Playing: Arcade Collection, Rock Band

Arcade Collection

I’d like to say that I only played some of these games because I though they might be fun. Or that they might hold some interest for me with their narrative. The truth though is that I only played them for their points. I’ve been looking at my scheduling and realized I have a couple of midterms coming up for school. My plan was to front load the points-earning for March so I could clear time for studying. Well, that is my rationalization for playing anyway.

Boom Boom Rocket

This game reminds me of the game Beats for the PSP. Basically you hit the face-pad button that corresponds to the symbol as it approaches the line at the top of the screen. There is a small selection of music and each song has it own pattern of buttons that must be pressed in time to the beat. Harder difficulties increase the number of symbols and speed up the music.

It’s not very hard. I had played it for awhile without sound while listening to podcasts on the computer and manged to get a few achievements without paying much attention. Once I actually listened to the game’s music, I realized that the button pressing is in time with each song. In fact, you can ignore trying to get the timing of each symbol right and just play along with the songs. It’s easier that way. Look to see what the next button is and then wait for the music.

Feeding Frenzy

This feels like a Flash game or some game developed for the Wii. It’s quite simple at first and only adds a few wrinkles toward the end of the game. Surprisingly, I was not able to beat it in one go although I did make it to the last level. Once I died, it asked me if I wanted to play the whole game again. I declined.

The goal is to eat fish. You start as a small fish but gain size after eating a number of smaller fish until you eat enough to end each level. This play dynamic continues throughout the game. Every few levels introduces a few obstacle though. At first, it’s only land mines and jelly fish, both of which hurt you, but the game slowly adds more and more things that can harm you. Poison fish are added. Barracuda that can kill you in one bite are introduced next. Even sharks are added toward the end.

During the loading screens are little blurbs of neat facts about ocean life. These stand in contrast to the fact that the game has you, as a fish, growing in size only by eating other fish while not actually being a predator. You’d think that a game that wanted to educate might look a bit harder for a science reason for fish to be eating other fish including the ability of killer whales to eat sharks whole.

Rock Band

I had never thought a music game would be like a RPG in any way but Rock Band has definitely swallowed some huge chunks of my time. I must have put in over forty hours at this point and I’ve only completed a few difficulties on a couple of instruments.

My latest work has been in trying to master more of the guitar. I had been playing through the Band World Tour mode but I felt that I should probably go back and practice more if I want to take on the Endless Set (58 songs!) and finish it. So, I’ve been going through the guitar solo tour and am about halfway through medium difficulty.

I’m still working on my singing too. I won’t claim to be a great singer but I feel I can at least mimic the pitch needed to get through most songs. I’m now crawling my way through Hard difficulty and have only gotten about a third way through. Hard mode, it turns out, is hard. The singing becomes less of an issue of always being on pitch and more of making sure to breath at the right times between verses. Holding the longer notes can really save a performance.