Thoughts From The Gameroom

The ramblings of a Euro-gamer from South Dakota

Archive for the ‘Video Games’ Category

Video Game Collection: 2010

Posted by sodaklady on March 21, 2010

My PS3 games as of March 2010.

I guess I’m very picky about what video games I spend my money on because I’ve only added a dozen to my PS3 collection since the last time I wrote about my collection 2 years ago. In my defense as a video gamer, I have bought some for the Wii but I’m less impressed with them all the time and would choose a PS3 game over a Wii anytime I’m playing alone. I’ve also acquired a PSP and a few games. Unfortunately, my old eyes tire of playing on a tiny screen in a pretty short time so the PS3 is still my console of choice.

Because I get so many visitors here who have searched for “video games” or “video game collection”, I’ve decided to add a thought or two for each game so they won’t be totally disappointed by finding only a picture and a list of games.

PS3
Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction ended with a cliffhanger of sorts so I had to buy the newest one as soon as it came out, A Crack In Time. I enjoyed this one more than the previous one due to the fun I had playing as Clank and solving his puzzles. But… *raises right hand* I swear I will not purchase another R & C game. Their time has truly run out. Move on, please.

Rockband 2 was my husband’s idea and I have to admit that I didn’t really care for the music in it as much as the original, but then again I’m somewhere over 40 (in fact, I can’t even look back and see 40) so I’m not really the target audience. I wish they’d make one for us older gamers who would really enjoy songs from the 70s.

Mirror’s Edge is one I pre-ordered just from watching clips and playing the downloadable demo. A unique game in the first-person genre, playing a messenger freerunning around the city parkour-style, and also solving a mystery.  I recommend adding this to your collection if you haven’t already.

Resident Evil 5 is one I wouldn’t have gotten just for myself but my daughter has played all of the previous Nintendo games and besides, it’s a two-player cooperative game. We had a great time playing this even if I was the weakest link!

Lego Indiana Jones, The Original Adventures was o.k., but didn’t really come close to touching the Lego Star Wars games. Maybe it’s the characters, maybe it’s the setting, but in any case, I have no desire to revisit it even though I love two of the three movies.

Resistance: Fall of Man is another game that I downloaded the demo for and enjoyed enough to buy, albeit once the price had gone down. This is another 2-player cooperative game that Cori and I had a blast playing. In fact, we played it a second time on the higher difficulty. Great story as well as a fun game, and a better game than the most recent Ratchet & Clank games by the same game studio.

Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds is a fun pastime. It’s also harder and uses better physics than you would think from looking at its cutesy graphics. Not a “must have” game but one I enjoy every once in a while.

Infamous, from Sucker Punch, the same group who brought us the wonderful Sly Cooper games, IS a must have. This is a third-person shooter but instead of guns, you’re shooting with energy you acquired from being at ground zero during the explosion of a special weapon. The story is good but the best part is that you can choose if you want your character to use his powers for good or evil. Cori played it as the evil side, and I played as the goodie-two-shoes. Being from the makers of a great platformer game, our character has no problems climbing everything and anything in sight; our biggest gripe was getting him NOT to jump onto something!

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is another must have game if you like third-person shooters. It’s not just the story, which is first rate; not just the characters, which are well-rounded; or the graphics, which are excellent. It’s that you are pulled into the game the whole time you’re playing. You barely notice the loading and saving, and you have to be attentive even during cut scenes because you might have to shoot or jump during them.  I didn’t buy the original Uncharted because I didn’t enjoy the demo (tiny dot for targeting and never-ending flood of bad guys), but I am very glad to have this one in my collection.

Heavy Rain, one of the few PS3 exclusive games nowadays, is a wonderful experience.  I’m not sure what they call it, maybe third-person interactive, but it’s unique. You play as four different characters, each in their turn, as you try to find the serial killer dubbed The Origami Killer and saving the latest missing child before he, too, is found dead. During the game you will be able to make choices that change the storyline, sometimes even killing off one or 2 of the characters you’re playing. I’ve played it several ways, changing the ending each time, and still haven’t won the trophy for seeing all the endings.

Battlefield: Bad Company is another demo buy. It’s the story of four guys in Company B, where the misfits and troublemakers are assigned, who go chasing after the gold used to pay mercenaries by our fictional enemies. I’m still playing this one for the first time with my second in command, my husband, who watches, advises and keeps track of my health. We’re having a good time with this, and get many laughs from our goofy squadmates.

Brothers In Arms: Hell’s Highway is still to be played. It’s unique to my collection in that you command one or two teams to help you with your missions. I’m not sure how well I’ll fit the style of play but I enjoyed the demo. And if my second in command will transfer to my new unit, I may be able to handle the extra burden of command. 🙂

PSP
LocoRocco 2 was my first game when I got my PSP. The original one made me wish I had a PSP at the time so the second game in the series was a pretty logical choice. I haven’t regretted it. A unique, fun game with good music to accompany your gameplay.

Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee 2 was another one that was not a hard choice. I enjoyed the PS3 version and wanted to have an on-the-go version. Like its big brother, it’s fun for short periods and I’m glad to have it in my collection.

Dark Mirror, a Syphon Filter game, is a good shooter but, as I mentioned before, is hard on my eyes. If I ever finish it, I think I’d like to get the next one, Logan’s Shadow.

Resistance: Retribution is more in the Resistance universe, following the original Fall of Man, and Resistance 2. Another very good shooter for the PSP, and hard on the eyes. Maybe I need a very large magnifying glass. I’ll get through it one of these days.

Daxter I chose because I wanted something lighter, and a platformer rather than a shooter, and I was tired of Ratchet & Clank. This is a pretty good game but I’m not as big a fan of Jak & Daxter as some so I don’t feel compelled to play it.

Burnout Legends is a race game I got because I love the Crash mode on Burnout 3 for the PS2. I wasn’t disappointed; it’s great fun. This also fills the “race” genre hole I had.

Finally, I wanted a downloaded game for the PSP, something that was always available, something light and fun, something I could play and put down at the drop of a hat. After a day of research, I chose Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords.  This is a cross between an RPG and Bejeweled, the casual game of switching jewels to form matches of three or more. So far, I’m loving it. It’s got the puzzle aspect of Bejeweled without the pressure of being timed. It’s got the character-building aspect of an RPG for replayability.  For me, a very good choice.

FUTURE BUYS
There are a couple of games I still have on my “to buy” list for the future:
Red Faction: Guerrilla
Call of Duty: World at War
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Wolverine

These have been out for a while but were not ones I felt the need to spend the full $60 for. On the horizon, and contemplating a pre-order, is ModNation Racer. This just looks like so much fun!

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Video Game Collection Updated

Posted by sodaklady on March 25, 2008

I’ve noticed that quite a few people come here through a search for “video game collection” so I figured it would be nice to update it. After all, the last post of my game collection was more of an April Fool’s Day joke and I feel a little guilty that they come expecting something special. There are also a lot of Calvin & Hobbes fans out there who come through various searches such as “Calvin & Hobbes snowmen”, “Calvin snowmen”, and “dead snowmen”. That last has me a little worried about the stability of some of you readers. Well, for all you sickos out there, I had planned a new snowman display this year but Mother Nature didn’t cooperate here in the Black Hills. What little snow we did get was too dry to build a snowman. Better luck next year. On to the video games.

Video games 1 - 2008

PS2 GAMES

  1. Shadow of the Colossus
  2. Max Payne, a gift from my son.
  3. Deux Ex
  4. Grand Turismo 3. Bought in hopes of getting my husband into video games. It didn’t work. Nothing did until Rock Band.
  5. Ace Combat 04. Another lure for my husband.
  6. Midnight Club
  7. ATV Offroad Fury
  8. ICO
  9. Portal Runner
  10. Tony Hawk’s Underground 2
  11. Baldur’s Gate, Dark Alliance
  12. Baldur’s Gate, Dark Alliance 2
  13. Haven
  14. Psychonauts
  15. Resident Evil 4
  16. Lego Star Wars, original trilogy. I also have the first trilogy but it’s out on loan.
  17. Ratchet & Clank
  18. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando
  19. Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
  20. Ratchet: Deadlocked
  21. Sly Cooper and the Thievius Racoonus
  22. Sly Cooper 2 – Band of Thieves
  23. Sly Cooper 3 – Honor Among Thieves
  24. Sphinx
  25. Prince of Persia
  26. Beyond Good & Evil
  27. SSX 3
  28. Psi-Ops
  29. XIII
  30. Project Snowblind
  31. Half-Life
  32. Time Splitters 2
  33. Time Splitters Future Perfect
  34. Okami. A wonderful game that I highly recommend if you like the Zelda games.
  35. Katamari Damacy. Such a silly premise and oh, so addictive.
  36. I Love Katamari
  37. Jak & Daxter
  38. Jak 2
  39. Jak X – Combat Racing
  40. Burnout 3

Video games 2-2008

PS3 GAMES

  1. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
  2. The Orange Box (Portal is Brilliant!)
  3. Rock Band

Wii GAMES

  1. Pinball Hall of Fame – The Williams Collection
  2. Elebits
  3. Zack & Wiki
  4. Super Mario Galaxy
  5. Resident Evil – The Umbrella Chronicles
  6. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08
  7. SSX Blur
  8. Wii Play (not as much fun as Wii Sports that comes with the console)
  9. Excite Truck
  10. Zelda Twilight Princess
  11. Super Paper Mario

