Archive for December, 2010

Purchase for Saturday, December 25, 2010: A Space Shooter For 2 Bucks! (PSN Mini) + Splinter Cell Package Deal on Steam

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items, Initial Impressions on December 26, 2010 by Matt

As the title says, I picked up a mini on the PSN Store: A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks!. It was $1.99, as should be expected. It’s pretty decent for such a small amount. I only played it for a tiny bit of time, and will likely play some more when the holidays are a bit more stable.

I checked out Steam too, and they had a good deal on a bunch of Splinter Cell games. Splinter Cell, SC Chaos Theory, Double Agent and Conviction Deluxe Edition for a combined total of $18.39. Not a bad deal.

Otherwise, I haven’t played much of anything since my last post. Played some of the Little Big Planet 2 demo, and the Dead Space 2 demo. They are both pretty much what I expected, and I have the Collector’s Editions of both games pre-ordered. I also have Mass Effect 2 for PS3 pre-ordered as well. January will be a hell of a month.

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Purchase for Wednesday, December 22, 2010: Eat Them! (PSN) + More

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items, Initial Impressions, New Releases on December 22, 2010 by Matt

Eat Them!

Very early this morning, I was browsing the PSN Store and had noticed that Eat Them! was released. I’ve been interested in playing it since I first saw some of the videos for it on Kotaku.

The game was only $9.99. It’s fairly simple: destroy cities, eat people, build monsters. There are some other modes, like a race to eat checkpoint, but otherwise it’s destroy as much as possible. You can even build your own monster, and you get new parts when you earn a silver or a gold on each of the levels. I find it to be fun, but I can see it getting a bit dry after a while.

Other Downloads

There was also some Splatterhouse DLC that I purchased, and the demos for Dead Space 2 and Little Big Planet 2. I haven’t tried any of these downloads yet.

The Tester season 2 ended this week, and I watched the final episode. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it in previous posts, but I actually do watch it. Typically, I hate reality shows, but for some reason I needed to watch this one. I just feel embarrassed by some of the people on that show, considering they are gamers…and I am a gamer. Sometimes I feel like I am misrepresented and I actively bitch at the tv screen as I watch. Anyway, last night’s competition was pretty tense and gave a nice preview of Killzone 3 at the end of the 4-part competition between the final three.

Purchase For Sunday, December 19, 2010: flOw (PSN) and Um Jammer Lammy (PS Classics) + Quick Update

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items, Initial Impressions, What's Up. on December 22, 2010 by Matt

So I was bored on Sunday and decided that I’d get flOw and Um Jammer Lammy on the Playstation Network.

flOw

flOw was on for $7.99 and it’s an older title on the PSN. I’ve always been a little curious about it. Basically, you’re a micro-organism in the ocean and you feed on other organisms and grow bigger. You make your way deeper into the water, and feed on larger and larger organisms. You use the controllers motion detectors to guide your organism around and use any other button to speed up. The controls take a bit of getting used to, but the game is alright.

Um Jammer Lammy

Um Jammy Lammy is the follow up to PaRappa the Rappa, a classic PSOne title that I used to love. It was on sale for $2.99, so it was worth it. It’s a beat-based game and it’s almost exactly like PaRappa, and has some of the characters from it as well.

What’s Up

As far as everything else is concerned, I am making my way through White Knight Chronicles (currently close to 11 hours in), and now have 100% of the trophies in Pac-Man Championship Edition DX. Going to be pre-ordering Mass Effect 2(PS3) and Little Big Planet 2 soon, and likely Dead Space 2 – all of which will be collector’s editions.

My PSN I.D.

Posted in General on December 17, 2010 by Matt

If you noticed, I have my PSN I.D. at the side of the page here. Another thing you may have noticed, if you look at it on a regular basis, is that it never seems to update at all. It’s slightly annoying. If you click on it, it does show the proper results, but otherwise it doesn’t.

Also, it bothers me that when you do click on it, it doesn’t show you every game that I have trophies in on the list of games provided. I wonder what is up with that?

I would put up my Steam I.D. and/or my XBLA I.D. too, but I am not sure if I can and I am too lazy to really look into it.

Just a random thing I thought I’d mention.

PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX (PS3) Review

Posted in Reviews on December 16, 2010 by Matt

I used to love playing PAC-MAN on my GameBoy when I was young, and carried it with me often. Championship Edition DX was a very pleasant surprise and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I played through all game modes on all the different mazes, ranging between normal and expert difficulty, achieving rank B or higher overall in each level.

