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31/March/2007

Obligatory end of the month mega blog update!

The first DS game I've bought this year arrived today; Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja. I haven't got around to playing it much due to being occupied with some stupid story I'm writing (about a skeleton!), being part of a two-man sprite-related mini drama (some guy wants me to ignore the bosses and enemies of Yoshi's Island DS so he can rip them, even though he can't and ignores my instructions on how to!), and being astounded at how terrible I am at Metal Gear Solid 2. But from what I have played of Izuna, it acts as further proof that randomly generated dungeons are just hideous. I love how the boxes of games claim those make them different with every play. They don't. They just make them monotonous.

I'd also like to rant about the price of DS games. Despite my frequent bashing of the Game Boy Advance, I love the little handheld. It's quaint and can be played on a TV and the games are usually incredibly cheap, so you can experiment with absolute crap and not feel too bad. The DS, however, has lots of quirky, experimental games, yet it's really hard to find them for less than full price. I was lucky to get Izuna for 13, and it was a damn good deal getting Project Rub for 3 months and months before most places did, but there are tons of games I'd be at least interested in trying, and they're too expensive for me and my cheapskate attitude to tolerate. It doesn't help that the only rental store I know of was burnt down two years ago. That's Northern Ireland for you. =(

 

Today was also when the first episode of the new Doctor Who's third series started, and just like with the Christmas episode, I was surprised at how decent it was! I believe that also acts as proof that I adore episodes that don't take themselves seriously. Peter Kay playing an alien who sounds like Fat Bastard chasing an ELO fan down the street whose girlfriend becomes a paving slab? Best episode of series two. An elderly woman who uses a straw to suck the blood out of people in a hospital on the moon while being chased by space rhinos from outer space on the moon? A pretty good start to series three.

Despite this, I'd like to point out to anyone who hasn't seen it that, sadly, Doctor Who isn't a comedy. There are "serious" episodes that just come off as uneventful and dull, such as the one where the Doctor meets SATAN IN AN ASTEROID and spends half of the episode pacing up and down going 'ah yes that's why you did such and such' before the asteroid explodes and he saves a bunch of people from flying into a star. I think that's how it went, anyway, as it bored me to tears. It did spark tons of discussion on Wikipedia about what'll come next in the series and foreshadowing of what was said and even more stuff that bored me to tears. So yeah there are ups and downs.

Back to today's episode. Obligatory nags include the Doctor's bizarre chick-hitching skills that somehow still manage to work ("I can travel back in time, if that helps you."), and the fact that what's-her-face's reaction to the TARDIS was essentially repeated footage of Rose and her encounter. It doesn't help that the two of them sound exactly the same. Considering what plastic surgery can do now (such as turning people into clones of Anna Nicole Smith), it wouldn't surprise me if the two actresses were THE SAME PERSON.

Apologies to Billie Piper or Freema Agyeman. =(

 

I swear I had at least one more topic to cover, but it appears I haven't. Oh well. I got two meaty paragraphs of what I had. Happy April!


 

26/March/2007

Today's observation: While watching The Pianist, although I should've been going "man, Nazis were assholes," I kept thinking "man, Adrien Brody looks a hell of a lot like Ray Romano."

It turned out he didn't really, but it made for amusing mental images.


 

19/March/2007

I finally got a lens cleaning disc for my PS2!

And the fricking thing gets a disc read error.

This is one of those things that you want to laugh about, but it's pissing me off greatly. =(

[UPDATE] Okay so apparently it has worked, as my original PlayStation and blue bottom discs are working perfectly, and it takes less time for it to recognise games on the menu. Whoo!

So now I can confirm from twenty minutes of gameplay that La Pucelle is great and works perfectly, so that PlayTrade guy is a person I would love to shake hands with.


 

16/March/2007

I recently bought a Freeloader with an NTSC version of Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. Two birds with one stone, as I've been wanting to play that game for ages, but the ridiculous 30 price tag turned me off, and my brother can finally play Resident Evil 4 without having to pinch my Action Replay. And it also came with Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, all for 40. Not too shabby.

The problem? I'm actually really enjoying Mario Golf. When I first played it to see if it worked properly, I felt "pfft, not my kind of game at all, I'll sell it for 15/20 at the most." And then the next day I woke up in the middle of the night because I wanted to play more Mario Golf. And I was enjoying it. A lot. Turns out Steve even felt the same, as he just planned to relax at his place all day, but just had to come over for a blast of Mario Golf. Neither of us have even touched Paper Mario, we just keep going back to Mario Golf. We even played Metal Slug 3 today, but gave in to our urge for Mario Golf.

It's disturbing.

