Doshin the Giant (GC)

I’ve been playing this a lot over the last few days. It’s not perfect. From the outside it looks like a tedious tree moving game, and there’s not actually much more to it than that, but it has a hook.

Part of it is “growing”. At the start of each day, Doshin returns to his normal size, which means he can’t pick up certain things and flattens ground and walks slowly. Making the little people live (or alternatively, hate) him enough makes him grow, and therefore do more stuff more quickly.

doshinThe ultimate aim is to get all the little people to build every variation of monument they can. You do this by helping them expand their villages (provide them with trees and flat land, mainly), and if you populate them with the right colours of tribes, they create a statue. One of the statues looks like a poo.

So far, I’ve managed to coax them into creating 8 or 9 of the 16 or so required monuments.

The post Doshin the Giant (GC) appeared first on deKay's Gaming Diary.

Luigi’s Mansion: completed!

Yes! After only twelve years, it's done!  And people said it was a short game!

In fairness, it is a short game, and not overly difficult, but it's actually significantly longer than, say, the single-player components of most Call of Duty games.  It's infinitely more charming and fun.  Overall, the game took me about 9 hours to complete, and that was including a bit near the end where I ran around the whole house trying to find the last few boos.  I had collected most of them through normal play, but there were some hidden in Level 1 rooms which I had completed before acquiring the scanner.


The game continued to be inventive, the the last moment.  Puzzles were rare and because of this they threw me - having to freeze a stream to cross it was used in only one place, and was an elegant way to prevent early progress.  Although the game was actually very linear, it didn't feel like it.


The final boss battle was the hardest part of the game by far.  I wasn't expecting Bowser ...


... but it wasn't him, anyway.  It took me a couple of attempts, but finally he was defeated (with me on minimal health).  I actually remembered to capture it on my video box for once.


So, game completed and Luigi happy for a while.  Having seen what he went through, I'm not surprised he's so aggressive in Mario Kart 8.

hmgh

Luigi’s Mansion – a moment of revellry

The game is - necessarily - dark and a bit spooky.  Which made this part, where you start various instruments playing themselves, a welcome break.

Luigi’s Mansion: a competition I never entered

Because I was 12 years too late.

I didn't buy this at the Gamecube launch, opting instead for Super Monkey Ball and Star Wars Rogue Leader. I bought it a few years ago at a car boot sale, and finally I've started to play it.


And it's marvellous. The gameplay is a little dated now, granted, and the controls are taking a bit of getting used to - in particular, the torch control doesn't shine in the direction you point the C-stick, but rather rotates left and right and points up and down; combined with the fixed camera position it makes the frantic ghost catching more difficult than it should otherwise be. Pointing the torch or vacuum up and down seems a little pointless as well. Part of the difficulty comes from the fact that the controls on Luigi's Ghost Mansion in Nintendoland are more like a twin-stick shooter.

But control grumbles aside, it remains very playable. It is a relatively little game, but as with all Mario games it is constantly innovative. You never feel like you've played a section before, and even when the enemies repeat they are presented in a new way. For example, toward the end of my play session I went into a room where the standard enemies were invisible and only showed in the mirror that ran the length of the room.


I've completed the first area now, and well through the second. Apparently the game lasts for about seven hours - which is probably the same as a Call of Duty campaign. Probably less blood.

Luigi’s Mansion: a competition I never entered

Because I was 12 years too late.

I didn't buy this at the Gamecube launch, opting instead for Super Monkey Ball and Star Wars Rogue Leader. I bought it a few years ago at a car boot sale, and finally I've started to play it.


And it's marvellous. The gameplay is a little dated now, granted, and the controls are taking a bit of getting used to - in particular, the torch control doesn't shine in the direction you point the C-stick, but rather rotates left and right and points up and down; combined with the fixed camera position it makes the frantic ghost catching more difficult than it should otherwise be. Pointing the torch or vacuum up and down seems a little pointless as well. Part of the difficulty comes from the fact that the controls on Luigi's Ghost Mansion in Nintendoland are more like a twin-stick shooter.

But control grumbles aside, it remains very playable. It is a relatively little game, but as with all Mario games it is constantly innovative. You never feel like you've played a section before, and even when the enemies repeat they are presented in a new way. For example, toward the end of my play session I went into a room where the standard enemies were invisible and only showed in the mirror that ran the length of the room.


I've completed the first area now, and well through the second. Apparently the game lasts for about seven hours - which is probably the same as a Call of Duty campaign. Probably less blood.

