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jerec Jerec84

Title: I really want to go for a walk on the beach with Venter
Posted: March 09, 2012 (11:26 PM)
But I don't have a spare $2000 just lying around.

*sigh*

A man can dream, though. A man can dream.
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Title: Metal Gear Solid
Posted: February 29, 2012 (01:51 PM)
Never really got into this series but I'm tempted to download the PSone classic onto my PS3. Looked at the reviews for MGS and there's a lot of 3/10's and 10/10's but not much in between.

I didn't realise the game was so divisive.
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Title: Gaming Progress - Week 4
Posted: January 28, 2012 (03:14 AM)
I didn't play much this week. I've been more interested in watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It's my first time watching them, ever. So no spoilers. Currently about half way through Season 2.

The Longest Journey

Up to the start of chapter 4. April's just ended up somewhere in her underwear. That's so... not appropriate!

Pullblox (Pushmo)

Up to the Nintendo murals. They're a bit easier than the challenges, and form some interesting pictures of Nintendo characters.

Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Got lost in the stupid forest near the start of the game. Don't remember what I'm supposed to do. Found an animal who talks about smell and a mushroom that gives off an aroma but I'm damned if I know how to make the two things interract.

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Just landed in the mines section of the lower world. Haven't explored further yet.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

Got the lens of truth from the well and then I went to Gerudo Valley, but that whole dodge the sentries thing is much harder on a small screen.

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Title: Gaming Progress - Week 3
Posted: January 21, 2012 (12:09 AM)
My gaming habits are all over the place. Also on a Zelda kick.

The Longest Journey

Progress is slowing down. I'm enjoying the story, but I find myself with other things I want to do. I've hacked the archives, given the kid what he wants, gone to see a guy in a hoverchair and after a LOT of dialogue, I was just too weary to go on. I think I'd have preferred this game as a TV series or a book (though graphic novel might have been a better fit). It's really just a visual novel with some puzzles thrown in. It doesn't want to be too challenging, because it doesn't want people to give up and not experience the story.

Dead Rising

The mechanics of this game really bug me. Shooting is incredibly difficult. The one save thing is also a bit weird. Started a new game with old stats, got about an hour in, shot Carlito in the food court gunfight, then died on my way to a save point. Took the disc out and probably won't attempt this one again for a while. I'm a couple of levels up though.

Pullblox (Pushmo)

The puzzle solving continues. Still getting stumped by a lot of them.

Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Got this on the 3DS virtual console. I'm hoping it's as awesome as I remember. Haven't done much yet, basically gone down to the beach to retrieve my sword.

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Still in the Volcano/Earth Temple, making progress. Got the bomb bag, will probably finish this dungeon the next time I play. Sword fighting with those lizard guys is tough. Fighting two at once almost killed me.

Lucid

Drawing lines is getting a bit dull. I play this when I don't feel like playing anything else.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

I knew ahead of time I'd be sitting somewhere waiting a while so I put this back in my 3DS. Cleared the water temple. Dark Link was tougher than I remember, but that is a really cool fight. Beat the boss, onto the next segment of the game. This is where it opens up and lets me tackle the next two temples in any order, I think. I'm in the well under the town looking for the lense of truth, and falling into stupid pits all the time.

Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

I bought this on the Wii Virtual Console a while back but hadn't played it. I've finished the game a few times before, but not for a very long time. I played the first 3 day cycle where you're stuck as a Deku kid. It was amazing how much I'd forgotten, like where to find the fairy fragment, where to find the bomber kids when they challenge you to hide and seek. First time I failed, too, since I started the game about a minute before morning. They said I wasn't up to it, but there wasn't even enough in-game time to complete it. That's something I'm remembering about the game - time management. You need to make sure you have enough time to complete certain tasks. But the first cycle is pretty easy. Got the observatory, lovely music there, got the moon tear to trade to the plant near the clocktower, and ended up getting there a full day early, so I danced until dawn with a scarecrow, and then again till night, banked all my rupees and went to visit Skull Kid. SWAMP, MOUNTAIN, OCEAN, CANYON, HURRY, THE FOUR THAT ARE THERE, BRING THEM HERE! If it lets me listen to Oath to Order, then hell yeah!

