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    de Blob 2 (DS)    by   jp       (Sep 30th, 2014 at 23:07:47)

    While the difficulty hasn't ramped up considerably (I have yet to lose a life), I've definitely warmed to the game a bit more. It really does have a nice, safe, friendly vibe to it that is quite refreshing. Even though you don't really have to do anything special, I kind of like coloring the environment. There are moments when you get sprayed with black ink - which results in you reverting things/places back to their original setting. While you don't have to re-color them, I often feel the need to. The gray ones are so drab and boring!

    I'm currently at about 80% completion so I only have about 5 stages left or so. I should be done in a couple of days.

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    Fez (PS3)    by   jp       (Sep 29th, 2014 at 21:51:59)

    I'm kind of late to this indie bandwagon, no?

    It's strange to play a game where I feel I know more about it's creator (or at least I think I do) due to the variety of stories/events/controversies that have plagued him than I do about the game itself. I mean, I knew what the "hook" was in terms of the mechanic, but not much else.

    So far it's been interesting and, perhaps surprisingly, a lot more accesible than I thought it would be. I had the idea that the game would quickly get to a point where the puzzles were simply to obfuscated to be any fun (for me). So far that hasn't been the case - if anything it's been the opposite. However, what the game doesn't have in difficulty, it is making up for in secret stuff. I feel like there's a lot more to the game than I've been able to piece together and I'm reluctant at this point to go online and see what I can find. I'm kind of enjoying just randomly exploring the world. Not sure if I'll get incredibly lost at some point, but we'll see.

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    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PS3)    by   jp       (Sep 29th, 2014 at 21:47:04)

    I don't really care how much some people "hate" on this game (or the series, for that matter). It does things VERY well, and I'm really quite impressed by how effective the game and its presentation is in making military stuff cool.

    I'm playing the campaign, and I don't plan on playing more than that. The online side never really caught my attention and, at this point the game has been out long enough for me to really be a noob (compared to those that are still playing and have probably been playing since it launched).

    I think I'm something like 30-35% through the campaign and I've already filled lots of shoes in lots of different places. Standout moments so far?

    a. I'm playing the game while my wife is on the couch reading. I ask her to take a look at the screen as I pan the camera up - hey, it's the Eiffel tower! (it looks a bit bent and parts of it are burning). So comments that I'd better not destroy it. A few minutes later the whole thing comes crashing down.

    b. I've been chasing some suspicious vans all over London, bullets fly, etc. Super intense Michael Bay-style action. In the end the van is empty. The next scene has me playing as a dad on holiday with his family. The perspective is through the camcorder he's using to record their holiday - Big Ben is in the background. Then, one of the suspicious vans comes round the corner and stops. Something bad will (and does) happen - but you experience it through the eyes of an innocent bystander. For me it was a great moment that made the whole terrorist attack seem much more important and "big". It made it more personal.

    I'm kind of surprised the scene was put in and I wonder how it got there (what was the process like when it was greenlit). Was there a lot of internal controversy about it? Did some people not see the point? Feel it wasn't worth the effort?

    For me, definitely worth it, and by far the best moment in the game so far.

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    de Blob 2 (DS)    by   jp       (Sep 26th, 2014 at 18:30:11)

    I've been playing de Blob 2 as a a sort of 'palate cleanser' of sorts. Sometimes it's fun to go back to basics as it where. So, I don't have any kind of high expectations and I also realize that I'm not the target demographic for this game.

    So far, so true, it's a competent platform that's broken up into nice discrete chunks. The painting mechanic is handled automatically. If you're purple, the area you're in changes to that color. You mostly bounce around, target enemies, collect musical notes, and rescue other blobs. I'm 15% through and it's quite easy. I have yet to lose a life - though I suspect that should change some time soon? There are at least 3 more worlds I think, and I've completed one and I'm about half done with the second. A few things I've found interesting:

    a. You can find cameras that let you collect color. To do this you need to take an actual picture with the DS camera of an area in a certain color. It was annoying when I was playing on the plane (loud camera click noise + lack of colors in the environment), but I then realized it's optional. I'm not sure what the payoff of this whole activity will be, but I'm curious.

    b. You can perform a "slam" attack by hitting the A button while there's a reticule over a target. It's a nice mechanic that simplifies what could otherwise be annoying in terms of having to aim your "body" precisely. I think it works well for a younger audience? Perhaps not. I'll have to think about it a bit more.

