Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box (DS)

Aaaaaaall done. And I mean done. All the puzzles in the story, all the extra stuff like the tea set and hamster thing, all the bonus puzzles, and all 33 of the weekly puzzles. And the Curious Village Bonus done too. DONE. ALL. DONE. Everything.

I will point out this: I hate slidey shape block “escape” puzzles. Grr! And variations on Solitaire. They can sod off too. If the next game has lots of either I might get stabby.

Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box (DS)

I haven’t played this for, oooh, over a year, but I got the new one for Christmas and OCD dictates that the previous title must be exorcised of all puzzles before the new one may commence. So that’s what I was doing this evening.

I don’t know how many puzzles there are in total, but I’ve now done 129 of them, as well as a few more tea set requests. No idea where the other puzzles are though.

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (DS)

What’s this? A game that isn’t on the Wii? Amazing!

It’s been around for a while, but for several reasons I never picked it up. I saw it for under £12 this week though, so couldn’t resist.

And, like every other “Metroidvania” game ever, it’s excellent. So far at least – I’m only about an hour in.

It differs to most others by not being almost entirely set within Dracula’s Castle. I’ve not even been near it yet. This makes for more variety in the “levels” (yeah, they’re pretty much levels rather than one huge map now), which is a good thing.

It does feel like an amalgamation of the ideas behind earlier Castlevania titles – the levels are a bit like Portrait of Ruin’s paintings and the glyphs are akin to Soma’s soul-catching from Aria/Dawn of Sorrow. Which isn’t a complaint, as they’re some of the best bits of recent games.

Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box (DS): COMPLETED!

121 puzzles in, and I have just completed the story. There’s loads left to do, of course, but the main bit is done.

Since this is the first entry in my diary for this game, I should probably say I’ve only been playing it for a week or so. I got it for Christmas with $hlmun other games, so I didn’t play it right away.

It’s very much the same as the first game. There seem to be fewer puzzles of certain types (eg chess based, “one of these is a liar” and matchstick ones) and more solitaire based ones, but it’s not a vast departure. There’s a big improvement in the UI, in that there is now a menu function where you can write over the puzzle – very handy for maze based and maths puzzles.

I’m not sure I liked the big reveal near the end, where the mystery of the town was explained, but then, the same silliness was in the first game.

I’ll be picking off the remaining puzzles and tasks soon!

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (DS): COMPLETED!

I’ve just completed this. And it was aces. The story was a proper GTA story, the missions were proper GTA missions, and the feel was proper GTA.

It was probably easier than most previous games in the series, but that wasn’t a problem. It was just GTA in your hand, and that’s excellent.

Ace Attorney: Apollo Justice (DS): COMPLETED!

It would actually appear that the point I saved at yesterday was actually immediately before the final conversation in the game, so technically I completed it then.

It took me ages (a couple of months, I think) to finish, but it’s not through lack of interest – more lack of time. I played it for 20 to 30 minutes a night, most nights, for that time.

Anyway, the verdict on the game? Excellent. It’s Phoenix Wright only different only the same. Only different. That doesn’t make sense unless you’ve played it.

Most of the loose ends were tied up in the last bit of the game, although some new questions were opened up in the final section. There’d best be a sequel!

Ace Attorney: Apollo Justice (DS)

Played a bit more of this over the week, and I’m now into the first day’s trial of the fourth (and, I believe, final) case. I’m really hoping for some expansion of the Phoenix Wright/Seven Years Ago backstory here, because being drip-fed tantalising snippits of it is driving me nuts (in a good way!).

Ace Attorney: Apollo Justice (DS)

I finished the first case, which yes, was pretty short. It didn’t really explain a lot about Phoenix and Trucy, but I expect later cases will do that.

Now I’m onto the second case, and have done all the pre-trial investigations, and am cross-examining the witness, who is a stuck-up student. I think he did it. Maybe.

Ace Attorney: Apollo Justice (DS)

I’ve had this for aaaaages, but haven’t played it. Then I forgot I had it. Then, this week, I was looking for something I could play for reasonably short bursts on my DS and I stumbled across it on my shelf. Game get!

And, it’s more of the same. Only different. Sort of. The first trial is more tutorial than anything else, but it has some Phoenix Wright backstory, introduces Apollo, and implicates his mentor. So, quite a bit in such a short time.

And, of course, it is totally acebest.

Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS)

Before going away for the weekend, I downloaded all the weekly puzzles since the last time I played it (back in January, I think). Over the weekend, I completed them all.

Well, all bar one. You have to find the net of a die in a load of die faces. And it is impossible. Fact.

Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer (DS)

And here’s one of my posts about a new game. I started playing Shiren the Wanderer a few days ago, and I’m already hooked.

You can look at the game as one of two types. It’s either a shockingly difficult RPG, where dying means starting all over again, or it’s a simplified and easier Roguelike, where you can stockpile items for later games. It just depends on how you’re playing it, really. This, however, is clear: completing it without preparing for death and later attempts is highly unlikely.

The game is, mainly, a dungeon crawler with turn-based, tile-based navigation and combat. You find items, weapons, magic staves and spell scrolls as you progress through the randomly generated mazes. Along the way, there are a few villages that provide respite, and storerooms where you can stash goodies to be used on a later runthrough. Should you use your new powerful sword to press on now, or store it for another time? Decisions!

If you’ve played a Roguelike (such as my favourite, Angband), Shiren will be somewhat familiar. OK, so you don’t have character classes, you don’t loot corpses or chests, you have the plan-for-later stuff, and it isn’t all in glorious ASCII, but the soul is the same.

So far, I’ve managed to reach area 25. According to one of the characters in the game, there are 30, but at 25 it all got terribly terribly difficult. I’ve therefore spent a few attempts trying to shuffle supplies to later villages, and obtain some decent starting equipment by completing Fey’s Puzzles – a set of short dungeons you can complete from the opening village.

Overall, it’s no Angband, but since I’ve become allergic to playing computer games in recent years, it’s a great, simple, alternative.

Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS): COMPLETED!

Hurrah! My first game of the year completed, and the first since the birth of my daughter. It seems fatherhood and gaming can co-exist after all!

Some of the final puzzles were very hard, but I’m pleased I managed to complete all of them (well, the 113 of the 120 I found) without losing any Picorats or spending any Hint Coins. After completing the game, I went back to find some more puzzles, managing to locate all bar one. I also completed some of the bonus puzzles, and some of the weekly downloadable puzzles.

Professor Layton and the Curious Village (DS)

Look what Santa brought for me today!

And very nice it is too! Not had any puzzles totally stump me yet, thankfully, but I’ve had a few where I’ve thought “What?!” before realising a simpler solution exists.

So far I’ve completed 30 or so puzzles, and am on the hunt for Ramon, whereever he may be.

Guitar Hero: On Tour (DS): COMPLETED!

Well, hand cramp or no, I completed it this afternoon. It had to be done in three sittings as it hurt so much, but eventually I managed it.

So, yeah. Not a bad game, just not really suited for the DS. And the track list is, aside from a few songs, somewhat worse than other Guitar Hero games. But I only paid £12 for it, so I’m not going to complain too much.