Nearly there though.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Crackdown 2: 499

499 agility orbs out of 500.  The 499th was on top of a chimney, which I used my wingsuit to glide to.

Amusingly, the narrator commented on me collecting this orb, saying that he knew I wouldn't rest until I found the last one.  At that point I turned the console off and went to bed.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Sonic CD: fragmented levels

I have played Sonic CD before, on the Mega CD, and found it confusing.  It still is, with the future lampposts being placed in awkward places and me never being quite sure if I've actually created a good future or not.  Do I need to travel to the future after destroying the machine in the past, or is it sufficient to just explode the generator?  Do I need to create good futures for both acts, and if so do I then have to fight the boss?

It seems pretty inconsistent as to how long I need to be travelling at speed; some of the levels have horrible designs, and it just feels a bit bitty.  But it's magnificent, requiring you to explore the levels and avoid not just enemies but also level furniture in order to get to the proper ending.  I've completed the game in the bad way (not getting good futures; not collecting time stones) and am now working back through it.

On the Mega CD I only ever completed one bonus stage; on the 360 I've managed three, but they are horrendous and difficult to control.  Blurgh.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Crackdown 2: crashing helicopters

I am surprised that I've not written about Crackdown 2 on my blog before, given that according to my 360 autoblog the original is my most-played game and the sequel is fourth on the list.  I've played the sequel through to completion - the end of the story, at least - mostly alongside John and Kieron, with a few solo outings making up for sessions I had missed.  My agent isn't fully powered up, and I haven't collected all the orbs as yet - I have 498 of 500 agility orbs and 196 of 300 hidden orbs - and so it's still a game to return to.

Especially since I can now spawn helicopters at will, use mag grenades to hang things from the ceiling, and fly using my wingsuit across the whole map.  This is all the more amusing when a new player - such as Toby - joins in and I can sit on the sidelines with a rocket launcher while he goes in to get his hands dirty.  Toby went up two agility skill levels in a two-hour playing session last night, while my shooting skills are resolutely stuck at just over five stars due to my propensity to make everything explode rather than just shoot it.

It's a fine game.