Monthly Archives: January 2013

Roll dice to read text in Crimson Shroud

crimson shroud roundup impressions

The obvious truth is I play a lot of games, but not all for an extensive time. I actually end up trying more games than you could probably guess, but only just that–for a dabble. An hour at most, or just seeing if it runs on my computer and messing around with it for a few minutes. I thought about maybe doing a roundup post, where I could talk a bit about each game I’ve dabbled in recently, but to constantly have a stream of content here on Grinding Down, I’ll just continue to give them a post each until I run out of things to say. For those curious, here are a few games I’ve played at varying lengths over the last couple weeks: Darksiders, Offspring Fling, Torchlight 2, Snapshot, Titan Quest, Vessel, and Wario Land 4. Sure there’s more, but can’t seem to remember any at the moment, a problem you get when you only try a game out briefly and then move on.

Now, I have been playing one game I bought back in late December a little more, and that lucky prize is called Crimson Shroud. It’s for the Nintendo 3DS and was the last part of the Guild 01 collection, a project from Level-5 that collected four very different games under one heading. I didn’t pick up the other titles, as they didn’t interest me, but bringing pen-and-paper dungeon-crawling to the portable system sounded like a fine idea. I mean, for one thing, I never have to worry about dice rolling off the table or doing any math to make sure I added them up correctly. That, my friends, is well worth the entry fee.

So, plot-wise, Crimson Shroud takes place in a realm where magic was discovered during the Dark Ages after war broke out, which changed lives dramatically. Giauque and his band of Chasers–people who hunt down gods and deities–are searching for a relic that will bestow upon them “The Original Gift”, which is said to be inside the Sun-Gilt Palace of the Rahab. Now, truth be told, I got all that from looking up a description online; I’m positive this is conveyed within the game’s text at some point(s), but it’s rather hard to see the forest for the trees. Text is presented in huge chunks over top of your characters on the top screen, as well as told in second person, much like a DM might do, with all the dramatic flair you would expect. That said, a lot of it is boring to read, and really bogs down the pacing. It also doesn’t help that the characters are literally game figurines, meaning they don’t move or emote in any way, other than you being told that they do. I rushed through most exposition, as it is more exciting to battle and explore the ruined castle than listen to someone describe how old those walls look or the screechy sounds heard on the other side.

To me, the plot is this: explore dungeon floors, kill goblins, gain loot, and move on. Which is enough. Like I said, it’s more fun battling than reading the somewhat unclear narrative, even if the battle system appears a bit basic at first. There are many ways you can customize your three characters–Giauque, Frea, and Lippi–with different gear or special abilities, and you can also add to attacks or effects by rolling combinations of 20-sided, 10-sided, 6-sided, 8-sided, and 4-sided die. It’s surprisingly more fun than it sounds, rolling die on your 3DS. You can attack with your weapon, use magic, use a special skill gained from gear, or use an item, and depending on how well you did, you gain some MP to spend next turn or continue saving up. In the end, you are given a list of gear to pick from, but you only have so many Barter Points to spend, so you have to select carefully. Characters don’t gain levels, so getting better gear is vital to surviving tougher fights.

Just finished off the Zombie Minotaur last night and looking forward to what the next floor holds. Not in terms of story, but rather encounters and lootable treasure chests. Frea needs some kind of offensive magic spell like woah.

Save your daughter and as many flashlight batteries as possible in Ascension

ascension impressions

Bundles, bundles, bundles–you can’t turn right without walking into one these days. That can be, at times, a bit annoying, especially when one has wallet issues or an ever-growing backlog, but the latest bundle shouldn’t be a problem for anyone with a working computer: The Free Bundle. Yup, that’s right. Free. No minimum, no “beat the average price” tier rewards. Just a list of some indie games and the buttons to download them. Currently up are six games, of which I’ve downloaded the four I’m most interested in: Ascension, Celestial Mechanica, Abobo Big’s Adventure, and Treasure Adventure Game.

For today’s post, I’ll be talking about the first one mentioned there. Before I begin, I have to state that I think it has an unfortunately generic name, as Googling “Ascension” brings up a rather popular CCG or talk of the forthcoming God of War: Ascension. Nothing for the indie game comes up on the first page of results certainly. Oh, and there’s totally an XBLA indie game of the same name out there. Ultimately, I think Atticus Ascends would have been a better title, but that’s just me. Otherwise, it’s hard to track anything down about the little indie horror stab in the dark. To get the screenshot above, I had to navigate to the developer’s website, and even then there was not much in the form of media, but that’s just a small gripe from my perspective. If I was to ever do a second post on the game, I’d have to take screenshots as I played for myself–the true horror!

