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24 Hours of Gaming: September 2015 Edition

I’m excited and ready to get back to it! Thanks for joining me as I attempt to again play video games for 24 hours straight. Whoa, it has been a while since the last one; time to knock the rust off. I have a few new games this time around that I am pumped for, so it should make for a good day. It also looks like it is going to be raining all day, so naturally, that makes it wonderful weather for gaming.

6:30am

Getting back into the grove of Final Fantasy IX, and I must say that it feels good.

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The most notable happenings this time around were that war is breaking out all over the place and Dagger has acquired the ability to use eidolons or Summons, a series staple. The story is brewing nicely as I cross the 12 hour mark.

10:00am

Atelier Ayesha is back on the docket. As it becomes a series staple to my marathons, I do want to finish it soon so I can move on to Atelier Shallie.

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The whole point of the game has been to find Ayesha’s sister, Nio. We finally saw her for the first time at about the 12-hour point. The gameplay has been a satisfying grind of crafting and turn-based combat. I’m still liking it a lot.

12:00am

I started playing the peculiar RPG Undertale.

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The game messes with players’ expectations early and often. I put in about 30 min in, just enough time to get through the game’s introductory sequence. I will certainly be finishing this one up next week.

12:30pm

I started playing the confusing and overwhelming Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy.

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From the maker’s of last year’s great Demon Gaze, Operation Abyss is not nearly as story driven so far and not nearly as straightforward. It is trying to be more investigation-based with less of a focus on the turn-based combat of Demon Gaze. It sets an interesting tone and atmosphere, but it has been rough around the edges so far. The art, however, is fantastic.

2:00pm

Isaiah S. and I started playing Secret of Mana for the SNES. It has been a while since I played an older game in a marathon.

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I had heard that Secret of Mana is the Kingdom Hearts of the 16-bit era, and I am definitely seeing it. The more action-based nature of the game’s combat is refreshing for that era of video games. Pleasant music and bright visuals also help to carry the experience. The story seems painfully cliché at the moment. Hopefully, that part changes.

4:00pm

It is time to find out what all this Shenmue business is all about. My love for the Yakuza franchise will likely set unreachable expectations for the gangster simulator, but maybe I’ll see why so many people love it and are so pumped for Shenmue 3.

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Well… I tend to write a “Before & After” section when playing through games during marathon like this one. Unfortunately, my Dreamcast didn’t feel like reading the first disc of Shenmue today, it played other games fine, but no Shenmue. I then tried to play some F.E.A.R. 2 and my disc had gotten damaged sometime between now and the time I got it. So, there goes 2 games and 4 hours of what I had planned for today. Time to ad-lib.

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I started to the play some XBLAZE Lost: Memories.

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The first XBLAZE game was a great looking, but boring virtual novel, and Lost: Memories is so far, trying to be more “gamelike” with varied results. The games still look striking and impressive, and there are some more interactive elements, so hopefully it ends up having a better story than Code: Embryo.

6:00pm

The opening hour of Swords & Soldiers II sure looks better than the first one. However, the game does not have the original feel of the first one. The missions without the base-building and character creating are boring and tedious.

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7:00pm

Back to Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.

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It is still solid, but there was the introduction of a very annoying enemy that stuns characters and is very difficult to hit. I managed to get through a mission in an hour pushing my play time up to 3 hours.

8:00pm

It has been far too long since I have played Ori and the Blind Forest.

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I finally made a lot of progress in my one additional hour of time with the game. There is no way around it, Ori is a hard game, and it is going to take some patience to finish off.

9:00pm

With two games not working for me I decided to start Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture.

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I did not stop playing Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture until credits rolled. It took 4.5 hours and it was a wonderful, and absolutely gorgeous experience. More to come on Rapture in my review hitting soon.

1:30am

I had not gotten stuck in Final Fantasy Type -0 I would probably already have had it done by this point of time.

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I got unstuck quickly and finished up chapter 4. I still really really like this game and I need to wrap it up soon.

3:00am

I’m going to close the night off with a little Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls.

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I tend to leave some of the games I want to play most for the end of the marathon to keep my motivation up, and more Danganronpa is typically great motivation. I finished up a lengthy Chapter 2 and got a good jump on Chapter 3. It is not as good as last year’s two GOTY contenders, but there is still plenty to love here.

Summary:

6:30am – 10:00am – Final Fantasy IX

10:00am – 12:00pm – Atelier Ayesha: Alchemist of Dusk Plus

12:00pm – 12:30pm – Undertale

12:30pm – 2:00pm – Operation Abyss: New Tokyo Legacy

2:00pm – 4:00pm – Secret of Mana

4:00pm – 6:00pm – XBLAZE Lost: Memories

6:00pm – 7:00pm – Swords & Soldiers II

7:00pm – 8:00pm – Code Name S.T.E.A.M.

8:00pm – 9:00pm – Ori and the Blind Forest

9:00pm – 1:30am – Everbody’s Gone to the Rapture

1:30am – 3:00am – Final Fantasy Type – 0 HD

3:00am – 6:30am – Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls

24 Hours of Gaming: May 2015 Edition

It’s that time again: time for me to attempt to play video games for 24 hours straight. Today’s focus is primarily on starting or continuing games from 2015, but the usual suspects from my backlog will appear as they always do.

6:00am

I’m getting started a little earlier today, and of course, I’m beginning with Final Fantasy IX.

One of the more disturbing party members I've ever encountered.

One of the most disturbing party members I’ve ever encountered.

FFIX has a “mechanic” called Action Time Events that not like quick-time events as we know them in a post-God of War era. They are little scenes that fill in backstory or show what another character is doing at the same time as the current playable one. It’s interesting, completely optional, and adds some nice flavor to the game.

Six hours into Final Fantasy IX and things are going well.

9:00am

New party member in Grandia II!!!

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Though one party member left, another has joined.

The story is really heating up as I return to Ryudo’s (the main character) homeland. The air is thick and the atmosphere is tense as he is about to have a showdown with his brother.

It should be said that despite having spread my playthrough of Grandia II out quite a bit, I always know where to go and am still invested in the story. That says a lot, I think.

11:00am

It was a rough two hours with Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.

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I was hoping to have my time with the game wrapped up by now, but the game is soooooo HUGE. I’m getting very close to where I would be comfortable reviewing it however.

I fought and killed two monsters in 2 hours; long fights that I died on and had to do again. Whew. At least their corpses now lie at my feet.

1:00pm

I got through about a chapter and a half of Super Paper Mario. Unfortunately, chapter 5 was not very good… at all. Annoying puzzle and enemy design made for a slog for 2 hours.

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At least chapter 6 starts off well enough with a faux 100-man face-off. So, the session ended well-enough.

3:00pm

Oreshika: The Tainted Bloodlines is a weird one. I’m about 5 hours into the game and it hasn’t really grabbed me yet. That is probably due to the lack of structure and defined goals.

The game is beautiful.

The game is beautiful.

Like Animal Crossing or Tomodachi Life, one is expected to make their own fun and objectives, except there is even less outright direction in Oreshika. It feels especially strange in a JPRG. There is a character designed to help the player out, but it is easy to rely on her as a crutch and think, “Okay, you just do everything.” I’m trying to wrap my mind around the game, but it is going to take some more time.

5:00pm

Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters is another weird one. It is a strategy-RPG/virtual novel. The strategy part is different in that you have to predict where enemies will be before you attack. You don’t know where they are going to be, but you have to attack them. This makes for a very frustrating time.

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The presentation is fantastic however and carries the game a long way. It doesn’t look like it is going to be super long, so I will hopefully finish up it up soon.

7:00pm

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I am still thoroughly enjoying Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk Plus. The more freeform nature works, and the story is more engaging than Escha & Logy’s, but the overall flow of the game is not as rewarding.

