December 27th, 2004

pop'n music

much gaming activity!

After months of not buying any new games because I had Pokemon Fire Red & Leaf Green to keep me occupied, I have acquired several games for Christmas. Namely: The Legend of Zelda - Minish Cap (GBA), Donkey Konga (GC) and Mojib Ribbon (PS2). In addition to these, I am expecting to receive or buy Pikmin 2 (GC), Ratchet & Clank 3 (PS2), Jak & Daxter 3 (PS2) and Sly Raccoon 2 (PS2) over the next few weeks-months. (I'll wait for the ones I don't get as Christmas presents and buy them second-hand in a few months when they're cheaper :) ). So MUCH GAMING of a non-Pokemon variety has been going on. Hooray! Actually, quite a lot of gaming of a Pokemon variety has been occurring too, so no change there ;)

Yesterday was a nice lazy day - got up late and Tim & Peter came round to play games. Namely: The Wind Waker, Donkey Konga and Mojib Ribbon. As I have received The Minish Cap which is a "sequel" of sorts to the Wind Waker (it features the same cel-shaded child Link), I thought I should finally get round to finishing the earlier game (it's so big, with so many side quests and things to do, that I've been picking up and playing it inbetween other games for about a year). Mostly I spent yesterday doing one of the main parts of the story (*gasp*!) with Tim & Peter making suggestions for what I should do - it's the sort of game that benefits from multiple brains ;) I was going through a dungeon accompanied by a small tree sprite whose special abilities were being able to fly short distances with the aid of a big leaf, and being able to plant trees in soft soil - and we all almost died from the cuteness.

We also played Donkey Konga (individually, and multiplayer), and found it one of the easier rhythm action games, but also quite fun - there's a fairly good mix of famous pop/rock songs and video game songs, as well as an awful lot of songs we recognised but didn't know the names of before (!). It's really easy to pick up how to play it, because there are only four possible things to do (hit left drum, hit right drum, hit two together, clap), but the rhythm patterns get nicely challenging for people familiar with rhythm action from other games. I also liked the fact that most of the drum patterns follow the song's exactly - none of the bizarre quarter beats that DDR is occasionally plagued with. Multiplayer mode is easy to follow (each player has one line on the screen and just has to watch for their notes), but again there is the option of very hard songs if you want them. All in all, it is thoroughly cool apart from the fact I seem to be allergic to the rubber on the drum heads. I need to write to Nintendo to find out exactly what they use on their various controllers, because I'm allergic to the rubber on the normal GameCube controller as well, and it's very annoying (hatter hacked mine to pieces for me and took all the rubber off).

Finally I played Mojib Ribbon, which is the sequel to Vib Ribbon. It is VERY WEIRD, and really requires that you can read Japanese, as nothing at all is in English. It also follows normal Japanese text conventions, like menus reading from right to left, that don't usually come up even in Japanese-language games. Even the scoring is in kanji numbers(!). Anyway, once we worked out what was going on (with the aid of an FAQ), it turns out to be another rhythm action game of the very-simple-yet-challenging school (hooray!). Easier than Vib Ribbon because it uses only the right analogue stick (as opposed to 4 buttons in 10 combinations that had to be remembered), you are writing text on the screen as the character "raps" it. Apparently you can put your own text in using some combination of the USB keyboard and broadband adaptor, but I feel this would need either Peter having a huge amount of time to translate everything with a Japanese dictionary, or a friendly bilingual person to figure out how you actually do it.

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