Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Okami baby

I had no idea Okami would take like 30-40 hours. I’m getting close to the 15 hour mark, but probably not that close to being halfway. It’s hard to know for sure without spoiling things by looking at a guide. I keep getting distracted by exploration, fishing, you name it. It’s just such a gorgeous world that I want to really enjoy it and not rush so much.

I finished Shadow of the Colossus right before this, so you could say I’m scratching my arty game itch. It’s also nice to get so much mileage out of the current generation. These last two years has been amazing in terms of software for the PS2. It’s really too bad the games are getting overshadowed by the next gen hype.

Up next is either Final Fantasy XII for PS2 or Splinter Cell Double Agent for 360. I’m really going back and forth on whether to try to fit in a RPG. Whatever happens, I need to be done before the week of November 14th. From that week on, I figure to be playing a mixture of Rainbow Six Vegas, Dead or Alive Xtreme 2, and various Wii games well into the New Year.

Actually, Metal Gear Portable Ops for the PSP comes out early December. Snake Eater is my favorite Metal Gear of all time, so this sequel to that storyline has got me jazzed. My PSP will finally get some extended play time! If you haven’t gotten around to playing Snake Eater, get to it. Once you get a groove for how the stealth system works in the jungle, it gets so damn good. I know, I know, it can be annoying at first, but please stick with it. One of the most rewarding game experiences and memorable characters of recent memory hands down.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Thur morning - I get an email from EB/Gamestop that Wii pre-orders happen tomorrow. First come, first served, same as PS3. Quantities extremely limited. Message boards are already buzzing over how many each store will get. Some stores as little as 8 units, others as much as 32.

Thur afternoon – I momentarily forget about things since work is very busy right now. I have to get a lot done if I’m going to be late to work tomorrow.

Thur night – I finally get around to calling the three closest EBs near my house. Since the system gets released Sun, these are way closer than the ones near my office. The first two stores were getting 32. The third didn’t want to give exact numbers. Jerk.

Fri morning 7:45AM – I decide I can’t bring myself to line up longer than an hour before 10AM, which is when the stores open. I do a quick scan of some boards and see that most places had lots of people lined up already. I get a little nervous. I quickly decide that I can wait 1 hour and a half then. Even if I rush out the door I couldn’t get out any earlier.

Fri 8:50AM – I reach Gamestop and there are at least 25 people in line. This location has 32. If any of these dudes are saving places for their buddies, I’m screwed. Without getting out of the car, I decide to go to the nearest EB.

Fri 8:55AM – Ahhhh sweet, sweet success! Only five people in line. This store has at least 30, so it’s all good. Over the next 15 minutes, four more people arrive and we’re all chatting and having a good time. Everyone is here to buy the system for themselves, no eBayers.

Fri 9:15AM – Tons more people start arriving so we form a proper line.

Fri 9:45AM - There has to be over 20 people. I can’t really tell from where I am.

Fri 9:55AM – The doors are open just a tad early. As the first couple people are waiting near the register, the excitement is really making everyone giddy. The amount of jokes increases. Mind you the jokes aren't very good, they are made funnier only because everyone is in a good mood. Material like "thank god Happy Feet is a launch title!" or "where is Sudoku Master for Wii?!". You get the picture.

A warm glow surrounds people. I can see other people staring in from the outside. The farthest I can see from inside the store I guess is customer #25. He looks a little nervous. It's almost a desperate look. I wonder if he knows there are at least 30 available (minus 2 each store is allowed to set aside for employees).

Fri 10:10AM – My Wii is pre-ordered! I got an extra Wii remote, nunchuck, classic controller, and Zelda. I was really debating with myself whether to get the classic controller since I can just use my Gamecube controllers, but it’s only $20 and one of the launch games I want is Metal Slug.

At this point, I’m pretty sure I’ll get Metal Slug Anthology, Super Monkeyball, and Excite Truck. Still on the fence about Red Steel and Rayman. I should probably space out the game purchases anyway. It’s not like I can play ten games at once. Especially since there are 360, DS, PS2, and PSP games I want around the same time.

There are supposed to be 1 million Wiis available at launch and 3 million more by Christmas. I’m sure it won’t be extremely hard to get, but you never know. 4 million is more than enough for the initial batch of early gamer adopters. Then again, if the general public catch the Wii fever in the same manner they’ve fallen YET AGAIN for Tickle Me Elmo Super duper version this holiday, well, 4 million isn’t even close to enough.

This is the one console I’ve been wanting super bad, so I feel very at ease now that one is reserved.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Resisting PlayStation 3

As soon as the PS3 price was announced back in May, I knew there was no way I would get one at launch. $600 was just too much. More importantly, the launch games didn’t do anything for me. Would I like to play Ridge Racer 7 and Resistance? Yeah…eventually.

There are games scheduled for next year that I will desperately want like Virtua Fighter 5, Ninja Gaiden Sigma, MGS 4, Final Fantasy, and White Knight Story. I figured next holiday is probably the right time.

You know what though? The PS3 will not be much cheaper by then. Even if it’s $100 less, I’m still not sure it’s worth it. I can’t believe it, but I may actually wait till 2008 for PS3.

Let me tell you, this is a big deal for me. Ever since the release of the NES, I’ve purchased game consoles within 3 months of launch, usually launch day. There are some exceptions. I waited a year and a half before getting an Atari 2600 (that was out of my control though since I was very young), I waited until Mario Kart was released before buying a SNES (that was because I used to be a staunch Sega fanboy), and I didn’t get a Turbografx until it was near the end of its life (I bought the TurboDuo model because I needed to play Dracula X). Others, I never remotely wanted like the Jaguar or 3DO.

Even as I type this, news that PS3 pre-orders might happen soon have started to make me sweat. Should I try to get one anyway? I would never buy one to re-sell (I think it creates bad game karma), so this would be for my personal gaming enjoyment. Hmmm, let’s see. Looks like Oblivion is a launch title now. I never got around to buying the 360 version and this one is supposedly a little nicer. NBA 2K7 also sports some upgrades. Um…what else. Oh, by the time Virtua Fighter 5 and Ninja Gaiden come out in the spring, the PS3 still might be impossible to find, so there’s some logic in picking one up if one has the chance now.

Ummm…naw. I can’t do it. I’ll tell you one thing I’ll purchase right away, a Virtua Fighter 5 arcade stick. I’m so glad I bought the Dead or Alive 4 stick when it first came out, because it is impossible to find now at a decent price. It goes for nearly $100 at auctions these days.