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Title: Nelly Furtado sweeps
Posted: April 03, 2007 (01:13 PM)
Nelly Furtado swept the Candian equivalent of the Grammy awards by winning the prize in every category in which she was nominated (and you thought I meant with a broom), according to an article on MP3.com. Isn't that exciting?
Title: The March that was...
Posted: April 01, 2007 (07:30 PM)
EmP may have done it first, and he never talked to me before posting a list of his reviews in March with descriptions, but I think we all know he copied my idea... even though I didn't have it until I saw him do it. Here goes!
Meteos: Disney Magic (DS)
I had never played Meteos and I was interested to see how the game played. What I found was an addictive game that wasn't ruined at all by the Disney license. The soundtrack was full of cool Disney stuff and there were neat pictures, too, but I thought they could've pushed the license further. As far as the review goes, it probabl could have gone a lot further, but it was hard to manage anything special for a puzzle Disney game, you know?
Sonic and the Secret Rings (WII)
I was very happy with this review. I hadn't played a Sonic game in awhile and I was afraid how this one would turn out, but the buzz seemed better and when I gave it a shot, I found out why. I really put my heart into explaining why this game is worth trying even if Sonic games have disappointed you recently, and the feedback let me know I succeeded. Definitely one of my favorite reviews that I've written.
Bullet Witch (X360)
This is a game that a lot of other sites criticized quite harshly, mostly because it wasn't the game they wanted to be playing. However, it's a perfectly fine game taken for what it is: a straight-up romp through several atmospheric levels with only a gun and a few devastating spells for company. I really liked the game and for the most part, my review was a response to other critics who complained about things that weren't even really true. Reports are that I went a little over the top establishing the atmosphere, but I like how it turned out just the same.
Lumines Plus (PS2)
This was another puzzle game, and for a Lumines game, no less. I played it rather extensively just the same, but my review probably doesn't reflect that quite as much as it should have. This was one of those reviews that (hopefully) gets in, gets the job done and then ends without inspiring people to check their computer clocks.
Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 (X360)
There is an audience for this game, and I thought I was part of it. Playing the thing proved me wrong, though. Winning Eleven is a sim series through and through. I'm used to soccer games where you get near the net and kick a goal, rather than trying to kick the ball across the stadium. The controls here really ruined a lot of the experience, but there was no denying that the game is cool and quite rewarding for those who have the patience to master the most retarded controls in the history of sports games. I just wasn't that person. I've since sold my copy of this game. I can't imagine myself ever playing and/or enjoying it again.
Europa Universalis III (PC)
This game kept me up for 18 consecutive hours and I really liked it. I spent a lot of time agonizing over the score and finally realized that nothing I encountered in the game really held it back. A deep strategy game that's easy to get into and hard to put down, even for a dufus like me? Sounds like perfect fodder for a 10! I wanted to try something different with my review, and it started with a lot of personal anecdotes that I ended up cutting. Just the same, I think it has a more personal feel to it than some of my stuff and hopefully it's interesting to readers (and of course, informative).
Kororinpa: Marble Mania (WII)
I expected to love, love, love this game, and instead only ended up liking it a lot (and not as much as some people, either). It was a fun game but when I sat down to write the review, inspiration never really came. I'm afraid that the result is a rather dull review, but it should get the points across. I think.
Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits (DS)
I'm a big fan of retro gaming, so I was really looking forward to this one. Unfortunately, the end product isn't anything particularly special in the scheme of things. Most people who play the game will do so because they remember a few of the titles from arcade's glory days. My review kind of wandered that way against my will. I usually don't do a run-down of every title in a compilation, but it felt right here so I went with it.
Disney's Meet the Robinsons (WII)
This one I wrote in quite a bit of a hurry, because by the time I got done playing the game, it was about time to head out of town for the weekend. I hadn't even expected to play through it, but it showed up at my door unannounced and was just what I needed to enter a license-based games competition over on the forums. Results aren't in yet, so I have no idea how well this review will be received, but I felt like it covered the bases without getting dull. Interestingly, I tend to like license-based games more than most people, but despite a fairly positive review for this on IGN, I thought it was downright forgettable and even broken in places. Meh.
