Welcome to the ‘What I am playing’ edition of blogger! It has been a long weekend and I got a chance to play a bunch of games, none to completion, but enjoyed my time.

The World Ends With You – Wow is all I can say, I play this game off and on and am constantly astounded by the art style, sound, music and story. Essentially a real-time RPG that has unique features like a rest system (gain experience for the time the game was off) and the ability to gain XP if you connect to any other DS regardless of whether they have the game or not. The combat and exploration is really fresh and enjoyable.

Prince of Persia – I really, really, REALLY like the art style and environments in this game. The animation and controls are so responsive that at times I am convinced I don’t have to press anything and in fact the scene is pre-set…till I fall. But I have to say the game has severe issues when it comes to gathering the light spheres. I simply do not enjoy it and find myself getting bored when I have to collect them. When playing the core experience it is great, the dialogue, story and boss encounters are really enjoyable. I have no issue with the no-die style of gameplay (in fact I wish gears had this…see next game) but the artificial lengthening of the experience focused around collecting items is really lame.

Gears of War (the original) – I have a severe Love/Hate vibe with this game. I really like the gameplay, controls, setting and over the top violence but the pacing, character models and checkpoint system need serious work. I like a challenge so I am playing on hardcore and generally do just fine. But there have been about 4 really tough battles that I have had to re-try a number of times. Unfortunately the checkpoints (no save anywhere function) generally click in before the battle segments and before non-skippable dialogue. The current fight (right near the end) has me cresting a hill and having three (badly written) conversations before I faze 20 or so baddies. This type of badly placed checkpoint system is very 90’s and should not have happened.

Tales of Vesperia – Frankly I can’t think of anything bad to say about this game. Amazing graphics, great character designs, tight story and dialogue. I guess some of the battles are a little too hard while others are shockingly easy. Some bosses really need you to grind in advance due to the fact that your party is AI controlled and not very careful. Other then that…great game and one of the best JRPG’s in years.

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