Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Quick Notes

Hey all! Just a few short things to mention:

1) A friend of mine just decided to start blogging about pretty much anything on his mind, but mostly pertaining to entomology, wildlife, and SWEET SWEET NERDERY! You can check out his site here and I'll also permalink it in the Links to the Past section, so be sure to swing by!

2) Speaking of Link to the Past, maybe you oughtta dust off your copy of it...or any Super Nintendo game for that matter, because as of yesterday the SNES is 20 years old. Happy 20th b-day to one of the best consoles to have ever existed thus far...celebrate by 16-bit gaming your ass off!

That's it!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Experience Points: Ultimate Ghosts 'n' Goblins, Gears of War 2, R-Type 3

Here's the latest edition of Experience Points, with a quick roundup of the loveliness (and/or torture) I've been subjecting myself to over the last little while:

Ultimate Ghosts 'n' Goblins - The latest entry in the GnG franchise came out on the PSP in about 2006 or 2007, and I'd always wanted to give it a go. A while ago, I borrowed a PSP from one of my friends and gave it a shot, but felt bad for having their PSP and just gave the damn thing back. Just the other week, though, I purchased a refurbished PSP mainly so that I could play Monster Hunter with some of my friends before they bugger off out of the country for a long time. I remembered this game and decided to give it a good go, and man am I glad I remembered to play it again. It's a tough one, just like the rest of the franchise, but I intend to fully conquer it. The layout is a little bit different in that it's not just a play-straight-through-and-win game. You can revisit old levels in order to find new secrets...something that you will likely need to do, because when you reach the last area, you're told that you cannot fight the boss unless you gather a certain number of Light Rings. These are scattered throughout the levels in just about every nook and cranny, so to find them all is a pretty good challenge. Of course, the hordes and hordes of relentless enemies don't make things any easier, and neither does the fact that stages are more difficult when you have to revisit them!

There's a lot of variety in this game...tons of weapons to pick from and master, 10 magical spells to equip and mess around with, 6 types of shields that you can store up and equip in order to defend yourself from attacks, and a whole whack of cool armors for Arthur to wear. A lot of these special items are needed to gather the rings that you need, such as the Angelic Armor and Dragon Shield that both allow you to fly, and types of magic that unseal magical barriers or destroy boulders that may contain your prize. It's a very cool approach to the game and I'm quite liking gets you accustomed to the levels a little bit so you can (MAYBE) stand a chance at not being killed multiple times. There are also multiple difficulty settings: Novice, Standard, and Ultimate. I'm running through on Standard right now to get a feel for the game, but I certainly plan on taking on the Ultimate mode afterwards for a truly scathing experience!

I wouldn't want to be caught running around in this shit in just my boxers!

Gears of War 2 - Myself and a couple of friends finally sat down and crushed all 50 waves of Horde Mode, because it was just something we decided that we needed to accomplish before Gears 3 comes out in a month. Horde still stacks up as a damn fun experience, and I can't wait to check out the improved version of it in the third entry. Plus, having a whole team of Cole Trains is pretty much the best thing ever.

I eat Locust bastards like this for breakfast!

R-Type 3: The Third Lightning - I just decided to fire this game up again a little while ago on the basis that it's just a damn sweet horizontal shooter. It's still quite a difficult game, but I've always thought it was pretty unique in that rather than stacking up weapons and blowing enemies away faster, you actually have a lot of different tools at your disposal that give your strategy a bit more variety than usual. You have a standard shot, which can be either autofired or charged up...obviously autofire can make quick work out of swarms of small enemies, whereas a fully charged beam can level the larger ones. There's also a Hyper mode which allows you to charge up and fire multiple explosive shots for about 10 or 15 seconds, but your ship needs to cool down for about 20 more seconds afterwards, leaving you crippled for a while. You can still autofire, but charge shots are a no-go. You also get an upgrade known as a force, which sticks to either the back or front of your ship. There are three different Forces you can choose from, and they all act differently as you power them up. In addition, you can launch them at your enemies to take them out...which apparently does more damage to certain large enemies than I ever realized. I'm still going through this game and finding weak points that I didn't know enemies had and learning tricks that make getting through the levels a tad easier, which shows how deep it is for a shoot 'em up. Definitely one of the best shooters out there, so if you can find it for the SNES or download it on the Virtual Console for the Wii, DO IT!

Look weird? Just wait for the wall-mounted eyeball that shoots brain sperms at you!

That's pretty much it for now! I could cover Monster Hunter here, but maaaaaan that would take a long time! Just hurry up and release Frontier in North America, Capcom you FUCKS. I NEED IT. Also, that Contra: Shattered Soldier runthrough has been held up a little bit, but we'll get around to it eventually! Also I feel like writing up a World Ten entry soon...haven't done one of those in a while, so keep your eyes peeled!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

In Defense: Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet

Last time I probably made you scratch your head with a review of the game titled Aban Hawkins and the 1000 Spikes...and now I'm sure you think I'm doubly crazy with an article about something called Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. What the hell kind of drug is this guy on, and WHERE OH WHERE CAN I GET IT? Well, my answer is on the XBox Live Marketplace for about 1200 points...just don't tell anyone I tipped you off!

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (ITSP, for short) is a recently released downloadable game on the XBLA as part of Microsoft's Summer of Arcade. Basically it's a program where, if you buy all of the games released during Summer of Arcade, you can then download another game for free. Unfortunately I don't think that all of the ones released this year are for me...however, as soon as I saw footage of ITSP and gave the trial a shot, I knew it was all I needed from the total offering to be content. It's a slick, side-scrolling adventure that not only offers some great, classic style gameplay, but also an amazing art style style that is reminiscent of other downloadable games such as Limbo and World of Goo. This is a very good thing.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Someone turned 25 today!

And it's this person right here!

That's right, today (August 6th) marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Metroid for the NES. Back in 1986 at around this time, people were already starting to sink their teeth into the very original entry of the series, and maybe some really good players would have already discovered at the end that Samus was, in fact, a lady in a purple unitard.