Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 3 and beyond of Xbox 360 Purgatory

So, my first couple of days didn't go so well back on the PS2. It's certainly not the consoles fault. I'm just a little rusty with the system. Everything will go much better now. Right?

Not exactly. I gave up on Half-Life. I just wasn't in the mood to replay the opening part again for at least the 4th time. Time for a new game. So I put in SSX Tricky. If there's any game that could get me out of this funk that would be the game to do it.

Except I couldn't get my controller to activate. No matter what buttons I pushed or how many times I plugged the controller in and out it just wouldn't do anything in the game. So I took the game out and put in another one. After all the controller worked during Half-Life so that couldn't be the problem. Right?

I put in TimeSplitters. If SSX Tricky couldn't do anything for me TimeSplitters should be able to pick up the slack. When the game booted up my controller wouldn't work in that game either.

Maybe there's nothing wrong with the game, but something is wrong with my controller.

So I now I had to figure out where my extra Playstation controllers were kept. I still have boxes I haven't unpacked, could they be in one of them? Or maybe there in a box or plastic crate that I have opened up, but just haven't done anything with. And then it hit me. I unpacked a bag of extra controllers for all my systems, along with extra cords of all kinds, and placed it behind the TV. After pulling out the bag and rummaging around for a Playstation controller I finally found one and plugged it in. I was ready to play. And it worked.

I played through the first mission in the story mode of TimeSplitters before I got bored (it's just not the same playing by yourself) and then went back to SSX Tricky. I picked the character Zoe (because of my dog) and headed down the first mountain as a refresher course. I was starting to hang of it so I started the second race. That was when the real Zoe decided the only place she wanted to be right then was sitting on my lap. And the only thing she wanted to be doing was licking my hands. I couldn't get her to stop. And I couldn't play while she did it. So I turned the system off, turned the TV on, and let my dog get comfortable in my lap. Twenty minutes later she was off to play with her Wubbie, but I was too tired of hassling with things just to play a video game that I didn't bother turning the system back on.

The next day, after work when I had a chance to play again, I decided I was going to play an RPG. And old RPG. The kind of game that got me hooked as a gamer in the first place. So I took some time and flipped through my book of games trying to decide which game to play.

I wanted a game to get lost in the story. If it was something I had already started I didn't want to be too far along in the game because I either wouldn't know what was going on or I would have to restart it and play through parts I had already done. That left a lot of the Final Fantasy games.

I also didn't want to play a game that was on 4 disks. I wanted something quick and not something that would take months to play through. That left out .dot Hack, the Final Fantasy games (again), Xenosaga (even through their multiple "games" it's still one story line to me) and number of other games as well. I also eliminated the Grandia series even though their not 4 disks in length. If I played the first one I might very well want to move on to the later ones as well and then when would I play my 360 when I get it back?

After a couple of other elimination rounds I had it narrowed down to my two Arc the Lad games or Chrono Trigger (and then Chrono Cross if my system was out that long). On the one had I had played through Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits and I think I got to the end but I couldn't beat the final boss. I didn't have the right armor or weapons and I was caught in an area that wouldn't let me leave to go find them. So I had restarted the game (see, I'm always restarting games) making sure I keep the required weapons/armor for that final boss. And then stopped about a quarter of the way through the game. I didn't want to start from scratch again, but since I've already played the game it didn't have that much appeal for me this time.

On the other hand I really wanted to play Chrono Cross, but that's a game I've started at least 3 times that I can remember. I love that game. But I have a problem with that game. I'm a completionist at heart so I want to collect every single playable character there is in the game. But once I have them in my party I have a hard time managing all their skills and growth. I get overwhelmed. Find out I missed picking up another characters. So I restart the game with a specific game play in place for when I pick up new characters. I love working with the battle system and field effects. But I have a hard time picking the right characters for the right battles. If I played this game I know I'd want to start all over again, but the first 2-3 hours of that game are boring because I've played them so many times.

So after looking at all the pros and cons I decided on playing Chrono Trigger. It's a game I don't think I've played (although the first 10 minutes looked a little familiar, but maybe I just watched dain play the game) and I didn't have a saved game file for. I could start fresh. Yeah!

I put the disk in, played for 41 minutes (according to the save file) before I got to a good stopping point before going to bed. But before I went to bed I remembered I had the strategy guide for this book and I should probably get it out to have handy just in case I get stuck. Once I got it out I started flipping through it and found out that I had missed exploring half of the opening area, missed out on half of the mini-games at the fair, and didn't do one of the things I would need to do later on in the game. Great. Re-start anyone?

I went to bed debating whether I should re-start the game (great, another re-start) or just make do with what I've done so far. One of the things I failed to do (win a clone of yourself) I could do later on in the game but would be harder to get. Plus I had spent all my meager gil on items that I didn't have enough to fully equip myself when I set out. If I had explored the other areas mentioned in the book I would have had the money to get everything I wanted and I would be better prepared for battles to come. What to do?

After a long day at work I decided I would re-start the game, explore all the areas available to me, have a hand at all the mini-games in the fair and win myself a clone. Like I said I'm a completionist at heart. When I got to the same point where I had saved before it had only added 20+ minutes to my game, but it was well worth it. I had enough gil to buy anything and everything I wanted and I had mastered two Techs, whereas the book recommended one. And every since then that is all I have been playing. When I get further into it I might post a review.

I should have my 360 back by this weekend, if not sooner. Until then I'll keep playing Chrono Trigger and maybe I can finish it. And maybe I'll just keep my PS2 out so I can play other games. Every now and then.


Game-Zone Recreation said...

I saw in your profile that you like the xbox 360 as well. Was wondering if you were looking forward to or going to purchase any of the new games coming out? Seems like there's so many this year, but then again it usually gets this way during the holiday season. Well, it's great to see another blogger with a common interest... hope to keep in touch.

Pengwenn said...

I picked up Dragon Age: Origins (haven't had the chance to play it yet) and have Modern Warfare 2 and Assassin's Creed 2 on pre-order. I might pick up Borderlands eventually.