Tuesday, 21 January 2014

High Octane Game Beating Action

The gaming doesn't let up! Here's an update.

Blinx: The Time Sweeper is a game I remember very fondly from my school days, where I'd go to a friend's house and attempt to take on this incredibly unforgiving game. Most of the game's difficulty comes from its controls, which are 'loose' at best. I've been playing a (different) friend's copy on my Xbox 360, and... it doesn't emulate it very well. Most levels run at about 80% speed, in some spots the game slows down to around 20%... this might make it easier in some ways, but no gamer wants a variable framerate. Anyway, I'd played the first few worlds months ago, but I got around to it recently and now it's sat with a nice shiny Beaten sign, though not Completed, because I didn't even get half of the Cat Medals. The last boss is very random and frustrating. Despite all the problems I still like this game. I'd like to run it someday, probably only possible once I get a real Xbox.

Next up is Symphony, an odd game which takes the concept of games like Audiosurf and Beat Hazard and wraps it in a campaign you can actually finish. Essentially it creates shmup-like levels which vaguely match up to the beat and dynamics of the music you choose. I had to stop playing this for several months while they fixed a bug that made it unable to display enough drive letter icons for me to actually browse to my music. Then I realised that a hardlink would allow me to browse to it from C:. After I did this and beat the game, they patched it so that it shows more drive letters. That's life. It's a fairly good game, nothing special. If somebody could produce a more precise algorithm I still think this genre of game has potential.

Seeing as I beat Sonic CD a few days ago, Emily suggested also beating Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I as I bought it in some random sale in months past. So I did. Massive amounts of design ripped off from earlier games, some really halfhearted boss fights, the requisite few really fucking annoying levels and a final boss that had me yelling at the scream. That's not a recommendation. It's not a terrible game by any means, but if you own any other 2D Sonic game then it's probably better than this.

The last game to fall before I write this is Mega Man X: Command Mission. This another game I played a big chunk of last year and decided to finish up - I was just about to start Chapter 8, so I only had 3 to go. Went fairly smooth; one of the bosses took an annoyingly long time to defeat but I was never in any danger. Then, the boss rush was totally pointless, just gave me some more XP I guess. The final bosses were scary at first, but not all that difficult; overall this is a serviceable JRPG. Of course, that comes with the usual proviso that the voice acting and plot is terrible, so skip cutscenes, even if this is your first playthrough. It's not worth it; there's no character development or denouement with this game, unlike Enchanted Arms.

I only had four games to report on beating, but I may as well mention that I started another - Mystic Heroes, a PS2 game by Koei. Yes, it's like Dynasty Warriors. No, it's not as good. It's based on some incredibly popular Chinese fantasy novel which I know nothing about, so I'm sure a lot of it is lost on me, but it plays like DW with what little finesse there is taken out. Also it's a bit laggier and I'm not sure why. I'm already at 6-3 so there's probably only a few levels left. Watch this space.

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