Friday, June 27, 2008

Reducing the Pile

At long last, I completed Etrian Odyssey. This is my first DS game actually finished. Completed, in this case, is only a technicality, since the main game and it's narrative end with the boss at the end of the 25th floor. As I've mentioned before, there are still 5 more floors left to map with the difficulty level ratcheted up a few notches. I want to see through the mapping at least; we'll just have to see about the bonus bosses. This game has been quite long and satisfying enough without having to grind, grind, grind, to reset and refine your characters' skill point allocations. That said, my party is very well-rounded, and took down the 'last boss' at level 61 all around with no trouble at all. I could probably handle whatever the 6th stratum has in store.

In another effort to down the Pile, I've picked up Shadow of the Colossus, concurrent with the same effort by the guys on the new 1UP FM podcast I picked up. This game is incredible. I've taken down 7 of the colossi so far, and each battle has been absolutely epic. In all my years of gaming, I've never seen anything like this. The colossi are enormous, and their efforts to shake you off as you scale their giant bodies looking for their Achilles' heel have you with a death-grip on your controller, thanks to the clever decision to have the 'hold on' button set to R1. I kind of wish I had a Dual Shock 3 to see how much rumble would add to the experience. The flying and swimming colossi battles I've seen so far were just awesome.

An interesting contrast to the battles is the world itself, which is the definition of tranquil natural beauty. You have all manner of terrain with expansive vistas and soft ambient lighting that makes it seem like there's a light mist over the land. There's hardly anything at all happening here outside the passage of time; water flows, birds fly, lizards crawl, and cyclopean golems slumber.

I tracked down a near-mint copy of MGS3: Subsistence, and spent a couple of hours last night playing the original 1987 Metal Gear for MSX2. It's cool. It's pretty hard, though; it really takes patience, because Snake hasn't learned to move in more than 4 directions yet, and his bullets only travel about 20 feet before disappearing into thin air. Thankfully, there is a save game feature in the emulated ROM for PS2. I want to get through both this and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.


Necovia said...

yeah, man, the first time you jump on a Colossus and hold it, then slowly ease your way up, it feels like you're really there, like it's trying to shake YOU off. Then when you plunge the sword in to the weak spot, it just feels so rewarding. And the calm of the environment just adds to that, like you said. Like I said before, easily made my top ten after beating it.

Oh, and I beat God Of War 2 this weekend. fucking awesome.

Count Elmdor said...

Yeah, SotC is awesome. I've taken down 11 colossi at this point. I'm planning to finish it off before Friday, when we're going out of town back to Arkansas for a visit over the holiday weekend.

I've seen GOWII for $20 at places around here, but I've never played the first, just the demo of the PSP one. I've still got to beat Ninja Gaiden DS. Did you play DMC4? I know you liked the 3rd.

Necovia said...

No, not yet. I was meaning to, but it came out when I was broke and just haven't picked it up yet. And now that Metal Gear Solid 4 has showed up, it's that for a couple of weeks at least. I highly recommend playing both GoW games, but if you want to skip the first, it's no bother, as the sequel is 10 times better. The boss fights are better and the puzzles more interesting.


Necovia said...


So I downloaded the new PS3 firmware and had been on the fence about buying Superstardust HD, so picked it up as it's the first game to support trophies.

Game is wicked (better than Geometry Wars, more complex, and just as beautiful).

And getting a trophy rules. Will definitely be on my PS3 way more now that I know I can earn trophies! Let the try video game wars begin!

Count Elmdor said...

The try wars?

The only 2 PS3 games I have are MGS4 and Resistance. I have no idea if either of them support trophies. After gaming so much on DS and PS1/2/3 lately I've kind of broken myself of the achievement thing, so I can take them or leave them. Not saying I won't try to get them if they're there, though.

I had the demo of SSD HD, and I thought it was cool, but I didn't want to fork out the money for it. Rumor has it Geometry Wars 2 is coming sometime soon.