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An xbox controller for Steam stuff. Traded in some stuff, so got a new one for about $15. Dealing with tattiebogle was a pain in the butt, but I got an older version of it running and having fun.

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Popcorn.

At the cinema.

Where I saw Thor: The Dark World.

(tis good! The film, not the popcorn. That was a tad stale :( )

I need to see this film. Like, right now.

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I could use pictures, but they'd be big, so I won't.

Just bought a bunch of PSP stuff.

Accessories: Case, Micro-SD Card Adapter

Games: Ape Escape P, Medievil Resurrection, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite

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Frustrated at having been outbid on eBay, I promptly went to Amazon and got this:

140920p.jpg

...for a little less than I would have paid had I won the bid.

Oh, and I got this one as well:

Prince_of_Persia_Revelations.jpg

But not Rival Swords. They wanted too much for that one. Bleh.

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I might have to check them out sometime then. Also Darth, since you have a PSP you should see if you can find a copy of ZHP Unlosing Ranger Vs Darkdeath Evilman. A really goofy but fun dungeon crawler from Nippon Ichi Software.

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Age of Empires II: The Forgotten

Given AoE II is probably my favorite game ever made and there is suddenly more of it... hell yeah, I'm pumped. And oh, man... max population of 1000?! I used to dream of that sort of thing when I was a kid, trying to beat the game with a force of 75 (including economic units). And new campaigns? YES!

I hope it's really good and that lots of people buy this so that they'll make more. There's some great campaigns that I would love to play through.

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I played Secret Agent Clank on the PS2 and deeply regret it. Lemme see if I can dig up the review I wrote of it...

(And I already own Pursuit Force ;D)

EDIT: Found it!

After the ‘success’ of their previous portable outing, High Impact games got the go-ahead to make another portable Ratchet and Clank game for the PSP. Only instead of focusing on the standard gameplay of every other game in the series, they decided to do something a little… different.

Secret Agent Clank, as the title suggests, focuses on the smaller, more robotic of the two leads as he attempts to discover who has framed Ratchet for the theft of a series of jewels. To do so, he sneaks, hides and fights his way through several worlds, all the while trying to track down the culprit responsible. Interspersed with this are Ratchet’s attempts to survive in prison, as well as Captain Quark’s completely unrelated side-story as he relates his ‘heroic adventures’ to a biographer.

If the summary sounds a bit of a mess, that’s because the plot is. The first, and most obvious problem is the fact that Secret Agent Clank has already been established as a fictional character in the R&C universe (in Up Your Arsenal, to be exact), so why is he suddenly being treated as an actual character? As well as this, the Captain Quark sections have absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the game, so why are they there? And what, exactly, is the point of constantly cutting back to check in on Ratchet, who we know full well can take care of himself? Nothing about the plot makes even the slightest bit of sense.

The gameplay is much the same. The Clank sections deviate from the standard run-shoot-kill gameplay of old and have an emphasis on stealth, from sneaking up on enemies and quick-timing them to death to hiding in plain sight by pretending to be a statue or grabbing a nearby newspaper. These sections become very tedious and repetitive very quickly, and it leaves one pining for the classic run-and-shoot gunplay of previous titles. The game does give it a go, and it entertains for a while, but then you’re forced back into stealth mode and it all falls apart again.

Whenever you cut to the sections as Ratchet, they play much like the Arena sections of old, only they take place in a surprisingly small series of rooms, have a limited weapon selection and aren’t anywhere near as much fun. Then there are the Captain Quark sections. These are incredibly silly and can be surprisingly varied, but ultimately they all boil down to doing the same things over and over again and they lose their charm rather quickly.

Finally, there’s the occasional appearance of the Gadgetbots, small robots that Clank normally controls. Here you control a small group of them, switching between them to perform basic tasks and working together to reach the end of the level. These sections are actually somewhat fun, but they have a tendency to drag on just long enough for you to get tired of them.

Because the game is essentially split between three different characters, the weapons are split as well, meaning that for the two characters who have multiple weapons, the selection is much more limited than in previous games. Clank’s weapons have a superspy feel, such as a tie that doubles as a boomerang or cuff-links that become bombs, while Ratchet has the more traditional weapons like the dual machine guns or a plasma whip. Most of these are holdovers from previous games though, which make his sections feel even more derivative then they already are.

