Monthly Archives: July 2009

Uno Horror Stories

Here’s an disturbingly interesting story from NeoGAF about a guy who tried to play Uno online on Xbox 360. Uno uses a the Xbox camera, supposedly to show your face while you play. It was late at night when this guy, SpacLock, went on Uno and found mostly genitals on the cameras. I’ve heard about this before, but it’s a pretty anecdote!

Dokapon Journey, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress 2, and more

This week I played quite a bit of Valve games. I played through the rest of the Left 4 Dead campaigns, which were all very cool. Next I’ll try versus and survival. I’m pretty behind, I guess. I’ve also been playing a lot of Team Fortress 2. I actually played with Linh-Nam, Collin, Andy, and gem. It’s pretty rare that I actually play with people!
I also played a fantastic little jewel called played Dokapon Journey with gem and William. What a fun game! It’s basically a multiplayer board game in which landing on most spaces leads to a JRPG style battle! It’s made by Atlus, and the sprite art is pretty nice too. It’s a really fun game.

 
Of course, I’ve also played World of Warcraft some more, but I haven’t really done anything. I’ve been playing more Ninja Gaiden 2, but I’m kind of stuck. It’s a tough game! (Or I just suck.) I’ve been neglecting BlazBlue, but I’ll get back to it soon. I also haven’t been playing Bit.Trip Beat or Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. There’s so much to play!
I finished adventure mode in Peggle World of Warcraft Edition and Peggle for iPhone. Fun stuff! I tried out The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition. It seems pretty well done! I’m sure it’s easier to control on the PC, but I went with the iPhone version so I could play it on the go! I haven’t played it too much though because I’m leaving it for my vacation next week to Vegas. I also just started Space Invaders Infinity Gene for the iPhone. Space Invaders has been really awesome lately! Taito’s pretty awesome. I wonder if it has to do with being owned by Square-Enix.
I’ve been pushing more into Rhythm Heaven this past week too. It gets really hard sometimes though! I can’t complain though because it sure is fun. I’m also stuck in Wolfenstein 3D Classic for the iPhone. I got to the boss of the first episode, but I died. Now I just respawn with a pistol and 16 ammo. What am I supposed to do?
Oh, I almost forgot a game! I played dess’s new game, When Pigs Fly, on Newsground. I’ll edit this post later on my computer to provide a link. You control a flying pig through multiple caverns avoiding ceilings, walls, and spikes. It’s simple and fun, with appealing, low resolution sprites, which is a look I like.

Game Journal!

I used to make weekly Game Journal entries, but I haven’t written one in a long, long time. I guess I’ll just talk about what I’ve been playing this summer. First of all, I’ve been playing World of Warcraft all the time. I’m trying to get the PVP achievements. A lot of them will occur on their own eventually (win 100 times), but others are more difficult. I’m trying to get the difficult ones before moving into the last bracket. The achievement for getting twenty killing blows without dying is really the last one I’m worried about, although I’d like to wait for Mooglegem to get Alterac Valley All-Star too. Other than that, I’m still working on tower defences in AV, killing enemies in the Hall of the Frostwolf in AV, winning AB 2000 to 1990, killing the enemy fc in their fr while they control their own flag in WSG, and the 100 wins and reputation achievements.