Mass Effect 2

I bought the Arrival DLC a while back when it was deal of the week. Decided to start it. It's not really that good. I'll still try and finish it before ME3 is out.
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Title: Gaming Progress - Week 2
Posted: January 13, 2012 (11:12 PM)
My 360 gets neglected this week, and the Wii becomes my most used console for the first time since Smash Bros. Brawl was released.

Mario Kart Wii

About half way through Mirror GP, but it's more frustrating than fun at this point. Will probably be shelving this one for a while.

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

I have descended to the world below. It's a quiet, eerie sort of place. I went to a temple and some guy had been sitting there for years waiting for me, just to give me some instructions. What a fulfilling life this guy must have lived. Couldn't just leave a note? Anyway, continued into the Falon Woods and met a Goron who is researching stuff I'm bound to find useful. Did a quest in the forest to find some little Kikwi things and was rewarded with a slingshot for my trouble, allowing me to access the next area and the game's first dungeon - Skyview Temple. Did some exploring. Got stumped once or twice, and the sword spirit thing goes into this whole hint thing, which is just a little too vague to be helpful. Fought a Skulltula, which used to be easy enemies in Ocarina of Time. These things are insane now, and I got my first game over (and subsequent rage quit). After going to GameFAQs to see a lot of people had trouble with it, I found the solution and continued. I'm actually enjoying the game despite some frustrations with the motion control. Who came up with the rotating key into boss chamber locks? worst thing is Link just automatically goes through the door to fight the boss, rather than going to SAVE at the EAGLE STATUE RIGHT NEXT TO THE DOOR and then I died fighting the first boss because it took me too long to figure out how to fight the bastard. (That was my second ragequit). But hey, I endured and pressed on and I'm currently in the Earth Temple, which is really more of a volcano, except I don't get a cool Red suit to protect me from heat. As it stands, it's a very good game. I think it'd be even better if it let me plug in a GameCube controller.

Mario Kart 7

Attempted a GP at 150CC. 1st race = 1st place, 2nd race = 1st place, 3rd race... was first until right near the end of the race where a bunch of shit happened and I somehow ended up in 7th. Almost hurled the 3DS across the room. Plus my hand was hurting pretty bad by the end of that. Ugh. The more I play this game the less I like it.

Pullblox (Pushmo)

The puzzles are getting tougher to solve. I find that I get stumped on a puzzle for a few days, then solve it, and usually solve the next few before landing another tough one. I don't think I've ever gotten so much play time out of a puzzle game that wasn't Tetris.

The Longest Journey

The plot thickens. Currently breaking into a police station's archives.

Lucid

It was $1.25 on Steam a few days ago. Relaxing sort of puzzler. Just draw lines on a colour group to make them disappear, only catch is you have to get all of that colour in your line. Area bonuses add to the strategy. One attempt to make a huge portion of the screen one colour ended badly when I couldn't get a legal move from it. One criticism I have is that there are 55 levels to progress through, and you can save and exit and resume, but if you start the game and then accidentally press Start instead of Continue, your progress is wiped and you start over. And that is really easy to do. No warning or anything, just watch the first level load up and you try your hardest not to swear.

Disgaea 4

I wanted to play this yesterday afternoon, since I had about 2 hours to kill. But because it's a PS3 game and I forgot to make an appointment, it spent that entire 2 hours downloading a huge update in excess of 2 GB. So I didn't end up playing it until this morning where I sat through some story segments about this vampire who likes sardines and this suck up werewolf, and completed some tutorial missions which is the same old stuff I've learned in the three games prior to this. I'm hoping the story picks up soon because right now I'm finding it hard to care about these characters.
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Title: Gaming Progress - Week 1
Posted: January 07, 2012 (02:13 AM)
Since writing reviews is hard, I'm going to make commentary on games I've played.

