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Problems with Epic Mickey

I recently came across this article via my best friend Ang. She has yet to play Epic Mickey but has heard enough from me since I’ve been spending most of my time with the game.

If you don’t want to read the whole article I will give you the summary. Basically the game is getting praise for everything except for one thing, it’s camera.

Why just 4/5, then? A long list of “iffy mechanics and rough edges,” says Nelson, and chief among them, in what’s a recurring theme in just about every Epic Mickey write-up, is the game’s poor camera. Apparently incapable of keeping Mickey in clear view, it’s a major issue, though Nelson also picks out graphical slowdown and the lack of a target lock-on function as other flaws.

Eurogamer's Dan Whitehead, who puts the proverbial boot into Mickey in his 6/10 review, goes further, calling the game's camera an “absolute pain.”

"Mickey often vanishes from the screen completely, or you’re left staring at a corner, hoping you’re not about to fall into a hole and die," he says.

I’m actually having trouble agreeing with these reviews. In my opinion Epic Mickey doesn’t have any more camera problems than any other game. I can’t remember the last time I played a game without at least one random time where the camera was awkward. But perhaps I’m just not playing the correct games.

I myself have yet to experience Mickey “vanishing from the screen completely.” Although I have experienced that in games before. But I’m almost curious if they are playing the same game that I am.

I’m not saying the camera is perfect. There have been two times where I was slightly annoyed at the camera angle. Both times I couldn’t move the camera myself, whereas usually you can. But Mickey never just disappeared. Even with the awkward camera angle it didn’t mess me up. All that needed to be done was to stop, line up Mickey with the jump I needed to take and then jump. You just couldn’t rush through it. It was only a matter of taking my time.

As for the target lock on flaws, I have to yet to have this issue either. In fact I haven’t had any issues in the game whatsoever. I am curious though if anyone else has had these problems. Perhaps I haven’t gotten far enough in the game. But I have played a considerable amount and I’d assume that I’d be frustrated by now if there really were serious issues with the game.
 

To Paint or To Thin? That is the Question

Dammit, I wish I could find a picture of the crazy Clock Tower that you have to fight! Alas, the game is still new and no pictures are up. I’m quite disappointed. That still won’t keep me from telling you how into this game I am.

At first, though the game has a lot to do, I was unsure about how much legit action there would be in the game. Enemies called Blots, or is it Blotters, pop up randomly. But I’m guessing they aren’t all over the place because there are a ton of other things to do around you. It would get too impossible to paint/thin a ton of baddies while painting/thinning your way through every piece of the level too.

Everything besides the enemies was already hooking me. I just needed that little push of action. And boy did it come. It came hard. (Insert a “That’s what she said” if you must.)

After spending much of the last hour painting and thinning most of my surroundings without many enemy encounters I was not prepared for this boss battle whatsoever. I hopped out of the 2D side scrolling part of Steam Boat Willy 3, and suddenly I was face to face with an enormous Clock Tower that was trying to smash me to pieces.

Here is where it gets cool. I mentioned in my First Thoughts blog that your choices will ultimately be what decides the end of the game. And here is where it counts. Bosses can be defeated via paint or thinner. Thinner will ultimately destroy the boss, meaning it will not survive to the end of the game. It will be dead and gone. It is also quick and easy (at least for the Clock Tower). But paint will “fix” the corrupted cartoon and make it good again, just like it does to enemies in the game. However, this route is the difficult one.

Getting the hang of the Clock Tower took me at least five minutes. Luckily the Clock Tower will produce more thinner and paint, so there is no worry over running out. Overall I’m guessing that the whole Boss took a little under ten minutes to finally get the paint fight right.

It’s your choice which way you play. Does it really matter if all the bosses survive? I’m guessing not since you can beat the game. However, it is the much nicer route and since it’s Mickey I am not about to corrupt his image. My plan is to try and defeat each boss with paint unless I really start to have issues. I’d like to beat the game with all bosses fixed unless there is a specific boss to destroy.

