Monday, 31 October 2011


Haven't been playing a single game heavily recently; I tried to continue my playthrough of Final Fantasy VIII for Emily but my PS2 refused to play it last time I asked, but I also have active games on Assassin's Creed and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. I want to finish the first AC again mostly to get everything fresh again for when I start Brotherhood, and FFCC is just because I like it and I want to show Emily how pro I am when the second GBA arrives so we can play together.

Nothing else interesting to say, really. Did some more Quake speedrun practice, got a 30-minute realtime run, which is not exactly impressive to a seasoned runner but it fits into my time slot. In fact, it leaves me 5 minutes to finish the secret levels in case whatever extra donation total we decide on is met, which is probably enough. It's just so annoying to keep on running and running and come up very short on the great Connor Fitzgerald's record run. Also I spent 4 minutes trying to get the jump on e3m1 this time, haha.

Oh, also Bruce has been really talkative today, lots of nice chirps and cheeps and burbles.

Thursday, 20 October 2011


Nintendo seem very set on preventing Emily and I from playing games together. First we tried playing the free Four Swords Anniversary Edition together from DSiWare, but apparently our DSs don't want to talk to each other because they're speaking different kinds of English or something I guess?

Then we had the bright idea of getting an extra Gamecube->GBA Link cable so that we could play Four Swords Adventures together! And guess what, her US copy of the game refuses to talk to my EU Gameboy Advance.

I love interoperability.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Anonymous Notes Chapter 1 (DSiWare)

So I played a little more of this dungeon crawler. The exit from Abyss 3 led to a boss chamber. The boss himself was pretty trivial (I got some Minotaur dude that walked around really slowly getting peppered by my arrows) and afterwards he dropped some B-rank axe and let me exit. This reset the entire dungeon and regenerated it, so the areas are different (and longer) and the monsters are tougher (well, more HP/damage). Drops also seem to have been similarly scaled. My save file now says 'Clear: 1', but there's also these 4 star slots which aren't filled in. Kinda sad that I'll be listening to this one piece of music for all the dungeon floors in the game... I hope it changes at some point; the dungeon tiles are the same but slightly recoloured, too.

So now I've played a little more, I can give some kind of judgement on it. It's fun, not particularly profound, would be much better multiplayer. I wonder if Chapter 2 is more of the same or an improvement on the formula. I'll try a little more Chapter 1 before grabbing it.

Edit: Ok, got 2 clears. Now the tileset is white and I forgot to check if the music changed. The game is just throwing good items at me now, and I just got my first S rank item - a ring which prevents all status effects. Damn useful, and it makes using Soul Siphon a LOT less randomly painful.

Monday, 17 October 2011

The Epic of Bruce

It's weird to legally own a living thing. Now in proud (joint) possession of a yellow budgerigar, who was almost immediately named Bruce. He's kinda crazy right now, but given a while hopefully he'll settle down and start squawking pieces of eight or something, that's what birds do right?

Sunday, 16 October 2011

DSiWare Acquisitions + Anonymous Notes Chapter 1 (DSiWare)

Emily randomly made me buy some stuff from DSiWare, so my results of this are Anonymous Notes Chapter 1 - From The Abyss (200pts) and Castle Conqueror (500pts). Haven't played the latter yet, but here's some reports about the former.

It's fun! You run around and hit stuff, it's fairly easy at first and gets harder. The stealing-skills-off-enemies thing is a cool idea, though considering how often you get bad results by using the siphon spell it's rather annoying. I'm unsure whether it's a good idea to just kill things or siphon them if you're low on health... siphon can get you HP back (a somewhat random amount? is it based on enemy hp when you siphon?) but it can also poison you, which is death unless you have an All Green. Killing stuff often makes them drop nothing or an irrelevant item, but sometimes a health potion which restores quite a lot. Ho hum.

Also weapon types seem horribly balanced so far. Sword is fast and therefore beats a lot of enemy attacks, axe is slow and only has a 2-long combo, but hits for more. Spears have a 3-combo but they only attack straight forward, which is incredibly annoying. Haven't seen a bow yet. Rods only attack once but they give a magic bonus or whatever, which seems hard to use currently because my spells do very little and take forever to actually cast.

There's already a 'Chapter 2' of this game released, which I'll grab if I have fun with this one. Emily has some more films to review if she'll finally get round to it. :)

Monday, 10 October 2011


Not much vidya game playing has been going on lately; been doing boring domestic stuff and buying new things to take up space in my place. Once we have more floorspace and a little extra order has been imposed on say, the contents of certain rooms, it'll be back to throwing controllers through screens again.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Final Fantasy and Willow

I still don't hate Zell.

In other news, we watched one of our "must watch" films this week--Willow, starring Warwick Davis and Val Kilmer. I had been interested in the movie for a long time, thanks to a poster my dad got for free and hung up inside my sister's room. My sister and I always wondered about it, but we never rented it for some reason. When HMV had Willow on sale, I had no choice but to pick it up.