Lost in Blue 2 (DS)
Lost in Blue 2 had intrigued me since I missed out on the first one, so I went into the game wide-eyed and excited by the opportunity to survive a deserted island. As my review says, though, this was a pretty unpleasant game that did too good a job of mimicking the tedium and horror of life on an island. Ugh. I hated to give a game with such good ideas such a low score, but it really was a chore to play and I can't imagine most people enjoying themselves. I'm sure it'll be a cult classic among some masochists, but again, that's not me.
And that's the list of reviews I wrote this month. About half of them I really liked and the other half were just me going through the motions. Hopefully, April will include more games that really inspire me when I sit down to review them...
Title: New Site Feature
Posted: March 11, 2007 (01:44 AM)
I've added a new site feature for the competitive side in all of us. Now you can click from any game profile page to submit a high score for that game. You'll be able to submit a screenshot, a title for your accomplishment and a description with all the juicy details.
I know that not everyone cares to compete with games, but this is a structured set-up that should make it easy to swap scores and prove what you've done with the appropriate screenshots. It works for any game, so anyone who wants to set up a little friendly competition can just have his friends register on the site and start participating.
Every time I think I've designed the last feature for the site, I think of something new. I've wanted to see someone do something like this for awhile, so finally I just did it myself. I really do think the features are about done coming, though. It's hard to think of much else I would add at this point!
Title: My reviews report for 2006
Posted: January 01, 2007 (12:15 AM)
Well, the site says we're in the new year. In 45 minutes, that'll be true in Oregon. Anyway, I decided to see how many reviews I wrote this year. Rather than go through songs the old-fashioned way, I made a page to tell me. It'll work for anyone logged into their account, if you're interested in your own record. Anyway, I apparently wrote 76 reviews:
Idols Galore! (PC)
Mega Man X (Super Nintendo)
Mega Man X2 (Super Nintendo)
Mega Man X3 (Super Nintendo)
Pac-Man World 3 (DS)
Pump It Up: Exceed (PlayStation 2)
Wild Arms 4 (PlayStation 2)
Samurai Shodown V (Xbox)
Taito Legends (PlayStation 2)
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Super Nintendo)
Civilization IV (PC)
The Magical Quest: Starring Mickey Mouse (Super Nintendo)
Final Fantasy III (Super Nintendo)
Do You Like Horny Bunnies? 2 (PC)
Dungeon Lords: Collector’s Edition (PC)
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth (Xbox)
Shadow Hearts From the New World (PlayStation 2)
Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X (PSP)
The Godfather: The Game (Xbox)
The Outfit (Xbox 360)
Rumble Roses XX (Xbox 360)
From Russia with Love (PSP)
Harvest Moon: Magical Melody (GameCube)
Hummer Badlands (Xbox)
The Silent Hill Experience (PSP)
LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game (PlayStation 2)
Generation of Chaos (PSP)
Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (Xbox)
New Super Mario Bros. (DS)
The Da Vinci Code (Xbox)
Gradius Collection (PSP)
Feeding Frenzy (XLA) (Xbox 360)
Marble Blast Ultra (XLA) (Xbox 360)
Micro Machines V4 (PC)
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES)
Galaga (XLA) (Xbox 360)
Monster House (PlayStation 2)
Pac-Man (XLA) (Xbox 360)
Flatout 2 (PC)
Blade Dancer: Lineage of Light (PSP)
Civilization IV: Warlords (PC)
Garfield and his Nine Lives (Game Boy Advance)
Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends: Harvest Time Hop and Fly (DS)
Heart de Roommate (PC)
Bomberman - Act: Zero (Xbox 360)
Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories (PlayStation 2)
CivCity: Rome (PC)
Scramble (XLA) (Xbox 360)
Time Pilot (XLA) (Xbox 360)
Frogger (XLA) (Xbox 360)
IGPX: Immortal Grand Prix (PlayStation 2)
Caesar IV (PC)
LarryBoy and the Bad Apple (Game Boy Advance)
Franklin the Turtle: Franklin's Great Adventures (DS)
Noddy: A Day in Toyland (Game Boy Advance)
Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (DS)
Spectral Souls: Resurrection of the Ethereal Empires (PSP)
.hack//G.U. Vol. 1: Rebirth (PlayStation 2)
Camp Lazlo: Leaky Lake Games (Game Boy Advance)
My Frogger Toy Trials (DS)
Rayman: Raving Rabbids (Wii)