Gaming moments: I


Ico (PS2, PS3)

I even remember writing about this on my blog.  I'll paste some text from the previous post:

Ico starts off slowly, with a long cutscene. You get thrown into a murky world and have to work out the controls. The world's not actually murky, but playing it on my HD TV certainly made it look so. I worked my way through the castle, until I found the girl in white. I knocked the cage down the tower, and rescued her from the shadow monsters. I then couldn't find a way out of the room. Huh.

Never mind, I thought, I'll come back to that later. I'd been playing for 40 minutes or so. I turned the console off, and then thought ... hmm, I wonder if the game does save at checkpoints?

Evidently not.

Ikaruga (GameCube)
I have only ever played this for five minutes, and it made my head hurt. 

Gaming moments: F

Floigan Brothers: Episode One (Dreamcast)

I recall being stumped for ages that I needed to get to somewhere distant, but couldn't jump that far.  By accident I managed to annoy the big fat brother, who picked me up and chucked me over to the platform.

Feel the Magic XX-XY (DS)

I had the US version.  One of the first games in the game (if not the very first) sees you trying to get goldfish out of a man's stomach.  The first time I played this I was mashing the d-pad trying to control the goldfish, completely forgetting about the touch screen.  to be fair, it was a new control scheme at the time ...

Forza Horizon (Xbox 360)

Driving around in the early evening, I was worried that my console was dying, with odd spots appearing in the sky.  It turns out they were Chinese lanterns, floating upwards.

Field Commander (PSP)

I tried to play this multiplayer, not realising it would mean staying on the console until we finished the game.  You'd think that a turn-based game would work using a send-turns mechanic, but no - it worked through a continuous connection.  What's worse is that me and my opponent were closely matched, so I eventually got to bed at around 2am.

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles (Gamecube)

We played through this at regular games evenings and days.  Kieron played a short bloke with a bucket on his head.  At the end of every day, we watched them all dance around the campfire and made sexist remarks about the woman with big boobs. 

Gaming moments: D

Dear Esther (Mac) 

The end sequence will probably stay with me for a long time - but only when combined with the crash scene and hospital bed at the bottom of the cave.

Dancing Stage (arcade)

I only played this a couple of times, at the Trocadero.  The machine felt huge, and even before getting on the platform you felt energised by the lights and colours.  I had seen someone playing already, so knew what to expect, but the first time that two arrows came up the screen at the same time still threw me off guard.  Unfortunately none of the home versions quite hit the same spot, partially because of crappy dance mats.

Daytona USA (arcade)

A four-player cabinet at the bowling alley in Bexleyheath.  I had just learnt to let the back drift out and powerslide around the corners, and overtook my friend John doing so.  He shouted at me that it wasn't a powerslide, just a lucky skid.  So I did it again the next race.

Desert Strike (Mega Drive)

I actually remember this more from my playthrough on the PSP, given the use of save states which allowed me to actually complete the game. There were a number of memorable points, but the best was chasing the madman across the map in his speedboat at the end of the penultimate level.  I was raining missiles on the speedboat the whole time and it didn't explode.  Of course not; where would the last level come in if that happened?

Donkey Konga (GameCube)

The instructions speeding up a few bars into Don't Stop Me Now.  We played this again recently, and it's still great.

Doshin the Giant (GameCube)

I played this when it was first released, back in 2002, to completion. I can remember very little of it now, other than the moment when I first realised you could pick up and throw villagers.  I did it many times and they all hated me, so I had to restart the day.

DLC Quest (PC)

Three points:
  1. Being unable to move left at the start of the game, and audio cutting out.  I thought the game was broken; evidently not. 
  2. Meeting an NPC called Phil at the end of a long cave, who informed me that he was just there to fill space. 
  3. The ending of the game not actually being the ending of the game unless you buy some DLC and finish it. 
Driver (PS)

I have never completed the last level because it was just too hard. 

Gaming moments: C

Civilisation Revolution (Xbox 360)

I had expanded across the map, and suddenly I was attacked on three
sides by the Aztecs and two other nations. In one turn they halved my
forces, and during my turn I could do little to bring it back - I rushed
production of units on all my cities but my forces were still depleted.
Defeat seemed likely. But then the Aztecs spent their next turn
attacking one of my tank units with everything they had, all weakened
from the previous battles, and my tank held on to defeat them all. The
other two nations started to attack each other. In my next turn I was
able to push through and capture the Aztec capital and further defend,
leading to an eventual victory. Magic tank.

Crackdown (Xbox 360) 

I had almost completed the game before I realised you could get cars
delivered to the garage. I managed to drive the SUV up the side of the
boss tower and then jump it off - rather amazing.

