Friday, August 14, 2015

Sampling the Sega Collection (PS3)

Blaugust Day 14

I couldn't decide what to play tonight, but I knew I didn't want to devote a lot of time to one game. I looked at my shelf and saw Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection. Many of my favorite Genesis games are on this compilation. I decided to try some new games for once, though.

Shining Force
I've heard of this one but I haven't played it. My buddy Andrew reviewed it and since then I've been meaning to give it a try. It seems like a fun game with a lot of story and more side story. In the short time I played it I talked to some characters who were angry or annoyed with other characters or myself for some reason. I met the initial crew of the Shining Force. Unlike the few RPGs I've played that gradually introduce party members, Shining Force gives you quite a lineup off the bat! I realized this game was going to be too involved for a light Saturday night. I'll have to pick it up when I have more time to dedicate to it.

Alien Storm
This is one I've never heard of. Alien Storm is a side-scrolling beat 'em up with an alien invasion theme. One thing that sets it apart is at the end of each level you go into an arcade shooter mode. There are three characters to choose ranging from an Ellen Ripley type character armed with a powerful but short-ranged flamethrower, a mid-strength/mid-range dude, and a robot with an electro-whip. I played as far as I could on one life with the robot, then tried the other two. Alien Storm is a fun game. The AI is smart enough to surround you, so I'm sure it would be even better with a second player.


Decap Attack
I've never played this one, but I think I heard about it on Game Sack. In Decap Attack you play as a mummy who uses their severed head as a projectile weapon. You can also jump on enemies or jut your jaw out at them. It's a really comical platformer and you can bet it will be added to my list of Halloween games. There's a whole inventory you can fill up. When you get items you can use/equip them or ask the mad scientist about them. I didn't get very far on one life, and I got less far on the second. Moving on to something simpler.


Columns
I remembered really not liking Columns but I couldn't remember why. It was one of the 6-Pak games I would not play and I was poor growing up, so that says something. Playing it now reminded me why. Tetris is one of those games that has a nice difficulty curve. Simple concept yet challenging due to the pacing. Once you learn the basics you'll be managing block placement ten steps ahead of time. Columns appears to be a similar puzzle game, but fails at capturing the same challenge. Columns gives you one rotate button to cycle your colors vertically. You can't scroll back and there are quite a few colors to manage. It's not like shapes where you can tell if something is going to fit. You have to process all the colors currently placed, process the three colors in your falling bar, shift them accordingly, and reprocess. For me this is a nightmare. By the time I got the colors sorted the bar has found a home and a new bar is falling.


So that's the few games I decided to try tonight. I'll definitely be revisiting Shining Force, Alien Storm, and Decap Attack. This could just be me, but I'm a visual person and I find Columns disorienting. Tetris calms me and I could play it for hours. I just might play Tetris tomorrow. What are you playing this weekend?
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