Ascension is surprisingly good. Well, at least I was surprised at the quality of the gameplay, the look, the controls. Just about everything, except the story, which is kind of by-the-books. It’s a psychological horror game where you play as groundskeeper Atticus, who has brought his sick daughter Viola (or is it Violet?) to work on the day of a terrible accident. Separated from her, he must find his way back before something else reaches her first–dun dun dunnn. You control Atticus, wandering floors of some building, reading notes left by others, searching for items, like flashlight batteries and key cards, and avoiding zombie-like monsters by sneaking past them in the darkness. Or maybe killing them with an axe; I’ve not yet figured that part out.

The game has a really nice look to it. Cartoonish, painterly at times, but capable of style, with great lighting effects from your flashlight, especially when it begins to dim and weaken from low batteries. A nice touch. All text is dished out in a lackluster typewriter font, with the typewriter sounds to boot, which leads me to question who is telling the story here: Atticus or an unknown author. Some scenes, like saving your game or speaking with your daughter, are presented in a larger shot than traditional gameplay. These are nicely done and help give more dimension to the characters. In the end, I just wish there was a map. Lone Survivor had one, even if it was a riff on Silent Hill 2‘s apartment building maps. It helped nonetheless.

I played up to the part where Atticus has to navigate through the Cold Storage area. Without a map, I quickly became lost after so many hallways and doors, and then the monsters kept killing me despite the ax I was wielding. Holding your breath only works if they haven’t seen you, so the moment you are spotted, it’s kind of over. Death isn’t a complete end, but it does throw you out of the loop for a bit. I might hop back into it again and try once more; I don’t expect it to be a very long game, but I might need to read up some more on how the combat works because I don’t think I have it down well enough to survive. Anyways, again, Ascension is good and free, so go download it from the Free Bundle (31 days to go!) or the developer’s website. And conserve your batteries; I mean it.

One does not simply complete LEGO Lord of the Rings in a timely manner

lego-lord-of-the-rings heavy burden

I can’t speak with authority when it comes to LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes or the various LEGO Star Wars adventures that have come out since I surprisingly fell in love with the first one for PlayStation 2, but LEGO Lord of the Rings feels like the slowest grind to date. That’s both good and bad, in my mind, but as the days go on and I continue to wander LEGO Middle-earth accomplishing tasks in teeny, tiny increments, it’s beginning to lean more bad than good. I mean, Tara and I finished up the main quests midway through December, and I’ve since been attempting to clean up all the collectibles that feed into getting a 100.0% rating. It’s taking some time.

For those that don’t know, here’s everything to collect in LEGO Lord of the Rings: minikits, treasures, blacksmith designs, red bricks, mithril bricks, characters, and True Adventure rankings in levels. That’s seven categories to keep in check, and the problem is that you often need specific treasure items to get certain bricks and so on. LEGO logjam has been with me for awhile, but I refuse to let this one stick and collect dust. Again, there are a few levels built around the “one chance” logic, where you get to a certain part–often the one where you are running towards or away from something and have to collect what you can as the game moves your character with haste–and have one shot at grabbing a minikit or treasure item; blow past it, and you’ll have to replay the whole level again just to get back to that spot. This has happened to me on a few occasions, and I’m not looking forward to forthcoming multiple attempts.

Traveller’s Tales has also gotten more sneaky with the way they hide items and secret areas within the environment. At times, I’d call them too well hidden, and even though you might have the minikit locater red brick turned on, if that minikit is in a secret spot, you won’t see an arrow guiding you towards it. This has required me to, much to my dismay, constantly hop on and off YouTube walkthrough videos to ensure I find everything I can, as well as prevent me from having to replay large level chunks over and over. Following guides is not how I like to game, but the completionist in me demands it be.

And so while the replaying of levels again and again and the aimless wandering and constant fast travel (with loading screens as a bonus) can become frustrating, almost to the point of stirring anger, I can’t help but have a smile on my face as I romp around Hobbiton as “Concerning Hobbits” plays in the background. Or feel like part of the actual Rohirrim when hanging out around the hill fort of Edoras. Or sense that I am truly out of my elements when sneaking into Mordor. Exploring Middle-earth freely is a delight, and the fact that all the wonderfully iconic and emotional music from the films carry over only add to the effect. It’s exhilarating, and gets me every time, even when I’m raging over missing a minikit or having a character get glitched into the environment somehow. Also, the inclusion of spoke Elvish is a nice touch, even if it is just some of the basics.

