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    Jun 4th, 2006 at 04:06:14     -    Kingdom Hearts II (PS2)

    I am about 33 hours into Kingdom Hearts II, and I have decided to take the plunge into the endless task of completing all the side quests to unlock the secret ending. Come on, I have to. I have never been obsessed with a series like I have with Kingdom Hearts. I had to find all the lost puppies in the first game. I had to play Keychain of Memories for the GBA, both forwards and backwards (if you've played it you'll know what I mean). I MUST see the secret ending. And more than that, I must EARN it!!

    We'll see how far I get before I get frustrated and/or bored...after all, there's always the internet...

    I am going back right now and clearing all the extra "chapters" for each world that have popped up before continuing the main story. It is really hard for me to say so far whether I like this game better or the first one. I like different things about them better. Technically, this game works better. Cameras are better, combat is deeper and (maybe) cooler,the Gummi ship system is a bit nicer...

    However, I think the pacing was better in the first game. And somehow the worlds felt less theme-park like and more a part of what was going on in the overall story. Also, it goes without saying that collecting lost puppies is far more appealling than completing all skateboarding trials in such and such time limit. :P

    Can you believe it though? In Kingdom Hearts I when you complete all the Winnie the Pooh "episodes" and they are sitting together talking at the end I got tears in my eyes. And at the end of THIS series of Winnie the Pooh episodes I got all teary eyed again!! Either they really know how to hit an emotional chord with the Pooh bear, or else I am just a sucker for the Hundred Acre Woods.

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    May 9th, 2006 at 01:04:40     -    The Longest Journey (PC)

    I can play this game in short doses so far. I love the characters and the dialog and the story so far, but some of the puzzles make my jaw drop in a "you've gotta be kidding me" kinda way. I have so far played the game with a walkthrough just a couple clicks away. The puzzles irritate me in that they are distracting me from fun exploration of a really intriguing story.

    Anyway, at the moment I have just begun Chapter 4: Monsters. There is no way I am about to recap what has happened so far, but April has just been pulled back into Arcadia. The cutscene right before this seems to indicate that foul play has occured in regards to Cortez, April's mentor. She was supposed to go to meet Cortez, then go back to the Flipster's place to get her fake ID, then infiltrate the evil corporation/religion's HQ. Oh yeah, and she promised her friends she would party with them the following evening.

    I guess that's all on hold till she gets back from Arcadia though. Thank goodness for the in-game diary!

    Annoyingly, she is running around in her little pajamas/underwear again with combat boots. She wore her combat boots to bed! I hope she finds some real clothes to wear soon.

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    Apr 19th, 2006 at 22:51:10     -    Psychonauts (XBX)

    So I finished Psychonauts. It was a neat game, and it did a marvelous job of carrying a theme through the whole game. The characters were fun, the setting was great, and the little powers your guy got were lots of fun to use.

    The absolute best thing about this game is the level design. Some of the levels are truly genius inspired. Take for instance the war-game level where the level is a giant sized hex map and all the characters you encounter are playing pieces. It was fantastic! The art is really great all around, and the concept of the levels being the psyche of different characters in the game was clever and pulled off briantly.

    But...

    There were some down-sides too. Although Psychonauts was a fun game, it was basically a platformer, with all the joys and pitfalls (hah hah) of the genre. Some of the time it almost felt like it was stubbornly sticking to genre conventions, as in the case of the maddeningly frustrating bosses. Each level (except for a couple) had some annoyingly frustrating boss to defeat at the end. Why? What's the point? Except to drive me absolutely batty? It seriously to me felt like the bosses were there because -- hey! That's what you do! The final level was also nail-bitingly exhausting.

    Overall I would reccomend this game, but not to anyone who isn't ready to deal with the occasional desire to throw the controller through the television. Better yet, watch someone else play it and go do something else while they are fighting the same same boss 20 times in a row.

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    Oct 1st, 2005 at 03:45:00     -    Nancy Drew: Secret of the Old Clock (PC)

    I have been impressed with the Nancy Drew games I have played so far. This is the first one I really am going to make an effort to finish.

    I really enjoy how they mix in little mini-game type puzzles into the story in a very convincing way. This game, for example, has a whole mechanical miniature golf course where you can play miniature golf. If you get under par, you win a prize. The nature of the prize is part of a bigger riddle, it is one of four clues you need in order to open a carriage house. The golf course was designed and built by the man (now deceased) who the whole mystery centers around.

    I'm having a frustrating time actually getting under par though. The golf game is cute. You just click to place the ball, and then move your mouse around to determine the angle and strength with which you want to strike it, and then click to hit the ball. One thing that sorta sucks though it that the further back your golf club cursor is from the ball determines how hard you will hit it. There are places where your cursor is at the edge of the screen, and you can't pull it back any further, therefore you can't hit the ball as hard as you would like. The course also feels very difficult...I know these games are aimed at younger girls, and I don't know how they would manage.

    Another thing that is neat about these games is that you work on different threads to the story/mystery in parallel. So you always have stuff to do.
    At the moment I am trying to win the golf game so I can see what I get (grrr) plus I also need to figure out who this guy's favorite poet was. I also have a series of numbers and a decoder to use somewhere, but I haven't found where yet.

    I played this game for three hours straight tonight. A good sign. :)


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    Entries written to date: 17
      Game Status / Read GameLog
    1Animal Crossing (GC)Stopped playing - Got Bored
    2Grim Fandango (PC)Playing
    3Jade Empire (XBX)Finished playing
    4Kingdom Hearts II (PS2)Playing
    5Knights of the Old Republic (XBX)Playing
    6Malice (PS2)Stopped playing - Something better came along
    7Myst (PC)Stopped playing - Got Bored
    8Nancy Drew: Secret of the Old Clock (PC)Playing
    9Psychonauts (XBX)Finished playing
    10Sid Meier's Pirates! (PC)Playing
    11Silent Hill 4: The Room (XBX)Playing
    12Star Wars Galaxies (PC)Stopped playing - Got frustrated
    13The Longest Journey (PC)Playing
    14Urban Dead (PC)Playing
    15Wario Ware, Inc: Mega Microgame$ (GBA)Playing
    16Yo Ho Ho! Puzzle Pirates (PC)Playing

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