Rising Star Games Haul

I see a lot of beauty bloggers writing about their clothing and make up hauls. While, as a woman, I do still have these hauls, the ones I am most proud of are my gaming hauls. See, while most women are always on the lookout for the biggest and best deals on their favourite make up or clothing brand, I’m currently on the lookout for the biggest PSN sales. And this week, that was the Rising Star 10th anniversary sale.

I love Rising Star. I love their games because they’re just so damn addictive. Their sale on PSN was just too good to miss, so here’s what I bought, and what I make of each one so far:

Harvest Moon Innocent Life  (£2.40, PSP/PS Vita)

This is actually the one I wasn’t convinced about, but the one I’ve been enjoying the most so far. I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of a futuristic Harvest Moon, and it’s not exactly as futuristic as the synopsis would lead you to believe. I won’t spoil anything, but it maintains a focus on farming, along with various other bits and bobs to do. My favourite thing is definitely that it appears there is little need to bond with the residents. There’s no giving gifts to your object of affection, when that time could be spent harvesting crops and tending to your livestock. While I am enjoying it though, it really does just leave you to it, which is both good and bad. I’ve had to check online several times to see what I’m exactly meant to be doing for any form of progression. I’ve killed a good 8 hours on it so far though, and is quite nice to play before I start work in the evenings.

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Futuristic farming never looked so…traditional?

Harvest Moon Hero of Leaf Valley (£3.60, PSP/PS Vita)

I was actually a little disappointed with this one. I’ve always had a bit of an issue with the console attempts at Harvest Moon as they just never translated well from a handheld, and this feels like a console game on a handheld. The movement of the character is very slow, and the focus has been taken away from farming, and is more focused around building relationships with the residents, which is something I’ve never been keen on. For me, a Harvest Moon is about farming. It’s about making enough money to get more upgrades, more equipment, and getting enough materials to build an extension on your house. This just feels like a poor attempt if I’m honest. I will give it another chance though. Just as soon as I’ve stopped being addicted to Innocent Life…

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A lacklustre modern attempt at a classic

Virtue’s Last Reward (£8.25, PSP/PS Vita)

I have to be honest, I haven’t played Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, and I really should, but I might just brush up on the story online unless I can grab a cheap copy in town. It’s something I always looked at and thought ‘I’ll buy that one day’ and never got round to it. I’ve not had the opportunity to play Virtue’s Last Reward yet, but I’m excited to get stuck into it. Apparently it’s more like a visual novel, where you make choices that affect the gameplay, and some of those choices sound like they might have some dire consequences for some characters. Sounds like my kinda game.

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A dark visual novel

Rune Factory Oceans (£7.20, PS3)

I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this. The critics slated it, calling it boring. However, the general gaming public seemed to love it, so I thought I would give it a go. The voice acting is a little bit grating so far, but I can get used to that. Cutesy animation is never going to have stellar voice acting to go with it in my opinion. Anyway, from the looks of it, it’s going to take a while for me to sink my teeth into this one as I’ve only just acquainted myself with all the residents, so no farming or adventuring has really happened so far. I’m looking forward to getting home from work in the evenings though and having a nice relaxing session on this little beauty.

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Cutesy farming, with a side of action

Half Minute Hero (£3.00, PSP/PS Vita)

I’ve always been a bit intrigued by the concept of this game. To be honest, I knew very little about the game, but at £3.00, I couldn’t say no. I’ve had a bit of a dabble, and it’s actually a really good idea. It’s a nice little game that I can jump into for a short period of time due to the time constraints on the game, but a nice little challenge.

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Pixelated, chibi fun

In summary, I got all these great games for a really good price, and if you like the sound of any of them, you have until 12am GMT 18-09-2014 to get your hands on them. The full sale can be found here.

Out with the old, in with the new

Life is busy in every aspect, hence no update for a long time again. Still lacking that routine.

A belated happy new year! 2011 was a slow year for games in my opinion. Maybe it’s because I didn’t really have the time, or maybe I’m just becoming too difficult to please and a little fed up with the gaming industry taking two steps forward, and about five steps back when it comes to my gaming preferences.

For Christmas I received  RAGE and Harvest Moon Grand Bazaar in terms of gaming. RAGE is very good, but more like a poor mans Borderlands. I’m very much enjoying it, but can’t really spend more than a couple of hours on it before becoming, not bored, but a little frustrated with the ‘Go here and get this, then come back again’ quests. The racing is excellent, but it feels as though the game tries to split itself in two. One minute it’s a FPS with mutants and evil factions out to get you, and the next minute it’s a racing game with weapons and upgrades for your dune buggy. It’s like Bethesda tried to cram so much into the game, that they didn’t notice that some of it had spilt out of the sides like salad escaping from a sandwich when it came to release.

