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    jp's Maximo vs Army of Zin (PS2)

    [December 12, 2008 11:19:21 AM]

    I barely finished this game last night and it was a blast. On the one hand, there are parts that are REALLY tough, but not THAT tough so as to get completely frustrated and angry. I enjoyed the original, and perhaps more so the sequel.

    Curiously, it wasn't until the very last fight that I made used of one of this games more interesting additions (to the series). In this game Maximo teams up with the Grim Reaper whom can possess(?) Maximo for a limited amount of time. (there's a meter that depletes and can be replenished by killing monsters) I never really bothered with it during most of the game. In fact, most of the few occasions in which I did use the meter were because I accidentally pressed the button more than anything. My rationale for not using this special power was essentially that I didn't feel it was necessary and that it didn't really last that long to be much use. Now that I'm writing this I've noticed that I never really experimented with this mode. I know that Grimm is invulnerable to monster attacks but I never bothered to try and see if I could use this mode to get past some of the trickier platforming parts (ie, by floating over them?). Anyways, I did buy the upgrades to make the meter larger (and thus allow the power to last longer). What I wasn't expecting was the last fight to require me to use them! (fortunately, I was prepared!)

    The last battle is essentially a tag team. The big bad monster (Achille, apparently a series stalwart) is invulnerable to Maximo's attacks. Attacking Achille, however, releases some spirits you need to replenish the Grimm meter. Once it's full, switch into Grimm mode and take some swipes at Achille. And so on... Quite fun actually, and I'm surprised I was able to get Achile on my 2nd attempt! Woo!
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    [November 30, 2008 08:11:23 PM]
    I've discovered a "sneaky" trick that I've been able to use to help me get past some of the tricker levels I've been playing. (I've just started "The Under Hive" level, I'm probably 2/3 done with the whole game though I don't recall my exact percentage of completion)

    Essentially, I'm meta-gaming the saved game system. I'm not sure if I'm actually taking advantage of something or if the designers left the loophole intentionally. Essentially, I'm powering up in order to be better prepared when I start a given level:

    1. Load a level with an armor powerup close to the beginning
    2. Get the powerup
    3. Quit and save
    4. Repeat from 1. until I'm happy

    I think I can also do the same to amass coins (I mean "koins") and other stuff. This is nice, actually..and it's probably the only reasonably sane way to afford all of the item upgrades you can purchase along the way. Sigh.

    Still having fun though! :-)
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    [November 11, 2008 09:02:35 PM]
    I spent almost an entire hour playing yesterday and made absolutely no progress. (27% progress in the game overall) It took me some time to reacquaint myself with the controls, but my failure at making progress owes more to issues of the design of the game rather than it's difficulty. Failing because something is hard (and unforgiving) is one thing. Failing because you mis-calculated a jump too many times (after figuring out the puzzle) is another matter entirely.

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    [September 20, 2008 08:32:01 PM]
    I don't know why I like these games so much. The original Maximo was incredibly punishing, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. It seems, from the 25% of this one that I've played so far, that the difficulty curve has been softened quite a bit and the save game system is definitely less onerous. (you don't have to pay to save).

    When I first started playing this I was surprised by two things. First, how quickly I remember all the moves/special moves from the original game. It sort of all came back to me. Second, I have the impression that all of the special moves I have at the beginning are moves that I had to earn/find throughout the first game. In that sense it's like a "true" (narrative?) sequel because the ending of the first game is respected. At least your level of "power" (ie, available moves) remained the same. It's funny how so many games ignore that and send you back to being a complete wimp at the beginning of a sequel. More often than not it has to do with taking away all of your neat "toys", but in the case of learned skills it's never made any sense.
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    jp's Maximo vs Army of Zin (PS2)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 8 September, 2008

    GameLog closed on: Friday 12 December, 2008

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    I enjoyed Maximo a lot, even with the insane difficulty level and the painful save system. The sequel improves on many of this and I found it to be a fun (yet still at times hard) experience. Definitely worth the price of admission if you want to play a tightly controlled action platforming game.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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