Archive for the 'Xbox 360' Category

State of the Games

For the sake of the people who actually keep track of what games I’m playing, whether to get recommendations or try to play multiplayer, a quick log of what I’m doing in gameland hides beneath the jump.

Continue reading ‘State of the Games’

Mega Man 9

Are You A Bad Enough Dude

With the likes of Jeff Gerstmann and Ryan Davis at Giant Bomb decrying Mega Man 9 as way hard, I wondered if maybe I had made a bad decision in buying fully three copies of this downloadable gem.[1]

However, a Gamasutra article about the game gave me hope that I could get along with the challenge.  Now, at my in-laws’ house, I have determined experimentally that I am, in fact, still a hard enough dude to enjoy some Mega Man, by knocking out Galaxy Man, Jewel Man, and Plug Man already, and itching for more (once Dad’s done watching the Rose Bowl).

(However, I’m not too hard a dude to appreciate this little guide.)

  1. One on XBLA, one on my Wii, and one along with a copy of Mega Man 2 on my youngest brother’s Wii.  This last one was so that I could play in our PA hotel room, but also so that he’ll have a chance to hone his skills. []

Then Playing: Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

I just finished Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.  I really enjoyed it, as I’d have to for it to pull me out of Fallout 3 and Fable II for three weeks straight.

When I was a kid, I’d use my construction toys (Lego, K-Nex, etc.) to build various fantastic vehicles and then push or hoist them around the house.  BKNB is that, all over again, but you build the vehicles and operate them in fantastic environments to complete challenges.  As you progress, you can also unlock more and more parts to make progressively crazier vehicles.

I probably don’t have to say anything more than that, since there’s a demo out.  The difficulty curve seems to be shallow enough that kids and casual gamers should be able to play it, too, if they enjoy it.

Now Playing: Mirror’s Edge

Full Title – Mirror’s Edge: I Hope You Like Falling To Your Death.  Repeatedly.

You know how First Person Shooter games sometimes have jumping puzzles in them?  And they’re really hard, because you can’t see your body?  And a high-definition screen and surround sound does not really make up for the lack of depth perception and proprioception?

Mirror’s Edge is all those stupid jumping puzzles made into a game.  I’m going to keep trying to make this work, but I can’t help wondering:  Did DICE make this game because they found a way to make this into a good idea, or because console gamers don’t play a lot of FPSes, and don’t already know this is a terrible idea?

If it’s the former, then I need to practice, because my current gaming skills aren’t giving me “awesome first-person running and jumping” except in very short spurts.  The sense of speed in straightaways is breathtaking, but I think I’ve gotten more sense of speed in the race to terminal velocity and sudden, terminal deceleration.

If it’s the latter… well, I knew this game would be a gamble going into it, but I’d still miss those sixty bucks.


You go back, Jack, do it again

If you pay attention to “gaming news” at all, you probably already know about Braid.[1]  And, if you’ve heard about Braid, you’ve also heard this:

Braid is a very important game, and everyone should be playing it.

I’m not sure what that means[2], but here’s what I do know.  I started playing Braid with my wife – I handled the gameplay, and we brainstormed over the puzzles – and it was really cool.  I even had a dream that featured one of the more mind-bending time effects.  Then, as family and friends converged onto our couch for a weekend celebration, I showed it off to them, and instead of dismissing it as a shiny toy, most of them jumped in and joined the brainstorm.

So, I guess it’s a party game for brainiacs?  As long as you have one platform-enabled thumbster among you?  Could be.  $15 isn’t much to spend to entertain a room full of people.  ($20, if you add in the cost of a bottle of Advil for the ones that get a migraine.)

If you care for an overview of what makes Braid work so well, I’ve described some of what I noticed after the break.  Spoiler danger: low.

Continue reading ‘Braid’

  1. I won’t get into a lot of detail about it for that very reason, but you can check out Giant Bomb’s video review (WARNING: The “S” word is used) if you need some background. []
  2. Especially since it’s only out on XBLA right now!  PC to come later, though. []