Finished

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean (360)

As a kid, I loved Pirate lego. I had a pirate ship, a soldier fort, a pirate island, some of the Islander sets. Playing this feels like I'm playing with Lego, but without the touch aspect. The stuff looks cool, though. This company just seems to be pumping out the Lego games based on movie IP's that Lego has licenced. The games seem to stick to the same formula, which is getting a bit tired, but their variations of the formula don't always work (Lego Indy 2), and then sometimes they do (Harry Potter). 5 levels from each of the 4 movies provides 20 levels, but this game does feel smaller in scope than Star Wars or Harry Potter. The hub is fairly small and again there's little to no challenge in the game. You simply walk through the levels breaking stuff, assembling stuff, killing enemies (there's a couple of creative boss fights) and watching the scenes from the movie acted out by mute Lego minifigs. Jack Sparrow's mannerisms and movements are captured quite well. I don't know what it is about these games that I keep playing them even though it's the same old thing - story mode, then free play where you collect all the extra bits and pieces using a variety of characters with different abilities... it's probably because the games are really easy and require only the smallest amount of brainpower. It's the sort of game I play when I don't feel like playing anything. Got to 100%, all achievements unlocked, and it's in my trade pile. I'm never going to play it again, and I'll likely wait for Star Wars: Clone Wars or Harry Potter Years 5-7 to drop in price, like this one did. This game is honestly not even interesting enough to review. It's a solid 7/10.

Still Playing

Mario Kart Wii

Time trials have been completed for every track, most of the expert staff ghosts are unlocked. None of them beaten. In GP mode, 150cc is finished, but a few are lacking a star rating so I'll have to go back and do those again if I want Dry Bowser. I don't, really, but I'm a bit of a completionist. Mirror mode is unlocked but I haven't played that yet.

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

I've made little progress. I've just been so tired lately and this game requires far more effort than most.

Super Mario 3D Land

Still plugging along, near the end of World 3. Game is getting tougher, but not too tough that I'm ragequitting (yet). I usually have my 3DS with me when I'm out, so it's cool to just play a level or two if I have to wait for someone.

Mario Kart 7

This game is going to kill my hands. I didn't even play the GP mode, only a few harmless time trials, and my hands started locking up when I was trying to drift around a corner. I'm tempted to trade this one in since it's pretty annoying, and now becoming quite painful to play. But then I'm going to miss it, since the courses are really good.

Pullblox (Pushmo)

This is a fun addictive puzzler on the 3DS. You have to pull and push blocks to reach the goal (a trapped child). Mallow is a strange, overweight guy who dresses all in red and seems to have a single-minded drive to solve puzzles, like some autistic ethnic boy. The 3DS makes this game's visuals really pop, giving depth to the whole thing. I'm over the halfway point and the puzzles are starting to get tough. I haven't even tried any of the custom made puzzles yet.

The Longest Journey

The Longest Journey seems like an interactive visual novel rather than a game. There aren't that many dialogue choices since you'll usually end up choosing them all by the time the conversation ends. The puzzles are fairly easy for anyone who is familiar with the adventure game genre. The Longest Journey excells at its storytelling. The characters are realistic and likeable, the story presents us with a mystery with many layers to be uncovered. Still about 6 hours in, and nowhere near done with this, so I'm guessing the Longest Journey will live up to its name. This could work as a novel or graphic novel, I feel.

The Polynominal

Picked it up on Steam. Not really sure what it does, yet.

Super Meat Boy (PC)

This is a stupidly insane game and I don't know why anyone would play it. I doubt I'll ever play it again. But then, I've been wrong before.

Universe Sandbox

This game does science so hard you say "I've never seen this much science!" and it's all "Check this out!" and then "Boom! More science!" You get to click on any star or planet you can find, start messing around with its size, axis, speed, whatever you like, and then you get to see what happened. I decided to make Earth bigger, and then it froze and flew off into the outer reaches of space, somehow losing its orbit. Not really a game, more a simulator.




