A Return or Two

by on

Can it be? Could I possibly be back on GameSpot? Well... sort of. It's a long story. Actually, it's not that long. It's rather short, really.

You see, just over a year ago I left GameSpot completely and started a brand new blog on this really fancy (but free) site called Wordpress.com. I have been actively posted in that blog since I last checked in here (that new blog can be found here, by the way), but I have pretty much stayed off of GameSpot since that fateful day when I posted my "last blog on GameSpot." I've really enjoyed writing on the new blog, posting many reviews for albums and movies as well as random thoughts about deeper matters of life and God and everything in between. However, a week or two ago I got this comment on said blog from @pspitus, a fellow former GameSpotter, saying he was back in action on GameSpot and wanted to revive the good old League of Reviewers, a union I started here over three years ago. So I passed leadership of the union on to him and of course I had to come check things out here again, so here I am!

I'm not expecting to be an especially active member again like I used to be, but I'll probably check in on a regular basis. I don't know if I'll post more blogs, at least very consistently, but I think I'll have a new review or two written fairly soon, for Zelda: Skyward Sword and possibly another for Ocarina of Time 3D (my brother got a 3DS recently so I have access to some of those new handheld games now). I've been much less into video games lately and much more into music as far as entertainment goes, but I still enjoy playing a game every now and then. Every once in a while something worthwhile turns up... like a new Zelda game... yeah, I couldn't resist that one last November. :D

So anyways, that's all I have to say, I thought I'd at least check in while I'm here! Who's still here from way back when? How have you been?

Soli Deo Gloria
TissueShoe

Last Blog... On GameSpot

by on

Hey everyone, it's been a long time since I last blogged again, like a couple months... I'm just here to deliver some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that this is the last time I will post a blog here on GameSpot... but that's also a part of the good news, which is that I've started up a brand new blog just yesterday using a site called WordPress! So if you still want to follow stuff I post on the internet, that's the place you'll want to check. You can find it by clicking here. If you've read my blogs here before you should recognize me by the blog's name. ;) So yep, that's all. Just wanted to let you know about that, and that I will be actively posting new stuff there hopefully at least a few times a week. So this is goodbye, kind of, sort of, not really... I guess it depends on how often I check back here and how often you all check out the new blog. Comments there would be much appreciated, that way we can discuss things and still keep in touch to some degree. :) So this is the end... of this blog, anyways.

Soli Deo Gloria
-TissueShoe

Time For A Blog?

by on

Wow, it's been over 4 months since I last posted a blog here hasn't it... it's been a long time indeed! I've checked in every once in a while but never taken the time to write a blog or review, I've been busier than ever these past few months. I've hardly played video games at all in that time... until the past few days, of course, because now I have a couple weeks of break for Christmas! :D So I've been playing games a lot these past few days, I guess to make up for all that lost time or something like that. :lol: My friend gave me Mario Power Tennis on Wii for my birthday so I was playing that, and then I got Metroid: Other M from Amazon with a gift card (it was only $20! :o) so I've been playing that a lot since I got it on Saturday, I think it was. It's a great game, with some exciting combat and sweet bosses, although the controls are weird (remote and nunchuk would have been a thousand times more effective) and some of the voice acting is pretty poor (especially Samus, who, if judging by her voice alone, hardly has more personality than cardboard. No, seriously, it's THAT devoid of emotion). So I've been enjoying that, and I've finally been playing Professor Layton and the Curious Village here and there, since my brother got it in July. I'm hoping to get Mario All-Stars and maybe Donkey Kong Country Returns for Christmas, they both look like fun. And if my brother gets Kirby's Epic Yarn, we'll be all platformer-ed out by the time we're done with all those games. :lol: But anyways enough about me, how have you all been? I hope you're all doing well! :)

Soli Deo Gloria
-TissueShoe

The TissueShoe Review... Revolutionized! ...Sort Of

by on

I have decided to take a new approach to writing reviews. I seem to have lost the desire to write up lengthy reviews as they take up more time than I would like them to, so I've decided to cut to the chase and right shorter, more concise, and hopefully more helpful reviews from here on out, because they take less time away from all of us. I take less time writing, you take less time reading and hopefully get just enough helpful information to make the review, well... helpful, taking less of your precious, valuable time from you. :) My first review using this approach is for Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando! I finished this game quite some time ago but finally sat down and wrote the thing, I hope it's helpful!

