Seems like the last two projects I’ve done have had kind of lackluster ends. I’ve been sitting on this “mostly complete” project for a while, and while I’m still unsatisfied about certain areas (i.e. there’s no music), if I don’t push it out the door pretty soon it’ll just sit and stagnate. So, here we go: Nonogram Madness.
(If anyone cares, let me know what you think in the comments. The puzzles kinda progress in difficulty, but they haven’t been balanced at all, and some of them are pretty bad. There, you’ve been warned.)
I own the GBA cartridge, you cretins, so I hold the moral high ground here. =] It was just getting too frustrating having to constantly refer to a translated script… you really miss a lot of the game, which is a shame when the most interesting thing about the Earthbound/Mother series is the writing.
The “in progress” title screen of Nonogram Madness. Yeah, I decided on a name.
A few months ago, my office got a large flatscreen TV (ostensibly for client presentations), as well as an Xbox 360 (for after hours). Well, the “after hours” thing hasn’t really held up, and my office-mates and myself usually go for a bit of gaming action during the lunch hour. Street Fighter 4 was our game du jour for a while, but Halo 3 has definitely held the top spot overall. There’s just nothing like a good ol’ first-person shooter deathmatch. A few weeks ago, the newest version of Halo was obtained for us as well: Halo 3 ODST. Originally supposed to be merely an expansion, ODST (stands for “Orbital Drop Shock Trooper”) evolved into its own standalone game. After getting the game, we first loaded up the multiplayer disc, which is required to play the traditional “shoot your friends-” style game. Unfortunately, everyone was pretty disappointed to find that ODST has no new multiplayer content; only three new maps differentiate it from its predecessor.
I knew that the bulk of new content in ODST was in the form of the campaign, and was able to get my friends to agree to play through in co-op mode. The campaign’s story centers around a group of ODSTs, who have been dropped into a war-torn South African city. After losing control of the drop pod, your character wakes up separated from his squad mates, in a city that is swarming with alien baddies. Your task is to try to find out what happened to your friends, and make it out of the city alive.
As your character explores the city, he comes across certain objects which trigger flashbacks that tell the story of his squad. For example, one of the first objects you come across is the helmet of an intelligence officer that dropped with you. The ensuing flashback, played from the point of view of another member of your team, ends with a cutscene showing how the helmet got there. You get closer and closer to your missing friends, and eventually reunite and complete your mission.
ODST doesn’t add a whole lot in terms of game mechanics or weapons. Your character can throw grenades farther, and his default machine gun and sidearm are silenced now, but all the stuff you’ve grown to love about Halo 3 is mostly intact. In fact, that statement right there is a pretty good indicator regarding whether or not you’ll like this sequel. If you want to fight Covenant aliens in a new, more urban environment, and learn a bit more about the Halo universe, then you’ll like ODST. If you’re looking for new weapons or a different multiplayer experience, your money would probably be better spent elsewhere.
I personally enjoyed playing through the game, even though I skipped a lot of the extra story content. While the plot doesn’t expound a whole lot into the over Halo story arc, I was definitely wanted to keep playing in order to find out what happened to your character’s friends. The levels are all very detailed and well-crafted; you really feel like you’re totally alone, exploring an abandoned city. The ending was a bit lackluster, but I can forgive that due to the fact that the overall play experience was so good. My next step: play through Halo 3 proper.
Admittedly, nonograms aren’t for everyone. I enjoy them, however, because they’re simple logic puzzles that have a visual component… they’re more interesting to me than the straight-up numbers of sudoku. When I explained the concept to Chandra, she seemed interested! It’s my goal to make something that she’ll play through =]