Pokemon Black & White Battle Competition – Sydney NSW

April 4, 2011. My life changed on this day. Nintendo Australia had announced their next connection tour, and it was for Pokemon Black & White. The Battle Competition’s first stop was Sydney, lucky me. I had two weeks to train up a competitive team in time, I knew I was up for the challenge but I also knew this is what would become my next two weeks. I have unfinished business with Pokemon tournaments, making finals and semi-finals in the last few over the years.

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Wii Sniper Rifle Video – Gameplay Montage

(DivX video link at end of post; watch the new video here)

A follow-up to my previous The House of the Dead: Overkill videos, this time focusing on the two affordable current-generation last-generation games that handle aiming calibration properly: Ghost Squad and The House of the Dead 2&3 Return. The video is a series of quick gameplay cuts trying to get the point across: with the appropriate gun+game combo, everything works “great”, not perfectly, but sometimes better than I expect. The footage says a lot, but there’s more I want to add.

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You’re playing it wrong – The Crystal Bearers (with videos)

I was supposed to add some Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers videos to my collection a year ago, but didn’t get around to it until this month. Whoops. Ever since finishing the game, I wanted to share some footage to help address a certain aspect of the gameplay. In the link you’ll find some videos demonstrating the primary mechanics as I mess around with NPCs and give monsters “the business”.

(DivX video link at end of post)

Let’s make this clear: the manual camera is a huuuge part of the gameplay.

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Conduit/GoldenEye Wiimote Controls

Note: These control settings were personalized for my bloated widescreen (16:9) TV that I sit fairly close to. You may get undesirable results if you use these settings on a fullscreen (4:3) TV setup, or if your Wii’s cursor behavior is already unstable due to poor sensor bar visibility, specific lighting conditions in your room, and/or your seating distance and position. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – Reflex Edition is not a significant part of this discussion becuz the shoehorned FPS mechanics and single-player campaign are nonsense; it wasn’t worth the effort to customize the controls nor play past the tutorial stage. Call of what? Modern what? (Update: Conduit 2 controls here)

I’ve seen some player comments declaring the Wii “Pointer” controls in The Conduit and GoldenEye 007 are great or crap, or never getting them to feel “right” – ALL without adequately explaining why nor sharing their settings in detail as if it’s only a futile, individual effort they’re doomed to suffer (curse you, game! curse you, non-Nintendo developer!). What was the purpose of their interweb comments, their “discussion”? To WHINE? Yeah. To exchange ideas/info and support each other’s gaming experiences? HAH! Hell no.

So I have some info that’s useful to me and could be useful to others… =o

– The Conduit
(click to enlarge)

Handgun gameplay clips using the above settings – headshots preferred. Conduit handles it well; GoldenEye is just a trainwreck.

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Holed In

With the east coast of Australia underwater, the North American continent buried under snow and the Korean peninsula on the brink of nuclear war, gamers across the world have even more reason to bunker down on the comfort of their couches and the warmths of their computer. The dangerous world outside does present a problem though; how to acquire more games? The leader in digital distribution has capitalised on this captive market and this year’s Steam sales have been destructive to gamer wallets. It’s been a storm of it’s own to weather, one in our mind, to restrain ourselves and avoid the perils of credit card debt.

Pending transactions on my credit card bill.

There is some sort of addictive quality to cheap games. I’ve bought games I previously had no interest in like Mass Effect. I heard the second one won a few awards this year so I got that and then though I might as well get the first so I know what’s going on. Then there’s other games, like Assassin’s Creed that I thought I bought, but in the long line of transactions I guess I haven’t. There are other games that I’ve decided for one reason or another to just wait and buy at the last moment of the sale, like Eufloria. There’s other games like the Tomb Raider spinoff thing but I didn’t get that, despite it going on sale twice. There’s also SimCity 4. It’s on sale right now, I’ve already bought this game twice but my brain is telling me if I get it on steam, I wont need the CD!

And of course, in typical steam sale tradition, the only games I’ve played while hiding from the jellyfish that infest this retirement village my parents call home are SimCity 4 and Osmos, which I picked up from the Humble Bundle. Might post some Osmos impressions tomorrow or tonight, it’s an absorbing (lol puns) game.

How do you know when you buy too many games?

How I know I’m not the only person who has the problem of buying games and never getting around to playing them. Well today in JB Hi-Fi I developed a simple method to determine if you buy too many games.

If you are shopping for games, and you see a game that you want but you hesitate and the reason you hesitated is because you’re not sure if you already own the game or not, then you own too many games.

Today I bought Fragile Dreams, I still had another $50 of JB Hi-Fi vouchers to spend to I nearly bought Zack and Wiki ($20), Guilty Gear XX ($20) and Little King’s Story (also $20). Not only that but I had to note them down on my iPhone just so I would remember them and on the phone I found an open note containing a list of MORE games that I was double checking I owned or not.

Turns out I did already own Zack and Wiki. What’s it like?

Game of the Year awards thoughts

I feel like these are counter productive to a gamers mind. Trying to summarise a years worth of content, all I think about are the games I left out, not the games that make it. How do you decide what was best anyway? On a given Friday night, Fragile Dreams was the greatest game of all time. Then on Sunday morning, Wario Ware DIY was. How do we compare that? What about the experiences that you didn’t have, that could’ve happened. The games of 2010 that you’ll play in 2011? I’m trying to find a way of doing this and feeling good about it but I can’t do it. I’m living in today. I never took pictures of these moments. I’ll always look at a great game and smile at the enjoyment it brought me, but it lives inside itself, free from comparisons. That’s a big reason I enjoy games, they take me into their own world. Gutting them and sending them to a battlefield only ends up with all of them getting shot with the blood on my hands. I feel the same about review scores, I can’t get my head around doing them either.

The only thing I can say for sure is what I want to play right now, so i’m declaring Last Window the GOTM (Game of the Minute) and going to bed.

Canvass Quest 9 – Journey of a Lonely Traveler

Another day, another slim chance of finding a friend. I boot up my fully charged DS Lite to the familiar but empty sight of Stornway Inn in Dragon Quest 9, and select the canvass mode, today I was going to find a guest. I watch the screen for a few moments in the hope of a minor miracle. Maybe my neighbour had the game? Nah. I put the console in my bag and head off into the world, uncertain where the day will take me, but hopeful.

Sydney is a big place, there’s got to be quite a few people here who own Dragon Quest 9. It’s not the most successful game in the world, but it’s a damn good one, and a lot of people can’t resist a good RPG. I just had to find them. DS is quite popular too, I see them everywhere. At least a few of them must have DQ9. Surely. Even if nobody bought it, at least ten copies that I know of were given away in competitions.

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Last Window

Sometimes I purposefully get the game over scenes just to see what happens. Real gamers care more about experiencing the game than their stats. Plus, if I never die in a game, it’d be just like real life. The only way to really lose is to not explore, to not experience.