To round out this out love/hate post, here are some Achievements I’ve gotten during my time grinding:

lego lotr the lord of the ring ach
The Lord of the Ring. (30G): Complete the Bonus Level.

lego lotr always been taller ach
I’ve always been taller! (10G): Use the Ent Draught on Pippin.

lego lotr a link to the elements ach
A link to the elements. (5G): Craft the Fire and Ice Bows. (Single Player Only)

As a way to encourage myself and speed up the completion process, I’m telling myself that I can play The Walking Dead‘s Episodes 4 and 5 once I clear LEGO Lord of the Rings to perfection and see it sail off to the Undying Lands to live out its days in peace and tranquility. Not before. After. Hopefully that will happen sooner than later. Like, this weekend. Might have to have a guide ready, but whatever. Life goes on.

Taking down Terramorphous the Invincible one tentacle at a time

beat terramorphous for the first time

I’ve always been a little sad knowing that I’d never be able to take down Crawmerax the Invincible from the original Borderlands by myself, as well as the fact that we’re now long ahead of that game and chances are highly unlikely I’d ever get a sizable group together to raid it for the rarest weapons on Pandora. Evidently, there was a way to glitch the thing through protective terrain, but that strategy has since been nerfed or just isn’t consistently reliable. I remember trying to take him on once with my Commando and the fight not lasting very long. Also, I doubt I can ever go back to the original Borderlands now that I’ve come to appreciate the enhancements made in Borderlands 2.

That said, I’m pleased with what we (hellomightydog, Burger2862, and myself) accomplished last night, taking down Terramorphous the Invincible. No, really, we did. We worked together, fired a lot of bullets, respawned a bunch, hid behind rocks, and hooted and hollered when the big ol’ baddie fell and swooped off the cliff’s edge. Disappointing loot aside (only one Legendary dropped and nobody really wanted it), this was the real reward:

borderlands 2 thresher thrashed ach
Thresher Thrashed (30G): Defeated Terramorphous the Invincible

It was not easy. It took about an hour, and the most frustrating part was that we got Terramorphous down to one-fourth health, but then I ran out of ammo and had to leave my perfect hiding spot to grab some more, quickly dying at the same time everyone else did, giving Terramorphous full health in one sad gulp. So we went at it again, this time with me using a newly acquired LV 50 Infinity (never runs out of ammo); I stayed in one spot and never not held down the trigger button. At one point towards the end of the fight, my finger began going numb.

Using the rock hiding spot glitch, the fight isn’t too challenging so long as your other team members keep the beast busy and distracted, but there are a few moments where it can get real hairy. If all other team members die, Terramorphous will eventually make its way over to me and find a manner to hit me behind the rock. So, it’s important to keep shooting it. Also, shoot the tentacles, but try to leave a few with very little help for Second Winds. And be prepared to fight off a few miscellaneous tentacles after you take Terramorphous down; we were checking out the lame loot when, out of nowhere, a couple tentacles began damaging us. As if.

Other than that, yeeeeah. We did it. One raid boss in the bag. Maybe Hyperius the Invincible is up next? Ha. Maybe…

A maze of magic mirrors in Kirby and the Amazing Mirror

kirby and the amazing mirror GBA impressions

Well, we can add Kirby and the Amazing Mirror to the list of games with maps that I absolutely hate. Others on that list include Fez, LEGO Lord of the Rings, and Fable II, if you’re curious. For good maps, check out Costume Quest or The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and love how easy they are navigate. Also, Minecraft.

A map should be both functional and follow-able, a handy accessory to help with one’s journey. For maps, I like to see markers for special spots and things to do, as well as the ability to place my own destination marker. Also, show me what direction I’m walking in or facing at, not just where I am currently standing. For 3D realms, seeing which direction I’m facing is vital to knowing where to continue heading forward or side-stepping to the left instead. Without that help, it’s just aimless wandering. Unfortunately, the map in Kirby and the Amazing Mirror is beginning to feel like the type that requires a long and detailed review of maps to ensure that all rooms and paths have been taken.