Post apocalyptic wasteland? Seems familiar.

Post apocalyptic wasteland? Seems familiar.

Grand Bazaar is a very big step in the right direction in my opinion for the Harvest Moon franchise in my opinion though. It works a lot better on the DS than previous releases, and I can actually just use the buttons and D-pad, leaving the stylus to just be chewed on (which to be fair, is all it’s good for most of the time). It takes a while to get going, and because it’s so different this could put people off, but getting rid of the pointless stylus commands is one of the best moves the franchise has ever made. Harvest Moon games are meant to be simple, and use the control pad. None of this silly stylus nonsense and tickling horses (Yes, it sounds wrong, and it is).

Aside from those games, as I said 2011 was a bit ‘meh’ for me, in lack of a better way to put it. I always find though that at the beginning of every year about three or four games come out all at the same time, all of which I want to give all my attention to. This year these games are; Final Fantasy XIII-2, Catherine and Soul Calibur 5. These three games come out essentially the same week. This is ironically the week of my reading week for uni. Not only are all these games coming out, but the man is also coming to stay during the timeframe they are all being released in. Maybe I can distract him with shiny cars…

They just have to do the dramatic pose...

They just have to do the dramatic pose...

To be fair I have missed the new Assassins Creed and Batman, but anyway! Hopefully this year will be better for gaming. Catherine will satisfy my quirky taste, Final Fantasy should satisfy my JRPG craving, and Soul Calibur, well, that’s just a classic. Needless to say I am excited for next month, but i am also slightly scared of the hammering that my bank balance is going to take. I so wish my birthday was closer to the beginning of the year so I could just request games as gifts from people instead. What on earth will I play once February is out of the way though…

And on one final note, Kairosoft are continuing to steal my money and my soul. Mega Mall Story was released a short while back, causing my eyes to light up, making me lose all sense and press ‘Pay and download’ far too quickly. I have played it twice now, soon to initiate a third, but am still eagerly awaiting another surprise Kairosoft game to launch on Android. Too much mobile gaming excitement. Now, back to uni work.

September’s Hottest Releases

Last month I spent most of my time playing Need For Speed Hot Pursuit and laughing heartily at the brilliance and comedy of Bayonetta. Both are quite old games due to the recent gaming drought, and the most recent game that I own is probably DEATHSMILES on the Xbox 360 which I got yesterday.

It appears that we are coming out of the gaming drought though, and it looks like September (including the beginning of October) is going to be a very expensive month for me. I like to keep these short and sweet, so I shall narrow it down to the three games I am most excited about.

RAGE – (All platforms) 16/09/11 & 7/10/11

RAGE is a game that we all first heard about properly at E3, so I am amazed to see it coming out so soon, not that I am complaining at all. As soon as I saw it I was reminded of the incredible & open world of Borderlands and even the Fallout universe. I am a massive fan of anything post apocalyptic, and this looks to fit the bill almost too perfectly. I hope that RAGE has the same amount of humour in it, and an equal amount of gore.

Harvest Moon; A Tale of Two Towns (DS & 3DS) 20/09/11

I always seem to be mentioning a Harvest Moon games in my monthly release updates. It really is a miracle to me that Natsume are still making these because I honestly don’t know anyone else who plays them. In this latest version of the classic farming sim, there’s been a bit of a spin put on things. From what I have read the player will have the choice between which farm they want to run, kick starting a competition to see who can make the most of their farmland. You can choose from an Asian style farm or a European style farm. I think we all know which farm I shall be going for. This is a must buy for me, along with Harvest Moon Grand Bazaar so I can get my farming fix!

Dead Island – (All platforms) 09/09/11

Dead Island is finally coming our way, and I think we will all be a little surprised as to how it has actually turned out. Many may have been expecting a generic zombie killer like Dead Rising of Left 4 Dead, but it appears that we have been given a game that is similar to Fallout, but with zombies (According to IGN anyway). Now to me that sounds like a perfect combination of RPG elements and glorious zombie busting.

Other notable games coming out this month are; DRIVER San Francisco, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (Although it hasn’t received good reviews) and the God of War Origins bumper release for the PS3. Everything picks up once again just before people say goodbye to summer and hello to their jobs/full time studies. Thanks games industry.