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I've recently found myself playing the 360 as though it's the only console that I own - infact, for a while I forgot about my others and thought it was. Of course, that tends to happen when you get something that you've been constantly asking for all year long. Seeing that large, heavy present and having already known that I was getting one, I bet you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that it was, in fact, an XBOX 360: there was none. That's not to say that it isn't one of the best gifts I've ever gotten, and having recently discovered that Fable II is one of the best games ever made, and easily my game of the year, the 360 is a gift that keeps on giving, unlike the Wii, which lacks any real games, and constantly causes me to lose hope in Nintendo everytime a new pet game comes out for it.
I'm almost sad that I've nearly forgotten my PS3, considering that I also got Prince of Persia Special Edition for it. It was fun at first, and it probably still is, but it's hard to tell when you're so used to the XBOX control that all others constantly fall out of your hands. Some might complain that the game does all its own stunts, or perhaps that the controls are overly sensitive. I must say that sometimes I agree, but for the most part just watching the prince run along walls and climb on ceilings is fun. The voice acting isn't exactly top-notch - actually, the only voice that really sounds good is the Prince, and to be completely honest it sounds too much like Nathan Drake to fit the character. Characters like Elika have somewhat generic voices, and personalities. But at least the voice acting is put to good use with some of the funny dialog, although a lot of the dialog is flat-out cheesy.
My brother had asked for a PSP 3000, but he was waiting for it to be released alone, since we have Size Matters and have no interest in National Treasure. I hadn't actually asked for one, though, but I was pleasently surprised to discover that I got one; perfect for playing my favorite new PSP game, Chains of Olympus, which I got in my stocking. It's all a brutal, satisfying hack and slash, despite how fustrating it has become to win a battle against about ten strong enemies with barely enough health to sustain two hits. The greek... fun... scene(?) is a little over-the-top, but it's still funny and earns lots of red orbs.
As for the Wii and DS... I got nothing. Last year I was so happy because I got Super Mario Galaxy, Super Paper Mario and Mario Party 8, and this year I couldn't find a single game that looked like it was anything above decent. I tried, hard, to find something worth getting, but in the end I couldn't. I tried testing the water with Sonic Unleashed, but if you'd kindly read my review you'd probably be able to tell how "well" that worked out for me. The DS is all Petz games and Bratz games now, with the exception of games like Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword and Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, which I didn't think I really needed that much, although I'm pretty sure I'll have Order of Ecclesia by next year.
As for the rest of the family? Well, I'm not exactly much of a "giver". My presents to my family consist of a lineup of items that my parents tell me to choose, which I then wrap and attempt to take all the credit for. Of course, my brother, sister and I have all caught on and when we get a present from one another automatically go and thank our parents. We don't mind, though. Actually, for me it's emberassing to be thanked for these gifts when my family clearly knows that I didn't actually buy them.
"Sonic Unleashed does what a Sonic game should do; disappoint on every level."
Well, I'll admit, I didn't have high hopes for Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty. As good as the game looked, and as much as I liked the concept, the idea of a shorter Ratchet game with a lot less features just didn't sound so good. And I was excited, but I knew that if the game wasn't great, I wouldn't be surprised. But now that the game is here for only $15, I can safely say that Quest for Booty is the best Ratchet and Clank game since Going Commando. The game isn't as long, and there aren't even enough weapons to fill up an inventory slot, but that doesn't keep this game from being great. The graphics are some of the best I've seen on the console. It's basically like Tools of Destruction, but a lot of textures look better and a lot of the glitches are fixed. The sound is top-notch, as expected. The voice-acting is all the same as Tools of Destruction, which is a good thing, and - while it may seem a little bit ripped from Pirates of the Caribbean - the music is great, as well. The game starts you with most of your weapons, all of which are level 3, and you can upgrade them to level 5. You can also pick up one mod for each weapon, but good luck doing that since they're hidden so well and you can't replay previous levels. You don't collect any armor in the game, but I don't care at all because Ratchet's default armor is pirate-like and fits the theme of the game.
The game may seem like it's lost most of its key features, but the simplicity of it actually quite nice, and the ability to manipulate things with your wrench adds a bit more of a puzzle element to the game. And while there aren't many puzzles, and the ones that are there are easy, you'll still be using you wrench for lots of stuff. Besides, puzzle-solving is a nice change of pace. Basically, this is Ratchet and Clank like you've never seen it before. The game has action, adventure, puzzles and quests, all rolled into 4 hours of gameplay. You might be thinking that 4 hours is ridiculously short, and it is, but the game - instead of Challenge Mode - features a difficulty select, which changes things up a bit, and makes you want to play through again and again. But come to think of it, I'd play through multiple times anyway, because I just can't get enough of this game. Clank is only in the game for 2 very short scenes, but not having him doesn't ruin the game at all, since it's so much shorter than other installments. And it makes the game a lot more difficult than it would be if you had Clank. Qwark also isn't in the game, which is a bummer, but I'm willing to forgive and forget because Rusty Pete offers plenty of wuality humor. So, in short, I love Quest for Booty so much that I never want to stop playing. I definately suggest downloading this game, because it's more than worth the $15.
I also downloaded the Force Unleashed demo, and it is the greatest thing to happen to the world since canned beer. The graphics are superb, but the movement of everything is what really got me. Everything moves so flawlessly, in such a realistic manor. The voice-acting is also incredible and the controls couldn't be much better. Controlling around your character is extremely comfortable, and combat is a lot of fun. There is also a God of War-style button mashing sequence at the end of the demo, which is used to defeat a Walker (or whatever the hell they're called). The Force Unleashed really couldn't be much better. And until I played it I wasn't that excited for it, but now I can't wait until September so I can get my grubby little hands on it right away. Make no mistake, download this demo. Infact, what are you doing reading this blog? You should be downloading this demo right nao!
My Recent Reviews
A gameplay trailer for the upcoming DS title, Prince of Persia: The Fallen King.
Cinematic from DMC4
Here is an extended version of my film. There's no sound, so try to use your imagination. It's more dumb than the first.
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