 
I also beat Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game on Xbox Live Arcade with gem, Corey, and Corey’s cousin Dylan. Then I beat Mirror’s Edge for PS3, Ghostbusters The Video Game for 360, and Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero? for PSP. After Michael Jackson’s passing, I played through Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker on a Genesis emulator. Next I played through Space Invaders Extreme 2 and Arkanoid DS, both for DS, to finish all the DS paddle controller games. I’ve also been playing Everyday Shooter, but I still haven’t been able to finish it.
At Anime Expo I picked up Guilty Gear XX ^ Core Plus for Wii and BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Limited Edition for PS3. I started playing BlazBlue pretty heavily when I got home. I’ve finished the story mode with Noel, Ragna, Jin, Rachel, and Taokaka, getting 100% in each of their stories. I have seven characters left to do, plus a “final” story.
I tried Half-Life Source again and got pretty bored. It just isn’t good. I don’t know what people were thinking. I guess I should just skip to Half-Life 2. I’ve been playing through Trine on PC as well. I’m not sure how far I am, but I’ve really enjoyed it.
I went back LocoRoco 2 for PSP, thinking it’d be good to finish it up. Turns out, I was on the last level, and it wasn’t very difficult. Then I finished all the remaining puzzles in Professor Layton and the Curious Village for DS in preperation for Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box!
I beat Call of Duty: World at War for 360 after borrowing it from Corey. As for some more casual games, I beat all levels in Peggle, the World of Warcraft Addon. I also beat adventure mode of Peggle World of Warcraft Edition, the stand-alone Peggle based on World of Warcraft.
Right now I’m still working on BlazBlue. I’m also playing through Ninja Gaiden II. I had mentioned earlier in the day that I started NG2 that I wanted another Devil May Cry to come out so I could play it; I sort of got my wish in Ninja Gaiden II. I’m still trying to 100% clear all levels in the Peggle World of Warcraft Addon, and I’m fooling around in Peggle World of Warcraft Edition also. I’m about half way through Bit.Trip Beat for WiiWare, which is fantastic but difficult. I also completed the second campaign in Left 4 Dead last night. Only two more to go!
I played The Sims 3 pretty heavily early on in the summer, maxing one characters life long dream and getting that character and another character to max their careers. I had that second character get married, so I’m still working on getting him his life long dream as well as his wife’s and getting her to the top of her career. After that, I’d like to successfully raise a kid. There’s more to do in the game of course, but I would be pretty fulfilled if I could do those things.
As for handhelds, I’ve been playing Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. Hopefully I’ll finish up soon. I’ve been playing Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars a bit but not so much lately. I’ve also been playing Call of Duty: Roads to Victory on PSP. It’s… fun but not that great. You use the stick to move and the face buttons to aim. Those should be switched.
Basically the only two big games I’m playing are Ninja Gaiden II and BlazBlue. After I finish NG2, I plan on playing inFamous because I’m borrowing it from Edward. After BlazBlue I’m going to go through Guilty Gear XX ^ Core Plus.
I’m not sure what I’m going to play after I get through NG2 and inFamous. I recently picked up God Hand, killer7, and Odin Sphere so I’d like to give those a go. Other games of high interest to me are God of War, Metal Gear Solid 3, Psychonauts, XIII, Half-Life 2, Blue Dragon, and Bioshock. Some less important or handheld games that I’d like to get through are Space Channel 5, We

Ninja Gaiden II (360)

Ninja Gaiden II is basically Devil May Cry without that special flare or spark that made Devil May Cry such an awesome series. NG2 is fun, it’s just feels a bit generic and recycled. It feels tremendously like DMC. Like all 3D hack and slash games, you run around slashing at enemies. When you kill enemies, glowing orbs called Essence appear. Picking them up plays a small audio clip that sounds almost identical to picking up orbs in DMC. Finding various objects, such as a key card that is used to unlock a door no more than ten seconds away from the card itself, causes a screen to pop up just like in DMC showing the object and giving a brief description. The sound effect even sounds like DMC! There are things that look like altars that act as save points, and statues that act as shops, selling regen items, powerups for weapons, and Life of the Gods pieces. You can also Life of the God pieces in the levels. Collecting nine of them will permanently increase your health – just like blue orbs in Devil May Cry! You’re also forced to use items immediately after finding them. Yes, this is done quite often in games, but that’s really not an excuse; this game makes you use it within ten seconds of finding them! I’m not just talking about the key card I mentioned earlier either. The game is fun, and I’m sure fans of Devil May Cry would enjoy it (besides possibly being angry if they’re not just fans but are fanboys). However, if someone is interested in playing Ninja Gaiden II and hasn’t played the Devil May Cry, I would recommend playing DMC instead.

