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30 games & 30 nights...


dogbert
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I'm getting tempted to sign up for Blockbuster's "Freedom Pass" for one month, and one month only - I'd cancel it the day I signed up for it, which stops it auto-renewing. There's been a lot of games out for the Xbox in the past year that I've not gotten a chance to play to any depth, and I figure this might be a way to give them a quick "once over".

 

What would be very tempting though would be to abuse the pass as much as possible & chronicle the journey - rent 30 games in the space of 30 days.

 

I've little interest in signing up for the likes of GameFly, and anyway, I couldn't "abuse" it in this way as the turnaround time would take a chunk of time away.

 

My local BB has a fairly good selection of titles, and it'd be a good way to play a little "catch up" on all those November/December releases I didn't touch. Hmmmm...

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Oh there's a whole bunch of newly released titles & just minor key releases from earlier this year that I'd like to just dabble in to get a flavour of.

The downside would be that as soon as I find a title I'd like to play more of, it still has to go back the next day so I can move on to the next game in the list.

 

The idea for this came from a story I read online about a woman who set herself the challenge of reading 52 books in one year & blogged it.

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The downside would be that as soon as I find a title I'd like to play more of, it still has to go back the next day so I can move on to the next game in the list

 

Well the upside is that some of those releases may have dropped in price too so you may be able to pick some of them up fairly cheap. Im still debating on a few that I rented recently. I dug Mission Impossible but its not something I want to pay full price for right now so I'd like to wait on a price drop for it. I also haven't picked up I-Ninja, Jak II and Ratchet and Clank 2 (the latter two due to the fact that I haven't beat the first games). Most of them should be cheap by the time I get around to buying them up, though I-Ninja I may be getting for christmas so that solves that.

 

Speaking of a lower key game, I *FINALLY* picked up Metal Arms today. Looking forward to getting home and digging in with some christmas free time.

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Yeah, Pharmboy, the idea is to document it with my thoughts on every game.

 

I'm getting temped.

 

And Snakefish, the "Freedom Pass" from BB is a deal where you get "unlimited" game rentals for one month for $19.99. The catch is you can only have one game out at any time, but are free to return it & swap for something else as often as you like.

 

I could REALLY stick it to BB if I chose, have a modded Xbox with an 80 GB drive. Unlimited "rentals" for a month could give me a year's worth of games

 

That's hardly "sticking it to BB", it's "sticking it" to the publishers. Not good.

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I'm always tempted to do this, but I've got so many games that I want to play through I've never done it.

 

I'm getting quite a few games for Christmas, so I'll probably pass it up again :)

 

That's hardly "sticking it to BB", it's "sticking it" to the publishers. Not good.

 

Agreed

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Hmmm... The target would be "30 games in 30 nights". If I fail to rent a game one night, I need to rent two over a day to catch up. The aim would be to do them on the Xbox, but I might snag a PS2 or GameCube from work for a weekend & some variety.

 

I *might* add a backup of allowing myself to borrow upto 5 games from work's library & use them towards the count if I get stuck.

 

A further rule: I won't be allowing myself to buy any game during the Freedom Pass period - the whole point of this is to cut game spending, not increase it.

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I-Ninja is superb fun. Great level design, lots to do & see, and it's a heck of a ride.

 

For those that haven't heard of it (most people...), you play a small ninja in a cartoony over the top robotic world. You can slash, you can hack, you can run up walls, you can slide on rails, you can roll giant balls around the landscape. The levels are linear, with a hub structure holding them together, and each level so far has lots of unique ideas & gameplay things to do in them. Play bowling with a giant robotic heart? Check. Chase a lit trail of dynamite powder around a level? Check. Turret modes? Check. Stealth missions? None so far, woohoo!

 

To me, it's done a lot of what Prince of Persia's done, just without the time gizmo. It has the same run up/along walls type skills, it has a similiar structure of the camera foreshadowing the level to show you what you've to do, etc.

 

I really like this. It's got a great look & feel, and a great sense of humour to it. Shame it's got to go back tomorrow.

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Agreed. Its definitely go the humor and the gameplay is fun, responsive and very whimsical at the same time (glad I got it for christmas). Only minor complaint I have is the lack of difficulty so far but that may just be me coming off a long outing of Metal Arms which is the exact opposite (ie punishingly hard).

 

I think you'll really dig into Metal Arms when you pick that one up Brian.(moreso than the demo).

 

Did you get to play PoP yet?

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I'm enjoying the easy difficulty level :) How far are you? I'm near the end of the second hub, having to go re-do some levels to increase my ranking etc.

 

As for Prince of Persia, yup, finally got hold of it from work, and I'm enjoying everything about it except the combat which is horrible.

 

Anyway, I-Ninja goes back today, swap for something else. Possibly Metal Arms.

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How far are you? I'm near the end of the second hub, having to go re-do some levels to increase my ranking etc.

 

Little before that I think. I've been splitting time with this and Dark Cloud 2 which is getting a majority of my playtime. Its definitely on deck for some serious quality time after DC2.

