Having redone the bit after losing Yorda, I found there wasn’t much of the game left. There were some more platformy bits (oh, and I figured that you can pull the block around while you swim with the O button), and then I found a new sword that gave me the statue-moving powers of Yorda. Then, I ended up back in the room you start the game in, with loads of shadow things to kill.

It was then that I realised something – the shadows are all horned too – just like Ico. And they all came from the “pods” like the one Ico was in at the start. So they must be all the previous horned boys from times past!

Killed them all anyway (one swipe of this new sword does it) and then it was off to kill the queen, who was pretty easy (once I’d figured out what was going on, anyway) and that was the end of the game! Well, except for the bit after the credits which I won’t mention as it’s a spoiler. My completed save says 7 and a half hours, but redoing sections means it’s nearer 10.

What did I think overall then? Well… it was good. Much better than I expected, and certainly better than it started. I didn’t like having to drag Yorda round all the time, there are problems with the controls, fighting, camera and such, but the story and atmosphere and the actual puzzles and platforming make up for it.

Now, if they’d make a game without all the annoying bits and more of the good bits, that’d be ace!

Phoenix Wright 3: Trials and Tribulations (DS): COMPLETED!

Stunning. Absolutely stunning. There was about an hour of game left, and it really did feel like the end of an epic story. I can’t really say much else, in case I spoil it for you, the reader of my diary.

I will say this though: I’m really excited for Apollo Justice – the next game in the series, and the start of what I hope will be an equally amazing trilogy.

Bioshock (360): COMPLETED!

I was right – there was very little else to do. I had to assemble the parts of a Big Daddy for reasons I can’t really say, and then with the help of a Little Sister I made it into a museum, where Fontaine was waiting for me. Well, once I’d got through the museum, anyway.

Unfortunately, the museum was pretty much an escort mission, which I hate. You have to stop a Little Sister from being killed as she leads you round the museum and through doors only they can open. Thankfully, I could scout ahead and hack some cameras and turrets to be on my side, helping when the splicers attacked. Amazingly, my third (and last possible) photo of the final camera in the game was just enough to get the maximum research for them, and thus the achievement for “PhD Research”.

Once through the museum, it was the final showdown with a spliced up Fontaine. A very easy to kill spliced up Fontaine at that. It was soon over, and I’d only used one first aid kit and barely half a “tank” of Eve.

So, that’s it. I am tempted to go back round Rapture with an earlier save to get the achievements for Jackpot and Weapons Specialist, though.

Sonic Rush Adventure (DS): COMPLETED!

Phew! It’s about time I completed another game. Haven’t completed one in weeks! So there was just one more set of levels (well, aside from repeating a few hidden ones to pick up items I’d seem previously but it wouldn’t let me collect) – the pirate’s base in the old ruins. It was pretty easy, and the face-off with Captain Whisker and Johnny was alarmingly simple.

Of course, there was a reall boss after that – a giant robot thing – who was also easy.

Now, it’d be nice to go and collect all the Chaos Emeralds, just the last three are plainly impossible. I have, however, upgraded my water bike, so that may help matters.

Super Paper Mario (Wii): COMPLETED!

I’ve played a lot of games. And, in recent years, I’ve completed loads too – more than 150 in less than three years, in fact. That’s all well and good, but plot twists and end boss “surprises” are becoming less and less, well, surprising. It’s no real spoiler to say that the end boss, isn’t actually the end boss as there’s another boss afterwards. This is now The Done Thing with games these days, it seems.

Not that there’s anything bad or wrong about this, it’s just, well, expected now.

So Chapter 8 then. It’s all (well, not quite all – see below) set in Count Bleck’s castle, as you’d expect. A castle that throws pretty much everything at you. It wasn’t difficult, but you do have pretty much every single puzzle and baddie in the game making a return. You also have a need for every character and almost every Pixl too, so it does give you that Nintendo feeling of “now use what you have learned!”.

Sadly, there is The Great Big No of games. That’s right – a SuckySuck(TM) bit. You have to fight several previous mini-bosses again. This is RUBBISH and LAZY and should be banned. In fact, it gets worse – there’s also a SuckySuckPlus(TM) bit. That’s a new term for something that happens in Super Paper Mario and a few other games (including, if I recall correctly, Paper Mario 2) – whole previous sections of the game are repeated, not just bosses. There’s a rerun of a bit of almost every world in Chapter 8-3. For no reason!


But, save that couple of irritations, Chapter 8 was good. There’s a twist at the end (actually, two, but one was obvious from some point in Chapter 2), and the final boss was suitably bizarre. In all, the whole game was fantastic, with a few slight dips although nothing to ever ruin it. And certainly no “slide into crap” like some people have been suggesting.

Resident Evil 4 (Wii): COMPLETED!

Seems the truck bit wasn’t so difficult in the end, although I had virtually no ammo by the end of the first part of the run, so the second bit was done almost entirely with my knife. Soon, Ashley got kidnapped for the 26536th time, and I had to fight with “It” in some caves.

With almost no ammo.

Then there was another “boss” fight: Krauser – who I’m guessing made an appearance in another Resident Evil game that I haven’t progressed very far in. This fight took almost an hour on its own, as he seemed to have stacks of health. Although I’d picked up a pile of ammo before reaching him, I used almost all of it up on him, and so when I reached a stronghold full of infecteds I had none left. Thankfully, Mike in his chopper showed up to give me a hand.

