Yes, I know I have not posted much on here as of late. I could give the usual excuse of "I've been busy" but I don't think that would be fair. Instead I'll just tell you what I've been playing lately.
Yes, I still spend far too much time playing the Pokemon games on the Nintendo DS (I have both Diamond and Pearl now) but this week a new game crept in and took control of my DS. I'm talking about Konami's new Contra 4 for DS.
All the real hard core gamers from the 80's remember the original Contra game on the NES. It was a game so hard that most kids just gave up on it and never completed the game. I was there one day to watch some of my friends beat the game (we did party gaming long before Mario Party existed).
All I can say is that the original Contra game was a ball buster. Eventually the secret of the Konami Code found its way to us and everyone was able to beat that sadistic game.
The new Contra 4 game is all Contra all the way with one exception, no Konami code! There may be some cheat codes for the game but I have not found them yet. (I take it back, you can use the konami code on the pause screen but it only maxes out your weapons, use it again and you die!)
The game is your basic side-scrolling platformer and it kicks ass, namely yours! There is a two-player mode but each player has to have their own copy of the game.
Just like in the old game you can switch out weapons and toss a weapon to your partner. Also, as in the old game, one hit and you are dead. This is not some crazy plumber with a machine gun so you can't jump on enemies to kill them. Touch an enemy or get hit by enemy fire and you die.
The first stage of the game takes place in a jungle and I can beat it easily on the Easy setting, not so much on the Normal setting and not at all on the Hard setting!
The second stage takes place in a lab with mutant dogs and exploding zombies. When those zombies explode their bits can also kill you. Yeah, I die a lot that way.
In fact, I just die a lot in this game. some might say that is a bad thing but too many games these days coddle the player. This game does not coddle at all. It does have a continue system but the harder the level you play on the less continues you get. Don't think you can just play it through on Easy either because the last three levels are not available on the Easy setting.
If you like old school Contra action from the NES and SNES you will enjoy Contra 4. If you can't take this much difficulty in your games than stick with something simple, like one of those Disney games for the DS.
I can't play FPS games for long stretches of time without getting nauseous but I have been pushing hard to complete one such game; Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
The controls took a little bit of time to get used to but this game is all Metroid. By all Metroid I mean it focuses on solving puzzles more than on combat. Boss battles are difficult but not impossible to figure out.
A nice feature of the game is that if you see something that is out of reach the game will tell you that you do not have the equipment to deal with the problem right now so you will not sit around getting frustrated. Once you get the proper equipment you can then head back there and complete the area.
There is one problem with the game that is very glaring and it has to do with the map. On the previous versions you could move the map left, right, up and down. In this game you can pivot the map and zoom but you can't move it sideways. This sucks because the only way to see distant area of the map is by zooming way out and squinting.
I try to log a few hours a week into this game and I think I am just about at the half-way point. I have destroyed the first two seeds and right now I'm bouncing between the Pirate Homeworld, derelict spaceship and grabbing missed items on the first three planets.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is a good closer to the Metroid Prime series of games.