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Title: Sci-fi MMORPG is eating my time
Posted: July 10, 2012 (09:00 PM)
Appropriately called Time World.

Really deep, with quite a complicated system of planets, heroes, battleships but with instant ship combat that is over in a second if you wish it, and a brilliant strategy mini-game called War of Heroes where you join up with three others to defeat a boss, moving your characters along 4 lines of the playing arena towards the boss, who sends out his minions to attack you.

First such game I've ever played and I'm hooked on it.
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Title: Billy the Pilot
Posted: June 28, 2012 (10:25 AM)
Fantastic game free on Kongregate and made by a 22 year old guy. For once a short game with a clever story hook to it. Boy is scared by a story about werewolves and decides that the only way to end his fear is to destroy the moon! Builds a plane and off you go around the world until you get enough upgrades to reach the moon!
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Title: Paladog!
Posted: June 09, 2012 (09:57 AM)
That is all.
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Title: Not reviews
Posted: April 13, 2012 (07:50 AM)
I've been playing quite a few iPad games and an NES RPG that I'd like to review but probably won't get around to it so I'm gonna make a few notes about them here.

8Bit Ninja
Simple sliding/dodging game but great fun. Large fruit falls from above as you move your ninja right and left to avoid being squashed. Sound effects are lovely: you hear his footsteps and the sound of melons, lemons, oranges, and dragonfruit falling.

But you also get little coins that fall as well as various devices to avoid death. A shuriken, a shield, a rocket, landmine that you can upgrade from the shop to make the effects last longer. And earn badges for things like slicing dragon fruits, and reaching level 15. Each time you start again and go through the same patterns of falling fruit: at set times the patterns change, with the fruit falling faster, more of them, coming from different sides of the screen.

As well as upgrades you can open new venues and unlock three more variations of ninjas. BGM is lovely traditional chinese tinkling. Soothing.

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Title: IPad games?
Posted: January 17, 2012 (05:26 AM)
Bought one of these at vast expense, just so I can read free books with a backlit screen and watch iPlayer in bed.

Tried out a free game which was way too hard for me, constantly swiping at the screen to turn corners whilst being chased by some monkeys, but I wondered if anyone could recommend some simple but engaging games?
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Title: Still tanking
Posted: January 10, 2012 (12:50 AM)
It's amazing how many things Metal Max games do right.

For a start very early on you get an item called the Dog System that lets you escape instantly from any dungeon AND lets you select from the major town locations to warp there. Saves an age in tedious backtracking or travelling when the only purpose is to get from A to B. Why don't more RPGs do this?

You can buy a tool for your tanks that allow you to cut the encounter rate in half and have it turned on (shows up as a blue icon with the word "CAMO") so you don't forget. That cuts down the frustration of lots of fights when you have to explore new territory. Also available near the start of the game. (And there's an item to increase the rate too.)

Want to find and fight a particular enemy to obtain the items it drops? No need for pointless wandering around hoping to trigger an encounter with that precise enemy! Your Hunter class has a skill that shows up a list of all the local enemies and you can pick one to appear. It might not work and it might show up with lots of other enemies but there's about a 50% chance it will. Fabulous system for fast levelling up as you can pick an enemy that gives oodles of experience.

Not only that, but the monster list gives both the drops and the locations for all monsters (once found). And you need that because there are hundreds of them.

Menus - everything can be sorted alphabetically or according to type. You can do this for all items, or you can do it for sub-groups: such as healing items, attack items, equipment etc. (Or move individual items around easily.) Yes other games let you do this, but not all. Should be a standard thing.

Lists - everything is listed in a master list with percentages showing how much of what you've got. That was a cool feature of Nostalgia too and it's in some of the Atelier games, and probably many others I forget right now, but it's a great feature.

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Title: Not Mad Max. Just Metal!
Posted: December 28, 2011 (01:32 AM)
Playing the new Metal Max release on the DS, the reworking of Metal Max 2 (from 1993 on the SNES). It's got the kind of upgrade that the Dragon Quest games got for the DS and it's really very similar to those games. Wonderful menus, huge world to explore, tons of customisation, and lots of side stories/quests to fulfill on your goal to defeat the big bad. Except as with all MM games it's set in a post-apocalyptic world

Sadly, only Metal Saga on the PS2 was ever localised for westerners and since that game didn't get a great reception, Atlus haven't done any more of them despite the recent brand new MM3 release on the DS. So... I'm having to play it in Japanese, and I only recognise yes and no. If anyone here knows more than that and loves old school turn-based, open world games with tanks and a dog, I'd recommend it.

Here's some footage of the first 6 minutes.