Eventually, I found Ashley again (but not much more ammo), and had to kill two of those huge armoured blokes with big axes using a knife and some flash grenades. Amazing. Then… Saddler! The end of game boss, who was actually pretty easy. Partly because I had so many health items (6 sprays, 6 G+Y+R herb combos, and loads of green herbs, as well as a few eggs), and partly because I’d wisely kept my Broken Butterfly ammo. Oh, and Ada’s rocket launcher helped a little, of course.

Game winned! And very ace it was too.

Densetsu no Stafi 2 (GBA): COMPLETED!

World 11 was, in fact, the final world. Dark Castle and all!

As expected of the final world, many of the levels sort of repeated some of the puzzles and routines of previous levels, although obviously mixed up a bit. Thankfully, there was no SuckySuck(TM) bit either. The end boss, however, did do the usual trick of dying, only to change form and regain all his energy – twice. I wasn’t too bothered though, as each form was very different, none were especially hard, and if you died (and I did three or four times) you didn’t have to start from the beginning again. And you healed fully after each transformation too, making it fair. Hurrah, eh?

And then it was all over. I killed his final form, rescued someone who appeared to be my dad (a previous starfish “hero”, it seems), and banished the boss to a pot with a face on. However, my clam friend accidentally dropped the pot during the end of game sequence and let him out again. Tch.

Overall then, it was a great little platformer. It had a few irritations, e.g lots of similar sections – the dragon flying, balloon riding, fish surfing, and koala jumping bits especially – were reused a lot, albeit differently each time. Also, some of the puzzles were impossible to solve due to being in Japanese, but luckily trial-and-error won through. That’s not really the game’s fault, obviously, but why haven’t Nintendo released any of the Stafi series (of which there are four games) over in the UK? Now I just need to find copies of 1 and 3 in the set, and play through 4 on the DS!

Adventures of Lolo (Wii): COMPLETED!

I was so close last night! I was doing 10-4 pretty much how you were supposed to, but I just needed to speed up on my Snakey-pushing. 10-5 (the final level) was way, way easier than I expected, and I did it on my second go.

Overall, it’s a great game. It looks crap, and yes, is just a crate pushing game at heart, but it’s well executed and the difficulty curve is pitched perfectly, so it’s well worth a punt. Ahaha!

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (PS2): COMPLETED!

By selecting the best weapon prior to mounting the on-foot attack of the Martinez Building after the chopper assault, I found it much easier this time around. The Spaz shotgun is most excellent when many baddies are in close range as it takes them all out at once.

After that, I had to shoot down another helicopter, and finally there was a three-way showdown on the roof – the remaining Mendez brother, Martinez, and me. And it was easy, they died, and I won. Hurrahs!

After the credits, I spent a while taking over businesses, but that got dull in the end. I’ve got about 85% of them or something though now.

Canis Canem Edit (PS2): COMPLETED!

I won’t go into too much detail of the remainder of the game in case I spoil it for anyone reading, but most of the last hour or so involved beating up, then working with, the townies. I also had to vandalise the house of a teacher, and then there was a huge school-wide punchup, which almost became a SuckySuck(TM) bit as I had to take down all the clique leaders again.

Finally, there was the inevitable showdown with Gary, who had be strangely absent since Chapter 2 or 3. He was very, very easy to beat – I didn’t even take a hit – and then the game was over. Of course, there’s a Chapter 6, which exists solely to finish any remaining tasks, but the story is complete.

Oh, and I was wrong about Gary being the head’s son. Bah.

Puzzle Quest (DS): COMPLETED!

Today started with having to find some herbs for the High Elves, and then progressed onto killing Lord Bane’s three (rather easy) Generals, followed by a Deathknight and then an Iron Golem (both quite easy too) before finally “fighting” Lord Bane himself.

With an alarming about of HP (three times what I had), it was somewhat nailbiting at the end as we were both on around 30HP, there were red skulls galore on the grid, and it was my turn. I knew whatever move I took would lead him open to skull match next turn, and I knew my Stun spell was being reflected more often than not so I wasn’t sure it would make him miss a turn. I gambled on it working, and it did! Lord Bane killed, win!

Sonic Triple Trouble (PlayPal): COMPLETED!

I finally got round to putting some decent batteries in my PlayPal today, meaning the screen was actually bright and the sound volume audiable. I played Alex Kidd In High Tech World for a bit, but somehow managed to get Game Over without warning so played Triple Trouble instead.

It isn’t actually very good at all. The main problem (and the problem with most of the Game Gear Sonic titles) is the small area of actual level that you see at any one time. You can’t plan ahead much, so can’t see holes coming up, platforms/rings/baddies/TVs etc. above or below, and it’s far too easy to get pranged on unexpected spikes. Sonic’s jump isn’t quite right either, as it’s far too floaty and making slight adjustments to your target landing point whilst mid-jump causes much frustration as you over-steer through no choice of your own.

It’s also rather easy. None of the bosses killed me, bar Eggman at the end, and I only lost a few lives through the rest of the game (mainly on an underwater zone where I kept drowning or getting pranged), and I didn’t use a single continue and had 5 lives remaining at the end.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Wii): COMPLETED!

I’d completely forgotten all about Hill Top Zone and Oil Ocean. I don’t know how, but I had. And isn’t Sonic 2 so much bigger than the original? I remember being slightly disappointed when I first got it, since most zones only had two levels, rather than the three the first game did, but there are so many more zones it doesn’t really matter.

I was really pleased with myself for making it as far as Death Egg without dying, but then Metal Sonic pranged me several times, and since I’d forgotten exactly how to damage Eggman, he killed be a few times too. Bah.

But then I killed him and the world was saved!

Street Fighter Alpha 2 (PS2): COMPLETED!

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.