You know you're a gamer when your mother says goodbye to you with: "Well, I guess I'll let you get back to your agonizing defeat now." True story. Stupid unyielding video games...
I recently picked up not one, but two new games for my DS (plus a hot new "my Mario Kart" game case; I am proud to say I filled the "my Mario Family" one a while ago). It's been a good Thanksgiving weekend watching Spongebob and playing my DS to my hearts content.
The first game I got was Mario Party DS! After years of drunkin Mario Party in the dorms, I just couldn't let this one go. My good friend Carin and I had quite the time tracking it down. We didn't want to go to Gamestop since they jacked up all their video game prices by 5$ ever since they became one with EB Games. Toys R Us failed -- for some reason they don't get the game shipped to the stores until the day after it's release date. Target had five or so boxes full of them out front, but wouldn't sell us any because they were saving them for Black Friday. And that brought us to Best Buy. God do I love Best Buy.
At first they wouldn't sell us more than the one that was left on the shelf (also because of Black Friday) so after unsuccessfully trying to beg one more from one of the guys on the floor we ended up begging the girl at the cash register and she got us another! I'm still not sure what to think of the fact that our feminine wiles (and trust me, there were wiles involved) worked on the chick over the guy. Either way, I got my game!
So far I've only played it through "Story Mode" which is the single player mode of the game - you play against three coms. It's just as fun as any Mario Party title and I have to say, the mini games involving the stylus and mic are very well done. A couple of the stylus ones are even a bit challenging despite the fact that you're playing with - I'd say medium level - coms.
Now, just getting through that first bit my excitement has waned a little. The story mode is VERY short and it goes by pretty quickly. I guess the goal is to play with all the different characters to unlock the mini-games and little trophy things. While it was a lot of fun, I'm not sure I'll still feel that way if I'm expected to play through it eight different times doing the exact same things. It's a much different experience when playing with friends...with coms it just gets old. Perhaps I'll change my mind once I've unlocked everything.
The second game I got was Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings. Again, I'd like to mention how awesome Best Buy is (and no, they are not paying me to say this!): I went online and payed 3$ cheaper then picked "in store pick-up" and drove down a half hour later to grab it from the store! Seriously, a sweet way to buy video games. Three dollars might not sound like a lot, but it is when you're a poor gamer. The dollars add up.
I'm not gunna lie: roman numerals confuse me. I definitely thought this was a FFVII game, so was a little surprised to see that it was one year later in the Sky Pirate life of Vaan. Ah well. I wasn't particularly fond of FFXII for the Play Station. I'm sorry, but that is NOT turn-based fighting. I play Final Fantasy games for the incredibly easy fighting and cute/tragic romance story -- FFXII had neither. Lame.
The game lucks out though. I happen to love both Final Fantasy and my DS, so mixing the two works out quite well. I haven't played through more than the fighting tutorials, but so far it seems OK.
I can see the fighting getting a bit confusing though. It's all based on poking at little pictures with the stylus. While that may seem easy, they made it much more difficult than the Zelda poke fighting. You have to poke your character or their picture and then poke an enemy. And so far, all Penelo can do is heal. I really hope that changes. Why the hell are the girls always the healing wusses? That was one good thing about FFXII for the PS I suppose, you could mold your characters so the girls didn't always wind up as the lame white mages.
I also hate that you can't move with the control pad. You have to draw a square around your party and then point at a spot that you want them to move to resulting it really jerky and excruciatingly slow game play.
The story is also looking a little shaky. They made it glaringly obvious that Penelo is retarded for Vaan in the first couple of cinema scenes and so far it's been very cut and dry.
Initially the thought of cinema scenes on my DS seemed amazing, but they made them a little awkward. A lot of the time they put the top half of the characters in the top screen and their bottom halves in the bottom screen so everyone looks like they have a big black (or whatever color your DS is) bar through them. You almost have to hold your DS back at an arms length to see the whole thing play on both screens effectively.
Despite all these annoyances I've had with the game -- literally within the first two minutes of game play -- I'm not giving up. Hopefully it'll turn out better once I get through more.
I have high hopes for both games. Hopefully they'll pull through for me.
In other news: Go Huskies!! I will be there tomorrow yelling obscenities at the referees and at WSU until I bust a vocal cord!