Trauma Center: Second Opinion (Wii)
Rampage: Total Destruction (Wii)
Wii Sports (Wii)
Tony Hawk's Project 8 (Xbox 360)
Lumines II (PSP)
Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends (Game Boy Advance)
Online Chess Kingdoms (PSP)
Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2 (PlayStation 2)
Cartoon Network Racing (PlayStation 2)
Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS)
Metal Slug Anthology (Wii)
If you'd like to find your own results easily, you can go to this URL:
Posted: December 26, 2006 (09:28 PM)
Okay, so TuneFreaks now has working forums. Let's move any discussion over to those forums. By now, most who are interested have accounts and permissions that will allow them to view the staff forums. If you've missed the boat so far, now's a good time to register and then let me know so I can update your permissions, if appropriate.
Title: TuneFreaks progress continues
Posted: December 24, 2006 (01:45 PM)
You all thought I'd forgotten about TuneFreaks, but I haven't. Last night and this morning I worked somewhere around 8 hours on the site, so that now album reviews can be submitted and approved by staff.
It's slow going but most of the big hurdles are now behind me. It's smaller tweaks that have to happen from here. Today, I may make more user account options so that I can easily change account privileges through the front end. Then everything should be ready to test as we head into the new year.
If you want to be part of the site during its early stages, you need to register an account. Then you can post in response to this blog and we can set you up with the proper privileges to match your level of interest in building the site. There are tons of artist and album listings to create, obviously, and lots of music to review. We're starting with pretty much a completely blank slate, so now's the time to jump on board if you want to impact the site's coverage and musical direction.
In the coming weeks, I'll continue adding user features and forums, as well as smaller features that people won't immediately notice but should appreciate in the long run. I will also be tweaking the visual design to bring it closer to something along the lines of HonestGamers. The site is definitely getting close to the point where it needs to be to start rocking.
So again, if you're interested in participating, you need to state your level of interest. There are a few options:
1) Standard user. You can post on the forums and submit album reviews, but not artist or album listings.
2) Beefy user. You can post on the forums and submit album, artist and album content, but you can't edit listings.
3) Super user. You can post on the forums, plus submit and edit album, artist and album content. You also approve or reject user submissions.
Post here letting me know which level you prefer and why you think that level is appropriate for you. We can discuss any other details privately over AIM or through HG Mail if you like. Pretty much everyone knows how to reach me through one of those methods. Let's get this party started!
Title: Legend of Heroes going rare?
Posted: December 19, 2006 (11:54 AM)
I decided that I would go ahead and purchase Legend of Heroes before it becomes difficult to find, since Namco Bandai just announced that it'll be publishing the third in the trilogy soon.
Stores around here used to have the game readily in stock but recently it has disappeared from shelves. "No worries," I thought to myself. "I'll just go online."
So I went online, and I tried Amazon.com. They have it used, if you want to go that route. I didn't. I wanted it new, dang it! So I decided to try pricegrabber.com, which gathers together several merchants. No luck there. They didn't even have it listed. So I tried ebgames and gamestop, which now have the same approximate inventory. Nothing.
I then tried calling locally to see if GameCrazy might happen to have it, since they sometimes suprprise me. They had one in stock, but couldn't sell it because it's a special order someone placed. He'll be picking it up soon, I guess. They offered to attempt a special order. If they could get it in, they quoted $39.99 and a week or two as the likely delay. I said I'd keep that in mind.
I went online again and this time I tried bestbuy.com. They didn't have the game listed. So then I tried walmart.com, which had it in stock. With shipping, it came to just under $39.99 and I should have it in a week. Yes, I placed the order.
