My picks from the PlayStation Retro sale

PSN are doing some pretty amazing sales at the moment. If you read my last post, you will see that I purchased quite a few games from the Rising Star 10th anniversary sale. I traded in my old Xbox 360 at CEX and got a £47 credit voucher after buying a few games in store, so I decided to get myself £50 worth of PSN credit once I saw all the sales. So it would be rude not to grab a few things from the retro sale. Here’s what I’ve got my eye (and wallet funds) on:

Grandia (£3.29/£2.96 PS+)

Grandia is an absolute classic JRPG in my opinion, and even though I already have it on PS1, I might just get it on the PS Vita for a bit of portable JRPG magic when I’m travelling to and from London. If you love JRPGs and you haven’t had the pleasure of playing this, get it. You won’t regret it. The characters are likeable, and the battle system is classic. It would be nice if Grandia 3 would appear in the UK now though…

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Pandemonium/Pandemonium 2 (£1.49/£1.34 PS+ each)

Both of these games bring back childhood memories. They are memories of love and irritation, as Pandemonium is not an easy game to play. I remember the hours of frustration, but there’s something about them that makes me want to give them another go, and at that price I can hardly say no.

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Motor Toon Grand Prix 2 (£1.69/£1.52 PS+)

This is probably my favourite racing title of all time. Again, I already own this on PS1, but it’s one of those titles I wouldn’t mind buying again. As I type this, I have the opening song in my head. It looks so dated now, but I remember the hours of fun I used to have playing this. Along with the hours of frustration when I attempted to ride the completely uncontrollable bike.

Motor Toon Grand Prix 2 (2CD) (SCPS-10018-9) (Front)

Klonoa Door to Phantomile (£1.69)

Klonoa is another classic game that brings back childhood memories like Pandemonium. Klonoa is a weird bunny type…thing. Judging from his character design, he’s taken a few cues from Sonic & co. Regardless, it would be nice to play as this little fluff ball of frustration again.

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Spyro The Dragon Trilogy (£3.99/£3.59 PS+)

That’s a pretty amazing price for an entire series, and the Spyro series is really enjoyable. I think I still have all these on disk somewhere, but I can’t be bothered to rifle through the memory cards I have to find some empty space when I can just play them on the PS3/Vita. It seems like only yesterday I was playing these actually, so we’ll see if I get a nostalgia hit.

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Now the only problem I have, is that storage on my 500GB PS3 is rather lacking, and I need to take out a small loan for a bigger memory card for my PS Vita…

All of these games are on sale until 12am GMT 25-09-2014. The full list of games can be found here. Which games are you going to be picking up?

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Ponderings on The Walking Dead 400 Days

I downloaded The Walking Dead 400 Days a while ago, and completely forgot to put down my thoughts on it.

As a reluctant fan of the episodic gaming genre that The Walking Dead adopts, I was excited, but still slightly anxious about what 400 Days would hold. I knew nothing about it, other than it would act as a bridge between seasons. So when I fired it up for the first time, I was slightly taken aback by the bizarre, yet interesting gameplay they had chosen.

The cell shaded animation remains in tact, letting you know that you’re still playing the game series, and it retains all of its original beauty, but takes a bit of a twist on the original gameplay mechanics. As you make a start on 400 Days, you notice that you can choose exactly which character you want to play as. You work your way through the stories of five new characters, all with their own back story, by picking their pictures off a noticeboard. This was a bit of an odd choice gameplay wise considering the more than linear first season of The Walking Dead, but I liked it.

I’m still a bit on the fence with how I really feel about it if I’m honest though. It seemed more like an introduction to five new characters than anything else. I know that’s probably what it’s meant to be, and that is by no means a bad thing, but it just seemed a bit thrown together and didn’t really feel like a full episode. I probably managed the finish off the whole thing in an hour which was a little bit disappointing.

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In true Walking Dead style, each of the characters have their own obstacles to overcome, but nothing really seemed to alter the eventual ending. Most of the characters I had no affection for whatsoever, so I’m hoping this will be improved upon later. It seems like these are the characters that we’re going to see in season 2 though, as well as Clementine returning hopefully. The end of 400 Days is its saving grace in my opinion, finally wrapping up exactly what it is you’ve been doing with that noticeboard, but I can’t say I’m more excited for season 2 after playing 400 Days.

The first season was never truly resolved, and that ending just left it open for so much more, so I’m really hoping Telltale have a lot more to offer us after 400 Days.

The Walking Dead 400 Days will set you back 400MSP on XBLA or £3.99 on the PSN.

It’s oh…so…quiet…

It’s a little quiet on the gaming front for me at the moment. It’s only been over the past two days that I’ve had access to the internet on my consoles, so I have clearly struggled for the last year to get excited over any DLC, Arcade release or demo on the PSN/XBLA. It’s funny though, because it’s taken so long for me to get online there isn’t really anything I want from either online marketplace at the moment. I suppose the only game I really want is the port of Legend of Dragoon on the PSN, but as always it’s only available on the US PSN and not the UK. Not gonna lie, a little bit annoyed with that, but what can you do?

