Saturday, February 19, 2005

Grand Theft Auto Advance

This game is ... well, interesting. It started off being a bit pants, really - difficult to control, difficult to understand - but after the initial confusion and struggling it became really great. Use of the powerslide became intuitive, in particular. However, there are still some severe control issue with the game - it's virtually impossible to shoot anyone with anything other than a shotgun due to the accuracy needed, which you don't get with an 8-way directional system.

Anyway, I've worked my way through the game, and I'm on the final island. Probably on close to the final mission, as well. And I've got to drive all around the island and take out about 15 hitmen before they start a war against me. So, you've got to do it in a time limit, and I'm sure it's impossible.

Firstly, you can't simply run these people over - they'll survive a couple of times, so it takes ages to kill them that way. So the quickest way is to stop next to them, get out of the car, and use the shotgun. Which I do. I had a perfect run along what I think is the optimum course, and yet I still ran out of time before I reached the last man.

It's very, very frustrating.

By the way, if you're thinking that my prose above isn't quite as lucid as it normally is, that's probably because I'm still drunk from last night.

Ow, my head

When hosting, you have no disincentive to drink lots.

But I am the best at Donkey Konga. Oh yes.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Having friends over

Tonight I'm hosting. John and Kieron are coming over to play lots of games and eat pizza. We will, no doubt play Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles. And Zelda: Four Swords. And Pac-Man Vs.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Halo: the Library

Next time I'm suffering from insomnia, remind me to go and play the Library on Halo.

This is where I'd got up to, and therefore this is where I started last night. Oddly, none of my friends (as in, none of my friends list) were online at all, which was a shame as I really wanted to play Outrun 2 online. I've played it offline rather a lot recently. So I put on Halo instead, given that my hands were too sore and I wasn't feeling energetic enough to play DK: Jungle Beat.

The Library is just a big, long repetitive level, which is seeming to go on forever. You go up the corridor, lots of Flood enemies come out, you backtrack while killing them. You go forward to the same place and more flood appear. And again. And again. Eventually you get to a room where the door's locked, and you have to wait there while this blue flying monitor thing unlocks the door. And unsurprisingly, more Flood appear. And more. And then you go up the corridor ...

I'd gone up two floors by the time I switched off, and had got to another security room. The trick with this one was that not only was the door in front locked, but the one behind also closed. I was so surprised by this variation that I promptly died.

Halo was great until this point, but I can forsee this going on for another fifteen floors, all exactly the same, just to lengthen the game. And I can't see the point in that - I'd actually prefer to have a game that was quicker to finish which I'd then want to play again. If I ever finish Halo, I'll be put off from restarting because I'll know to complete the game, you've got to get through the Library. Which is just getting rather dull.

Actually, it's made worse by the lack of tactics needed. With the Covenant, you had to think hard about your actions - could you kill a few of them from long distance without others noticing? Could you force them to attack you in a certain way? The Covenant AI was great, and meant you had to strategise constantly. The flood just run towards you to attack. You can't really plan how to take them on, you have to just go and shoot as many as you can as quickly as you can.

Oh, and try not to run out of ammo.

In other news, Mario 64 DS is still great, and I have 75 stars, with only a few minigames left locked. And the library in Boo's house is tiny.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat

Game have an offer on at the moment, of any chart game for £29.99. This makes Game as cheap as, if not cheaper than, online retailers. It's not good news for small independent shops - Game have managed to secure lower wholesale rates due to the volume of stock they purchase, and as a result are able to decrease prices and still make a profit, while their competitors make a loss.

Anyway. I took advantage of this offer to buy Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat. It's a game that's controlled with bongos - indeed - and is utterly fabulous. It does, however, have a disadvantage. You can only buy the game packaged with bongos, and I've already got two sets of drums. I bought Donkey Konga when it came out, see, and bought a second set of drums then so my girlfriend could join in.

Nintendo UK, in its infinite wisdom, aren't letting you buy the game seperately for, say, £20. Instead, you must buy the game plus bongos for £40 (or, as I did, £30), and then sell the bongos on. This means that the market is flooded with cheap "second-hand" (but as new) bongos, and nobody's going to pay full price for a second set for Donkey Konga any more. Nintendo has, in effect, lost themselves some money, since they could have sold the game for £20, additional bongos for £25 (as they are actually priced), and not destroyed the market for the latter.

But, in any case, Jungle Beat is an excellent game, thoroughly recommended.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Americanisation

"Why do you think that honeydew is the money melon?"

What? If you're American, let me just point out to you that that question makes absolutely no sense to anyone else in the world.

And yet it's what Blogger just asked me.

Do I look American? Do I miss the "u" out of colour, labour and humour?

(Note: this is why American jokes aren't funny. When you are talking to them, you can easily tell them that, for them, there's no "u" in humour.)

Bah. They should be asking me which type of tea I like best.

Sausage sandwiches and Metroid Prime

Is there a more perfect foodstuff than sausage sandwiches? They're also about the only thing that I make better than my mum used to. She always cut a sausage into four thin strips, whereas I use two sausages per sandwich, cutting them only in half. Lightly toasted bread, tomato sauce, a bit of butter ... oh, and orange juice on the side.

Anyway, I've been gaming this weekend. It started on Friday night, when I was playing Halo 2 online. I finally beat someone at head to Head. Well, I almost did. The score was up to 7-1 to me, and the other person quit. I will hate him forever.

Then yesterday (Saturday), I played Metroid Prime. Not the sequel, the original. I did play it for a while when I first got it, up to about 9% of the way in. Then I got to this big plant boss thing which I just couldn't defeat. I tried loads of times and then gave up.

But yesterday I killed him first time.

Interesting how I think he's a him. I suppose I wouldn't expect a female to wear a skull as part of facial decoration. And no lipstick.

Anyway, so overawed was I by this that I ended up playing for another two hours non-stop. You know something's good when you do that.

Also yesterday, I played Outrun 2. I find the mission mode rather hard, but I do enjoy the arcade game. I took the right turns all the way and beat my best time. So that was pleasing. The desert stage, as you go over the hill, is still awe-inspiring. It's just a shame that you're going past it so fast.

Then today, I've been playing Halo. I met the Flood for the first time, and rather enjoyed the way you can set chain reactions off. I'm now in the library, which I've been told is a long monotonous level. Oh joy.