Monday, March 15, 2010

Recent Pickups: 15/03/10

This year, my new years resolution was to post at least one new article on this very blog every week, which last week I failed to do for personal reasons I can't go into. Rather than admit defeat though, I intend to get back on track by posting at least twice this week instead, starting now. I've been a part of the YouTube gaming community for a little while now, subscribing to lots of interesting people and even posting the odd video of my own from time to time. One of the common types of video that people tend to post is the pickups video, and I've decided to transfer the idea into words. I also intend to put together a video of this post which I will embed soon. So without further procrastination, let's take a look at my recent gaming purchases with a few comments on each.

Final Fantasy XIII - PlayStation 3 - Square-Enix - £40
This is the big one that fans of JRPGs have been waiting for, and if anything it has split opinion amongst the fan base even more than the controversial FFXII. Initially, I wasn't a fan of the battle mechanics as it seemed that Square-Enix had dumbed down the game to the point where you were just mashing the X button and watching your party do everything for you, but as you progress more and more layers of the game are peeled back, and by the time you are sent out into the big bad world and left to fend for yourself (about 25 hours in), you have a fully featured RPG with fun, fast paced and strategic battles, many opportunities to customise your characters, and dozens of options side quests to take on. Granted, the game funnels you down a linear path, with nary a reason to stray aside from the odd treasure sphere, which will piss a lot of people off, but the story and characters are entertaining enough to keep me interested

Final Fantasy XIII Official Piggyback Strategy Guide: Collector's Edition - £20
Along with the game itself I also picked this gorgeous looking hardback strategy guide from the best people in the business - Piggyback. Although I have to admit, aside from the odd tricky Eidolon battle the guide has proved somewhat unnecessary so far as there is only one main path through most areas, this is all set to change once I finally reach chapter 11, where it opens up.

Lunar: Silver Star Harmony Premium Edition - PSP - £23

This is actually the fourth time the original Lunar has been released, though each time the game has been substantially reworked. This latest version is no exception, containing new scenes, a rewritten script and a remastered soundtrack. Speaking of the soundtrack, this Premium Edition also comes with a CD and a dozen bromide cards featuring the girls from the game, all in a nice chunky box. I imported it from, a site where I've been buying my import RPGs for years. They come highly recommended - the games are cheap and they typically take about a week to get to the UK from Canada.

MadWorld - Wii - £6.99
I spotted this whilst food shopping at my local Morrison's and it was so incredibly cheap that I couldn't resist picking it up. Other than the fantastic black and white art style and commentary by Greg Proops, I have to say I'm not really too keen on the game though. Gore doesn't really do it for me, and the gameplay gets very repetitive very quickly. Though it's a shame that "mature" titles like this aren't performing very well on the Wii, I have to say in this case the game isn't anything special.

Rocket Racing - PS3/PS3 (Minis) - £3.99
This game sounded interesting and promised quite a lot of game for a very small outlay, so I decided to take a chance and purchase it yesterday. I'm still getting used to the controls but it does appear to be a very polished and enjoyable little 2D racing game, well suited to the PSP.

Gamespite Quarterly Issue 2 - The Greatest Games of All Time - £20 (deluxe hardback edition)
I have been a regular reader of since owner Jeremy Parish was known as Toastyfrog, but it was only when Gamespite Quarterly Issue 3 was featured in a recent issue of Retro Gamer that I decided to order a copy myself, albeit Issue 2 rather than 3 because the content was more appealing. The deluxe hardback version features extra content not present in the standard version (37 extra pages) and is a really entertaining read. I certainly intend to go back and buy issues 1, 3 and 4 now.

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