The Secret World looks very dark, but I don't the time or money to dedicate to it

The Secret World looks very dark, but I don’t the time or money to dedicate to it

It is unfortunately that time of year when the games industry starts to slow down, and nothing is really being released until we get into September/October time again. The Secret World is being released very soon, but I’m not even sure I want to play that as it will take up a lot of time, and a lot of internet usage. Aside from that, it looks like Persona 4 Arena is being released at the beginning of August which I’m intrigued by. Also, Sleeping Dogs which is being released a week later looks like an interesting combination of a lot of game genres, so I’ll just have to see if Square Enix can pull that one off.

A cheerleader with a chainsaw? What isn’t there to love?

Of the games that are out at the moment, I am intrigued by Lollipop Chainsaw based purely on how ridiculous it looks. It looks fun, silly, and brutal; all things which I love. Unfortunately that’s about it until the bigger released in September. I can’t wait for Borderlands 2, and there’s a few RPGs coming out that I would like to sink my teeth into. I think this summer is going be filled with old games and replays for achievements, unless something comes along that takes me by surprise.

Ramblings of a Gaming Girl reaches 10,000 hits!

I’ve been so busy with the man coming to stay, and then relatives coming the day after that I never got chance to update when I reached 10,000 hits! I’m over the moon that I’ve had so many people look at my (sometimes silly) ramblings on the gaming world. Lets raise a glass to the next 10,000 hits 😉

On a more gaming related theme, I’ve been quite busy recently on the Xbox. I’ve managed to procure some intermittent internet connection and have been updating my games and downloading the on disc DLC I was never able to do before. Today I also sorted out my PSN account as it was tied to a dead email address. I was going to sign in and download Legend of Dragoon, but it appears that the May 1st release date has not happened? Someone please correct me if I am wrong. There appear to be some good games on the PSP available to download as well (RPGs, of course) so that’s charging at the moment. The sun is shining and everyone is outside, but I’m inside on my consoles having a great day. Before anyone criticises me for staying inside, I’m pale with red hair, so the sunshine is my worst enemy.

Since procuring this unknown internet connection, I downloaded a little Xbox Arcade game called Trouble Witches NEO. It’s a great little game, and it was only 400MSP. It’s a little repetitive at times, but it is a port of a Japanese arcade bullet shooter. It’s very similar to Deathsmiles, but it’s nowhere near as overly complicated or full of lag. Most of all it’s just a cute little game to pass the time with if you’re a fan of anything Japanese or anime related. It’s got a cute little shop where you can buy power ups from, and loads of different modes so it really is excellent value for money.

On a side as well, I went to the National Media Museum in Bradford one of the days the man came to stay, and we had a great time. They’ve got a Games Lounge with all the retro classics, including some up to date games for people to go and have a little play with. The older games such as Pacman, Frogger and Donkey Kong were 20p to play which I thought was a bargain. The other, bigger arcade machines with games such as Street Fighter and a bigger version of Pacman were 50p a go, still a bargain.

There was a big section all about the internet, and the progression of internet technology since, I think, the 1970s. If you live in Yorkshire, or if you’re planning a holiday to the North and are interested in everything media related, then please visit. It’s free to enter, it’s got a cinema on the side, and you can easily kill an entire day there. There are also sections on Kodak, television, radio and film. It’s all interactive so you’re not just wandering around a museum that you can’t touch anything in.

For the rest of my pictures from the Museum please go to my Flickr to find them, and feel free to leave a comment.

The build up to E3

I shall be away again as of tomorrow, and then down in London on Saturday for the MCM Expo, so figured I had better actually make a quick update on my personal ponderings about E3.

Taking several days off work has become a bit of a habit for me as soon as E3 rolls around. No I’m not flying out to America to attend, as much as I wish I was, but instead I shall be sat at my computer, watching every last conference with intrigue & glee. I will even sit here with my notepad and pen, scribbling down notes furiously as I drool over the biggest news on games & hardware. It may sound sad, but gaming is my passion & I need to know what’s going on.

What will E3 hold for us this year though? It’s been a funny year for the gaming industry; Sony are grovelling & begging for our forgiveness due to this entire PSN debacle, Nintendo have won some and lost some with the 3DS, and well, Microsoft have likely just continued to grin with delight as Bill Gates bathes in money.

From Sony I believe it will be a 2 hour grovelling session complete with some thrown together ideas to appease the public. Microsoft may announce a new console, but I find that highly unlikely with the continuing roaring success of the Xbox 360 & the recent release of the Kinect. As for Nintendo, well, the rumour mill has been churning out pictures & news of a new console from them, but I can’t help but feel it could be overkill if they do announce the ‘Wii 2’.

There is a lot of uncertainty for me this year. Last year was hardware-centric from all three of the big boys in the industry, so it would be nice if this time they just took a step back & focused on what we use their hardware for; the games themselves.