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My Gaming in 2012

Well, in 2012, I played a lot, by my standards, for the first few months of the year. Most years, I play around 6 games and had reached 3 by early February. If one counted the Jak HD collection as the 3 games it contains, I had reached 6 not long after that. It’s a good thing I blogged my progress because I could easily forget a lot of the other earlier stuff.

It started with Portal 2 in January, a game that was released in 2011. I had not played Portal 1 but knew of it. Both Portal games are first-person perspective with a portal gun that you use to resolve puzzles. And both have a good dose of humor along the way. You play as Chell, and she never speaks or reveals anything about herself. Where it shines is in the characters of GLaDOS, Wheatley, and let’s not forget Cave Johnson, a recorded voice telling us that when life gives you lemons to demand to speak to life’s manager. The puzzles themselves present interesting and worthwhile challenges. I probably looked up some help but tried to minimize it.

Presumably in February, based off my blog posts, I played Portal 1 as well. I still haven’t technically beaten it though I am on the last part. The first game is mainly you and GLaDOS and obviously none of the added characters or mechanics from Portal 2.

In February, I also played Soul Calibur 5. Having previously been disappointed with Soul Calibur 4, I mainly played it, like many other games in 2012, because I had easy access thanks to my husband. Due to past experience, I limit my hype and expectations when it comes to video games, and this was no exception. I like to explore the single-player options in fighting games despite them being competitive since that is where I tend to find characters that I like.

However, SC5’s story mode was horrible. Many know of my criticisms for the Tekken 6 story mode, and SC5 surprisingly went the route of somehow taking a concept that was already bad and making it worse. You do not get to pick your character, and good luck seeing if your favorite or some half of the cast even makes so much as a cameo. Too much focus on two new characters AGAIN. At least it was still the core gameplay.

On the one hand, there seemed to be notable additions to what you could do for creating characters, yet on the other, even with black-feathered wings, and DLC Jin clothing, you still cannot make Jin or Devil Jin because of no similar hair option. Oh, and how about removing Talim and Zasalamel while giving us TWO versions of the two characters already clogging up the story mode?! Yeah, that sucked. There is some fun to be had with this game, but all these other things were glaringly bad and annoying.

February also saw the release of the Jak HD collection. Now I’m not as vocal about my fondness for Jak 2 and Jak 3 as say Tekken 5, but they are among my favorite games. I was very happy and actually kind of excited-enough that I bought it Day 1 (which I tend to not do anymore). I had never bothered playing the first Jak game, but hey, trophies, that gives me an excuse. It was alright, but I still like 2 and 3 better. It’s my own fault, but some of my enjoyment was dampered a little with trying to platinum all 3 games, especially Jak 2. Jak 2 is hard. Not only is it hard but getting all 286 precursor orbs is REALLY hard. So hard in fact, that I used a glitch, especially once I realized that I had NEVER gotten 286 before. I had only ever reached the 200 necessary for earning Hero Mode. And then for Jak 3, somehow, somewhere (under a bridge in the port), I had missed ONE orb and started up a new game just to help me track where I had missed it! All that aside, they looked great, Jak 3 especially during a sequence where you glide in the sky, and played great too.

In April or May, I picked up Street Fighter x Tekken. This game’s release fascinated me because it was almost kind of scandalous the things that Capcom tried to pull with DLC in placing 12 locked characters on the disc and pre-order gems that would have an advantageous impact on competitive play online, as far as I know. I don’t play online or competitively so am basing that more off what I read. Regardless, I find it dumb and wrong to encourage paying to cheat in a competitive game. Anyway, I didn’t buy it for any of that but because it had Jin, one of my favorite characters ever, and my most hated character ever was happily locked away, so I never had to see his ugly face either. I got my Jin cut scene and I think Asuka/Lili as well but didn’t really find the rest of the game compelling enough to keep going. With no gallery and a general lack of favorite characters, I stopped there.

Around April, I finally got with the times and bought a smartphone. It was around this time that Draw Something was the popular game, so I checked it out. A bit of a fad, now looking back, but I had good fun with strangers and friends alike.

