Archive for the video games Category

The joy-filled, action-packed Rayman Originis

Posted in video games with tags , , , on December 31, 2011 by sunshin3girl

It was a weeknight and we had exhausted our daily quota of the fantastic Parks and Recreation episodes, so the husband casually suggested if I was up for the new game he picked up for PS3 recently. Since it is a co-op and there were still about 30 minutes before I usually hit the bed, I said OK.

Rayman

What ensued were the most fun-filled 60 minutes of the entire week, entire month even. Rayman Origins is the adventure of two friends – the limbless Rayman and his blue floppy friend, Globox. They are in an blissfully picturesque world, which in fact is up to its eyeballs in mess. There is a fuss everywhere the two head, but it is your job, of course, to save all those creatures who need help. There is trouble at every corner, every slope, and every dip. But there is nothing that the two friends cannot conquer together. In fact, if one of the player dies, all they need to do is float up close to the other player, who can punch him back to life. How brilliant!

Rayman

The two have many other cutsie friends, all colorful, joyous and up for a challenge. They sprint around saving damsels in distress, and collecting happy things called Lums that count as points in form of cute pinkys called Electoons to unlock next level. Be it a friend or foe, all have such a colorful appeal that one just gets completely lost in the world. Plus the music is brilliantly done to ensure one stays hooked subconsciously asking for more of those happy sounds, along with the lavish images.

RaymanGlobox

What I love about the game is that I cam play it with the husband, who is a way better gamer than me, without getting in his way. In most other co-ops I have played, I usually find myself slowing him down and have this guilt of ruining the perfect experience for him. Not with Rayman Origins, I always have my own space and even if I do something silly, it is more comical than annoying for him. Of course, sometimes I just stop mid-adventure and punch the living daylights out of him, in-game. This way I can get over my vexation on him for not having picked up that wet towel, without being accused of domestic violence. 😉

LumsElectoons

Collecting Lums and Electoons help unlock newer levels, each more fascinating than the last. One just keeps wanting to go on and on. Just talking about it wants me to drop everything and play a round of fun fun fun.

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Meet Akkarenia

Posted in video games with tags , , , on December 9, 2010 by sunshin3girl
Draenei Warrior

Akkarenia, the furious warrior

Of monsters and a hero, magic and illusion, and other mysterious tales

Posted in video games with tags , , on May 12, 2009 by sunshin3girl

I have not watched a movie in weeks and the last book I finished was in early April. What has become of me? Well, I have turned a hardcore gamer, at least for the time being.

It happened on a bored Sunday evening when the husband was busy playing some thing on his shiny new PS3, and I walked around aimlessly in search of something to do. That is when I stumbled upon my Nintendo DS, which had been sitting in a corner since I finished Professor Layton and the Curious Village, months ago. I browsed through the games I had and suddenly found Dragon Quest IV – Chapters of the Chosen. I remembered reading an article about it and how it had piqued my interest.

A couple of hours into the game, I realized this was one of those game that will have me hooked for days but I was wrong. Dragon Quest, like any true RPG, will have you hooked not for days but weeks, months even if you have a busy routine like mine.

Now, this game has been adapted for the DS and was originally created for the classic NES. The veterans have found many flaws in the adaptation, they mostly find it simpler, but the game totally rocked my socks off. Besides having a solid storyline, the game gives you everything that an adventure game offers, only with a twist of Japanese. So, the evil monsters that you have to fight and kill are the cutest things ever, since everything Japanese must be adorable. But soon you forget to ooh-aah about this cuteness, because they are terrible monsters behind that cute face and they kill you so bad.  The enemy grows stronger as you level up, of course, but what I love is that enemy changes too and so do its characteristics. So, if you have mastered to kill the slime with a particular magic spell, you have to rethink your strategy when a new type of slime appears. Every time you are faced with a new type of enemy, you must first gauge its strengths and weaknesses and then, decide your plan of action accordingly. Just because your zapped the daylights out of your last enemy with this particular attack, there is no guarantee that you can even harm a hair of this bright new monster. And in all this, lies a lot of fun.

Another awesome little touch in the game is how you save the game or heal yourself. I often see very creative and fun save points in games, but this one has to be most awesome. To save your game, you must go to the nearest city, town, or village and look for a Church. In the church, you must go and confess all that you have done to the priest, who makes a log of it. Splendid! You can also ask the priest to perform a purification, which will cure you of poison but my favorite (and most crucial) is resurrection. Oh, but the priest does not resurrect you for free and his fee levels up along with your character. The other characters seen in the cities and towns are also very diverse, and as you move around the world and cross continents, their language changes too. Of course, I am playing the game in English so it is always the language but there are colloquial terms thrown in to give you the flavor of Russia and even Indian continent. I freaked out when a character went “Arey, you should run fast-fast.” Her name is Maya, and she is *so* Indian (Yes, she does come from the world where India is all about snake charmers and elephants, but I am not in a complaining mood right now.) Oh and you also see more tiger and cheetah monsters in the Indian continent.