While playing it today, we just couldn't help but notice that the areas you golf in are exactly the kind of areas you'd want to explore in a Super Mario 64 style game. They're large, have all kinds of terrain, and simply look really nice. But instead, we're getting large empty spaces with tiny little planets strewn around them in Super Mario Galaxy.

That is precisely the reason I remain unhappy with the 3D Mario games. Super Mario Sunshine's areas were decent, but they all had the same basic theme and didn't really have the same feeling when exploring them as in Mario 64. Now there's Galaxy, and how are we supposed to know a level is different? Space with planets of varying themes. And a majority of the exploration is flying. Which would be cool if it wasn't in space.

I admit, I would like to actually be positive about the game, but I'm seriously finding it hard to be excited about it, and with an attitude like that, I'll end up forcing myself to dislike the game if I end up playing it for myself. :{

But seriously, cool places like those in the spin-offs would be awesome to explore. Mushroom City from Double Dash? I would love to have that in a SM64 style game.


 

14/March/2007

BREAKING NEWS!!

La Pucelle Tactics for 2.79? On Play.com?! D:

Play.com's PlayTrade is actually good for once?

For those who don't understand the shock, compare and contrast to a typical eBay auction.

Versus 14.99 + 1.60 P&P on eBay. Not too bad, but could be cheaper.

Of course they usually go for an additional 10 so that one there isn't all that bad, but can it compare to 2.79?

Well, the seller did say it's condition was "average" and one buyer (out of at least a hundred, more or less) gave a negative rating because the game wasn't working, so I'm trying my luck by buying it. But still, PlayTrade actually selling for less than the usual retail? Shocked and horrified.

In other news, I'm absolutely loving Maximo: Ghosts to Glory, and it's hard to believe that the same company made the horribly mediocre Mega Man X7. Yeah I know they were made by different studios but my point still stands right


 

11/March/2007

I completed Mega Man X7 today, and although I'm still uncertain on where I would rank it in the series, I do have to say that a lot of it was more frustrating than enjoyable. If the Mega Man series was ever going to remove the "get hurt by touching enemy" thing, that game would be the best time to do so, because it's practically impossible to do anything without getting hurt, thus making Zero's gameplay round about impossible. Matters aren't helped by his lack of lock-on, so projectiles barely hit a thing, his air attack being horizontal instead of vertical (also meaning it barely hits anything), leaving his double jump as his only saving grace.

And then Axl! His hovering ability never works, ever. I used his shape shifting ability once in my whole play through, and found that it only made him even worse, which I thought was impossible, but there ya go. This means that X is the only character who is rounded out nicely, and you have to rescue just about all of the Reploids in the game before he can join the fray, which is excruciatingly pointless.

So it's a bit like Metal Slug Advance, where you need to practically complete the game before it can be fun. Except that game doesn't have a Glide armour. Watching X sail through the air like a paper air plane is the most adorable thing I've ever seen in a Mega Man game. I'm serious.

Today's observations: It appears I can't complete Mission 2 in Metal Slug 3 without dying; I forgot just how awesome Saturn Bomberman is; and Bomberman Hardball is ludicrously expensive. Well, by ludicrous, I mean "it goes for above 5 when that's the price I want it at." Frickin' eBay.


 

07/March/2007

Today's observation: The Crocodile Man has left his mark on the world, as the fifteenth Google image result for my alias. And also a really low quality sprite sheet.


 

06/March/2007

I tried yet again to find a level warp value in Metal Slug Advance today, and surprisingly, I actually found it! Except it's really temperamental, only works in the Dungeon level, and only on rare occasions does it take me anywhere other than to the next chronological area or to a black screen.

In that search, I had some pretty humourous results in dicking around with things.

The ground disappearing and Tyra's legs being replaced by her body!

 

The ground still missing in action and the background of Mission 1's third area replaced by black!

 

An unused area!

wait

This is the first thing I found with the level warp, and has so far been the only discovery with it. It looks suspiciously like an area where you would hop into the Slug Mariner, and presumably going to that aquatic volcano that the back of the box mentions. Except the Slug Mariner isn't there. A shame.

Interestingly, there's also a flashing "GO!" icon to the left, which you can travel through.

 

It dumps you in the second area of Mission 3, in the bottom right corner, suggesting that the Slug Mariner was originally an alternate path. Since there's no ground for Tyra to land on without a moon jump, she just dies continuously, but if you land on the ground and explore, the rest of the area is still the same as usual. Wacky!

For the interested, here's a VisualBoyAdvance save state for use with the American version. Watch out for codes I left on!

