Tag Archives: pre-order

LEGO Harry Potter, Years 5-7 is fun, but more of the same

LEGO Harry Potter, Years 5-7 came out on 11/11/11, but despite that, GameStop wasn’t handing out copies until a few days later, which was a little annoying and makes me want to never pre-order with them again. This is the second time in a matter of weeks where they did not respect a game’s release date–Professor Layton and the Last Specter, yo–while every other place in existence did. So I had to wait, though the waiting wasn’t terrible as I had The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to eat up my hours. I swung by GameStop after work earlier this week, got my copy, got my pre-order bonus of a Dumbledore’s Army t-shirt which I’ve passed on to my wife, and snagged two more cheap PlayStation 2 games (Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell and Legacy of Kain: Defiance, if you’re curious). Tara and I finally found some time last night and gave the game a go.

So far, it’s LEGO Harry Potter, Years 1-4 with the years changed in the title. That might seem like a harsh comment, but it’s not. It’s warranted. We’re literally exploring the exact same rooms in Hogwarts that we explored in the first game, destroying the same items, hitting the same chairs/desks with spells, and completing the same challenges, such as turning on all the torches for a gold brick. I already spent many, many hours doing this to get a bajillion studs and buy everything and complete the game to 100%, and it’s clear now that if we had all just waited for a product called LEGO Harry Potter, Years 1-7 to come out, it’d be everything and above. A shame this got separated in two beings (much like the final film). The developers even then had to come up with some way to make Harry and his friends lose all their hard-earned progress, just like Samus in Super Metroid went from hero to zero; Umbridge puts a ban out on several spells, taking them out of the selectable spells list. Why couldn’t the game read my save file from LEGO Harry Potter, Years 1-4 and decide that I’m devoted enough to let me keep everything I already learned? I’m looking forward to moving past the school stuff and on to newer, stranger territory in Harry’s seventh year. Seems like Grimmauld Place–not where Tara and I live, but the actual House of Black–will be the second game’s new hub.

Unlocked two Achievements out of 49, with the first’s name being maybe the best name for a Harry Potter-themed Achievement thus far since Solid Snape:


Albus Percival Wulfric Brian (10G): Complete “Dark Times”


Off the Beaten Track (10G): Complete “Dumbledore’s Army”

A review of the game’s first sixty minutes, with some funny comments from Tara, is forthcoming over at The First Hour. Will obviously let y’all know when it goes live. And whether or not the magic seeps back on in…

Five things make a post, and eff you up button

Well, it’s been a busy few days at Grimmauld Place in terms of videogaming. Good thing I have this bloggy blog of mine to put all these random happenings and thoughts. Otherwise, the world might never know what it’s like to play a dancing game on a breaking pad or how deep my love for all things LOTR goes. Anyway, let’s get to the Heading 3s and text below them…

Moar Used Games

After the great success of my first trip to the local GameStop near our new abode, I decided to head back and see if I could find any other titles off my “desired PS2 games” list. Alas, nope. I mean, yeah, some of the bigger titles are there, like Bully and Kingdom Hearts, but those are still around the $20+ mark, and I’d rather find the rarer titles first and wait for those numbers to eventually drop. Instead, I got Mega Man X7, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring ($1.99 ha!), and Dance Dance Revolution SuperNOVA (for my wife, I swears). Haven’t tried the first two yet, but a good portion of my weekend was spent watching Tara put DDR SuperNOVA to the test; if you’re my friend on Facebook, there’s a video of her going through the song selection while two dogs look heavily uninterested. Also, the UP button on her DDR mat isn’t as responsive as the other buttons, leading us to scream “Eff you up button!” a whole bunch. Not “Eff you, up button!” but “Eff you up button!” The missing comma is important.

Pre-order Hoarder

Generally, I’m not a pre-order kinda gamer. There was that one time eons ago when putting down a few bucks on Final Fantasy VII not only nabbed you a guaranteed copy of the game, but also a t-shirt. I like t-shirts, and this liking of t-shirts strikes again. I also pre-ordered Radiant Historia to get a bonus CD, but other than that…nothing else has made me feel the need for lockdown. Well, until 11/11/11, I guess. Yup, I pre-ordered Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and LEGO Harry Potter, Years 5-7. Why LEGO would come out on the same day as Skyrim is beyond me, but both games feature dragons, and so that’s a-okay. Also, I believe I am getting a t-shirt with my LEGO Harry Potter pre-order; something about Dumbledore’s Army, but I wasn’t asked for a shirt size so it’s probably one of those XXL or a child’s small. Time will tell.

There’s a midnight release party too, which is just another reason I should schedule to not work that Friday. Too tempting to pick up the game and then not play it for 7.5 hours.

Informed about games

I also decided that I was tired of constantly being asked if I wanted to upgrade from a regular GameStop Power Playa thingy to a silver account. So I did that. Bonuses include coupons for “buy two used games, get one free,” which is fine by me as that’s mostly how I shop, as well as a subscription to Game Informer. I haven’t subscribed to a gaming magazine since the PSM days, and I do miss it despite everything now being available on the Interwebz; still, the magazine is put together rather nicely. Hopefully it’ll fit in our mailbox, let alone reach it.

Ass Neglect Zoo

I’ve been putting this off for a long, long time, but I finally bought a copy of Mass Effect 2.