What will you choose? Paint or thinner?

Epic Mickey - First Thoughts


I have been looking forward to this day for a while. Probably since September when I actually reserved the game. But finally November 30th is here and I have in my possession (finally) Epic Mickey!

The first thing I have to say is that I’m am one of the biggest Disney nerds, ahem fanatics, ever. Every since I was an itty bitty I’ve been a Disney Girl. From classics like Robin Hood right up to the newest Disney movie Tangled, I’ve seen them all. But one thing I’ve especially loved were the Disney video games. The Lion King anyone? I had that for Super Nintendo and played it practically every day. Aladdin too. It didn’t matter how many times the game was beat, it was still fun to play.

Then Disney became geniuses and teamed up with Square Enix to produce the fabulous Kingdom Hearts games. Another thing to note about me is that I’m a hardcore Final Fantasy fan, so combining two of my loves was certainly epic. Those games still remain close to my heart. And then Epic Mickey was announced.

Early concept art and screen shots had me practically peeing my pants in excitement. A “dark” Disney was right up my alley. At Comic Con this October I got a sneak peek at what the game was capable of. The line was too long so I didn’t play myself but I dawdled long enough by the television for my excitement to take over again.

I haven’t played too much yet, but I can tell you it is a very fun game. I had to get used to the controls and the camera but pretty soon I was painting and thinning like it was my job. And well, that is your job in the game.

Mickey has accidentally created The Wasteland, a place for all the forgotten Disney characters. Oswald the Rabbit, Disney’s first cartoon character, is the one the “leader” so to speak. Because the Wasteland was Mickey’s fault Mickey must set the world right.

Armed with only paint and thinner, you must erase and paint the world over. Painting enemies enough will make them love you and help you, while thinning them enough will cause them to disappear.

Knowing what to paint and thin is pretty easy to see, at least where I am at in the game. Usually paintable things can faintly be seen whereas thinable stuff usually has holes in it already. Whatever you thin can be painted, and whatever you paint can be thinned.

Besides the 3D adventure, you will sometimes be thrown into a 2D mini level that will bring you to the next level. The only one I’ve encountered so far is Mickey and the Beanstalk. Remember that old cartoon?

Basically the game is full of Disney nostalgia and I am loving every second of it. The game isn’t ridiculously difficult, but it does take strategy. Your choices will ultimately create what happens during the rest of the game, so choose wisely.

I can’t make too much of a judgment on the game yet, but it certainly has promise as far as I’ve seen. I definitely can’t wait to get more into the storyline.

Have you played Epic Mickey yet?

Dragon Age The Soap Opera

Only I would have “relationship problems” in a video game. Allow me to preface this with the fact that I don’t ever have relationship drama in real life, so having it in a video game is just bizarre, and yet slightly amusing.

Currently I am replaying Dragon Age: Origins. My first play through was peppered with some bad decision on my part. I also was unable to become queen because I had chosen to be an Elf instead of a Human Noble.

My first play through was also different than this play through because of how I handled my relationships (romantic and friendly. Allow me to first explain that some characters can be romanced depending on what sex you are. A male can romance Morrigan, Lelianna, and/or Zevran. A female can romance Alistair (and become queen if you are a Human Noble), Lelianna and/or Zevran.

Zevran is the easiest to sleep with. He flirts from the moment you get him and after picking the right dialogue to flirt back you can get him in your tent in no time. Note: the sex scenes are really weird if you make your character look like you. I don’t recommend it.

You really have win Morrigan and Lelianna over with correct dialogue and doing specific events. Since I played as a female Morrigan is off limits. But I missed having any romantic fling between Lelianna and myself the first play through. However, this time I used the Feastday DLC which allows you to get gifts for each of your characters that will raise their approval of you by 50 points. It didn’t take Lelianna long to make a pass at me.

