VGT – Games Not To Play When Writing A Paper – Part 2

It is time for part two on my series of games not to play when writing a paper. The game I want to talk about today is Luigi’s Mansion for the Nintendo 3DS. I stumbled across this game for sale at a Goodwill store. It was only $30 (about 25% off of retail) and was new in the box. I knew that I had no business buying a game during a time when I had two many papers to write, but I bought it anyway.  (Editor’s note: the word “two” was originally a typo but I decided to keep it in, because I literally had 2 papers to write)  I logically reasoned that just because I bought the game didn’t mean that I was going to actually play the game. Right?

Stop writing your paper and install this gear!

Stop writing your paper and install this gear!

But there came a moment when I was sitting on the sofa, staring at my laptop, and hitting a wall. I was trying to think of something profound to say about John Locke and empiricism and how it has had an affect on the church today. Then I remembered that little game cartridge.  So I broke the seal on the box and put the cartridge in my 3DS.

And oh, what joy did I behold! It has simply been too long since Luigi has had his own game.  Mario has had the spotlight in every game imaginable, but his brother in green has quietly (and perhaps trepidatiously) waited backstage for his opportunity in the spotlight.  There is just something endearing about the Luigi character and how he is often so afraid yet faces is his situation anyway. Isn’t that the true definition of courage?  The three dimensional effects on this game look very good, and the moments have been rare that I have switched it off.

Luigi gets pixelated frequently

Luigi gets pixelated frequently

But what makes this game so good? The answer lies in the combination of excellent level design, replay-ability  and a perfect difficulty curve. The game is the perfect mix of an interesting storyline (although predictable) and the ability to pick up and play the game any time and place.  If I had time on my lunch break, I played Luigi’s Mansion.  I played it in my car, outside with the dog, even in the library at the seminary!  (I tried to look pious and pretend I was doing research)  There is just something that is so much fun about going into a darkened room with a magic vacuum cleaner and using the device on every object that you can see.  You can also use a special black light to discover objects that were previously hidden. Even though this game is about ghosts and haunted locations, it is not a scary game. It really handles the concept that could be frightening to children and makes it whimsical and non-frightening.  Luigi seems to be scared enough for both of us.  Excellent gameplay mechanics keep it from getting too frustrated. You control Luigi with precision and every button is perfectly located on the controls.  Right trigger sucks in air while the left trigger blows out air.  It makes perfect sense.  The enemies all seem to have a weakness, and you have to take the time to figure out what the weakness may be.  The puzzles have been surprisingly complex yet completely solvable without consulting the internet.

A great game for the 3DS

A great game for the 3DS

I do have to admit that I have reached a point in the game that has become quite difficult.  I’m facing the boss monster of the clock tower. I have tried three times to defeat it, each time getting a little further than before. However, I am almost to the point where I, being the complete video game slackard that I am, I’m about to give up or at least take a break. One of the elements about the game that I like is that you can search for and find golden bones throughout the haunted house on H level.  A golden bone is essentially an extra life – similar to a fairy in a bottle for a Zelda game. But this clock tower boss level does not seem to have any golden bone. I have searched everywhere! If anyone knows where it may be please, I am begging you to comment in the section below. If I only had an extra life I know I could get through this level. Of course I have friends and colleagues who tell me that I am supposed to be enjoying the fact that the game is difficult. They tell me that I will feel a sense of accomplishment when I finally overcome that hurdle. But I have to admit I do not feel that way .

I received a comment recently from someone who thinks that Pokemon is a game not to play when writing a paper. I have never played a Pokemon game on any platform. However, I am willing to give it a try. If any of you have a recommendation for which Pokemon to try, let me know and I will do it.  Gaming platform doesn’t matter, and I should be able to hunt down the original game – not an emulation..

Stay tuned for my third and final entry in my series of games not to play when writing a paper.

VGT – Games Not To Play When Writing A Paper – Part 1

I finally finished writing my last paper required for my philosophy class last night. The whole process seem to take longer than it should have. For me, it always seems to be put off until the last minute.  Suddenly, I realized as I was finishing the last sentence on my last paper, why it was taking so long. I looked around me and there on the ottoman in front of me was my Nintendo 3DS, my Playstation Vita, my Sony PSP Go, and also my Wii U was on the television screen.

Paper writing essentials

Paper writing essentials

I somehow found a way to distract myself in at least four different ways. That doesn’t count my cell phone with it’s array of Droid games.  I daily go to Amazon to get the free app of the day, so I have a huge collection of Droid games that I’ve never even touched.  So I really had FIVE distractive devices drawing me from my duties.

So, now begins a series on some of the games I played during my paper writing frenzy (when I should have been writing my paper)

PSP Go with attractive case

PSP Go with attractive case

Game #1 – Orbit  – The story of how I even discovered this game is worth telling.  I collect handhelds and recently had the opportunity to buy a used Sony PSP Go.  This little game system was unsuccessful, at least here in the United States, largely because it had no disk drive or cartridge slot.  I couldn’t buy any used games for this thing, but it’s “flip forward” design appealed to me.

Cool Design - except no game cartridges or disks

Cool Design – except no game cartridges or disks

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that when I logged onto the Playstation Network, that there were several games available for download.  I downloaded every free game that I could find.

Games I downloaded

Games I downloaded

One of those games was Orbit.  Orbit is classified as a Playstation Mini and I think that it can be played on the PS3, Vita, or the PSP.  The premise of this addictive side scrolling game was simple: pilot your ship for one orbit around the planet while picking up coins, fuel, and power ups.  The gameplay mechanic was simple.

Simple yet addictive

Simple yet addictive

You pushed the button and the ship rose up, you let go of the button and the ship went down.  I played a similar concept once on a flash computer game with a helicopter and I’m pretty sure that’s also the premise of the popular game Jetpack Joyride, which I’ve never played.

Screen copied from Google!  I couldn't get a good pic on my own

Screenshot copied from Google Images! I couldn’t get a good pic on my own

What got me hooked on the game was the collecting of rewards.  I’m not a completionist by any stretch of the imagination but I wanted to get all of the trophies.  Only two trophies remain – one for collecting a total of a million in coins, and one for doing two orbits around each planet.  This was a game that I really enjoyed and I think my mom would like it too, although the small screen would not make it as enjoyable for her.

A galaxy of fun....or at least a solar system

A galaxy of fun….or at least a solar system

If any of you out there are working a full time job and taking at least one class, you know how tiring it can be to get things done.  Essentially going back to school is like taking a part time job.  The only way I have been able to function is by getting up at 4:30am and working on classwork.  Then off to work until I come home exhausted and start all over again the next day.  I put my blogging on hold so I could focus as things came down to the wire with school assignments.  I have thought about posting my actual papers on the blog, with the grade and a summary of the teachers comments – but it may be too boring for you.  One paper was on Origen and the other was about John Locke.  If anyone would be interested, please comment.  I could also set up a separate blog just for such a subject.

Stay tuned for Game #2 from my list of Games Not To Play When Writing A Paper!