GameLogBlogging the experience of gameplay Touch Games (DS) - 22 Nov 2020 - by jp don't know that there are exactly 1001 games on this cart - but there is definitely a lot of stuff to play around with. How do you organize that many games in a way that makes sense and is navigable? Well, the games are grouped by theme (of sorts) with action-based games separated from boardgame/cardgames and puzzle games. It's actually a pretty good collection, I played more than a few (hello Mahjong! Word search! Hello terrible unplayable minigolf, hello puzzloop knockoff, hello weird driving game where you only steer). It turns out that many of these have different levels - and each level is counted as a separate game. As for distinct games (not levels) I still think there's easily 30 different games to play around with. I guess if I only had this game and a DS and was stuck on a long roadtrip, I'd definitely get my money's worth. But, it's kind of surprising to me that I think I'd get the most value/time/interest from the non-action games. So, the puzzle, board, card games...there's quite a few variations of solitarie for example (I wonder if each level is it's own seed/layout so once you've played it it's the same the next time?)jpSun, 22 Nov 2020 17:02:52 UTC Rock Band (DS) - 21 Nov 2020 - by jp, it's exactly like Rock Band (on handhelds, was the PSP version really the last one I played) - but with lego characters. I'm not sure I've really understood what is supposed to make it special/different OTHER than the's Lego. Perhaps for some people it's fun to see the Lego version of favorite artists? (Blur, etc.) I don't know, it's not for me really - so I think it'll go back on the shelf. I've played through parts of the campaign, unlocked some venues and such. I guess what I'm most impressed by is the quality of the audio and the variety of songs. I wouldn't have thought they could fit all of that on the cartridge! THere must be some clever technical thing I'm not aware of?jpSat, 21 Nov 2020 14:01:44 UTC (PC) - 19 Nov 2020 - by dkirschner! Old school classic complete! I thought I had retired this forever after being bored with it on an emulator, but I found it on the Nintendo shop on my Wii U. That platform significantly improved the experience. Now after completing it, I totally understand why people love it. It'll have a special place for me too. It's so wonderfully weird and quirky, it breaks the fourth wall, and feels way ahead of its time. Like, with some updated mechanics, I would buy it today as a weird JRPG. It reminded me of Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden and I hear that Undertale is basically spiritual kin, so now I look forward even more to playing that because I understand its influences. Given the breadth and depth I feel I could go into given the introduction above, I don't really know what to say about the game! Gameplay-wise, it is a totally standard JRPG from the SNES era. Its quirks lie in some narrative (although the overarching story is honestly pretty stupid), items, enemy naming and art (possibly my favorite thing), and some of the settings and other characters. For example, I think my favorite enemies are the "third strongest moles." My girlfriend (whose favorite game is Earthbound) was watching me play this part. You go in some caves and have to fight five moles. I found the first mole, who said it was the third strongest mole. I beat it pretty easily, so I was like, sweet! I am doing pretty good in this dungeon. Then I found the second mole who...also said it was the third strongest mole. I didn't quite realize what was happening until the third mole said the same thing. This is how Earthbound occasionally messes with you and makes fun of itself. I thought it was really funny. My girlfriend's favorite character is Mr. Belch (who I think is a pile of vomit) because of his burp attack. Also, riding a bike early in the game made me so full of joy. This was a game about some kid being a hero that didn't seem like a "kiddie" game. I thoroughly enjoyed it as an adult. I'm very glad I found this on the Nintendo store. Now, my girlfriend says I have to play Mother 3 and Chrono Trigger. dkirschnerThu, 19 Nov 2020 19:29:02 UTC of Rome (DS) - 15 Nov 2020 - by jp, couldn't help play a bunch more levels just to unlock a few more powerups, I was curious what they did... There's a "resource" powerup that acts like the axe, but also adds a bunch of resources (to reduce grinding I guess). I think I reached level 45 or so? And it turn out that sometimes the level does advance even if you don't buy a building....jpSun, 15 Nov 2020 17:09:42 UTC (PS4) - 15 Nov 2020 - by jp, I'm so excited to play this some more! Yesterday I only played the prologue - which is a really well done tutorial for each of the four characters (and character types?) you can control in the game. I was a bit confused at first because the tutorials are incremental - when you start the 2nd one, the first character is on the board taking their turn! (I had somehow not registered that this was a multiplayer boardgame) I think one of the things I enjoyed the most about the tutorial is that it slowly opens up - in the beginning you have to really do exactly what you're told, but towards the end (3d and 4th character), you're given much more open-ended (feeling) objectives that you might take a few turns to address and go about them almost in your own way. So, it felt really natural as a way to learn the game and begin to make your own independent choices. We'll see how it all pans out once I played a full "real" match. I'm also curious if this is a game I'll play regularly? Try the different characters? Play online? I don't think there's a campaign or anything like that, but the world seems to rich in stuff that it feels like a real shame if the amazing setup turns out to be just that - an amazing setup for a fantasy boardgame...jpSun, 15 Nov 2020 15:27:21 UTC of Rome (DS) - 15 Nov 2020 - by jp've enjoyed playing this, there's a certain amount of relaxation in match 3 games that I often find soothing. The back of the box says that there are 100 levels - and I got to about 35 or so? The game's structure is interesting, if a bit grindy... Essentially when you match three you get some resources (of whatever was matched) and once you have enough resources you can buy a buildings - there are 4 buildings to an era - buildings unlock either a new type of resource (that when matching adds more to the basic three resources in the game money/materials/food) OR you can unlock a powerup. To use powerups you need to match the powerup on the board and build up a meter... I played my way until I'd unlocked 3 powerups - a hammer ("match" one tile and remove it from the board), lightning (20 matches, but randomly) and bomb (9 matches in a 3x3 grid). Curiously the games' levels