 

Out of the eight main characters that the game allows you to play with, I cannot pick my top three favorites. Some are awesome fun to play with but you want to kick their ass for the ass they become in the battle. Some are just so adorable but not powerful enough. But they are all well done and have a strong character of their own, which is a great thing to have in any form of story-telling.

I also love shopping and hunting for the perfect weapon and armor for each of them; but side-quests to get the better armor are not always rewarding, though they are definitely fun. Like the other day, I fought half-a-million monsters and reached the deepest pit in mother earth and what did I get? A double-edged sword! It will surely kill my enemy but will leave me half-dead too. Thank you very much.

So, you first play five quick chapters with different cool characters and then you unlock them all and can play with any four of your choice. You can switch between the characters to choose which one you think is most fit for the particular battle.

I do not think I have played enough games to comment sensibly on game play and other technical aspects of the game, but as a gamer, I have been completely absorbed and frequently enamored by the little twists and fantastic adventures it takes me on. I have been playing it for around 35 hours and at least 10 more to go. Happiness.

Mind Wriggles

Posted in video games with tags on May 16, 2008 by sunshin3girl

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed puzzles until I picked up Professor Layton and the Curious Village.

Question 1:

A brother and his elder sister are sitting on the breakfast table when the bro says, “Sister, if I take two years away from my age and add them to your age, you will be twice my age!”

To this, the sister responds, “Hey but if you give me another year of yours, I will be three times as old as you!”

How old are these two kids?

Question 2:

You enter a camera store and the shopkeeper tells you that you can get both the camera and the case for $310. He goes on to say that the camera costs $300 more than case or you may say that the difference in the price of the camera and the case is $300.

You decide to just by the case at the moment and give $100 to the shopkeeper. How much change should you get back?

Question 3:

Five cats can catch five mice in five minutes. How many cats will it take to catch 100 mice in 100 minutes?

This one is the simplest.

All questions taken from the video game, “Professor Layton and the Curious Village.”

Addendum: I am going to screen the comments on this post. Shall display them all  tomorrow.

Truth is…

Posted in video games with tags , on May 6, 2008 by sunshin3girl

I am Iron Man.

Ah, could not resist the most over-used statement of this week. But hey, I am not going to write about how much I dug this movie. Just watch it, if you haven’t already.

Truth is that I am sinking in to the Zelda universe at the speed of light. What started as a quick round of gaming to kill some time on a boring evening is quickly turning into an obsession. After I finished Phantom Hourglass, I spent hours browsing the Internet reading up on it, looking at fan art etcetera. But this was not enough and I had to play more of Zelda! I coaxed the gamer to finish the game just so I could look over his shoulder while he was engaged in those fantastic boss fights. But it became increasingly difficult for me to shut my trap and let him figure out what to do next in the game, and so I finally picked up another Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess!

Although this one is on Wii, which means I have to stay at one place to play it and have to go through the hassle of changing the wires (too many consoles are also a headache) every time I sit down to play. Also, I cannot play it if there are people at home who want to watch television, but still, I think picking up this game has been my best-est decision in last one week! The game rocks so hard that my house’s ceiling is cracking up.

I have just begun to play it and since this is the first hardcore game on a console that has got me so interested, (DOA, Wii Sports, Virtual Fighters are all games that one plays in short spurts!) I am thinking of maintaining a regular journal about my progress in it.

So I have just begun. After struggling for hours to catch a fish to lure the cat back to his home so that the silly shop owner would sell me a slingshot, I managed to complete my errands around the village. Until this point, I was enjoying the game but was not really hooked to it. Once I got my hands on a couple of weapons (even if they are both wooden!), the actual fun began. As I galloped on Zoe (yes, I renamed Epola) towards the forest to catch the naughty kid and the naughty monkey, I found myself not looking at the map often enough, something which I do automatically on the DS. But what I found most different from the DS experience was the dungeon. On a big screen, with proper sound effects, it can actually get scary. While playing on the handhelds, it is hard to get so much into the game that a sudden movement in the darkness actually scares you. This effect, however, can be easily achieved on a console.

I have reached the point where I turn into a wolf – another thing that took me by great surprise. It is at times like these when ignorance can actually be bliss. Any gamer worth their while would know about the gimmick of the game but not me. Nonetheless, it worked for my benefit as I found it difficult to get it out of my head even when I went to the bed.

Oh by the way, I am yet to see Zelda. The chick never did show up in the last game I played.

