Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Wario Land Shake Dimension: The Definitive Review

Wario looks happy, but so would you if you were on a big island full of treasure. 8/10


Narrated by Wario himself. Includes such gems as "I can't be bothered to go and get the manual, so wait until I edit something in here later". 9/10

Disc Art
Wario shakes a thing. Very yellow. 8/10

It has stickers. 10/10

Waggle the remote to do ground pounds and shake things and aim things. My wrist hurts from shaking things too much (so I played the game for a bit to relax lols). Wario has two separate ground pound moves. Amazing. 8/10

It looks great and the animation is lovely, like a really good cartoon. It's not quite as funny to watch as Wario in Smash Bros though. 8/10

It's quite good but a bit MOR/easy listening, if it was music (which it isn't). Maybe it will get better later. I've only played the first world. 7/10

It's quite good but a bit MOR/easy listening, no that's the other one. I can't remember much about the music so it's probably not that great. 6/10


Wario. 10/10

Because otherwise the overall score would be 8.2 recurring out of ten
and that is a completely silly score that makes a mockery of the entire scoring out of ten process.

Overall: 8/10

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Two Lists About Geometry Wars

Top Nine Reasons Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2 Is The Best Game On Xbox Live Arcade That Isn't Braid

1. It's so good it regresses my vocabulary. While playing it I am incapable of saying any words that aren't "oh shit".

2. It's so incredibly gorgeous in all its radiant neon glory that it makes the original (which I used to think was really pretty) look utterly bland and boring by comparison. Seriously, play it. You won't believe how badly it's aged.

3. Bombing the whole screen scatters geoms everywhere, and you can have loads of fun by saying "geom nom nom" while you hoover them up.

4. The multiplayer is fantastic, if only for the humour value of having someone next to you saying "oh shit" during the short periods when you're not saying it.

5. Sequence is so blatantly unfair I don't think I'll ever reach the end, but it's all worth it for the level with all the greenies. They way they swoop and billow around your line of fire is just spectacular.

6. Wax Off is the best achievement since... well, Pacifism.

Gates are both your greatest friend and your bitterest enemy. I think I've died more times at the hands of gates than any other enemy. Why would you build a gate and make the edges deadly? That is extremely poor gate design.

8. Also I know that enemies can go through gates, but I completely forget every single time one appears. Why do I do this? I can go through gates, why do I think the enemies can't? It makes no sense.

9. Waves: when you play it, you will shit bricks.

Top One Reasons Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2 Is A Stupid Piece Of Shit That Should Go And Die Somewhere


Sunday, 14 September 2008





This Again, Sorry

Second attempt: 49 minutes 13 seconds
Third attempt (after three aborted half-runs): 46 minutes 44 seconds

I'll get this if it kills me.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Time Trial And Punishment

Braid has an achievement for completing the whole game in 45 minutes. This achievement has EATEN MY SOUL.

The game also has mini time trial challenges which are quite addictive but the big one is a work of pure evil. I can't remember the last time an achievement consumed me quite to this extent. (That's a complete lie. It was Geometry Wars Evolved 2's Wax Off, about a week ago. (I haven't talked about Geometry Wars 2 yet have I? It's amazing. Buy it. (But buy Braid first.)))

The only game I ever tried to time trial before was Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time, and I got bored round about the baths. It was the horrid combat that turned me off I think. Braid, though, is such a tightly-designed game that time-trialling it is an absolute pleasure. I'm just concerned that my memories of the game will be tainted by the horrific ordeal of constantly falling just short of the 45 minute mark. The endgame runs at a fixed pace and contains a long section where all you can do is watch. I'm confident this section will give me a heart attack before too long.

First attempt: 57:46:03

Tuesday, 9 September 2008


Five real life things that have reminded me of videogames this week:

1. What? Small Dog is evolving!
Saw a couple walking a dog, then saw them again later on, but with a different dog. Or maybe it was the same one, and it fought a few Pidgeys and levelled up. Our cat is such a slacker. She's stayed the same for about twelve years now.

2 The Temple of Tesco
I went on a fetch quest to get some shopping. I'm inclined to think Tesco isn't entirely unlike a Zelda game. There's no bosses, but you collect items, and make sure you have enough rupees cos the business scrubs aren't to be messed with. Also there's a quick puzzle where you have to fit all your stuff into one bag. Actually, that bit's more like Resident Evil 4.

3. Patrick fell asleep for 2 turns
I was a bit ill over the weekend. No symptoms except I slept fitfully for about 48 consecutive hours. It was less an illness and more like a status ailment. Maybe I'd encountered a Jigglypuff.

4. They're waiting for you Gordon... in the test chamber
I know this has been said before, but the Hadron Collider thing. I mean it's just a resonance cascade waiting to happen isn't it? I'm stocking up on supplies right now. Don't blame me when the Combine hop through and take over the world.

5. Light bloom
I woke up this morning and the sun was so bright I could barely see through my window. It was like sodding next-gen all over again.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Rock Band impressions

I finally got a go on Rock Band.

Seeing as I've already played Guitar Hero and Singstar I was most interested in the drumming side of the equation. The way the pedal hooks on to the drumkit is really awkward - it seems you have to have either the drums too far away or the pedal too close, unless you want to use a table, something I haven't tried yet. It's murder on your toes. Apart from that, I'm really enjoying my solo drum career (under the ingenious name of "PatROCK", and yes, I did come up with that all by myself). I'm only playing on medium (I've been informed the game is a lot more fun on hard, but having little-to-no sense of rhythm might get in the way of that) but even so, when I nail a little drum fill - particularly the one on In Bloom - or hit the last "note" after going mental on the freestyle ending, the feeling is extraordinary.

It's actually engaged me far more than Guitar Hero ever did. While I enjoyed Guitar Hero well enough, it never produced this feeling in me. Maybe because drumming is a lot closer to actually playing the drums, while the plastic guitar always felt like just that, a plastic guitar, flimsy and with loose, rattling buttons. Or maybe drumming is just more primal. The other way Guitar Hero let me down is that it didn't interest me long-term, maybe because I've never been much of a highscorehead. It remains to be seen whether Rock Band will be the same.

Obviously the multiplayer mode is meant to be the main source of longevity, but oddly the few sessions I've had were a bit subdued. Despite the little "Unison" markers and so on, I found there wasn't much of a sense of "we're in this together" when everyone's concentrating on their own bit. I was barely aware of the other players' presence unless someone was singing or getting out of time on the drums. It's still a lot more fun that Guitar Hero's multi anyway, but so far I haven't really got that sense of being in a band.

I've got no interest in the guitar and bass side of things but I did have a go at singing. Fortunately there are quite a few songs on there I know and quite like, but even so it's annoying having to stick to those few. I'll have to seek out a few of the other songs and get to know them. Singing is the aspect of the game that's closest to doing the real thing, but even then it's not quite like proper singing. You're always aware that you're playing a game. Especially when I do high-pitched "fweee" noises on the freestyle bits.