Thursday, November 15, 2007

Feather Stylus arrives

Registering your copy of Phantom Hourglass and answering a survey on Nintendo’s site rewarded you with a feather stylus. I just got mine in the mail yesterday.

I was impressed that the box had a fancy outer sleeve and the stylus is held in place by molded foam. The stylus itself is a very elegant clear solid plastic and feels nice. I haven’t had a chance to use it on the actual game, but I will soon. Hopefully Nintendo starts ramping up more of these bonuses for its fans here like it does in Japan.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Busy Season

It’s been tough to find much time to do anything besides work, but here’s a round up of what I’ve been able to squeeze in over the past month:

Phantom Hourglass – I think I’m just about at the halfway point or maybe a tad further. Still loving it and the ability to write notes on the maps is super handy since I need to be reminded what I was supposed to do after being away from the game a few days. Going to take my time with this one and not rush.

Orange Box – For me, Portal is right up there with Bioshock in the “Best of 2007” games race. You MUST play Portal. Avoid spoilers! Slowly making my way through Episode 1 and waiting for them to patch Team Fortress 2 before playing some more.

Guitar Hero III – I love the set list. Perfect game to pick up when the mood strikes and not feel rushed to finish.

Call of Duty 4 – Finished this over the weekend and I think I’m completely done with it. I loved the campaign, but the mp requires too much time commitment for me to truly enjoy.

Buzz Mega Quiz – Some friends brought this PS2 game over the other night and it’s a ton of fun. Quite a fun party game and supports up to 8 players if you buy another four buzzers. This might be a worthy pick-up for upcoming Thanksgiving/holiday gatherings. Fairly noob friendly.

Mario Galaxy – With any luck, I’ll be able to pick this up tomorrow. Can’t wait.

Mass Effect – After Mario, this may be the last game I have time for this year. Especially since there are other older games I’ve been itching to get back to. That would probably be the smart move allowing me to snag the rest of the interesting Oct/Nov titles when they are discounted next year.

Demo report

I also got around to checking out a few demos that have long been downloaded, but forgotten on the 360 and PS3 hard drives.

Sega Rally Revo (360) – What a surprise! I was a big Sega Rally fan back in the day so it’s with great relief that it maintains most of it arcade-style flavor. The two tracks available in the demo look good and the controls are nice. Even so, racers aren’t at the top of my play list these days (with the exception of Mario Kart which I am up to play anytime). This might have a chance if the mood strikes me.

Conan (360) – I like how Conan can pick up new weapons to change his move set and the voice over work is solid. There’s enough “story” in the demo to intrigue me, but the combo system hasn’t won me over. Seems like a solid rental.

Puzzle Quest (360) – If this was released in the summer, I would have been all over this.

Every Extend Extra Extreme (360) – The PSP version has long been on my want list, but this demo is a real let down. Mostly because I have no clue what I’m doing, but the musicality of it isn’t as immediately engrossing as Lumines or Rez either. I’ll certainly give it another chance eventually.

Fatal Fury Special (360) – Very great port. I have the Neo Geo cart and this one has a slight visual edge. I really wish there was some way to get the CD arrange soundtrack to play with this, but for $5 it’s a steal. Not sure if the price has gone up at this point since I bought this the week of release.

Ratchet & Clank Future (PS3) – Very solid, but doesn’t feel like there’s enough new things to draw me in. This was in my day one purchase list for the longest time, but now I’m not so sure. I know I’ll like it, but in this crowded holiday I might have to skip for now.

Bladestorm (PS3) – The super cheesy voice work is entertaining. Other than that, it’s a snooze fest.

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue (PS3) – It suffers from some aliasing issues, but still looks great. Although it’s a real showpiece, my enthusiasm for the game is lessened a bit by this demo.

Uncharted (PS2) – Out of all the demos I’ve played, this was the only one that changed my mind from a “wait and see” to a “must purchase”. The only thing holding me back is it comes out the same week as Mass Effect. Depending on when I can put down ME, Uncharted may be able to sneak into 2007.