It was fine and I was thinking it would be funny to see the sex scene with her before I start working my magic on Alistair. But Wynne noticed Lelianna and I were getting “close” and so I ended it. The hilarious thing is that Lelianna actually fought with me about it. Refused to let me break up with her. It was obnoxious but semi hilarious. Eventually she gave up.

I still had a high approval rating with Zevran, however, and I wasn’t going to let it go because my first play through I was sleeping with both Alistair and Zevran. But the stupid Feastday gift I gave to Alistair had made Alistair “fall in love” a bit faster than I expected. Alistair is a jealous baby and made me choose.

Does this sound like a soap opera yet?

So I went off to Zevran and ended it but told him we could still be friends. I got into Alistair’s pants and am well on my way to becoming queen. Wynne approves of the relationship. Great stuff.

I thought I was home free until I did Lelianna’s personal quest. Somehow by being nice to her about her past she suddenly thought we were back in a relationship. I don’t even know what I said to make her think that. Suddenly she was spouting off “I love you,” and then started bitching at me for two timing her with Alistair. What the hell? I managed to get out of it but not before getting an earful.

My first play through I couldn’t even get everyone to like me. Sten practically hated me. Now I have character’s bitching at me for sleeping with another character, and this time I was being way more faithful! I swear next time I’m just going to sleep with them all and let them duke it out.

Is it just me or does this sound like the makings of a terrible soap opera?

Zophar - Such an Obnoxious Boss

I finally “beat” Lunar 2 Eternal Blue Complete. My middle school dreams have finally been achieved. I say “beat,” however, because after the actual game there is a whole other part dubbed the Epilogue where you have to do even more things. My only hope is that this epilogue is ten times better than Tales of Legendia, one of the worst Tales games I’ve ever played.

Beating this game was far from easy. I actually was so surprised. Compared to the first Lunar, this boss was extremely frustrating. Zophar, the God of Darkness has three, technically four, forms to beat before the end scenes, which are ridiculously long, kick in.

His first form, shown above, wasn’t too hard. It took about 5 rounds to take him down at level 53 for all of my characters. Unfortunately at this point in the game you will get no experience for fighting any of his forms. So whatever level you are at is where you will stay. But as I said, this part wasn’t hard as long as Ronfar kept up everybody’s HP. That left everyone else to pound on him with their strongest attacks. By this point in the game Hiro had one of the sickest moves ever that could potentially take away 2000 HP when his attack power was boosted.

Enter the second form of Zophar. He steals all the Goddess’s power. At this point only the two blue hands can be attacked. His other hands and body will take zero damage. He gets two fairly strong attacks, and whatever HP and MP you had from the first battle is what is left over in the next. Totally screwed me up because Ronfar couldn’t cast Divine Litany to allow my characters to gain HP each turn. Instead Ronfar just had to continuously heal or else there was going to be certain death.

This form actually only lasts about seven rounds no matter if you’ve taken the the hands down or not. It confused me at first. Thankfully, Lucia heals the whole party so you go into the third part of the battle, also the hardest, with full HP and MP. Yay!

I had only been able to take down one hand, so an extra blue hand remained. That hand was taken down pretty fast though since it’s HP rolls over from the previous form. And then the really annoying and/or difficult part of the battle began.

Zophar gets to attack 5, count ‘em, 5 times. And I’m not saying 5 weak attacks. I’m saying 5 very strong attacks. Even more annoying he gets to attack first, which seriously screwed me up. Up until now no enemy was faster than Jean was. Usually Jean was able to raise/heal one of my characters before an attack. This time Zophar was easily picking off characters. I had to do this battle (and the other two since you have to do this consecutive) three times!

I finally attached Angel rings to all my characters so that at least if they died once they would raise themselves fully healed. Instead of focused on healing Ronfar wasted his MP on White Dragon Protect which shielded all characters from one attack. This seriously helped everyone keep up their HP. I also had everyone strong against at least one element. Jean and Leo healed while Alex and Lemina wailed on Zophar’s two arms and body.