World at War

Call of Duty: World at War was a pleasant surprise from Treyarch. While Treyarch’s Call of Duty 3 was a disappointment, World at War, built on Call of Duty 4’s engine, followed Call of Duty 4’s formula as well. It feels extremely similar to Call of Duty 4, which is great, but adds little. While not ground-breaking, World at War is basically Call of Duty 4 set in World War II.
The American campaign follows the war in the Pacific against the Japanese. This was a very nice change from previous Call of Duty titles. Japanese soldiers have a very different AI from German soldiers. They will hide in trees, hide in pits, wear camouflage, complete with shrubbery, and even run at you in an attempt to stab you (similar to dogs in Call of Duty 4). These levels were very challenging for me, and I liked them less than the levels pitting me against the Germans. Even so, it was nice to see this small change. I look forward to more changes like this in the future as long as the core game stays the same. The Russian campaign plays similarly to previous Call of Duty games in the World War II setting. You follows Russia’s push into Germany and their ending of the war.

 
During these two campaigns, you also get the chance to play as a gunner in a plane and as a tank. Both of these missions are very fun. World at War also introduces flamethrowers and molotovs. Both the flamethrower and molotov make small camps of enemies a breeze. The flamethrower also allows you to burn down tall grass in which the Japanese often hide. You can also use it to set fire to the trees in which Japanese snipers hide. The game looks great, and the war feels very dirty and gritty. The voice acting is good, and the small scenes before each level are very cool. These give the date, some background information about what’s happening, the location, and real footage of World War II. Being reminded that this war really happened and real soldiers experienced it is one of my favorite parts of playing a World War II shooter.
Some of the aspects about the ending remind me of how Call of Duty 4 felt. I’m not spoiling anything; it isn’t plot. It’s just the feeling I got from experiencing the endings. Also, periodically through the game the AI glitches and leaves enemies running into a wall or doing something similar. It doesn’t happen too often, but it’s noticeable. In addition, Treyarch seems to have noticed that players enjoyed the Call of Duty 4 scenes in which control was limited. In these scenes, movement was restricted due to the character being restrained, but the player could still look around. World at War features this mechanic over and over. There isn’t really anything wrong with this, but it felt like the game wanted the player to be impressed with it. This was a cool mechanic in Call of Duty 4, but it isn’t new anymore. I don’t have a problem with it. In fact, I believe it should be used whenever it makes sense to restrict movement and not the ability to look around. However, it isn’t new, and it felt overused in World at War.
After completing the game, Nazi Zombies, which is similar to Gears of War 2’s Horde mode, is unlocked. In this mode, the player is stuck in a room with barricaded doors and windows. Zombies approach and attempt to break through the barricades. Players earn points for repairing barricades and shooting zombies, getting more points for headshots than body shots. These points can be used to buy upgrades or access new areas of the base. If the player touches a zombie, it’s game over! The gameplay itself in this mode is really cool; however, it spooked me out a bit playing it. If only they weren’t zombies!
World at War also features cooperative play, which is very nice to have. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to try it. It allows four people over Xbox Live or two people locally. I’m a big fan of local coop play and am glad it was included.
World at War didn’t introduce anything amazing to the genre, but it is a very fun shooter. It really does feel like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare with the setting changed to World War II. It also features coop, new weapons, Nazi Zombies, and of course the Pacific battles. Treyarch really redeemed themselves after Call of Duty 3. If you’re looking for a game as amazing as Call of Duty 4 or are expecting World at War to really push the first person shooter genre, you’re going to be disappointed. However, if you’re looking for a good World War II shooter that actually shows the fighting in the Pacific for once, you’ll probably enjoy World at War.

