Archive for the 'games: online and off' Category

Behind - 1:32PM, 2010/12/29

Wow, I suddenly got very behind in my book posts. And, well, all posts. I’m definitely not going to make my goal for # of posts this year, not by a long shot. But I did at least do considerably better than I had been.

Part of my procrastinating on the part of the book posts is due to the fact that I finished a book for TT which requires a long review — but I’m finding it difficult to write, because there was nothing to latch onto in the book that made me feel super inspired to comment on it. I’ll get through it eventually.

The other part is because I had a bit of a break from reading earlier in December — I picked up Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light for the DS and was playing that instead. I’m still in the middle of it (one of my chars just got turned into a cat) but I’m taking more time to read. I took out a bunch of library books back in uh, October probably, and I’ve been renewing them ever since. But that’s not fair so I’m determined to get them back into circulation soon.

Overdrive also released an update to their Android app, which meant I could now check out ebooks on my phone. I was skeptical to say the least that I would be able to read books on a phone, especially since I’m not enamored of the eInk readers (more on that in another post), but actually it has turned out to be amazingly convenient to read in bed. However, that does nothing for my stack of paper books waiting to be read.

Not to leave this post without a review, here’s a review of another game which interrupted my reading:

The ABC Murders (Nintendo DS)
As one would expect, this game is based upon the Agatha Christie novel of the same name. It stars Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings on the track of what appears to be a homicidal maniac. Unlike other Christie games, this is neither a point and click adventure nor a hidden-object game; instead the idea here is copied from Professor Layton, and characters are constantly attempting to ‘test’ Poirot by telling him puzzles that he has to solve. The conceit actually works very well and meshes into the story. Unfortunately, the game mechanics are just horrific — I can’t tell if the programmers were just lazy or completely incompetent. You can very easily accidentally end up having to replay entire sections of the game simply because you select the wrong choice from the menu; the game doesn’t seem to remember that you’d already been there and allow you to only repeat the part you wanted to see. The programmers also fail to provide the same basic functionality as the Layton games — you can’t use the bottom screen as a scratch pad until you’re ready to enter the answer, meaning that you WILL need a piece of paper at points. The game also slavishly follows the plot of the original novel; if you’re expecting some kind of twist, you won’t find it here. This wouldn’t matter much as the puzzles are clearly the point of the game, if the mechanics hadn’t sucked so very much. As it is the game is so aggravating I wouldn’t recommend anyone play it, and I’ll be very cautious about buying anything from this studio again.