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6:48 PM on 02.17.2008

Sonic 2, Halo 3, and other games I never bothered to finish

When I don't finish a game, I tend to view it as a failure on the game's part, and not on mine. I mean, I just spent 50 USD on a game, I'd like to get 'my money's worth' by playing through all of it. You know? One example of this is COD4. I finished COD4 in 3 sittings. Yeah, I played from start to the last bit of Chernobyl, finished it, then Chernobyl to the end. Now, there are places in that game where I got stuck, I won't lie, but the difficulty ramp was fairly steady and if I failed to do a mission, trying again wasn't so tricky.

Other games, however, well, I'll do the talking.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2

Too friggin' long

The Sega Genesis was my first system, and the only reason my family had one was because my 4th grade teacher donated it to our family, along with a few games including Sonic II. This was around the time of the N64, back when you couldn't get your mitts on one because they were in high demand (Like the Wii, eh?)

So anyway, Sonic 2, no where to save. So in order to get to the later levels, I had to play thorough the earlier levels hundreds of times over before the layout was etched into my memory permanently and I could play through without losing lives. Getting to later levels required at least an hour of solid playtime. The last one before the final boss was this Sky Fortress thing, and by then it would be a whole new level to me because I've hardly ever played it.

I think there was a boss at the end of that level, but by then the time spent completing it becomes less important than the time i've wasted on it.

Mega Man Legends

Scratched disk

Mega man legends was awesome, it was almost like Dead Rising but for the PS1, and with mega man. The level of customization was pretty deep, the story was alright, and the graphics were good for it's time. This was a game made before the advent of dual analogs, so in order to turn from side to side one had to use the shoulder buttons (R1 and L1), great thinking, right? I had been progressing through the game pretty steadily for a few weeks, but when I entered a new area I guess my PS2 couldn't read the disk and it locked up. I suppose I could have gotten another used disk at GameStop for 7 bucks, but I the only thing that would have made me do that was the story (maybe) and it wasen't worth it.

fun fact The ship that you crash landed in at the start of the game is blocked from entry for most of the game by your gal pal 'Roll'. Well, later in the game she gets a van to drive around in, so once I just had her park in another area and I walked all the way to the wrecked ship for the sole purpose of exploring. I get inside and start poking around, and I find Roll's room, and I guess I stumbled upon an 'easter egg' scene where you walk in on Roll undressing. You don't see anything, but damn if I didn't feel cheeky about it.

Dead Rising

Friggin' hard

The save settings make for situations where you only have one shot to do things, and learning from one's mistakes becomes impossible unless there is a lot of time invested. Weapons have limited life spans, so if you want to use something good, like a 2x4, then you gotta grab five of them. Also, whenever another enemy has any sort of minor advantage over you, the difficulty gets stupid hard.

But the game's fun, you know? You're in a mall and you can take shit, like guitars, and use them as weapons. If you poke around enough, you even find cars to drive, and that's really fun. And even though every side mission is an escort mission (which are the hardest and stupidest missions of them all) you still feel like you gotta save all the people, and ignore everything else to finish it. You figure out strategies, and find things, and it's a great load of fun.

I got stuck, and am currently still stuck, at the beginning of level 2-1, where you have to take down Carlito and his fucking sniper rifle. He also has grenades, and you're partner is useless. The only way to beat him is to get really lucky and rack up a bunch of hits against him, which probably won't happen in a bazillion years. But I'm gonna try again sometime, so maybe we'll see. But when I put the game down 2 years ago this was the spot I got stuck at, I even restarted the game to level up enough to beat it, wish me luck, yo.

Halo 3


Yeah, I never finished Halo 3...even after all the hype and the waiting and the wringing of the hands, I never finished. The problem is a save issue. You see, 2 days after I got it I went to a LAN where everyone was playing it, and I brought my 360. Halfway though the night we decide to do Co-op campaign mode. Well we quit right when the Flood Overlord dude snatches you away and gets all up in your grill, and that point it was like 3 in the morning and we were like "screw this, later."

