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the tell us about the games you are playing thread
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dessgeega
loves your favorite videogame
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i've finished it.

this is probably one of the greatest videogames ever made.

i finished at experience level 52, with my clock (at the final save point) at a little over 23 hours. give another hour or two for boss fights i lost. i did not have to grind for experience a single time during the game. i was never too short on money to upgrade my characters' equipment.

mechanically, the game improves on every neat idea mother 2 had. hit points after an attack roll much more slowly, so there's frequently just enough time for a last-second save. roaming enemies no longer either move continually towards you or continually away from you; you can sneak up on an enemy to gain a head-start in battle or sneak past a foe. the dash maneuver knocks underlevelled enemies out of your way without triggering battle.

the plot is worlds beyond the bathos of so many other jrpgs. this is what happens when you have an actual writer write your script, i guess. the structure of the plot (oddly uncommon in games of this type) does wonders to build the world and the narrative. there's no filler: the game keeps moving along. the game world is small, though not as small as it at first seems, but dense.

i have never approached the final enemy of a game with as much terror as i did mother 3's. the way that dread is built is so subtle and careful that i don't think many in the industry will be able to understand it, let alone reproduce it.

yes, this game has an amazing ending.

yes, mother 2 has one of those most memorable endings of any videogame. yes, so does mother 3.

mother 3 has probably spoiled me for jrpgs the way riven has spoiled me for adventure games. given the esteem in which i hold riven, this is probably the highest compliment i could give the game.
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dessgeega
loves your favorite videogame
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

and yeah, i could rock the sixteen-hit combos on a fair number of the battle music tracks.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man, I really wish I didn't have to wait for the translation to be finished. Earthbound is in my top three favorite games of all time. When I originally played it, I laughed, I cried, I got pissed, and I was indifferent. All those glorious things, from a video game! Who knew, eh?

LE SIGH
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dessgeega
loves your favorite videogame
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

calciobit is really fucking neat and makes me wish i cared about football/soccer at all. it's a football sim for the gba that lets you watch stylized little sprites (reminiscent of famicom sports titles) run around the field passing and kicking and scoring. there's a full football game in here but you can't play, you can only train your little players between matches. i find stuff like this fascinating to watch but i'm not really interested in the sport at all.
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Harveyjames
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That Metroid Zero Mission is so warm and fuzzy is perhaps understandable, given that it was originally concieved as a crazy chibi SD remake of Metroid.

Holy crap I can't wait to play Mother 3.
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D-A-I-S
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harveyjames wrote:
That Metroid Zero Mission is so warm and fuzzy is perhaps understandable, given that it was originally concieved as a crazy chibi SD remake of Metroid.


do you have any proof of this other than the obviously non-final sprite seen in that early, early promo movie?
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed the warm fuzziness of Zero Mission extensively, despite what a lot of people seem to think. Especially the endgame.
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Harveyjames
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

D-A-I-S wrote:
Harveyjames wrote:
That Metroid Zero Mission is so warm and fuzzy is perhaps understandable, given that it was originally concieved as a crazy chibi SD remake of Metroid.


do you have any proof of this other than the obviously non-final sprite seen in that early, early promo movie?


That's proof enough, isn't it?

Ok, I rewatched it: maybe not Chibi, but certainly cartoony. You can still see the cartoon aesthetic in all the backgrounds.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So now I'm all hyped for Mother 3... but I never finished Earthbound. And I don't relish either replaying what I have played, or trying to regain my inertia, especially since it didn't quite manage to hold my interest last time. Advice? Is it skippable?
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dessgeega
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's skippable. there are scenes that are absolutely staggering if you're someone who played earthbound years ago when you were younger and more impressionable, but you can't really be that now. just skip it and proceed directly to the best game in the series.
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purplechair
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man oh man oh man oh man!

I've moved down to London to do an MA in game design, blah blah blah. The point is, some of the people on my course have hardly played games much at all... they're just kind of sliding into the subject from film studies and stuff. Most of those types just play MMOs and write about their social impact and so on.

SO: I've got a couple of girls from my course coming round tonight for a guided tour through my shoot-em-up collection! Gunstar Heroes, Smash TV, Metal Slug, Esp.RaDe, and so on. I'm really excited! I mean, I'm really excited for them at being able to experience all this stuff for the first time!

