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Last night, went w/ Yis & Cassandra to his grandma's place in Kew Gardens. Things are getting divvied up there and he wanted my input on what furniture we should take.

Dinner was at Austin's Steak And Ale House, where I spent the evening feeding dollars into the Big Buck Hunter Pro cabinet in front of the bar. From the minute I walked in, I *wanted* it. I wanted it so effin' bad. Due to the craziness of yesterday's errands, I had been up for over 24 hrs. and hadn't eaten yet, but oooh, *big, shiny plastic guns*! I didn't know what it was or if it'd suck, but if it'd let me shoot shit, I was going to pay whatever it wanted. Then I found out it was a dollar per credit and I wasn't leaving that baby till *all my ones were gone*.

To no surprise, Chinatown Fair has been overtaken by the fighting games crowd, and while I admit the row of SFIV flatscreen monitors were *eye-meltingly gorgeous* (opening credits had Chun-Li rendered in washy watercolors), I don't like what it's edged out. The only shooter there now is Time Crisis 4 and they're charging $1.50 per credit!

Anyway, I promptly lost the first game in The Round With The Moose, which infuriatingly, only had 3 moose per round. So I moved onto the bonus gallery, which had *14* categories whose differences weren't simple aesthetics either.
  • Mars Needs Cattle was the most outrageous one, where you shoot plump saucers that make the Most Satisfying *TWONK* as your bullets careen them into orbit, and the animation brings out a decent depth of field.
  • Cow Pie, I loved *not* because you're shooting cow manure, but because the cow dung physics mimics flying clay plates where after the object has hit its apex, it enters a moment of deceleration... meaning, I can 'juggle' my choice of targets.
  • Clockwork has you targeting bullseyes as gears spun around to obscure them. It *looks* hard, then easy, then hard again. Because you're hitting stationary targets, but there's a timer to be mindful of. To top it off, your weapon is a pump-action shotgun, and each pump only reloads *one* bullet at a time.
Next up, I started checking out Japanese games on my DS. I used to play plenty of Sailor Moon puzzlers on an SNES emulator w/ no issues, so I went looking for other anime-based titles of the same. Turns out, Code Geass R2 does have a mini-game compilation called コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュ.

It's more language-intensive than I thought, but not impossible. And I was really surprised by the inclusion of *actual* character voices. It also seems to be the source of the chibified art of the cast that I've seen. I'm tempted to make an English FAQ site for it. This game will probably never see release in the states anyway.
Followed the ECA newsletter in my inbox to this Destructoid article on a new "sandbox game" coming out called Ride to Hell. The novelty is that it's set in the 60s and your protagonist is a Vietnam vet who's settled down w/ a biker gang in West California.

Not *that* interesting to my ears, even if the idea of a company, in this case "Deep Silver" (comprised of ex-Rockstar Vienna folks), choosing *not* to do another WW2 game comes as a breath of fresh air.

What personally tickled me is that the Destructoid interviewer had to trek out to Joshua Tree to get the interview. I gobbled every sentence he dropped of his trip. He took the ATV tour package.

As much as I hated the sun out there, I wouldn't mind going back to those rocks.
And now, last gaming thought to get out the way..., Valkyria Chronicles bombed in sales, and though I was pleased w/ the ambitious nature of the project, I was more interested in the story than the gameplay, which just appeared to be real-time skirmishes, nestled within larger turn-based tactics battles, all within a larger war. There's nothing bad about that, if I can see it as another layer of strategy instead of an unnecessary, extra hurdle. But then, I just don't know how integrated the two methods are or if they're just slapped one after the other.

As much as I loved Advanced Wars: Days of Ruin, it took me weeks to win it, and to think that I'd have to navigate and secure each virtual square-acre of dirt, is... 'reality' of a sort, but also, a sobering matter of grind and time.

Y'know, if any game deserved a tactical RPG that'll guarantee itself monies in Japan, it'd had been Code Geass.


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