refer to the outside layout of the level - so, the shape of the board (including holes/missing pieces) and the location of the special tiles you might need to clear (change the color of the background by getting match on top of it). But, the game's level number does not refer to the types of pieces or the powerup available. There's only ever one powerup active (that you can build up the meter) - but if you fail a level (run out of time) and try it again, you might get a different power up active! (the bomb is better than the hammer, so this can be a real benefit). Also, you don't ever really clear a level (move on to the next numbered level) until you've accumulated enough resources to pay/unlock the next building... So, it's an interesting overall structure!jpSun, 15 Nov 2020 15:23:09 UTC Games (DS) - 14 Nov 2020 - by jp've picked up a bunch of mini-game collections for the DS, mostly because I wanted to look at some particular implementations of UI for some of the minigames. This collection is another one of the set.... It's literally what the box says - a collection of typical carnival games, all pretty well implemented, you earn tickets and then trade those in to customize your avatar. I don't think you can unlock more games? Surprisingly, the game has a multiplayer option (2 players) with wireless play. I've seen this in a bunch of games now and I'm assuming that it was a nice feature for siblings? Given that these games are targeted (I think) to younger kids (so, late in the DS lifecycle), that a game that allowed people to play with younger/older sister/brother was a nice touch? I wonder how much that was really used or not. Man, the more I've been looking at these kids games for the DS the more I wish there was more research on them - how are/were they actually played? Was the multiplayer wireless a desired/valued feature? Were these mini-game collections successful enough? I've assumed they were budget/cheaper - did kids really enjoy these? (OMG, so much value/fun here!)jpSat, 14 Nov 2020 21:42:21 UTC of Fury (DS) - 14 Nov 2020 - by jp, it's a movie-tie in cash grab game? Maybe... I haven't seen the movie, but the story mode covers the basics pretty well. In the grand scheme of things I would describe this as a mario-Ping pong. So, there's some wacky powers and such. The controls are pretty good, you control the paddle with your stylus and the game isn't too fast such that sliding it around feels good. You can then add two types of spin (left/right) by pressing a button and there are also "power moves" that are special (non-realistic) moves you can do...well, each character has their own special power move and there are also power serves. In all, it's pretty fun - I didn't bother getting all the way to the end (playing on easy), but surprisingly polished for what I assume was a budget title when it was released. Oh, there's also a taunt action you can do (separate button press) - but I'm not sure what role it plays? THe manual says it covers your opponents screen for a split second, but I didn't notice that when taunts were used against me...and I didn't notice any effect when I used them against my opponents. A taunt basically plays an audio line from the movie, but as far as I could tell there's only one line per character so it gets old pretty fast. Perhaps the taunts only work when playing multiplayer? (again, surprised the game has this feature given what i imagine was its low budget). Perhaps most impressive was that I looked at the credits (in the manual, not the ones in the game) and the game was made by what looks like a team of ten people (not including audio/music)! There are 5 artists credited, two programmers (one is the director of programming and the other is lead) a designer and a producer. There are 4 more people listed, but those seem like executive roles/titles rather than production (CEO, VP of biz dev, finance director and director of art design). I guess the last one might count as an artist on the team? Still, this is pretty impressive I think for a title released in 2006. (makes me think of the size of our student teams and what they can/could accomplish)jpSat, 14 Nov 2020 09:52:27 UTC 2: On Vacation (DS) - 14 Nov 2020 - by jp remember the first time someone showed me Snood and I wasn't impressed then. The art was ugly (IMO) and the game was a knock-off (again, IMO - for all I know it was the first?). Anyways, the person who showed it to me (on a PC, must have been early oughts?) really, really liked it and I never understood why. I still don't. And this version isn't all that much to write about. I started playing the world tour, beat the first level and the 2nd level is a puzzle level and I lost. Tried again, lost again (including all the continues), tried again, lost again. I eventually did clear it, but there was only more levels of the same game to go through. The back of the box mentions new modes that are (apparently) interesting, novel or exciting. But I can't really be bothered to try them out. What I did find interesting is how the menu layout is set up. The main menu has a bunch of options - the first one was World Tour. It turns out that's one of the different game modes - and to play a different game mode you have to go into a sub-menu, select a different game mode (e.g. puzzle) then go back out to the main menu to find that the new mode as at the top (replacing World Tour if that's what you had set up). It seems like a really bizarre interface choice and I've been wondering how it came to be - if you put all the modes on the main menu it's too long - and if you put all the modes inside a sub menu it's less "efficient" to get to playing (1 more step), so this was a compromise?jpSat, 14 Nov 2020 09:04:22 UTC Hastings' Tournament Paintball MAX'D (DS) - 13 Nov 2020 - by jp'm not sure what I was expecting, but still - I was surprised that this game really is about competitive paintball. I don't follow or know much about paintball to be honest, although I have played a few times. Still. This game really feels like a sports game in the traditional sense. There are real players (I've assumed), it's about a tournament (and making your way up/through the brackets) with different levels of leagues and also different modes of play - which I presume correspond with the standard competitive modes. So, the overall structure is interesting - or at least was novel to me in the sense that I've never really thought about pro paintball, and now I feel like I know a little bit. As for the game itself, I won't be returning to it - it's a fast-paced FPS game on the DS and I think it's clear that both of these things don't go well together. FPS is fine, the pace not so much. Or perhaps it's my own fault for playing on a bigger DS that's decidedly more uncomfortable for these things?jpFri, 13 Nov 2020 19:54:52 UTC