Soli Deo Gloria (really)
-TissueShoe

Suburba!!!

by on

My most anticipated album of the year is finally out: "Suburba" by House of Heroes! It's pretty awesome! It's just as good as I've come to expect from the band: super fun and catchy, solid lyrics, and epic in all the right spots. And right now, it's only $3 on Amazon MP3! That's really a steal for such a great album if you like rock music at all, I highly recommend you take advantage of that deal because it might end soon! (It might even be over before you read this, I don't know...) So yeah, there's my short blog of excitement for the Suburba release! So how are you all doing?

Soli Deo Gloria
-TissueShoe

Quick Impressions on Some Handheld Games

by on

Hello everyone! I'm back from vacation and ready to post my impressions of three games I played on the trip, so I'll get right down to it:

First off is WarioWare D.I.Y. Unfortunately I found this game to be creative but also severely unimpressive at the same time. The game creating aspect of the game is very well done, and though it is limited in some respects it's a solid start for a strong new element in the series. Making games is pretty fun, though I'm not an artist and I don't find making graphics very entertaining, I enjoy fiddling with the AI and getting the game to do what I want it to. It's a smart, well-developed, and surprisingly easy tool to use. The real downside to D.I.Y. comes with the game's preloaded content, which is about as lackluster as it comes. Most of the minigames just seem to lack the appeal of those in the first few games in the series. They aren't nearly as creative as other games in the series and not to mention several minigames are borrowed or updated as part of the game's preloaded content, which also kind of limits the game's appeal as one who has played three games in the series already. So D.I.Y. was pretty entertaining but despite great the game creation tool it lost its appeal as a whole pretty fast, fast enough to encourage me to sell it on Amazon and get something else with the money.

Wario Land 4 was next, and though it isn't exactly an amazing game, it's a solid 2-D platformer that kept a lot of what I love about the first Wario Land. The levels are put together nicely, and it was adequately challenging without being at all frustrating. I liked that the game not only has you going through every level forwards and backwards, but it also forces you to find four pieces of a gem that are necessary to reach the area's boss, plus there is a record to find in each level as an extra collectible (as in the music kind of record). Too bad the game was really short.

Finally, I played through most of my brother's copy of Kirby Superstar Ultra. At first I wasn't at all impressed with the game, it just seemed like standard Kirby and nothing more, but as I played more of the games it got better and better until I was convinced that it's the best Kirby game I've played. The game is actually not just one Kirby adventure but includes about 10 short games that range from 15 minutes to a couple hours long, excluding all of the collectible treasures and stuff. What might be the best part of the game is that the copy abilities give Kirby multiple moves, so the gameplay is much deeper and more fun as a result. So Ultra is a great game that's worth getting for anyone who likes Kirby games.

That's really all I have to say about the games I played on vacation, but while I was on vacation we actually stopped at a store and right nearby was a GameStop. I had found out about their power saver sale from an email I got from them and I just HAD to pick up Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, because it was 50% off, putting it at just $6.50! So I started it today and played for just under an hour, and I can already tell it's an even better game than Going Commando for various reasons, none of which I can give detailed thoughts about just yet. It sure seems like a fantastic game! So my next reviews should be for these games, probably in this order: Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, WarioWare D.I.Y., Wario Land 4, and Kirby Superstar Ultra. And if you wanted to see my Mario Galaxy 2 review and missed it, here it is! So... how are you all doing?

Soli Deo Gloria
-TissueShoe

Super Mario Galaxy 2 Review

by on

I'm back with another review, a nice big one for Mario Galaxy 2! I hope it's helpful, and if you read it and it's good please give it a thumbs up! ;) That'll be all from me for the next couple weeks, I'm on vacation until the 25th or so. I'll probably write up my review for Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando the week I get back. Until then I hope you all have a great couple of summer weeks! :)

Oh, and I forgot to mention I have four games to be playing for the next couple weeks! I got WarioWare D.I.Y. for DS and Wario Land 4 for GBA ($5 at GameStop!). My brother got Kirby Superstar Ultra, and he also ordered Professor Layton and the Curious Village from Amazon, it's not here yet but we're hoping it'll be on our doorstep today so we can play it on the trip. So I have plenty of gaming to be doing for the next couple weeks in between enjoying lots of time with the family. Ok that's really all now, see you later!