A new copy, too, which means I got some kind of activation number for the Cerberus Network. Not sure what that means, but it looks like I get a new dude for my team. I’m sure I’ll find out eventually. The reason I’ve waited so long is that I was hoping for a “Game of the Year” or “Master” or “Super Space Marine” edition, which then collected all the DLC and little add-ons the game’s been harvesting since its debut back in…oh my, the beginning of 2010. I’m sure a month before Mass Effect 3 comes out, some special edition will be released. Oh well.

Garnet Tries Harder and I am Trying to Finish This Comic

Zac Groman of Magical Game Time is putting together a zine all about Final Fantasy IX and is asking for submissions. Despite it not being a paying gig, I can’t resist and am working on a little comic about my favorite scene from he game, where Garnet is trying to blend in with the common-folk of Dali. Gotta complete it before the month’s end, but here’s a little preview for y’all:

Okay, that’s five things, which is good enough for a post. Expect plenty more content this week though as I’ve only skimmed the surfaces here. Didn’t even get into the horribleness that is Monster Rancher EVO. Just you wait. Just you wait…

Radiant Historia and history as it should be

According to the GameStop guy, I was the fourth person to pick up a copy of Radiant Historia yesterday. I should’ve asked him how many fratheads came in for their copy of Bulletstorm, but I forgot. Either way, it’s safe to say that this new RPG from Atlus is either going to sell slow, but steadily or fall victim to being too niche for the industry to pay attention to. I mean, my local GameStop didn’t even have boxes out for it yet under the NEW RELEASES section. Good thing I pre-ordered it.

Greg Noe wrote about the game’s first hour, and I’ve played all that and 30 minutes more at this point. Nations are at war, and the world is in clear danger of being turned into a desert. Two time- and space-bending figures, Teo and Lippti, attempt to try again to save it all by putting history’s chances on a soldier named Stocke. Last night, after saving an allied spy, Stocke had to make his first crucial decision, and I’m curious to see how it’ll play out. If it doesn’t go well, that’s okay. The great thing about wielding the White Chronicle is that Stocke has the ability to travel back in time to key events and try things differently.

The first sixty minutes of the game, the time that encompasses the Prologue, is very tutorial, which isn’t a horrible thing, but I am eager to get out there on my own and figure stuff out as I go. A good portion of Radiant Historia‘s beginning is spent talking and pondering, and thankfully the story and writing is strong. Heck, one of the villians even used the word cacophonous, warming the fire burning deeply in my heart. It is also quite refreshing to see a protagonist that is not silent, that is more like Mass Effect‘s Shepard, that is not a bumbling idiot led by his partymates, but rather a leader, a decision-maker.

However, not all is perfect. The sound of Stocke’s footsteps begins to grate, the overuse of cliche JRPG bubble emoticons, and for some reason I find Stocke getting stuck in the strangest of places when running around. Like against NPCs or behind a treasure chest. Something about the collision detection is off. Minor stuff, but irky stuff nonetheless.

Still, the story and battle system have their hooks in me already. I want to desperately know what happens when I side with character X over character Y, and even though the game’s opening only had a few fights to it I can clearly see them really becoming headscratchers. These are not fights one can simply auto-battle their way through. Turn order is vital. Planning and precision are also equally important. That’s like the total opposite of Dragon Quest IX (post-game currently) where all I do in that one is run around, spam the attack button, gain experience and coins, and do it all again–all while watching an episode of The Office or something.

I think I’m really going to love Radiant Historia. Thanks, Mom.

Pre-ordered that obscure Radiant Historia game

I am not kidding when I say that the last time I pre-ordered a game was back in 1997 for Final Fantasy VII, and the throw-in bonus was a t-shirt that I turned into a bedtime shirt and wore until it became too faded and frayed for a human boy to possibly wear any longer. That was, uh…some 14 years ago. Wait, is that right? Let’s see. 2011 minus 1997…carry the three…divide by six…multiply by a dozen childhood nostalgic tears. Yup, looks like that was about 14 years ago. How depressing!

Radiant Historia gets the honor of being the second game I’ve ever pre-ordered in my entire gaming life. And naturally, it went down oddly. Here’s a dramatic recreation for y’all:

Pauly: Hi, do you guys do anything special for pre-ordering Radiant Historia? I read something about a soundtrack being included.
GameStop Guy: Wow, yeah. I think we do. Let me check. You’re the first person to ask us about that game actually.
Pauly: Really? The first?
GameStop Guy: Yup. At least when I’m working. [Hits the keyboard with his fingers.] Yeah, if you pre-order, you get a music CD. Don’t know how much music is on it.
Pauly: Okay, great. I’d like to pre-order it then.

And then he asked me this, the emphasis his doing:

GameStop Guy: So, are there any other, uh, obscure games you’d like to pre-order today? How about Okamiden?
Pauly: No, I’m good. Thanks though.

Obscure. What an interesting word choice for Radiant Historia. I mean, yeah, I guess it’s a little off the beaten path, but it still seems to be a heavy hitter this month for the Nintendo DS. March 2011 is gonna be a doozy for the system, with Pokemon Black/White, Monster Tale, and the 3DS coming out, but for right now, Radiant Historia is sitting pretty with little to no direct competition. At least, I certainly hope the game doesn’t end up in retail obscurity. It’s too pretty for a life like that:

Twelve days to go! TWELVE!!!