I am not sure which month I started, but my blog posts for FF13-2 start in June. This game was so…annoying. I still played it and made the most of it. I found some enjoyment through enhancing my monsters, making an especially strong Behemoth, but still…I wrote when I started that it was the worst FF I had played, and that opinion has not changed. Improvements were made over FF13, such as not being as linear and being able to change a party leader, but other things were taken away. Serah and Noel are okay but hardly favorites, and the party member options were very limited given that it was those two and a monster. A guest might appear but not for long and with little to no control. Worst of all was the ending. It felt like a slap in the face and gigantic nonsensical waste of time. Thankfully, there were alternate endings. If that crappy main ending was supposed to get me excited for the next game, it had the opposite effect as I have no faith in the team working on this story after that. Tekken 6 is still the game that makes me the most angry so far as a number of factors go, but FF13-2 is probably the angriest I’ve been at an ending.

In September, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 was released. After T6, my future fandom with the series was questionable and as others would ask me if I were hyped for TTT2, my answer would always be no. One person in fact seemed particularly bothered by such a response, but something to understand about me and Tekken is that even supposing T6 had not sucked, my being hyped for TTT2 would be a stretch because it isn’t canon, and presumably any type of cut scenes of interest would be either short and/or of little relevance. So far as Jin was concerned, that was completely true. I went ahead and spoiled his endings and decided the game could wait as that was more or less my “make or break” for a purchase. Well, my hubby picked it up of his own accord, so I played it in later September all the same. When asked if I “liked” it, I say I do with hesitance. See, so far as I’m concerned, anything with the worst character ever is better off dying in a fire but given WHY I complain about this character was mostly rectified (aside from his general existence), I did what I could to avoid him and enjoy the rest. It’s certainly better than T6, but I regard T6 as a steaming pile of crap, meaning the bar isn’t very high. All the same, there is no Scenario Campaign, which was my biggest issue with T6. Not a whole lot to rave about regarding Jin’s scenes given the best ending with him in it was in my opinion Hwoarang’s not either of Jin’s own endings. My favorite options for Alisa’s customization were taken away, and nothing all that good replaced them.

In December, I had an itch to play something but what? I didn’t know. I have no shortage of options thanks to my husband. At first, I settled for a small free game he had picked up through PlayStation Plus called Rock of Ages. You work your way through the ages using a giant boulder to roll through and do some damage against an enemy gate. It’s humorous and interesting, but I stopped after about 3 rounds upon realizing the money doesn’t really collect as you progress so each attempt is a self-contained challenge. Maybe I’ll go back, maybe I won’t, but I haven’t yet.

Finally, I decided to try something very different for me: Mass Effect. I don’t like shooters, either first-person or third-person, but I do like certain characters and had observed some of interest when my husband played ME2 and ME3. Given that, now that I can start from the beginning on the PS3, I have done exactly that. It hasn’t really changed my opinion on shooting, but I found it interesting and addictive for other reasons. I mainly liked how much I could replay it.

I always make an arbitrary and hesitant list because well…people like lists. Forever subject to change upon further reflection, here’s what we got as of this typing:

  1. Portal 2
  2. Mass Effect
  3. Jak HD Collection
  4. Portal
  5. Tekken Tag Tournament 2
  6. Soul Calibur 5
  7. Draw Something
  8. Street Fighter x Tekken
  9. Rock of Ages
  10. Final Fantasy XIII-2

I’m hoping to work on a video version of this post this weekend.

Tag 2 Progress

I haven’t updated the past couple of days since I’ve been busy playing, but now I’m at a lull since Andrew wants to play.

Perfect time for game blogging!

I’ve been chatting with Newton/CorpseThrust/jnkzm lately, so learned some valuable info from him, such as that you can unlock endings through Ghost Battle by finding opponents highlighted with gold. I’ve resorted to doing that. I have 30 or so endings unlocked. My Devil Jin’s up to Savior, I think. Alisa’s not far behind. I’m thinking of using them until I have Devil Jin at Tekken Lord and then taking care of any other locked endings through Arcade Battle. I want to set aside some time to get at least one picture of my Alisa.

I also found out my replays from my online battles saved. All of them, since I only played enough for the 1st dan trophy and stopped. I’ve re-watched some but am not too pleased with myself, even with most of my few wins. I found 1 that looks half-way decent so might upload that.

