All About lenson
Well its had a good run. I has been a little over three months since I got the thing fixed. Now the analg stick is busted and I am starting to think the umd drive is putting scratches on the disk. Believe it or not it lasted longer than when I first bought it and it broke. I'm starting to think psps are just plain crap.
I recently picked up the new issue of Infinite Vacation by critically acclaimed comic writer Nick Spenser. It has been quite some time since the last issue of this series was released and apparantly issue 4 will not be out until April of 2012. Spenser must be a very busy man, none the less it is a shame to have to wait so long to see what happens next in what I believe to be one of the most interesting and creative stories to be found on the comic book market.
Infinite Vacation is about a man named Mark. Mark lives in a world where there is not just one universe, but an infinite number of parralel universes. Whats more man has discovred how to traverse the various alternate dimensions. Infinite Vacation provides a service to its customers. Are you tired of the way your life is or regret a decision you made? WEll now you have the option to buy a new life, to swap places with another you in another universe. Mark is a frequent user of this service, having migrated dozens of times.
One day Mark meets a girl in a coffee shop. He decides to ask her out but misses his chance. When he goes to his phone to see if he can purchase a new existence somewhere else where he had acted in time on his decision the girl notices and chews him out. This girl happens to a member of a group that are often referred to in deragutory language as "deadenders". They are a group of religious fundementalists that believe using Infinite Vacation is wrong and that God has only given us one life to live. The singularists (which is the more pc term given for them) are often viewed with the same disdain as flat earthers.
Mark later uncovers a conspiracy against him. It seems that someone has been going around killing other marks in other universes. The killer has been looking for a particular Mark and it seems this Mark is the one he is looking for. In order to keep him safe a couple of alternate versions of himself hatch a plan to kidnap a Mark from another dimension (who happens to be a Mark that is part of the deadender movement) and plant him there instead. They succeed and when our Mark arrives he finds himself coming face to face with the girl he met before.
This issue reveals who the killer is and lets us know what happens after Mark arrives at the deadender community. There are some very graphic scenes. The issue also has a few pages of prose found halfway through that in semi technical terms tries to explain the multiverse theory underlying the story. This section somewhat bogs down the flow of the story however. Overall the issue is very much worth reading.
After 6 years I have finally gotten around to repairing my psp-1001. In my defense those lcd screen replcements are pricy. Over the past few months I have been playng psp quite extensively. The number of games I have beaten in that time includes:
Metal Gear Solid Peacewalker
Lumines (not really game you beat per say but I unlocked most of everything)
Secret Agent Clank
Lunar Silver Star Harmony
Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror
First off is Peacewalker, all of the good things you have heard about it is true. This is truly one of the best games to e found on psp. I have already invested over 40 hours into the game with still no end in sight in terms of things to do. The campaign is pretty lengthy, but even after all of the main missions are completed there is still over 100 extra ops missions available. Missions range from simple target practice to rematchs with revamped bosses from the campaign. There also less serious missions such as ones involving holding up a certain number of soldiers using only a banana or ghost hunting. There is even one mission where you go on a date with Paz. On a humorous note the mission after that is one where you go on a date with Kaz.
Outside of missions there is macromanagement involved in running the base. Things such as setting up development on weapons and items in R&D or sending soldiers out on missions of their own. The most interesting aspect of the game is the ability to capture enemy soldiers during missions to use as your own soldiers back at your base. This probably the most addictive aspect to the game. It almost reminds me of pokemon. The soldiers you capture will also be the same ones you use to run your base. These soldiers can be allocated to several different fields such as R&D, Combat, Mess Hall, Intel, or medical. In addition to all of these features is the ability to collect parts from fallen bosses to create our very own Metal Gear.
The story is probably one of the most interesting I have encountered in the MGS universe. Cut scenes are done a sort of black and white comic book style with the occasional splash of color for effect. Unlike MGS4 cut scenes are not nearly as long. This may be a welcomed fact for those who encountered the ridiculously long cutscenes found in MGS4. The soundtrack is killer. A particular scene where you fight a helicopter and the song "When Heavens Divide" kicks in was one of the most epic moments I have been apart of in any video game. The game of course is not without its flaws. Some maybe turned off by the brutal difficulty found in Peacewalker. One video game reviewer who will not be named even went to far as to say it is nearly impossible to finish the campaign without resorting to help from friends through Co op. Fortuntely I did not have this problem.
