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Monday, June 13, 2011

Borrowing games from the library

What a great source for Wii games... my local library branches have at least a few Wii gems that I've always been curious about. I can get up to 2 games for 7 days.

A few weeks ago I borrowed Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces. All I knew about it was that it's a flying game, and I love flying games. So I was a bit surprised to read on the back of the box that not only is it a flying game but a flying game developed by Project Aces, the dev studio that does the Ace Combat series of games-- including my 2 fave PSP ones, Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception & Ace Combat: Joint Assault. A definite borrow!

Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces is based on the Sky Crawlers anime, and the game is pretty much Ace Combat gameplay mechanics with the Sky Crawlers skin overlaid onto it. Should be an instant-win right? The problem is that in the anime universe of Sky Crawlers, it appears there are only propeller-based aircraft, no jet engines. The aircraft in this game move pretty slowly. The mission structure, from the mission briefings to the aircraft selection to the combat & even mission types is very much like what I've played in the PSP Ace Combat games.... I was actually amazed there was no "fly through the tunnel" mission like there usually is with those games... However, the missions in Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces are very short and become an awkward blend of Ace Combat style with story elements from the anime, which I hadn't seen before playing the game (I found the DVD at the library after, and borrowed it... it's meh...) and the default motion controls, while actually a not bad idea, don't work very well in actual use. The game overall is fairly short; I think I finished it in like 5 hours.

Right now I'm borrowing Donkey Kong Country Returns and GoldenEye 007. Donkey Kong Country Returns is a good-looking platformer that is very unforgiving. Normally I'm not a fan of stingy gameplay where you have to do everything exactly right or you get nothing, but I think developer Retro expects gamers to replay it over & over, memorizing the game in an attempt to get good replay value from it, extending playing time.

GoldenEye 007 was one I was very curious about. One of the annoying things about it is that there's a glitch where if you have a GameCube controller plugged in to your Wii, or like me, a Wavebird controller dongle... the Wii remote inexplicably stops working right at the save file page. I first played the game on someone elses' Wii and it worked fine. When I took it home & booted it up that's when I noticed. I had to look it up on the internet that you have to remove any GC controller (even though my Wavebird wasn't turned on) and GC memory cards to use the Wii remote + nunchuck. While it's nice that using a GC controller is an option, there are other Wii games that also have that option yet you can still use the Wii remote without unplugging the GC stuff. So it's clearly bad programming by developer Eurocom.

Other than that it's an ok first-person shooter but I'm finding it way too dark on the screen like House of the Dead: Overkill. Maybe it's my TV? I dunno, but I mowed through like a dozen guys that I had NO IDEA where I was or what environment I was in, all I could see was a sea of black.

Oh yeah, I also borrowed Tom Clancy's HAWX 2, because I'd seen very little info about the Wii version and it's a flying game. The controls are ok, but the game is very meh. Glad I discovered that, otherwise I might've risked $5.00-$10.00 if I came across it on sale. Same with Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces... just not worth owning in my opinion.

Yup... I'm really loving the library.


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