Tag Archives: magic

2013 Game Review Haiku, #45 – Habla Kadabla

2013 games completed habla kadabla copy

An enchanted cash
Register is stolen, but
Habla still smiles

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.

Half-hour review of the horrible Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows DS game

Firstly, while on vacation, I played Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One for the Nintendo DS for thirty Crucio-worthy minutes, as well as took notes on the rotten thing. You can read them by clicking this very sentence or the image above. You’re choice, and you’re also very welcome. So far, LEGO Harry Potter, Years 1-4 has been the finest and grandest treatment of the source material, and that’s a fact both amazing and sad.

Secondly, I’m sorry for the lack of content here at Grinding Down this past week, and the lack of content is certainly not due to…a lack of content. I have plenty of videogame thingies to talk about, such as the four most recent games I’ve completed (#25 – Yard Sale Hidden Treasures: Sunnyville, #26 – Super Mario Land , #27 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One, #28 – L.A. Noire), as well as more topics from that 30 Days of Gaming meme. And, uh, Netflix on the 3DS. So what’s the hold-up then?

Me. Crippling depression and bouts of meh. Overall exhaustion. George R.R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons. Moving from a tiny attic apartment into an awesome house. And the day jobbery. July is without a doubt our busiest month, and I’m up to my neck in work, which gives me little time to ponder about the silly and frustrating aspects of gaming and its industry, much as I want to. As always, the moment Grinding Down begins to feel like work is the moment I abandon it completely; just stay tuned, dear readers, and I promise some more content soonish. Until then, please do head over to The First Hour for great videogame coverage!

Sympathizing with mages since 1983

I completely forgot how long quests in Dragon Age: Origins are, especially “Broken Circle,” which is the one where our dashing Grey Warden has to go to the Circle of Magi and try to recruit the templars or the mages to help fight off the darkspawn. Blasted quest took my entire night, but at least I was successful:

Magic Sympathizer (20G): Sided with the mages in “Broken Circle”

During my first playthrough (and only complete one at this point), I sided with the templars, but always felt bad about that. They’re kind of racist jerks with puffed out chests and arrogance on their chins shining like stars. I had, however, already had some bad experiences with a former friend who went down the blood mage path, and decided that they–as well as all other mages–needed to be washed clean.

The most frustrating part of “Broken Circle” is that it is surprisingly longer than necessary. See, the first part of the quest has the Grey Warden going up the tower, killing darkspawn, abominations, and evil blood mages. Standard stuff. Kind of mindless. Eventually, you can recruit a new character named Wynne, which I did this time around. She’s a bit wrinkly and old, but has a good heart; I suspect I’ll never use her, mostly because she’s not a sex option. Booooooring. Anyways, eventually you’ll get to the tower’s top and find yourself ready to do battle with a giant sloth demon. Three, two, one…FIGHT!

Or rather, no, don’t fight. You deserve a rest. Go on, take a nap. The floor is nice and sticky. Let the scary demon sing you a soft lullaby. There, there…

Right, instead of fighting the sloth demon, you are put to sleep, only to wake up alone in the Fade. The Fade is a horrible, blurry place where dreamers go to be tortured and tormented. Along with the player. It’s dreary to look at, dreary to walk through, dreary to listen to. Alas, the Grey Warden won’t be escaping the Fade for some time. Here, we have to go back and forth between different island planes, collecting new forms to transform into that will allow us to access a closed off room or section. It’s repetitive, predictable, and, thanks to numerous loading screens, slow. The new magical forms are fun, especially turning into the Burning Man, but they are limited in what they can do, and it’s much easier to stay in Grey Warden form for battles. Once you’ve rescued all your companions, you can confront the sloth demon, but it’s more like six or seven demons in one. Yeah, that kind of boss battle.

Once you’re out of the Fade, you still have to go save the mages or destroy them. Here we get another boss battle. After that, the Grey Warden has to do some chatting before the quest can be considered complete.

So yeah, that’s like, two chunks too many for one quest. I guess the developers really wanted players that didn’t choose a mage class to experience the Fade; those sick, cruel bastards. I’m glad I actually did “Broken Circle” first during my second playthrough, as the others–“Nature of the Beast,” “The Urn of Sacred Ashes,” “A Paragon of Her Kind,” and “Anvil of the Void”–are not as lengthy. Or maybe they are. I can’t remember. There’s too much to remember about this game.

Up next for our dwarven Grey Warden is siding with the werewolves and, hopefully, having some good ol’ dwarf-on-woman sex with Leliana. I need to find some good shoes for her first.

Mini Ninjas won and lost points with me in a single hour

You know those commercials for Sour Patch Kids candy where the little candy dude/dudette is first sour to someone and then really sweet? That’s kind of how it was the other night in Mini Ninjas. Let me bullet point it for y’all.