A semester later, when I finally had a TV to play it on and the time to play it, I sat down thinking it would take me to the current save point that we left at when playing Co-op. Oh nooo, my singleplayer save was on the first level and Co-op would only let me play completed levels, which meant that I would have to play 2 and a half levels over again before getting to a new area. I even sat down to try, but it was just kinda heartbreaking, and even now the disk is just sitting in the box. Granted, the 4+ hours I spent in co-op were friggin amazing, but it just kind of repeats a lot of stuff like the big ass Crab Tanks. Not only that, but the game throws a lot of the same enemies at you, by the time you get onto "The Ark" you've pretty much faced everything. At least I think so.

I hear there's a pretty sweet ass driving level at the ending of it, and I've already read the story ending on wikipedia, but I haven't seen it, so I feel like I've missed something. Then again, if I don't have the drive to finish it then what am I missing, you know?   read

11:00 PM on 02.15.2008

I never finished an RPG

Wait...scratch that...I finished Paper Mario. Ahh, good game.

Rpgs, they're like little adventures you can take. A dumbed down version of a fantasy novel. I buy them thinking "oh boy, this will occupy my time" but like a few weeks later, I'll get stuck, or maybe I'll get busy with something and I just don't touch the PSP/DS for a couple of weeks.

Completing an RPG, though, that's a real treat. You've beaten the boss who's got like 40 full healing potions and 7 different forms and you've gone through every dungeon it's good to know you've kicked the game's ass and gone through another ripoff of Joesph Campbell's typical Hero's Journey.

But the going gets rough sometimes, you know?

Pokemon Yellow, late 90's
Stuck on that one island village, 2nd to last gym (?)

Ahh, the late 90's. Surge was still in stores, Napster was still up, and you could still buy Pokemon bed sheets. I had gotten a Game Boy pocket for my Birthday and Pokemon yellow, which was like PK Red or Blue, only with extra pickachu becaue he was so goddamn cute, and the kidz love cute right? Lolz. It was like the last day of 6th grade and we were playing games. I guess we could bring CD players and game boys. Anyway, I was playing the Gym boss or whatever, in this heated battle, and I knew it was mine. Then my teacher was like "oh you gotta go participate in the Connect Four tournament, so turn off that gameboy" so I did, right in the middle of the friggin battle, and I guess I never touched it again. After 6th grade, Pokemon was dweeb culture and I had to ditch it, so much for that.

Pokemon Silver
Just gave up out of boredom

Heyyy, it's pokemon, lulz, it makes zillionz of dollarz! Let's sell the same game over and over again, only adding more land to explore and more monsters! yeah
That's PK silver in a nutshell, I got through the "new" section of the "World" and was trying to get to the 2nd area, and there was some stuff I had to do and I guess I just didn't have the drive to continue. It's like when you play Halo 3 online and everyone's a frigtard who yells racial slurs, you just wanna get out of there and sip some Canada Dry, which is what I did.

Final Fantasy 7
The part where Barret's old rival gets all up in his grill, and you gotta take him on man to man
Barret, yeah, probably should have leveled him up some more. He dosen't stand a chance up against his rival, which looks like Snake "I thought you were dead" Pliskin from Escape From New York. It's in that part where you get to the huge casino, and then the casino staff get all up in your grill and dump you out the garbage chute. Then you gotta fight sketchy types in that junkyard and the only way to advance it to take on Barret's nemisis, or maybe it's his bud and his bud wants to go Kahn on his ass. I don't remember.
Anyway, Aeris gets the shaft....falah falah....the end.

Zombie Circus
Oh man, I loved the hell out of Earthbound. It's like the Monty Python of RPGs (Or, is Monty Python the Earthbound of movies?????) Anyway this was in highschool, and I was startin' to get migranes and stuff, when I get a migrane I get this "aura" where my vision starts to mess up and things start disappearing, then I'm out for the next 12 hours :( .
But Eathbound, oh yeah. I rescued Paula from the hippies, and I think I met up with Jeff and we crossed the bridge with the ghosts because the only way you can cross is on the Runaway 5's tour van, which kicks ass. But then they just dump you in this zombie village, and the only way to kill all the zombies is this one dude in the middle of a circus tent. Needless to say, I don't think I got him. I really regret not putting more effort into earthbound, cause it was the Cats Pajamas.