Pop! Goes My Heart

Posted in video games with tags on April 29, 2008 by sunshin3girl

I finished playing God of War: Chains of Olympus yesterday after four days of being addicted to the gruesome beast called Kratos! I have not played God of War I or II, and this one is actually a prequel to the first one but can be still played and enjoyed stand alone! Now, I have not been a great fan of traditional action games but God of War is something different.

Fans of the God of War universe have been waiting for this game with bated breath and I have been urged by more than one person to give a shot to the first game however, as I am soon realizing I am more of a hand-held gamer than anything else. I can sit and enjoy a game on the PS2, Wii, or 360 for a few hours but if I am to finish a game, it has to be on a console that I can carry around. Anyhow, I picked up this game when I was stuck in one of the last levels of The Legend of Zelda and I wanted a break. I played God of War for ten minutes and I knew this was going to be the next game after I finished Zelda. And it was.

The game is based on Greek mythology and is a story of Kratos, a Spartan soldier who is haunted by nightmares of his past and is pledged to serve Gods of Olympus. In the beginning of the game, you find yourself slaughtering a few Persian soldiers. Where did these Persian soldiers fit in is something I am not very clear about but I guess if I had played the first two games, it would fit in somehow. However, this is just the first ten minutes of the game so maybe they are there just so you can practice the controls! Then you are faced by a huge monster and the fun begins. The game is extremely generous to you, really. One it allows various difficulty levels: easy, normal, God, and whatnot! Two, in the easy mode it makes the enemy give you health when you kill them. What fun, I say. Enemies are mystical creatures out of Greek mythology and are beautifully done. The graphics of the game is something to write home about. The screen is full of gorgeousness all through the game. The weapons and the magic make for a happy fight and enable you to kill those enemies with reckless abandon. The puzzles and the fights at all levels are fairly easy to get, so I did not find myself struggling much anywhere in the game. However, all this easiness is forgotten when you reach the final boss. Here you fight the wife of Hades*. And she is one killer woman!

The game is an artistic achievement as far as PSP games go. So even if you are not into gaming but appreciate beauty, have a look:  God of War: Chains of Olympus.

Note: This is a spoiler of sorts, I know. But I really doubt anyone is going to read as far as this and even if someone does, I doubt any gamers read my journal. So there.

The compulsive blogger in me has to make a post, so here I am.

Posted in video games with tags , , on April 4, 2008 by sunshin3girl

This is my fourth attempt to make a post since last evening. The first time, I started to write about “The Benefits of Dating a Geek,” but my thoughts trailed and I found myself writing about a videogame I am playing. Ctrl + A, Delete.

Second time around, I started to write about how having no friends at work makes me spend most of my time in front of the workstation. But then I found myself writing about how I play the videogame sitting at my desk, shoulders arched, head bent, volume muted. Ctrl + A, Delete.

Then I began listing things (besides work) that I do while I am in my cubical. And when I reached the list item gaming, I found myself detailing its awesomeness. Ctrl + A, Delete.

I have a feeling I want to talk about The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. You reckon?

So because I cannot help myself, I will write about my awesome gaming experience. But because you may not be interested in reading it, I will put it behind a cut.
 

I was watching a trailer of a videogame that reminded me of Ghibli movies. When I mentioned this to the gamer, he said that the game he is playing these days also reminds him of Ghibli films. Interest piqued and I picked up the Nintendo DS out of plain curiosity. Twenty minutes into the game, I knew I wanted to play this game. I usually like to play games that can be played in small spurts. You know, pick it up for ten minutes during your travel, while waiting in a queue etc. This, however, is an elaborate game.

The art and the visuals are amazing. I like cuteness and Phantom Hourglass gives it to me in truck loads. I like solving puzzles, I get to do that. I like killing ugly things, and the boss fights in this game are simply splendid. I like mysterious stories, and well, I get that too. Of course, I know that in the end I am going to save the princess but discovering little islands, treasure, solving mazes in the temples…joy.

The game allows me to travel both on the land and in the ocean. So, I have a ship and an idiot pirate friend, an amnesiac but loyal fairy friend, a boomerang (what fun!), lots of gems (haven’t figured what to do with them yet), portable bombs, a sword (duh), and I keep finding more loot all the time. The finest part of the game is that it allows me to use the DS to its best. I use the stiles at all times, tap tap tap. I also blow into the microphone to blow out the candles and clean dusty maps. I shout into the microphone to get a good deal on my ship parts. In fact, the game has some such DS-specific twists that I was left baffled and had to search the walkthrough online to figure how to go about it.

Another great thing is that whenever I find some new tool, item, or equipment, the game makes sure that I have to and get to make a lot of use of it. Keeps me engaged at all times. At one point, I got to wondering if the game is too simple for an experienced gamer but then I saw that the gamer guy enjoy the game equally. In fact, I am not sure he is happy about me hijacking the DS one fine day and carrying it in my tote at all times.