Recent Acquisitions

Apologies for being late on the second ATLA Liveblog entry. Things came up, things went down, an angel came and stole my DVD and now I have to find four elemental crystals and a legendary sword to get it back.

In the meantime I’ll talk about some more games I’ve filled up my game library with. You know, that library I said I was not going to increase until I had played what I already had. Resolutions are funny like that.

NOTE: These were not all gotten on the same day, just here and there over the past month or so.

In alphabetical order:

Armored Core 2 – This is actually a re-purchase. My first copy had a weird issue of a sound hanging and endlessly repeating (usually things like helicoptor rotors or flame jet sounds) even during the end-of-mission income screen (which is supposed to be silent). I thought it might be because my copy had been Skip Doctored and so bought one that hadn’t. Same problem though, so obviously its the PS2 (which is a last-run model, so maybe the problem is due to hardware changes since AC2 was released).

The game itself is a third-person action game with a mecha premise. You do missions, you earn money, you buy parts for your mech and basically try to customize it until its perfectly suited for your playing style. The story takes place on Mars and involves corporate warfare, but things are mixed up a bit due to the appearance of machines called “Disorder Units” which are of unknown origin. It’s pretty interesting, but can get repetitive after awhile and suffers from what I call “Vicious Cycle” syndrome (poor performance in a mission costs you money, but you need money to buy better parts for your mech, so if you can’t afford them you’re doomed to continue performing poorly… I tend to get around this by simply reloading if I fail or if I don’t make enough money for the mission to be worth it).

Armored Core 2 Another Age – Sequel to the above, bought it the same day, just because it was there. Haven’t played it yet, but I’m assuming its more of the same (which is kind of the point).

Gungriffon Blaze – Didn’t play much of this, but its controls kinda remind me of Mechwarrior (see below). So far not really impressed.

Mechwarrior 2 – Local game store had the original PC version of this game, as well as both its expansions (Ghost Bear’s Legacy, and Mercenaries). This was one of those “I wanted to play it back in the day after reading about it in PC Gamer, but never got the chance” kind of games, and being able to get it for $5 (including the expansions) seemed like a steal to me.

I’m enjoying it… except for that it’s one of those games that takes some learning. Some basic functions (like giving commands to your sidekicks) aren’t intuitive. I tried the campaigns for a bit, but have lately been practicing in the quick, one-off-battle mode (here called “Trials of Grievance”), which are hard as hell–I seem to always get blown up just as I’m about to win, and I’m not entirely sure what it is I’m doing wrong. It’s not like Armored Core where you control the mechs directly–in this one, you adjust a throttle and the mech will walk by itself, so it controls more like a tank. That takes some getting used to and means you have to re-think how to avoid taking damage.

Wing Commander III – I sprang for the PSOne version. It’s okay, but to be honest I had a hard time staying interested. Largely, it was that it felt wrong to play Wing Commander III before beating the first two (I have the first, but not the second). But at least I have it for when I’m ready.

X-Wing vs Tie Fighter – Picked it up because it was cheap and I was on a flight combat simulator phase. I think I’ve gotten over that phase now though. Didn’t really play much of this.

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14 thoughts on “Recent Acquisitions

  1. A lot of mecha stuff.

    Cool.

    From my post in one of your previous blogs, the Pretty Cure franchise is basically If you took the basic concept of sailor moon (Sentai-ish outfits and transforming trinkets, Monsters of the week and collecting mystical items) and mixed it with Dragon Ball Esque Combat with some post modernism as well. The stories are usually very similar in trying to prevent the evil group from each season from getting the mystical item first and prevent the leader of each group from Ruling/Destroying the world.

    However, what really makes it stand out is how the series plays with many of these aspects and is very more of a character driven franchise then a story driven one. The fights are also a big draw, which is intentional, as the Demographics papers or the franchise is 4-12 year old girls and …….16-36 year old men (Though all ages tend to enjoy them)

    It’s also Toei’s current big name magical girl series and rivals one piece in both ratings and Merchandizing. Eiichiro Oda has jokingly said he’s trying to top the series because his own daughter likes it more then his own work.