Anyway yeah. I've done a few more since then, but those are the ones that stand out.   read

1:51 PM on 02.05.2008

Good Idea, Bad Idea: Car Mods

Racing games, they have cars. One of the common themes in racing games is that you spend your race "winnings" on "parts" that make your car go marginally faster. When Need for Speed Underground came out, one could add Body kits and Stickers and other doo-dads to turn one's auto from stock to a 4 wheeled rolling monstrosity of fiberglass and steel.

Now, any racing game worth it's salt is doing car customization. Don't want your Ferrari to be red? Make it hot pink and add some tribal vinyls. Got a mid 90's Japanese import? Slap a body kit and add some rims! You're gold!

The greatest part about this added feature is that your car no longer became just another car in the game, it became your car. You picked the kit, the paint, the stickers, the window tint, everything. And then you got to hoon it around a virtual track, classy.

Good Idea: Forza 2

Forza 2 lets you pick from a few body kits, but the selections are modeled from real world parts and not some made up parts the game modelers dreamed up. These body parts are enough to make the cars look different from stock, but not so extravagant that they become tacky. But body kits are a small part of the customization options, the real meat and potatoes of it are in the paint and vinyls feature. While games prior to Forza 2 have had a similar vinyl app where the player takes simple shapes and vector images to create images, Forza 2 seemed to have spawned off a whole sub-community of artists who take it to a whole new level. Photo-realism is possible, even if it takes 500 hundred layers. It took me a visit to the Forza 2 forums to realize that the images were not, in fact, imported from a PC and stuck into the game somehow.

Bad Idea: Need For Speed Underground 2, Carbon.

Let's be honest: the minute Fast and Furious came out, tacky import cars suddenly became "In" and the first game to capitalize on this was Need For Speed Underground. That first game was great. But then the 2nd game came out, and all of a sudden in order to advance you had to tack awful body kits and spinning rims to your car in order to get a big enough "Visual Score" to advance to the next stage. Adding to the stupidity was the ability to "Race" SUVs (which, in retrospect, provided emission-free thrills. Driving a H2 with a spoiler and nitrous oxide over 150 MPH feels strangely patriotic)

The stupid didn't stop there. Need For Speed Most Wanted managed to redeem itself by tying your car's appearance to it's wanted level, which meant that once in a while you just swapped the paint job and stickers so the cops wouldn't notice. (And it had police chases, which were very fun)

Carbon, that game just kind of tanked.

I mean, at this point the series introduced "Auto sculpt" which let you take an already stupid-looking body kit/rims/spoiler and make it look worse. The series was still stuck in it's "2 Fast 2 Furious" mindset, where regular people would race cars to settle territory disputes.

But the cars, oh my God, what were they thinking?

at one point I think I was able to add a body kit to a SLR McLaren, paint it hot pink, add a wing the size of a park bench to the rear, and drive it around. At some point the fantasy is just too ridiculous to be amusing anymore. I left my cars stock in defiance.

Part of the problem is that, silly me, I just wanted RACING STRIPES. but NO! I get 100's of tribal stickers instead! And some other ugly stickers that I could win but I have to "Unlock" and by the time I've raced 50 people in order to unlock it, I've settled on the setup I have. Just leave all of them unlocked, really.

Also, there are stickers for part and auto manufacturers in a lot of games, and I add them to make my car have that "Race" look (or whatever) but often they have some benign value like 50 credits each. and it's just annoying, because I want to add as many as I want, but they cost half as much as a regular vinyl but cover 1/16 the area. Just give them away for free, like every other manufacturer does, free advertising, etc. (hell, what racing game isn't just filled with ads? eh?)

See, the point of customizing a car in the game is that one feels compelled to do so, to make the car look better than stock and improve the overall experience. But when the cars start to look better stock than they do when they're tricked out, it's just pointless.   read

9:40 PM on 02.03.2008

First Blog


you know, I didn't have a blog header image when I first made my avatar image. I figured "eh, I'll do it tomorrow" and when I submitted the form the site gave me some weird message that was like "Bad header URL ARF ARF"

Then when I tried deleting an uploaded image, it was like "BARK BARK are you sure? BARK BARK"

this, this is why I came here.   read

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