9:00pm

We got four people together and played Mario Party 9. We have been working through all the Mario Party games getting ready for 10, and we were on 9, so 9 is what we played.

Boss fights add a lot to the Mario Party formula.

Boss fights add a lot to the Mario Party formula.

I first played Mario Party 9 sometime in 2012. The second time I played Mario Party 9 was today. It was much better the second time. The complete upheaval of the old structure of the games was not as dramatic when I knew it was coming. Regardless, playing them all so closely together made me not hate 9 nearly as much as I thought I did for whatever that is worth.

10:00pm

I started playing Code Name ST.E.A.M. today. It is a challenging game from the makers of Advance Wars and the Fire Emblem games, but it plays like SEGA’s Valkyria Chronicles.

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The game looks a lot better in motion than I expected based off of the previous footage and screenshots. Critiques that I had heard about the game ring true, mainly that “overwatch” (a mechanic popularized by XCOM: Enemy Unknown) is completely and totally broken. Enemies can get two free shots on a party member without moving or shooting, breaking line-of-sight is all it takes and to make matters worse, the little buggards are deviously hidden.

It’s not bad. It’s not amazing.

12:00am

One of the roommates wanted to play Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, so that is what we did. We got lucky and got a guy in our party who was Hunter Rank 255. For perspective’s sake, my roommate and I have put in around 30ish hours and we just hit HR 4. Let that sink in. Seriously. Some people REALLY like Monster Hunter.

The monster design is still incredible.

The monster design is still incredible.

1:00am

Final Fantasy Type-0 is pretty great. I definitely didn’t want to stop after my 3 hours of it. The game looks good sometimes, and at others it reminds you that it was a PSP game first. The graphics as a whole can be jarring at times, but keeping in mind the game’s crazy journey to the States makes it much more tolerable.

Capes. That is all.

Capes. That is all.

The game is just fun. The combat is a blast. Experimentation is encouraged and there is a lot of it to be done. The RTS mechanics are light, but interesting and I’m intrigued to see how far they will go in that direction.

4:00am

I intentionally saved some of the games I wanted to play for the end of the 24 hours. And Type-0 and Ori and the Blind Forest certainly topped the list for games I wanted to play today. I was an hour in Ori before I started today, and the first 10 minutes of the game are up for my “Most Memorable Moment of 2015.” The game makes an incredibly strong first impression, largely because how exceptionally amazing the game looks.

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The game gets tough. It counters this by allowing the player to save a number of times wherever they want, so make one tough jump… plop down a save point so you don’t have keep doing it over and over again. The system works for the most part, but I am still fairly early in the game, hopefully the game can remain consistent to the end.

And that was my day. 24 hours of gaming goodness… well not all goodness, there were a couple of speed bumps along the way but we made it. Grandia II, Type-0, and Ori were definitely the highlights of the day with Atelier bringing it consistently as well. See ya next time!

Summary:

6:00am – 9:00am – Final Fantasy IX

9:00am – 11:00am – Grandia II

11:00am – 1:00pm – Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

1:00pm – 3:00pm – Super Paper Mario

3:00pm – 5:00pm – Oreshika: The Tainted Bloodlines

5:00pm – 7:00pm – Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters

7:00pm – 9:00pm – Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk Plus

9:00pm-10:00pm – Mario Party 9

10:00pm – 12:00am – Code Name S.T.E.A.M.

12:00am – 1:00am – Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

1:00am – 4:00am – Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

4:00am – 6:00am – Ori and the Blind Forest

24 Hours of Gaming 7: 2015 Edition

February 21, 2015

It has been way too long since I did this. Moving and getting readjusted took a little longer than I expected, so this will my first marathon in the new location. Today’s goal is to continue chipping away at the backlog and catch up on the flurry of new releases in February of 2015. Only nine games today though.

7:30am

I started a little later than I wanted to. I was aiming for 7, but I guess that happens when I forget to set my alarm.

I’m starting with Final Fantasy IX. I may have not finished FFVIII (I got really close), but it is finished with me. Think of it as “a new year, a new Final Fantasy.”

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I am pretty excited about starting IX, I have heard from several people whose opinions I really trust that it is their favorite in the long line of Square RPGs.  It also has the highest metascore of any game with the big ole FF attached.

The game begins with some nice scenes on a boat.

The first three hours of FFIX were solid. The world is being set up, the characters introduced, and the, thankfully, more traditional combat is being explained. It is definitely too early to call it, but IX is looking a lot better than VIII and I could see myself liking it more than VII by the time credits roll.

10:30am

Starting another new game! This time it is Kirby and the Rainbow Curse for WiiU. Kirby Canvas Curse is one of my top 2 Kirby games, so seeing a sequel on WiiU seems like the natural progression.

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Rainbow Curse is pretty great. The art style carries it a long way. I was able to get through the first two worlds of what looks to be a not very long game, which is fine though. The game was only $40, and so far I would say that it is well worth the price of entry.

12:30pm

It’s time to hunt some monsters in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.

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MH4 is a lot like MH3. There are some nice tweaks here and there, but I’m still not loving the series. I understand the appeal. Maybe I just need more narrative justification in my gaming obsessions nowadays. I’m getting close to 15 hours in the game, and it still isn’t clicking like I know it can, maybe it just take a couple hundred hours more for me to properly appreciate it.

3:30pm

Super Paper Mario. The two hours fly by fairly quickly as I complete world 4 and a good chunk of 5. It is nice finally being over the halfway point in this game. I find it weird how this game is more like an adventure game than anything else with its puzzles and focus on exploration.

Chapter 4 take place primarily in space.

Chapter 4 takes place primarily in space.

5:30pm

Back to Grandia II, it has been far too long.

I beat the Claws of Valmar on my first try. The bosses keep getting more difficult, and the fights keep getting longer. I’m glad I was able to make such progress.

This battle took far too long.

This battle took far too long.

7:30pm

Now for some Atelier Ayesha PLUS: Alchemist of the Dusk Sky. I love me some Atelier.

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It took me a while to figure out where I was at and what I needed to do since it had been over a month since I last touched the game. However, it did not take long for the game to cast its spell on me again. I’m going to have to blitz through the rest of Ayesha because the new Atelier game comes out in a couple of weeks.

9:30pm

One of the main reasons I wanted to another 24-hour marathon was due to myself falling behind on the year’s releases, one of which being Grow Home.

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News Flash: Grow Home is excellent. It might run a little on the short side (I beat it in under an hour and a half), but I haven’t played anything this fresh in quite a while. A full review should be coming shortly.

11:00pm

Another reason I needed to do this marathon is to get in some serious time with Apotheon. The game looks like a Greek painting/pottery art. Much like Rainbow Curse, the art style gives the game a good edge.

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Apotheon has some nice gameplay to back it up too. The game is like a Metroidvania style RPG. Armor and weapons can deteriorate, be repaired, and be upgraded. The game is more deliberate than its action-heavy genre bedfellows. Attacks take a while to wind up, momentum is gained over time while running, and it has a crafting system. It has a unique feel, and some cool boss fights so far.

12:00am

I left 2 hours open for the day to be filled with whatever I was feeling, and with guests over, handhelds make sense. So, it’s back to Monster Hunter 4!

Earlier today the focus was on multiplayer, now I’m going after single-player.

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I defeated several enormous monstrosities.

2:00am

I got unstuck in Oblivion rather quickly, in order to get stuck right after it. I need some bright dust from a will-o-the-wisp in order to summon a daedric being in order to get an artifact for a reason I can’t remember. ESIV: Oblivion has continued to be obtuse and generally unfun to play. It should not come as a surprise that I do not think it has aged well. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to finish it or not.

