Daily Archives: March 16, 2010

Puzzle Quest 2: Electric Boogaloo

After attempting to win over the galaxies, the fun and addictive Bejeweled-to-the-extreme puzzle game is back…with Puzzle Quest 2! Don’t believe me? Well, check out this debut trailer:

As the vid shows, the basics are all there. You will travel around a map–though this one is much more detailed and Diablo-like, fighting monsters via matching gems. Spells get animations, and there’s loot to be earned. Even if they didn’t add new stuff to Puzzle Quest 2, I’d still want to play it. Because I’m a fiend, people. A gem-flopping fiend.

However, try as I might, I’ve yet to beat Lord Bane from Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords. Can never get the upper hand on him and his “oh, let me take eight turns in a row and do 79 damage to you, too” tendencies. And now his generic yet profound name finally makes sense.

Watch me flout the Spirit Flute

I’ve progressed further with The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, now ready to tackle the Sand Temple, but man oh man…it’s been a struggle. A struggle to not throw my Nintendo DS across the room out of frustration, that is. See, a lot of reviews have complained about how boring riding the train is versus the shippy freedom of The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass and that traveling between towns and temples is such a chore. It is. But here’s the biggest problem with Link’s latest outing:

Yup, music.

Actually, the music in Spirit Tracks is pretty good. It’s bouncy and bubbly when it needs to be, dark and alarming when enemies show up, and soft and ethereal during Zelda’s many musing moments. The trouble is with the Spirit Flute. This device is used in two ways. The first is to play tiny little riffs that will do a variety of things in-game: awaken statues, call birds, heal yourself, shine a beam of light, and find treasure. The other use is to open up hidden tracks by playing a duet with a Lokomo, which are minions of Satan. Er, not really. They are on our side, I think, but sure make Link work hard for their help.

Anyways, each time you meet a Lokomo, the songs get harder and more complex. You can practice all you want, but there’s no thumbs up/thumbs down to let you know you’re even close to playing it correctly. Do I hold this note longer than the previous one? Is it okay to accidentally hit another colored note? When should I start playing, when the notes light up or after the Lokomo stops? It’s a guessing game in the end.

So, after the eighteenth time of unsuccessfully jamming along with Rael, I had to put Spirit Tracks down and look up a video on YouTube, something I hate to do. Evidently, based on this vid, I was playing the song too well. You need to mess up a bit to get it right, not hold every note, just sputter a bit here, miss a beat there. Ugh.

I really pray that this was the last duet song of the game. My mind and lungs just can’t take any more…