Thursday, 15 December 2016

Toy Tales Alpha

I had the evening to myself last night, so I thought I'd trawl through a few more games in my PS3 back catalogue. The early days of PSN were filled with arcade games with a score attack focus, and my crazy completionist streak doesn't extend to them. I've also already played a bit of all of these when I first got them, so this is more just a reminder for me, and a way to knock a few more titles off the list.

First up was Toy Home. This is a bit like a traditional racer viewpoint mixed with a Micro Machines aesthetic. You pick a wind-up car and drive through various rooms in the house, knocking over various items, collecting time extends and bonuses, and trying to hit all of the checkpoints within a specified time. The big gimmick was that it was controlled using the motion controller in the PS3 joypad, so you tilt the joypad to make the car move right, and left to make it go left. I think this was the first game where motion was the prime control method rather than just a gimmick. Did it work? Welllll, kind of. I mean, it's perfectly playable, and you certainly can control your car using it, but you can't help thinking as you play that it would be much easier using standard controls. I actually thought they patched in standard controls in a later update, but I couldn't find that feature. It was a fun game back int eh day, and I remember playing it quite a bit, but racing games are never really my cup of tea.

Next up was Mahjong Tales - Ancient Wisdom. This is a fairly basic mahjong game with a vague storyline linking together a few tables - Chinese (I think) folk tales told through cut scenes whenever you complete a board. I got strangely addicted to this when I first got it. There's something quite relaxing and mesmerizing about clicking away those tiles, and I seem to remember playing quite a bit of it when I was up early in the mornings with my son when he was a baby - something gentle and with no sudden movements that I could play while he was dozing in my lap. I think the biggest problem with it is that it just takes so long to play. A table can easily take half an hour or more to get through - fine when you're bleary-eyed with a baby at 4 in the morning, not so much when you're on a ridiculous backlog quest!

Finally, I played a bit of Street Fighter Alpha - Warriors' Dreams. I love a bit of Street Fighter, but I'd mostly missed out on the Alpha strand. This was really the next evolution after SF2, with a bunch of new characters alongside some new moves and a power bar that charges up as you fight enabling your supers. It''s Street Fighter. I'm nowhere near enough of a pro player to appreciate some of the finer changes in here, I'm a casual brawler at best, so it just felt very much like the old game with a new roster of characters. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it by that point. I was disappointed not to have any back story to the characters, though. Sure, it's never the most important bit of a fighting game, but I enjoy that craziness they make up - it pulls me through a single player game much more than just a will to compete. It's all well and good, but I don't have time for it now (and it made my thumbs hurt). Onwards!

I got a bit annoyed with all the crashing in Fallout 3, so I've moved back to Mars War Logs. I think I'm near the end of the second part (of three) of the game, so I'm getting through it, and enjoying it. I'll probably stick this out to the end and see if I can squeeze it in before the end of the year, and then switch back to Fallout 3.

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