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4:00am

Back to Apotheon to close out the day. I probably got through a good two-thirds of the game today and should be able to finish it up quickly later this week. It is still solid, and the boss encounters are probably the best part.

Apollo is a jerk.

Apollo is a jerk.

As I always say: there are far too few hours in the day, and I’ll be ready to do another one of these soon. After all, March is typically one of the busiest game release months of the year.

The Breakdown

7:30am – 10:30am – Final Fantasy IX

10:30am – 12:30pm – Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

12:30pm – 3:30pm – Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

3:30pm – 5:30pm – Super Paper Mario

5:30pm – 7:30pm – Grandia II

7:30pm – 9:30pm – Atelier Ayesha PLUS: Alchemist of the Dusk Sky

9:30pm – 11:00pm – Grow Home

11:00pm – 12:00am – Apotheon

12:00am – 2:00am – Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

2:00am – 4:00am – The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion

4:00am – 7:30am – Apotheon

24 Hours of Gaming 6

September 27, 2014

Well, here we are again. This is the sixth time I have attempted to complete a 24-hour gaming marathon. Today’s planned agenda is about a 50-50 split between backlog and games from this year. A lot of repeats show up from the last several marathons, but hopefully I’ll be finishing many of them soon.

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5:30am
I’m naturally beginning with Final Fantasy VIII. I put about 7 hours of time into the game in between marathons, and I must say that I will have the game beat either before the next one and finish it off in the next marathon. I hit my first difficulty hurdle in the game and have grinded for over four hours. Let’s hope it was enough.
It was enough. It was by no mean a smooth victory, but a victory nonetheless. It takes me a long time to find Trabia garden tucked neatly away in the middle of some mountains. Who would of thought that piloting a giant mobile fortress would be awkward and unwieldy to drive?

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It is also still amazing that a game from 1999 has a character named “Selphie” in it.
Final Fantasy VIII is trying to win me back over with a series of really cool scenes. The clash of the Gardens section is quite impressive; two flying fortresses repeatedly ramming into each other makes for the quite the spectacle. It’s just too bad that the Junction and Draw systems are so incredibly terrible. The end of the game is in sight now. I’m 28 hours deep and approximately 75% through the game.
8:30am
Maybe I will actually get to a fight in my third hour of BlazBlue: Chronophantasma. I’m not holding my breath.
Well, I was wrong. I was in a fight within 5 min of starting it up.

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It was the only fight, however. The game says so much without saying much of value at all. Overall though, I’m enjoying Chronophantasma.
9:30am
Yoshi’s New Island is a little disappointing, especially from a musical perspective. But I haven’t been hating my time with it thus far.

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I complete World 3, and the game is still largely unoriginal and uninspired, but also inoffensive at the same time.
11:00am
Grandia II is becoming a staple of my 24 hour marathons.

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Grandia progressed very smoothly. I’m looking for a sword the great… Granasaber… the proper nouns in this game can get a little corny.
1:00pm
Thus begins the Mega Man block. Last time it was Mega Man 1-3, this time it is Mega Man 4-6.
Mega Man 4 is solid, safe, and kind of forgettable. The boss line-up is not terribly strong and the stages are not quite distinctive visually or design way. The music is not the best either. It’s not bad, but not great.

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Mega Man 5 is immediately better than 4. The levels have a more distinct art direction, the weapons, in particular, are pretty cool especially the Gryo Attack. Gravity Man’s stage is very good.
A lot Mega Man 3 for us next time, our patience for Mega Man 6 had been long spent by the time we got to it. Three Mega Man games in a row is one too many it seems. On the upside, MM6 probably had the best music of the three today. So that leaves my rankings being: 2 – 5 – 1 – 3 – 4 – 6.

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5:00pm
The amount of cutscenes in Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright is truly impressive. They are gorgeous, and the presentation of the game is phenomenal.

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I am a total of 5 hours into the game and enjoying it greatly. Hopefully it can fulfill the enormous amount of potential the opening hours instill.
8:00pm
Only two games have appeared on every single one of my marathons, the first is, of course, Final Fantasy VIII, the second is The Wonderful 101. Ideally, this will be the last time it appears. The end is near I can taste it.

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I finish Operation 7 and start Operation 8, the end of the game has to be close.
10:00pm
Super Paper Mario continues to be a very strange game. I wrapped up World 3 and the boss of the area was quite ridiculous. It was a chameleon who embodied nearly every nerd/otaku stereotype that one could imagine.

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12:00am
Next up is Tales of Xillia 2. I was bummed that I have not had enough time to really dig my teeth into ToX2, and now I finally get that opportunity.

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I ended up playing the rest of the night/morning. It is solid. It is good to be back in the world, but there are some glaring problems that will hopefully not last the entire game. Time will tell.
That was a long day. #6 complete. See ya next time.

24 Hours of Gaming 5

August 9, 2014

Here we go again. This is the fifth trial in the attempt to clear the backlog of games. The focus today is getting some more time in with some longstanding unfinished games; mostly older ones, but there are some 2014 games that I still need to beat sprinkled throughout the day.

Missile strike from FFVIII.

Missile strike from FFVIII.

5:15am

This is the earliest I have started one of these. I was planning on starting at 6, but anticipation as it would have it would not allow for that.

Unsurprisingly, I am starting the day with 3 hours of Final Fantasy VIII, as per tradition. I won’t finish it today, but I should some time in the near future, as I tire of seeing Squall’s ugly face. It’s a fairly easy game, but mechanically, it is strange and kind of everywhere. The need to Draw spells that can be cast instead of having a Mana system is more annoying than it is original.

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I died a couple of times losing some precious time. There are some great looking scenes in this game. Rinoa looks a little too much like Tifa from FFVII, especially in the CGI cutscenes. I destroyed a missile base and saved “The Garden” from certain destruction by turning it into an enormous hovercraft, now we drift endlessly across the ocean not knowing how to steer the thing.

8:15am

Grandia II, it has been too long since we have held company together.

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Grandia II is staying consistently good. The story is starting to ramp up and the combat system remains unique and engaging.

10:15am

Next up is an hour of BlazBlue: Chronophantasma. Despite having spent two hours with the game so far, I have yet to actually get into a fight in the game. Aksys and Arc System Works really seem to be taking the virtual novel genre very seriously.

Kokonoe (left) is the coolest new character in the story so far.

Kokonoe (left) is the coolest new character in the story so far.

Still no core gameplay, but a couple of options surfaced that offered alternate paths. At least there is some form of interaction so far.

11:15am

The abstract puzzle game, Metrico, is up next. The Sony published Vita-exclusive has an austere and clean aesthetic that is matched by unique movement-based puzzles. The music is strange.

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The game grabbed me after an average first impression. The game layers in smart mechanics to help keep it engaging. There are a lot of Vita-specific features that are well implemented, but can be a little cumbersome for the precision that the game requires.

12:15pm

Punch-Out!! section.

Punch-Out!! section.

Now for 2 hours of The Wonderful 101. This game is getting close to the end; I can feel it. I’m starting to come around on it. It is starting to mix up the gameplay with a schmup and a Punch-Out!! clone that were both kind of neat and a great change of pace.

2:15pm

Quite possibly the worst box art ever created.

Quite possibly the worst box art ever created.

Brock and I beat all the bosses in Megaman, the original Megaman for NES. Good times. Well, it was all-good till the system froze on us… We got to see all the levels though.

3:45pm

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Megaman 2 is up. Megaman 2 is a lot easier than Megaman. It also looks nicer, the soundtrack is stronger overall, and handles better. So, after all of the robot masters and a couple of freezes (thank goodness password generators exist), we moved on.