Today, I worked on some of the easier trophies in practice, like do 10 tag throws, 3 low parries, etc. The main things I have left are the Fight Lab trophies, unlock 40 endings, GREAT tag combo, and other single player modes like survival, team battle, and time attack.

I’m mildly tempted to somehow chart info/feelings about the character endings, such as an example of the varying lengths or a pie of Good/OK/Meh/Bad. Or something. I blame my following of ilovecharts on Tumblr.

I may further review the rest of the endings as well since at least one person on Twitter expressed appreciation for the ones I did. Another idea swirling in my head is a written review of the game or a video version like how I do character features (informative in the first part, opinion in the second part). We’ll see.

Tag2 Progress

Ugh, losing sucks, so losing a lot sucks even more. Got my Alisa up to 1st dan on a loss, no trophy. I thought well maybe you have start or complete a match as 1st dan. No. Maybe you have to have both characters at 1st dan? No. Lose, lose, lose while trying to figure this out. Finally, I decide to Google it. You have to WIN as 1st dan though the good news is the win can be either in Ranked or Player match. You can bet I went with Player match. I am relieved to say that I won my first player match. That’s TWO trophies (there was still a trophy to get for just winning a match in player match) in one go. Now I never have to play online in Tag2 ever again if I don’t want to. HA!

This morning, I was getting pretty excited because I won two close matches in a row. I was beginning to think that I just needed to get used to Tekken again, get back in the swing of things, but everyone after that point (when I came back home to play this afternoon) reassured me otherwise.

Oh well. At least being forced to win as a 1st dan allowed me to end on a win. I was feeling really lousy after so much losing. My win percentage was something like 25-28%.

Onward to character ending unlocking and maybe looking for any easier trophies in between.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Progress

Well, Andrew bought Tag2 yesterday, so that means I have ready access to it and will play at least until I get fed up with it or a platinum trophy, whichever comes first.

Once upon a time on my travels through browsing Internet gaming forums, probably NeoGAF, I saw perhaps one or two or more than that say or indicate that with fighting games, the first couple of weeks playing online are easy because that’s when all the newbies play.

My guess is it’s shorter than that.

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FF13-2 Progress

Since my last post about this game, a lot has happened in my progression through this game. I found that Tonberry, I upgraded my monster. Then I went and upgraded more monsters to have my awesome pack of Behemoth (commando), Blue Chocobo (ravager), and Green Chocobo (medic).

I’ve beaten the game. I’ve seen all the paradox endings. I’ve collected all the fragments. I’m on the brink of beating it again to get the secret ending now that I’ve fulfilled those other requirements. I also have all but two trophies (one of them being the platinum I’ll receive once I get the other). I assume I need this secret ending to earn it.

Story remarks of reaction before seeing this secret ending but having read bits about it. Spoiler warning, click below to read more about my thoughts on it. Also warning of profanity.:

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FF13-2 Progress

I have a Behemoth!

I want to make him super strong and awesome for my team. I’ve gone to GameFAQs. I’ve looked up passive abilities, picked out the ones I wanted. I have much of it planned already, but I’ve run into an annoying delay.

One of the abilities on my list that I want is Strength +35%. You can only get that ability from Tonberry. Tonberrys are usually hard to fight, in case you didn’t already know. Not only that, in this game, they are rare. I read “oh just get the Battlemania fragment” to increase your chances of finding him since it helps for rare monsters.

But that fragment requires 100% on all maps in the game. If I want to make my Behemoth super strong for playing through the game, but then need to play most of the game(?) to get there, that kind of defeats the point. There’s plenty of side things to do so that may not be true, but I’d rather not resort to playing MOST of the story before finishing this task.

I have found Tonberry and fought him. I use a fair number of Phoenix Downs in a battle with a Tonberry, but I can beat him. I am yet to capture him.

It’s hard enough to get one to show up and when he does, no capture. It’s a vicious cycle. I did some side stuff yesterday for an easier fragment to help increase your chances of capturing a monster at least. I’ll see if/how that helps. I’ve been at this hunt for 3 days. Mind you, not just this hunt 100% of my play time, I’ll do other things in the game, but still a fair amount of that play time.

