This is a review of the Single Player campaign in Portal 2. I haven't had the time or a buddy with time to play through the Co-Op campaign (a future review possibly). I bought the game at full price for the PS3 at a midnight launch. Played through the game as fast as I could because of a deadline, which included skipping a day of work. I am a big fan of Portal, I actually bought the Orange Box mainly for the original and since I'm not a big fan of Half Life, I know don't put me on the crucifix yet, or Team Fortress. I feel I still got a great deal with just Portal at $60, buying it again as a XBLA title at $10 too. As you might can tell by my last entry, I have been really looking forward to this title. It didn't disappoint.
Pilotwings Resort is a launch title for the Nintendo 3DS and one of three by Nintendo. I had no intention of buying the game when I reserved the 3DS. I reluctantly was planning on buying Nintendogs + Cats but after playing a demo kiosk with Pilotwings, I quickly changed my reservation. I figured if I was buying a 3D system I’d like to at least get a game that would let me explore a 3D space. So I got the game at Midnight with the release of the 3DS. This is the first Pilotwings game I've ever played.
Ok so I've been keeping my 3DS on me constantly now. Always in sleep mode, getting roughly 4000 steps a day, but never running into anyone to get a StreetPass notification. I didn't figure I was going to get one but I was really hoping. Visiting my girlfriend at the mall she works at, nope no luck there. Going for walks around the hospital I live near, nada. But finally on April Fools Day, hanging out at my local gamestop for an hour and a half, I got one. It was a Mii named Brittany (same as my girlfriend) who happens to like dogs (ok) and her hobby was playing video games (so far this sounds like my girlfriend) and she wanted to become a master of art. So I start looking around the store to see if my girlfriend had bought another 3DS right under my nose. The Mii even looked like her's. But an excited young girl looking at 3DS games was having the same first streetpass moment I was and gave me eye contact. Her happy face went away and she disappeared into the mall.
I did not realize I was this ugly, creepy or scary.
But I returned to my conversation with my old boss at Gamestop and was happy to be able to play Find Mii. Later that evening I went to an event called the Gallery Hop that happens on the first friday of every month here in downtown Winston Salem. Walking around and taking some fun 3D pictures I noticed I had a 2nd notification. Unfortunately this time Dallas from North Carolina did not have any other information beyond he was playing Street Fighter last. He also wouldn't allow me to use him in Find Mii or Puzzle Swap.
So after a week of trying, it appears I just need to get out of the house a bit more. I need to go where a more young crowd or maybe today was just a couple of flukes. Either way I really like StreetPass. I just wish it would happen more often.
Nintendo did what it does best. I bought they’re handheld system even though I have a more powerful and useful device already. I’ve been talking about handhelds a lot here lately and all the handhelds mentioned, I owned before the iPhone4 was released. I hadn’t played my DS or my PSP in several months and my main source of Mobile gaming has been my iPhone. Seeing how I rarely do play portable games, it just made sense to me to have a phone that would play games when I wanted to play them. I’d always have it on me and if I needed a new game I could just go online and download it right then, probably only be a dollar as well.
But here I am, I just bought a $250 gaming device and 3 games to go with it at $40 a piece.(*) And I’m probably the only person that is now completely sold on 3D(Although the more I show it off the more my friends are sold). Not just that but since buying the system it hasn’t left my side and I’ve probably logged in 20 hours (in 2 days) playing games and messing with all the included software. It amazes me that I’ve dove into this system as much as I have so far because I had pretty much given up on handheld gaming. I was more than content with my phone.
Nintendo using it’s Blue Ocean tactics once again in making a compelling device that personally is far more revolutionary than the Wii was promised to be. I actually spent two hours just making 3D photos yesterday, taking a walk around my neighborhood and finding some really great shots! My iPhone rarely motivates me to get out of bed on time much less take an adventure that feels new and fun in my own backyard. I’m pleasantly surprised to find that I’m going to be gaming more on the go now and taking pictures of peoples faces to fight, while expanding my 3D photo library.
So has Nintendo saved it’s ass? Yeah for now, I’m completely fixated with this 3DS. I still have my iPhone on me but with the exception of the occasional Tiny Birds session. I’m not gaming on it and until Apple eventually comes out with the 3D iPhone (which it eventually will) with better quality 3D cameras and some great games that use it. I guess I’m going to have two devices in my pocket. And thinking about it, that’s a huge win for Nintendo.
* I actually got one of the 3DS games half off during a sale at Toys R US.
Handheld gaming has never really had it’s full sway on me. I never had the original brick Gameboy, Tetris was just an arcade game for me and my first handheld would last 2 hours with 6AA batteries. So my first impression wasn’t great but I’ve bought a fair amount of hardware and software since. But still after the fact I only used them when I first got them or when traveling after the initial appeal died down. But since trading in all my current handhelds to Gamestop, I’ve have a craving to play with these machines all over again. Go figure as soon as I sold my DS, I wanted to play it. I’ve been so excited about the 3DS that just playing my old DS would be something to hold me over. So I started digging through my backlog of equipment and found a few treasures I forgot I still owned.