What was done well? What did I like? Variety of game modes and mazes, game speed, ranking system, graphics and choice of skins for maps and characters, easy to pick up and play at any time

You have to unlock the different mazes, but once you unlock all of them, you have quite a bit of variety. There are seven different maps to choose from, plus three more maze modes (Half, Darkness and Free) which are pretty much what the title of each says. One is free-play, one cycles only half the map, and darkness is…well…dark.

Each of the seven mazes has three different play modes. Score challenge is a race to get as many points as possible before time runs out. You start with a five minute challenge, and once you finish that, you unlock the ten minute challenge. There is a Ghost Combo mode, in which you have 10 minutes to eat as many ghosts as you can in succession. This means that the counter will keep counting until the ghosts go back to normal, so keep them vulnerable as long as possible. Then there is the Time Trial modes. You have to eat a certain number of fruits before the time runs out. The next time you play through the time trial, you’ll have to beat your best time. I enjoyed all of these game modes and mazes. Some more than others, but there was never a point where I wasn’t enjoying the game.

As you eat ghosts and pac-dots, the game’s speed will increase (up to a max of 50). At some points, you’re moving so fast that it become difficult to turn where you want to. It requires good timing, and gets pretty intense. It’s also entertaining to watch another person try out the game and see them go crazy when the speed picks up. If you can handle the speed, you can obtain some pretty high scores. When you die or use bombs to clear ghosts, the game’s speed will drop down a little bit. It’s a beautiful thing when you are weaving through the different mazes at a speed of 50 though. It makes you look good….until you make a mistake that is.

The game has a ranking system which gives you an online ranking (as long as you’re logged in). This is represented as a number (ex. 1000/20000). If you’re competitive, then this will encourage you to keep playing and work your way up the rankings. It also gives you a grade (ranging from F grade for not so good, to S grade being the best). Each game mode will give you a grade and a rank, and then there will be an overall grade and rank for each map.

The game is loaded with options for different skins for each map and the characters, and the graphics looks great. A lot of nice colours and graphic styles. There should be something here for everyone, from the older look to the more vibrant and updated look. It’s definitely a pretty game to look at.

The best part about PAC-MAN is that, even when I have hardly any time to play games, I have time to play this. Some of the time trials only took me 15 or so seconds to play through. So whether you have an evening of gaming ahead of you, or only 5 minutes, there are game modes that are suited for your schedule regardless of how much time you have.

What could have been better? What didn’t I like? Not enough background music variety, It would be cool to have a head to head multi-player mode

Really, it was hard for me to think of stuff that I didn’t like about the game, but there are a couple of things I wish were included.

More music would have been cool. This really isn’t a huge deal to me, but it could be a nice touch.

A multi-player mode would have been cool. For example, a head-to-head match where players compete on whatever game mode they want, and whoever has the highest score, or completes the time trial first, or eats the most ghosts, will win. It’s just an idea and it would have been a lot of fun in my opinion.

Overall

If you’re a fan of PAC-MAN at all, you’ll already have this and will totally understand what I am talking about. This is a must buy for fans. The only people that I cannot recommend this game to are people that hate PAC-MAN, but who the hell hates PAC-MAN? I haven’t met you, whoever you are. Buy this game if you have a PS3 or a 360 and have an internet connection. It’s available for download on the Playstation Network or XBLA. Definitely worth the $10 price tag.

Update (Monday, December 20, 2010): 100% Trophies.

Dead Nation Review

Posted in Reviews on December 11, 2010 by Matt

Well, I finished up Dead Nation on “Normal” difficulty in the single-player campaign, and played a little bit of local multi-player. The campaign took around 8-10 hours or so.

What was done well? Graphics, Controls, Multi-player, Number of zombies and mutants on screen, Sound, Stats, Weapons and Armour

The graphics are great. The amount of gore and zombies on screen at once can be impressive, considering that there’s generally no slow down (and if there is, it’s very little). Explosions and fire are done well, with excellent lighting. Body parts and bodies move as you walk over them. The only thing they could have added is a trail of bloody foot prints after you’re done walking through all the gore. The use of fog, and darkness set a good mood when you’re in a quiet spot. The flares and the flashlight are definitely required in some areas, and it can be a bit intense.