I might try and do this regularly. We could do scrolling beat-em-ups next weekend!
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And, you know, actually being able to tempt girls back to my room with "Do you want to have a look at my rom collection?" is pretty neat too.
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Shapermc
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

purplechair wrote:
And, you know, actually being able to tempt anyone back to my room with "Do you want to have a look at my GAME collection?" is pretty stunning too.

Subtly fixed!

I've heard this story a lot. About people going into game studies who have no experience in them. It's honestly bizarre to me. But, yeah, most people go to college the first time to make money, not to do what they want. Right?
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2007 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then what are they doing going into game design! Ho ho ho!
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dessgeega
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ho ho ho.

oh.

anyway, daphny got me hooked on brain age 2. the version of doctor mario in there ("virus buster") is great. (my secret theory is that, as a medical-themed game, doctor mario is really about waste disposal.) it's a cute inclusion, since brain age's mascot is also a doctor. virus buster has a smaller play area with bigger sprites than the original, and vitamins are moved with the stylus rather than the d-pad. after a little while they start giving you vitamins two at a time.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Currently I'm hitting the mainstream favorites.
Deciding to muddle through Bioshock before going to Halo 3.

I admit Halo3 on split screen co-op wasn't as stuperpendifferous as I had hoped. Actually, my friend and I enjoyed swapping off on single player Crackdown more. So I might just enjoy Halo on my own, which is a little meta-disappointing because I like the idea of co-op so miuch better.
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dessgeega
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the underlying problem of phantom hourglass, i think, is that the developers are incapable of subtlety.

i'm not referring just to the patronizing authorial voice that has come to be characteristic of the zelda series - though, yes, this is a game that will give you two pages of instruction on how and where to use a key every time you find one even though you found and used another one less than five minutes prior (and even though the function of a key, when confronted with a locked door, is really one that the player can be expected to deduce).

it's something deeper than that. this game seems genuinely distrustful of the player. the chief supporting character is a reprehensible coward who boasts of his own exploits even while he finds excuses to keep himself out of danger, occasionally showing up to drool over the possibility of treasure. a ghost laments its inability to take notes on maps that aren't marked with a ds icon.

scribbling on maps is a smart game mechanic, all the better for how naturally it suits the ds, but it only means that you're expected to pull four switches in an order prescribed by a nearby tablet, and the game will remind you upon reading to pull up your map screen and jot those numbers down. you can expect that that and every other puzzle in that dungeon will require you to use the boomerang you just found, by the way.

half-life 2 tries to tug the strings of player psychology in so gentle a way that the player won't notice. zelda is afraid of that kind of subtlety, so it yanks the player around on a leash while barking orders. repeatedly, in case the player misses them the first time.

at least the boat is less cumbersome than in wind waker.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In keeping with the spirit of the annual interactive fiction competition, I won't be discussing the games as I play them.

It's become a tradition that before I begin playing any of the games, I read the intro to each in turn and try to guess what score I'll give it once I finally play it for (up to) two hours.

This year, my guesses include:
1 one
1 two
0 threes
4 fours
7 fives
5 sixes
2 sevens
3 eights
1 nine
3 tens
...and two games that I neither play nor attempt to score.

I really hope I have reason to give out three perfect scores this year!
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purplechair
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shapermc wrote:
purplechair wrote:
And, you know, actually being able to tempt anyone back to my room with "Do you want to have a look at my GAME collection?" is pretty stunning too.

Subtly fixed!

I've heard this story a lot. About people going into game studies who have no experience in them. It's honestly bizarre to me. But, yeah, most people go to college the first time to make money, not to do what they want. Right?


This is the second time, though Wink

I think most of the "non-gamers" on my course have got into the subject from film studies. Like writing about how koopa troopers have gone from being an endless horde of generic enemies to a complicated society that is oppressed by a crazed dictator, and how this corresponds with changing attitudes to war*. I guess video games would be a good subject to get into, since there's so much uncharted territory to write about?

It is a bit weird, but it's nice to be able to go through old games with them and show them that it's not all about online social games and stuff.