One arm is strong to physical attacks, while the other was strong to magic attacks. The arm that was taken down the fastest was the one weak to physical attacks. The other arm was a pain in the ass to take down, and it was the one that cast the strongest attacks. But once those arms were gone suddenly Zophar only got 2 attacks, though one of those attacks was an instant death. Still nothing that couldn’t be handled. With less attacks being thrown at my characters the easier it was to raise a character and heal them. After about 20 minutes playing through all the forms Zophar finally fell. I freaking rejoiced so hard because I was so tired of trying to beat the guy!

The last form is simply a formality. You only get to play as Hiro and Lucia. After two rounds and he is done. The game is “done.” That is until you see the ending and realize that there is so many things to do. After all the game can’t end on a sad note.

My Awesome Black Friday Deals

Yesterday I was one of the crazy people to go out on Black Friday. My mother has gone every year even since I can remember. And since I’m 22, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say it’s at least about 18 years or so. So Friday morning at 2:45, still awake and wired I first opted out on going as my mom, my brother’s gf, and my boyfriend left for the mall. Mike had his sights set on a new jacket.

After an hour I was still up and bored, so I put a jacket on and drove the fifteen minutes in the crappy rain to get to the mall by 4. It was packed as all hell, and I was beginning to think it was a bad idea but in the end I managed to get some good deals. Target, our first stop, was kind of eh on the games on sale. Nothing too promising. Even Gamestop wasn’t that great. Walking in they announced that it was buy two pre-owned games and get one free. Sounded good to me. You basically would end up paying full price for three used games that are in good condition.

Unfortunately all their used games were mediocre at best. I had one in my hand, but couldn’t for the life of me find two more. And since I am low on cash I wasn’t about to just drop 30 bucks on a game when I could technically do that any time in Gamestop. My eyes did keep wandering to the new Donkey Kong and Kirby games for 50 dollars. Mike eventually dragged me out, but not before contemplating splitting our cash for DK. No matter the two games are on my Christmas list now. Plus with Epic Mickey coming out this Tuesday, I’ll have my hands full with that game starting Tuesday afternoon!

Finally we made our way to Best Buy. Originally it was for me to nab a CD that I wanted. But first I made my way to the video game section. Best Buy actually had a lot of sales going on. Of course, they weren’t on the newest games that I wanted but I did walk away with Final Fantasy and 28 Classic Sega Games for the PSP for 35 bucks! But here was the best deal of the night, I mean morning.

We nabbed the last Fifa 2011 for only 35 dollars. Best sale of the day for sure. That game would usually cost 60 dollars hands down. My brother had been talking about it all day the day before so Mike grabbed it immediately. It was after all the last one left. So in the end I walked away with some pretty good games and it only cost me roughly 70 bucks which is cheap as all hell for shiny new games.

I’m very glad I went.

Have you ever gotten a great deal on games, whether it was on Black Friday or not?

Which Mario Kart Owns?

Last night I went with my brother to his friend’s house to throw back some beers and just hang out. After having about five beers in me my brother’s friend, Prince, came and sat down by me to have a little chit chat about video games and his brother. Apparently his brother is a hardcore gamer like myself, but he loves to write too.

After talking about what routes he could go, we somehow got onto the subject of Mario Kart. Prince first insisted that he could kick my ass any day in ANY video game, but that he’d love to take me on in Mario Kart 64. My response was basically “F Mario Kart 64, it’s all about the Super Nintendo version.”

I actually never owned Mario Kart 64 myself, because after renting it once I just couldn’t get into it the way I was into the Super Nintendo version. Not to mention the Super Nintendo version is a freaking classic! Unfortunately we couldn’t settle the argument about which game was better. Others at the house were split down the middle too.

We did decide, however, that Prince will get an N64 and play me in Mario Kart. I will use Princess and he’ll be Koopa. We haven’t decided what each person get’s if they win. Who knows if the match will even actually happen. I doubt it. But I’m still holding my opinion that Super Nintendo’s Mario Kart is better than 64’s.

