Monday, May 17, 2010

Trent Needs Help, Lost Planet 2, Dementium II, and an Epilogue  

This morning, my fellow GameCritics staffer Trent Fingland reported that his apartment was robbed and tons of his game stuff was jacked by some decidedly unsavory individuals. (What kind of jerk takes everything in sight, but leaves behind a pink DS?)

A few years ago, the same thing happened to me. I had a large amount of my game collection and related items in a storage locker that was broken into and cleaned out. It was incredibly heartbreaking and depressing, and I would have been lost if not for the kindness that GameCritics readers and other people online had shown. A ton of people who I'd never met in real life sent items to me to replace the ones that were taken -- believe it or not, someone was even nice enough to send me a copy of Panzer Dragoon Saga completely free of charge!

That kind of generosity really blew me away at the time, and I'm hoping that readers of this blog and will show the same sort of love to Trent -- He's been a longtime member of the site as a reader, and he's been a great asset as one of our newest writers. Man deserves it.

I asked him to send me a list of the stolen goods that were most valuable to him… this list is by no means complete, but he chose these as the things that he'd most like to have replaced. If anyone reading this can spare one of these titles and help Trent rebuild his stolen collection, you will earn my thanks and a huge amount of good karma points for use in the next life.

SMT: Nocturne
Persona 2
Breath of Fire 4
Demon's Souls
3D Dot Game Heroes
Kagero Deception
Final Fantasy X and XII

If you can spare one of these or would like to help Trent in some other way, drop me a line here at the blog, via GameCritics, or through Twitter and I'll share the pertinent info.


Games: Earlier today I finished Lost Planet 2 on PS3. It was a really bizarre experience for a few reasons, but primarily because it started off lukewarm and sort of middling, but then actually managed to get better and more exciting with each successive level. I wasn't feeling too hot on it at first, but the game had completely won me over by the time credits rolled.

An interesting blend of solo and multiplayer styles, it's a fairly experimental title that tries some new things and mostly succeeds. The level design is great, and the graphics are very impressive, and there are a bunch of OMFG moments that will likely remain in many players’ minds for some time to come.

On the downside, the story could have been ten times better than it is with just a little bit of tweaking. It was fairly painful to see some of the missed opportunities in terms of the plot, but I will admit that it did come together in its own slightly awkward way by the time credits rolled. However, one thing that has no redeeming qualities whatsoever is the way the game doles out customization items for player characters. For whatever bizarre reason, Capcom thought that including a random slot machine mechanic as a way of awarding extras was a good idea, and you know what? IT’S NOT.

When I play a game that features player customization, I don't mind having to earn or unlock certain things, but at least give me a few options from the start and for God’s sake, don't make anything random about how a player gets more. Give me a store to shop in, or some objectives to shoot for... anything that has some clear focus and end goals. I can't think of anything more distasteful and painful than grinding for points to spend in a slot machine, and winning worthless crap over and over and over again when what I really want is a new gun or different head to use for my character.

The review will go live at GameCritics soon, but for right now but me just say that I enjoyed my time with Lost Planet 2 more than I had expected to, and the final review (and score) are definitely on the positive side.


In other games news, I've started Dementium II for the DS. A first-person Horror title, I've got to say that it's been creepier and more gruesome than I would have expected possible on Nintendo's handheld. I've only barely scratched the surface of it so far, but I'm liking what I'm seeing.


Writing: Although I ended up being a wee bit off schedule, all that's left to do before completing my second book is to write the epilogue. It will feel great to wrap this work up, and I'm definitely looking forward to it, but first I think I need to catch up on some sleep. I'm already starting to think about what my next project might be, though. I'm kicking a few ideas around, but nothing entirely concrete just yet...

What next?

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6 comments: to “ Trent Needs Help, Lost Planet 2, Dementium II, and an Epilogue


    it's good to see this information in your post, i was looking the same but there was not any proper resource, thanx now i have the link which i was looking for my research.

    UK Dissertations Help


    First off, poor Trent. While I'm at Anime North in two weeks I'll see if I can find any of those on the cheap at the flea market. Though if he wants, I have copies of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, Avalon Code and DQ8 that I'd be willing to give him free of charge as I know I'll never play them again. :) I'll take the list with me and see what I can do.

    Also congrats on almost finishing your next novel! You can do it!

    And I look forward to see what you say about LP2. You're tweets were very entertaining on the subject matter.


    I have been looking for cheap copy of the first Dementium for some time now.

    It seems that the have done a good job with the 2nd as well.


    I just started LP2 this morning and I have to say that so far I am thoroughly disappointed. First off, I have little sense of what's going on, there's an entire leveling system and scoring system that seems to work at complete random, with no in-game explanation (I got it through gamefly and have no manual... must look online for one, I guess), and I'm sorry but the A.I. is not at all up to the level it needs to be in order for this to function as a squad-based game. Oh, and by the way, someone should tell Capcom it's 2010... cluttering the screen with a half-dozen HUD elements is no longer cool. It's just lazy. Also, I'd suggest that the whole "MISSION START" and "GET READY" labels that flash across the screen entirely ruin the mood and kill any suspension of disbelief. Oh, and let's not get started on the button-mashing to activate data posts.

    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present Lost Planet 2 as exhibit A on why the Japanese games industry is falling behind western developers.

    I really liked the first Lost Planet game. I knew LP2 had multiplayer and was fine with that. But somebody put multiplayer in my single-player and the results aren't anywhere Reeses good.


    Went and read your review at GC. Apparently you and the others all suggest that this game needs to be given several hours to finally gel. Well, it has until my copy of RDR finally arrives.

    Wanted to add my other big complaint about this game. Achievements. Now, I'm not an Achievement whore by any means, but I do enjoy gazing at them and getting a sense for what's coming and I love it when they inspire me to try and play the game in a unique manner or do something I might not have thought of.

    The first Achievement pops very quickly in LP2, right after the snowy prologue. So I looked at the list and 46 of the remaining 49 Achievements are all Secret. That is bullshit. Secret achievements are meant to conceal spoilers and are typically reserved for campaign only or a small handful of really obscure things or puzzle-like acts. This is just another example of how I feel Capcom really has lost touch.


    Great information. Hi guess what girl-sense is not fun.