 

As for Prince of Persia, yup, finally got hold of it from work, and I'm enjoying everything about it except the combat which is horrible.

 

Suprised to hear that. I thought the combat system was fairly well done and when fighting groups of enemies, very enjoyable. Especially since you can easily change the enemy your striking at will and the powers you acquire later from the dagger allow for some neat combat moves. My major gripe in that department above all else is the unruly camera during combat sequences which can really be a pain in the ass.

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Brian,

 

Initially I had the exact same reaction to PoP's combat dynamics. I didn't feel in control of the attacks (he seemed to throw random combos), I got frustrated with constantly being hit from behind while trying to retrieve, and everything felt a little unresponsive and sluggish. It took a while before I figured it out. Since then I'm having a great time with the fights.

 

This is what worked for me:

 

1.) Don't just concentrate on one monster. You gotta strike (point in the enemy's direction while tapping attack) everyone around you so that they don't have time to initiate a blow.

 

2.) Don't retrieve as soon as you've knocked someone over. Use step 1 to clear the area or stun opponents momentarily to give yourself a safe window to use the dagger on fallen bad guys. Don't wait too long, or they'll get up again.

 

3.) Use the wall launch. It's the single most useful attack in the game. Go near a wall and hold the left thumbstick in the direction of the wall while simultaneously tapping A + X. It will shoot you towards the enemy, knocking it down for an easy retrieve.

 

4.) Mix it up. Some enemies are more susceptible to particular attacks. The blue guys (as opposed to the red) will knock you over if you try to vault over them, but they are defenseless against the wall launch. The flying vultures and the beetles are very easy. Just hold block till they strike once, and counter-attack right after. Also, make good use of the dagger freeze ability. This helps when you're being rushed by a big group. Hit them with your dagger (provided you have enough energy) and they will freeze momentarily. You need two hits with the sword to kill it after that but if you vault over the monster it will only take 1 blow. The downside of using this is that you can't make a retrieve (and thus can't refill your meter). Also, after some time you'll get a sense of when a particular enemy will strike. The block function (holding R-trigger) can be very, very useful.

 

Figuring these things out certainly transformed my experience, maybe it'll do something for you.

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Well, there's more to come with the site - need to add the old gubbins & get some artwork done for it. It's purely a vanity site, but that's fine by me. Ta for the combat tips, Sam, I'll give them a go. I'd completely ignored the wall launch.

 

Next up gamewise: Armed & Dangerous.

 

Hmmm... The demo of this blew me away with its sense of humour & amount of destruction, but the hour or so I played of the full game left me a little cold. It reminded me a lot of the original MDK's gameplay, which isn't suprising giving its heritage, but there was lots of little niggly things that got in the way of me having fun - the crosshair blending into the background, the constant respawning enemies for example. The basic game works - run around shooting things ala MDK & MDK2 whilst achieving goals, use lots of cool toys & gadgets - and the humour is definitely funny, but it wasn't enough to attract me to play it more. So back it went.

 

We're getting this into work for the library I believe, so I'll probably give it another try then. Maybe the first couple of levels are just a little humdrum.

 

Next up: XGRA.

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Maybe the first couple of levels are just a little humdrum.

 

Most definitely!

 

Armed and Dangerous is something you want to play a little more. The opening snow levels are pretty much DULL DULL DULL. I can't stress that enough. The game really doesn't start getting strategic and interesting until after you do the first mini-gun challenge.

 

For the most part the opening levels are fairly basic with as you mentioned the spawning enemies and "point a to point b" gameplay. I was a little worried myself but believe me Brian the further you go the better it gets. It really gets good once you get to the mountain environments (ie you get out of the opening levels) where you will have your butt handed to you if you just go in all guns blazing without a plan. Not too mention you'll get access to the more interesting guns which is where the game excels.

 

I definitely understand your initial feelings on the game though, I had them as well. I'd tell you to stick with it but you already took it back. ;) . Definitely give it another go down the line.

 

Speaking of which I may have an extra copy of the Xbox version available (I got the PC version of the game which I am finding is much better than the box game. Higher resolution graphics and far better accuracy due to mouse and keyboard.). I still owe you for Once Upon a Knight and Bomberman so if you're interested and I have the extra copy I can get it out to you.

 

 

PS: One last combat tip in addition to what Sam posted to help with you PoP:

 

-Use the Dagger! Hit the Y button to thrust enemies with the dagger of time and "freeze" them in place. You can consecutively hit multiple enemies with this and I found the best follow up move is to use the run up and slash technique to cut them in half. You can literally take out most enemies in 2 hits with this move. Very effective and it can be mixed into most combos easily allowing you to manage enemies quickly and effectively.

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I still owe you for Once Upon a Knight and Bomberman so if you're interested and I have the extra copy I can get it out to you.

 

PM me about it.

 

Next game: XGRA

 

Note of bias: the lead programmer of this is a mate.

 

I'd love to rave about it, but the disc has some small scratches & I get a DDE on the title screen. After a clean, I get further, but still get a DDE before getting in-game. Will get taken back first thing tomorrow & switched. I'm a game behind...

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