I really enjoyed it! Paul had seen it before, when he was a little kid, but didn't remember much of it. I'm so glad we decided to buy it; I'm sure I will want to watch it again.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Final Fantasy VIII (PS1)

Hah, I knew it! I knew I'd forget about this! Anyway.

I'm replaying Final Fantasy VIII so that Emily can see the game behind the hype/nonsense/"Don't think twice for a second" and make her own mind up about it, like I did for FF7. So far things have gone less than smoothly, with my party dying regularly against bosses because I spend too much time in critical, haha. I actually game overed against Elvoret for Pete's sake, but I managed to clutch it out with solo Zell versus Gerogero at least. Now I have 100 Curaga on his HP-J though, so the game is going to be a breeze for some time.

For some strange reason we're naming characters after Wind Waker people and GFs after various types of candy. I may stream our playthrough at some point just to see audience reactions, maybe not.

Anyway I'm up to the "why are Galbadia trying to use the radio tower" part, so it's just about time to show Emily Zell's majorest fuckup in this game. I WILL make her hate Zell!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Four Swords Anniversary Edition (again)

Slightly interesting news: If you want to play The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition on DSi/3DS and your handheld is a different region from your partner's, you're out of luck. Multiplayer simply refuses to work on my and my husband's DSis. It doesn't make much sense to me, considering the only way to play co-op is locally, but oh well...

That said, I did get through the basic single-player campaign today. Having never played the game before, I was pleasantly surprised. The puzzles were nothing too special, but they were still quite fun, although there were some points where having another person play with you would make things work much more smoothly than switching back and forth. Having played the single-player mode of Four Swords Adventures on the GameCube, this did surprise me a little, but left me with no real trouble. I just wish I could play the game with Paul.

Where the game truly shines, though, is the "Realm of Memories": this new section riffs on The Legend of Zelda, Link's Awakening, and A Link to the Past in a fun and great way. The puzzles are also more challenging here (still nothing too brain-breaking; this is a Zelda game, after all), and personally, more fun. I'm nowhere near being finished with the game--I do want to find all the treasures in all the areas, and unlock as many techniques as I can!--but I can see myself coming back to it even after I complete it.


There's around eleven trillion films I want Emily to watch, and around the same amount she wants me to watch, so we've decided to get 10 a month or something. HMV is going to love me and my money soon.
  • Amélie - one of my favourite films
  • Being John Malkovich - this film is very weird
  • Bicentennial Man - robotic Robin Williams
  • Die Hard Quadrillogy - technically four films, though you could pretend it is one very long, terrible day
  • Drunken Master - a very drunk Jackie Chan
  • Fight Club - still great
  • Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children - she wanted it
  • Gladiator - kills tigers and doesn't afraid of anything
  • Liar Liar - pretty sure this is funny
  • Willow - zelda
Going to be fun.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Four Swords Anniversary Edition

I can't believe this happened, but Paul wants to play a Zelda game.

We just got The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition for free on the DSi, and he is the one begging me to play it! I suppose I have had more influence on him than I've realised. Also, this means that one day I may get him to play Wind Waker. Muahahaha.

Now that I'm back in England, I can finish another playthrough of Wind Waker myself! However, I might wait until I play some of my new games first.

Back Home

Emily and I are now very tired but back at my place. IT BEGINS

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Acquisitions Special

Uh, okay, before I leave, Good Old Games currently has two games for free that you might be interested in.

  • Ultima IV: Quest for the Avatar - hehe, oops. It's free! Well, now I have the DOS and NES versions, I guess?
  • Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars - Director's Cut - I haven't played the first in the series though I have finished the second game. I'd expect a fun if not particularly amazing adventure game.
You like games? They free. Get.

Returning to England

I've been here in New York for nearly 2 weeks now, and a lot has happened. Now I'm taking my new wife back to England in anticipation of lots of cooked breakfasts and co-op speedrunning.

I leave for Philadelphia in about 8 hours, and then on to Manchester some time after that. See you all later.

Populous (DS)

I was pleasantly surprised to find Populous had been ported to the DS while randomly browsing my local game store one day. It's a reasonably faithful port; you drag the land up and down to change it, and while the interface can only be worse than the original DOS game, it works. The stylus is necessary, but the d-pad and L button are also very useful and using all three at once for longer than about 30 minutes gets painful. Obviously the DS is designed with short bursts of play in mind though.

So, the game. It looks nice; the GUI is very similar to ye olde dos gamme, and the spells are refreshingly familiar, though the 'choose which deity you are' thing looks half-lifted from Populous 2, which is not a bad decision at all. It seems kinda short; there's 4 sets of levels named 'Tutorial', 'Level 1', 'Level 2', and 'Bonus' and single levels within these sets have a time limit, so it has a pretty well-defined upper time investment. Unless you lose the levels, of course.

This port also has FMVs for some deity spells; while I'm not a fan of this kind of japanese stuff, they look okay and they are quite brief. Also a break from the dragging up/down action is welcome; despite the usually slow pace of Populous, on the DS with its slightly different mechanics games tend to be more frantic. Losing when Armageddon is declared at the time limit is possible, it happened to me today!

So far I've done all of Level 1 and Tutorial.