5:00pm

Let’s keep this NES train a’rollin’ with Meganman 3.

Snakeman's level is pretty cool.

Snakeman’s level is pretty cool.

Megaman 3 is hard. Maybe even harder than MM1. It adds a sliding mechanic that is a lot of fun to use, but the levels in general are not satisfying. Perhaps we are just getting burned out after nearly 4 hours of Megaman, but #3 kicks our cans.

6:15pm

Yoshi’s New Island is generally despised by most fans of the original game. I’m going to give it a little more time before deciding what level of garbage it is.

The second boss is insultingly easy (especially coming hot off of Megaman).

The second boss is insultingly easy (especially coming hot off of Megaman).

I completed the second world and the first level of the third world in an hour. It is a very easy game. It is a slower paced, exploration and collection based, and largely inoffensive aside from its ear-melting soundtrack that is truly terribad.

7:15pm

It’s been a while since I played Super Paper Mario, so hopefully these two planned hours go smoothly.

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I got Bowser to join my party and finished chapter 2 and got a good jump on chapter 3. Super Paper Mario is such a weird game with its perspective changes and platform action with slight RPG mechanics.

9:15pm

Back to some delicious Atelier: Escha & Logy: Alchemist of the Dusk Sky. I have been hitting this game hard the last several weeks with hopes of finishing it soon. It is so deep mechanically. It has some of the best character designs I have ever seen in a game. It has some of the best music of the year. The game really is fantastic.

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The three hours fly by as I craft a mountain of items and weapons and complete pages of assignments.

12:15am

Time to ramp things up again with Drakengard 3.

This game is insane.

This game is insane.

The game remains consistently hilarious with its irreverence, fourth-wall breaks, and fantastic writing. The action is still below average to serviceable, but the characters are more than enough to keep me playing.

You know what, I take it back, only about half of the writing in Drakengard 3 is fantastic, the other half eventually boils down to immature sex jokes that get old very quickly.

When you see this character, prepare for a constant stream of endless eyerolls.

When you see this character, prepare for a constant stream of endless eyerolls.

Three Intoners down at least 2 more to go.

3:15am

The last two hours of the day belong to Oblivion.

I finally got unstuck. I had to wait in a specific spot at a specific time in order to continue the main quest. It is a little obtuse and the menus are still garbage. But the game still offers an enormous amount of freedom that few games have pulled off to date.

tes4_knights02

I ran out of lockpicks and I’m pretty sure I have to unlock a chest to continue… ugh.

Wrapping Up

Well that’s a day. There are still not enough hours in a day. The backlog is still too big, but some serious progress has been made today. Here’s to hoping I can do it again soon.

Summary

5:15am-8:15am – Final Fantasy VIII

8:15am-10:15am – Grandia II

10:15am-11:15am – BlazBlue: Chronophantasma

11:15am-12:15pm – Metrico

12:15pm-2:15pm – The Wonderful 101

2:15pm-3:45pm – Megaman

3:45pm-5:00pm – Megaman 2

5:00pm-6:15pm – Megaman 3

6:15pm-7:15pm – Yoshi’s New Island

7:15pm-9:15pm – Super Paper Mario

9:15pm-12:15am – Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky

12:15am-3:15am – Drakengard 3

3:15am-5:15am – The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

24 Hours of Gaming 4

24 Hours of Gaming 4

Alex Linna

April 16, 2014

The primary focus of today will be to eliminate games in my backlog, as well as continue playing some games I am currently working on reviews for.

6:45am

First up, is Final Fantasy VIII, again.

100FinalFantasyGunblade

Squall’s such a bad boy hijacking that car.  A cool two-round boss fight and it is finally on to the second disc!

There are some ups and downs, the team gets split up and gets back together on this emotional roller coaster that is Final Fantasy VIII.  They escape an underground jail and sabotage a missile base.  This game is really leaning in to the “playing as a terrorist” angle. 15 hours in! I should be well passed the halfway point now.

9:45am

I’m sticking with the JRPGs and going to continue on with Grandia II.  I doubled up on my time spent with Grandia II (4 hours in total now, I had previously only played 2hr).  I got a new character to join the party and I ended right before what is surely a boss room.  The game continues to have a good flow and it looks like it will have some interesting side stories along the way.  The current village I am in is stricken with having lost their sense of taste.  It is unknown if these people have loss favor with the god of the land or if something sinister is at work. All in all, the two hours pass quickly.

GII_Mareg_Wallpaper

11:45am

Next up is Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. I played a little ahead this time, I got all the bed pieces before diving back into Dreamt Team again today, however, it turns out that I have to rescue the person who must assemble the bed from the pieces.  I thought, “Oh, that won’t take long.” I was wrong. It took about two hours from the time I got the last bed piece to get the bed assembled.  It closed with a challenging boss fight.  This game continues to stretch out what has already been super stretched out, and it is losing me.

256405-ML4DreamTeam

1:45pm

Back to The Wonderful 101.  Two hours planned for today, what color do I unlock next?  I think this game has yet to grab is due to how “not varied” the gameplay is.  The new Wonderful people add a little, but most of the puzzles are dumb, and the action gets repetitive quickly.  It’s sad, because it is still a decent action game; it just cannot hold my interest.

Wonderful101_WonderWhite-2

And it was Wonder White from Japan with Wolverine claws who was the new character this time.

3:45pm

Following the two previous marathons, next up is 4 hours of Donkey Kong Country 3.  It is not a horrible game.  It is just plagued by some questionable design and character choices. Brock and I almost made through 6 of the 8 worlds. The game is not easy.

Donkey_Kong_Country_3_-_Dixie_Kong's_Double_Trouble!_(NA)

7:45pm

Now, on to 2 hours of Super Paper Mario. It’s a game that I started for the Best Wii list we did recently, and I would like to finish it.

The Mario RPGs are all incredibly charming, and Super Paper Mario is certainly no different, even though this time around it is not a RPG at all.  It is an action-platformer with a nice perspective-changing gimmick.  The game’s art direction is wonderful. There is a lot of reading to be done, but the writing is great. This is Intelligent Systems after all (who went on to make Fire Emblem: Awakening).

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I finish the first chapter rather quickly and take out a good chunk of Chapter 2.

9:45pm

Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky might be a mouthful of a title for a game, but it is also a game with a lot going on with its gameplay.  “Complex” is one word that comes to mind, “Deep” is another.  There is so much to do and the game looks fantastic and has some of the best video game music out there. It is a pleasure to experience, but it is not for the faint of heart, Atelier will ask a lot of its players, but it gives more than it takes.  I am only about 3 hours into game and I can’t wait to see how it progresses.

Atelier-Escha-Logy-2

10:45pm

Let’s keep this JRPG train a’rollin’.  I played about an hour or two of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII when it was released, and have not touched it again until right now.

So, it turns out Lightning Returns is pretty good. I played almost two hours more than I was originally planning.  FFXIII-III is a weird JRPG much like the first two XIII games, but each are unique in how they are weird.  XIII-III is essentially a complete opposite of FFXIIILightning Returns is very open with a several large, highly detailed environments to explore and get to know.  And you will want to get to know them, not due to the convoluted storyline, but the urgency felt in the side quests.  I found myself not wanting to put it down.  The focus of the gameplay is not on the core combat, but in exploration, efficient time-management, and side-questing.  It feels really unique and foreign in some ways.

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2:30am

Rune Factory 4 is one of four games that have been a part of every one of my 24-hour marathons since I began, and I’m afraid I have hit a wall.  I am currently on a boss that I have tried a good 10+ times with varying ranges of success, but I have yet to topple the foe.  30 minutes of trying over and over again went rather quickly.

