Monday, April 19, 2010

Pokemon Platinum and DSiWare on the Go

So, once again no time to play Rock Band 2 last week Still reviewing Red Steel 2, playing through Mass Effect 2, playing with my DSi XL, and Bioshock 2 came in the mail from Gamefly as well. So, I'm all about the sequels right now. I've also been playing quite a bit of NBA 2K10 because March Madness and the NBA Playoffs got me in the mood for it.We took a trip up to NJ for my Grandma's birthday so I ended up putting a chunk of time into playing DS and DSiWare games.

Its funny, when I was younger, even in High School, I was being driven around a lot more and had much more time to play Gameboy and DS. Since that time has passed I've tried a few things to get some more portable gaming in but it hasn't always worked.When Pokemon Fire Red came out I tried playing it on my GBA during workouts at the gym. It made the treadmill less tedious, but also made me queasy. When I first got my DS I tried playing it in bed before I went to sleep. Unfortunately, it often got me too wound up, especially while playing intense games like Contra 4 or Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword. I bus commute to work everyday and that would be an ideal time to bust out the DS, but I like to use that time to catch up on my sleep. Also, after staring at a computer screen for 8 hours, I really don't feel like staring at another LCD screen. So now the majority of portable gaming happens on long family trips or long trips were my wife and I switch off driving.

Anyway, a few thoughts on the DSiWare shop. The majority of my DSiWare gaming has been with Art Style:Pictobits, Starship Defense, and the previously mentioned Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again.

It took me a while to wrap my head around Pictobits and not approach it like Tetris. I think I've got it down now, but I'm still getting overwhelmed at the end of levels. I may need to adjust my play style once more.

Starship Defense is Tower Defense game where you try to protect your ship. It has a cool Study Hall activity look with line drawings over a graph-paper background. It is a more accesible Tower Defense game than most as well. It teaches you weapons and strategies slowly and has a fast-forward button so you're not wasting away waiting for the next wave.

I would have spent more time with the DSiWare titles but the road was very bumpy and that made it hard to look at the shapes and react quickly. Couldn't play those games effectively because of that. So the majority of my time was spent with Pokemon Platinum. Before the trip I traded myself between my Pokemon Pearl and Pokemon Platinum games. So now on Platinum I have two starter Pokemon.

I think it was a success pile of shame wise. I acquired my 6th badge,my Monferno evolved into an Infernape, and my Prinlup evolved into a Empoleon. I did spend quite a bit of time wandering around wondering what to do. Then I realized that since I had just acquired the HM Surf I had to Surf somewhere. It's a bit funny how little direction there is sometimes in what is supposed to be a kids' game.

Anyway, this is starting to be too long of a post, so I'll save my Pokemon history for another post. Back in the normal pile of shame, I am looking forward to some Rock Band 2 this week!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Update on No Updates

So, I didn't have time this week to play any games on my pile of shame. My currently playing list is growing to the point were my pile of shame will be growing larger soon as well. I am still playing through New Super Mario Bros. Wii from last November.  I just got to the World 8, and it's getting pretty interesting. I recently bought Dragon Age: Origins, and Mass Effect 2. I also got FIFA 10 and NBA 2K10 as late Christmas presents two months ago which I want to put more time into before the next versions come out. I also just got Red Steel 2 in for review so most of my gaming time has been spent on that.

Oh, and I just bought a  DSi XL. Which I'm enjoying. I really like the bigger screen. The camera stuff if  a fun distraction, even if it's not very capable. I also really like the DSiWare shop. I've only downloaded a few games, but I've enjoyed them so far. Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis is especially clever. I was disappointed in the Dr. Mario Express game. I was really hoping it would have stylus control. After playing the version of Dr. Mario on Brain Age 2. That felt like the most natural way to play the game. All I really want is a full version of Dr. Mario with stylus control. Is that so much to ask from Nintendo?

Anyway, so sorry, no update this week. I don't expect to be playing any Rock Band 2 this week. But  since I am currently enamored with my DSi XL and I'm going away next weekend I may play some Pokemon Platinum this week.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Rock Band 2 - Week 1

So I've been playing a lot of Rock Band 2 the last week; catching a few minutes here and there. I haven't had time to put in any marathon hours into it. It is a great way to unwind after a crowded stressful bus commute home.

I've played some guitar,bass, and drums this week, but no singing. Because no one wants to here that, not even me.

Playing drums on Alice in Chains "Spoonman" I came across a drum solo, which I thought was pretty cool. That's the first time I can remember encountering a drum solo, though I may have played one before. I'm pretty sure I've played a bass solo before.

I played bass on a few "punk" songs, mostly Pixies, Blink-182, and the Offspring. It's a bit odd, but in a few of those songs it felt like the bass notes were timed a hair off. Which is very unfortunate, because that is the DLC that is the most fun to play on the drums and guitar. The drum parts are surprisingly  complex; which is funny because "punk takes no talent". The guitar parts aren't as hard but the note-tracking feels very realistic.

Speaking of DLC, other downloads I would recommend is the Foo Fighters The Colour and the Shape, No Doubt's The Singles 1992-2003, and the Cars - the Cars. Every part is fun on the No Doubt songs, though for some reason every drum part seems to be insane. Also my wife loves No Doubt, so when I get her to play with me, it's usually her singing the No Doubt songs. I was a bit disappointed in the the Cars guitar note tracking, but the songs are a blast on bass and drums. The Foo Fighters songs are again good all around. I love the Who and wish I could recommend their DLC more highly but there is too much empty spaces between notes in most of their songs.

Anyway, I've got a long way to go still. I'm still opening up cities and venues. Doubtful I'll get to play any this weekend, I'm going to be busy non-stop.