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Title: *Vintage*
Posted: December 10, 2011 (08:34 AM)
It's official. My macbook is vintage. Having trouble with my trackpad and pointer doing things I don't want it to do like highlighting text to copy/delete or "sticking" to images and icons and moving them around. Phoned Apple and got told that's the official description for computers over 5 years old. Over five years with no issues at all, apart from the one time the bathroom flooded and water poured down from the ceiling directly onto it. But a quick mop of the water and use of the disk utility to correct a few minor faults resolved that.

I partly resolved it by slowing the action down to a crawl and I can always use a mouse instead... well, not really, the trackpad is second nature now.

I think *vintage* describes my gaming tastes too, and me...

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Title: Submitting was a bit of a nightmare
Posted: November 10, 2011 (11:21 PM)
I finally submitted something, but found I sent it before I got a chance to read it through and edit the thing. I didn't seem to find a button that allowed me to look it over before the submission went through. Is this just me, or a change?
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Title: Now playing
Posted: November 04, 2011 (11:00 AM)
Grandia Parallel Trippers got a recent translation and it's fantastic. It's got the same spell set as Grandia (Stram, Fire Dragon Cut, Gadzap etc) with the same elemental combinations, and ALL the characters from Grandia are in the game. 29 of them in total, Leen, Mullen, the three bad girls, Lilly, Sue Justin, and Feena of course, plus people like Rapp. Main character is a kid who has no personality at all, but that hardly matters as he's the cipher for collecting the rest of the bunch. The dungeons are nice: elementally based, forest, fire, ice, water, sky, and some nifty platforming type navigation required. MC can jump over gaps and that's the main thing that you do. Also have a companion called Pinky who learns various skills to enable you to do extra things: like safely open dangerous chests or jump over longer gaps and so you revisit areas to find some stuff and more people.

The battle system is amazingly deep and complicated. You act in turn on a counter that has 8 slots and you and the enemies move along it until you reach the end when the attack is unleashed, but you can choose where to place people on the gauge to create combos and gain extra bonuses like reflecting damage or healing. Each character equips up to 7 battle cards (kind of like Baiten Kaitos in a way) and these are magic or weapon based skills. You can combine cards from the menu to gain new ones and new skills too. Monster drop cards and they appear on screen as in Grandia. Lots of different ones to find. The menu system is fantastic with databases for characters, cards and enemies so you can try and get 100% for everything and the music is Grandia!

Risk - Factions. I can't seem to stop playing this game. Had it for ages and every time I'm bored I go and play yet another bout. I'm currently addicted to the world conquest mode against the AI which is better than playing online since it avoids the risk (ha!) of rage quitters who are legion. The AI never gives up!
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Title: Reviewing deadlock
Posted: October 24, 2011 (10:14 PM)
I really could do with some help. I've got tons of reviews unfinished. I get so far and then I have a different idea and write something else, and then that doesn't fit with the original draft and I end up going around in circles... There are so many things to say in so many different ways.
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Title: Legend of Legaia
Posted: July 29, 2011 (01:40 AM)
Sometimes it's hard to believe it was so long ago that games like this were released. Such a wonderful story, brilliant gameplay and magical soundtrack. I remember when I started playing and seeing those crude graphics in Rim Elm and thinking, I won't get far with this, and then having the battle training, and then all hell let's loose and you realise your tiny village is surrounded with mist before venturing out into the wide world. I was enchanted. And still remember each location so vividly, the monks of Biron, the half dead city, the mist fortress hovering over everything, the awful scenes where you learn of the fate of Noa's family. Wonderful stuff.

But then, there were so many games that fitted that description back in the days of PS1 RPGs.
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Title: Kinks
Posted: July 16, 2011 (07:39 AM)
Stumbled on a series of documentaries last night, featuring The Kinks. My favourite tracks:
Death of a Clown (written by Dave)
You really Got me
All day and all of the night
Tired of waiting for you
Till the end of the day
The Village Green Preservation Society
Where have all the good times gone.

etc etc - not to mention Lola, Waterloo Sunset.Autumn Almanac.

Ray Davies started writing songs at about 15 and many of them are wistful and full of regrets, as if he started life full of melancholy. Fantastic songwriter, and still alive! I was surprised to learn that they got banned in the US for about 5 years back in the 60s.
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Posted: July 12, 2011 (11:14 AM)
Another review I'd never got around to finishing or submitting to GFs. It's probably over long, and the conclusion is a bit weak, but I couldn't decide how to end it, so hope someone might have something to say about that.
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Title: Trawling
Posted: July 12, 2011 (06:11 AM)
Fished out an old GFs review for Everblue that fitted my mood today, so I edited it a bit and submitted it here. Got a lot more I never finished. My problem is I start a lot of reviews, even work on some for hours and never finish them. I change my mind about the score, rewrite too often, get bored and go back to simple FAQ making.
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