Do you remember when I played video games on a frequent and frantic basis? When life revolved around a digital avatar and his survival? Do you remember the last time I came here with a finalized review of a game I had played from beginning to end? Those were simpler times, and finer times at that. My life, while filled with constant news of video games, has a severe gap in immersion to digital realms. I find that since video gaming is a task I can not undertake while multi-tasking, it often falls to the wayside due to my need to be doing fifty things at once. This is my gift, but this is also my curse.
However, I did manage to go ahead and do a slight bit of gaming this weekend. Nothing I'm overly proud of but still a fun amount none the less.
The first game I played this weekend was the special edition of The Secret Of Monkey Island. I had previously mentioned that I wouldn't be able to buy it, and I just wanted to play the trial, so that's what I did. I obviously can't give a full review of the special edition based on my brief experience in the redesigned world, but having played the original multiple times I definitely feel I can make a few comments on it, and the main comment I want to express is that as much as I'd hoped, I really don't care for it. At first I thought it was very cool the way the game started out with old school graphics and then slowly faded into the new ones, and I liked the theme song done with a full orchestra. I found myself humming along and smiling. But as soon as the game actually started and Guybrush walked into frame, I thought it looked too awkward. See, the original graphic setting worked because everything was 2D, however they're trying to place a 2D background that has been mildly placed into 3D with 3D characters trying to walk on it that are framed like 2D characters. Follow me so far? With the last Monkey Island game, Escape, we were given a fully 3D world that had set camera angles, and that worked out fine. Trying to take an old 2D angle and just sharpen the corners makes for an awkward setting for characters who can only look right, center, or left. That and, as much as I really honestly did like the voice acting, it takes away from the gameplay a little bit. I felt like I laughed harder when I read the lines because the game tries to keep the same pace as when you read it. In the opening scene where Guybrush is talking to an old man atop Melee Island, you still hear the pauses as if you were waiting for the game to load up the next bit of dialogue, and it doesn't flow as smoothly as dialogue in other games. I feel like that's kind of a nitpicky complaint, but that's the kind of complaints I believe I'm known for. So while I obviously didn't play the whole game, I kind of have to recede my recommendation of it a little bit. I still do honestly believe that the adventure genre is one of the best genres and we need more games like that, but if you can find the original Monkey Island and play it through some kind of DOS emulator, do that instead. You'll have a much better time.
The other game I so gleefully played was Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney on the Nintendo DS. I. Love. This. Game. Have you ever played it? You haven't?! Ooohhh, you really should! This is the first game I ever played on the DS back in 2006 at Connecticon with my friend Brandon. I thought it was an absolute blast, and now that I have a DS I've been hunting it. I finally received it as a wonderful gift this weekend and I got to relieve all the hilarity and magic that this game has to provide. You play Phoenix Wright, an attorney at law, and you are given a case and have to prove your client's innocence. That may sound kind of corny or boring to you, but I promise it's not. It's a brain teaser and an excellent puzzle game and it's an absolute blast and a half to play. Sure, you're not running around blowing things up, but I think I've made it pretty clear that I have more fun in games that make me really think. This game does just that. The opening case puts you in defense of someone accused of murder, and what's further is you actually know who really committed the murder. You need to find holes in their testimony as well as provide evidence towards their innocence. It's so much fun. As the game progresses, you yourself collect evidence at the scene of crimes as well as go up against other Ace Attorney's, all of whom have been doing this for much much much longer than you have. Either way, this game is an amazingly fun game, and if you happen to come across it in a Game Stop, don't pass it by. It's incredibly hard to find but definitely worth your $20.
That's it for me this week. Tune in next time when I juggle a bear and eat a walrus.