Shortly after Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 was released, I realized that I had never beaten the first X-Men Legends game. In fact, I had barely started it. Although I have been reading up on the Marvel Universe lately, I still didn't know much about the X-Men. I knew they were mutants, but beyond that I was clueless. And although the game doesn't deal with their personalities a whole lot (most dialogue is presented in text form and doesn't change depending on the character who speaks it) I can at least identify each character and their powers. That wasn't something I could really do before.
I'm totally enjoying the game, but there are some issues. I'm playing the GameCube version, and because the GameCube controller has one less button than its competitors you have to press X and Z together to use energy packs. Pressing Z first will cause a health pack to be used, so you have to make sure you press X first. But X is also used to grab enemies and pick up objects, so it can be difficult to use in the heat of battle.
Despite that, I was still able to keep playing the game without major problems. But once I reached the Arbiter section, another issue cropped up. During this mission the X-Men have to rescue crewmen from a ship called the Aribiter, which happens to be sinking. You have a limited amount of time to do this, and that alone can be frustrating. But there are also Xtraction points on the Arbiter, which you can use to save. Save without enough time to rescue all the crewmen and you're screwed. If the ship sinks or all your party members die, your only options are to return to the main menu or reload a save. In X-Men Legends you cannot restart a mission from the beginning. I don't think I've yet reached the point where it's impossible to pass the mission, but it's definitely going to take a few more tries. Maybe I should use the Xtraction points to train in the Danger Room. It won't add any additional time, but leveling my characters should help to get through enemies faster.
Another game I've been playing recently is Alter Echo. I had no expectations going in, but it's surprising good. Switching between forms, performing sick combos, it's quite fun. Even the sync node/time dilation stuff - which turned me off initially - ended up working better than I expected it to. Just had to ignore the timing bar and figure out the right pacing myself. A pleasant surprise, and although it doesn't look like it offers much in the way of replayabilty, I may end up doing so at some point anyway.
Last Friday I bought some new games. They were Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, Scribblenauts, and Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story. First, Scribblenauts. Everything you've heard about the game is true. Yes, you can create just about anything. Yes, most of those things serve no purpose. And yes, the controls are terrible. But despite that, it's still a good deal of fun. What other game would let you tame Cthulhu and have God ride around on a T-Rex? Yes, the title screen really is the best part of the game.
After spending some time with Scribblenauts I popped in Diabolical Box. Although I haven't spent a lot of time with the game, so far it's exactly what I'd want out of a Professor Layton sequel. Love the puzzles, and Luke's attempt to remove Inspector Chelmey's "disguise" was great. I haven't started Bowser's Inside Story yet, but I hope to do so in the near future.