SOUR: The second boss battle you encounter is against Windy Pants, a towering beast of a man that got his namesake from…well, his strong skills with flatulence. He farts. He farts at you, and that’s how he attacks. Fart, fart, fart. Big green gassy clouds of stinky death. Braaaaaawp. It’s a silly, stupid fight–a QTE to boot–and I can’t believe a number of people thought this was a good idea; I mean, I can see them wanting to add in some humor to the game, but they don’t really do much funny stuff anywhere else (unless Futo eating lots of apples is a riot?) so this was a bit jarring.

SWEET: Of all the mini ninjas you’ll control, Hiro, the main, uh, “average Joe” one, can use Kuji magic. He has to spend Ki (a blue meter at the bottom) to cast spells like turning into a walking bush, taking control of animals, and throwing sonic booms at samurai grunts from a safe distance. And after you spend 1,500 Ki you’ll unlock this Achievement:

No Conjurer of Cheap Tricks (20G): Expend 1500 Ki using Kuji magic

Mmm…Gandalf would be proud! There’s a couple of other good non-LOTR Achievements unlocked now, most of which are punny or kind of jokey, such as Boardom and Bow Before Me. And I’m just breezing through the game too, a tad disappointing. I suspect that the next time I sit down to play I’ll probably complete it, and then go back for any collectathon Achievements and such. I am having fun as Hiro just attacking and sneaking and all that, but overall, the game’s very easy, very stylish, but a bit hollow once you get inside it.

Puzzling Master to the Extreme

Puzzling Master (20G): Completed all challenges

Last night I ran through all the puzzle challenges in Magic: The Gathering — Duels of the Planeswalkers, which were fairly basic, easy-to-solve brainteasers in the mindset of the ones previously published in The Duelist. While I liked the majority of them, I felt they were a bit too obvious and wished for, well, for lack of a better word, something more challenging. It didn’t take many tries to reach an answer, especially since there were multiple ways to outdo an enemy. I only used a guide after the fact to see how others handled certain situations.

Don’t mind me though, this is just some moaning and groaning because while Magic: The Gathering — Duels of the Planeswalkers is a fun waste of time, it isn’t the Magic: The Gathering I went through high school playing with friends in the cafeteria. Little deck customizing, odd timing issues when it comes to responding with an activated ability or spell, and bad, bad 80s rock muzac.

Also, I hate online-only achievements (<– silver account).

First Impressions on Magician’s Quest Mysterious Times


So, I’ve had this for a few days now, and though my play-time with Magician’s Quest Mysterious Times has been very limited, I’ve schlepped around the village/school/whatever long enough to express some thoughts on the Animal Crossing: Wild World clone. Now, let’s see…if I want to post my first impressions I have to select…incantation, cranium, and videogame.

Woo, success!

Things I like

  • The variety of life on-screen, from the vibrant mushrooms to the buzzing bugs to wandering classmates.
  • More storage space means more looting from dead bodies.
  • Collecting bugs and fish actually earns money/rewards, much more than AC: WW ever did Making money is a lot easier, which means no more frugal spending, just buy what you want.
  • “The Nutcracker” plays during Mystery Time, which is surprisingly fitting.

Things I hate as deeply as Voldemort hates Harry’s never faulty haircut

  • While having a magic wand that contains many things (shovel, fishing pole, net, watering can) is nice, whenever you switch to a new screen or enter a door you revert back to being empty-handed. This is stupid. And a waste of time as now I have to cycle through the items again just so I can catch a butterfly or cast a spell.
  • You can only take three classes a week. Once they are done, be prepared to be bored. This week I’ve learned the “treasure hunting” and “cloud hammock” spell, the incantation for “love,” and that when you talk to someone their name is added to your list of name-names. I now have to wait until Sunday to learn anything else—it better be worth it.
  • Spells—I already know it’s going to be such a pain later on to have to manually add them every time I want to use them. They should do that upon first usage or maybe set a limit, like after five times manually entering them now you can just select it from a list.
  • What’s the difference between a wig and a hat? (This is not a joke, there is no punchline coming.)
  • Mystery Time is not all that exciting. It’s just a special section where you can collect weird bugs and fish; it is after Mystery Time that is most important because that’s when you go investigating the weekly whodunit.

So yeah, at this point, I’ve only solved the first mystery. I have the generic staff and hat, very little furniture in my room, some Ritch, a couple of lessons under my belt…and that’s it. I kind of have to wait for real-life time to pass just to enjoy some aspects of Magician’s Quest Mysterious Times more. Hopefully, it’s worth it.