*Woah! I just made that up off the top of my head, but I should totally use it for an essay!
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dessgeega
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i played through kirby squeak squad the other week, and didn't have anything pressing to say about it. which probably says something.

kirby is probably the nintendo franchise closest to traditional platform design, and the levels are full of very clever moments. i just wish they wouldn't skew so easy. the struggles with the squeaks to make off with the treasures are easily the game's best moments, but they're deflated by the fact that, if a thief makes off with the treasure, you can engage it in a relatively easy (and frequently repeated) battle to negate your failure at the interesting, demanding part of the chase.

i think the problem might be that kirby has just too many options at this point. they've accumulated over the course of the series, and i get the impression that the developers currently working on the series (or their bosses) would consider it unthinkable to take away any of them. i think trimming the control set would make the game much more focused, though.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you play Canvas Curse, dess? I haven't really played any of the latter-day Kirby games, so I'm not sure how it compares, but it felt pretty focused, and I think the limited control scheme may have had something to do with that.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

as regards "traditional" kirby games, you're entirely right - look at the N64 or gba ones - but just about every nontraditional kirby game yet released (dream course, canvas curse) ranks up there with the absolute best games on its respective platform, and kind of affirms for you what makes HAL into HAL.
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dessgeega
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i will say that i absolutely love the single-screen mode of kirby's air ride. but i love single-screen racing games.
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Shapermc
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ethoscapade wrote:
as regards "traditional" kirby games, you're entirely right - look at the N64 or gba ones - but just about every nontraditional kirby game yet released (dream course, canvas curse) ranks up there with the absolute best games on its respective platform, and kind of affirms for you what makes HAL into HAL.

I'm not a fan of Avalance.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thirding Canvas Curse. It's one of the few games that has its eye on the future of platformers, and it's really really brilliant. Just don't worry about the coins and special stages too much, unless you're a power player.
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ryan
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vampire Rain (BIG FROWNING TEXT FACE). "Then they come back ... with spouses ... and children. They say it's the smell ... it's sweet."

Also: new beta of Mount & Blade, as well as Warhawk, Dirt (PS3), and Halo 3.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ryan - are you going to be playing Warhawk this weekend?

I think I'm going to set aside some time tomorrow night to play some rounds.


I downloaded that Go! Sports Ski game this morning and... it isn't worth more than the few dollars it costs to purchase. It is pretty barebones and is motion sensor dependent but the game handles it OK. Except for pole plants, I haven't really figured out how to do those yet.

I also spent a little bit of time with the Simpsons demo. Finding the hidden items was fun, actually playing the game... not so much. Really, ynfinitely spawning "Krusty" minions are incredible annoying and the targeting system that Bart uses for the slingshot is the most HORRENDOUS lock-on interface I have ever seen. So much so that I just gave up and quit the demo in sheer frustration. On top of that, the repeated one-liners (which may have been smirkingly funny the first or second time) get old so fast.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I'm playing through System Shock 2 for the first time.

I'm addicted. Not since the days of the SNES have I been so hooked on a game before. My friends have been recommending the game to me for years now, but I'm not a huge fan of sci-fi, so I just shrugged it off. I was an idiot!

This damn game is incredible. I haven't played through the first System Shock, because the first time I tried the controls were so damn overwhelming I gave up within an hour. After I finish System Shock 2 I'll probably go back and play the first though.
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ryan
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even with the tweaks out now, I can't get System Shock 2 to run on my system. I can make it about 8 minutes in before it crashes. Did you have to do anything in particular to get it running smoothly?

Warhawk this weekend: Yessah!
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have a dual core, you'll have to disable one of the two cores for the game.

To do that run the game, and when you see the opening menu, CTRL+ALT+DELETE and right click on System Shock 2 in the applications tab, and select, Go To Process, then right click what is now highlighted, and do Set Affinity, and make sure only one of those tick boxes is checked. Doesn't matter which one.

That might be a solution for ya.
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ryan
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Argh! I went through tons of forum threads and websites about this, and I think they were all before or right around dual cores. I'll be trying that shortly. C'moooon!
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ryan wrote:
Argh! I went through tons of forum threads and websites about this, and I think they were all before or right around dual cores. I'll be trying that shortly. C'moooon!


Be weary though. The difficulty in this game ramps up a significant amount in the end. It's frustratingly stupid sometimes.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I picked up a Genesis and Phantasy Star IV. Life is ok sometimes.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We [heart] Katamari is not very good so far.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i liked it
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ryan wrote:
Warhawk this weekend: Yessah!


I just tried to join the game your in... but I'm too high a rank. Damn.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

silentmatt wrote:
I just tried to join the game your in... but I'm too high a rank. Damn.


The lack of anyone ever talking makes me wonder how much it sold online versus retail. I've only been in one game where I heard anyone say anything, and that was after the round was over.