2011 Game Completion List

January 7 - LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean (360)
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Title: Games of 2011
Posted: January 03, 2012 (03:46 PM)
I did this a few years ago and it was pretty good. I just need to list each game I played this year and make a comment on it. Maybe it'll inspire me to write more.

XBOX 360

Batman: Arkham Asylum

I played this right to the end the year it came out. Can't remember when that was. But I couldn't beat the final boss. Not sure why. After completing Arkham City, I went back and managed to defeat the final boss quite easily. Still not sure why.

Batman: Arkham City

A lot better than the first game. I loved gliding and grappling through the streets and buildings. The main quest was fulfilling without going on too long, and felt episodic in that you have different sections with a different main villain. I like how the Riddler stuff seems more integrated with the game now, since you have to rescue his hostages and capture him at the end of it. I liked the side quests that introduced other villains, and some things that seem to have been left hanging... threads for a third game in this series? I'm hoping so.

Dragon Age II

Nowhere near as bad as people say it is. It's a much more focused story, doing something experimental such as staying in one place for a long time. Dragon Age: Origins was epic in terms of distance, II seems epic in terms of time spent. You do get the sense that a long time has passed. I don't mind that this game offers something different, since I had played Dragon Age Origins three times to see all the quests/choices and having another game exactly like it would have been tiring to think about. I haven't finished the game yet so I don't know if there's anything about the end game that's going to make my opinion more negative... though I have heard that there is. At the moment it's a sold 8/10 game.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

Picked this up cheap. Pretty good. Not that far in it yet. Had bigger and better games to play.

Fallout: New Vegas

Awesome game. Did a review, so I'm not going to elaborate. Recently picked up all the DLC in the recent XBLA sale, so a replay is on the cards for 2012.

LEGO Harry Potter 1-4

Bought it cheap, got all achievements, traded it in.

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean

Bought it cheap, still in the process of getting all achievements, will trade it in.

Rock Band 3

Awesome party game, and my song collection just keeps growing. I love that even after a year of solid playing, there's still plenty of stuff for me to do, like learn one of the other plastic instruments, or practice on a higher difficulty, and watch the marketplace for new songs every week. I'm glad there's no Rock Band 4 yet, because this game is still very much alive. Although RB4 will hopefully let me import all my songs from this one, but I hope they don't do a 4 until they have something significant to add to the franchise like 3 did (the pro guitar and keyboards).

Skyrim

This game took 100 hours of my life. At a time that I was unemployed. So I was pretty much pulling 8-9 hour daily shifts on this game for two solid weeks. And then a little more. And then I started a new character, but thought better of it and didn't play too much. This game is absolutely amazing. There is more to see that can ever be seen, more to do that can ever be done. If other franchises went 5 years between instalments they might be putting out games of quality like this one. Didn't encounter many glitches, either, so I was probably lucky.

Xbox Live Arcade

Beyond Good & Evil HD

Played this back in the Xbox era. It's still a good game, but not a great game. I need to find the motivation to come back and finish this one.

Hmm. I have bought a bunch of Arcade games during deal of the week, but looking through my list, I haven't played many of them substantially. I did start playing Bastion, but too early to comment on that one.

PLAYSTATION 3

More of a Blu Ray/DVD machine than an actual console. Barely played anything on it this year. I started Uncharted 1, since I picked up the Uncharted Double Pack really cheap. Keep trying to get into Disgaea 3 but it can't seem to hook me in. Waiting for a better price on Disgaea 4. Picked up the ICO/Shadow of the Colossus collection recently and made some progress in ICO.

WII

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

I've played through the beginning bit, and I'm just about to set off on my journey through the clouds to go look for Zelda. The motion controls take a little getting used to, but it hasn't been as bad as some people led me to believe... but then it's not as good as some other people led me to believe either. Too early to say where this ranks in the Zelda series, but progress might be slow going due to the effort and energy required to play this. I got this game for Christmas. And my 12 year old cousin also got it. On Christmas day he was pretty far into it. The Wii is his first console so the controls are second nature to him. For someone like me, they take some getting used to.