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    Spelunky (PC)    by   dkirschner       (Sep 20th, 2014 at 07:34:33)

    This game is HUGE. I really like it, but I'm giving up on it (for now) because it's painfully difficult by the end and it's crossed my threshold for how much time I'm willing to put in for perfectionism.

    In my previous entry, I had reached the Ice Caves once or twice and was working on unlocking Tunnel Man's shortcut there at the end of the Jungle. Well, I successfully did that (2 bombs, then 2 ropes, then a shotgun for the Tunnel Man), and then breezed through the Ice Caves. It's weird how easy that world is compared to the others. The 4th world is the Temple, which kicked my ass every time I saw it. But the ICE CAVES! That's my favorite world so far. It's got yetis and wooly mammoths that turn you into a block of ice. It's got UFOs and psychic alien lords. It's got mines and other things that blow blocks up. And it's an abyss! So there's no real floor at the bottom, which is sometimes tricky to deal with.

    I also discovered the Worm in the Ice Caves. You can also get to it in The Jungle, but my discovery was an accident. There are these pink blobs on the wall, usually in place where you would fall pretty far, and if you fall on it, you stick to it. It's good because it breaks your fall, and you can then jump off of it safely. Enemies and other objects get stuck on the pink blob too. So one time I had a damsel and threw him off the ledge and he landed on the blob. Then I jumped off to grab him from the blob. When we were both on the blob, after a moment the screen began shaking and the blob turned into a giant worm's mouth and ate us! I went inside the worm's belly, where there is a whole new level with new enemies and environmental elements. So. Cool. Inside the worm, there is tons of treasure, but the worm is very large. I never made it to the bottom of one before dying.

    There are many other secrets in Spelunky. I read about most of them after deciding to quit, but discovered some on my own. The other one I was most pleased with was figuring out what Kali's sacrifice tables do. If you bring a humanoid or a damsel to the bloody altar, it dies. Bring enough and Kali rewards you with an item. Bring enough yet, and Kali rewards you with a special item that you can use to increase your health. Cool. There are apparently more secret levels and items that sound pretty neat.

    So, why am I retiring Spelunky even though I like it so much? In my quest to unlock Tunnel Man's shortcut to the Temple, I had to bring 3 bombs, then 3 ropes, and then...the Golden Key from the Mines. What?! I don't know how to put this quite in perspective. I sunk 6 hours into Spelunky and made it through 3 worlds. The Mines probably took me 3 hours, The Jungle 2.5 hours and the Ice Caves maybe 30 minutes to finally figure out. The Golden Key is an item that spawns somewhere in The Mines. So to unlock Tunnel Man's shortcut to the Temple, you have to (a) find the Golden Key in The Mines (b) get the Golden Key (c) bring the Golden Key ALL THE WAY through The Mines, The Jungle and the Ice Caves WITHOUT DYING. Now, I died 176 times in Spelunky so far. The chance of me going through 3 entire worlds without dying is about the chance I have of winning the lottery. Just...No. Not right now.

    Looking forward to starting a new game this weekend. What'll it be?!

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    Recent GameLogs
    1 : jp's Fez (PS3)
    2 : jp's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (PS3)
    3 : jp's de Blob 2 (DS)
    4 : dkirschner's Dragon Age: Origins (PC)
    5 : jp's Duck Tales: Remastered (PS3)
    Recent Comments
    1 : jp at 2014-09-26 18:24:02
    2 : dkirschner at 2014-09-19 23:41:17
    3 : jp at 2014-09-19 11:41:27
    4 : dkirschner at 2014-09-16 19:00:32
    5 : jp at 2014-09-15 10:17:11
    6 : dkirschner at 2014-08-25 09:28:45
    7 : jp at 2014-08-22 09:46:49
    8 : jp at 2014-08-22 09:44:50
    9 : dkirschner at 2014-08-19 17:51:19
    10 : dkirschner at 2014-08-19 17:42:54
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