Champions of Backwards Compatibility

July 18, 2008

I decided today to give the backwards compatibility of my PS3 its first go.  Skimming the List, I spotted Champions of Norrath, which I seemed to recall having gotten pretty far into before I got sidetracked from it and moved along to something else.  According to Sony, the only issue in the single-player part of the game is that “During gameplay, when the user displays the Inventory menu screen, portions of character model on the right side of the screen intermittently appears corrupted.”  Seeing as how the character model in the inventory screen is completely superfluous to the actual gameplay, I decided to throw it in and see what I could find out.

Turns out, it ran flawlessly for me, without even so much as a flicker of the inventory screen model appearing corrupted.  One quick quest and a boss battle later, and I’m one game closer to my goal.  I just hope all of my PS2-on-PS3 experiences go as smoothly (although I’m sure that’s a bit much to ask for).

The trifecta is complete

August 20, 2007

The SCEA platformer trifecta, that is. After having just finished Sly 2 and Jak II back to back, I threw in Ratchet: Deadlocked tonight, thinking that it would keep me occupied for the next couple of days. I was wrong. It kept me occupied for the next couple of hours. As I think back on it now, that makes sense, however, as I had basically dropped the game when I got sick of trying to level up all of my weapons to the max. Now that I’m focusing solely on plot completion, it was a cakewalk going through the little bit I had left before.

At this point, I think I may take a bit of a break from the home console gaming for a day or two (until you know what comes out) and focus on the handheld side of things. Then again, I may just play some Overlord on Gametap while I wait. Sure, it won’t count towards the project as it’s the PC version and I’m sticking to my console-only rule for the moment, but it’s damn fun regardless. Besides, I’m ridiculously far ahead of where I expected to be. Honestly, when I said I was going to try to finish Age of Empires or Sly 2 before BioShock hit, I didn’t really expect to finish either one… I was just hoping. Now it turns out that not only did I finish them both, but two more joined them in the finished games’ lounge, where I like to imagine that they’re all kicking back with cold beverages and fine cigars.

Best. Day. Ever.

August 19, 2007

One day, three games completed. Best day ever? Perhaps. In my last post I mentioned having just finished Age of Empires: Age of Kings and Sly 2: Band of Thieves, and said that I would be moving on to Jak II. I knew I had quite a bit of Jak II done, and figured it would be a nice little bit to play in the next few days leading up to BioShock. I didn’t know just how much I had already finished on the game, however. I didn’t think to keep track of it, but I would guess it was no more than three or four hours put into it to bring the game to completion. It could very well have been a bit more, though, as time seems to fly when you’re screaming obscenities at the television.

Jak II really is one of the most frustrating games I’ve had the misfortune to play. I enjoy the storyline quite a lot, and the controls are usually pretty decent (although it NEEDS a lock-on button for shooting… the half-assed auto-target is worthless), but the handling of death is atrocious. It really comes down to the save system that’s in place… the game allows you to save at any point from the menu, but when it has to load (after you die, for a pointed example), it sends you back to some obscure invisible checkpoint 15 minutes and 27 nasty bottomless pits ago. Also, the final boss fight needed to be tweaked a bit… the room it takes place in is filled with goodie crates, but each and every one of ’em contains naught but rifle ammo. There’s no health, there’s no ammo for any of the other guns, there’s just ammo for the plain vanilla semi-automatic gun. I entered the battle with ammo in all my other weapons, but when I would die and start over at the checkpoint (luckily this one was actually at the beginning of the battle), whatever ammo I had used before dying was still gone. After my 94th attempt (or thereabouts… honestly, I lost count), all of my other ammo was gone. Anyway, enough about that… I managed to make it through and bump that percentage up another notch.

Two more out of the way

August 19, 2007

I mentioned previously that I was hoping to complete either Age of Empires: Age of Kings or Sly 2: Band of Thieves before next week (this week, I suppose, since it’s now Sunday), in order to pad my percentage, which is certain to drop on Wednesday with BioShock coming out. In the strictest sense of what I said, I failed, as neither game was finished as of 11:59 in the PM last night. However, at somewhere around 2:00 in the AM today, Age of Empires was crossed off the list. Less than 12 hours later, Sly 2 joined it. I fully expect to be right back where I was in a couple weeks, though. With BioShock coming out this week and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption next week, the gains I just made are sure to be erased. For now, though, I’ll take what I can get.

I face a dilemma with the Sly Cooper series, now. I had originally passed up the latest installment, Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves for the same reason I had skipped Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. That is, I had gotten stuck on the preceding game in the series and thus felt no compulsion to play the follow-up. Now, having just finished Sly 2, I’m eager to follow the plot further. The problem is, as I just mentioned, I’m already set to add two more games to my list in as many weeks, the last thing I really need to do is to add a third one that I’ve already successfully avoided for two years now.

Age of Empires, on the other hand, I would love to pick up a sequel for, if only one existed. Perhaps it’s because a sequel doesn’t exist that I can so confidently say that I would pick one up, though: imaginary games don’t mess with the list.