There is also serious issues to be found in terms of controls due to the restricts found on a psp. It would not be too far off to say that part of the reason for the game being so difficult may stem from the controls themselves. An additional analog stick would have made the game much more forgiving at times. With the release of MGSHD collection though if you own an xbox 360 or ps3 you will probably not have as much of a problem. Overall Peacewalker is quite simply one of the best values to be found on the PsP. I highly recommend it with a 4/5.
What can I really say about a puzzle game. It has a few modes such as challenge mode where once a certain point is met the skin and music changes. Challenge is sort of like the main quest in that most of the skins are unlocked through this mode. In addition there is a VS. mode that allows you to play against the cpu or a friend via ad hoc. Finally there a is puzzle mode which really suffers from a lack of explanation of how it works. Honestly I still havent figured out that one. Not being a big puzzle game fan I found myself none the less very attracted to this game. It is one of te few puzzle games I have invested a serious amount of time in. Sometimes I would have play sessions lasting hours. The game is pretty much like a simply version of tetris except instead of matching shapes you match 4x4 colored blocks to make 4x4 blocks of the same color. Unlike tetris the blocks do not autmatically disappear but will stay there until what is called a sweeping line comes across the screen to erase the bricks.
The speed at which the sweeping line advances is based on the tempo of the song playing. A faster paced song will have a sweeping line that moves very fast forcing you to try and form the bricks as fast as possible while a slow sleeping ling will allow formed bricks to pile up allowing for large combos. Must then plays an integral part of the game. Each skin has a song attached to it. Some of the songs are quite catchy too.
Not a spectacular game , but it is very fun. It is certainly the best platformer I have played so far on the psp. The dream sequences where daxter acts out parts in famous movies such as the matrix or braveheart were quite humorous. The game ended rather short, however you are allowed to go back to previous levels to attempt to gather all precursor orbs to try and get a 100% complete for the game. The gam can be found at gamestop used for quite cheap now at a price of 3 dollars.
Secret Agent Clank- 2/5
I did not care for this game. To me it seemed poorly put together. There was too much of a focus on mini games. The story line was boring. The only enjoyable parts of the game was the arena matchs with ratchet in prison.
Lunar Silver Star Harmony- 2.5/5
It is often hailed as having one of the greatest stories found in an rpg, I did not understand what all the fuss is about. I have no complaints about graphics, it is certainly a very beautiful game, especially since much of the artwork was redone. The opening sequence and all of the anime cut scenes including limited voice acting during some dialogue is all included in the game. There is a feeling of high production value. Problems with the game can be found however in its gameplay and its story. Gameplay has very simple mechanics, despite the battles are actualy very fun. The ability to see enemies on the screen and even avoid them is very much welcomed for those tired of jrpgs that hit you with a battle every fifth step.
The gameplay however is extremely easy. In comparison to the playstation version of the game this is a cakewalk. While fun I felt at times as if the game required very little effort from me. In the 25 hours that I played the game I only died once and that was only because I accidently wandered off into an area that had level 40 monsters when I was only lv23. I almost won those battles too!
The second problem is the story. This is usually the reason people tell me to play this game, but the story is completely cheesy. Some of the characters are downright obnoxious such as that stupid flying cat. I felt very little connection to any of them, and I did not see very much character development as well. Perhaps this is where the game shows its age. I will grant that I may be too harsh on a game that was created in 1993. None the less its hard to get into a game whose main villian's name is something as creative as "Magic Emperor".
Syphon Filter Dark Mirror- 3.5/5
A pretty decent third person shooter. I even found the online mode to be quite enjoyable. The campaign was good enough that I bothered to replay on a higher difficulty. It does take some getting use to on the controls though.
I have lately begun playing Dissidia Duodecim 012. The game has a steep learning curve, but so far like Peacewalker the wealth of content is incredible making the game a great value. I will have more on it when I finish. Afterwards I will then start Crisis Core.
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