Dear (gaming) Diary: Week of Oct 26, 2008

A weekly log of the games I’ve played accompanied by some random thoughts about them

Thursday, October 30, 2008
Doki Doki Majo Shinpan 2 DUO
I’m trying to get to the next witch touching segment with Sofi, friend of lions. That means I’m back to finding clues, which is perhaps the more frustrating mechanic of the game. It’s not quite as simple or linear as Phoenix Wright in this regard, although the overall design is the same–you have different locations you can visit and you have to touch around the screen to trigger explanatory text or find a clue. Even though this game is pretty much intended for one purpose whatsoever–looking at and touching suspected witches in inappropriate areas–I can’t help just how heavy-handed the expository moments are. It makes the game less engaging and the characters less personable, ending up in a game where you’re really just exploring listlessly focused on getting to touching witches as quickly as possible. It’s really a bit of a missed opportunity and I don’t think it’s all that much more difficult to integrate story advancement into the actions within the story the player is forced to make. Ah well.

Saturday, November 1, 2008
Grand Theft Auto IV
I can’t believe my game progress is only at 34.65% complete. I have entered a bit of artificially-induced impatience with the game, as I want to complete the story yet I’m wanting to not fall behind on the deluge of compelling content that has and will be released in the next two months. This means I’ve just gotten a bit annoyed at being called up by my friends for social outings. I know I can mute my phone so I won’t receive these requests, ostensibly not causing their like and respect percentages to go down, but I think that kind of ruins the integrity of that game mechanic that Rockstar intended to have. So in the end I had to deny Little Jacob because I was on a mission and Roman because I was feeling apathetic to take him out to play pool after I already took out him for a round of bowling. However, there was a call from Brucie which introduced the speedboat as we took a couple of girls out to the Poop Deck. Hurr hurr.

After I wasted time doing this, I went out to the question mark mission marker and found out it was none only than Deputy Commissioner Francis McReary and I did his first mission, which was the oft-mentioned in previews mission of where I had to find the guy who answered his cell phone to kill him. It would have been a bit more interesting if I could have used the binoculars to look at all the passersby rather than just walking around until I heard or saw the guy talking on his phone to me. I finally found out that Michelle is a goverment agent, as was so beating-me-over-the-head strongly alluded to earlier in the game. Although given that it seemed and was obvious she was just being nice to me to get close to me, her revelation really came out like she was sorry to have deceived me. It felt weird… maybe if she was more convincing being into my, uh, “talking sessions” I would have found this telegraphed twist more convincing. I did a couple more missions, one for Playboy X and one for Patrick McReary, and have found that the gunfights have increased in difficulty quite a bit forcing me to both take cover and approach the scenario a bit more tactically.

I also spent some time driving around Liberty City to find some new locations, like the Split Sides Comedy Club, or visit new locations ones that have opened up on my map now that I can travel to Algonquin. I decided to stop by Perseus and get some new clothes. I look swank in the new grey suit and new shoes I purchased, along with my existing aviator style glasses. The salesperson at Perseus totally sounded like Agador from The Birdcage. Unfortunately he doesn’t work hard for the money.

Mirror’s Edge demo
This was a highly anticipated demo of mine. This game is a pretty interesting beast. The first person perspective is familiar and feels a lot like any other well done FPS, but in those you’re also usually not doing fairly accurate jumps and manueuvers. Much like car racing games, you have to start getting learning how to judge distances in the game since it’s not directly analogous to real life. The controls also require a new lexicon since you’ll be stringing along certain combos of buttons to be fully effective later on. I’ll definitely be playing the tutorial several times just to get used to the controls and the game. Although I don’t think the game will be so unforgiving at the start to make it frustrating and the restart points are pretty conveniently placed in the tutorial mission in the demo. But it does feel like the game will have quite a steeper learning curve than most other games.


4 responses so far, want to say something?

  1. chronliar says:

    I love Mirror's Edge (although I may be stuck on the last level) and heartily advocate everyone play it. I'm a bit shocked by the shotgun review scores. Most are unable to overlook a few shortcomings (like combat), which I forgive because the overall game is a blast.

    Anyways. I left this comment primarily as an IntenseDebate test, which I just installed on my blog.

  2. arne says:

    I haven't even bothered to read the reviews. Although I know I'm in the minority about purchasing games without getting a sense of product quality or value from a reviewer.

    I just like what they're trying to do with the story and gameplay in this game, so it intrigues me. Even though it generally takes a pacifist route to the game, I am a little disheartened initially that you can use guns at all. I would have preferred all combat to be limited to the hand-to-hand kind and guns only apply during disarming maneuvers.

  3. arne says:

    Glad to hear that it actually penalized for using violence. This should make for a good game to do an analysis of from the sounds of it.
    Hopefully I get my copy soon.

    (Yes, e-mail replies are awesome).

  4. chronliar says:

    If it makes you feel better, using guns in the game is a surefire way to get yourself killed. You really are penalized for using violence. (BTW, commenting via email is awesome).

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