If you skip the little intro cutscene for Kirby and the Amazing Mirror, you miss nearly all the story beats. Which I did in my eagerness to begin playing. Oopsie. Evidently, here is what is happening: a sinister presence has invaded the Mirror World, which sits high and mighty above Dream World, and all the mirrors are now reflecting bad things. Meta Knight goes off to fix things, eventually disappearing in the process. Later, Kirby is attacked by a shadow Meta Knight, splitting our friendly pink puffball into four. They all then hop on a  Warpstar to chase after him. And that’s all the set up you get.

It plays like every other Kirby videogame, with you sucking enemies into Kirby’s mouth and eating them to gain powers, like lasers, swords, stone, and Cupid. You can puff yourself up to fly and shoot little things of air. Also, um, you have a…cell phone, which you can use to teleport you back to the mirror hub level or call in help from your colored counterparts. You traverse levels going from left to right, right to left, down to up, and sometimes from up to down. Everywhere you go, there are mirrors, which are doorways to other levels, and many of them are hidden or locked behind a barrier that requires the right power Metroidvania style to access. Alas, this means pre-planning and carefully keeping your power from several levels prior, which I’m bad at. It’s not difficult gameplay, just the kind that requires a lot of back and forth and awareness. Also, bosses I’ve fought so far include a lightning cloud and angry tree. So, y’know…Kirby.

If hopping in and out of mirrors isn’t your thing, there’s also three minigames in Kirby and the Amazing Mirror. They are cute, but you’ll play them once, see what they are about, and never go back. At least, that’s what I did. They all require a single button press. In Speed Eaters, you wait for a pan to reveal whether it has apples or bombs; if it’s the former, press A before any other Kirby, and you get the apples. Fill up your hunger meter first to win. Crackity Hack has you powering up a super punch to break a crack in the ground, seeing if you can go the farthest. Lastly, Kirby’s Wave Ride has you surfing and catching waves for speed bonuses. Again, they are exactly what they are called: mini-games. Nothing more, nothing less.

Right now, I’m around 17% complete, with two mirror shards found and put back into place. Gotta hop back through some mirror gates with the right powers on Kirby to find more. I wish you could at least store a second power somewhere. Like, deep within Kirby’s cheeks, hamster-style. Think about it. Oh well.

Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion plunges into an ocean of thinner

epic mickey power illusion water levels rant

For last year, there were two potentials vying for the Most Disappointing Game of 2012: Game of Thrones: The Game and Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion. I still don’t have the heart and/or energy to extensively rip apart Cyanide’s stab at trolling around in Westeros–though you can check out previous posts for some clues to how I feel overall–so let’s spend today talking about Mickey Mouse and his lackluster painting skills and strangely unwavering glee-driven mentality.

It started with gorgeous preview screenshots that showcased a love and attention to detail for all things retro and Disney-esque, and then came the news that DreamRift was working on the game. For those that don’t know, those are the folks behind Monster Talewhich I thoroughly enjoyed–as well as Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure, which I’ve not gotten to try, but sounds stellar. This developer loves the DS/3DS scenario, building entire games around using both screens simultaneously and with purpose. And so, with confidence, I tried out the demo and found it to be an all right time, with what looked like the promise of a Suikoden-style castle that you’d be upgrading over time as you found lost cartoon characters and did mini-quests for them. Ultimately, that didn’t turn out to be exactly it, but whatever. The game had the look and sorta feel of those older Mickey Mouse games we all played in our younger days, and between the console version and the portable one, I knew which version I’d enjoy more. Or at least I thought I did.

There are many problems with Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, but let’s start with its pacing. It’s slow, bogged down by endless screens of exposition or contrived dialogue from Disney characters you’d expect more from. Mizrabel the Witch has stolen a bunch of cartoons, and it’s up to Mickey to rescue everyone. Simple enough, I guess, and the witch can take on the appearance of other Disney villains to keep you guessing for a long while. The opening of the game takes at least ten to fifteen minutes before you are even doing anything platformer-like, and basic abilities like “jumping” and “attacking” are doled out one by one to keep things moving at a glacier’s ramming speed.

