What I’m Playing

by Darius Kazemi on May 17, 2007

in games

So I’ve actually been playing video games! I’ll do a quick rundown of what I’ve been playing for the last month.

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin

I recently played and “beat” Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin for the Nintendo DS. Granted, there are a million things you can do after you beat the game, but I got the “good” ending and I reached 993% completion (out of 1000%–don’t ask). So I more or less completed the thing, as much as the Japanese ever will let you do.

I was pleased with the game. I got the action I enjoyed from Symphony of the Night, combined with a team-based mechanic that didn’t feel belabored. Plus, there were some nifty puzzles where fighting a monster with one character instead of the other makes the fight much easier. I wouldn’t call the game a classic, but if you want a solid-to-great platformer it’s definitely worth a shot, and it works great on the DS. I didn’t try any of the wifi modes, although they looked pretty good (there’s co-op!)

Shadow of the Colossus

Okay, so I’m like a million years behind the times. I loved Ico but never picked up SotC until last week. Holy crap, what a great game. And it’s cinematic enough that my girlfriend will actually watch me play, for about 30 minutes. I attribute this to the excellent animation: watching your hero cling for his life to a giant colossus creates a palpable tension in viewers as well as players. I’m at the 3rd colossus right now. Can’t figure out how to climb onto him…

Also, for some reason I don’t want to resort to GameFAQs to figure out puzzles. Usually I get frustrated, but figuring out how to fell a colossus is fun, probably because they put a save point right before the colossus and dying doesn’t feel like much of a penalty.

Metal Slug

Yep, been playing the original arcade Metal Slug on GameTap. Have I mentioned I love GameTap? Oh yeah, I have. Anyway, the animation in Metal Slug is awesome, although not in a SotC sense. While the game itself is a pretty dumb side-scrolling shooter similar to Contra, the whole thing is made fun because of the game’s sense of humor. Also, in GameTap I have save states and don’t have to pay a quarter every time I lose three lives. That probably has a lot to do with it.

Come to think of it, I would have hated this game in the arcade. But I get to play it now and enjoy it. Hooray for save states!


solipsistnation May 17, 2007 at 11:19 pm

Maybe you should try out that Stalker game people keep talking about. I hear it’s real good.


I haven’t finished Portrait of Ruin yet. I’m stuck on some boss or other and I don’t really feel like doing the complex hopping around to level up my dudes until they can beat him more easily. But yeah, I’ve like the Castlevania games in the past (I finished one of them on the GBA), and this one was also good.

Duncan May 24, 2007 at 9:29 pm

My wife actually wants me to play Shadow of the Colossus. She says it’s so that we can give it back to the friends we borrowed it from. She keeps telling me I should “get it out of the way” and that “it won’t be hanging over my head” if I finish it.

I think she just wants to see the ending, but doesn’t want to play it.

Too bad I’m stuck on Psychonauts. :-P

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