I really enjoy the game, but man they need to get their server situation straight. I was getting 'Game Full' messages again after my first round of playing.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swimmy wrote:
I picked up a Genesis and Phantasy Star IV. Life is ok sometimes.

I got like 12 hours into this game and was really enjoying it but then my save disapeared on me one day and I was pissed. I thought I liked it enough to start back up anyways, but boy was I wrong. It's kind of tedious to redo something that quickly after you've done in an RPG no matter how much you enjoyed it. That was a couple years ago, I should be OK to give it a try again in another year. I bought a new cart and everything for when enough time has passed!
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got Halo 3 and Bioshock to finish, so of course I spent all day today playing Pole Position II on MAME.

Not out of nowhere, for a forum contest. I can now reliably finish with a time around 55 on the Fuji Speedway qualifying lap.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just beat Doom, for the first time -- all three episodes. Finally.

I kind of feel like I've accomplished something important to my human experience.

Episodes 2 and 3 kind of suck, though.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I completely agree with this.

I finally beat Episode 3 on the Live Arcade version and it's just a chore. I'd like to finish Episode 4 but I think I got to level 2 before it became clear that episode 4 is a fucking joke. The levels are totally fucking ludicrous.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Episode 4 is a beast. Although it's weird how it lets up towards the end. The first handful levels are incredibly difficult, and then it tapers down until it's about on par with all of the other episodes. I'm trying to remember the difference in endings though. I took screenshots of either the ending of 3 or 4. I think it was 4. None of them matched the difficulty of the last episode of Doom 2 though, holy hell that was too much.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I checked it out, and it seems all but the last level of episode one was designed by Romero (with some occasional input from Tom Hall). Then the entire rest of the (original) game was by a certain Sandy Peterson. He later went on to do the bulk of the levels in Doom II and Quake. Which makes sense to me.

Episode 4 -- yeah, I'm not going to get too bothered about finishing it. I found myself fist-fighting Barons in level one. That particular level was by American McGee. The rest were by a bunch of random people.
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Shapermc
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, after the third level of Ep. 4 the game starts to let up. No, actually getting past level 3 is painful as all hell, but yeah.

Anyways, I'm not sure that I've ever actually beat DooM in order. I know I've beat every episode (multiple times), just I'm not sure if I've beat them in order.
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Pijaibros
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Joined: 25 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been playing quite a bit of Monster Hunter Freedom 2 for the past 3 weeks.

I've clocked close to 40 hours in this game and I don't think I'm sick of it. It takes some adjusting to get used to at first, it has slightly goofy and convoluted controls. An arsenal of weapons that each have varying pros and cons and finding the right fit takes some effort.

Still, this game gives me great satisfaction when bringing down a large beast. Chasing them down as they take a beating. Being engaged with full ferocity when pinned into a corner as they barely cling to life with their torn wings and missing eye. You, out of healing herbs with your weapon reduced to a mere stump of it's former sharpness.

Charging headfirst, hoping that your blade strikes true. It's such a rush!

Even better when you have a friend or two scrambling around trying to draw the beast's attention so you can make medicine.

Bringing down a Colossus was never this exciting. I'm probably alone in this feeling.
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aerisdead
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Joined: 03 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll get a Monster Hunter title when they have online play.
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Pijaibros
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Joined: 25 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tunnel using a WiFi Max dongle and the Xlink Kai program.

It's unofficially online!
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aderack
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a little weird that the episodes don't just run into each other. I kept expecting episode 2 to start once I finished episode 1. Instead, I had to go back to the menu and start a new game.

Which is not a unique experience! I'm just saying: huh.
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dessgeega
loves your favorite videogame
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, shareware. the first episode was released for free to entice people into buying the other two.

and i don't think episodes two and three are less compelling than the first, just different. romero's levels are all about things jumping out and yelling BOOGA BLOO. sandy peterson's levels are more about architecture, about navigating interesting places while trying to stay alive. there's the warehouse full of creeping imps in episode two, for example, which is a great level.
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dessgeega
loves your favorite videogame
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

also, i've been playing chibi robo for the ds, which is a game about robot gardening. i like the image of a mechanical creature that can appreciate, and nurture, the beauty of the natural world. oh, and the game isn't bad at all. the animation in particular is wonderful. the hardware in chibi robo's house looks like the famicom.
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