First up to bat was my Sega Game Gear, this was my first handheld and it is a monster. Thanks to this beast of portable gaming glory, I know that rechargeable batteries exist. Not that they were of much help. I only ever owned 3 games for it but I played the hell out of each of them. I believe (if my memory doesn’t fail me) I got this as a Christmas/Birthday present. Which came with Super Columns and my parents got me Spider-Man/X-men: Arcade’s Revenge as well. Being the ungrateful little devil I was as a child, I demanded a Sonic game. EnterSonic Triple Trouble, my favorite handheld sonic game. Probably a lot of that has to do with nostalgia but a very large part of it has to do with this one boss song. I know it sounds ridiculous to put a game on such a high pedestal for such a small part of the game. BUT IT’S SO GOOD. Back when I was little and I still had some sense of imagination, this song fueled images of being a super hero running across a speed bullet train, breaking the speed barrier to destroy the evil Dr. Robotnik! (Look I was 9 years old, watched the SatAM Sonic the Hedgehog show, Dr. Robotnik was a scary dude then). So while going through my old boxes to find this giant handheld, I was thinking about this song. How I had to relive that moment one more time on the actual handheld. So after searching through several boxes and finding a collection of N64 games I forgot I had. I popped 6 AA batteries into this bad boy and gave it a whirl. Holy shit, this was a horrible looking game. Even worse that the screen is kind of scratched to shitville. But I played through the routine 1st zone and even the first 2 acts of the 2nd zone then I got to the boss. That little mono speaker was blaring that fantastic bit of epicness and it gave me a huge smile. Thanks Game gear, you died on me everyday, but we’ll always have the 2nd act boss.
For years, I had put handheld gaming to bed. I would borrow the occasional friend’s old Brick Gameboy or maybe even their Gameboy Color back in the Pokemon days. But after a day of fiddling with the device, I’d return it to it’s owner and go back to my console/PC gaming structure. But after the Sega Dreamcast decided to ruin my sophmore year of High School (and by ruin I mean make it amazing and help me fail a few of my classes). I had to take a summer school class. My summer gaming days were being cut dramatically short. Cue the release of the Gameboy Advance. The first and only handheld I ever bought on day one (until the 3DS that is) and I cut class to do so. I think the only game I bought was Rayman. Which was fun but this was introduction to launch title games, there really wasn’t too much I wanted. So came the wait for Super Mario World, the Sonic Advance games and all the other amazing titles that came out on that little system. I pulled out my original Gameboy Advance. Smiled at it and continued to dive to the real one, my GBA SP. Since selling my DSlite, these are actually the only way I could play my GBA collection. And seeing how my SP was the newest handheld I currently own. I charged it up and started playing a ton of Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga. I never actually beat it before and honestly I doubt I’ll get to beating it this time too. But it’s been fun to start it over. I may actually have to pick up the DS sequels now (to play in my 3DS, Ooooo I’m so excited).
So here I am with my handheld collection. It’s been fun to reminisce but this Sunday can not get here any sooner. I’ve got planes to fly through hoops, submarines to sink and fighting tournaments to win.
Buying new games has been a hard habit to quit. Even though I'm not even getting unemployment (and I'm searching for jobs in my area to keep me floating). I apparently can't stop buying new games! But I've learned how to buy cheaper games through great services I don't use that much.
The App store on my iPhone has been a fun diversion for the most part but I haven't really bought a game that I'll play when I'm at home, with my 55" gaming nirvana available to me. But lately with the help of such games as Battleheart, Game Dev Story and Infinity Blade I've actually had trouble putting these down for my consoles. I seriously can't stop playing Battleheart. The game isn't with out flaws but the gameplay is so perfect for the iPhone and it's really easy to just jump in and start building up stats. I can look around the fact that I no longer have audio or that it completely drains my battery after 2 to 3 sessions of play. The game only cost $3 and I'm putting more into it than some of my $20 to $60 games. Just a few weeks ago I would have scoffed at the idea of playing a game on the iPhone that I could really invest some time into. So thats one plus to not being able to afford any game I want (I guess?).
Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) hasn't been a slouch either. When I play games I generally want to sit in my big comfy chair and lay back while playing. I like to do that with my big ass TV as well and it's a bit hard to use the iPhone on it. So I've started looking at games on the XBLA that I just overlooked or didn't give a chance. Part of this was because Beyond Good and Evil HD came out last week and well I've always wanted to give that game a try. Since it was only $10 I figured, hell I'll see what else XBLA has to offer recently. Into my world came Space Invaders: Infinity Gene. I usually don't get into Arcade-ish titles but this game has got me hooked! With being able to level up and the perspective changes it really gives the original top down shooter a whole new life.
In turn, this has given me a whole new perspective on casual or cheaper games. Hopefully this is just the beginning of a wonderful new, cheaper relationship with games.