Halloween is next week, so instead of playing games and drinking lots of pop, the weekend will call for going out, getting dressed up and having lots of fun. What will the staff of TNL be dressing up as? Well, rumours are rampant that Bahn will be in full chicken gear as Billy Hatcher, Ren will be donning her skin-tight Morrigan costume, and Haohmaru will be waking up, ruffling his hair a bit, grabbing a butter knife and coming to the party as everyone's favourite SNK character... Haohmaru. As for Reno, well, it should be obvious what his costume is.
· · · TNL Staff
Final Fantasy X-2 (PS2)
Well, I just cleared the game once, and I'm about halfway through the game again. I'm realizing just how different this title is from other Final Fantasy games. From the mission-based structure, to the light, campy atmosphere, everything about this game is so radically different. Did I mention this title also has New Game+? It's a first for the series, and hopefully it returns in later Final Fantasy games.
I picked up this game on Wednesday and so far it's living up to the hype. While I'm not a big fan of the free-roaming mountains (man, just give me the tracks and let me kick ass!), the graphics are amazing and the soundtrack is just nuts. I'm really digging the X-ecutioners track in the game, as well as the Swollen Members and Chemical Brothers tracks as well. I'm somewhat disappointed by the loss of the "It's tricky!" track, since it actually reminded you when you could pull off special moves. Now you have to look over to your meter to know when you can do it. It's annoying to me, but it's a minor point in an otherwise fantastic game.
Starsky & Hutch (PS2)
Although my available time was somewhat constrained this past week, I was able to snag a few moments with a few recent/old releases.
Starsky & Hutch, published by Gotham Games had been collecting dust for some time and I finally decided it was time to actually play the damn game. I remember religously watching the television series back in the day when I was a kid; (along with all those other classic 1980 programs). Nostalgia notwithstanding, the video game adaption feels a lot like Driver governed by sharp-shooting and Neilsen ratings (ok, not quite).Levels are ingeniously composed of "episodes" in which you are required to complete certain objectives, and maintain viewership or else the game is over.
Most of the missions will basically have you racing throughout the metropolis --- apprenhending crimminals, avoiding traffic, and scoring some style points in the process. You can also collect special icons such as VR boost (increases the viewership ratings), turbo boost (makes your vehicle go faster) and Huggy Bear icons (not too sure what they do just yet, other than the fact that you hear Huggy Bear chime in a lot of jibba jabba).
Unlike most action driving games, Starsky & Hutch allows cooperative play, meaning you and a friend can respectivley play as legendary dynamic duo. Suprisingly, even in its single-player form, I found the driving/shooting aspects to be pretty balanced (though after you've completed the first two or three seasons, objectives will feel somewhat redundant). Starsky & Hutch offers a substantial degree of replay value, challenging players to earn higher viewership points or completing certain conditions to unlock hidden options and media.
So far, I am enjoying the game quite a bit. Stay tuned for an upcoming review.
Ever have one of those unsatisfying gaming periods, where you don't so much get to play games as think about playing them? Well, that's been my last two weeks. I've got a bit of Viewtiful Joe I'd like to get back to, and Tales of Destiny 2 is still calling me. Boktai is stalled until I can get some good gaming time in the sun. Most of what I've been doing though is a bit of Animal Crossing with a good chunk of Gridrunner ++ thrown in.
Animal Crossing is continuing its resurgence, thanks to my roommate's coninued addiction. At first I was mildly interested in how she was coming along in it, giving helpful bits of advice on the best way to maximize cash and tossing her a fishing pole on her first day so she could actually get to it. Then I began noticing odd items I didn't have yet, so started playing a bit to fill out my catalog. Now Halloween is coming, and seeing as I didn't start AC until after the new year I haven't had a crack at a major holiday yet. I'm tanking up on candy off Tom Nook and absolutely must have the full Spooky Set. Failure isn't an option.
My other game is Gridrunner ++, Jeff Minter's hyperactive update of his old Centipede clone from back in the days when Commodores ruled the earth. Though graphically unimpressive, the game is as deep as it is fast, which is saying something considering the speed of the later levels. I was pretty entertained by it when I first got it, but the more I've played the better I've found it to be. It's all about the sheepies.
And that's basically it. I beat up through the shark boss in Viewtiful Joe and haven't touched it in days and Tales of Destiny 2 is waiting after that. Border Down got a fair bit of play too, but it's sitting here gathering more dust than I'd care to admit. None of these games have reached the deadly stage of "Eh, don't feel like it", it's just a matter of time. Maybe if I cut down to four hours of sleep a night...
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (GBA)
I'm nearing the end of the journey that is Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Obviously, it continues to be very entertaining and addictive. My one big complaint right now is the addition of yet another law per day. Three different actions prohibited in each battle? Yikes. Good thing the enemies get limited that way, too.
Wild Arms (PSX)
I was feeling a bit nostalgic, so I pulled out this old classic. Why not relive it again before the remake (Wild Arms Alter Code F, which looks completely awesome) comes out? It truly is a shame that titles like Wild Arms didn't get much of the spotlight back in the early Playstation days. Still, gotta love the simple days of 2-D RPGs.