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A Happy New Year

Posted by sodaklady on January 2, 2008

I’ve never been one to become pensive or nostalgic just because the calendar says I should but I do want to wish everyone a happy, healthy, peace-filled new year anyway.  I don’t make resolutions for the new year but I hope to start writing more even if it isn’t about board games.  I hope you’ll bear with me if I just write about whatever is on my mind.

~~~~~~~~

For Christmas my wonderful husband bought me Rock Band, which I had been obsessing over ever since my friend, Mike, brought his Xbox 360 and the gear over to show it to us.  On New Year’s Eve, we invited 4 people (2 men and 2 women) over who were interested in trying it out.  One of the guys was also intrigued by Richard’s description of a couple of my games, Wings of War and Bolide so that’s how the evening started.

 Richard and our 4 guests, Jeremy, Elizabeth, Jenna and her boyfriend, Patrick, gathered around the pool table downstairs to try a one-lap race.  I knew that each additional player would greatly increase the playing time with so many new players so I declined my husband’s invitation and continued watching the Twilight Zone episode I was in the middle of (a wonderfully done episode where a German concentration camp commander returns to his camp years later and finds the ghosts of the people he’d tortured and killed).

 Fifteen minutes later when I went downstairs, they were making their way through the first turn of the British track.  Patrick picked up the concept right away and was in the lead.  Jeremy and Jenna got the idea after the second turn but, sadly, Elizabeth never did understand.  It didn’t matter how many times I showed her or in what manner I tried to explain the concept that the “pin” was simulating, by the last corner of the race, she was still trying to put her car wherever she wanted with no regard for where the pin was located.  Oh, well, everyone said they enjoyed it—but maybe some of them were just being polite.

 After a break for snacking, it was time to start Rockin’!  Richard and I played one song to show everyone what the screen looked like and how the instruments worked then handed over the guitar and drumsticks to someone else.  At first, they were reluctant but we finally got everyone to try something at least once.  Patrick, who had said earlier that he just came to watch, found that he loved the guitar.  In fact, by the end of the evening, he was getting more than 90% of the notes even on the harder songs.  I think the fact that he’s an avid video gamer helped him pick it up so quickly.  Jeremy sucked at the drums the first time he tried but before he left, he’d managed to get through the hardest songs and wanted to get the game for himself.  Jenna did pretty well on both the drums and the guitar but enjoyed the drums more.  She really excelled at singing even though she said she didn’t like to sing and thought it was kind of boring.  Elizabeth turned out to be our biggest fan.  Yeah, she didn’t enjoy playing any of the instruments but she had a great time watching and listening to us yammer on about how we did on the last song.

 The evening finally broke up about 1:00 and everyone had had a great time.  I also found out that Patrick’s dad is a board game collector and has about 900 games.  I’m not sure what they are but Patrick has played Carcassonne, Age of Empires, Civilization, and Axis and Allies.  He’s interested in coming over to try some of my collection so I’m looking forward to a game night with him and Jenna when we can get everyone’s schedule coordinated.  I think this was one of the best New Year’s Eves I’ve ever had, full of fun and laughter and good people.

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Tiger Woods ’08 on the Wii

Posted by sodaklady on September 7, 2007

When we bought our Wii console about 6 months ago, my husband and I immediately fell in love with the golf portion of the Wii Sports game that came with it.  There’s something satisfying about figuring in the windage, assessing the lay of the green, and determining how hard to hit the ball.  I loved solving the physics problem that each shot presented as well as the physical aspect of actually taking the swing.  But after a few games, we got tired of the same 9 holes and wished for more.

 A couple weeks ago my husband saw the Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’08 in the store and we decided to give it a try.  We haven’t been disappointed.  There’s a long, long list of courses and you’re given a whole bag of clubs to help you get the shot you want.  These are the essentials for us but there’s so much more to the game.  Personalizing your character, which is so detailed it can take 45 minutes to fine-tune it, playing famous golfers or playing against them, working your way up through the ranks in the PGA Tour and taking on Tiger Woods if you’re good enough.  There’s also a hand full of mini-games and traditional games that you can play by yourself or against your friends.

 There’s so much game here that the major problem is the menus.  The instruction booklet is almost useless so you find yourself clicking around trying to find what you’re looking for until it finally makes a little sense to you.  But it’s worth that small aggravation because the physics engine is very well done, factoring in not only wind and distance but also elevation and the lay of the ball (is it sitting on the sand or half-buried).  All these factors have to be figured in when you take that swing and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

 Most of us play Euro-games not just for the fun of it but because it gives our mind a workout.  Well this is a different kind of mind exercise and I recommend it even if you’ve never been interested in golf before, like myself.

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