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  Slow On The Blogtake 12:51 PM -- Fri March 10, 2006  

I'm not keeping up with the journal as I should! Or with my work for that matter. A major cause is a bit shameful... I have recently come into possession of no fewer than six video games. Let's discuss them, shall we?

Sly 2: Band Of Thieves - 10/10! The Sly series is amazing, and this one is better than the first. The first game was just normal platformer levels you got through, but this time the levels are open-ended cities in which you pull a series of heists to achieve your goals. And you get to be The Murray, which I loved and didn't get anywhere near enough of. As far as I'm concerned, Murray can have his own game of pure brawling. Not that Sly is unfun, he's great, and his pickpocketing adds a lot of fun too. Bentley I didn't enjoy quite so much. Now I need Sly 3!
Jak 3 - 5/10. Blah. Even worse than the first Jak, which also was frustrating (but had fun too). You can see all the effort that went into this game, but it was a waste, because all they ended up with was an endless string of trial and error missions. Die & repeat is the order of the day and it is tiresome. I never played Jak 2 because I heard it was frustrating, and I heard Jak 3 was way better. A horrifying thought. Also more than a few bugs I encountered playing this game. There are some 600 bonus egg-things you need to collect around the game world, and I was not interested in pursuing them. Knowing my predilections, that says a lot about how unpleasant the experience was.
Ratchet: Deadlocked - 10/10! Okay, maybe 9/10. Not as good as the former Ratchets I think... but I don't know. It was definitely still great, really great. For an arena combat game, it was sorely lacking in normal arena battles though. It nonetheless has inspired the idea of a battle arena in Loonyland 2. I kind of liked the concept of how it split each level up into multiple challenges, rather than long journeys where you could slip up at the end and ruin it all.
Spyro: A Hero's Tail - I am currently on this one. I was a few hours into it, and the next time I started it up, it said "your save file is corrupted, would you like to overwrite?" So voila, I am back at the beginning again. It's not bad. I see less magic to it than older Spyros, but it is definitely fun and solid. Interestingly, I have only ever had one other game I needed to restart on - Spyro 2. In that one (it may not be #2, not sure, but I think so), there's a bug where one of the eggs you can earn by doing a race isn't given to you. Only cure is to restart. It was many months before I restarted that, since I had finished the entire game minus that one egg.
Still on the block are Prince Of Persia and Pitfall: The Lost Expedition. It's all research.

I've taken a detour on the Loonyland 2 work, when I actually was working on it. I had some quandaries and art issues, and I think they're all finally resolved, and I've done a bunch more new art. One thing I have changed is that the whole map system is to be revamped. Instead of the one big overworld with caves and such in it, I'm taking a cue from Guild Wars (not that it's the only game like this, but I do play it a lot!) and breaking the world into individual regions, which will be stored as separate levels, with flashy portals between them. This makes some things quite a bit easier, and gives me freedom to expand areas however I wish. Plus I like the flashy portal thing I made. And it resolves one art issue: I had a place where a river needed to divert and flow both to the right and down, and I had no idea how to animate that. So now I don't have to! In one map you'll see it going sideways, in another map it'll be going down.

Here's another insider tidbit on Toonyland, lucky you for having subscribed to The Hamumu Insider! I'm adding a thing, equivalent to Gallery Goals pretty much, called the Allusionary. As you unlock the entries in it, you can read about all of the different allusions and references in the game. Since most of what I do is always a reference to something, I thought this would be kind of fun, and it has inspired me to up the reference count (hey, that could be a programming joke! Nevermind). For instance, there was a quest called "Herbal Remedy" to collect some herbs. I have renamed it "Herbal Essences", in reference to the kind of shampoo I use. It's that kind of incredibly witty and urbane humor that you turn to Hamumu for. And we don't disappoint!
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