Mario Kart Wii

Speaking of my 12 year old cousin, he plays this game with the racing wheel attachment, which I think is impossible. Since he doesn't have any GameCube controllers or Classic Controllers, I had to make do with a numchuck and it was a little tough to play. My sister and I have been playing this a lot, recently. She'd loved Mario Kart 64 but didn't like Double Dash, but she's taken a liking to this one. Still need to unlock all the characters/karts. This game is awesome with a GameCube or Classic controller. If my cousin comes over here I'll let him use my plastic wheel attachment and I'll absolutely whoop his ass.

Xenoblade Chronicles

Chapter 2 is hard. I sort of hit a wall very early, where it expects you to remember and use all the complicated battle techniques it spent the first ten hours teaching you, and uh... either it's a lousy teacher or I'm not a good student. The difficulty jump is absolutely staggering, even with the Misc quests. Might need to read the tutorials again and do some levelling up.

PC

Just got into Steam recently. I haven't been a PC gamer in a long, long time. But I have a decent laptop so most stuff runs. Steam Summer Sales and the Humble Bundle 4 made my list of games grow quite fast so I'm only mentioning stuff I've played longer than an hour.

And Yet It Moves

Bizarre indie game. Check. Bizarre control scheme. Check. Not a fan.

Audiosurf

Fun little racer where I can use my own music.

Beat Hazard

Fun little twin-stick shooter where I can use my own music. I have played this a LOT more than Audiosurf, because it feels more dynamic and it is a lot of fun.

Crayon Physics Deluxe

Interesting concept that works quite well. I love that I can draw solutions to the problems the game throws at me.

The Longest Journey

Okay, where has this game been all my life? It was released in 2000, which if memory serves is when the adventure genre fell into decline. After Grim Fandango, I needed more of these sorts of games, and I really, really wish I'd known about this game back then. I'm loving the level of detail to the world, the story, the characters. A very compelling game. Picked it up on Steam with Dreamfall, which I'll play when I'm done with this.

Psychonauts

Missed getting this for Xbox back in the day, and it was on sale so I grabbed it. Interesting game to play, but it really feels more like a console game than a PC game (so I plugged in a wired 360 controller and it helped a lot). Not that far into this one, and don't really understand the mechanics of it yet, but I'll get there.

3DS

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

Maybe it's the fact that I've played this game half a dozen times, but I'm just not feeling the motivation to finish the game. I've had it since August and I'm only up to the water temple. And it was the only 3DS game I had for a while. Another thing is that I haven't replayed this game in years, and I've forgotten a lot of things. Like, I'll get stuck in a dungeon and then get frustrated because I should know what to do, and then I look up a FAQ and I just about kick myself for forgetting something very stupid. I like how the game looks now.

Mario Kart 7

Mario Kart has always been sort of chaotic and full of mayhem, but never before I have I felt such vindictive hatred from the CPU whenever I sit in first place. There's just so much unavoidable shit that can hit you that there's really no incentive to try and stay in first. Hovering around second place until right near the end seems like a better strategy. Getting hit with three or more blue shells each race is just not fun.

Pullblox (Pushmo)

Very addictive puzzle game. Pull and push blocks strategically to reach the goal at the top. You can make your own puzzles and share them with people, and the AR reader can pick them up off the screen so the puzzles are limitless*

* limited to the size of your SD card.

Super Mario 3D Land

A very odd mix of old Super Mario Bros 1 and 3 and Super Mario 64. It seems to work. Only at World 3 at the moment, but it's currently the game occupying my 3DS so I play it quite often. The levels are only a few minutes long which is a perfect fit for a portable console. Honestly, Nintendo should not have released the 3DS until this game was ready. This would have been a perfect launch title.

DS

Dragon Quest IV

I started a file years ago and I'm still going. This game moves at such a plodding pace that I think I'll still be at it by the end of this year.

