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Updates all around!

I finally beat Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. Finally! I know it’s only about a 10 hour game, but I’ve been playing games so sparsely lately that it took me 3 months to get through it.

Overall, I really enjoyed playing this game. The graphics held up really well and the story was interesting. The only major issue I had was that since devs tried to squeeze the entire game into 1 disc, the audio suffered big time. The game has a beautiful soundtrack, but it sounded really choppy all throughout.

Now that I’m done with that, I’ve got a lot of ‘found time’ to play other things. The main reason for this is my boyfriend is back in school, so I’m going out less. I’m working in the mornings and then I have pretty much the afternoon off to either play games, do photo stuff, write, whatever. Speaking of writing, I’m now contributing news posts to http://tomopop.com – if any of you are into figures, plushies, toys (etc) in general, go on and give ’em a read! You’ll find most of the latest release and update info there.

Besides that, I’ve applied for a couple other writing internships and I’m trying to get my career going. I really want to move out of my family’s house, but I haven’t got a steady income. Eventually, I’ll get there.

Back to the gaming front: I downloaded Scott Pilgrim vs The World on my PlayStation 3. It’s such a fun game, and the soundtrack is so happy. It’s been a really long time since I played a game that makes me feel all happy and giddy as I run through it. It’s too bad the movie is tanking in theatres, because they thought somehow Scott Pilgrim would beat The Expendables on opening weekend. Nerd culture is such a small minority in the scheme of things, it’s really sad to see that millions are being lost over the movie. Ah well, can’t win them all.

Last but not least (DEFINITELY not least), I can finally start playing Batman: Arkham Asylum that my boyfriend had given me for my birthday. You guys have no idea how excited I am about this. I haven’t stared yet, because he gave me the Game of the Year edition, and I want to make full use of all the features (including the 3D, just because). That being said, I’m waiting for my next lazy Saturday or some day that I can just sit in front of the TV for hours and really enjoy the game. Until then, though, playing some Scott Pilgrim, or whipping out my DS for Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time.  Maybe even some L4D2 or In Plain Sight (which I bought yesterday because Steam was selling it for only $2 USD).

And that’s it for my updates!


My (not so)Gaming Update

I’ve been really busy lately. First off, I still haven’t even finished Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. I really want to finish so I can move onto Batman, but I keep getting stuck. That game really messes with my head sometimes. I’m still about 50% through and I wanted to steamroll through the game while my boyfriend was out of town. Of course, when I have more free time due to less love life, I get a part-time job, and get busier with photo projects. Eventually, I’ll finish it. It’s just slightly over-whelming to go from job-less bum to 1 job + assistant to 2 photographers + writing for this blog and newly writing on Destructoid blogs, etc. Oh, and I’m exercising now too. Oh, boy.

I’ve been playing a bit more Left4Dead2 lately as well. I recently got back into it because more of my friends are playing, so it’s fun to play against people you know. I stopped before due to the huge amount of younger kids that play that game and aren’t very good at it (haha).

I’ve been wanting to play Zakk & Wiki again lately. Have any of you ever played that game? It’s a puzzle game, except really really hard. It’s a game that most people probably can’t beat it without help. And by help, I mean I played through most of it whenever friends came over and could help point things out in the puzzles. They are THAT elaborate. I never did finish that game, though. A friend of mine lent me Super Mario Galaxies II, so I figure when I hook up the Wii again, I may as well play some of that, too!

Once again, stuck. Too many games, too little time! And not enough motivation to spend my actual free time playing through new content opposed to going on Steam for a few rounds of zombie killing. Maybe when my boyfriend gets home (it’s been a week) I’ll be a little less of a boring drone.


Blast From the Past

Swinging the spotlight over on the recently released special editions of Secret of Monkey Island and Return to Monkey Island!

I just finished re-playing through Secret of Monkey Island, and I must say – what a fun time! The new graphics are fantastic, and the game has a nifty hotkey (It was F10 for me on PC) that takes you back and forth from new graphics to old 1990’s gameplay. There are lots of major upgrades, like a re-done soundtrack and voice acting added to the new game.

As far as graphics go, I’m really happy with the way it was done. The game looked like a painting most of the time, and it kept with the same feel that I remember when I played this more than 10 years ago on MSDOS. A lot of things were also added, such as random skulls in the sky forming clouds and what not, but it didn’t take away from the overall feel of it, because it’s got the same art style we saw in Monkey Island 3: Curse of Monkey Island.

I know I’ve said it before, I find these Monkey Island games to be absolutely hilarious, and I’m very happy to see that LucasArts is bringing back the first 2 in the best way. It felt like I was playing the game for the first time again. The best part was, if I needed to remember something the old way, there was the hotkey. Another point, Monkey Island games have been cross-platform for a while, but I’ll mention it here anyway: The Special Editions are cross-platform! Now you can play them via PSN, PC..even your iPhone.

