LordAndrew (Level 11)

What is this place? Super Miasma World?
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A few days ago I beat Professor Layton and the Unwound Future. It's the third game in the series, and the gameplay hasn't changed drastically, but I still really like it.

For those who like numbers, my final time was 21 hours 57 minutes. During that time I found 129 puzzles and solved 110 of them. That's over four hours more than the time recorded on the previous two games. Although that statement is based on the current time listed for the first two, not the time listed when I originally beat them. No, I haven't completed every puzzle.

So anyway, the puzzles are good. That's key, but what really impressed me is the story. The Prime Minister disappears in an explosion after a time machine demonstration backfires. Luke and the Professor get a letter from Luke ten years in the future, and they're off on an adventure. It's clear from the start that things are going to get crazy, and they definitely do.

I enjoyed the plot a lot, and that's definitely helped by the characters. There are some great new characters, but new characters aren't ignored either. I was surprised to actually learn about Professor Layton's backstory. It's difficult to discuss that without spoiling anything, but it really is incredible.

With fun gameplay and surprisingly great storylines, I now consider Professor Layton among my favourite series. Really good stuff.

On a side note, after beating the game I threw together a list dedicated to everyone's favourite Don. But if you haven't played all three games, beware. There be spoilers.
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Some notes on the new search:

  • Can click "options" to filter by page type.
  • Typing a new search term hides the previous results while the new results load.
  • The first time you click anywhere in the options box all the options clear. This means that unchecking a single checkbox unchecks all execpt that one. This is not what I expect, and probably not what anyone else expects.
  • The dedicated search page (/search/) does not work. To search you must wait for the JavaScript to load and use the Ajax-based search.
  • Perfect matches float to the top.
  • Typing a second word requires a full word match for all previous words. "leg zel" and "zel leg" no longer match The Legend of Zelda. "legend zel" and "zelda leg" will.
  • Aliases containing words already in the title result in odd results. Searching "time" causes Frequently Asked Questions about Time Travel to appear as the tenth result as an alias match, even though it would have matched without the alias and is not popular enough for tenth place.
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You asked for it, and I delivered. This script will send you to a randomly selected wiki page on Giant Bomb. It uses the API to determine the range of page IDs to chose from, and to test whether the selected ID exists. It shouldn't lead you to a page that doesn't exist, although I haven't fully tested that. I plan to add support for other page types, as well as for Comic Vine. Anime Vice has no API, and Tested doesn't have an API or a wiki, so support for those sites is not planned.
 
If you would like to try it out for yourself, download it from Launchpad and put it on your web server. Yes, you need a web server and PHP. Currently it runs on my private testing server, and you can do the same; but I'd really appreciate it if someone would put it on a publicly accessible server so others can use it. If you get it running, please tell me so I can post the link here for others to use. 
 
So head on over to the project page on Launchpad and download it if you can. You can get the development version through Bazaar if you know how, but it may actually be easier just to download each of the files individually from here. After downloading you'll need to add a file with your API key. If you're familiar with PHP you can probably figure out what to do despite the lack of any decent documentation in the script. If you need help, contact me. If you know exactly what you're doing and want to improve the script or its crappy documentation, also contact me. I will gladly commit any improvements under the assumption that you're probably a better a better programmer than I am.
 
If you get it running, need help getting it running, want to contribute to development, or just want to chat, just send me a message. I'll try to respond in whatever manner is appropriate.  
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It's been too long since my last blog. I finished Professor Layton, Scribblenauts, and Mario & Luigi within a month of their purchase, but I haven't played much since then. I have been working on some top secret highly volatile stuff, but I'm not ready to talk about that yet.

And... that's it for now, I guess. I'll try to write a proper blog sometime soon, maybe.

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Shortly after Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 was released, I realized that I had never beaten the first X-Men Legends game. In fact, I had barely started it. Although I have been reading up on the Marvel Universe lately, I still didn't know much about the X-Men. I knew they were mutants, but beyond that I was clueless. And although the game doesn't deal with their personalities a whole lot (most dialogue is presented in text form and doesn't change depending on the character who speaks it) I can at least identify each character and their powers. That wasn't something I could really do before.

I'm totally enjoying the game, but there are some issues. I'm playing the GameCube version, and because the GameCube controller has one less button than its competitors you have to press X and Z together to use energy packs. Pressing Z first will cause a health pack to be used, so you have to make sure you press X first. But X is also used to grab enemies and pick up objects, so it can be difficult to use in the heat of battle.

Despite that, I was still able to keep playing the game without major problems. But once I reached the Arbiter section, another issue cropped up. During this mission the X-Men have to rescue crewmen from a ship called the Aribiter, which happens to be sinking. You have a limited amount of time to do this, and that alone can be frustrating. But there are also Xtraction points on the Arbiter, which you can use to save. Save without enough time to rescue all the crewmen and you're screwed. If the ship sinks or all your party members die, your only options are to return to the main menu or reload a save. In X-Men Legends you cannot restart a mission from the beginning. I don't think I've yet reached the point where it's impossible to pass the mission, but it's definitely going to take a few more tries. Maybe I should use the Xtraction points to train in the Danger Room. It won't add any additional time, but leveling my characters should help to get through enemies faster.

Another game I've been playing recently is Alter Echo. I had no expectations going in, but it's surprising good. Switching between forms, performing sick combos, it's quite fun. Even the sync node/time dilation stuff - which turned me off initially - ended up working better than I expected it to. Just had to ignore the timing bar and figure out the right pacing myself. A pleasant surprise, and although it doesn't look like it offers much in the way of replayabilty, I may end up doing so at some point anyway.

Last Friday I bought some new games. They were Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, Scribblenauts, and Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. First, Scribblenauts. Everything you've heard about the game is true. Yes, you can create just about anything. Yes, most of those things serve no purpose. And yes, the controls are terrible. But despite that, it's still a good deal of fun. What other game would let you tame Cthulhu and have God ride around on a T-Rex? Yes, the title screen really is the best part of the game.

After spending some time with Scribblenauts I popped in Diabolical Box. Although I haven't spent a lot of time with the game, so far it's exactly what I'd want out of a Professor Layton sequel. Love the puzzles, and Luke's attempt to remove Inspector Chelmey's "disguise" was great. I haven't started Bowser's Inside Story yet, but I hope to do so in the near future.

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