Completed Chapter Two today. This involved lots of punching posh kids, egging their house (with the help of Russell), bike racing, and taking some posh girl out on a date and winning her a teddy at the fair.
The “boss” was another posh kid who kept hiding behind a bar whilst sending minions out to smack me about, but they were weak and easily brushed aside. Gary had been winding them all up with lies about things I’d said about them.
So, now it’s almost Christmas and Chapter Three awaits!
Didn’t progress the story all that much today, mainly just causing havok (well, as much havok as a catapult and some itching powder can, anyway) and attending classes. I’ve completed Art and Chemistry completely now, and managed Shop 2 as well. Still having real issues with the PS2 pad, but then, there’s nothing new about that.
Russell DEFEATED! I think “blockhead” is the correct term for him. He’s a bit stupid, anyway. So I beat him up when Gary went a bit nasty and basically declared war on me (and the school). I’m starting to think Gary might actually be the headteacher’s son or something. There’s bound to be a twist like that somewhere.
After that, I ran some errands for the cook (opening up the town outside the school), entered a boxing competition and won a lighthouse (no, really), and failed Art 5 and Chemistry 5 (bloody PS2 pad). And got busted when I accidentally punched Beatrice in the face when I meant to kiss her. Again, complaints aimed at the PS2 pad. My detention was to mow some grass.
I’ve also acquired a camera from the filthy Ms Philips (who teaches Art) and taken and passed my first Photography class. And! I have a BMX now!
Yes. It really has been over a month since I last played this. But, well, Forza 2 happened, and Carcassonne happened, and Retro Week happened and so on…
But anyway. So I’ve progressed in Art, Chemistry, English and Gym quite a bit. I’ve got a skateboard, helped a freaky hobo, taken part in some Halloween pranks, beaten lots of people up, raided a locker in the girl’s changing rooms, protected some nerds, and assorted other things.
Still not happy with the PS2 pad, but then, I rarely am.
Hmm. Whereas Alpha 2 was mostly just Alpha with new (or rather, returned) characters and new backgrounds, Alpha 3 is totally new. Totally new fighters, new style, new super combo mechanics, redrawn characters (well, some of them anyway), and new moves.
I played as Ryu, who seems to have gained Ken’s super flaming dragon punch super combo and lost his vacuum hurricane kick, and had a pretty tough time of it actually. Too much blocking and countering for my liking.
It didn’t help that when I finally reached Bison, I died. And do you get to have another crack at him? No. It’s Game Over! Rubbish.
It’s a great game and all, but one fail on the end boss and you have to start the whole game again? Tch.
Erk. This was waaaaay harder than the first game. Especially when I got to Ryu, who seemed capable of countering just about every single attack I tried. In the end, I only beat him by being somewhat cheap, trapping him in the corner, and dragon punching and uppercutting the hell out of him.
I still only barely managed it though – I even thought the final killing blow was a double-KO, but I must have just had a slither of energy bar left.
After competing it, I played for a while longer with some other characters, and then had a go at Dramatic Battle as Ryu and Ken. It’s hard. Way hard. You’d think it wouldn’t be as it’s a two-on-one session, but both of your team share the same energy bar, and often both get hit with the same blows, doubling your damage. Managed to see off Adon, but Sagat was a no-go.
After finishing the first game, I thought I’d have a look through the other titles on the disc. I used to play Alpha 2 a bit a uni too, but not as much as the first one for some reason. It’s still great, and yes, it’s technically better than Alpha, but I think maybe it’s just down to what I knew and loved first. Anyway, I played a few rounds, again as Kenneth for the main part.
And doesn’t Dan look like Steven Seagal? He’s just as crap too.
Then it was onto Alpha 2 Gold. I’d never played it before. Or even heard of it. And the only difference I can perceive is the fact there’s an extra couple of squares on the character select screen to select random characters…
Next up was Alpha 3. Which I’ve only ever played briefly in the arcade. It looks way more polished than the other games, and has a huuuuge character roster. It also has confusing (I didn’t read the manual) “isms” for fighting styles. I have no idea what they do. Ken is still ace.
Finally, it was Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix, which wasn’t the Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo sort of game I was expecting it to be. Instead, it’s a super-simplified fighter, with power-up gems, only three attack buttons (punch, kick, special) and Super Deformed characters from all over the Capcom Universe. It is nuts.
