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Goddamned Resurrecting Bitch posting in Video Game Clear Challenge
User: quoting_mungo
Date: 2009-03-02 15:37
Subject: Second Game of the Year: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time
Security: Public
Location:Sweden
Tags:nintendo ds
2. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time - Nintendo DS - 28 Feb 2009
I adore pixel graphics, so the look of this game is a hit with me. Basically, you turn up on a beach, get found by a pokémon who will be your partner throughout the game, and the two of you form an exploration team together. But someone is stealing Time Gears all over the place, making time stop in the area around each of these Time Gears. So our heroes set off to stop the perpetrator and recover the stolen gears. When it turns out everything is not what it seems, you're already in the thick of it, so it's up to you to stop what would essentially be the end of the world.
Very cute game, easy to play, not too different from the previous one. There are a couple of things that got to me about it, though: some enemies have attacks that are insanely overpowered and the game doesn't warn you when you start a storyline that will take you away from your home from a time, which as I recall the previous game did better. The problem with the latter is that to beat certain spots in the game is near-impossible unless you've reached a certain level, and you lose half your items if you die and go back to the last save point. The easiest way to level up is to do non-plot missions, which is why I'd have liked to have some warning if I was going to be kept from doing those for a while.
Other than that I rather like the game, though I think I may have preferred the first one on many points. (Why'd they have to do away with friend areas? I loved the friend areas!)
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Goddamned Resurrecting Bitch posting in Video Game Clear Challenge
User: quoting_mungo
Date: 2009-01-08 06:35
Subject: First Game of the Year: Castle Crashers
Security: Public
Location:Sweden
Tags:xbox 360
1. Castle Crashers - Xbox 360 - 3 Jan 2009
A friend mentioned this game during a Skype conference call, and it sounded like he was having enough fun with it that I should probably spend some of those Live points I still had on my account to get it. And I've never had to regret it!
Castle Crashers is a fun, quirky game, available through Xbox Live Marketplace. You play as one of up to four players, fighting your way through the game to save the four kidnapped princesses from... I'm not quite sure what. As I said it's a very quirky game, which allows both local and Live multiplayer... At the same time! And any time you save a princess in multiplayer, the four (or fewer) knights have to duke it out to see who gets to kiss her! This, and many other things, are what you have to expect from Castle Crashers. Which is a really awesome, fun game.
Highly reccomended!
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Goddamned Resurrecting Bitch posting in Video Game Clear Challenge
User: quoting_mungo
Date: 2008-12-04 17:53
Subject: Tenth and Eleventh Game of the Year: World of Warcraft (and expansions)
Security: Public
Location:Sweden
Tags:pc
10. World of Warcraft and World of Warcraft: the Burning Crusade - PC - 30 Sep 2008
With about two weeks' worth of logged-in time, I have now gotten Vanja, my human shadow priest, to level 70. Plans are to level a fourth character to cap before the cap is raised with the release of the next expansion. It's quite an interesting class to play, though I'm still getting mana conservation down (that's something I imagine will work out better once I have better gear, however). Other new things I tried this time around included grinding reputation with the Wintersaber Trainers to get a Winterspring Frostsaber mount (purple tiger with white stripes), skipping the first two zones of Outland entirely and starting straight on Nagrand once I finished that rep grind at level 64, some speed levelling at high levels to get the last few levels before the end of the month, and running Steamvaults (an instance tuned primarily for level 70 players) with two level 68 characters in the group, of which I was one.
Still the best MMO I've tried.

11. World of Warcraft: the Burning Crusade and World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King - PC - 4 Dec 2008
(The original game isn't listed here because I barely touched on its content.)
Mid-November, in the middle of a rather stressful NaNoWriMo, the second WoW expansion was released, enabling players to create Death Knights. This new tanking class is rather versatile and incredibly fun to play, requires you to have a character at least level 55 on the same server to play, and starts at level 55 in a whole new (pseudo-instanced!) area. As the player starts, the character is still under the influence of Arthas, the Lich King, and the introductory quests (which will bring the character up to level 68) outline how the Death Knights come to rejoin the Alliance/Horde they were once heroes of.
There is also the all-new continent of Northrend to explore, and Xbox Live-esque Achievements added to the game for completing various tasks. Some of my favorite changes to the game include the context sensitivity of many areas (meaning the area will appear differently depending on what quests the player has completed), which added a lot of value in my opinion. That said there is some context sensitivity that really should have been present; it's a bit jarring to have NPCs explaining to a Death Knight what a Death Knight is, or somehow not noticing that you are (according to the information you receive as you start your new hero class character) in fact undead.