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn

Golden Sun was fun, but it felt dated when it was released. While this much requested third game looks nice, it plays exactly the same as the old one. And while we see some new features, like a Wiki styled information glossary, the game's battle system and silent protagonist keep this game stuck in the past. And what is up with these silent protagonists anyway? Isaac was silent in the first game, but in the second game he could speak (since he wasn't the main character) and he can speak in this one. Why can't they speak if we're controlling them? It makes absolutely no sense. The game started off well, but the whole thing feels like one big sidetrack. You're just trying to get one thing, but then something happens so you try to get back, but then something happens, so you have to do something else, but then something else gets in the way of that, and ten hours in you've only seen the villains once, and the party is still just reacting to things that have happened and very soon it begins to dawn on you that this may just be the extent of the game. Really shoddy storytelling. I'm done with this series.

Pokemon Black

I'm done with this series.
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Title: And I got a 3DS.
Posted: August 12, 2011 (12:35 AM)
Didn't take that long. It was on sale today for $199 AUD (the price dropped to $249 officially) and since I said I'd buy it if it dropped under 200... I did. The AR card thing is trippy. Ocarina of Time looks amazing.
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Title: Bought OoT 3D... don't have a 3DS yet.
Posted: July 29, 2011 (11:57 PM)
I wanted the free soundtrack. Also I figure I'll get a 3DS after the price drop (got a nice big tax refund coming up, so I'll treat myself).

Plus Zelda was $20 cheaper than usual. Didn't want to pass up a good deal.

Anyone else ever buy a game for a console they don't have yet? I remember getting the Oblivion Collectors Edition about a year before I bought a 360. That was a bit silly...
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Title: I think I won't be getting any new consoles.
Posted: June 08, 2011 (06:19 PM)
Maybe it is time to grow up, but I probably won't stop playing. Across the three consoles and two handhelds and my fairly decent laptop, I have access to more games than I'll ever get around to playing.

And maybe that's good. I still have a pile of games I've barely even touched. So maybe if new games stop being available to me I can finally catch up. That would be nice.

I'm not sold on the Wii's follow up, and Microsoft's obsession with Kinect is getting pretty tiring. I don't have the space for it to work properly, anyway.

Title: I wonder what's happening with Gameroni
Posted: May 04, 2011 (08:37 PM)
It's just Jason Venter and George Costanza posting up an article every other day... not exactly the vision of constant updates from a variety of writers. Hmm.
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Title: Placeholder 4
Posted: March 02, 2011 (11:55 PM)
Oh yes, I went there.
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Title: Back to the Future game
Posted: February 24, 2011 (10:27 PM)
I recently played Episode 1 of TellTale's Back to the Future game. I'd been following the game's development from announcement to release, and was eager to see if it was any good.

The biggest thing going for the game is the fact that they got Christopher Lloyd to reprise the role of Doc Brown, and while he does sound older, he does lend the game some much needed credibility. Michael J. Fox wasn't able to voice Marty, but the guy they cast does a very convincing impression.

Some of the other voices, though, aren't so convincing - such as George McFly and Biff. Their voices are close, but sound a little bit off.

The music is excellent, and definitely has the Back to the Future vibe. Presentation-wise, this is quite faithful to the source material.

This game tells a new chapter in the story, taking place in 1986 and 1931. Marty's first task is to find anything dangerous in Doc's house when the bank decides to sell off his possessions. Biff is there making a nuisance of himself, and there's a few puzzles to solve there - one is very easy if you remember the opening scene to the first movie.

Most of the puzzles are easy, though. Simply because there's never that many items to interact with, and so if you can't figure something out, trying everything with everything doesn't take that long.

The episode suffers from the TellTale brevity. There's an introduction scene with a few basic puzzles, another scene with one simple goal, and then you're let loose in 1931 Hill Valley with only a few tasks you need to accomplish before an exciting action scene that doesn't take too much thinking to puzzle out.

And then the "To be continued" appears, after maybe 2 hours of play. I'm hoping that the later chapters are a bit longer, because waiting a month or more just to play another couple of hours is going to be torture for some. At least when I was playing Tales of Monkey Island, the games were usually twice as long, and were loaded with extra references if you looked hard.