3:00am

Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars was released yesterday and I put a lot of time into it.  So, there is no surprise that it was the game I was most looking forward to playing today.  I intentionally put near the end of the 24 hours due to the thought that if I started it; I would not want to stop.  So here we are at 3:00 am, let’s see if I can pull myself away in two hours.

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My suspicions were well founded it seems.  Closing the day with nearly 4 hours of Conception II was a great way to bring an end to the 4th marathon.

I was planning on starting Bully and ending with Oblivion again, but Conception II is just too good it seems.  Lightning Returns was probably the biggest highlight of the day, however, I was not pumped to play it today, it ended up being the best thing I played today.  Who knows if it will continue to be good.  Conception II and Atelier were also pretty great.

Summary

6:45am-9:45am – Final Fantasy VIII

9:45am-11:45am – Grandia II

11:45am-1:45pm – Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

1:45pm-3:45pm – The Wonderful 101

3:45pm-7:45pm – Donkey Kong Country 3

7:45pm-9:45pm – Super Paper Mario

9:45pm-10:45pm – Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky

10:45pm-2:30am – Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

2:30am-3:00am – Rune Factory 4

3:00am-6:45am – Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars

 

After today, I would like to try a 24-hour marathon where I play even fewer games.  Playing more of less would make it feel like I am accomplishing more.

24 Hours of Gaming 3

24 Hours of Gaming 3

March 4, 2014

Alex Linna

Journal

The previous entries are here for part 1 and here for part 2.

7:30am

Well, here we are again.  Getting started early always feels good, and first on the docket today is naturally Final Fantasy VIII. Nearly all the games planned for today are from last time, so this should be a shorter write-up.

The bad girl.

Someone should have told Square that random battles aren’t supposed to take this long.  The Tomb of The Unknown King is bringing the pretty visuals.  The ID number for the sword in front of me is 019. I was told in a walkthrough to right write down. What, they don’t think I can remember two numbers!  Wow, this place is one annoying mess of a maze.  We’re about to assassinate a sorceress. Surely, she’ll just teleport away when she senses trouble.  Lots of cutscenes and a tiresome sewer section.

I have still only played FFVIII in a marathon setting. Today’s three hours were rough. Two unfun sections, but the story is starting to come together in some interesting ways.

Original NOS consumed at 9:30 to help jumpstart the day.  That unknown king tomb takes a lot out of you.

10:30am

Next up is Grandia II. I have yet to mention how I like the look and feel of this game.  It is such a product of its time, the late 90’s.  It is clearly between generation 5 and 6 of consoles.  Some presentational cues are recognizable as being from the PSX/64 era, while it looks like a Gamecube/PS2 game.

Millenia is quickly becoming one of my favorite JRPG characters.

Jennifer Hale showed up, otherwise the voice acting is largely not so good.  There is an inherent liability to be found in Grandia II.  I don’t have it nailed down yet, but it is at the same time generic and unique.  I guess I’ll have to keep playing.  I got two new party members in the space of an hour. It stepped it up fast. I am now excited about playing more Grandia.

11:30am

It is time for the handheld lunchtime invasion that begins with Mario & Luigi: Dream Team.  It must be fated that I never finish a Mario & Luigi game.  If Dream Team was the length of the others I would be near the end, but this one is twice as long…

One day soon I will have this magic bed completed.

I got another piece of the magical bed. One to go.

12:30pm

I spent most of my hour with Rune Factory 4 wondering around trying to figure out what to do. I eventually did and got pummeled by a boss. You’ll be mine next time!

Ventuswill, the dragon that helps you along the way.

1:30pm

Jak II.  Today must be my day in the sewers… ugh… again with sewers.  This is turning into an episode of Bro Team.  Very not fun half-hour with Jak II, bummer, I was liking where this game was going.

2:00pm

Perfect Dark Zero.  The second mission of the game is fairly terrible. I cut my time with the game short after how poor the second mission was.

2:30pm

I feel as though it should be noted how funny Aya’s run animation is in Parasite Eve.  It looks like she is trying to hug the air.  The music is still excellent.  Parasite Eve is hard.  I have been dying over and over inching for every step of progress.  I finished the second chapter of the game.  I just needed to get going. I was loaded with ammo and medicine by the end of the chapter, it was just a struggle to get to that point.  Also the story in this game is bonkers.  I expected something crazy after playing The Third Birthday, but this is still pretty far out there.

Chapter 2 takes place in Central Park.

4:30pm

Back to Bravely Default.  A quick hour, a solid boss fight, two new jobs, and some grinding.

5:30pm

Since Brock and I did Donkey Kong Country last time, we are now doing DKC2: Diddy Kong’s Quest. Enter Dixie Kong.  Rescue Donkey Kong.

We didn’t have a Game Over until the 5th world, we were cruising through the game until a mandatory spider level shut us down.  In four-hours we nearly finished 5 of the six worlds. We should be able to finish this one up shortly when we go back to it.

That freaking spider…

I’m not convinced that I like DKC2 more than the original yet. There is a lot more going on in 2, but there is something classic about the original. They are both great.

9:30pm

I had two hours of Bravely Default initially planned, so I decided to take out the second hour now.  I had a tough boss fight that I essentially had to kill three times; it was ridiculous. I’m am still rather enjoying Bravely Default and the job system is fun and engaging.

There is some beautiful artwork in Bravely Default.

10:30pm 

By some miracle, my WiiU decided to play a Wii game on the first try for the first time in a long time.  I’m excited to get back into Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon.  My 2 hours started and ended roughly.  The first 10-15 min was reacquainting myself to the controls.  The last 15-20 min were spent figuring out how poor of a stealth game Fragile is. The middle part was fun, however.  I hit a good groove and things were looking up until the game shifted.

Catching him is so annoying.

12:30am

The end of the 24 hours is in sight.  I had another hour of Parasite Eve planned, so I am going to take that out now.  I ran over time in order to finish a fiercely difficult chapter 3.

NOS consumed at 12:30am.

2:00am

Here’s to hoping that The Wonderful 101 will help wake me up.  I have been feeling the eyestrain a little more this time around, and this is likely the very worst game as far as eyestrain goes.

I defeated a giant black dragon thing with a fly flying it.

3:30am

Time to shoot from the first-person perspective with F.E.A.R. I have not actually played any of the games that repeat on this list from last time since that last marathon.  I am picking up where I left off.  It worries me that I might only be able to play my backlog as in marathon form from now on.

Sadly, F.E.A.R. is standing on the edge of being generic.

F.E.A.R is more creepy than actually scary. The game still plays quite well.

5:30am

I am doing a repeat performance and closing with The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.  I finally got to level two, but just barely before the end of the two-hour session came to a close.  I got as much main quests stuff done as I could. I was surprised with how quickly the game takes the player through an Oblivion gate.

Concluding Thoughts

This being the third time I’ve done a 24-hour marathon it is something that I find to be a lot of fun.  Having another person along for the experience definitely helps.  I’m planning on doing my fourth run soon with another person.  I might try to change it up a little bit for the next one.

The highlights were Donkey Kong Country 2, when Fragile and Parasite Eve were not frustrating, and Grandia II finally getting good.

Summary

7:30am-10:30am – Final Fantasy VIII

10:30am-11:30am – Grandia II

11:30am-12:30pm – Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

12:30pm-1:30pm – Rune Factory 4

1:30pm-2:00pm – Jak II

2:00pm-2:30pm – Perfect Dark Zero

2:30pm-4:30pm – Parasite Eve

4:30pm-5:30pm – Bravely Default

5:30pm-9:30pm – Donkey Kong Country 2

9:30pm-10:30pm – Bravely Default

10:30pm-12:30am – Fragile Dreams

12:30am-2:00am – Parasite Eve

2:00am-3:30am – The Wonderful 101

3:30am-5:30am – F.E.A.R.

