Here's something that has been on my mind the past few days. I have a feeling either modern games are getting easier or my old school game skillz becomes worse as I get older. How do you ask? Read on.
Back in day we had black and white graphics and we'd like it.
I purchased Mega Man 9 on XBL, seeing how i played the shit out of Mega Man 2 and 3 back in the 8 bit NES days. Before achievements and trophies, beating a game is bragging right among kids back then. You beat Contra and you describe them what happens, you tell them that you fight a giant fucking heart then the island explodes and you escape. There was no youtube, no game videos. Friends would more likely believe your story, with wide eyes about your achievement. It was an accomplishment of its own. Beating Mega Man 2 (or more known as Rockman over here) was an even bigger feat as that game was hard as balls. Friends would ask about how to beat the Robot Masters and whose powers to use to beat Dr. Wily. We felt like a boss back then.
Victory over this bitch of a game still eludes me.
So with that in mind, I decided to take a trip back to nostalgia and fired up Mega Man 9. The whole 8-bit look certainly brought me back. So I started with what I read as the easiest Robot Master (or mistress) in the game. Splash Woman. How wrong I was. I died. A LOT! And I didn't even reach Splash Woman at all. I died to her flunkies. My mind was aghast, " How the hell is this happening, I used to beat this shit!!"
I tried the other stages. Jewel Man, repeatedly died during the level. Concrete Man, repeatedly died during the level. At this point I just got frustrated and turned it off.
This screen is pretty much the most I've gotten out of MM9
My gaming nostalgia trip crashed to a halt. I didn't touch that game for months. I've beaten games like Demon Souls, how the heck can't I beat Mega freaking Man 9?!! Let alone beat a Robot Master?!! I guess i've lost that old school touch. I can now only sit in shame and reminisce on the good old days when I beat games like Mega Man.
Ok, I'm typing this in a hotel lobby and in 24hrs time, I am about to enter a new stage in life. Being married. Excited? Sure. Nervous. Sure am. But what, as some of you might ask, has this to do with gaming?
Well, I did some thinking in the past few weeks, about how things are gonna change in my personal life. And while going through Dark Souls and dying for the 5th time fighting the Hydra, it hit me. Gaming is gonna have to take a back seat to my new life. Face it, I have to start budgeting the household expenses and gaming is gonna take a back seat. Waaay back seat to everything else that's important.
And i feel kinda sad in a way. Gaming has been a big part of my life, since 7 years old with the Atari 2600 to now with the Xbox and PS3 and PC.
I'm not saying that i'm giving up gaming as a whole. But what we're going through now, the gamut of gaming goodness from September to December. And me buying the new games as soon as it is released. Well that's not gonna happen often after tomorrow. And I'm gonna miss it. I'm not sure if this is part of growing up but I have to slowly let go of those gaming spending sprees as the finances is gonna be more concentrated on family building.
Of course, the missus is not stopping me from buying games or having online sessions on Live or PSN but the time spent is gonna be modest compared to before. (Although it helps that she's hooked on Dance Central)
Well, this may seem like i'm just rambling or just pre-nuptiual jitters but i just feel i have to express my feelings as a gamer, moving on to the next stage in his life. Hope this isn't considered a failblog and sorry for having no pictures or funny stuff. This is all from the heart.
I'll post pictures of the wedding day on my next entry or on a forum post, if anyone cares that is. :P
The Singapore launch of the eagerly anticipated Xbox 360 game, Gears of War 3 happened on today, September 19th 2011. We get to get it one day earlier than you Yanks (LOL!). There was a long line of gamers who had pre-ordered the Limited or the Regular version of the game. I didn't pre-ordered mine as I was confident of getting the Epic Edition on the 20th, but the guys whom I play online on the 360 and/or PS3 did so I was there to take pics of the event and to show the Dtoid Community how the event took place in this part of the globe.
Sorry for the blurry quality of some of the pics as i took it with my Iphone. The last picture is from a friend of ours of which my face appears. ( I'm the one in red)
The line started there.
A view from the 2nd floor
The Gears babes.
The play area. Didn't get to go in as it was for a lucky few from the line.
3,2,1... GEARS OF WAR!!
"Marcus Fenix", accompanied by the Gears babes to celebrate the launch.
Two of the guys showing off the game and the swag that came with it.
Last Saturday, there was this Xbox fair in a mall in Singapore. Naturally, it was about the Kinect and naturally it attracted a huge family type crowd. I went there around 2pm to see what the fuss was about and actually try out Dance Central, when i spotted the new 360 controller with the twistable dpad on sale. There was 2 left so i got one and thus here is my hands on impression of it.
The Pad itself comes with a play and charge kit and a casing for for regular alkaline or rechargeable AA batteries. Its grey in colour, almost reminiscent of the limited edition Halo Reach pad sans the artwork and Halo markings. The face buttons aren't the usual yellow, green, red and blue but instead comes in a shade of grey to white. X being dark grey, B is a lighter grey than X, A is a shade lighter than B and Y is white. The bumper and trigger buttons are black.
There's changes to the thumbsticks too. The 4 tiny nubs on the previous versions of the sticks are gone. Its now replaced with a circular indented groove on both thumbsticks. Its where you're supposed to rest your thumbs while giving it a comfortable feel to it.
The main feature of this pad is of course the twisting d-pad. The original 360 pad is a bane for traditional d-pad users who play platform games or fighting games. It doesn't register where it should and its difficult to make special move dpad movements on fighting games. Microsoft attempts to solve this problem by having the dpad issue by making it turn from the standard disc configuration to the plus (+) configuration by twisting it, either to the clockwise or anti clockwise direction.
The result is that twisting the pad makes the corner bits of the disc go down so that the plus configuration is more pronounced
But does it make any improvements? I tried the dpad out on 2 games. Pac Man CE DX and Super Street Fighter 4
On Pac Man CE DX, i used the Plus configuration. It started well but when the game speed started to increase and the game more frantic, the flaws began to show. There were times i tried to press left or right to move to the maze but it registers as going down or up instead. This is somewhat better than playing it on the disc configuration. Its just not precise as the plus configuration and its hard to maneuver through the maze using it even on lower game speeds.
On SSF4, i used Sagat to test out the controller. I tried in on training mode with a dummy CPU opponent. It registers quarter-circle moves fine but I had to input 2 quarter-circle moves to register a tiger uppercut or tiger knee. I usually use a joystick to play SSF4 so maybe d-pads in general may not be as precise in registering dragon punch inputs on it. I may be wrong.
Other than that most moves seems to work well with the Plus configuration. I also tried using Guile to test out charge moves and it seems to register decently, although it took me me a few tries to get the timing right and i just can't seem to get his Double Flash super combo to work on it. Of course this is all done with a non reactive CPU. I haven't tried it against the CPU proper or with a human opponent, offline or online.
To sum everything up, the plus d-pad configuration seems to improve on the flaws of the disc d-pad configuration on the existing 360 controllers, although i have to wonder why don't they just keep it that way instead of making you twist it and keeping the older d-pad configuration. Its still not as precise as its rival, the Dualshock 3 but its decent for what it is.