In Back to the Future, there are some references to the movies, one involving a poster of a shark, but they are infrequent and not all that funny, invoking more of a "oh haha, I get it" type reaction.

There isn't even that much to say about it to bother writing a full review. I've said just under 400 words and even that seemed to ramble on a bit. The first episode is free to download from the site at the moment, possibly to hook you into playing the rest of the series.

But I think I'll wait for the rest of the series to be completed before I make the investment.
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Title: From the Jerec Archives - Mario Party 3
Posted: January 21, 2011 (09:24 PM)
In the old days, I used to write reviews. A lot. Most of them were pretty much rubbish. But hey, I was 15-16 when I wrote them. And then Vegita was doing silly gimmick reviews, so a lot of us had a go at them. I did more than my fair share. Here's an absolutely woeful review of Mario Party 3.

------

It was a bright and happy day in Nintendo land. It always was. The sun and the clouds all wore a happy face as they smiled upon the land, which was covered with smiling trees.

Jerec looked out his window with a smile not unlike those worn by the scenery, ready for yet another day of fun with his Nintendo games. Jerec noticed the postman koopa walk past with a bag full of mail. A letter was inserted into his happy letterbox. With a smile, Jerec went outside to have a look. He opened up the letter, and was greeted with a piece of paper that smiled back at him.

"Dear Jerec,
It'sa Me, Mario! You are invited to my third party! A big shiney silver star we call the Millennium Star has landed at the castle, and to claim it, we have to party again, like we did the previous two times!
-- Hope to see you there, Mario."


Jerec smirked. Mario is running out of ideas now, he thought. Does he really need to throw a party like this every year? How many times can he or his friends declare themselves the superstar of Nintendo Land? I don't know how many times they have to keep proving to each other who the superstar is by collecting stars and coins, and playing mini-games, but the premise is wearing thin.

Jerec stood there for a moment, and came to a decision. The offer sounded tempting enough, and he wanted to see how well it would go. He jumped in a warp pipe, and in an instant, he was standing right in front of the huge Mushroom Castle.

He knocked on the door.

It opens and a Toad greets him. This Toad has a die stuck on his head. Trying not to laugh, Jerec hands him the invitation. "Welcome to the Castle, Master Jerec. Mario and his friends are in the courtyard."

Jerec sees Mario. Donkey Kong, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi and Wario are also here. Daisy and Walugi appear. "Wow, now you've got more people over, it should be more interesting this time."

Mario shook his head and said, "No, it will be just the six of us departing on the adventure. The other two will just be for the less serious party section like my first two parties. You will get to wonder around 5 new locales and play mini games against each other. These board maps will contain the similar elements of Mario Party 2 with the elusive items. You will get to use the skeleton key to open the gates that block short cuts. A mushroom that will give you an extra die in movement. There are warp blocks and other fancy items that I'll let you discover for yourself."

"What is this story mode you're talking about?" Jerec asked earnestly. He could tell Mario had already made the same mistakes as he had done with the previous party, and now it was more complicated.

Mario had that charming look in his eyes again. He then started rambling on about the new story adventure mode, "We have decided to give a bulky bit of the party to questing on your own. Remember the previous Mario Party games where you and your friends could take part in the main festivities? Well, those days are over as we've decided to be bastards and make the only part of the party that really means anything for the single player only. It's a single player focus this time around."

Jerec slapped his forehead, as he wasn't impressed. "You do realize, that partying is very boring by yourself?"

Mario didn't seem to take the hint that Jerec wasn't happy. "We've even made it so you can only take the six original characters on the quest. If you are concerned about having friends with you, there is always the party section where you can play about on cute board games like the other games."