5:30am-7:30am – The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

24 Hours of Gaming V.2

24 Hours of Gaming V.2

February 4, 2014

Alex Linna

The goal of today is to play 24 hours of video games continuously without ceasing.  This will be my third attempt of this and hopefully my second success.  I am accompanied by friend and BADGamingPodcast fellow, Brock Morgan on this journey today.  I will be targeting backlog games primarily.

8:30am

Hello Final Fantasy VIII, we meet again! This is the third time I began a 24-hour session with 3 hours of FFVIII. I’m not sure what I’ll do if I ever complete it.

Seifer kidnapped the president and is presumably dead, and there is a sorceress.  The story is getting weird and the SeeDs organization that Squall and company are a part of is feeling more and more like a group of mercenary terrorists.  A lot of cut-scenes in this 3-hour session, and not too much combat, and I’m okay with that.  I made good progress today; maybe one day I can start FFIX.

At least Robin Williams is in the game.

Limeade Mountain Dew Kickstart consumed at 10:30am.

11:30am

It's great working for one of the humans from WALL-E.

It’s great working for one of the humans from WALL-E.

Jak II, probably Naughty Dog’s best work is up next.  This will be my second hour of the open world wonderfulness.  It continues to be a good time.  The game has a very strange tone that straddles being over serious and ridiculous. I just wait for the joke to happen, but it never does, so I am left in suspense wondering if the game is really taking itself that seriously.

12:30pm

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, also known as the game that will never end.  I am still assembling a large bed. I get one of the three remaining parts.  It is nice to see the bean bandit from Super Star Saga show up again in Dream Team.

2:00pm

After a short lunch break with Dream Team, I’m back onto The Wonderful 101.  I finally got Wonder Yellow, our Russian hammer-wielding friend.  This is a challenging game that is exhilarating, but taxing on the player.  I hopefully will beat the game sometime in February.

3:00pm

I’m going to have to cut my time in Grandia II a little short today, due to running over in Dream Team and W101.  I have been surprisingly impressed by Grandia II.  The story is starting to come together after being two hours in.  The combat has some interesting distinctive factors, like its weird timer mechanic. The voice acting is a little rough though.

Spoilers: Forced death against her.

3:30pm

Ah, Parasite Eve, I have been anxious to get back to this one. I made myself beat Final Fantasy VII first before continuing Parasite Eve.  I really enjoyed The Third Birthday, despite not having played the two previous entries in the series.  I know most people who love the first two Eve games loathe the third. Hopefully, I will like them all.  Oh yeah, Parasite Eve has one of my favorite theme songs in all of gamedom.

Square has always had a knack for presentation and Parasite Eve is no slouch in the presentation department.  It is a great looking PS1 game.  I dig it. The combat is both turn-based and real-time. It is wonderful, and much more enjoyable than Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter.

4:30pm

Rune Factory 4, a lovely and charming game.  My hero is still unwed unfortunately, but I was able to fell another large boss. I’m playing the game on “easy” and it still proves more challenging than I expected as a mediocre action-RPG.  It is the simulation elements and pure overwhelming amounts of thing to do in RF4 that make it so appealing. And it looks nice.

This is who I am courting.

5:30pm

Okay, Brock and I are going to try to beat Donkey Kong Country in one blow here.  Spoilers: We fail.  It was a valiant effort. We got it handed to us on the first mine cart level, and a particular barrel level in the snow.  It was fun to watch us get progressively more efficient at the game.  I believe we were only 3 levels away from having it beat, however. We even went over the allotted time. After 4.5 hours we were close, but no cigar for us.  That time was filled with highs and lows, and was generally very enjoyable and memorable.

Black Cherry Mountain Dew Kickstart consumed at 6:00pm.

10:00pm

With the overshooting of DKC by a bit, I’m bumping up my time with Sin & Punishment.  Man, I love me some Sin & Punishment.  This delicious previous Japanese-only release was put up on the Wii Virtual Console some years ago in 2007. I would assume this was to help generate buzz for it sequel Star Successor that is also a very delightful and challenging game.  I started Sin & Punishment again last week and wanted some more time with it.  It is still great and is one of the best rail shooters out there.

10:30pm

Time to get scared. I have been trying to understand the concept of horror as entertainment, and that might be most effectively investigated with a game called F.E.A.R..  I have a little block intentionally somewhat earlier in the night set aside to explore this fear as fun idea.

This is what you are met with as you descend a random ladder.

This is what you are met with as you descend a random ladder.

It turns out that F.E.A.R. is really really good. I went over the allotted time with it unknowingly and completely immersed.  It is one of the best things I have played in the stretch between Half-Life 2 and Bioshock.  It has aged exceptionally well, and it isn’t all that scary yet. It’s a little creepy, sure, but I am more than eager to keep playing it.

12:00am

Let’s keep this shooter party going. I have lower expectations for this one. It is time to see if Perfect Dark Zero is indeed as bad as everyone says.  Perfect Dark for the 64 is currently my 28th favorite game of all time.  Will Zero be a zero and the most disappointing sequel of all time? Probably both.

I haven’t been too tired all day. The most tired I felt was right before dinnertime, but anyway, well over halfway now!

I realized that I never read why everyone didn’t like Perfect Dark Zero. I am going to guess it was the awfully implemented cover system.  I guess in a pre-Gears of War world it is acceptable… oh how I long for that pre-Gears of War world.  The system is actually kind of like Deus Ex: Human Revolution or Rainbow Six: Vegas’.  It looks pretty great for a launch title.

12:30am

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t stalling to avoid playing anymore of the next game… I have previously started Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). I honestly could not complete the first level. I am going to try to do that again now.  Why would one do this to oneself, I am sure you are asking.  I want to do a Sonic retrospective and chart the downfall of the blue blur and that includes this mess.

I am starting to feel a little eyestrain, but Sonic is surely not going to help me feel better about anything.  The game has much better presentation than I would have expected. SEGA kind of went all out here in the graphics and cutscenes department, despite how much of a fury fantasy they are.

Jackpot.

So aside from saying the obvious, “Bad game is bad, and SEGA and Sonic Team should feel bad.” I look forward to playing more of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) so I can practice describing what it is that makes it so unplayable and painful to experience. Here’s a little taste: It took an additional 30 minutes to complete the first real level that is obviously modeled off of the first level of Sonic Adventure.  There is no autosave feature.  So, I got to do the mind-numbing intro stuff again before actually being able to play the first level.  There are the typical Sonic checkpoints in levels, but that doesn’t mean the game saved there, because if you shut that system off then that hard toiled progress vanishes!  And… the loading screens… that are literally everywhere all the time.

Seriously though, eff Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). It is probably worse than anything you have heard about it.

1:00am

I’m going to continue to alter my planned schedule and go with two hours of Metroid Prime 2: Echoes next.  I need a palette cleanser after one functional, but unimpressive first-person shooter, and whatever one would call the tragic disorder that is Sonic ’06Sonic makes me not want to continue to play video games.

I consume an original Rockstar energy drink. This one should get me through to the end.

 

Prime 2 has been in the top ten of my Favorite Games List ever since its inception in 2007 when it was only a crisp 70 elite games.  Most would probably say it is the worst of the Prime Trilogy, but I go back and forth with all three of them.  I’m playing it on the Wii with Wii controls.  Metroid Prime 3: Corruption might be my most immersive gaming experience ever with how well implemented the controls are to the Wiimote scheme.  When Nintendo said they were releasing the first two Prime games with Wii controls as well, I had to jump at the chance to get in on that action.

It had been over a year since I started this Prime 2 playthrough, so most of my time was spent figuring out where I was at in the game, and what I needed to do.  At least I got three missile expansions.