The pace is further hampered by the game’s main touting point: painting. Mickey has the power to paint and/or erase objects in the world. To do this, you use the bottom screen to either trace the outline of an object or erase it fully. This takes a few seconds to do, and then a few seconds more to actually see your work realized. Now, a few seconds here and a few seconds there don’t seem like much, but you are literally pausing the action every few steps to paint or erase something, and it eventually becomes a bother, to the point that you no longer care about getting “Perfect” ratings with your tracing, scribbling around the outline as fast as possible just to get it over with. I ended up despising the painting aspect so much that I actively avoided it wherever I could; before each level, you can bring certain “sketches” with you, such as Goofy or a treasure chest, which, so long as you have the paint, you can use over and over again. I think I used the treasure chest once, and never bothered with any other sketches as, again, they just weren’t worth the effort and the time-sink.

Let’s talk about side quests, as they surprisingly make up a large chunk of Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion. They come in two forms: fetch quests or draw something. You are either fetching someone an item or straight up drawing it into existence for them. Oh wait, there’s a third category: go down the hall and talk to X, which should be self-evident. The fetch quests are probably the most annoying of the three, as they require you to hop back into levels you’ve already completed to find something that wasn’t there before. They aren’t difficult–well, depending on the level’s design–but they are a bit of a waste of time, especially since you can use a special currency to basically overwrite these quests and move on with your life. I did that a lot. There was no other reason to hoard these special star things, and so I cheated my way through many questlines. One of the more important quests is to get Uncle Scrooge back on his feet so that he can operate an upgrade store, which provides bonuses to melee damage, health, paint and thinner capacity, and so on; this is where you’ll spend all those Disney dollars you collect in every level.

Without a doubt, the breaking point for me was getting to the Castle South Wing, also known as the water levels. These are based around The Little Mermaid and someone’s love for Satan and masochism. To begin, Mickey’s jumping is floaty, and not in a good way. You spend the whole game getting used to it, only to then be in a water level that takes his floatiness to a whole new level. Now you have to deal with extra float, spikes on cavern ceilings, swimming enemies, and maneuvering around tiny platforms. Hands down, these were some of the worst water levels I’ve suffered through, and I’m the guy that actually enjoys them in Super Mario Bros. 3 and Donkey Kong Country. These are such pains in the butt that each one took multiple attempts and then, once discovering that new fetch quests opened up in all of them, I said “eff off” and never went back once. I suspect a lot of gamers might even just give up here. I nearly did.

The greatest thing Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion has going for it is its visuals, which never fail to wow. Seriously, every screen is colorful and layered, with hand-drawn and scrolling backgrounds that really make fantastic use of the system’s 3D tech. It looks, in my opinion, superior than its console counterpart(s), and the long stretches of exposition are made slightly more enjoyable thanks to great looking art. I don’t remember who said it exactly, but concept art for Disney Epic Mickey has always looked better than the final product. Here, that “concept art” is the game. So…that’s a win.

But that’s about it for Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, a disappointment in all meanings. Supposedly there was a fourth section of the castle to explore, but it was cut due to timely deadlines. Not sure if that would have saved the game or not, as surely it would’ve been more of the same, but with new things to look at it. Just goes to show that strenuous development cycle this adventure went through though. Even if you’re the biggest Disney fanatic, the magic won’t last long. Try Monster Tale or dig out your Sega Genesis and a dusty copy of Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse instead. Trust me.

2013 Game Review Haiku, #1 – Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

games completed in 2013 yoshi's island

The wizard Kamek
Tries to steal babies, Yoshi
Endures lots of tears

These little haikus proved to be quite popular in 2012, so I’m gonna keep them going for another year. Or until I get bored with them. Whatever comes first. If you want to read more words about these games that I’m beating, just search around on Grinding Down. I’m sure I’ve talked about them here or there at some point. Anyways, enjoy my videogamey take on Japanese poetry.

Here are the videogames I want to beat in 2013

Roadblock on Harris

Resolutions for a new year of gaming always start with good intentions, but quickly fall apart for me. For instance, I believe I said that I wanted to play fewer games in 2012 and devote more work to my art shtuff, but I just don’t know if that actually happened. Certainly, with Steam’s Summer, Fall, and Winter sales and all the indie bundles that have hooked me, I’ve acquired a bajillion games, though I’ve not played many of them. But I still feel like I got through a ton. If my Games Completed in 2012 tag is to be believed, I’ve finished off 40 games in the last 365 days. Some may argue that DLC and episodes of episodic gaming don’t count, but those folks can go suck a lemon; if they end in credits of any kind, they are a separate entity.

For 2013, I see myself completing around that same number again (38 in 2011, if you’re curious), but I want to clear out more backlog before anything new takes over. And not just recently acquired videogames, but some “classics” from the yesteryears that I keep meaning to get to, but never do.