"Yes, that's another thing I've noticed about this party, these new places you want to drag us along to... they are just pathetic compared to the ones in your first party. Look at this, Chilly Waters, a place that is set in a land of frigid snow. Other places include an undersea adventure, a forest, a desert and some creepy caverns that aren't even creepy. I don't know who you are trying to impress this time Mario, but you've already made things much more complicated having all these different options. I remember when I could just go to these parties with a few friends and have some fun." Jerec glared at Mario waiting for a response.

Mario scratched his face and started to speak again. "Yes, I know we've made changes, but that is to people who enjoyed our previous parties to find something new and enjoyable. But enough about that, I'll talk to you about the mini games. We've made the Shy Guy mode sadistic, relying on betting all your money on roulette and other such gambling methods. We at Nintendo are a family company and strive to deliver good messages to children..."

Jerec cut him off "Like teaching them about gambling and the wonders of magic mushrooms?"

Mario went over to Luigi and said, "You talk to Jerec, he's being difficult." Mario walked over to the moat and patted Yoshi on the head.

Luigi turned to Jerec and said "A lot of our mini games lack the originality and appeal of those in the first party. Now it's all about jumping at the right time and running around in circles. A lot of our mini games rely on chance and luck. We know it frustrates people, but we do love annoying kids."

"I think I've heard just about enough of this shambles of a party that you guys are throwing. But while I'm here, I might as well ask you about this disgusting décor." Jerec pointed to the castle "In the first two games it looked realistic, but now it looks like a child got playing with a cutout book and made the landscapes all look like drawings and cut-outs. I liked the realism of DK's Jungle Adventure in your first party."

"Well, we realized that people don't want to keep buying the same game all over again so we tweak it just a bit to make people think it is different." Luigi now had a sly look on his face.

Jerec stared at Luigi and said, "So that's why this is called Mario Party 3 and it features the same boring compilation of board maps and mini games with an added complexity which will confuse veterans and leave newbies furrowing their brows in a vain attempt to understand?"

Luigi nodded and shouted, "EXACTLY, you could work for us, you seem to know the tricks of the trade pretty well."

"Hmm, no thanks. My job is to write reviews and announce this sort of behavior to the world." Jerec said with a grin. With that said, the music started to get more intense and Jerec found himself surrounded by Nintendo mascots. The music was still childish and wreaked of childish rhythm. 'Good to see Nintendo branching out again' Jerec thought to himself.

"You will never leave now that you know our secret." Said Wario, shaking his fat gut around as he spoke.

"Hey Look! Its Bowser!" Jerec said. They all turned around and Jerec sprinted out of the castle. He ran past all the Goomba guards and other corny Nintendo mascots posing as security guards. He finally got out and turned to his trusty tape recorder. "Ha, all I have to do is post this conversation on a major website and then people will know the truth about Mario Party 3."

This review was written for the purposes of enlightening you to the situation of Mario Party 3 and its inability to provide anything of interest for newcomers to the series and its ability to make veterans decide it stinks.
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Title: Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
Posted: January 17, 2011 (05:15 PM)
Pretty fun. It's definitely a game living in the shadow cast by its predecessors. It tries to innovate, by making the in-universe terms into wiki type links in dialogue so you can choose if you want to read the info dumps. But then it feels like an old game again, trying to conform to the previous games. Battle mode is exactly the same, right down to having to click A for every line of text for damage dealt, attacks, experience, levelling up etc. which can get a bit tiresome.

Isaac's son is the main character, and he's mute. Just like Isaac was in the first game. It's odd, though. These characters can talk when they're not the main character. In his few minutes of screen time, Isaac is a much more interesting character in Dark Dawn than he ever was back in the first game. None of the other characters have shown much character development, yet. Got the buffoon sidekick, the levelheaded chick, the smart guy... hopefully they go through some sort of development before the game is up.

I like it, but Golden Sun felt like an old RPG when it was released, which makes Dark Dawn seem even older now. It's fun, but with one foot in the present, and the other foot rooted firmly in the past, it's an odd game. I am enjoying the meta-ness of the story, since the characters travel the world, known only because of their parents, unable to escape their vast shadow to become what they want to be.

Review when I finish the game.
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