I strongly recommend anyone reading this that enjoys a fun puzzle game every now and then to at least download the demo’s available for these new games!


Back from Vacation (and getting busy!)

This past week I was out, so my regular updates naturally ceased for a short while, as did my gaming. Now that I’m back, I have a lot to look forward to! Right before I left, my boyfriend lent me Prince of Persia: Sands of Time for the PS2.

I’ve actually never played any of the Prince games, but I’ve always heard very good things about them. Someone gifted me Prince of Persia: Warrior Within a few years ago as well, but I realized it wasn’t the first game and have thus never played it. Another thing is I watched a friend of mine play through maybe 20% of the most recent Prince game (somewhere in the middle chunk of the game overall) on his laptop, so I had some familiarity with Prince by the time the movie, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time came out a few weeks ago. I recognized the references the movie made to the games, but realized it came a little short. My boyfriend also filled me in on a few storyline points that the movie changed, all the usual stuff.

I played through just the first stage or two (I call them stages, between the save points. You can call it whatever you like.) before going away on my trip. The visuals still hold up very well, I really like all the controls, and the sound track is amazing. Granted, the music in the actual game itself does not sound that good; it’s actually quite choppy and just too compressed. Listening to it from the soundtrack, though, is very pleasant. I really enjoy puzzle games, so I’ve been having a blast with this one!

And when I got home, it was my birthday.

1/2 bday gift

Isn't this cuuuute ❤

Guess what my wonderful boyfriend gave me? Batman! Game of the Year version Batman AA. I’m thrilled, because I’ve been wanting to play that game for a long time and never really found a good copy at a good used price in the local shops, so I just never bought it. Elsewise, I decided to wait on that game since I’ve been playing other things. Once I’m done with the first Prince of Persia game, I’ll tackle Batman before I move on, I think. He’s my favorite superhero. I actually got 2 awesome gifts from him. Besides Batman, he found this great Green Lantern tumbler and decorated it for me.I know it’s naught to do with gaming, but I still would like to share!

Note that it’s all studded up around the logo and whatnot. The stars that are viewable are actually in the back around the word “WILL”. The bottom has my name sticker’d on. In my next post, I will show everyone what I do to super hero t-shirts and why my friends call me Fabulous Batman.  =)


Playing the Beta: Put to the Test

So, I acquired a beta key for StarCraft II a couple of weeks ago from a friend to got 2 two many. Naturally, I’ve been spending as much time as I can playing, since it closes on the 30th of this month (for a little while).  From what I’m seeing the past couple weeks, the game will be phenomenal. I’m going to start with the graphics: GORGEOUS. Most of the maps have beautiful galactic landscapes and I’ve already lost a couple matches because of wasting precious seconds to stare at the backgrounds. Actually, now that I mention it, I’ve lost a LOT of matches.

When I started playing, I just kindof went by what I used to do in StarCraft 1, forever ago. I got used to long games and complicated strategies, not much rushing. The players I’ve encountered on this game are mostly interested in wiping out opponents as quickly and efficiently as possible. At first, this upset me greatly, because it wasn’t fun at all to be at the starting stages of developing my base just to have 4 punk goons from the other base come and wipe my defenseless drones. The more I play, however I’m learning how to make production much quicker, and counter-attack more effectively (and win matches!). I originally was placed in the gold league (highest of 3 tiers) – because during the placement matches (5 preliminary matches to determine starting rank) a few people lost connection and I auto-won the games. After a few losses in the Gold league (I was flattened, totally), I got re-ranked into Silver league. Guess who’s kicking butt now? This girl. Right here.

My only real complaints about the game are that the hotkeys don’t really stick well for me. I’m not sure if others are having this problem, or if it’s just me due to wireless keyboard (except I’ve actually never had this problem..), but yeah. I waste time jamming the hot keys when I could just do it all with the mouse. I just don’t like having to click through every single command, but I suppose I’ll have to get used to it for now. Seconds are precious in this game…

I’m trying to play it as much as possible before it closes up a bit. Until last weekend, there was just 1v1 and 2v2, now there’s 3v3 and 4v4, and eventually there should be a Free-For-All mode. There are a few basic achievements (such as: winning a first game, winning 5 games as each of the 3 races, winning a match 2v2, etc) with rewards, like profile images. The best part is, the is windowed, full screen and full screen (windowed) modes, with many choices for resolution and highly adjustable (and volumous) video and sound options. Great news for players with PCs of all shapes and sizes.  Speaking of players of all shapes and sizes, as soon as I acquired a beta key, I realized I actually know a good amount of people that are also participating in the beta. We already have the option to add each other to a friend list in the client and play against each other (or team up and play 2v2+)! It is all very exciting. I haven’t played with any of my friends yet, but this weekend was a good one for networking, so I’ll finally be able to play against (or with) people I know. Hurray for Skype and play!