FF13-2 Commentary/Progress

I recently started FF13-2, don’t think I’ve posted about it here and checking would eat into my limited time to write this post.

Well, I like it enough to keep going and see what happens, but so far, I’d say this is the worst FF game I’ve played*, mainly because it lacks a party member I really like, such as Fang from FF13, Vincent from FF7, etc. The same could be said of say FF8 or FF9, so it can’t be just that. It’s also the general limit. My options are Serah or Noel with a monster. The end. Maybe I’ll have a guest.

LAME.

Then again, I guess you could say I was limited in FF10-2, so there must be something more that’s lacking than that.

Also lame is the boss music. UGH. One of the reasons I never got into playing Devil May Cry is because I really dislike the music. FF13-2 boss music sounds like something out of DMC. I’d just mute it except there might be relevant dialog among the characters during the boss battle. So I must suffer through it.

Mog’s cute. I’m using a free DLC costume for Serah that I like too.

Oh how I miss Fang. Maybe that’s my problem. I’m too attached to Fang and this continued reminder that she’s not there depresses me.

The monster member is an interesting idea, but I haven’t done enough with grooming, growing one just the way I want to do all kinds of butt-kicking yet. Once I do, I bet I’ll like that quite a bit.

In the off-chance that my husband, who is trying to avoid spoilers from me, reads this, I’ll avoid some story talk until he’s done. I just want to move things forward and see what happens, all I’m saying on that.

*FF games I’ve played: FF4, FF6-10, FF10, FF10-2, FF12, FF13. I have not played FF1-3, FF5, FF11, and FF14.

Soul Calibur 5 Progress

I’ve earned a trophy for maximum player level and am now working on one that requires a lot of walking. I’m supposed to have moved around 87,600 meters (or 86,700 meters, don’t feel like looking it up). I’ve moved somewhere in the 20,000+ so that’s A LOT.

I do have a separate, non-trophy goal, to strive for while working on this too. When you use a character’s moveset 50 times, you earn a “Soul of [That Character]” title. The titles don’t do much of anything, something you can put on your player card, but it’s nice to fill them in.

I have 10-12 characters left. Maybe I’ll earn them all, maybe I won’t, but something to do in the meantime.

During this goal, I decided to update Ivy because I don’t care for either of her outfits in this game. I wanted something like her 2P outfit in Soul Calibur 4, but it wasn’t really something I could make. Then I thought of making Tekken Blood Vengeance Nina because a black leather outfit’s readily available. But, while doing so, I found that Hilde’s hair plus said outfit made for an easy Black Widow (The Avengers). So I went with that.

I also updated my Tira. I was thinking of making something like her original SC3 look, but I just ended up giving her a green hairstyle and all black outfit.

Maybe I’ll take screenshots later.

Jak HD Collection Progress - Jak 3

At long last, I found the last precursor orb of 600 in Jak 3.

Looking over my past Tumblr updates, we left off when I had TWO left.

I went through my guide, checking over each listed orb to find. There were a few I was not sure if I had already found or not. I found one of them a couple of weeks ago during this search. I had severely cut back my time in playing these games to the weekends my husband has to work (which is every other weekend).

Then this weekend, I reached the end of my list of 169 orbs to look for and was still missing the very last one.

So I started a new game in Hero Mode. Hero Mode is harder but since you can go in invulnerable with unlimted ammo, etc., most of it is easier and can be sped through. I again took my guide but kept careful track of each orb to find. I was frustrated to find that my Light Jak power of flying had been taken away, as it is required to reach some of the orbs, and I wanted to go in the listed order given in the guide. But the guide goes by location, as opposed to when you actually have the ability to get orbs. I played through a very large chunk of the game just to get that power again.

Unfortunately, right after you get that power is like my worst part of the game where Spargus is under attack, and you have to shoot these Dark Precursor aliens from a turret. The first time I played that, the very first time x-number of years ago, it took me something like 3-4 hours. It’s never taken me that long since, but it’s still hard. You may be invulnerable, but the turret is not. Thankfully, I beat it on the first try this round, wheeeew.