This boring story has a point: to let you know that Legend of Heroes is getting close to being impossible to find. The sequel I found the first place I looked, Amazon.com (though it seems it's getting close to the state its predecessor currently enjoys).
The Legend of Heroes games haven't gotten the best of reviews overall, just typical RPG scores. They're made by Falcom and Zig swears they're worth playing. So I now have ordered the first two and will get the third shortly after its release early next year (I hope). I hate missing good RPGs for any system I own. Oh, and I also ordered Riviera for the GBA (it's at $40.00 now for a sealed copy and climbing) and Popolocrois for the PSP. Gotta play it safe...
Title: More music...
Posted: December 18, 2006 (04:39 PM)
Today I bought more music. One of them was "Pinkerton," by Weezer. You guys keep talking about it here, so I finally had to go ahead and get it.
I now have three Weezer albums, purchased in no particular order. First came their green one, then Meladroit, and now Pinkerton. I still need the blue one and their fifth one, as well. Then I'll have the whole set!
Best Buy never has the fifth one in stock, but they did surprise me today by carrying Sufjan Stevens. They had Illinois and, I presume, his newest. It was him running around in a field or something. I forget what it was called.
So anyway, I picked up "Pinkerton" and then I also got the newest George Strait CD, which I know interests none of you...
Posted: November 19, 2006 (05:30 AM)
Well, I finally have a Wii. I know most of you couldn't care less, but I'm pretty excited. I have seven games (not counting Wii Sports):
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Rampage: Total Destruction
Rayman: Raving Rabbids
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
Trauma Center: Second Opinion
Of those seven, I've currently played two: Excite Truck and Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz. I have to say that so far, I prefer the former.
Super Monkey Ball is definitely fun at times, but it's also very frustrating at times. It doesn't wait long at all before it gets hard, which I could handle, only there are boss encounters. Sucky, cheap boss encounters. The levels themselves aren't bad, though. I'll have to try multi-player and see how that goes, since it's apparently half the game.
Excite Truck I like a lot. It feels purely like an arcade racer. It does force you to go through a quarter of its tutorial mode before you can even race, but that's perhaps for the best. The tutorial takes about two minutes to finish and really acquaints you with how things work. And how is it that they work? You hold the controller horizontally and move it left or right to steer, forward and back to control your vehicle when it's airborne (which happens a lot). The graphics really look a lot better than I anticipated from screenshots and the action is pretty frantic. This is definitely an exciting experience. It feels very fresh, which is weird because really, all that's new is the control scheme.
As for the Wii itself, the controller feels a bit cheap when held in its horizontal position, and in fact most of the time, yet it's not what I would call uncomfortable. It leaves you a lot of freedom of movement and I've found myself adapting to its quirks more quickly than I expected. There are times when it feels absolutely natural and you forget you're holding a controller at all. Other times, you have to force yourself to remember that when you're at a tricky part. It's quite nice.
Setting up the Wii wasn't as nice, though. I had to sit through two updates before I played any games. I suspect this is just early release software fixes, but it took 2 or 3 minutes. Creating my Mii character was a bit more fun, though I haven't played Wii Sports yet so I'm not sure how well that's integrated. I downloaded Sim City which went by without a hitch, though there were only about six titles on the list to download. It looks to me like it's in early stages and hopefully it will become more streamlined in the future. I can't imagine the interface working well for more than a week or two, if ten new games come out each Monday.
Overall, my impressions are that this is a great system. It doesn't look a whole lot like a gaming machine, yet the experience so far has been completely about games and having a good time. It's a shame my body requires sleep...
Title: Even more random ratings
Posted: October 21, 2006 (07:18 PM)
Random ratings - 3/10
Eating - 7/10
Drinking - 11/10
Japanese cat girls - 7/10
Murder She Wrote - 7/10
Monk - 10/10
Boston Legal - 9/10
Terry Brooks - 8/10
Hairy armpits - 1/10
Fart jokes - 3/10
Chai lattes - 8/10
Raspberries - 10/10