    • “Eiichiro Oda has jokingly said he’s trying to top the series because his own daughter likes it more then his own work.”

      Awww, that’s kind of cute!

      At the moment the anime I’m hooked on is Hikaru no Go.

      • I remember that. It aired on toonami for a while, but ratigns weren’t that great so it ended up on their streaming service before shutting down in 2008 after Toonami’s initial cancellation.

        I believe the series main arftist or writer (Can’t remember which) would go on to work on both Death Note and the Manga about Manga Bakuman.

    • Hikaru no Go is pretty surprising, actually. I went in thinking “this is Yu-Gi-Oh, but with Go.” But actually its not like Yu-Gi-Oh at all… outside of having a ghost, it mostly sticks to real life and realistic scenarios, and is more about a boy growing up–there’s no “saving the world with board games” or anything silly like that.

      Apparently, it inspired kids to actually play Go. That kinda shocks me, because one thing the anime is very good at, is showing that the life of a professional Go player is full of difficulty. There’s one episode where Hikaru casually mentions that he’s gonna need to start filling out tax forms (keep in mind, he’s in Junior High at this point in the story). Are Japanese kids really interested in that sort of thing?

      It is a fun show though, with plenty of eciting Go games and lots of great characters. The only thing I really don’t like is Sai–the ghost who possesses Hikaru in the first ep. For most of the series he becomes (no pun intended) dead weight, and when he finally starts being relevant is when they finally decide to remove him from the story.

      • If you like Super Sentai, Id recommend Kamen Rider as well, considered to be Sentai’s older, more badass brother.

        Also, I’d recommend Toho and Daiei Monster movies as well, since the elements they introduced to film making were the main inspiration for Both Sentai and Kamen rider, as well as Ultraman.

      • Indeed. The guy who played the original kamen, Hiroshi Fujioka, would go on to become Segata Sanshiro, the japanese mascot of the Sega Saturn. Japan considers the guy their version of Chuck Norris.

      • Incidentally I’m surprised you know this much about Kamen Rider. I remember you saying on TV Tropes that you hated Japanese media (or am I getting you mixed up with somebody else? It happens to me a lot, actually…)

        So far:

        Enjoying Kamen Rider

        (btw you mentioned Toho and Daiei monster movies… the original Godzilla, in Japanese, is one of my favorites)

        Favorite Sentai so far is Zyuranger, followed by Pirate Sentai Gokaiger.

        Favorite Ultraman is Tiga, followed by the original (although these and the anime are the only two I’ve seen… and the Ultraman anime kinda sucks).

        And… that’s it so far on the Tokusatsu front.

      • ……Yeah, I think you did mistake me for someone else. XD!

        I’m also looking forward both Pacific Rim (The giant Robot vs. Giant Movie by Guillermo Del Toro coming this july) and Next Year’s Godzilla reboot.

  2. Interesting pickups, vehicle-based action games are my favourite genre,

    I’ve been playing Mechwarrior 4 recently and what you wrote about Mech 2’s control seems to mirror my experience. Being used to the massively dumbed down MechAssault series on the original xbox, having to twist the torso and controls the legs independantly is rather had to adjust to-though I’m hoping getting an HOTAS joystick setup will fix that.

    • I remember playing Mechwarrior 3 once and it had very similar controls, so I guess Mechwarrior is one of those series that–despite each installment having a completely different Dev team–they all tend to be pretty similar. Which is probably great for the fans.

      I found some neat videos on the subject, by the way:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJF5z_Kd2Eo [Nostalgia Night – Mechwarrior 2]. This is mostly a guy looking back on when this used to be the hot Net thing, which is kinda nostalgic for me too (I used to play Warcraft II all the time). He’s playing the Titanium Edition though. For a rundown of what that means, see this vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1C0j9bUbLs

      Also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7w88yQVlVY The first ten seconds of this video honestly made me laugh. Other than that, what I found impressive was Mechwarrior 4. It looks recent, but apparently it was made for 333mhz pentiums in the Windows 98 days. Kind of makes me want to pick it up.

      Now if only there was a “Beginner’s Guide to Not Dying” video…

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