I bought the Street Fighter Alpha Anthology pack for the PS2 yesterday, and put it on today for a quick play. Of course, the “quick play” turned into the completion of Alpha with Kenneth. Who is, naturally, the best of all the animals.
I’d forgotten how much I like this game. I used to play it for hours at university on the Saturn – literally hours playing Ken vs Ryu against a flatmate. HOURS. Of Ken vs Ryu. Good grief.
Tim has been playing this recently, and it reminded me that I’d bought it a while ago but not actually started playing it yet.
So I started playing it. Yet.
Or at least, I tried, but it was a good half an hour between turning the PS2 on (having removed the inch of dust covering it) and actually doing some proper “game” as the intro and chat takes ages.
Anyway. I’ve started school. My first two lessons were Chemistry and Art, gaining me the abilities to make firecrackers and get kisses from teh laydeez in return for chocolates and/or flowers. I beat up a load of bullies, played the arcade game in the boys’ dorm, threw firecrackers at girls, and had a sleep.
The next day, I beat up a prefect (and was busted), took my English class (and passed), and beat up some nerds. I then followed some guy to the “auto shop” which was neither a shop, nor containing any “autos”, and was ambushed by some bullies. Beat them up, then chucked bricks in the face of the one I chased, and gained a catapult. Used that to shoot some rats, made some more firecrackers, skived my afternoon lesson, and finished the day in bed.
So far: Not bad. The PS2 pad is making me cry (especially the Chemistry “rhythm game” as I don’t know the location of any of the buttons on the pad), and the jaggy graphics actually hurt my eyes a little, but it’s not a bad game. Yet. I can see the lessons really getting in the way of things sooner rather than later, though.
Hmm. Not really enjoying this a great deal any more. Well, I was never enjoying it loads as it is, but there are just too many things I don’t like about it – the camera, the controls, the lack of platforming, the bits where there is platforming being difficult due to the camera or controls, etc. It’s all a bit rubbish, really.
So I found the “e” stone to put in the “meth” stone in the Lab level, which brought a golum to life. And then I killed it. Which kind of defies the point, really, doesn’t it?
I then moved on to the garden level, and opened up loads of the map, found a power-up to protect me from fire (or something), and couldn’t find a door in a room to the right of the map that is marked on the floor plan, but isn’t actually in the room. Gah!
So I left, and then went back to the House of Thingie (the churchy level) and tried to reach a high platform in a room near the start. But I can’t. Not even double-jumping and whip-grabbing can do it. I gave up for the day.
I worked my way through the House of Whatsit (I can’t remember it’s real name) and found three buttons which seem to activate locks. Or parts of them, anyway. I then got to a door that I need a Yellow Dragon Key to open, and generally ran out of places to go. I warped back to the shop, and bought some stuff, before going back into the castle and trying the Anti-Soul Mysteries “level”. No, really. That’s what it’s called.
It seems a lot easier than the other bit, so perhaps you’re supposed to do this first? I made it up to the third floor, but I’m stuck needing a key again. I did, however, find the Yellow Dragon Key, so all wasn’t lost. I’ve found what I think is the boss too, albeit shattered into bits. There’s a giant Polo on the wall with a word on it, that I need to find an ‘E’ for, I think.
Anyway, I warped out, bought stuff, and found a save point.
A new Castlevania game for me to play! And my first 3D Castlevania too. Well, aside from about ten minutes with the abortion that is Castlevania 64. I didn’t really know what to expect. Incidently, in the UK this game is just called “Castlevania“, which kind of makes sense as it’s chronologically the very first “episode” in the series, but elsewhere it has the subtitle “Lament of Innocence“.
I’ve not spent long with it yet, having only watched the opening film, explored what I can to start, completed the “training” section, and then moved on to some House of Somethings. I’m not at all sure about Leon Belmont’s double jump, nor his blocking. Or his whip-grab-jump move. But it’s early days yet.
The camera is already annoying though…
Two player SUPER ROCK OUT this evening, as my friend Chris and I twin-axed through some tracks.
That makes it sound about a million times better than it actually was, but in reality it was crap because I lost every single one. Rubbish.
I was going to have a go at completing a few songs on hard, but decided against it and and went straight in to Quick Play instead. Improved on my Easy and Medium scores on about 5 tracks, and set scores for the first time on another 5 or so. I even managed Ziggy Stardust on Medium missing just one note (which I don’t think, technically, I missed – it just failed to register). Bah!
