Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pinball Wizard? Perhaps not.

Well, I hadn't been blogging. But, I have been playing stuff. I played MadWorld long enough to show the wife a little of it, and got annoyed about not targeting enemies correctly again. I may have to play the first level over again so I get the tutorial.

I played a little bit of Link's Crossbow Training, because number 2 son says that that is "his Zelda game". Never mind the fact that he can't actually hold up the Wii Zapper or aim at the screen. He'd be just as happy with one of us playing Twilight Princess, but it has a circular scratch on it (again!) which has rendered the Gerudo desert unplayable.
What I really got sucked back into again is pinball. Not real pinball, mind you, but the simulation thereof. I have Pinball Hall of Fame:The Williams Collection for PS2 (I think I paid $10 for a new copy), and I have Pinball Hall of Fame: The Gottlieb Collection for XBox (also purchased new, for less than $5). The game engines are identical, and the software was done by the same teams as far as I can tell. The visual fidelity is similar, but I am playing both games on the same old standard-def TV. I have seen both the Williams collection and the Gottlieb collection for Wii, but I haven't bothered since I'm concerned about the viability of using motion controls to nudge the table.

That brings me to my annoyance with the XBox version. Despite how similar the two games are, I am completely unable to nudge the table on the Gottlieb Collection without immediately getting a giant TILT displayed on the screen. I have played other games for XBox and seem to be able to use the left analog stick properly there (Ninja Gaiden comes to mind), and I have no problem with the nudge on the Williams collection, also done on the left analog.

In the interest of disclosure, I am a lefty, and I have been playing these games with a Pelican wired controller for XBox, and a Logitech cordless PS2 controller.

So, what gives? Is it the game, the cheap controller, or the guy holding the controller?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Spyborgs followup, and more MvC3!

This morning, #1 son got as far as board 3-4 of Spyborgs without having to adjust the difficulty downward - he started on "Casual". (Casual is one easier than the middle difficulty, 2 out of 5 if you want to look at it that way.) I played some co-op with him on the same difficulty, and it wasn't too bad. I wish the camera would come into the gameplay a little closer during regular melee combat, so I could see when I need to block and when I need to just get away, but when you're playing co-op and you need to scout the screen for invisible objects all the time, you need the camera pulled back for that. I still feel like we're getting our $4.99 worth.

I saw that no one had bothered making a FAQ for it on Gamefaqs.com. Even though there are lots of unlockables and achievements in the game, the game seems to spell out what they are, so maybe there's no reason to type up a FAQ.

In Marvel vs Capcom news, Tron Bonne (MegaMan series) and X23 (XMen comics) were announced last week as playable characters for MvC3. Wesker (Resident Evil series)

and Spiderman ( straight out of Stan Lee's brain)

were announced this weekend at the Tokyo Game Show. Spiderman is no surprise whatsoever, as he has been in all of the vs. games that they can cram him into. Tron Bonne was in MvC2, so also not much of a shocker. X23 appears to play similarly to Wolverine (What would you expect from the female clone of Wolverine?), but she is a lot better looking than grumpy old Logan. Wesker is figuring more and more prominently as the Resident Evil series goes on, so I can understand Capcom wanting him there - you can see from the video that he's quite the rushdown character.

OK, gotta go play more Spyborgs.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Customer Service, 3rd Party.

So I went on an adventure this afternoon - I had to drive #1 son to a doctor's appointment. It was in a part of the county that I don't normally go to, and on the way there #1 son had seen a Gamestop on the way out. Despite a dissenting vote for Burger King, we stopped at that Gamestop on the way back, after the appointment. It was a fairly busy store, mostly families, and the employees didn't seem to notice us. They had a copy of Killer 7 for Gamecube - a game that I had been looking for ever since I played No More Heroes. It was fairly cheap, $8.99. I couldn't bring myself to get it. There is no multiplayer, it's over-the-top violent, it acts sort of like a rail shooter, the plot is bizarre, and it's the sort of game that even if I explained to you why it's so good you might not believe me because half the things I would try to explain don't make any sense.

My original plan, which I reverted to, was to pick up a copy of Spyborgs from Best Buy. Also a Capcom game, but developed by a totally different team - this game had two major advantages. One, all the game reviews said that it was much better played by two people and I expect that I will be able to play this with #1 son. Two, the game is $4.99. New. The last time I was there there were only two copies that I could see. Today I just grabbed a copy and stuffed it under my arm without looking to see if the other one had sold or not.

#1 son played the Kraven the Hunter level on Spiderman:Shattered Dimensions and did just fine, despite only a little experience with a regular XBox controller and no XBox 360 experience. #1 son liked how Spiderman moved and reacted to the controls - the only thing that annoyed me when I watched him was that the camera wasn't always that smart. I was trying to play Sin & Punishment on the Wii kiosk, but I had to rejigger the controls once and then I was distracted by a couple of employees trying to help a customer with Wii accessories. I was getting a weird vibe from them (the employees) and had to go see what they were trying to do to their captive customer. I jumped in and (I think) did a better job of answering his questions - I also had to remind him that Nintendo's not a big fan of third party power supplies when you're having to deal with them on a warranty issue. What would have been great for him to be able to get was the Migration Kit, but Nintendo doesn't sell them outside Japan and they have a composite video cable in that pack instead of a component video cable.

He suggested that I should work there since I knew more than the employees - I reminded him that the main function of Best Buy employees was to sell extended warranties, and that most of them didn't have/play Wii, so they wouldn't be as familiar. Just to give him the whole SuperMonkeyCube experience, I threw out the Rubik's cube for a quick solve - I don't ever know if that confirms that I'm a nutcase or it confirms that I'm not a nutcase.

After we got home, #1 son finished the first section of Spyborgs while I made pizza, and it wasn't horrible. (The game. No, the pizza wasn't horrible either. Pepperoni, Olive and Broccoli, since you asked.) So, I'm pretty sure I'm going to get my five bucks worth. I'm looking forward to co-op.