- Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise - free on Games With Gold. I know nothing about this series
- Little Big Adventure - free on GOG. I never got into this series when I was younger, but I do know that it's considered something of a classic. Also, there's a speedrun which beats it in about an hour.
- Metro 2033 - free on Steam. It's an FPS, has some kind of very depressing setting.
- Red Faction Guerilla - free on Games With Gold. I have this on Steam already, so I'll probably play that version instead, but still. Free games!
- The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - free on GOG. Haven't played the first one yet, but I've seen some footage and it does seem my sort of thing.
Hey, I didn't spend any money on games! I did spend some time on them, though. Here's the results.
Once I got back from America, I decided to start tackling the behemoth Heroes of Might and Magic series. Naturally I started with the first game, and so far I've beaten two missions. Mission 1 is a simple one designed to ease you into the mechanics, as HoMM was pretty revolutionary at the time. Technically the series started with King's Bounty, but that has since spiralled off into its own franchise; I'm not sure how similar they are now. The graphics are pretty good but the spell sounds are starting to grate on me a little. However, Mission 2 beat me up the first time I attempted it; I did a poor job of defending my earlier acquisitions and gradually lost so much ground that it was pointless to carry on. The second time had me recruiting a lot of heroes (I hit the maximum, in fact) in order to stand watch over the many villages I crushed along the way. Also I discovered how broken Dragons are. It seems fun, and I'm told that HoMM3 is considered a high point so I'm looking forward to it.
Iron Man (PS2) has been sitting on my games shelf for a little over two years, so I decided to take it off and actually play it. Being a film tie-in, I didn't expect anything great, but it sufficed. For the first few levels I thought it was impossible to die; I was playing on easy, but I couldn't even find anything in the interface suggesting a health bar. A few further missions in, the game decided to disabuse me of that notion by cramming the entire level full of dudes with missile launchers, and it actually became kind of fun. There was some hiccoughs along the way, but I beat the entire game in one sitting. Considering I got it for the low price of 'free', I guess I got my money's worth. Might speedrun it one day. A nice addition is that Robert Downey Jr. actually provided voice acting for the game.
I had been itching to try out The Lord of The Rings: The Third Age ever since I spotted it in the shop, so I pulled it out and excitedly spent 20 minutes trying to get Emily's NTSC PS2 to run it. Finally I got started, and it crashed after another 20 minutes of gameplay. Thankfully it's been fine after that. The game is essentially a side-story to the film series where you lead your own not-a-fellowship consisting of a Gondorian, Rivendell elf, Dunedain and Dwarf (and more later I guess). Currently my goal is to find Boromir, so I imagine that won't end well. Third Age plays like Final Fantasy X; the battle system is almost identical, which is not a bad thing. Graphics are fine, I like how party members go RARRRR when they get buffs/heals cast on them, the strategy is fun but a little easy so far, it's all good. Also, there's this secondary mode where you can play as the bad guys in a series of fights - a good addition, because the combat is obviously the strongest part. Killing The Watcher in the Water was an amusing aside. I wonder if we also end up killing the Witch King and Sauron himself. Maybe even Saruman. That would be fun.
Emily's family are visiting England again, so a fair amount of my time from now on will be spent with them, but I did manage to spend a couple of hours playing Kuri Kuri Mix / The Adventures of Cookie and Cream with my faithful coop partner. We ploughed through Music World and Trick World but Magical World is ending up being a real headache; there's a section on level 1 which seems to demand an incredibly precise jump, and if you've seen that game, precision does not enter into it. Hopefully we'll manage to get past and finish that level so we can never see it again.