Controls are responsive and laid out well. Sometimes it feels like your character can’t move fast enough, but that is more so reliant on the armour you’re wearing, not the controls being sluggish.

I’ve only tried out the local multi-player so far, and it has potential to be a lot of fun. We played one level and it’s definitely fun to mow down zombies with a friend. I am sure you know the feeling if you’ve played Left 4 Dead, Zombie mode in CoD, or Zombie Apocalypse (or any of the other zombie games out there).

The sheer number of zombies on screen at once at certain points in the game can be a breath-taking sight. I am talking 100’s at once in some spots. In these moments, I tend to feel great satisfaction when I see the body parts flying all over the place, and depending on what weapons you use, sometimes parts take quite a while to hit the ground. It can be pure mayhem, and what else could you really ask for?

Zombies and mutants in this game make sounds, and it’s important to listen when you’re in a quiet area. Foot steps and growls can tell you what is hiding in the darkness, or around the next corner. Bangs from doors opening can give you the hint that a pile of undead cannibals are coming to eat you. With surround sounds, or a good set of head phones, you’ll have the advantage or knowing the direction they are coming from. Listen carefully.

When you play the game, and you’re signed in, you’ll be contributing to the country you live in on the global statistics, so make sure you’re logged in. Canada was in second for the first week or so, behind the US, but now it seems a lot of other counties are playing catch-up. We need more Canadian players out there! Join the fight!

Around the game, you’ll find areas off to the side where you can get armour (you’ll find them in large glowing containers). There are quite a few armour pieces, and they certainly are helpful, so don’t be afraid to explore, but be prepared to fight for whatever you find. On quite a few occasions, I found myself ambushed. Remember to listen for monsters and zombies. Otherwise, there are shops to purchase weapons at and as you kill zombies and explore containers (remember to pop the trunk of cars to find more points to buy weapons with). There is a wide selection, from the submachine gun, to a gun that fire electricity. My advice is to upgrade the rifle as fast as you can and then grenades and mines. Mind you, on harder difficulties, this tactic may change. The shotgun was very effective, as well as the launcher, but use the weapon that bests suits the situation. Don’t waste ammo on a single zombie. Just use your rifle in those situations, since it has infinite ammo. Common sense works here more so than anything. Test out the weapons and adapt accordingly.

What could be improved and what didn’t I like? Unlocking difficulty levels, a bit repetitive

The only thing that really annoyed me about this game was the fact that I finished the game on “Normal” difficulty and it didn’t unlock the two toughest difficulty levels (“Morbid” and “Undead”). Now I have to play through the game again on “Grim” difficulty to unlock one or both of the toughest difficulty levels. And then potentially play through it again to get the final difficulty level. If I had known that, I would have played through it on “Grim” first instead of “Normal”.

Once you’ve played through it by yourself, it does get a bit repetitive. The best way to beat that is to play multi-player. Hopefully they will make some DLC for this game and keep it going.

Overall

I am still playing this game, and will hopefully be contributing to Canada’s ongoing battle against the undead for quite a while. We need to get back up into the top 5 (currently, we’re 6th place). If you’re not tired of killing zombies and want a fun game for only $15, then you can’t go wrong with this game. It’s been in the making for quite a while, and you’re definitely getting great value here. If you’re a trophy hunter, you’ll be happy to know there are quite a few here (including a Platinum). Grab a friend and let the gory fun begin.

Purchases for Tuesday, December 7, 2010: ModNation Racers and White Knight Chronicles

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items, Initial Impressions on December 9, 2010 by Matt

Yesterday, while at work, I decided to take advantage of my discounts are GameStop and purchased these two games. I’ve heard great things about both, so hopefully they live up to their reputations.

I’ve only had the chance to try out White Knight Chronicles. It seems to have promise, as I enjoy the combat system so far. We’ll have to wait and see how the story turns out. And perhaps the multi-player at some point, if anyone still plays it.

Update: ModNation Racers is like Mario Kart….only better. That is all I have to say for now.

Update (Thursday, December 9, 2010 @ 6:10pm): ModNation Racers is great. The sheer amount of customization and unlockable content is amazing, and the game is definitely fun with 2 or more players. With 4-player split-screen capability, I have a feeling I’ll be inviting people over for some old fashioned multi-player fun. I wish I had purchased this back when it originally came out.