Pumpkin Pie and Apple Cider!

Yes it’s that time again… For treats in Guild Wars! The holidays are the best days for consumable item drops within Guild Wars, and the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the best. Baddies drop pumkin pie and hard apple cider. While I like the Guild Wars version of apple cider less than the actual cider, the pumkpin pie is definately better in Tyria!

Ninjatown!

I just came back from lunch with the new DS game Ninjatown in my hand. Man it’s adorable and great fun. A bit of a twist on the classic Tower Defense-style gameplay, you take the role of the Ol’ Master Ninja, the leader of the defense of Ninjatown. You must defend Ninjatown’s cookies against the hordes of Mr. Demon who wishes to take then Ninja-Cakes for himself!

I already love the audio of this game, the music is really fun and upbeat, and the combat noises are spot-on, punch and kick styles that bring you back to kung fu movies. The art style is great too, a very cheery cartoon style with little creeps versus little ninjas. The gameplay itself is solid, nothing really new about it from any WCIII style TD map, but it’s definately simple and quick, you can zoom all over the map placing buildings on the touch screen while the overworld map appears on the top screen. It seems to find a home on the DS where you can tap on the map to place or upgrade your buildings which spawn different types of ninjas with which to defend your confectionaries.

There’s a single-player campaign and a multiplay mode that supports two players in a head-to-head match of last man standing! I can’t wait to try out the multiplayer. The single-player campaign seems beefy. I’ve tried the first mission that took me about ten minutes and my campaign is now 2% done. If 1 mission is 2%, that means there are 49 more to go! And all promise to be much more complicated that the very simple first learning mission I went through.

Ninjatown got me interested again in the DS! It’s over 9000!!!!

Let Down and Undercover

Well I’m slightly bummed. I was really looking forward to Need For Speed Undercover. Last year’s ProStreet was a poor showing, and I miss the days of Carbon. Turns out, I may as well just go back and play Carbon again, because this new edition is buggy, broken, and missing the plot. Missing the plot literally and figuratively, because the story is terrible and the game is terrible. Boooo.

Well there’s always Gran Turismo 5: Prologue. Half a good game is still better than a full bad game.

Guild Wars Reputation Titles Revamp

I haven’t had much to say about Guild Wars lately. I spent a great deal of the past three years playing the game, and I guess I needed a break. I may be wandering back to it soon (and guilt-free, thanks to no wasted subscription fees during my break!) due to the newest tuning update.

This latest update is a big change to the way one gains points within the reputation series of titles and what those titles mean. In most of the newest content within Guild Wars (anything after the first release of Guild Wars: Prophecies) many areas have related titles within which a character can gain points. Each of these titles have benefits, such as skills related to the levels of those titles, unlockables, and other rewards. Up until the rebalancing, progressing in these titles have been relatively difficult from one to another. In three years, I’ve maxed out two of the eight, and those were by far the easiest.

So, the update. The biggest change is that all the titles are much easier to progress in. Quest and mission rewards have increased and there are many more ways to gather those points through other activities. Additionally, there is one more interesting new way to gather points and rewards introduced in the update. Those are storybooks.

Those with Guild Wars: Eye of the North will know the Hero’s Handbook and Master Dungeon Guide (yes those are not-so-subtle winks to D&D’s PHB and DM Guide). New books have been introduced for each other of the previous three game campaigns. Players can now chronicle their missions within the books and turn them in for rewards of experience, gold, and yes, faction points! Additional icing on the cake for playing the game.

Definately a lot to check out. If rumors are true, we should see a GW2 beta in the next quarter. With the new game being a true sequel and allowing some measure of character transition through the Hall of Monuments, investing in portions of GW, such as titles and the Hall, could promise to give devoted players a running start in GW2.

What a Week of Games

I’m just about exhausted with anticipation over the games dropping this week. Top of my list are Need for Speed Undercover, the latest in my favorite street-racing series, and Sonic Unleashed, the new reboot of the Sonic platformer genre. Definately getting NFSU on the PC, where the graphics are best and the price is lowest. Sonic released this week on the Wii, comes out next week on the 360, and the second week of December on the PS3. Kind of an interesting release schedule… It may be best on the Wii, if they take care of the control scheme, the Wiimote + Nunchuck could be a blast bouncing Sonic all over the new wild world Sega has created.

Also out this week is a game Tracy is likely to lose the next week over, Animal Crossing: City Folk. Only, he has to figure out some way to get Mart’s Wii away from him… I had a passing fancy with the Animal Crossing genre, but never quite understood it. Others, I heard, fell head-over-heels for the community connections of the this hard-to-define collector-RPG.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Left 4 Dead. Moving on.

The new Laura Croft adventure drops this week as well, called Tomb Raider Underworld. The titles have always been hit or miss; the heroine everyone loves once again cavorts around ruined tombs, and early buzz is that this is one of the quality titles.

So, at least two titles that I deeply desire, one that I will avoid like a zombie menace, and a couple meh. I don’t know how long I can keep this up!

Holiday Planet

Just finished my first actual level in LittleBigPlanet, and I’m pretty happy with it. It’s pretty much a platformer with some mechanical effects sprinkled in (I particularly like my ski lift). It’s themed for the holiday season, hence the name, Holiday Planet. It’s available on LittleBigPlanet now!

LittleBigPlanet "Finished"

The “finished” is in quotes because, of course, finishing a game like this with a wealth of community-developed levels and loads of collectibles is impossible. But I did finish the single-player story mode of the game, which took me over two weeks to actually do, mostly because I was having too much fun fooling around with playing levels over and over again. LittleBigPlanet has been loads of fun, from single-player missions levels, to co-op story levels, online player-created content, and let’s not even get into the level creation. I have a Ninja Warrior stage that I think turned out really well. I have ideas for several others, too, if I can get some time on the game away from my wife and son! Even in it’s “finished” state, there’s plenty more to do in my LittleBigPlanet world.