Now I just need to decide what’s up next. I just threw Kirby: Canvas Curse into the DS to replace AoE, but I haven’t fired it up yet, and may decide to switch it out. The problem there is that I really don’t want to play the other DS games I’ve got on tap. Phoenix Wright and Hotel Dusk I picked up based on the hype, but I was severely let down. Perhaps they’ll get better, as I haven’t put a lot of time into either one of them, but the small amount I’ve played of each, I was underwhelmed. Super Mario 64 DS was purchased at launch, because there was basically nothing else better to get. Despite the terrible controls, I’ll eventually knock it out (I kinda have to, don’t I?), just not right now. Metroid Prime Hunters is still great, but as with any Metroid game, there’s little to no guidance, and I can’t recall where to go or what to do next in it. Sonic Rush is on the list, even though it’s technically my wife’s game, but I’ve only just played the tiniest bit of it, and I’ve never been so hot at the Sonic games. Depending on how my attempt at Kirby goes, I may be falling back on Sonic.

At home, I’m leaning towards Jak II to hold me over until BioShock, as finishing Sly 2 got me in the mood for some more early-2000s-PS2-platforming. As a bit of a bonus, I believe I’ve already got quite a lot of Jak II under my belt, the biggest reason I haven’t finished it being the same problem I had with Sly 2: I had been focusing entirely too much on getting everything in the game. When next I fire it up, I’m going to be making a conscious effort to just finish the damned thing. Here’s hoping I can do it in two days or so…

Danger at every turn

June 10, 2007

A little more than a month has passed, and I’ve been making some decent progress. I’ve knocked down 8 of the original 77 thus far, resulting in a 10.4% completion percentage. My eyes are starting to wander, however. It seems that there are new (and not-so-new, for that matter) games that I want all over the place.

On the PS2, for example, God of War II has been calling my name since it was released. I’ve managed to hold off on it so far, and expect I’ll be able to for a while longer, too. As popular as the original God of War was, I imagine GoW II is bound for the Greatest Hits collection, and will be a piece of cake to find a copy of later on down the line. Odin Sphere won’t have that luxury, I believe. It seems like a quirky, niche-y title that’ll get dropped from stores as soon as the first run is sold out. This troubles me, as I don’t particularly want to add to the list, but I don’t want to have to trek through eBay and deal with sellers’ obscene “shipping” charges.

The PS2 isn’t the only system that’s tempting me with its wily wares either, oh no! All else being equal between games, I tend to lean towards the Xbox 360 version these days (in theory… no game has really yet forced my hand) due to Achievements. With some few exceptions, Achievments are worthless in the strictest sense of the word. You don’t get anything out of ’em except for a bigger digital wing wong to swing about. You can’t spend them. All they show is that you either spent more time on a game than your friends did, or you’re slightly better at a game than your friends are. But honestly… who cares that they’re worthless? They’re FUN to get! They give you a sense of accomplishment when you obtain them. Anyway, this whole rambling paragraph is just to explain that while I already own the original Guitar Hero for the PS2, I’m jonesin’ for the sequel on the 360. Plus, with BioShock, Mass Effect, and Halo 3 on the way, my prospects of keeping the 360 list slim are going out the window.

The PSP is gunning for me, too, as I’ve recently become intrigued by the premise of the Killzone games, and the PSP iteration, Killzone: Liberation, is supposedly the best of the (admittedly small) series thus far. I tried the demo of it, and was quite pleasantly surprised. I’ve actually determined that it will end up being mine… it’s just a matter of when. The DS, on the other hand, is at least giving me something of a reprieve (at least until Phantom Hourglass gets here).

Even the PC is getting in on the act. While I’m not currently counting PC games in the list, I still play some on occasion (*cough*Mount&Blade*cough*). So even though picking up new ones won’t count against my list, it’s still bad form. It’s just that the demo for Space Rangers 2 was so much fun, I can’t help but consider purchasing it!

And then, to top it all off, I’m itching for games that don’t even exist yet. I’m not talking about games that are under development but just haven’t been released — I’ve mentioned some of those already — but games that have virtually zero chance of ever being made. Specifically, I’m thinking of Mouse Guard, the incredible graphic novel by David Petersen. I just picked up the hardcover collection of it a couple weeks back, and after reading it through, I couldn’t help but imagine a game in the style of God of War (for anyone who’s read MG, just think of the battle with the snake handled with GoW‘s presentational flair). Mix in a bit of TMNT for the multiple anthropomorphic animal characters with differing weapons to choose from while playing the game, and Pikmin for the sense of scale, and you’d have a serious winner on your hands.

Final Fantasy XII

May 15, 2007

With today taken off of work, I fully intended to make some progress, and I didn’t disappoint.  Final Fantasy XII had been sitting unfinished for a few months, after I’d reached the point of the final dungeon and had decided to go finish up all the side quests.  One thing led to another, of course, and I went completely off track playing other games and left FFXII collecting dust.  This was not satisfactory.  I decided that if need be I can always go back to it to clear up the side quests, but today would be the day I finished the main story.  Having succeeded in this endeavor, I am now looking at a completion rate of 7.8% (6/77).

Oh, and Golden Sun: The Lost Age?  You can go right to hell.

I can’t be stopped!

May 5, 2007

Mere hours after finishing Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, my final Castlevania game (Lament of Innocence) has been crossed off the list. I can’t honestly expect to keep up this pace, though, as a lot of the games on the list are nowhere near the level of completion I had left these Castlevanias. Even so, three games in three days (well, two days if you really want to be technical, as Harmony of Dissonance was completed around 1:00 a.m. on May 4, after playing through the evening of May 3) is a damn fine accomplishment. Now I just need to decide which game goes next. Obviously, I’ve mentioned Klonoa: Empire of Dreams a few times recently, and that’s still on the table, but being a GBA game, it’s playable almost anytime and anywhere, so my decision now is for which game to fire up on the big screen… I’m sure I’ll find something; it’s not as if I don’t have a list around here somewhere :)