Chu Chu Rocket (Dreamcast)
My first ever online game, and I won the first match. It was tricky to
adapt to the one-second delay on inputs, but it was that which led to victory in the end - I had placed a tile to my rocket which my opponent simultaneously directed the mice to.

Castle of Illusion (Mega Drive)

I remember Colin bringing his new MD to my house, and being in awe at
this game.  We played it for hours and got pretty far - and then he had
to go home.  He called me the next day to tell me he'd completed the game.

Conker's Bad Fur Day (Nintendo 64)

I am the great mighty poo and I'm going to throw my shit at you!

Crazy Taxi (Dreamcast)

That huge hill at the start of the game, after you'd picked up a woman
at the tram stop.  Crazy boosting all the way down, ready to drift to a
stop at the bottom, slightly to the left, where you were dropping your
passenger off.  That's not my memory though - my memory is of the time
when my drift was too little, and my taxi ended up stuck in the wall
within the drop-off area, racking up huge bonuses as the game continued
my drift for a good two minutes.  The ungrateful woman told me I was
late - but she could have got out at any time.

Conflict: Desert Storm (Gamecube)

I played through this and its sequel with John and Kieron during
multiple gaming days.  The followup, Conflict Vietnam, suddenly removed
the southpaw options from the game, which meant two of us couldn't
control it.  Idiots. 

Game memories: F

Feel the Magic XX-XY (DS)
Project Rub in the UK, but I got this with my imported US DS ahead of the European launch.  In many ways it was an ideal game to launch the DS with, showing many varied ideas on how the touchscreen could be used.  It didn't hang together that well, but I remember the black, white and orange colour scheme vividly.

F1 '97 (PS)
Murray Walker shouting "He's on the green stuff" over and over again; tracks being messes of pixels a little way down the road.  A great game.

F1 2010 (Xbox 360)
Far too many options and menus to wade through.  Completing a single race in the career mode took ages, since you had to go through practice sessions, qualifying and the race itself.  Ideal for people who love F1, but for me it was just a bit painful.

F1 2011 (3DS)
As with F1 2010 above, but with a third of the framerate.

F355 Challenge Passione Rossa (Dreamcast)
At the time this felt like a massive technical achievement and tales of the arcade machine using three monitors underlined the game's credentials.  I played it for about fifteen minutes before being totally overwhelmed by the options and realistic gameplay - in other words, I kept spinning off the track, couldn't work out how to switch to a behind-car view, and had better things to play instead.

Field Commander (PSP)
Like Advance Wars but with little charm, little challenge, and a rubbish online mode.

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles (Gamecube)
I've never completed a proper Final Fantasy game; I've never even passed the first hour of one.  This, however, was played loads at virtually every games night we held.  Kieron had a bucket on his head, I was a Selkie.  John was accomplished at ranged combat, we all could heal each other but often didn't.

Fire Emblem (GBA)
I never completed this.  I remember it getting very stressful due to the fact that if a character died in a mission, they remained dead.  I restarted missions again and again to protect my favourite characters, and as a result it grew stale and too difficult.

Floigan Brothers: Episode One (Dreamcast)
It's a shame there was no episode two - this was an amusing game which was unlike anything else, as with a lot of Sega's Dreamcast output.  It was far too short and there was a bit too much collection required as far as I recall.  I got this in Singapore and worked out pretty quickly that it was a pirate version, but bought the proper version on my return from HMV for a fiver.

Ford Racing 3 (Xbox)
I was convinced to buy this by people on RLLMUK praising the second game, the fact it was online (when there were few other online games around, and it was £10 brand new.  I think I played it online three times and offline twice, before being tempted away by other games that were just more fun to play.

F-Zero (SNES, Wii, Wii U)
F-Zero GX (Gamecube)
F-Zero X (N64)
F-Zero: Maximum Velocity (GBA, 3DS)
GX is the best.  The Mode 7 games are a bit pants now, but at the time they seemed great, particularly on the GBA where the handling was much more refined.  Replaying them now, they are just too floaty and the career mode is a bit lightweight with daft difficulty spikes.

Future Tactics: the Uprising (Gamecube)
I bought this in the US and as a result, the hassle needed to load the game meant that I played it little.  A shame, as when I did I remember it being a clever game melding a strategy turn-based game with something that felt more action-based.  I'm now able to play US games on my modded Wii; I may try this again when I find it.

Fighting Vipers (Saturn, Xbox 360)
I continue to be hopeless at fighting games that are more complicated that Street Fighter II, but Fighting Vipers has a pleasing lack of combo, super and extra EX WTF meters.  The fighting feels solid and the idea of being able to knock off armour works well.  I get the feeling that if I played this a bit more I could get quite good at it.  That's unlikely to happen.