What I’m playing 3/22

First off, I think everyone should read these two interviews on Hardcore Gaming 101 on two Metal Gear Solid translators: Jeremy Blaustein and Agness Kaku. Both shed some light on the translation roles in the gaming industry and how sometimes they are unappreciated. I was really surprised to read that Kaku was paid less than $5,000 for the translation of Metal Gear Solid 2 and never had any access to the staff or development team considering how much a huge blockbuster game MGS2 was after the success of the original. Personally, I am a huge fan of the translation done by Blaustein and his translation is far superior to that of the Twin Snakes in my opinion.

I have been plowing through some video games lately. I beat Super Mario 64 DS the other day. Although I enjoyed the addition of new characters, it was frustrating to have Mario stripped of all his powers and the controls of the game were quite frustrating. Many of the levels that I died in would have been easily avoided if I had a Nintendo 64 controller during the sequence and it really makes you realize how Super Mario 64 was perfectly tied to the Nintendo 64 controller and just is not the same on any other system. Nintendo really took lots of thought on how to make the game fully utilize the N64 and it just does not work the same when ported to the DS.

Now I have started playing Sonic Colors lately on the DS. The game certainly gives you the feeling of speed you want from a Sonic game, although sometimes I find myself completely losing track of where Sonic is on the screen because he is moving so fast. I think it is certainly one of the better Sonic games that I have played in recent years. I want to pickup Sonic Generations and Sonic 4: Episode 1 in the near future to compare how those games add up. They looked promising to me.

Another Sonic game I have been messing around with lately is Sonic Adventure 2. I realized the other day that I never beat it on the Dreamcast. I decided to go back and boot up the old Dreamcast and give the rest of the game another run. I came back to the point where I left off and realized why I quit. There is this part in level 15 where Sonic has to kill some enemies over a pool of poison and then  light speed dash to collect some rings. For some reason it always malfunctioned and I miserably fell to my death hundreds of times before finally making it past the pool.

Any old Sonic player can attest to the series unforgiving difficulty in past games, which was missing in Sonic Adventure (many people apparently complained about this). Sega came back around and made the sequel unbelievably unforgiving. Especially in the space levels (pictured above) where one wrong landing  can send you falling to your doom – and eventually lead to you restarting the level completely. My palms were pouring sweat during these space and various other grinding stages. The camera angles are also quite awful and often turns at the wrong time and leaves you dead. I have heard this is worse in the new Sonic the Hedgehog games…but have yet to touch them.

One thing I would have really liked in Sonic Adventure 2 was the areas like Station Square and the Mystic Ruins. I thought those locations added more to the story of the predecessor and the sequels story doesn’t captivate the way I wish it would.

Other than Sonic games I have started off my adventure in Dragon Quest VI. It is the last Dragon Quest games I have left to play until I can say I have played every game in the main series! =]

Lots to discuss in gaming. What are you playing these days?

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