my thumbs aren’t idle

Contrary to popular belief, my life hasn’t been all sexy swinger’s parties and grown-up decisions lately: I’ve managed to squeeze in a fair amount of video game playing (at the expense of other things, like housework and non-anonymous sex).

So, what have I been passing my time with lately?

DS:

Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
To say that I was eagerly awaiting this sequel to last year’s Professor Layton and the Curious Village was a bit of an understatement. The game itself didn’t disappoint – the good Professor was just as uptight as ever, his “assistant” was raising eyebrows of the authorities, and everything was just so delightfully British. The puzzles range from easy to murderously confusing, and more than once I found myself looking things up online because I just could not figure it out on my own. They added some mini-games that increase the amount of content – you can brew tea, exercise a fat hamster, and build a camera; all of which unlock even more things to see and do. You might blaze through the story quickly enough, but to go back and complete everything is where you’ll find a lot of the action.

And yet .. I wasn’t feeling it. I love the series and would gladly recommend it to just about anyone, but I wasn’t head over heels about the sequel as I assumed I would be. I think there might be several reasons for this – I was sick while playing the game, and being unable to remember my own name and at the same time attempting to solve complicated math puzzles or garlic puns would frustrate anyone – but at the end of the day, the Professor was spent and pleased with himself while I laid there dissatisfied and unfulfilled. I might go back and give it another try to see if I can’t spark the old flame, but something was missing.

Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
The third entry in the Mario & Luigi RGP series is a damn good one that you shouldn’t pass up. It’s got all the fun you’d normally find in a Mario title, but in an adventure format AND it’s hilarious to boot. I’m 19 hours in and there’s no end in sight. Where else can you roam around the inside of Bowser’s gut while a toothy alien nerd has chortles at you from the outside? This game is great. I am enjoying it mightily.

Scribblenauts
Rooster Hat aside, Scribblenauts is very, very good .. but not great. It’s as inventive and amazing and hilarious as you want to make it, but the actual movement of Max (the guy in the Rooster Hat) is so clunky you might be driven to fits of shrieking which’ll scare the cat into launching off your thigh with all the power of his claws and 22 pounds of horse muscle, and that will hurt. The game itself is huge – there are 10 levels each with 11 puzzles and 11 action scenes, as well as encouraging you to repeat scenes using different objects, getting you extra points. The game isn’t always clear what it wants from you though, or something that you think should work won’t come out the way you intended – trial and error is a big part of it. It’s really cool though, and I’m liking it a lot – it’s my Go To game when I get tired of wandering around Bowser’s bowels in search of mushrooms.

PS3:

Little Big Planet
We’re a little late on the bandwagon for this one, but we were waiting for a PS3 price drop. We picked up the Game of the Year edition (for $8, thank you EB trade-in policy) which comes with a whole lot of extras – it’s well worth it to seek out the GOTY copy, if you’re in the market to buy the game. Little Big Planet is incredible, and it’s easy to see why it’s the flagship title of the PS3. Ed and I are playing it together – literally the first game we’ve ever attempted to play co-op all the way through – and it’s a great deal of fun. It’s very cute and looks amazing in HD and the hardest part is not playing ahead but waiting for both of us to be available to play. We have a date to night to play some more levels, and once we’re far enough ahead I’m going to play through it single player to collect the things I’ve missed – but it’s a truly original game, and one that is well worth getting for the PS3 – or getting a PS3 for, if you’re in the market.

Katamari Forever
Maybe I’m just too used to paying DS title prices, but PS3 games are incredibly expensive. As a result, we’re trying to keep our collection down to excellent titles only. We have exactly two PS3 games – Little Big Planet and Katamari Forever (technically the entire reason I wanted a PS3).

It’s .. well, it’s a Katamari game. You either love the games, or you don’t get them. I am absolutely in the “love” category – but this is the 5th title on the 4th console, and they’re all the same. Katamari Damacy was a breakthrough title – We Love Katamari was even better, both story wise and in game play – and the others .. well, they’re Katamari games. They’re good, funny, creative, fun – and exactly the same. The King breaks the universe, The Prince is tasked to create replacements, and the katamari keeps on spinnin’.

If you’ve never played a Katamari game before and only have a PS3, then get this one. If you have access to a PS2, get the first or second title instead. Die-hards will buy this one and they’ll enjoy it, but there’s really nothing to write home about. Disappointing, but it’s very difficult if not impossible to recapture the original magic – that’s why you move onto new things, like Little Big Planet.

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days comes out today – my copy is waiting for me at EB Park Royal – but it’ll be a while before I can get to it. Titles are finally starting to back up again, but I’m pretty sure nothing comes out between now and December (the new Zelda DS title) so I can catch up on my games and maybe get some sleep.

2 thoughts on “my thumbs aren’t idle

  1. i was up until 1 am this morning playing with my Diabolical Box. i hadn’t played any previous versions, so this one is all new to me and i’m really enjoying it, even with all the talking.

  2. oooh. if you like Little Big Planet, next year make sure you buy Mod Nation Racers — it’s the same Play, Create, Share genre, in the form of a Mario Kart-esque racing game.

    Also, Nick’s one of the people making it, so make all these crazy long hours he’s been working worth it… :D

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