Thursday, April 26, 2007

Already looking to the future

I’m about 10 hours into Oblivion and so far…meh. I’m going to give it more time of course, but titles I’m insanely excited for are just around the corner. This weekend will be all about the Ninja Gaiden Sigma demo. I’m sure it won’t be a very long, but I’m fine playing whatever is there over and over again.

May 8th sees the release of Command & Conquer for the 360. Long time readers know I loved Battle for Middle Earth on the 360 and this is supposed to control and run better.

Dropping May 22nd is Odin Sphere for the PS2. The game hits my old school 2D sprite-like (not sure if they are sprites or colored 3D objects) buttons in a major way. The art looks cool and the action seems really fun. I’ve basically seen enough that I’m getting this no matter what and abstaining from further info.

In terms of stuff already out, I’d like to pick up Super Paper Mario. I’ve also had a weird craving to get some use out of my PSP lately. Popped in Ultimate Ghosts ‘N Goblins the other day and forgot how much I liked it. I wasn’t even one-third of the way through before I stopped initially. Also need to play more than 10 minutes of Metal Gear Portable Ops. In other words, plenty to play without having to buy anything new.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mega Update

Lots of random bits here and there. Enjoy!


Valomilk
Saw these things featured on the Food Network and had to try it. I got some other folks in the office to go in with me since shipping costs made the chocolate goods a bit on the pricey side. They arrived just fine and were pretty good. Very rich. The marshmallow inside is super runny since it has extra vanilla in it. I can’t say that it was awesome, but it was interesting.

Rhythm is gonna get you!
Since I never seriously played the PS2 version, it’s been non-stop Guitar Hero II action for me on the 360. Even though I’m not familiar with a lot of the songs, it’s still great fun and many of the tunes just get stuck in my head. Even though I have some MS points just sitting around, there is no way I’m using any of them to buy new music tracks. Way, way overpriced. Actually, the majority of the content on marketplace is overpriced. I know there will be something worth purchasing later, but for now I’m hoping enough users are also saying no to outrageous content charges to make a difference. I haven’t even renewed my gold subscription which has been done since December.

Getting back to the musical theme, Play Asia had this awesome 20% off sale a few weeks ago so I was able to pick up Rhythm Heaven (Tengoku) for the GBA. This has been on my want list since forever and I was wishing it would get released here. A year later, there are no signs it will. It doesn’t matter now as I’m enjoying the hell out of the import. Rhythm Heaven is a music button tapping game from the WarioWare folks and even uses some of the same sound effects in spots. It’s super wacky, very challenging, and utterly addictive.

360 back compat
On a more topical matter, the latest Xbox 360 back compat list was released today. Tops for me are Panzer Dragoon Orta, Phantom Dust (from the Panzer Dragoon team), and JSRF. All games I never played more than 10 minutes due to various reasons and each are games I have been dying to get back to. Dead or Alive Ultimate and DOA 3 look great upconverted to 720p, so I’m excited to see whether there is a noticeable boost for these other games. The last of my Xbox games not back compat is finally getting smaller! I just need Silent Hill 2 and, um, blanking on the others, but it’s not that many anymore.

OBLIVION
Yes, I am finally, finally playing Oblivion on PS3. Haven’t gotten super far yet, but looking forward to exploring the world. I spent a lot of time reading up before even booting it up to make sure my class choices were as good as they could be. I usually choose pure melee tank characters, but decided to go with a character that uses mostly magic with some proficiency with blade weapons. Love the combo so far.

It did dawn on me that the only two games I own for the PS3 are games already available for the 360 (Oblivion) or will soon be (Virtua Fighter 5). I’ve also been wondering if I should get the 360 version of VF5, but it seems like that would strictly be an achievement points move. If the 360 version were to look identical to the PS3, I might consider trading up since I like my DOA4 hori stick vs. the PS3 hori arcade stick. It seems highly unlikely, although they could get close if Sega specifically supports the HDMI output on the elite models.

Final Fantasy PSP
As much as I was looking forward to FFIII for the DS, the old school nature of its gameplay made me think twice, not to mention the time sink RPGs represent. I happened across screens for the updated FF I & II (they are two separate releases!) and I have to say I’m tempted to get them. I really love the upgraded sprite graphics.

They appeal to me more than the aliased N64-like 3D visuals of III DS. Even so, $30 each for these remakes seems like highway robbery no matter how much extra work was put into them. You can get three Phantasy Star games on the Genesis collection for PSP for $30 ($20 or less if you get lucky).

Friday, April 13, 2007

Farewell Doug Perry!

Today was long-time IGN editor Doug Perry's last day in the office. He is moving on to a new place that apparently will be revealed "soon". In any case, it's friday and I'm feeling lazy so here's a fun photo post of his farewell lunch. I love the candid feel of the pic above. Like a frozen moment in time...eating chips...thinking of the future...

Quite the crowd turned up. The lone person who mugged for the camera back there is video editor Tyson Root.

This side of the table were the lucky ones who got food and drinks first.

Three shady characters. This pic turned out a bit blurry so sorry that it's smaller than the others. It's better the young readers can't see what's on the bottle anyway. No really, it's root beer!