2:30am

It is time for the other creepy game I had planned: Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon.  My expectations for this game have been rising. This will be the first time I see it in action.  And I am starting to feel the drowsiness.

Fragile has got style.

Well, I was right in thinking that Fragile could bring the creep sauce.  There are some unsettling images and enemies to be sure.  Gameplay-wise it is one of the weirder games I have ever played. It is kind of like if The Last of Us was an adventure game and made in Japan.  It has a strange post-apocalyptic setting with a side of dreamscape vibe that creates something truly unique.  It also has an interesting smattering of gameplay elements. It is an action RPG, an adventure game, and a survival-horror game.  It is pretty cool. Fragile also uses the Wiimote speaker to great avail too.

4:30am

4 hours left! I’m feeling it pretty hard right now.  One game on the docket should wake me up though: No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle.  I needed to make sure that I like NMH2 more than NMH before we dive into our “Best Wii Game Showdown Extravaganza.”  I beat NMH three times, once on each difficulty.  It is a thoroughly satisfying game.  I only beat NMH2 once, so that needed correcting.  I started it earlier this week and want to finish it off quick and dirty.

She plays just slightly different than Travis.

I defeated 3 bosses and now am ranked number 8.  This included Shinobu’s two fights, which are two of the harder levels in the game.  The first game may have a better story, but the sequel surpasses it in every other area.  Most importantly, NMH2 has fun job missions whereas; the original’s were repetitive and boring. In two games where you have to buy the chance to compete, job missions need to be engaging.

5:30am

I took a quick shower and now onto another game I have yet to touch: Lost in Shadow.  I have moderate expectations for this one.  I was pumped for it before it was released, but then it did not review outstandingly so I had decided to pass until now.

Wow, this game looks like ICO.  Too bad it isn’t as good as it.  The opening cutscene is beautiful although it is just watching the player’s shadow fall off of a large tower.  Sadly, there is falling damage.  I was thinking, “I just watched this shadow fall off of that huge tower, I bet I can’t take falling damage.” Wrong.  There is falling damage. For Shame.  Otherwise, it is fairly generic 2D puzzle platformer.  Apparently, it gets a little crazier about the halfway point, but I don’t remember how exactly.

6:30am

The final stretch! I’m feeling it pretty good, and I should make it no problem with only two hours left.  I am going to close the day with a game I should have completed a long time ago: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.  I haven’t even started it. Here’s to hoping it has an engaging first two hours.  I do not know how I am going to react to it.  I love Fallout 3, and I think Skyrim is all right.  I hear that Oblivion has better talking skills than ESV, and that is quite important to me, so who knows what I’ll think.

Oblivion on 360 might have the worst framerate I have ever seen.  The menus are kind of garbage-y and the UI is a mess to navigate.  Otherwise, it is a giant Bethesda game, so it is fun regardless of its flaws.

Concluding Thoughts

Now that this is the second time that I have successfully completed a 24-hour gaming marathon I find that it is something that I enjoy greatly.  It gives me the chance to plan a full day so that I am sure I am getting the most out of it.  Having a second person engaged in the same struggle was fun and helps to create lasting memories.  Next time it will have to be with 3 people!

There were a lot of standouts for the day, but the Donkey Kong Country marathon was probably the best part. Second would probably be Fragile followed by F.E.A.R., and No More Heroes 2 is always a good time.

The Final List

8:30am-11:30am – Final Fantasy VIII

11:30am-12:30pm – Jak II

12:30pm-2:00pm – Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

2:00pm -3:00pm – The Wonderful 101

3:00pm-3:30pm – Grandia II

3:30pm-4:30pm – Parasite Eve

4:30pm-5:30pm – Rune Factory 4

5:30pm-10:00pm – Donkey Kong Country

10:00pm-10:30pm – Sin & Punishment

10:30pm-12:00am – F.E.A.R.

12:00am-12:30am – Perfect Dark Zero

12:30am-1:00am – Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

1:00am-2:30am – Metroid Prime: Echoes

2:30am-4:30am – Fragile Dreams

4:30am-5:30am – No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

5:30am-6:30am – Lost in Shadow

6:30am-8:30am – The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

24 Hours of Gaming

24 Hours of Gaming

November 15, 2013

Alex Linna

Thoughts and Journal on the Experience

Here is the inspiration although I did not do it: http://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm

The writing will often seem disjointed with little editing, to preserve what and how I felt at the time which was often disjointed and unorganized.

6:50am

Today begins an adventure.  At least, that is what I keep telling myself.  Much like the beginning of a quest to play video games for 24 straight hours, I am beginning with Final Fantasy VIII. I have never played the lengthy, meaty JRPG from Squaresoft.  It seemed somewhat analogous to do so, however.  The long and potentially taxing journey of both seem made for each other.

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Spirits are high, I got started early!

The opening cut-scene plays in the background. It is a long scene. “Squall is such a bad boy.”  FFVIII seems to have more polys than FFVII, which I completed for the first time earlier this year.  I have a three-hour block to begin this day with the massive JRPG.  I have all 24 hours planned out. I am not sure if I will stick to it, but I will follow my gut.  Who knows? I could end up playing FFVIII for all 24 hours… actually, I do know, I am not going to do that.

Ah, beginning with schoolwork. What a strong and engaging way to start your engrossing RPG.  Squall insists to his teacher that he is “More complex than you think” we’ll see.  It should be noted that I began with FFVIII much against my roommate’s behest, assuring me that it is a terrible game and among the worst of Fantasies.  I disregarded his warnings, having heard some fairly sterling recommendations for the game, but we will see whom is/was right.  Seifer looks like Snow from FFXIII without the dumb hat.

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It appears as though the tutorial takes place at Squall’s seat in class. I read, “GF data [for Squall]” and cannot help but think of “That feel when no GF.”  It looks like he has Quezacotl (which is high level demon in SMTIV) and Shiva… the destroyer.  I apparently start at level 7, wow I am good at this game.  Ugh… there is card game.  I tend to avoid those in RPGs. The only good in-game card games that I can think of are RAGE’s and maybe KORTOR’s.  I guess I kind of liked Mass Effect’s gambling too.  They have some fun with camera angles.  There is an incredibly high encounter rate.  The Junction system is weird with Pokemon-like skills being learned by the summons, but the skills then have to be assigned to the casters.  I guess the Materia system from FFVII was also kind of strange.

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Guess I’ll go gamble.

The main focuses that went into my choosing of games today was to gain ground on games that 1. I need to review. 2. Games from 2013 and 3. Backlog.       

I just got Ifrit a fiery summon or GF. One might say that Ifrit is one hot GF.  Ifrit is also one of the great four spirits oft mentioned in Tales of Xillia.

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Ifrit from Final Fantasy VIII.

9:15am

I’m cracking into my first energy drink earlier than I was hoping. JAVA Monster Mean Bean.

Summon animations take forever.  I’m digging the pre-rendered graphics.  I lost about thirty minutes of progress due to hubris and not saving like an idiot.  After three hours with FFVIII I was not super impressed, but there is probably no JRPG that I would have been impressed by only the first three hours… maybe Xenoblade.

10:00am

Switching it up to Naughty Dog’s Jak & Daxter. I complete 5% of the game and wonder around aimlessly for about 20 min trying to find what to do next.

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10:45am

Roommate suggests Demon’s Souls. We laugh hysterically.  Switching up to Raw Danger. I’m really excited about this one. This game is wonderful.  It is unique, but if forced to classify it into a genre, I would go with adventure/survival due to the strange systems of wetness and temperature.

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The Rawest of Danger: People in mascot uniforms!