Trine, Gorgeous Hack-n-Slash, Puzzle Platformer

Trine is a hack-n-slash, puzzle platformer set in a fantasy world. While the graphics are 3D, the gameplay itself is sidescrolling and 2D. The setting is absolutely gorgeous with dungeons, lush plant life, water, and more. In Trine you must sometimes overcome puzzles, usually in the form of figuring out how to reach a particular place. The undead will try to stop you and are fought in a typical hack-n-slash method – run up and hit them with a sword!
Three characters are presented to the player, the Thief, the Wizard, and the Knight. Each has different abilities that allow the player to solve puzzles in different ways. What’s interesting about Trine is that the player can switch between any of the three characters at any time (provided the character still has health). Each character has his or her own life and energy bars. The Thief can shoot arrows and use a grappling hook to reach high places or to swing. The Wizard can create crates and planks (usually used to help reach something, press a button, or as a counterbalance) and can levitate and move objects. The Knight can perform melee attacks with his sword and hold up a shield to protect himself. Many puzzles can be solved in different ways with different characters. This was of particular enjoyment to me because while trying to solve a puzzle I sometimes die, leaving me the two other characters to solve it and forcing me to rethink my solution.

 
The music and sound effects are appropriate and nice, and the voice acting is great. The characters don’t speak much, but it’s nice when they do, and the narrator does a superb job at telling the story like a fairy tale. The writing is nice, and the story more than sufficiently supplies motivation for the game.
Adding more depth to the game, Trine also features experience which can be collected. Each level has a set amount of experience, and when collected, experience is applied to all characters equally. When the characters level up, the player is able to pick skills to improve. In addition, equipment can be found in the levels. The player chooses which character to give the give the equipment, providing the chosen character with a bonus.
Trine features simple, enjoyable combat, fun puzzles, a beautiful setting, and an interesting mechanic (character swapping). These are all aspects of a great game, so it’s no surprise that I’m impressed with Trine.

Castle Crashers with Corey

I was finally able to play Castle Crashers with Corey last night! It took four actual tries! Soon after Spring quarter ended, we tried to play. Trying to remember what happened just leaves me confused. All I know is that I only brought my memory card with the game on it. I don’t remember if my profile was there or not. It should have been, but I’m kind of mixed up thinking back. Games are tied to the original console to which it was downloaded and the profile that downloaded it. We could only play it as a demo; I guess we didn’t have my profile. Then I brought my console over only to find that I couldn’t use Corey’s power cable because they were different. I also remember thinking that redownloading it on Corey’s would be a fix. (This is where I get really mixed up. Why? I thought we had the game. I don’t know. I might be mixing up attempts to play it.) We couldn’t do that because I have an old version of the game with a bug in it that I still want to use.
For that night, we called it quits. We tried to find another day that worked for everyone and was unable to until last night! Guess what? I forgot my memory card with my profile on it, so I had to go pick it up. But then we were finally able to play! We made it to the last couple levels, but it got late, and we had to call it quits. Corey and Casey are going to Europe for a month soon, so that’s that for a while. Still, it was fun to play something multiplayer. It doesn’t happen enough!

Day 4, The End

After waking up early and packing, I headed to open autographs to try for a third time to get Ishiwatari’s and Mori’s autographs. It took a few hours, but I finally got heir autographs! Very cool!
Then we walked around the exhibit hall a bit. I bought an adorable little robot figure with big, puppy dog eyes and a small moogle figure. We also said hi to Lily!
Next we tried to see the Zelda: Mythbusters panal, but the line was huge so we left. Then w tried to go to Orochon Raman in Little Tokyo. At first we went to the wrong place, but now we’re here! Lunch in just a few short minutes!
It was very tasty! It was in a different plaza though so we came to Mikawaya for mochi! It’s a very nice place. I ordered 5 mochis, and the staff gave me a sixth for free!

