Archive for March, 2011

Purchases for Tuesday, March 22, 2011: Crysis 2 (PC) and Ar Tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel (PS3)

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items, New Releases on March 29, 2011 by Matt

Crysis 2 was on my list of pre-orders. I picked it up and installed it that night. It is pretty decent so far, and the graphics are definitely very pretty. I’m able to run it at max settings, which makes me pretty happy. Mind you, I was thinking it would look a bit better. Also, the control layout isn’t as well done as the first game. I wish the contols were the same. Suppose they could be changed, but I’m lazy. It’s been a while since I played any PC games, so it’s almost like learning how to use a mouse and keyboard again. More on this when I finish the game.

Ar Tonelico Qoga is a game I picked up just for the limited edition box. I am not sure if I’ll ever open it, but we’ll see.

Otherwise, I haven’t been gaming as much as I usually do. I’ve been taking a bit of a break since finishing Demon’s Souls. I’m picking away at both Crysis 2 and Valkyria Chonicles. I expect to play more, but it might be another week before my next posting. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

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Demon’s Souls Review

Posted in Reviews on March 29, 2011 by Matt

Well, with 60 hours invested into the game, and the Old One lulled back into slumber a couple of weeks ago, I can safely say that my first play-through of Demon’s Souls is complete. The only regret I have is not playing through this game sooner.

What was done well? What did I like? Story, Graphics, Sound, Combat + Difficulty, Upgrade/level-up systems

The story in Demon’s Souls is pretty straight forward. The Old One has been awakened, and the lands are covered in mist and infested with demons and monsters. It’s your job to lull the Old One back to sleep and free the lands. It’s a simple story, but effective for the progression of the game. You can even choose different endings, depending on whether or not you’re evil or fighting for good.

The graphics in this game were done very well (mind you, they are 2 years old now). The lighting and fire effects are nice, and the camera work is good for the most part. Occasionally, in tight spaces, the camera can be a bit of a bitch, but not often enough to hinder the game. The shadows and darkness conceal enemies and sometimes you won’t see the hole in the floor. This is part of the challenge of the game, and it’s done well. Character animations are smooth for the most part, with no real complaints from me.

Sound in the game is fantastic. Listen carefully for enemies in the distance or around the next corner. There’s no music when running around each of the worlds, which actually aids in creating the perfect atmosphere.. Just the howl of the wind or the sound of screams in the distance. Be sure to wear good headphones or use surround sound. It’s worth it.

The combat and difficulty level are harsh at times. If you’ve got good reflexes, you will do well. Enemies are definitely not here to make things easy. If you die, your body is left there, and you respawn at the start of the level with all of the enemies back in place. If you die before you get back to your corpse, you lose all of your souls that you collected. Combat is effected in many ways, like the reach of your weapon, and the armour you wear. The heavier armour makes mobility in combat very sluggish. Light armour allows you to roll around and get out of the way. I went with the light option. Never used a lot of magic, but it seems like it could be very powerful if used correctly. Only thing with mages in that you’ll die quickly if hit (naturally). Be careful, find the weapons and armour you like and learn from mistakes. Don’t give up, because this game is so rewarding when you finally get by a tough area.

As I said in the last point, you collect souls in this game. When you kill enemies, you’ll gain a certain amount. You use these souls to buy items, upgrade weapons and shields, and to increase your soul level. It’s currency and experience points. Make sure to use them wisely. Leveling up can only do so much, but make sure you find the right items and upgrade the weapons and armour you use. Don’t die too often, or else you won’t be able to level or buy stuff or upgrade. Find a good spot and collect souls where you can to help level up and practice fighting.

What could have been better? Dislikes? Small gripes about multi-player, aiming first-person with bow

The only thing that sucks about multi-player is that one person has to be in soul form and the other has to be alive. Also, it can be tough to play with someone that you want to play with. It’s all about putting up the summoning in the right spot at the right time. Also, pvp is interesting. If you’re alive, people can invade your game randomly. I found this both good and bad. If you play while online, you’ll have this happen. You can easily avoid it if you play without being connected to the internet. It just adds a bit more danger to and otherwise very dangerous place (if you’re alive).

Aiming with the bow in first person sucked a lot and left you really vulnerable. It’s almost useless, except for in a couple of spots, or for really long distance shots.

Overall

If you want a challenge, don’t mind getting your ass kicked, and want to feel good about your gaming accomplishments, then get Demon’s Souls. It’ll kick your ass, but you’ll feel good after. It’s a Greatest Hit now, so it’s only $30. Some might be put off by it, but only if you have zero patience.

Purchases for Sunday, March 13, 2011: Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition (Wii) and Valkyria Chronicles (PS3)

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items, New Releases, What's Up. on March 14, 2011 by Matt

Valkyria Chronicles and Super Mario All-Stars

Since I missed the first printing of the Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edtion release, I pre-ordered it and made sure I got it this time around. I don’t plan to open it.

Valkyria Chronicles was still sealed and at a used price at work, and it’s been sitting there for a long time. I decided to get it, since I have heard so many people say it’s a great game. I’ll play it some day….when I finally make it through all of the other games I own.

Demon’s Souls is still in my PS3, and I can’t see it coming out for a while. This has put all of my other gaming efforts on hold, for the most part anyway. Bulletstorm, Killzone 3, Dead Space 1 and 2 and so on are being neglected. Last night I kicked the Dirty Colossus’s ass. Not sure what I will be killing next. Maybe the Dragon God should be put on the hit list next.

Well, Demon’s Souls has possessed me. My eyes are burning.