Soli Deo Gloria
-TissueShoe

GameSpot Gets Owned?

by on

Wow. After 9 months of forgetting all about it I went back to Giant Bomb today, another gaming site on the web, and realized how much better it is than GameSpot, at least feature-wise for its users. Like GameSpot, it tracks your Xbox, WoW, and Steam achievements (and it actually worked for me, unlike GameSpot which still hasn't shown my Portal achievements from Steam), and unless I'm mistaken GB did it first. They also have a trivia feature that lets you make up trivia questions about anything in the gaming universe for people to answer, and you can try your hand at answering the trivia provided by GB users. One thing you've always been able to do there that I've always really liked is the user-generated Wiki which lets you edit the site's pages for any game, franchise, object, etc. And now they have Quests, which are like GameSpot's "Achievements" only there are a lot more of them and you can actually just sit for lengthy periods of time trying to do them. And of course you can post reviews and blogs! And they even let you put images in your reviews, as well as, oh my goodness, bold and italicize words! :o Yes friends, it's a shocker, but it can be done. It also lets you comment on reviews, both from users and editors, which is a common sense sort of feature GS still doesn't have. It makes GameSpot's user review features look pretty lame, outdated, and nonsensical. I mean none of the stuff they have for reviews is revolutionary, it's just the kind of stuff that should be there. Not to mention that Giant Bomb is basically the Twitter/Facebook of gaming, complete with status updates, notifications, and even linking your account to your Twitter and Facebook if you want! GS does have a Facebook connect thing but I've never noticed if anyone uses it and I don't want my personal information linked to this profile for all to see, but GB lets you simply share posts from GB on your Facebook and stuff. It's all so nifty and fun, it's what a gaming website should be for users like us! That is why I think we should all just move to Giant Bomb, because if I didn't have any friends who used GameSpot, I would have little reason to come back to it for community purposes. Except maybe to check up on the League of Reviewers every so often. Anyone think I'm wrong? If you've used Giant Bomb a bit and disagree please tell me why! I do realize that GB doesn't have unions, which is a bit of a downer compared to GS. I highly recommend you at least try it out, and if you do (or if you already have) send me a friend request, here's my profile. I hope you'll at least check it out and consider using it, because if you all do, I will! :)

Soli Deo Gloria
-TissueShoe

Pokemon Silver Review

by on

Finally, after a rather long hiatus, I have a new review for Pokemon Silver posted! It's still the best Pokemon game yet, although I still haven't played the remake, and I'm not sure if I ever will, I'm content with the nostalgia of the second and best generation of Pokemon. So now that I've reviewed a game I beat, uh... three months ago? Or was it four... anyways, I now have reviews for both Mario Galaxy games in the works, and after they are finished I plan on writing a review for Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, which I did beat for the second time! I've also been playing a bit of the original WarioWare game lately, so a review might be coming for that as well, but that's less likely. And now I'm a few hours into Kingdom Hearts I'm still not impressed with the game much at all. I'm in Wonderland right now looking for some evidence, which is the second or maybe third time I've been annoyed by the game's fetch quests. The graphics are great, but other than that the game just isn't very fun. The battles are decent but suffer from the menu-based controls (a greater emphasis on button shortcuts would help) and a terrible camera and pretty stupid lock-on system. I mean sometimes when I want to lock on to an enemy I'll lock onto some object halfway across the room, then instead of slashing an enemy I'm swinging at thin air towards that object. It just doens't work. And the camera is also rather unintelligent and incapable of providing a view of the action that's remotely helpful. I'm not giving up on it yet but if it doesn't improve I might just drop it. Well that's it for now, I should have a verdict on the game this week as well as at least one more review, so stay tuned! Thanks for reading!

Soli Deo Gloria
-TissueShoe

Almost Done... For the Second Time

by on

So I definitely thought that after I beat Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando I would officially move on to Kingdom Hearts and Star Wars Battlefront II, but that totally has not happened yet. Going Commando sucked me in for a second playthrough, something that almost never happens to me. What's strange is that Insomniac made this game more fun to play the second time than the first, because you get to keep all your upgraded weapons, upgrade them even more, and earn tons more bolts to buy these upgrades. And of course there are platinum bolts hidden in every level and skill points to seek out, the game just keeps delivering. And the other day I played the first R&C game for about 10 minutes, and it was only then that I realized how much of a difference Going Commando's subtle improvements make in the game as a whole. The controls are noticeably more precise, the game pauses when switching weapons, and in the first game weapons couldn't be upgraded until the second playthrough, and then they were pretty tough to unlock. So Going Commando is officially a great sequel! All things considered, I would say that if you haven't played this series yet I would recommend skipping the first game and just playing Going Commando, it's way better. I'll review it pretty soon, I hope, but there are a few others I want to do first. I'm hoping to get some of those done in the near future, I know I've been saying that for the past month but when you haven't been writing reviews for a while, it's hard to just sit down and finish one... well hopefully one will come out soon. See you later! :)

Soli Deo Gloria
-TissueShoe