Day 3

Today we lined up in the stand-by line for AX Idol around 10. It was a complete mess. When they passed out tickets, one guy went down each side of the line in parallel. Some of us got tickets from one and from the other. Went I went to correct that, the guys told us that there wasn’t any assigned seating. Well, that was a lie. Long story short, I got pretty mad and argued quite a bit, including arguing on behalf of some girl who wasn’t even with me. They said if we wanted to sit together, we could move to the back. Well, if it’s AX’s fault, they should make it right not penalize us for it. Main Events staff claimed that the problem was Tocketing’s not their problem. Regardless, eventually the staffer found someone who needed gem’s ticket and had the ticket gem needed so they switched.
AX Idol was very entertaining! I wish there was something more to say, but I didn’t take any recordings or remember any names. Pictochat was also very fun this year! AX Idol never disappoints!
Next I hurried over to line up for Ishiwatari and Mori’s autographs again. After two hours, guess what? No autograph! I guess I gotta come to open autographs tomorrow.
Next we went to get sushi, but it was too expensive and hardly had anything to choose from so we went to Lawry’s Carvery. Delicious!
Then it was off to the Manga Cafe! I read Midori Days Volumes 1 and 2. I loved the anime and had read the first volume already. I need to finish the manga sometime. Next I moved on to the first volume of FLCL. I couldn’t even tell who was talking. I should have watched the anime first. I didn’t realize Gainax made it. I should follow their work more closely. Lastly I read about half of the first volume of Gocha Gocha. It’s about a guy who’s friends with a girl who goes away for te summer. When she comes back, he finds that he’s in love with her, but she now has a split personality. Normally she’s the normal we’re-friends-but-I’m-always-mean-to-you girl, but her other personality is very erotic. It seems pretty awesome so far!
Now we’re in Last Comic Standing, and I’ve already seen a couple comics from last year. Soap came up and was pretty funny! He finished his bit without getting boo’ed off and only insulted fat people of AX a little!
Wow, the second half was great. Last Comic Standing was just amazing this year. Usually each half has a winner, and the two winners compete in the final round. This time there was an improv yo-momma duel to decid the winner of the second half who then won againt the first half’s winner in the final round. It got even better this year!

Day 2

Today I first went to the Ishiwatari (creator of Guilty Gear and composer of BlazBlue) and Mori (director of BlazBlue) focus panel. It was pretty interesting! Ishiwatari said he used American metal band references a bunch just because he loved the music. He also said that a lot of games had a cute girl character, and to be different he wanted to have a cute transexual girl. Despite this being out of the ordinary, the fans loved her.
Afterwards I headed to the Exhibit Hall to purchase Guilty Gear XX ^ Core Plus for Wii and BlazBlue Collector’s Edition for PS3 for $85. That’s actually a pretty great price surprisingly. I then rushed to the Ishiwatari and Mori autograph session. I stood in lone for a while but didn’t make it. There’s a session tomorrow, but it’s during AX Idol so I can’t go. Hopefully they’re at the open autograph session Sunday.
We had some lunch at a fish grill. I had a cashew chicken salad that was very tasty. Then we met up with Justina and Larysa! I bought some cards from William’s friend Lily.
Then after hangin around the Exhibit Hall for a while we lined up at 6:45 in the priority line for ticket holders for the AMV contest. Line’s were strange. Despite checking tickets at the door, they also check tickets before getting in line. Also, Collin had been in line since 3 (4 hours before seating and 6 hours before the show starting). Instead of giving out tickets, thy were just going to ivetickets to them as thy enter when the show’s about to start. That means they get to sit there for 6 hours before sitting inside for 3 hours to watch the contest. Sort of fucked up.
They didn’t actually let us in until 7:30, but now it’s 8:08 and I’ve been watching AMVs that didn’t become finalists for over a half hour! They already showed Dead Fantasy I & II; Dead Fantasy III will premiere soon!
Turns out it was Dead Fantasy III through V. They were shorter than usual but still cool.
For action AMV, I voted for The Good Ship Lifestyle, featuring the song by the same name by Chumbawumba and One Piece. For drama I voted for an FLCL AMV set to Story of a Girl. For comedy I liked a video that was a spoof of the news from the movie Starship Troopers. Finally for pro I voted for Dance Dance Celebration!
We got out at 11:45 but didn’t make it to our room until 1:30. The line was super long for the bus. Then there were so many people waiting for the 9 elevators (3 less than tere were supposed to be due to them being out of service) that it took a really long time. We took the escalators to a different floor and then caught an elevator going down before it filled I up. The only problem was the vomit in the back! One girl who really wanted to gt to her room said she didn’t mind standing in it because as someone who works on a farm, she’s stood in worse. Oh, an she wasn’t wearing shoes! Anyways, that’s pretty dumb because standing in something gross outside on a farm is different than tracking vomit through a hotel.
Anyways, it’s time to go enjoy Day 3!

