Monday, January 09, 2006

Happy New Year

Hello there! I realise that this blog has been inactive for quite some time now, and this week I plan to remedy the situation. I can't promise 5 posts a week, but I shall try for at least 3. I plan to include more diary style posts from now on alongside the reviews and articles that I have been writing in the past. Let's start right now, shall we?

An otherwise dull and dreary Monday morning was brightened up earlier today by a belated birthday present from my work colleagues - a GAME Gift Card with £10 on it. This is the second Gift Card I have been given, but I'm not complaining. I plan to start putting a small amount of money aside each month until I have enough for one of the next generation consoles. I'm not entirely sure which one yet, although I am a big fan of Nintendo so the Revolution would be the preferred choice. It all depends on how long it takes to save up enough money, and when the Revolution is actually released.

I am now going to detail all of the game related birthday and Christmas presents I received, along with all the games I bought with money I was given, or my Christmas pay. This is a good indication of what I am likely to be writing about soon, but I doubt I will get around to writing about all of them.

Birthday presents:

Moto GP 3 - Xbox - from my best friend Kim. It has my name in the credits - yay!
Popolocrois - PSP - I am really looking forward to playing this properly. Just as soon as I'm finished with Legends of Heroes I shall get started. This was from my mum.
Final Fantasy I & 2: Dawn on Souls - GBA - from my brother Kevyn. I've been meaning to play the games that started the whole FF saga for quite some time, and this year I plan to do just that.

Xmas presents:

Advance Wars Dual Strike - DS - also from my mum.
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap - GBA - another one from Kevyn. This was one of the finest games to be released last Christmas season and now I finally own my own copy, which leavesTwilightt Princess as the only Zelda game I don't own (apart from the crappy Philips CDi ones).

December pay purchases:
Dragon Quest VIII - PS2 - This is it, the big one, the one game that has sucked up most of my time lately. I'm almost 50 hours into it and probably only about halfway done with it. It never gets old. Definitely a contender for my Game of 2005 (more on that later in the week).
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time - DS - from what I've seen of this so far it's just as smart and funny as the original was on the GBA, but controlling four characters at the same time can mess with the mind somewhat.

Birthday money and Xmas money purchases:
Capcom Classics Collection Volume 1 - 20 or so retro classics from one of the mostconsistentlyy good companies in the business. At last, an arcade perfect console port of Final Fight. Also including are 3 versions of Street Fighter 2, and many many others. No Strider though, which is a shame. Oh well, roll on Volume 2!
Taito Legends Volume 1 - A similar deal to that above, only with Taito games instead of Capcom, obviously. Worth it for Bubble Bobble, Rainbow Islands and The New Zealand Story alone, but the others are worth a look too. I can't wait for Volume 2, which will have over 40 gamesincludingg Elevator Action Returns.
Ratchet & Clank 3 - I always seem to be one step behind with the Ratchet series, but this year that's actually a good thing as I don't really like the direction that Ratchet: Deadlocked has headed into. It also means that R&C was only £20 as part of the Platinum range. It's as polished as ever with absolutely tons of stuff to do.
Sonic Rush - DS - this is definitely a return to form for Sonic, as the series goes back to its 2D roots and puts the emphasis back on speed rather than frustratinplatformrm puzzles. The Altitude Limit stage is a real bugger though - I usually get there with about 15 lives, and lose them all.
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow - DS - I haven't really had time to try this out yet, but I've been meaning to play a Castlevania game ever since Castlevania IV on the SNES. These days they follow the Metroid formula, but that's no bad thing really.
Xenosaga: Episode 2 - PS2. Part 2 of Namco's epic RPG series. Apparently the series has been shortened down to 3 episodes rather than the 6 originally planned. These multi-game series never seem to be able to last can they? Still, at least Xenosaga will get a proper ending, unlike Shenmue.
Jak X: Combat Racing - PS2. Despite the extremely negative review in GamesTM I decided to buy Jak X and I'm actually really enjoying it so far. It does take time to warm up but after you've tuned youvehiclele up a fair bit the game becomes less frustrating. I'm not that keen on the mulitplayer mode, but then I've been spoiled lately with having not one but twscreenssn to myself in the sublime Wi-Fi mode of Mario Kart DS.
Fahrenheit - PS2. I completed this adventure game yesterday, and I plan to post up a review tomorrow. There's nothing else really like it on the PS2 at the moment, and that alone is enough to make it worth a look. It's by no means perfect though. Find out why tomorrow.

Finally, I just want to mention that I have entered the League. This is a Mario Kart DS league that will be going on for 9 weeks. All I hope for is that I don't finish last in my group, although that really depends on how many "snakers" there are". The user name I am entered under is Wibblefish, so wish me luck! Also, if you have a DS with Mario Kart DS and access to a Wi-Fi connection, why not enter yourself? There's still a few days left.

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