Even though I’ve completed it, I’m still drawn to rolling stuff up. Not least because completing it seems to have unlocked new levels. For starters, there’s the roll-people-up-with-the-Sun bit from during the game credits, which I managed 58 on. Slightly better than 1, which I got the other day.
Then there’s another where you have to roll up all the countries in the world, starting with the small ones. You actually have to know your geography to do this, as borders are not well marked. I found it best to start with Europe, then Africa, much of Asia, then South America, the rest of Asia, then Australia and then whatever is left. Ace.
After much playing of this today, and rolling up piles of animals, some clouds, loads more flowers, a gingerbread house, the sumo bloke again, and entire continents (including volcanoes, some sort of god, and a giant 1km octopus), I completed it.
I finally created enough celestial bodies to allow me to roll up the Earth, into these planets and moons and stuff, and then move on and actually roll up the Sun. No, really.
Excellent. And an excellent game too. I may only have been playing it for three days, but I’ve played it a lot, and I can see there’s a load of replay value too. That’s game number 44 for the year then, just in time for the end of 2006!
DOUBLE PLAYER ROCK ACTION!
Me and my friend Chris played with two guitars on this today. We “won” about as many songs as each other, and it was aces. Slightly confusing due to the way it “splits” the notes up between the two players, as sometimes you play alternate sections, other times you play together, and sometimes you play alternating notes.
But yes, we RAWKED.
I also managed another track (solo) on my Hard Career.
Still having niggles with the controls, but I’m finding myself avoiding the need to rotate the camera rather than getting used to them, so it isn’t so much of an issue any more.
Lots more levels done today, including one where I had to get my katamari to 12m, which was ace, and one where I was rolling (automatically) around a race track, which wasn’t so ace. Also had a level where I had to roll a sumo wrestler around to make him eat stuff (mainly food, but in the end, bikes and children too) to make him fat enough to knock another wrestler over, and a more sedate level where I had to build a snowman. Hurrah!
Two more levels completed today, and I’m still struggling with the controls. In an ideal world, the left stick would move me around, and the right stick would control the camera, but it doesn’t work like that. It seems to do the “rotating round the ball as you roll” thing I want to do, I have to hold left on the left stick, and up on the right, or up and right if I want to go the other way. It makes no sense to me at all.
Oh well. It’s still pretty lovely though.
Hurrah! Many more attempts at “Bark at the Moon” later, and I’d finally done it. The trick, in the end, was to save my Star Power for a difficult section and use it then, so that missed notes matter less and hit notes count double. Aces.
I then went back and did the few tracks I hadn’t needed to do, and so Medium is now complete.
After that, I made a start on Hard. And oh my, is it hard. I’d only just got used to using my little finger on the blue fret, but now the orange one exists and I’ve run out of fingers…
Oh my. This has to be the most gay game I’ve played since Ai Cho Aniki. It’s great though. Sort of.
I’ve done the tutorial, and the first level, but I’m having real problems controlling my katamari rolling. I can’t seem to “rotate” around the ball as I roll it – I just end up rolling sideways which doesn’t help for navigation as you can’t see a bloody thing.
And the music is stuck in my head.
Well, I’ve managed to get past Pro and now I’m a Guitar Hero. Of course, I still have five more tracks to go, all of which seem completely impossible.
I’d read that “Bark at the Moon” was really somewhat difficult – not surprising since it’s the last song on the list, but I hadn’t realised how hard. Around ten attempts later, and I was still only 22% through the song. Impossible.
Luckily, I managed to get the other four tracks – eventually. I then went over to Quick Play mode and played a few tracks on Easy instead.
Started Career Mode this evening, with the intention of unlocking some more tracks, but ended up wading through all the “levels” playing for real. I’m up to “Pro” level now, and the tracks have got really hard. It doesn’t help that I’m playing on Medium, and it keeps throwing in a load of blue frets to make things harder and hurt my fingers ever more.
“Ziggy Stardust” for the win, though.
Hurrah! Look what I got for Christmas! Didn’t get chance to play on it for long, however, just a few tracks on Quick Play on Easy mode. It’s ACES, but bloody hard, even on easy.
Went round a friend’s today as it was his birthday yesterday. One of his presents was Guitar Hero, so I had a go. And I RAWKED, of course. Or not.
It’s a bit bloody hard has you have to strum and press frets and waggle the wah-wah thing all together. But it is ACE.