Day 1

I decided not to go to Opening Ceremonies today, so I woke up around 9:30 and headed down. While walking around a little I saw some interesting cosplay, including a Zangief! It was funny! I also saw a spy disguised as a pyro!
I tried lining up for Artist Alley, but Anime Expo staff were pretty confused so we went to watch an episode of Emma: A Victorian Romance. It wasn’t amazing or anything, but I enjoyed it.
Next we went to the AMV 101 panel. Outside we saw Collin and linked up with his group before going in. I didn’t realize it was two hours long though, so I left after about 15 minutes.
Then it was exhibition hall time! First I checked out Artist Alley! I got an NES controller charm for my DSi! I also bought mechafetus’ new art book and met Persona-sama from Select Button. It was fun, and the book’s pretty awesome. It’s filled with weird people pouring guts out, topless, pixelated girls, and even a penis ejaculating rainbows! I also bought a t-shirt from another booth – It shows a Mage casing with a cast bar and a caption saying something along the lines of “Don’t interrupt me; I’m casting.”
Next it was food time! Nachos and tacos in the convention center! Now I’m in line for Imaishi and Nishigori! Nishigori was an animator of NGE! The line gave me time to look at mechafetus’ awesome art book and to update this entry!
While waiting for the panel, I found that my DSi froze and the battery was just about drained. Sucks.
It’s just Q&A, and all the questions are about Gurren Lagann. I wanted to hear about NGE! And I haven’t seem Gurren Lagann yet; spoilers! Spoilers everywhere!
Okay, after the panel I got a ticket for autographs, but I ended up not going. I didn’t have anything forhem to sign (and didn’t really care that much). Antonio and I tried toxins some manga that wasn’t yaoi; it took a while. Then Antonio went to line up for the Gurren Lagann movie. I was alone for an hour because William and gemma were in a clay sculpting thing. I bough Aoi House Omnibusses 1 and 2. I had the first issue last year and really enjoyed it! I also bought Battle Club volume 1. It’s about wrestling and stars a bunch of scantily clad women (one of whom has a penis) with a lot of comedy and mature fan service.
I also bought some adult dating games from jlist. Cosplay Fetish Academy is a normal dating sim in which “reality had changed around us, and these sexy uniforms and othe costumes were now completely normal!” I also bought Lightning Warrior Raidy, an adult dungeon crawler. You can fight sexy enemies and rescue sexy prisoners! They threw in two free DVD non-adult interactive fiction games, Hourglass of Summer and The Society of a Witch. They also gave out complementary tissue, haha!
Now we have four hours to kill before the jlist panel on dating sims!
Well, we were too lazy for that panel. We stayed in the hotel and went to Korean B.B.Q. Plus for dinner. Tasty! Now I’m going to read manga a little before going to bed. Looking forward to tomorrow!

Day 0 Night

Found a restaurant called Olive Branch in the Bonaventure. We got a gyro, hummus, chicken, rice, salad, and sprite for $18. Then I hung out in the room looking through the schedule and watching a tv show called Burn Notice on USA. It was interesting. Before bed I put everything that looked interesting to me in my phone’s calendar. Ready to go!

Day 0

Got to the Bonaventure around 1:00. They let us check in despite our check-in time being 3:00. Hung out in the room and acted pervy towards William for a while. AX registration started at 3:00, but we got there around 3:30. The line was huge and in the sun. Apparently the computers were down. Ethan said something got unplugged. We played Contact (verbal game, not DS) the whole time. So much fun!
Got badges by 5:30 or so and then had to wait in line for AMV tickets until 7:30. We had to pick up William’s ticket for him because he was too good for us! (He met friends for dinner.) The guy in front of me asked the three girls from the AniMaid Cafe for hugs. He actually wants to pay $25 to have dinner and play games with girls dressed as maids. Food better be good.