12:00pm

Starting up the second case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies.  I’m playing as Apollo although I swore that Apollo told Phoenix he was leaving at the end of the first case.  Confusing, but also exciting.  They reveal the killer in the opening cut-scene; those cases tend to not be as good as the ones where they do not tell the player who did it beforehand.

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New Character: Athena Cykes.

12:30pm

Papa John’s arrives.

2:30pm

I finally got to court in case two of Dual Destinies.  It was a weak first chapter. Not very impressed.  I’m sure it gets better.  I have two more hours of it scheduled during dinner time.

3:00pm

Jumping over to the Wonderful 101, which is probably the most demanding game on the docket for today… that is if I don’t break down and bust out DJ Hero at some point.  I had previously played about an hour, and the Wonderful 101 is still very shiny.  Balthier from Final Fantasy XII, or Fenris from Dragon Age II’s, voice actor: Gideon Emery is in the Wonderful 101. And he is still one of my favorite voice actors.  The game has great loading screens that allow the player to practice, much like Platinum’s Bayonetta.

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Cool and very long boss fight.

5:00pm

Almost half way there!

Instead of keeping with the high-action after W101, I go off plan for a slower paced Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter.

Feeling great!

This game really is gorgeous.  Shadow of the Colossus voices.  Music would fit in a SMT game, specifically Nocturne, but I also get flavors of Final Fantasy and Metroid Prime.

I really wanted to add Grandia II to the list, so that I would have a Dreamcast game, but Breath of Fire was calling to me more.  This isn’t 24 hours of JRPGs!  … although that could be a thing in the future.

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I almost went back to SMT: Nocturne. I had it on the table in front of me the entire 24-hours just in case I changed my mind.

I’m struggling to comprehend how hardcore it is that one can restart this games at anytime and carry over equipment, items, and EXP.  It’s like an eject button.  That makes me wonder if the game will be artificially difficult as a result, but it is a cool idea nonetheless.

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I have to restart twice, but next time I will be super strong!

7:00pm

Passed half! Not tired yet.  Dinner time!  I wonder what’s for dinner.  Left over pizza from lunch.  Yeah!  And back to Phoenix Wright because I can read and eat at the same time.  Back to court.  The prosecutor arrives from jail… interesting.  The cutscenes and in-game engine still look great.

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What secrets does he hold?

9:00pm

And then there was Spartan: Total Warrior.  The last hour of Dual Destinies was tiring me out. Dang! That case is long. I put 5 hours into it today, and I am just over halfway through it!!! The action game should help liven me up.  I’ll probably need to Monster up at 10.

Poor voice acting, repetitive gameplay, but a lot of fun and rather engaging even 14-15 hours deep into the day.

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10:00pm

The Saints come marching in.  In what is my longest planned continuous stretch.  I will now attempt to play 4 hours of Saints Row IV.  And I’m cracking open a Call of Duty: Ghosts branded, original flavored Monster, so you know it’s good.  This is done while bathing in the Saints Row IV menu music which is revitalizing me by all accounts with its phat beats.  The soundtrack is dope, fly, and some other hip word for excellent.  Keith David, the voice actor for Captain Anderson in Mass Effect, is in the game as a character named: Keith David.  He states that before the alien invasion, “I was 12 hours into Dead Island, now I’ll never finish it.  I will never forgive them for that.”  Upon hearing this, I know I am playing the right video game.  I find the game to be consistently excellent, crazy, and impressive.

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I am currently rocking the Uncle Sam attire.

12:00am

The PS4 is out.  I’m switching over to Mario & Luigi: Dream Team.  Better now than later.  I don’t know why I can’t get into Dream Team.  My bet is on the law of diminishing returns.  Ugh… that game spends way too much time in the dream world.  The game kind of gives the player a middle finger, but I continue anyway after a not so surprising “plot-twist.”

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Oh, Luigi. Why must you continue to torment me?

2:00am

Rune Factory 4’s time has come.  There is a lot to like about this game.  Honestly, I didn’t want to stop playing it after a very quick hour.

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Some of the ladies.

3:00am

Due to some people at GiantBomb who took a shower-break during their 24-25 hour marathon sessions, I too am going to do that now before the final 4 hour push.

15 min shower complete.  I feel refreshed, I chug the remaining half of the Monster from earlier and I pop in the Puppeteer.  Solid first impression.  Beautiful game with stunning presentational commitment.

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4:00am

Back to Saints Row, not too tired surprisingly.  I had more of a cool down planned, but I played some stuff out of order.  I only did side-quests in the earlier 2-hour session.  It is time to get to the meat of the game.  A candidate for Most Memorable Moment of 2013 emerges in the form of “Saints of Rage.”  I ended up only doing one main quest mission in the 4 hours I played today.

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Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like.

6:00am

And then there was only Flower.

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Looks good, great use of music.  Not really relaxing for me at least.  I see the appeal, and it plays on the collector inside of me.  Since I had some time remaining, I decide to give Flow a shot.

Flow handles horribly.  So, how to end the day, the experience on a better note…?

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I stare at Tokyo Jungle for a moment.  I select it.  I do a hyena run and die by lion in the third generation.  I actually went a little over time. Cool. See ya next time.

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Conclusions form the Experience

1. There literally are not enough hours in the day.

2.  If I do this again, which I would be super up for, I would prefer more of a community atmosphere, and doing something more “themed” would be cool.  Trying to finish as many games as possible instead of starting 7 new games out of 14 from the very beginning would also be fun.

Summary – The Games

7-10am – Final Fantasy VIII

10-11am – Jak & Daxter

11am-12pm – Raw Danger

12-3pm – Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies

3-5pm – The Wonderful 101

5-7pm – Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter

7-9pm – Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies

9-10pm – Spartan: Total Warrior

10-12am – Saints Row IV

12-2am – Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

2-3am – Rune Factory 4

3-4am – Puppeteer

4-6am – Saints Row IV

6-7am – Flower, Flow, Tokyo Jungle

Image Credits:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/5d/Final_Fantasy_8_ntsc-front.jpg

http://chupakabr.ru/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/final_fantasy_8_screenshot_briefing.jpg

http://watchusplaygames.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/final-fantasy-viii-ifrit-appears-guardian-force-fire-cavern-fight-ffviii-gameplay-screenshot.jpg

http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100906134555/masseffect/images/e/e4/Doran_at_Quasar_Machines.png

http://thegamingliberty.com/wp-content/uploads/008_151.jpg

http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/0/1844/181316-geo.jpg

http://storage.siliconera.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/athena_thumb.jpg

http://images.vg247.com/current//2013/08/The-wonderful-101-2.jpg

http://i.testfreaks.com/images/products/600×400/38/breath-of-fire-dragon-quarter.1932582.jpg

http://static1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130620044656/aceattorney/images/7/7e/Simon_Blackquill.png

http://ps2media.ign.com/ps2/image/article/660/660139/spartan-total-warrior-20051020044747105-000.jpg

http://media1.gameinformer.com/imagefeed/featured/deepsilver/saintsrow/saintsrowiv/independenceday/saintsrowid4_610.jpg

http://media.edge-online.com/wp-content/uploads/edgeonline/2013/07/Mario-Luigi-Dream-Team.png

http://nichegamer.net/media/2013/09/rune_factory_4.jpg

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/puppeteer.jpg

http://theglobalmarketeer.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/SaintsRowIV-2013-08-24-12-15-43-40.jpg

http://thatgamecompany.com/wp-content/themes/thatgamecompany/_include/img/flower/flower-game-screenshot-2.jpg

http://thatgamecompany.com/wp-content/themes/thatgamecompany/_include/img/flow/flow-game-screenshot-4.jpg

http://www.theaveragegamer.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Tokyo-Jungle-Lion-vs-Hyena.jpg