Last note: The pictures in this post are screen shots I’ve taken while playing. They look terrible after I edited them (for size), so if you kind-of squint and turn your head sideways, it might look a lot cooler… (just kidding, but you get the idea, right?)


Battle Scares and Sore Hands

I went and bought Super Street Fighter IV when it came out last Tuesday, and playing it I am having a lot more fun than I expected to! All the characters have lots of nice upgrades, the 2 new characters (Juri and Hakan) are great, and you don’t have to unlock ANY of them. As I play different characters (or rather, friends come over and play them), new costume colors and victory speeches are unlocked. Great for me, because I always like to dress my toons in green.

Now to the “but…” ….My thumb is all blistered (gonna be a callus soon, I just know it) from playing this with a PlayStation controller. I’ve never played this game outside of the arcade setup, so I’ve had a really difficult time adjusting to making all the combinations on the PS3, since I don’t have the arcade pad. My boyfriend has also been trying to help me learn how to play the game with a controller versus joystick (I’m so happy we can play this together). When I first started playing the game, it was a blast, until I got into some of the harder levels and simply didn’t stand a chance against the CPU toons due to my inability to string combinations with the PS3 controller. I definitely don’t have fun playing games where it isn’t even a challenge any more, it’s literally having NO CHANCE at beating the stage. I’ve gotten better at it now, though, and the game has become MUCH more enjoyable again! The new challenge: beating people online! So far I’ve gotten my butt kicked 11 times. It’s okay, though. I’ll get better, then kick all their butts.

In other news, I’m playing that Super Mario 64 game for the Nintendo DS. There’s another game with odd controls, my hands are sore from adjusting to that one as well. The game is fun, I like that I can play as different characters throughout the adventure, and back when I played that game on the Nintendo 64, I can’t even count the amount of times I played it through. I remember when people would compete over how little time it took to finish the game; just a couple hours. I remember people competing over Zelda: Ocarina of Time playtime as well. Oh, those days…

Lesson learned: Grow Calluses or tape up your thumb to play Super Street Fighter IV. I also heard some people tape quarters to the joystick. I’m not trying that, though!


I feel no life ahead of me…

So game-wise, I’ve got a lot piling up on me. For one thing, I still need to finish playing the last 2 parts of the Monkey Island 5-part finale. The game is a total riot, but I stopped playing it because it was holiday season and I  simply didn’t have time any more. Then, of course, the usual. You get out of the groove and it’s hard to get back. I’m concerned now because I’ve started playing a few games recently that I want to finish as soon as I can. That way, I will have my time free’d up for other stuff in the next month or so. The games I’m playing now? Final Fantasy XIII (PS3), Borderlands (Steam), Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS). I must say, so far FFXIII has been very disappointing. It’s beautiful, but I was hoping for more. Maybe later on in the game I’ll enjoy myself, but I hate that I have to play upto a certain point in the game (15+ hours, I’m told) before it actually gets interesting. It’s ~15 hours I feel like I got ripped off when I purchased the game.

Borderlands continues to be fun for me, but I’m trying  not to play it to death. If I sit in front of that game for hours, chances are I’ll just lose interest. I’m at a phase where it’s still pretty challenging, because I’m still low level and haven’t enough EXP to just blow through the missions. I’m also still really enjoying the artwork. As for Phantom Hourglass….holy epically long game, Batman! WILL IT EVER END?! Geeze… on the one hand, it’s great that it’s taking me so long to beat it, I’m saving money that I’d be spending on more DS games. On the other hand..I’m so ready to just finish the game and move on already. Apparently, there is such a thing as too long of a game (when it has an end, of course).

What I’m dying to play when it comes out: Doctor Who! I’ve been watching the new series with friends, and they got me hooked. Now we found out there’s a free game for PC coming out in June! The other game I’m anticipating is Super Street Fighter IV. I’m usually not one to buy those fighting games, but I was sold on one of the new characters, Hakan. Hakan is an oil wrestler from Turkey, who from what I know is looking to make the best olive oil on the planet, and he loves his daughters, “They are so pretty!”. I highly recommend all of you readers to look up his trailer if you haven’t seen it. If anything is going to sell you on that game, it’s him (if you share my sense of humor, anyway). His special attacks are ridiculous and hilarious! I’ll even go a step further and provide a link to you tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mK3oMkNvQrI No excuses!

So, I have a lot to look forward to. SSFIV comes out next week, and I want to have time to play it. At least I only work 2-4 days a week…