Monday, September 17, 2012

Mike's Mondays with Mike McGee: It's Mah Birfday!

      Whelp, it’s my birthday! And because it just so happens to fall on a Monday, I’m doing an MMwMM on my birthday! Isn’t that great? Now, I can practically hear you begging your computer screen, “Mike, seriously, it’s your birthday. You can take the day off. Trust me, we don’t need one of these every week!” That’s kind of you to be thinking of me, but, honestly, I don’t know where you guys would be if you didn’t have MMwMM every week. The way I see it, the conservative answer would be: y’all would be getting guillotined for unspeakable acts involving computers, the government, free-range chicken eggs, three and a half sporks, and a gallon of hoisin sauce. That’s why I can’t miss a beat, even on my birthday! Now let’s get to the action…only if you consider sitting and reading consecutive paragraphs to be “action.”
I think that clone's gonna get stepped on! This cover's got everything!
       I was at my cousins’ house (they’re about 5/7 respectively) over the weekend and, of course, they love havin’ me there because it means that I help them to get past those tough levels. Well, this outing’s game happened to be Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars or something therein. The game is based off the TV series so I had no idea what was going on story wise (probably because I skipped the intro to every level), but, not surprisingly, this doesn’t hurt the game one bit. I remember buying this game for them like, I wanna say a year ago, but that’s probably not true. It was a while ago though. And they’re still playing it! I couldn’t refuse helping them out, so I took a stab at it for probably the third time ever. I’ll say right off the bat that, in true “Lego” game fashion, the game is really, REALLY, good. This one is chest and waist above previous installments and here’s why!
This actually exists...who knew?
      It all starts with what you’re going to notice first: the camera. I remember playing Lego Star Wars I and II multiplayer with my brother or sister and some of the frustration that ensued when we both tried to do something on opposite ends of the screen. It was a battle of wills at that point and the first one that submitted had to wait until the other guy did what they wanted to do before her desires could be met (see what I did there? My sister always submitted). But this title does away with that altogether! The screen will dynamically split in half and let each player do their own thing! It’s crazy helpful. And unlike just basic split screen, the line that splits the screen will rotate based on where the two players are in relation to each other. It was little things like that made me realize the game would be pretty sweet.
Ah, dude! Two things at once! Crazy!
            The other thing that makes this game so sweet is the varied gameplay throughout your adventures. Not only do you have levels where the screen intentionally splits and each player is in charge of completing separate objectives SIMULTANEOUSLY (i.e. Obi-wan is creating a diversion while Anakin covertly sneaks on broad to rescue a fellow jedi) effectively giving you twice the levels…basically... but you also have levels where you are, quite literally, fighting in the Clone Wars. You get these zones (or bases, I guess) where you can build stuff and you use the studs that you collect from killing the enemy units or tanks or whatever to build barracks, cannons, air support landing zones, and shields. Then you go and destroy everything on an enemy base and you can then build there! These types on levels actually had my cousin and me debating on who would play as, if you can believe it, the clone commander instead of the jedi! And that’s because the commander, not the jedi, can take control on a clone squad and lead them around and own the heck out of everything. An actual incentive to play as someone without a lightsaber? Sign me up! This game kicks butt and I can’t wait for Lego Lord of the Rings! It’s gonna be sweet! And just a side note before I talk about the next game, if you play those “war” levels in free play mode, you can have C-3PO and R2-D2 can drive around in these speeder bike things and shoot at people, it’s awesome!
The horrors of war between machines and clones...oh wait, lack thereof.
            The next game I played was a little gem by the name of Final Fantasy IX. “Yeah, no way you played enough to review this one, Sir Worksalot!” That genius of a wordsmith is correct, dear reader. I only played about an hour and a half to two hours of this game…and by “play” I mean that I watched a friend of mine play this game for about 1.5-2 hours. This will just be a little of my first impressions of the game and since this game is already widely praised (or so I presume) by so many other “more-qualified” individuals, I don’t know why you’d be looking here for an honest review of this game. First of all, this game looks really good. It’s hard to believe it’s just a regular ol’ Playstation game sometimes. The story’s pretty creative so far. You’re a bunch of thieves and your wanna kidnap this princess so you come up with the elaborate plan to pose as a theater group and kidnap the princess through that means…I guess. Ok, so I didn’t really pay attention to the story while I was dickin’ around, but it’s Final Fantasy, right? Story’s not really important…oh…. But hey, gameplay wise the game puts you in pretty creative situations to instigate battles, like scenes in the play. And there’s like early quicktime events, those aren’t too bad. One complaint is that the game’s tutorial doesn’t really teach you much other than “pressing X is the way to go, bro.” They don’t really mix it up in terms of battle strategies where it would be beneficial to have the player explore strategies. But hey, I literally didn’t play it so what do I know? Well, after not playing the game for so long, but still being intrigued by the deep characters of Zidaneo, J Pesci, De Niro, and some fourth character, I’d say that I’d continue! This part of the article exists so that I don’t talk about only one game for, like, the umpteenth time in a row.
Hahaha, it's Zidaneo, you dolt!
            Now, I have the perfect way to end this article. Since it’s my birthday, let’s all sing “Happy Birthday” to me! “Happy Birthday to me…Dear Michael. Happy Birthday to me!” I hope you all sang! …oh, well ‘til next week!

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