[ Shihiko° × Game。]

About Games. by Shihiko°

October 10th, 2010

A game that aimed to break the “Sonic Cycle” was released a few days ago… Sonic 4. I tested it out on the iPhone so far… might also try the PlayStation 3 version. And how was it…?

Well after playing Sonic World Adventure [Unleashed] I can see that Sonic was slowly getting back in his speed shoes… but we would all like to see more than just well made stages and great game play. We needed to see Super Sonic in game levels, flashing all the Chaos Emeralds in Golden Glory. Sonic 4 – Episode 1 brings this back to us and more depending on what you enjoyed about the classic Sonic games.

The concept was good. Bring the original 2D game play of Sonic back and continue the story from Sonic 3 & Knuckles… Which didn’t exactly happen yet…? If you haven’t noticed from screen shots the level designs and art style has been quite similar to that of Sonic 2. So I guess they can’t ruin anything by doing that… it does however for me make it feel that it wasn’t very original, but at the same time brings some nostalgia which is what Sonic Team wants I guess.

Though I played the iPhone version, the look and feel of the game was quite good. It was also interesting trying this version first, because we are so used to Sonic being a control pad game it seemed stupid if we were to play without buttons. I cleared the Final Stage and all of Episode 1 with Tilt Controls… I did attempt to use the touch controls at one stage for a more precise control, but there was no point since I was already used to the tilting.

Getting the Chaos Emeralds was a huge chore though as the bonus stage gets annoying with the tilting, I guess when you are used to playing Labyrinth type games it doesn’t really help. It is the same type of bonus stage across all the consoles… thought it does look like a rip out of Sonic 3′s check point bonus game, it works because we are tilting the stage… though I could have gone for a cooler new type of bonus stage but no big deal, we get Chaos Emeralds that work on something other than the Final Boss… [Oh how true that is... 36 Rings really?]

It’s good to see Super Sonic back. It’s still too early for a review though as this is the first episode of the game… Sonic Team are doing this so they can slowly reel back in those who were hurt by the Sonic Cycle and are confident that they will get Sonic fans to buy all the episodes this way. So far it seems to be working, it is mostly positive reviews from various sources…

September 20th, 2010

Going to the Tokyo Game Show was quite interesting. This was my first time to such an event, so it was an all new experience to see how things work at these exhibits. I was actually not in Tokyo at the time the event started, so I needed to travel a few hours to reach the location which this year was at Makuhari Messe in Chiba.

Upon arriving at the station near Makuhari Messe there is many people walking towards the exhibit. You can follow them or listen to the people who try to guide you there with signs or gestures. Anyway, as you get closer to the building there is already a huge mass of people gathered outside lining up to enter… If you have a pre-purchased ticket you can move along to join the line, otherwise you need to line up to obtain a ticket. [Pre-purchased tickets are cheaper but you need to print it out yourself.] Even so, it turns out the line you are lining up at after the tickets is a security check line… After that it is actually straight into the exhibit.

It was packed. One thing that means is, you’re not going to be able to see everything. So prior to going I would probably recommend knowing where and what everything you want to look at is located. It is also probably much easier to do everything you want to check out if you were alone… I wasn’t. So I mainly hung around the Sony, Capcom and Level 5 area. I did drift to the other parts but mostly just to eat lunch and look at what else is on offer at the event.

Almost everything has a line… either that or you need to line up somewhere else before you can line up at a popular game. An example was most of the 3D or PlayStation Move booths at Sony required you to line up at another line to obtain a coupon that gives you a time slot so you can try the game you want to play. The other case was you could be lining up at a up coming game that also gives you some limited goods for trying the game, which was the case for Ni no Kuni… of course you could also try it at the Sony booth without a 30 or 60 minute line to wait in.

The real nice thing about going to these events is you can see and experience the games rather than base your judgement on the videos and pictures or content offered online. Truly some games need to be seen to be enjoyed or appreciated… since some games or media content are staged. This explains why without a press license we are unable to take pictures of videos of any games at the event as they are mainly all work in progress of concept demonstrations. Mavel vs Capcom 3 did look much nicer than the online videos show it to be. Little Big Planet 2 was nice to see too.

It’s probably a good plan to also try things that will probably be too expensive to experience at home or concept games that probably won’t make it to any platform in the near future. Since I was there with two of my online friends, we decided to try play Minna no Golf 5 in 3D because we probably can’t afford the set up at home or it might not even be released for the current version of the game. It was an interesting experience which you can read about here. I didn’t try the PlayStation Move as it was already released elsewhere in the world so it isn’t exclusive, also it was good enough to watch the booth assistants demonstrate it as it gives a good idea of how responsive it is.

If you plan to hang around from the start to the end, then another good idea would be to prepare your own lunch. You can hang around in lines and eat your lunch instead of lining up and paying for a lower than standard quality lunch which saves you time and money so you can play and view more games. I guess the same case goes for if you want to buy some limited goods at the place, you need to be there early so you can insure that you will obtain the goods you want… I had no interest in that part of the show, but my friend was lining up two hours before the event in order to get his hands on a Moogle plushie.

To wrap it up, I quite enjoyed the event except there shouldn’t be a need to line up to reserve a spot just to try a game. Also it would have been nicer if we were allowed to take pictures of the event instead of only the area between the buildings that had cosplayers getting their photos taken… That area would have also been nicer if it wasn’t where we needed to walk through to get to the other areas of the event, as in they could put it in another area away from the people who are trying to navigate around the exhibit. Some freebies would have been nice too… :)

August 20th, 2010

So today’s about a month since my PlayStation Plus Experiment… How’s it going so far? Well I have received three months worth of premium avatars and a few games which I already have or aren’t that fun. Quite dissappointed with the service so far, still no news about cross-game voice chat and no premium dynamic themes to keep.

Continuing on however… According to next month’s schedule they don’t look all that great at all. For the Japanese PSN The next free title will be Warhawk… A game that is over two years old. Also there is no premium dynamic theme or avatar lined up to collect so I maybe skipping next month’s subscription.

Now what have I learned about this so far? First off the experiment works of course… I have received three months worth of avatars and games for only one month’s payment but none of the games were that interesting or worth my time or I already have it.

Subsciptions need to be unsubscribed once you have started it otherwise it will automatically renew and charge your credit card or PSN wallet at the end of the period. The service can to be unsubscribed from the Account Manager menu.

Once it reaches the end of the period you will automatically lose your Plus icon from your online status. Apparently there is a bug that allows free PSone games to continue to work even after the subscription period. However there were no PSone games for free on the Japanese store for me to test this.

As for the service so far, well there really is no benefit for power users so far… It seems you’d probably get or benefit out of this service if you were a casual PlayStation gamer and didn’t own that many games because you’d be getting essentially a new game that you have never played before. Since the service also offers automatic update, it basically allows you to set and forget your system and whenever you boot it up you’ll be ready for and game or any online networking since it would have kept your system up to date for you no matter how much you neglect gaming on it.

Well that’s the report on the experiment so far… More to come as time goes on… Hopefully they will improve the service alot more but I really done see it as a service that makes users feel they are missing out on something special…