Let’s get a vote going. Which Mario Kart do you prefer, Super Nintendo or N64?

The nostalgic feeling is already seeping through my veins. I’ve always  said that I’m a Nintendo girl through and through even though I do love  me my PS3. But the NES was my first system and we had every Nintendo  system growing up. The great thing about the Wii is that you can  download a slew of old school Nintendo games. I actually use my Wii for  just this a lot. Just one look at the squares on the Wii’s front page  and you will see Super Mario 2 and 3, Paper Mario, Super Mario RPG,  Kirby’s Dreamland, Kirby Superstar, Final Fantasy I and Zelda Ocarina of  Time. This particular Zelda is my favorite of the series. For  some reason this game just stayed with me from the first time my brother  and I spent time playing our way through the game. A while back I  bought the game for the small amount of 8 dollars. I played the shit out  of the game for a while, reaching the Temple of Time, growing into “big  Link” as I’ve always called him, and seeing how much Hyrule has changed  in a mere 7 years thanks to Gannon. For some reason, and I’m  assuming it’s because I bought a new game or something, I suddenly put  Link to the side, always saying I would go back to it. I finally did  yesterday. That old nostalgic feeling returned immediately as I  struggled to remember where I had left off in the game. It didn’t take  me too long. I had left off at the Ice Temple, which doesn’t exist when  you are little Link! Oh how the Zora’s home had changed in a mere seven  years. Unfortunately I had to make my way home yesterday to bake  for Thanksgiving today, so I only managed to play through the very  short Ice Temple level. It took me a bit of getting used to the controls  again since I haven’t played in a while. But before I knew it I was  kicking some ice butt and nabbed the Iron Boots. Now it’s time  for the Water Temple upon my return to the apartment. I’m so excited to  be getting back into this game. It is such a timeless one for me at  least. So timeless that I’m sure that despite me beating it on the Wii, I  will most likely purchase the version they are making for the 3DS. Do you remember Zelda Ocarina of Time? Which Zelda game is your favorite? Will you play OOT for the 3DS?

The nostalgic feeling is already seeping through my veins. I’ve always said that I’m a Nintendo girl through and through even though I do love me my PS3. But the NES was my first system and we had every Nintendo system growing up.

The great thing about the Wii is that you can download a slew of old school Nintendo games. I actually use my Wii for just this a lot. Just one look at the squares on the Wii’s front page and you will see Super Mario 2 and 3, Paper Mario, Super Mario RPG, Kirby’s Dreamland, Kirby Superstar, Final Fantasy I and Zelda Ocarina of Time.

This particular Zelda is my favorite of the series. For some reason this game just stayed with me from the first time my brother and I spent time playing our way through the game. A while back I bought the game for the small amount of 8 dollars. I played the shit out of the game for a while, reaching the Temple of Time, growing into “big Link” as I’ve always called him, and seeing how much Hyrule has changed in a mere 7 years thanks to Gannon.

For some reason, and I’m assuming it’s because I bought a new game or something, I suddenly put Link to the side, always saying I would go back to it. I finally did yesterday. That old nostalgic feeling returned immediately as I struggled to remember where I had left off in the game. It didn’t take me too long. I had left off at the Ice Temple, which doesn’t exist when you are little Link! Oh how the Zora’s home had changed in a mere seven years.

Unfortunately I had to make my way home yesterday to bake for Thanksgiving today, so I only managed to play through the very short Ice Temple level. It took me a bit of getting used to the controls again since I haven’t played in a while. But before I knew it I was kicking some ice butt and nabbed the Iron Boots.

Now it’s time for the Water Temple upon my return to the apartment. I’m so excited to be getting back into this game. It is such a timeless one for me at least. So timeless that I’m sure that despite me beating it on the Wii, I will most likely purchase the version they are making for the 3DS.

Do you remember Zelda Ocarina of Time? Which Zelda game is your favorite? Will you play OOT for the 3DS?

