Forget Flowers, Give the Gift of Pile

I fired up Bioshock 2 on a few different occasions and it just really didn't do anything for me. I'm not going to roll it over because I really don't have any intention of playing it again. So I guess that means it's out of the pile, but unplayed

So Enslaved is done, after playing for pretty much the entire day. Really, really enjoyed the narrative, and most of the gameplay.

I felt like some of the combat for the last third of the game was hinky a little bit, considering most of the rest of the game had us fighting with Trip's direct aid, and then when they (with good reason) sideline her, the dynamics change in a way that doesn't necessarily help those of us who are, for lack of a better term, all thumbs.

Overall, though, I really, really dug it.

Stele wrote:
AndrewA wrote:

Looks like I'll be going to the wire with Uncharted. The fact that I'm not allowed toplay without my wife watching

Exactly the way I had to play. Starting to wonder if every married goodjer had to play Uncharted this way, I've heard it so many times. ;)

It comes with the territory, I guess.

Anyways, I finished Uncharted tonight and am now under orders to find the sequel for cheap ASAP.

I loved the game's story - especially the character interactions - but the gunplay was pretty repetitive, and the final encounter was asinine.

Finished Time, Gentlemen, Please! Enjoyable, and I re-re-discovered my general dislike for (and impatience with) adventure games. There were a couple of significantly more obscure moments in this one (as opposed to Ben There, Dan That), and what felt like an entire mechanic that didn't really show up until about 85% of the way through.

Still fun, though, and I'm glad I played it.

Gears ain't gettin' finished this month. Don't know when I'll come back to it; it completely failed to grab my interest.

It looks like it's going to be a 1-3 month for me. Both Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and Batman: Arkham Asylum are well over half finished, but I'm out of town for work and won't have the opportunity to finish either one tonight. I'll carry both over to next month and should finish them without a problem.

Deadly Premonition is done.

Well, it looks like I'm 0 for 2 for the month. I've got 39 hours into EU this month but am still nowhere near the end of a Grand Campaign. Hell, I'm not even halfway through. As for Alan Wake I'm about halfway through Episode 6 so I'm almost there but given the trouble I've been having with the episode so far I can't see it falling tonight.

I'll roll over both to next month and should hopefully finish at least one of them before DA2 hits, since that will most likely suck up the rest of my time for the month.

I may be able to wrap up my undeclared 2nd February game tonight, but I'm not making any promises...

I'm going to have to roll Dragon Age: Origins over into March. I'm almost done, but I won't be able to finish it up tonight. Still, I call this a win since I made it through over half the game in just under a week.

Completed Metro 2033 last night and put the final nail into P.N.03 just now.

Metro 2033
Wow....just....wow...

As well known as this game seems to be, I still feel that it is way underappreciated. Metro 2033 has created the most believable world I've ever experienced in games; it just felt like a real place through and through. There was a "hold the line" mission at one point where a group of us had to fend off wave after wave of mutants. In the aftermath I saw a dead comrade lying on his back, helmet flashlight casting a glow towards the ceiling and I was overcome with a desire to turn off the light (but I couldn't). Arriving at a central station after an arduous journey filled me with such a sense of relief and even awe, as it was like nothing I'd seen in this world.

Dripping with atmosphere, Metro 2033 is perhaps the best single player FPS I've played, despite a few annoyances with the checkpoints. The ammo mechanic is brilliant although I only once ran out of (shotgun) bullets when I needed them. Unlike some, I didn't even mind the change in tone during the last segment of the game; I felt that it gave added urgency to the proceedings and was a fun change of pace. The multiple possible approaches to some missions, as well as available choices made it all feel like an adventure I really took part in and will always remember.

P.N.03
This is the unloved stepchild of Capcom's released Gamecube exclusives, and I don't think it got enough credit. First off, it's not an action game in the Tomb Raider sense; rather it's a shoot-em-up from a third person perspective which rewards enemy placement and pattern memorization in addition to quick reflexes and an even quicker ability to pound the A (shoot) button. The aesthetic is minimalist, but works well. Vanessa, being the star of the game, is easy to look at, and the soundtrack is composed of techno tunes that fit the action well.

Performing well on stages by not taking damage and getting combos allows the player earns points which can be spent on better suits, upgrades, and continues. Earning enough points for more powerful equipment is one of P.N.03's main weaknesses, however, as just playing the regular missions will not suffice. The player has to grind through trial missions which are composed of random arrangements of previously seen rooms and enemies of increasing strengths and numbers to be able to afford a top tier suit and all the upgrades for it. This can quickly become very tedious. The other weakness is that, for all the emphasis on how amazing Vanessa's abilities are, the controls don't always allow her to be as agile as the player would like. Capcom got the controls 90% right, but that final 10% could have made a huge difference in the feel of the game.

I can see myself coming back to P.N.03 in the future for an occasional few rounds. It's too bad that the game didn't take off as there is potential for a great sequel.

I never mentioned I was playing it, because I figured I'd never finish it this month, but I finished Puzzle Agent. It turns out to be a short, but enjoyable game. I never played any of these puzzle games that all the kids are into these days, because I don't generally like puzzles all that much, but the writing was entertaining, and the puzzles never annoyed me, so I'm glad I gave Puzzle Agent a try.

End of month check-in:
KoTOR: I'm well in to the third planet, so I'm further than I've ever made it in previous attempts. I'm not thrilled by the combat, but the storytelling is pretty good. Slow, but steady progress continues to be made.

Monkey Island 2: I've stalled out a bit for the time being. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, since I had mostly been playing the game late at night when I couldn't sleep, and I've been sleeping better recently.

I'll carry both games over in to March. All in all, I'm happy with the month I had, with one completion, and good progress on a second game.

I'm going to have to roll over both of my games--Lego Batman and Final Fantasy Tactics A2 to March. I'm about 75% through Batman and approaching 80 hours into FFTA2 so I'm getting close! If it wasn't for that darn 11 month old cramping my style....

Depending on how you look at it, Overlord II was completed in February. I just finished it about 5 minutes ago. I wish more of the game was like the last mission, where it seemed to be moving along faster. Maybe that was just because I knew I was near the end. Still, the Wii Overlord was better than both the HD games in so many regards, but I can see why people wouldn't enjoy that one as much for some reasons.

So I kind of gave up on Dragon Age: Origins this month. Many reasons why I kept putting off playing it, the top being I don't think it's all that great.

I'm almost done with Chapter 8 in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Really going to power through the rest of it to completion in early March.

So what's it called when a game's instability & crashing (forcing me to reboot the whole computer) prevents you from finishing? And it started happening just I got a handle on how to properly layout a city.

I did manage to complete Fallout: New Vegas with about a week to go in February, but only made it a few hours into DeathSpank: ToV before work intervened again. I'm going to try bumping DeathSpank into March, but with Marvel vs. Capcom 3 still sitting largely untouched and Dragon Age 2 on the horizon, committing to any more than that would be folly.

I did pretty bad.. well maybe good. I got half way through Fable 2 by the end of February but as hard as I tried I couldn't push to the end with only an hour on the clock that night. In the end though, I'm sure making a lot of money off just my houses!

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