So without further ado, here are the games from my pullulating collection I want to beat in 2013. Because really, they are overdue. Most are RPGs. So that could throw a wrench in the speed factor, but whatever. Love me them are-pee-gees. And yes, I’ve never finished any of these before.

Chrono Cross

chrono cross32yk

Yup. Never finished Chrono Cross in all my years of owning the game. I seem to get as far as the part where you switch over and control Lynx and then…just lose interest. Which is a shame. I’ve watched Tara play past this part, but she took eventually puts the game down and doesn’t return to it. But there’s so much to love about Chrono Cross. All you diehard Trigger fans that swear it is a terrible sequel can say that just fine, but I think it’s harder to deny it’s a good game. The battle system is fun and offers up strategy and variety at the same time, and the ability to mix/match your party keeps you trying new characters out. Granted, of all the games here, this is the one that worries me the most, as I just don’t understand why I keep getting to the same part and then stopping. Hmm…

UPDATE! I beat Chrono Cross and devoted a whole week’s worth of posts to the mighty RPG.

Silent Hill 2

Silent-hill-2 screenshot

As a rule, whenever I talk about Silent Hill 2, I have to link to this classic journal comic of mine. Anyways, based on our last save, we left things in Silent Hill very badly. And by that I mean we are extremely low on ammo and health and stuck in a place filled with enemies. An apartment building, me thinks. Not sure if it is worth trying to go on–or even possible–or if it’d be better to start over and just practice conserving from the very start. If I beat this, it’d be the first Silent Hill game for me. Out of them all. From what it sounds like, it’s the best one, too.

UPDATE! I beat Silent Hill 2 and got the “Leave” ending.

Final Fantasy IX

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I love this game. I love the varied characters and designs, the silliness, the charm, the card-collecting mini-game, the way you earn abilities permanently through battles and earning XP, the brilliant story, especially the opening scenario with kidnapping a princess who wants to be kidnapped. I think that influenced The Stolen Lovelight for sure. And yet…I always get to a place and then walk away. Don’t really know where that is in this one, but it’s somewhere between the second and third discs.

Radiant Historia

RadiantHistoriaFightingPalomides

I was quite smitten when Radiant Historia came out. In fact, I desired it so that I pre-ordered the game and got a free five-song soundtrack included with my purchase. It’s an adventure built around the idea of parallel universes and altering minor details to create dramatic changes later on. The battle system places an important of where each character and enemy is to dish out damage. I played for a good while, but eventually put aside, distracted by something else. Unfortunately, with a game like this, even though it has a handy “timeline” built into the menu, it is quite easy to quickly lose your place and thus any enthusiam to continue on. From what I’ve read, Greg Noe completed it, showing him how to love JRPGs yet again. Now that I’m done with Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, I’m going to dive back into Paper Mario: Sticker Star and then start over in Radiant Historia just after that. Well, that’s the early plan, at least.

Primal

ps2_primal_03

I’ve already written at length over Primal and how I think it’s pretty underrated and generally fantastic. Just go read it elsewhere and know that I plan to see this one through. Heck, I mean, I’ve only seen one of Jen’s transformation forms in all my time with the game. I think I last stopped because I got glitched, but maybe I just couldn’t find the puzzle solution.

UPDATE! I finally saw all the realms in Primal and did what I could to restore order to these alternate planes; alas, in retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have kept playing, as the entire game is better remembered for its early parts and not the frustrating swimming and combat that pads out the remainder of your time spent. Oh well.

Right. So that’s one Nintendo DS game, two PlayStation 2 games, and two PlayStation 1 games. Five games I want to beat in 2013 alongside whatever new and old comes across my plate. I think I can do it. The trick will be maintaining focus and enduring. That can be hard with games I don’t enjoy, but these five are all ones I appreciate in various ways, so in short–let’s do this.

What videogames–new or old–do you want to beat this year?

2012 Game Review Haiku, #40 – The Walking Dead, Episode 3 – “Long Road Ahead”

The-Walking-Dead-Episode-3-Long-Road-Ahead-screen-3 copy

Traitor in the group
Leads to running, taking train
Holy shit, fuck fuuuuuck

For all the games I complete in 2012, instead of wasting time writing a review made up of points and thoughts I’ve probably already expressed here in various posts at Grinding Down, I’m instead just going to write a haiku about it. So there.