Sunday, 19 January 2014

Game Diary: 19/01/2014

Dead or Alive 3 (Xbox)
So I've been building up a collection of fighting games for a charity event my Universities Gaming League is holding this weekend from the 24th to the 27th, the people running the event are planning to play games non-stop for 72 hours, I'm not interested in ruining my sleeping pattern so I'm holding a series of fighting game tournaments over the weekend. Dead or Alive 3 isn't actually one of the games being played on the tournaments but I needed to buy because Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate has characters that can only be unlocked if your xbox contains a save file for Dead or Alive 3. Dead or Alive is one of the many fighting series that I like but only up to a certain point. For example I bought Dead or Alive 4 years ago when I first got my xbox 360 and I was not a fan of it, I put it down to 3 petty reasons I recently re-purchased DOA4 so I'll get to those reasons another time.

Back to DOA 3, I'm not going to say too much because I'll end up having to repeat it when I talk about my next game. What I will say is this, I like the stage design, I like the character design, I like the fighting system and I think the final boss is appallingly bad. The final boss is just mind bending levels of terrible, the game suddenly changes the camera for this one battle and it is terrible, it is playable and the boss isn't too hard but the way the game breaks its rules for that one battle isn't particularly enjoyable, still it isn't the worst boss in the DOA series.

Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate (Xbox)
So here is the Dead or Alive game that is getting played at the tournament, why not DOA5? Because I don't own it. Dead or Alive 2 is my favourite entry in the series with DOA2 Ultimate being a close second, I don;t know what it is but I just like the original version of 2 more it has more of a charm to it I think, it is also a game I associate with the Dreamcast (DOA 2 is one of my favourite Dreamcast games). Anyway DOA2 Ultimate not much I can say really other than it was where some of the things I disliked about DOA4 started to pop up, Ultimate came out around the same time as the atrocity that was the Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball and like Xtreme DOA 2 Ultimate has a lot of fan service, the boob jiggle physics are a lot more noticeable than in previous titles (if you exclude the first DOA) and there are a tonne of unlockable costumes, at best they are well thought out pieces of attire, at the worst they are things like swimsuits and Japanese school uniforms. I'm being a bit unfair to the alternate costumes, they aren't that bad but to me they are the things that signified the direction that the series was going to.
Ultimate has one more thing I take issue with but it is minor, I feel like the AI cheats the player far too much, one of the big mechanics in the Dead or Alive game is the counter hold attacks, they are a good idea but in this case the counter attacks do far too much damage and the AI will use them constantly and there is nothing you can do about it because the game is reading your button inputs, it knows what attacks you made before they can even hit, cheating bastard.

I'm being critical of DOA 2 but make no mistake I do consider it one of the high points of the franchise, the things I'm not mentioning are the things that work, the stages, the music, the fighting system, they are all sound.

Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (Xbox)
I'm happy fighting games don't hold characters back any more, well they still do but now they are behind a paywall. Anyway back to my main point, I'm glad fighting games don't force me to play them over and over in order to unlock the characters I want to play as. I already own Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for my Xbox 360 but my Xbox 360 is at home, and I live away from home, what a paradox. Moaning aside having to play this to unlock characters has helped eased me into the game, I've never been very good at this series in particular, putting the game speed up to Turbo 2 probably isn't helping but if I'm going to play this I'm going to play it the way it was designed to be played.

Animal Crossing (Gamecube)
I have been playing this for just over a month now and I just wish the winter would end, I paid for every house upgrade swiftly by abusing the games stalk market and making millions, now I have a massive pile of cash to sit on and nothing to do with it other than walk into the shop once a day and see if there is anything I want, one thing I know I won't need to buy is clothing because the game gives you the best shirt from the start. So why am I still playing? I want to complete the fossil room in the museum but I keep getting the same fossils over and over because I have all but 4, also the town mayor asked me to turn the light house everyday between 6pm and 10pm while he is on holiday. It seems petty talking about a game in this way but that is the appeal of animal crossing it keeps doing things to make you keep caring about it. There is an odd urgency about timed events in animal crossing, when I first put all my money down on the stalk market there were a lot of nerves, I had a week to sell one thousand turnips before they went off and there was no guarantee I would make a profit, when you get that big profit your heart race and it is an awesome feeling of empowerment in a game that is about living in a village, it's weird. What is also weird was the sense of panic I felt when I realised I had 10 minutes to turn the lighthouse on.

The regular game has entered a state of limbo now for the rest of the winter, maybe I should plug my Gameboy Advance SP into the game and visit the tropical island while I wait for the Spring events to begin.

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