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Posts Tagged ‘Games’

Jeanne d’Arc for PSP ~ Game Review

April 27, 2011 2 comments

Hi guys! It’s been a little while, and a lot of my most recent posts have been video game related, but I can’t help it — that’s just what I do in my free time. Obviously, I’ve been playing more than I’ve been posting here, anyway 🙂

One of the games that has really caught my attention isn’t new, it’s from 2007, and it’s called Jeanne d’Arc. The new thing about it for me is that we just recently added a PSP to our gaming platform collection, making it pretty dang complete now. (Xbox 360, PS3, DS, DSi, Wii and PSP, what else do I really need to buy?…) Anyway. Jeanne d'Arc for PSP is well worth exploring for RPG and strategy fans.

So everyone in the household has been trying out various new and old games on the PSP, and Jeanne d’Arc is among the most awesome I’ve come across so far. It’s a hybrid of a strategy and RPG game, and I probably don’t need to tell you who the heroine & main character is. In case you for some reason have not heard of Joan of Arc (as we Americans usually say), well. I can’t think of a good reason why you wouldn’t have.

Moving on. After an English attack on Jeanne’s French village, she rallies together a group of would-be warriors against the English (who are ruled by a demonic-child King Henry VI, and his evil sorcerer adviser). You lead the party as Jeanne, and it’s pretty typical party-style play, with an interesting element of strategy when it comes to who to position where during an attack. Some party members’ motions are limited, as are some actions, like healing, where you have to be within a square of the person you’re healing. One team member, armed with a lance, can throw it ahead farther than a sword fighter can attack, which reminded me just a little of a chess game.

So what could have turned out to be a standard RPG gets that extra layer of battle strategy and just drives the game forward with continued challenges. The fighting would have been too easy without the strategic elements, and too boring without the RPG interactions. Together, it’s a great little game that can easily keep you up too late as you forge ahead to the next encounter with demons led by English officers.

Jeanne d’Arc was made by Level-5 Games (better known for their Professor Layton games for the DS) and apparently was their first RPG as well as their first PSP game, which is downright impressive. The only thing I don’t quite get about the game is the useless chirping frog that tags along with the party in between battles. Still, I am holding out hope it has some purpose, since I haven’t finished the game yet.

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Michael Jackson’s joystick could still be fondled

March 26, 2010 1 comment

I’m the first to admit that I’m not an expert regarding any topic. I’m a jack-of-all-trades, as they say, but a master of none. That’s what happens when you’re a journalist who covers sweeping beats that include an area as large as the state of Delaware (I’m not even kidding).

Despite this admission, there are some things I feel qualified to speak about. Eating is one of those. So is the topic of movies. As is the video game market.

Don't even try to imagine where that hand has been...

What makes me think I can discuss any of this? Well, I watch more movies than most people see their spouses, for starters. I’ve packed in enough food over the years to have tasted everything from raw squid to raw vegetable juice to raw dog (it’s hamburger, people).

And when it comes to video games? Well, let’s just say I play my fair share. The folks over at GameStop know me by name (they don’t even ask for my telephone number when reserving titles anymore). I have a Nintendo Wii, a Nintendo DSi, a Playstation 3 (backward compatible version!) and an Xbox 360 Elite. I play on a 1080p television set. I have a DVD rack just for the games I own.

So when the subject of games comes up, I tend to listen. Sure, I pass up on talking about Zynga or those little flash games on Facebook. I’m more of a platform gamer myself, though I do like the PC games now and again.

I enjoy titles ranging from racing to non-motorized sports to first-person shooters to RPGs to strategy and beyond. I’ll try any game out.

I’ve seen some dandies over the years: “Earthworm Jim,” “Battletoads,” “Toe Jam and Earl,” “Custer’s Revenge” (aka “Westward Ho”) and, of course, “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.” But, you know what? I played them and I can add them to my looming list of titles that I’ve tried my hand at.

But, when I heard that Sony just bought the rights to create and distribute a Michael Jackson video game, I could only shake my head.

Really? REALLY? Read more…

Minutes well spent?

March 23, 2010 Leave a comment
Day 312/365 - 8 Nov - FarmVille
Image by anshu_si via Flickr

Somehow I lucked into getting to write about online gaming and RPGs of every stripe for a very cool blog, also here on WordPress, called Geek Girl on the Street. I’ll be sending them some posts soon, but check it out now and bookmark it; they’ve got lots of cool bloggers and geeks besides me.

I tell you this by way of explaining my complicated relationship with online games. I love them, of course, but I’m conflicted about them.I have spent many a half-hour when I was supposed to be writing, reading, cleaning or doing something else productive entranced by FarmVille or Neopets. (Yes, I still have a Neopets account. Whatcha trying to say?)

The appeal of online RPGs, whether they’re Zynga‘s “one-click” games on Facebook or a complete online community like Neopets, is the endless ways to customize your gameplay, whatever your interests or style of gaming, and the ability to step out of your own life and into small, fictional concerns and challenges. It’s pure escapism: you can have 32 cents to your name in real life and be a multi-millionaire in online game currency. Probably most users of these games don’t even consider themselves gamers in the traditional computer or console sense.

The downside to these small addictive games is that you don’t have to sit down with your game controller and big-screen TV to play. Instead, you just keep a tab open on your Internet browser as you work, study or whatever else you do online. Seems like they fit into a busy schedule better, and to a certain extent that’s true. The trouble is, then it takes you twice as long to get the actual work done cause you get distracted by your imaginary cafe, pet or character.

So my solution to the online gaming problem is to be super selective in the ones I choose to play. I’ve let plenty of old accounts and games fall by the wayside as they became too much to handle or required too much time to advance — or just became boring, since I am intensely ADD when it comes to gaming, and I don’t like repetition in my entertainment. To get me to keep playing, an online game has to be captivating, constantly offering new content, and most of all, rewarding. After all, there’s always something else I could be doing — and probably should be doing.

I’ll be exploring different online RPGs for Geek Girl on the Street in the coming months, so if you’re interested in reading my opinion of specific games and sites, I can only refer you to their sparkly new pages. In the meantime, let me know what online games you love, or love to hate. I’m not (yet) an expert on everything out there, but I’m definitely open to suggestions.

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