NAME: Johnny Barnstorm
AGE: Sometime in the late twenties.
LOCATION: British Columbia
PREFERRED GENRES: Anything where a sassy she spy blows things up. Adventure games. Racing games. Fighting games, too, to some degree. Side-scrolling hit-those-guys games.
KOOBERT'S SYSTEMS: Turbografx-16, PlayStation, Sega Nomad, Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast, PlayStation2, XBox, Nintendo DS, XBox 360, PSP, Sega Saturn, PlayStation3.
GAMES WHICH MAKE KOOBERT WAX NOSTALGIC: Manhunter: New York, Star Control 2, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Police Quest 2, Quest for Glory II: Trial By Fire, Phantasy Star I & IV, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, Shining Force, Driver, Metropolis Street Racer, Bushido Blade. Yeah... and that Smashing Brothers game. Fine.
CURRENTLY PLAYING: Braid, Penny Arcade Adventures, The Strong Bad Game for Cool and Attractive People: Episode One, Final Fantasy XI, Ys Books I & II, StarFox 64, Chrono Trigger.
So I'm almost done with Siren, which I am going to write about as soon as I'm finished, in a spoileriffic plot analysis. As is, it's one of the best games that I've played this year. So, yes. Forty bucks. Download it. It's freaky, interesting, and uses sparse dialogue and exposition, as well as reuse of locations, in a novel manner. Plus it has some of the best pacing and structure, at some points, of any game that I've played.
I've got a giant pile of shame. These are games that I've accrued relatively recently, and have either played halfway through, or stopped playing due to boredom, lack of time, getting a new game, or putting it down and forgetting where the heck I was and what I was supposed to be doing.
I put this to you, Destructoid reader: what should I tackle next? Here is my pile of shame, in all its glory:
Pros: Fun, plus I'll feel smart if I finish it, as plenty of other gamers have finished it. I also want to see what the ending sequence is like. Also, I've probably only got 20 puzzles to solve.
Cons: I've already ran through each level. And some of them are very hard. I may not be smart enough to complete this.
LOST ODYSSEY (360)
Pros: Great writing, and a good story. Oe of the few JRPGs where I like most of the characters. The combat system is relatively fun and challenging.
Cons: The game crashes to a disk read error every hour or two. I might just want to wait until I get a larger HD and get the New XBox Experience, which apparently will allow me to run games off the hard drive. Problem solved. Also, I'm on disk three, and it seems like the story has kind of fizzled out. Not sure if there is a way to view past cutscenes to bring me back up to speed.
ZAK & WIKI (Wii)
Pros: Looks fun, I get to use the Wii.
Cons: Wii games get very old, very quickly. Art style is a bit of a turn off. I feel like 29 may be too old to play this game. I feel creepy.
Pros: I get to be in Japan! The recreation of that, you know, part of Tokyo there that it's supposed to be set in is nifty. Plus the story is cool, and I like the combat system. It's like Shenmue if Shenmue were, you know, fun.
Cons: The American localization makes everyone talk like rough street thugs. They say fuck about eight times a minute. It's unconvincing and awkward, especially when mixed with local terms like "oyabun!"
Pros: I can prep myself for the upcoming sequel. It's a classic, with style, wry writing, and is one of those old PC games that people like me love, and I've never played it.
Cons: Doesn't run perfectly on my PC, and it's got janky prerendered character animation that is annoying and painful to watch. Never really dug isometric games.
PENNY ARCADE ADVENTURES VOLUME ONE: ON THE RAIN-SLICKED PRECIPICE OF DARKNESS (360)
Pros: It's Penny Arcade funny, well-written, and nice to look at. Plus the character I made really does look like me. It's also a five-to-seven hour game that I still haven't finished.
Cons: The combat system is annoying, as the fight screen requires you to pay too far too much action onscreen at once. You've got to dodge attacks while trying to choose items and attacks and monitoring the combat-ready bars of each character.
Pros: It's very pretty, and is one of those "you have to play this" games.
Cons: I'm not sold on playing Zelda style games on the Wii controller. Heck, I've never been good or that interested in Zelda games in the first place. And it sounds way too long.
MERCENARIES 2 (360)
Pros: Blowing things up in this game is a lot of fun. It's got some fun physics for the driving models, omst of the time, and an interesting faction system.
Cons: It's badly programmed and a much weaker game overall than its predecessor. I've played it for about eight hours and I think I might be done with it.
ENCHANTED ARMS (PS3)
Pros: It's a JRPG. For the PS3. And it was fourteen bucks at the video store. Seemed like a good idea at the time. The Penny Arcade guys liked it.
Cons: I know absolutely nothing about this game.
GRIM GRIMOIRE (PS2)
Pros: Well, it sure is weird. Beautiful, hand drawn, side-scrolling RTSes aren't a dime a dozen.
Cons: Weird didn't keep me playing Odama. And the voice acting reminds me of some lousy Fringe players that I've seen.
STRONG BAD'S COOL GAME FOR ATTRACTIVE PEOPLE: EPISODES 1 & 2 (Wii)
Pros: Homestar Runner has consistently been one of my favorite characters to quote, as well as Homsar. From what I've played of the first game, it's funny. I've got 1000 Wii points just waiting to be spent. Apparently episode 2 is much better.
Cons: Not a very well structured or paced adventure game, at least not halfway through episode 1. I'm not sure if I have enough room in my "fridge" for part 2.
Pros: It's fun, and I'm not that bad at it as long as I stay the hell away from those planes. I haven't unlocked anything in this game and I've owned it for almost a year. Plus there are trophies now. Trophies!
Cons: I probably will have to shell out extra money for the expansion to get anywhere online with it now.
WIPEOUT HD (PS3)
Pros: Pretty, and much more fun than it should be.
Cons: Not sure my ADD can take this for more than 20 minutes at a time. Not much to it.
METAL GEAR SOLID: TWIN SNAKES (GC)
Pros: I've hardly played this. Not got past that damn first room. I want to see how it stacks up to my memory of beating Metal Gear Solid in 1998. I did like that game quite a bit. Though I think I preferred Syphon Filter. Huh.
Cons: God, I hate that first room. They see me every time! Come on, Hideo! It's the first freaking room.
METAL GEAR SOLID 3: SUBSISTENCE (PS2)
Pros: I'm at Groznyjgrad, which is near the end of the game. I beat the first two. I should really find out what happens at the end of this one before moving on to Metal Gear Solid 4.
Cons: This game pisses me off. A lot. The camo system is retarded. And I'm always running out of tranqs.
Pros: I got it free, and it's one of those Rez-style shooters, only instead of a wireframe man, you've got a she-spy lady who shoots guns while dancing. I haven't actually, uh, played it yet.
Cons: Not sure if this game is fun to play, or is just better to think about.
CHRONO TRIGGER (SNES)
Pros: It's fun, and I'll be all 'leet for beating the SNES version on a real SNES cartridge.
Cons: I have no freaking clue as to what I'm supposed to do next. I got some kinda Time Egg or something. Chrono's dead. And, yeah, sometimes 16-bit games with zero nostalgia have trouble keeping my attention.
Pros: Another 'leet game. Plus it was pretty fun.
Cons: Another game which I stopped playing and have no real idea what I should be doing. I had just cleared out the zombietown. I could consult the GameFAQs..