 

In other news, it turns out that regular Dual Shock controllers for the original PlayStation work perfectly on the PS2, even registering the clicks on the joysticks as their respective L3 and R3 buttons; something no FAQ ever said. And I can confirm for myself that Mega Man X7 is pretty awful.


 

03/March/2007

My PlayStation 2 arrived today! Except it seems to be in mildly crap condition as it takes half a minute to read a disc and can't read original PlayStation games or DVDs; on the bright side, the Square button on the controller doesn't work, which is a problem that can easily be fixed by not being a cheapskate.

Having finally played it, I can finally confirm for myself that anyone who is inspired by Grand Theft Auto 3 to commit a crime really is a total moron. The game is impossible to take seriously; the game warns "you flipped your wheels!" when you tip over your car and kill your homie, pedestrians do everything but get out of the way of your car, and physics for cars are just plain comical. And you're awarded for abusing them. Realism!

Changing subject with my usual lack of flow, Flying Omelette has awarded me with the Golden Ridley Award of Excellence.

 

"Congratulations! I am awarding the Golden Ridley to http://tenchionline.com/ragey/hub-Main.htm for excellence in written material pertaining to classic forms of gaming.

The Golden Ridley recognizes originality in site design and content, wealth of information or content, unique and interesting points of view, and (when relevant) excellent humor.

In particular, I was impressed with your extensive Game Shrines, information on unused items in the Metal Slug series, and the episode reviews for the videogame-themed cartoons. I've also gotten a real kick out of the "Stupid Stuff" section!

Sincerely,

~Flying Omelette
www.flyingomelette.com
"

 I was originally thinking of writing "oh my god" in reply to this, but ...

 

Well, I think that suits my reaction better. Besides, it needs more coverage outside of those 10/10 reviews I give for purely biased reasons.

She also provided me with an article that adds a whole different spin on the site's title, explained the real story behind that thing I ramble about in the FAQ and apologised for any confusion (none taken, I was just paranoid!), and it's nice to see someone liking the Stupid Stuff section, even though it's quite possibly the most offensive part of my site.

So the award is displayed at the bottom of the main page. I wanted it to be on the hub, but that section is just too badly designed to throw an award into the mix, so I'll just pretend that it sits at the bottom of the other sections.

 

Today's confirmation: Garfield: His 9 Lives is indeed fairly comical when watched in the morning.

Today's sanity-questioning: I searched for "relevant" when I meant to search for dodos on Wikipedia. At least I spelt it correctly.

Today's Primeval: Featured a scene where several army guys try to catch a flock of slow-moving dodos, and fail miserably. And the dodos host parasites! Sounds like a Resident Evil spin-off.


 

01/March/2007

Steve's GameCube arrived safely. Here's hoping it works for more than a day before buggering up! PS2 has still to arrive, though. However, I'm afraid it's time for another letter to the internet.

Dear internet,

Ghostbusters 3 is actually in production now and is going to be made entirely in CGI? I'd like to have known, man, I'D LIKE TO HAVE KNOWN. I don't actually have much of an opinion on the matter aside from my usual "CGI is overused now and I feel it can never compare to traditional animation, traditional in the sense that it isn't regurgitated crap from Flash but stuff that was actually drawn and animated well and with personality and all that."

Continuing my tangent, I actually forgot how decently animated the Garfield cartoons were. I always seem to remember it as being pretty plain in terms of animation, but the stuff I saw was pretty smooth. And I also saw Garfield: His 9 Lives, which was three quarters of an hour well spent, but was quite possibly the creepiest thing I've ever seen involving the portly feline. Of course, watching it at 2am didn't help matters.

The fact his first five lives were fairly comedic yet used the concept of death rather casual didn't really faze me; after all, he referred to almost burning his dork off in another cartoon, in family friendly language, of course, so getting crushed by a tree or being beheaded aren't too far off.

 

But once it comes to his sixth life, it becomes emotional and humourless, telling the tale of his owner's previous cat, how they first met, the times they had and the changes they went through in their lives before its eventual death.

 

And then it's followed up by a mildly disturbing tale involving a cat used for experimentation purposes, and after escaping via helicopter, turns into a dog. In summary, it sounds hilarious, but the presentation that reminded me of the darker parts of The Fox and the Hound really creeps me out.

And with no fuss at all, Garfield comes out, cracks a gag about his next life where he first meets Jon and Odie, and then his next where he's in space. After which, since all his lives are used up, he meets God and has a bit of a chat before getting himself and Odie nine more lives.

 

But before the credits, it turns out God is a cat as well! And again, the credits roll and make no fuss of this.

I recommend seeing it, and the change to the formula is very interesting as a whole, but I really think I should watch more things in the morning.