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Goddamned Resurrecting Bitch posting in Video Game Clear Challenge
User: quoting_mungo
Date: 2008-09-07 21:02
Subject: Ninth Game of the Year: Pokémon Ranger
Security: Public
Location:Sweden
Tags:nintendo ds
9. Pokémon Ranger - Nintendo DS
Completion time: 11:33 (plus whatever time was lost when I got game over, turned the console off, or otherwise had to start over from the last save for one reason or another)
It's definitely one of those games that fit under "easy to learn, difficult to master". Instead of the tried and true Pokémon procedure of catching little critters by throwing colorful balls at them that they get trapped in, here you play as a Pokémon Ranger. As a ranger, you don't catch Pokémon for good, but you temporarily capture them by drawing loops around them using a Capture Styler. These captured "friend Pokémon" can be used to assist in capturing other Pokémon or to help eliminate obstacles.
It's a cute little game, with a suitably cute storyline -- it doesn't really differ much from the traditional Pokémon formula. The villains are somewhat original, though their entrance is somewhat resemblant of the anime Team Rocket, but they're entertaining.
Some of the Pokémon you have to capture (in order to free them from the bad guys' influence and/or calm them down after they've gone on a rampage) are downright stupid, but for the most part the difficulty level is challenging without feeling impossible.
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Goddamned Resurrecting Bitch posting in Video Game Clear Challenge
User: quoting_mungo
Date: 2008-07-03 17:01
Subject: Eighth Game of the Year: Pokémon Diamond Version
Security: Public
Location:Sweden
Tags:nintendo ds
8. Pokémon Diamond Version - Nintendo DS
A friend bought this for me as a slightly belated birthday gift at the North American release. That was April 2007. I only now completed the game, and there's a lot left to do still if I decide to get back to it. There are a couple of changes that I love (the Underground treasure-digging minigames kept me entertained for months, the contests which I never did much with in Sapphire), and a couple of changes that fell kind of flat. Most notably, the newest Big Feature in Diamond/Pearl is the Pokétch, a watch/palm thing which will be updated with a variety of applications throughout the game. It was obviously not designed with a touch screen in mind, it doesn't have a back button so if you scroll to the next app you have to go all the way back around, and in general it's a pain and a half to handle. Plus it doesn't update on game events (for instance the screen that shows you your party's health doesn't update on poison tics), which is just dumb.
That aside, it was a pretty enjoyable Pokémon game, the fishing left some to be desired but I'm not terribly bothered, just a minor gripe. I should not be catching Magikarp most of the time with anything other than the Old Rod.
Finished at 80:08 hours logged, my all-male winning team was:
Flame - LV 62 Flareon
Splash - LV 49 Vaporeon
Moonlight - LV 48 Umbreon
Twig - LV 52 Leafeon
Varius - LV 51 Espeon
Chill - LV 34 Glaceon (was LV 20 when I entered, went through Elite Four with an Exp Share)
Completing the game was actually a bit of a fluke, as I'd planned to have that group all levelled to 60 by the time I went there. I got tired of levelling and went to give the Elite Four a poke to laugh at how hard I'd get my ass pwned, and suddenly I found myself having beaten the Champion. Ooops?
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Goddamned Resurrecting Bitch posting in Video Game Clear Challenge
User: quoting_mungo
Date: 2008-05-29 12:40
Subject: Seventh Game of the Year: Pokémon FireRed
Security: Public
Location:Sweden
Tags:gameboy advance
7. Pokémon FireRed Version - Gameboy Advance
Pokémon games really fit me to a 'T'. If something doesn't work out, go level, and you can brute-force your way through it. Just the way I like my game. Why bother with all this complicated "thinking" business? This is the remake of one of the original Pokémon games. I finally finished it with 69:22 hours (and minutes) logged and a winning team of:
Zippy - Lv 50 Raichu (m)
Libra - Lv 51 Lapras (f)
Labero - Lv 51 Kadabra (m)
Cinder - Lv 69 Charizard (m)
Stenorm - Lv 46 Onix (f)
Labolina - Lv 52 Haunter (f)
I think it's a cute, nice game, and I enjoyed playing through it again and actually finishing it (never got very far when it was out in its original incarnation, as I didn't own a console then), I like the fact that this time around it has the VS Seeker (which lets you re-battle trainers you've already beaten, something that in turn speeds up the levelling of Pokémon and lets you aquire more money). Now all I'm waiting for is a GBA remake of Gold/Silver.
