Monday, February 20, 2012

Bayonetta: try, try, try again

First annoyance: although I saved and quit the last time I played, I had to restart from the beginning of chapter two.  You can't save mid-chapter, it seems.  This wouldn't have been such an issue if it wasn't for the fact that I restarted just before a fight with the red witch Jeanne, which last time took ages to complete.  This time it took five minutes and I got a gold medal.  Huzzah.

Second annoyance: it suddenly got a lot harder.  There were times that I had to repeat a section five or six times in order to progress.  However, each time I did actually progress, and I was driven onwards by the fact that each time I retried a battle I got a bit further.  The example that sticks out in my mind is the fight against the dragon attacking me in a church: the first time I fought him, I died almost immediately.  I had to open the church door, skip the cutscene, and managed to get a few decent hits on the dragon using witch time, before dying again.  I had to open the church door, skip the cutscene, and dodged many times and performed many attacks until the dragon ripped the church from its foundations and took to the skies, at which point the dragon's second head killed me. I had to open the church door, skip the cutscene, beat the dragon up until it took off, and dodge the second head while attacking the first head, until it went mental and killed me again.  I had to open the church door, skip the cutscene, beat the dragon up until it took off, dodge the second head while attacking the first head, avoid the first head's mental attacks, and then finally the church was thrown heavenwards with me in it.  And I missed the QTE of pressing X in time, so died.

It restarted with the church being thrown upwards.  A good job, or no doubt the controller would have been thrown in much the same way.

I got part of the way through chapter three, which is set in the town after it was consumed by lava, before multiple deaths and a lack of time caused me to stop playing.  I wonder if I'll start it again knowing I've got to repeat the whole first part of the chapter ... but it's a great game, so I probably will.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bayonetta: back to black

I bought Bayonetta when it fell to £10 a couple of months after release. I played it for 43 minutes according to the save file. I then moved onto something else.

It sat at the top of my TrueAchievements "easy achievements" list ever since.

Then last weekend I decided to give it another go, as part of my 'play games properly' philosophy. I'm now half way through chapter 2 and enjoying it immensely. I think I was put off by the complex combos that it demonstrates while loading, but it's not a case of learning those by rote, it seems, but instead understanding how punches and kicks can be linked together and the timing of each. Combined with the evade button, it is possible to get 'good' and not just 'lucky', it seems.

Though I do find myself using the jump+stomp combo a lot.

A new set of guns has just been unlocked, but I've spent my halos on health items. I've not made any concoctions, or bought amulets, because they're too expensive. I can't see how I'll ever afford those, in fact.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Phantasy Star Portable: busting out busters

I've managed to equip both a sword and a gun, with the gun automatically firing at things (I think it's my Mag doing it, but I'm not sure) and the sword setting fire to things.  Even so, I have to hit some things many times before they go down.

I really like the story missions in this game now I've got into it.  Having others join you on quests is well done, particularly once I realised that others will heal themselves if left long enough.  The main issue I've hit is that as sword-wielder, attacks from flying enemies can be hard to avoid.  This was brought home by a boss character hovering above the playing field, which I was unable to hit (other than by my automatic gun) except for the rare occasion he landed.  When he did land, I could only hit his hands and tail.  The hints that his wings were the weak point didn't really help.  After ten minutes of grinding away he went down, though.

This has monopolised my handheld gaming for a week now, which is quite amazing given the competition.  It's more clunky than PSO, and the weapons system seems more complex (I can't understand where the gun is coming from, for example), but it's possible by large to just overlook that and hit things.  Which, on a morning commute, is just what you want.

Monday, February 06, 2012

1000 Heroz: first time's a charm

I'm still playing this every day, and have a few targets I've set myself: I must beat Sessile, who's the last remaining competitor in the UGVM group; I must come in the top ten, or preferably the top five, of the RLLMUK group; and I must come in the top thousand of the global leaderboard. I'm generally achieving this.

There have been a number of times when my first run at a course is actually my best; today's course is a good example of that. In the runs afterwards, I've bounced up the hill in a more jerky way, or caught my foot on a block of ice, or landed on an uphill section rather than the flat ground either side.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Sonic Generations: completed!

That was really fun.

The last boss fight took a few attempts, particularly when the enemy was throwing clock faces at the Sonics, but it fell eventually. It's well worth watching to the end of the credits, if only to see Cream the Rabbit at Sonic's birthday party and the skit with two Dr Eggmans trapped in no time together.  I smiled when Tails called him Robotnik the first time the Classic round Eggman appeared ...

The end credits were great - they interspersed screenshots from the original games with the equivalents from Sonic Generations.  It was interesting seeing how the newer games in particular had been given a 2D makeover (albeit in 3D) and how they had designed levels around additional abilities such as the boost and homing attack. In fact, seeing that evolution even made the game series itself make more sense.

There are loads of missions to unlock with playcoins, and time attacks modes, and I've got a D grade on a fair few levels, with relatively few As and Ss. I will be going back to some of them, since they are pretty fun, with a few exceptions.  It does remind me of the classic Sonic games though, where you have to learn the levels to play well - I was disappointed at first that I wasn't just breezing through the game, but I could only ever do that since I knew the old Sonic games like the back of my hand.  I'm not sure I'll play Sonic Generations as much as the Mega Drive games, but you never know ...