As with the previous game, Secret Agent Clank really does suffer from being a PSP game first and a PS2 game second. There’s been very little optimization done, with a slightly higher resolution and the addition of a limited amount of camera control being the only obvious attempts to utilize the improved specs of the PS2, and as a result, the low quality graphics and models constantly provide a reminder that this is far from the best Ratchet and Clank have to offer. The levels, while still not as large as their PS2 predecessors, are at least bigger than the ones from Size Matters, or at the very least they feel bigger. Well, Clank’s levels do. Sadly, he’s just one of many characters in the game, and when you play as any of the others, the levels seem to magically shrink.

Also held over from Size Matters is the difficulty curve. The game is surprisingly tricky to play without constantly dying during normal gameplay, with enemies often taking a ridiculous amount of damage before dying and your weapons quickly becoming obsolete. There’s a few racing sections, but these are poorly implemented and control awkwardly, meaning that there’s no reason to replay them.

The stealth sections also wildly fluctuate, with some being a matter of simple trial and error and others bordering on the edge of frustration. During these aspects of the story you’re occasionally presented with prolonged ‘Guitar Hero’-style quicktime events, and these can last anything up to five minutes. Add in the fact that the game frequently does not register your button presses, and it makes getting the obligatory Skill Points almost impossible.

Last but not least, the multiplayer aspect has now been completely dropped. Presumably this was to make room for more single player material, but when the quality of it is as lacklustre as this, they might as well have thrown one in just for the hell of it. It wouldn’t have made the game any worse.

Secret Agent Clank is a valiant attempt to break away from the established Ratchet & Clank mould, but it doesn’t seem to know what else it can actually do. It grabs a bunch of random ideas and throws them all together, but the end result is an absolute mess. This, more than anything else, is the lowest point of the series.

Recommendation: Leave well alone. There are far better games out there.

Bottom Line: This game sails well below it.

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I played Secret Agent Clank on the PS2 and deeply regret it. Lemme see if I can dig up the review I wrote of it...

(And I already own Pursuit Force ;D)

It got worse reviews on PS2 if I remember correctly, but my love for it might just be nostalgia speaking as it was one of my first PSP games.

And did you like Pursuit Force?

EDIT: Yep. "Secret Agent Clank received mixed reviews. Ranging from a 6.5/10 from IGN to an 8.5/10 from Game Informer. Most scores fall in the 6-8 level with a Metacritic score of 72/100.[11] The PlayStation 2 version received lower score reviews."

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Haven't gotten round to it yet - been playing Daxter. I hear good things though.

And I found my SAC review, check my previous post. Aside from the paragraph pointing out the PS2 conversion, I think it's still pretty valid.

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Some fair points in there Darth, it probably IS just my nostalgia talking, and as we all know, when you are a kid, even the worst games can be the greatest thing ever.

I haven't played it in years, maybe it's time to see if my opinions have changed.

Also I bought it at release for full price, so maybe I just subconsciously felt obliged to play it.

Plus R&C is my one of my favorite series, so there's that.

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Age of Empires II: The Forgotten

Given AoE II is probably my favorite game ever made and there is suddenly more of it... hell yeah, I'm pumped. And oh, man... max population of 1000?! I used to dream of that sort of thing when I was a kid, trying to beat the game with a force of 75 (including economic units). And new campaigns? YES!

I hope it's really good and that lots of people buy this so that they'll make more. There's some great campaigns that I would love to play through.

I bought it as well. But cant acces it ingame for some reason.

I've had high hopes for the revival of AOEII, butit seems they cant fix anything about this game, and every patch brings more problems

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I haven't actually attempted to get it to run yet, so this makes me sad. Guess I'll give it a try and see what I can get.

My disc version works okay, but only as long as I don't try to use the Diplomacy key. For some reason any time I try to dipomacize anyone, the game crashes.

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Okay, I figured out how to access The Forgotten. Basically there's a button at the top of the screen that says Play Forgotten. If you click it and then click Single Player, it will take you to the new campaigns. They aren't as polished as the old ones, but I played a bit of the Alaric one and it seemed to work all right. And I could access the diplomacy settings! Huzzah!

If you want to go back to the original Age of Empires II, then you just click the same button again and then click Single Player and it takes you back.

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