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Goddamned Resurrecting Bitch posting in Video Game Clear Challenge
User: quoting_mungo
Date: 2008-04-21 18:04
Subject: Sixth Game of the Year: Portal
Security: Public
Location:Sweden
Tags:multiplatform, xbox 360
6. Portal - Xbox 360 (multiplatform)
It seems like everyone has been talking about this game, though I didn't get a chance to play it until now. Note that I have never been good at FPSes, so the perspective of the game makes it problematic for me. There's three things you can do in the game: carry things/open doors, place orange portals, and place blue portals. Orange and blue portals connect as though they're continuous space, meaning if you jump into a portal from a considerable height, you're going to come out of the next one pretty damn fast regardless of what height it's at. Thankfully despite this there are very few (not none, but few) parts where timing is essential, or I'd still be stuck at the first level cursing the game's developers. Most of the time you are given a decent amount of time to plan your next move.
The story is simple: you're apparently a test subject of some kind, performing various tasks in the "Aperture Science Enrichment Center" under the guidance of a friendly computer voice which repeatedly promises you cake at the end of the testing. And at the end of the game you're rewarded with the best closing song ever.
Do play this game. Even if it's just to mess around with the portals (which is fun in itself).
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Goddamned Resurrecting Bitch posting in Video Game Clear Challenge
User: quoting_mungo
Date: 2008-03-31 15:03
Subject: Fifth Game of the Year: Star Stable 1: Höstryttaren
Security: Public
Location:Sweden
Tags:pc
5. Star Stable 1: Höstryttaren - PC
The premise of this game is simple: you play as a city girl who for the first time gets to spend some time on the countryside with horses, and you have to complete quests for the local populace of Jorvik to gain skill as a rider, which helps you complete riding challenges. As you progress through the game you earn StableMoney which can be used to buy gear upgrades and food for your horse, or even to replace your horse with a better one from one of the stables you encounter as you explore more of the area.
It's a fairly well-made game, for something from the Pony Club. Not something I'd have picked up if it wasn't in a Pony Club package, but not something I overly regret playing, either. The difficulty levels are ridiculous, however. Most of the early riding challenges you will complete at the time required for the gold level award the first time, and you still have to do it three more times to actually get the award. Later in the game, it took me at least a dozen tries to even get the silver award for the final challenge, and I finally gave up the gold challenge to go do the final competition which is the "goal" of the game. And a lot easier than that one last challenge. Go figure.
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Goddamned Resurrecting Bitch posting in Video Game Clear Challenge
User: quoting_mungo
Date: 2008-02-02 14:05
Subject: Fourth Game of the Year: Elite Beat Agents
Security: Public
Location:Sweden
Tags:nintendo ds
4. Elite Beat Agents - Nintendo DS
I wasn't terribly impressed with the game to start out -- some of the first songs seem to be chosen more for popularity than for suitability to a rhythm game, and at least on easy mode the moves for those songs made very little sense in connection to the song. That got better as the game progressed, and overall it had more of the feel of the first Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan than the second Japanese game did. The stories are not as quirky as the original game, though Leonardo daVinci trying to woo Mona Lisa amused me.
It's still not my favorite of the games, but it gets a solid second place, as I think they really botched Ouendan 2.
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Goddamned Resurrecting Bitch posting in Video Game Clear Challenge
User: quoting_mungo
Date: 2008-01-20 15:46
Subject: Third Game of the Year: Shrek the Third
Security: Public
Location:Sweden
Tags:multiplatform, xbox 360
3. Shrek the Third - Xbox 360 (multiplatform)
Now, as a whole, games based on movies tend to suck. This one, however, was quite entertaining, and fairly well made, so I have no complaints about it. Shrek needs to find Fiona's cousin Arty and bring him back to Far Far Away to be crowned king, and in order to do so he also needs to defeat Prince Charming who's made a move on the kingdom while he's gone.
At different points in the game you get to play as Shrek, Puss, Donkey, Arty, Sleeping Beauty and Fiona. They all have different special attacks, as well as extra powerful attacks you can perform by collecting enough fairy dust from fallen enemies and broken thingies. While playing through the story mode the player collects gold coins which can be used to unlock things in the "gift shop" included with the game. These things include commentary for levels, new clothes for the playable characters, new difficulty settings, and more.
Fairly simple and straightforward adventure game without being too easy -- you don't have lives but one of the quests for each level is always "complete level without dying", something I found myself having trouble with as I progressed through the game. Especially the bosses can be positively evil. They'd probably be less so if I'd ever learn to use block in games that have it.
I played the game for Xbox 360, but judging by the screenshots I could find it should be just about the same at least for PC and PS2.
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February 2011