Posted in Currently Playing, What's Up. on March 12, 2011 by Matt

Demon’s Souls has now taken about 95% of my full attention. Since I started playing it again, I have beaten a few bosses (Leechmonger, Adjudicator, Maneater, Old Hero, Firelurker, and Storm King), and leveled up my character from 47 (about a week ago) to 96, and have upgraded my weapons as well. I’ve invested around 20-25 hours this week, and I’m lovin’ it for the most part. The only thing that sucks is that my eyes are burning and stinging from playing games way too much.

This experience is making me look back on other games that I have sitting around. Maybe it’s time to stop buying so many new games and start enjoying the ones I already have. There are quite a few that I really should play through, such as Dragon Age Origins, Half-Life Ep 1 and 2, finish off God of War 3 and Red Dead Redemption (+ Undead Nightmare).

With that being said, I think that I won’t be buying any games for a while, other than the ones I already have pre-ordered (Crysis 2, Mortal Kombat, Super Mario All-Stars, and Duke Nukem Forever). I’m going to try and complete at least half of the games in my pile here before I get anymore. We’ll see how this goes.

Demon’s Souls is Back in My PS3!

Posted in Currently Playing, What's Up. on March 7, 2011 by Matt

Recently, a guy I work with has been talking about Demon’s Souls quite a bit, and it got me thinking about playing it again. I finally gave into temptation and threw it in the other day. It hasn’t come out since.

When I was last playing Demon’s Souls, I was attempting to fight ManEater(s) and it wasn’t working out very well, and I got sick of power leveling. I quit out of frustration and boredom.

Now, with my approach to the game being fresh, I’ve been able to find other things to do and found some different challenges to overcome. Mainly, I’ve been tackling the Shrine of Storms (world 4 area 1). I recalled that back when I first got the game, this area meant death. Those metal skeletons would roll up and kick my ass all over the place. For some reason, now I am kicking ass and taking names. It’s fantastic. I must have been approaching the game all wrong. Now I just take my time and don’t get all hack and slash happy with my combat. It’s working wonders.

With this, I have defeated a couple of deamons. A couple of days ago, I defeated the Leechmonger, and tonight I conquered the Adjudicator. Leechmonger was so damn easy. The hardest part was getting down to him before I died from the leech bombs he’d throw at me. Once down there, I healed, ran in, and went to town. He couldn’t do anything when I got up close. I’d just dodge, move in, thrust my spear a few times, and repeat. Simple, easy, and effective. Pretty much the same with the Adjudicator. I got down to him (be careful though, don’t fall all the way down, it hurts), and dodged his swings and tongue lashings, hit his weak spot and knocked him down. Once down, hit the bird on top of it’s head. It took three knock downs and he was out for good.

The thing about Demon’s Souls is that it’s so damn rewarding when you defeat a boss or even just get past an area. The feeling of accomplishment comes with time and patience as you conquer one of the toughest games you’ll ever play. If you haven’t played it, you should give it a shot if you’ve been finding your gaming a bit too easy lately. Hopefully I will finish this before Dark Souls comes out. I hear it’s going to be harder.

Purchases for Friday, March 4, 2011: Hyperdimension Neptunia (PS3) and Super Smash Bros Melee (GC)

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items, New Releases on March 5, 2011 by Matt

Hyperdimension Neptunia and Smash Bros Melee

I’ve been staring down Hyperdimension Neptunia for the past week or so, debating on buying it or not. With the boxed edition sitting there in front of me at work, and selling out, time was dwindling down. That and after reading what the game is about, I pretty much had to buy it. I haven’t opened it yet, but there’ll be a post about it when I do.

Super Smash Bros Melee for the Game Cube came in as a trade the other day. It’s all scratched up, but for less than $5, I’ll just have to take it somewhere to get resurfaced. No problems.

Also, this marks the return of me taking pictures. It’s been almost a full year since the last time I posted a photo. Thought it’d be nice to add some more colour to the blog.

Purchases for March 1st and 2nd, 2011: Pixel Junk Shooter 2 (PSN), Dead Space: Severed (PSN), Sonic The Hedgehog (PSN), Fallout NV Dead Money (Steam) and BIT.TRIP Runner (Steam)

Posted in In The Mail/Purchased Items, Initial Impressions, New Releases on March 3, 2011 by Matt

This week, I purchased quite a few downloads. I haven’t tried many of them out yet. I’ve been busy with other things.

Being a PSN Plus member means that all of the classic Sega games they release will come to be for free. This is a good thing. Sonic The Hedgehog is obviously the first. It’s exactly like the original, other than you can earn trophies.

The other game I had a chance to try out was BIT.TRIP Runner. This game is as fantastic as BIT.TRIP Beat. You basically jump and slide to avoid obstacles. Basic. The music is awesome. I think I want to get my hands on a BIT.TRIP album is it exists. It’s on sale currently for $9.

Pixel Junk Shooter 2 ($9.99) and Dead Space: Severed ($6.99) will get a chance tonight. Fallout NV Dead Money ($9.99) will eventually get played, but I have little urge to play Fallout right now. It’ll be one of those things I turn on randomly down the road, when I have exhausted my other games.

On another note, the Crysis 2 demo came out on PC. I tried to play it, but I didn’t realize it was a MP demo. I really didn’t want to see what the MP was about. I honestly don’t care that much. I want to play the single-player and see how that fairs, considering that around 95% of the time I play by myself. Also, the fact that it says “Press Start” at the title screen is telling me they didn’t bother making a PC specific demo. What the hell is going on Crytek? What happened to you? The game better be fucking awesome when it’s released.