Monday, July 26, 2010

Completionist hardships

I try to beat all the games I pick up, especially the ones I like a lot. It is almost a compulsive thing with me. When I say beating a game this usually means beating the last boss and seeing the end credits. But with shmups it's not really that simple. Because of their arcade like nature they can often be beaten within an hour. If they come with unlimited continues which often is the case, it's all but guaranteed.

To say that I have beaten a shmup after simply having seen the ending credits feels very wrong to me. I have barely began mastering the game's mechanics.

So on how many continues would I have to beat the game to feel like I have really completed it? One seems to be the natural answer but to 1cc a shmup can be a real challenge. And on what difficulty? Normal is usually considered the standard difficulty. It's by this reasoning I have convinced myself that I have to 1cc on normal difficulty every shmup I start playing.

It took me a while to accomplish this goal with Espgaluda 2 but I finally did the other day. So now I can move on to the next space shooter. I have a few waiting for me in my pile of shame but I have a feeling it will probably be Dodonpachi Resurrection for iPhone if Cave just get around to releasing it sometime soon. They promised it would be out this summer...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Grinding with a nice view

With games light on story and heavy on grinding such as Dragon Quest or Pokemon the feel of the world, its charm if you will is of the highest importance. I guess it's like if you were to take a long walk you would like your surroundings to be pleasant. You rather take a stroll through a nice park than an industrial estate.

The slightly futuristic world of Pokemon where man lives a peaceful existence close to nature, offers the perfect atmosphere for long hours of relaxed grinding. The mix of sleek high tech and beautiful green plains and forests makes the repetitive combat much more tolerable.

The highly anime influenced take on western fantasy of the Dragon Quest games is another world perfect for grinding. Even if you are fighting all kinds of evil monsters and have to traverse various dungeons, it's still all very cute and charming. It's like the world of Tolkien was adopted for the under 13 crowd. The Dragon Quest universe is just so darn lovely that I do not at all mind fighting the same silly monsters over and over again.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Reading comics on the iPhone

Surprisingly the iPhone is pretty decent device for reading comics. You would think it would be horrible with such a small screen but the combination of the touch screen and landscape mode works fairly well.

If you have gotten used to reading comics in the pocket book format the width of the page isn't that different from the width of the iPhone screen when in landscape mode. Then you can simply pull on the screen to scroll. I prefer to have the view a little bit more zoomed in, so that I have to move the screen just slightly left and right to see the whole page, but that is just a personal preference.

Thanks to the excellent Comic Zeal software I can even read my favorite fan translated manga on the go. It's great not to have to carry around a comic book everywhere I go. Now when people stare at me on the train they think I'm a gadget geek instead of a comic book geek, which for some reason is considered slightly more cool, and I am hesitant to use "me" and "cool" in the same sentence.

In some ways reading comics on the phone is a different experience. Because of the small screen I keep my eyes fixed on one point while moving the page around instead of moving my eyes and neck. In some ways this is a more pleasant experience. I also suppose the jump from actual comics the the iPhone is easier to make if you like me already have spent years reading fan translated manga on the computer. It takes some getting used to not holding an actual magazine in your hands.
The picture at the top of the post is a screenshot I took while reading a manga on the iPhone.