Return to Ostagar DLC

I have just finished another DLC before returning to Redcliffe to save Arl Eamon. The Return to Ostagar, though not as necessary as The Warden Keep DLC, is still an interesting storyline. My first play through I was actually really disappointed on missing out on this particular DLC because I wanted to know more.

Return to Ostagar is just that; you return to Ostagar, the battlefield where all the Grey Wardens, as well as King Cailin, were betrayed by Teryn Loghain. It is what begins you on your main quest in Dragon Age. The quest begins when you are told that King Cailin had a chest in Ostagar holding documents saying that the Orlesian Empire was coming to help with the Blight. Loghain doesn’t want these documents to be found. Obviously it is deemed up to you to save them from the Teryn’s grasp.

It may be worth it to note that if you bring either Alistair or Wynne, or even both there will be extra commentary as you pick up specific items. This is due to the fact that both were in Ostagar during the horrific events. Needless to say since Alistair and Wynne are always in my team, they came along with me, as did Shale. Wynne and Alistair actually spoke to each other, but I’m assuming that each one would have commentary of their own too.

Along with finding the documents you will find the battlefield overrun with darkspawn, King Cailin’s weapons and armors, Duncan’s sword and dagger and this….

Lovely isn’t it? I actually thought Alistair was going to vomit or possibly cry. I still love him.

You won’t walk away from this DLC with anything like the storage chest from The Warden’s Keep, but you will walk away with good weapons and armor that will ultimately help you in the game. If I had to choose between the both I’d still go with the Warden’s Keep, but if you can afford to buy both than I recommend it. If you enjoy extra storyline then this is definitely for you.

I give it an 8 out of 10.

Why “Warden’s Keep” Was Worth It

Allow me to preface this with the fact that I’ve never been one for downloadable content in video games. I don’t like to spend money I don’t have. And the truth is that if I didn’t have the Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition I probably would never have been able to play the Warden’s Keep DLC. But after actually playing it through I have decided that it is well worth the money for sure.

The first reason I enjoyed this quest was simply because it semi reminded me of some scenes of Final Fantasy X. As you may know, FFX is my favorite Final Fantasy, so any resemblances to this game is awesome in my book. If you played FFX you may remember that your first time in Zanarkand you come in contact with “visions” of what happened in the past on that very spot.

Zanarkand, just like Soldiers Peak in Dragon Age, has been touched by a lot of death and been abandoned. Somehow both of these places have retained imprints, so to speak, of what occurred in these spots. The first picture is the very first vision you see in Dragon Age. You learn that the King has decided to starve the Grey Wardens for being rebellious.

You originally enter Soldier’s Peak to help a man named Levi try and clear his family name. His great great grandmother was a Grey Warden at the time the tower was still booming. She had been deemed a traitor and her family name became mud. Levi wants the truth about her, whether she was a hero or not.

Upon walking through the grounds and the very towers, you discover that the place is riddled with living corpses and demons. As to why? I will allow you to play and find out. It really was a very good story line. You will also discover much about Levi’s great great grandmother. It’s your choice as to whether she is indeed a hero. I will not spoil the game.

The DLC doesn’t take too long and you will walk away with some strong and valuable weapons and armor. You even have a chance at gaining some new “blood” skills even if you are a Rogue or Warrior. Luckily this won’t change how your friends view you. You simply get two new abilities.

After the quest is officially done you will gain some very nice assets, which is why I think that the Warden’s Keep DLC is definitely worth buying for the 5 or 6 dollars it costs. Not only do you get access to a storage chest where you can put all your excess items you don’t want to get rid of in, but you get access to a great weapon maker. If you happen to sell him any of your weapons you can buy them back upgraded. Also, if you happen buy a strange ore randomly on the map, here is where you turn it in. Mikail will make you Starfang. It is your choice to make it a one handed or two handed sword.

My final thoughts on this one DLC? Ten out of ten. Well worth the money, and it will help you out for the rest of the game. Plus it is a nice side thing to do on your way to gather all the armies up.

Did you play the Warden’s Keep DLC?