Then, finally, I could go back to my orb hunt. I had left off on last finding orb #5 in a list of 169. It was orb #85 that I was missing, so I found another 80 before coming to that realization. The guide says “Under the bridge in the port,” so I had assumed under the bridge meant in the water under the bridge. It did not. It really was under the bridge, i.e., above the water, up a bit, not in an obvious spot but directly under the bridge as stated. I have a YT video to thank for the explanation. You have to ride your JET board and do a launch jump to reach it.

So, finally, I have my platinum trophy. Hurray!

Now the question is, do I torture myself in trying to get the Jak 2 platinum? And the answer is probably not, but we shall see. In the meantime, my new game is Draw Something, which I may or may not post about after this one.

Edit-Upon a re-read, if you do not already know, there are 169 orbs to find in Jak 3 but 600 total you can get. The ones you do not find are earned through various challenges.

Jak HD Collection Progress - Jak 3

I haven’t played much since beating Jak 3, but I have played. The bad news is that I still don’t have all 600 precursor orbs. The good news is I have 598. I have beaten every mini-game (well, Andrew got the gold for the JET board, but I’m pretty sure I managed that back when I played Jak 3 the first time so was okay with that). I just have to FIND where these last two are. Kind of annoying but should be doable, and then I’ll have my platinum.

Jak HD Collection Progress

I beat Jak 3 on Sunday. I have some orb-collecting still do. My last check was 545 out of 600. I have a number of mini-games to do in trying to get some of these and some others to find.

Today, I earned the Bronze and Silver for the Spargus gun turret, and then later the Gold for the Blaster gun course. I was unable to earn the Silver or Gold for the Wave Concussor course, so might look for a videos on how it’s done.

Jak HD Collection Progress - Jak 3

I’ve been so busy playing, I haven’t updated here. I’m just kidding, I’ve also been busy watching The Daily Show and being entertained.

Anyway, so I kind of gave up on Jak 2. Over the weekend, I looked up my old Jak 2 game saw that I had stopped at 201 precursor orbs. Everything makes so much more sense now. Here I thought I’d been having ridiculous issues with these races and “why? I’ve done this before.”

Well, the reason, silly me, is that I had NOT done most of those before. In fact, I think I’d only ever done the Class 1 race.

That explained a lot.

After all, once you reach 200, the only reason to go for 286 is the satisfaction of doing it. There are no more secrets or rewards or anything else. Except now you do get a platinum trophy for al 286.

So, I decided to go ahead and start Jak 3 with the idea that maybe I’d spend 30 minutes each day for the Jak 2 stuff in between. I have, in fact, tried Jak 2 the past couple of nights and have also continued to fail (though last night, I came painfully close at the end of my 30 mins so that may be a sign of progress).

Meanwhile, it’s oh so nice to be earning trophies and have an easier game with better options. The yellow gun that can ricochet shots…LOVE IT.

I finished Act 1 last night so am somwhere along in Act 2. I do believe I have earned all 600 precurosor orbs in THIS game before so should be able to do it this time around.

Jak HD Collection Progress - Jak 2

I’m still struggling with the racing in Jak 2, but I did manage a Bronze in Class 3 Reverse Race last night. It is the main one I’ve been trying and supposed to be a lot easier, making the others all the more scary.

This guy makes it look easy, so I’m going to re-watch and study it a few million more times between attempts:

I know I’m making progress.

Also, I still managed to get more orbs through other missions, not as many as the past few nights but more than 0.

Current total: 205
End goal: 286
Percentage the way there: 71.7% (rounded up)

That’s another 81 to go.

You know what sucks? The 286 have to be earned through ONE game. They do not carry over if you start on new one (such as starting a Hero mode). That’s crazy! I was going to do it anyway, or at least try, but I am crazy and hoped I could do a separate game as a last resort. Now can’t even do that.

I have the weekend to decide if I want to keep trying or move onto Jak 3 and possibly come back to it later.

So far, sticking to Jak 2 since still earning orbs.

Jak HD Collection Progress - Jak 2

Those races are still kicking my butt, but I managed to acquire more orbs through other missions once again. I now have my Unlimited Dark Jak and….Invulnerability!

Current total: 193
End goal: 286
Percentage: 67.5% (rounded up)

I’m really doubting I can finish those races, but since I still earned orbs tonight, I’m still trying for them.