Saturday, September 02, 2006


Matthew can hold a several-shot rally with the computer in Virtua Tennis, but he doesn't know how to direct his shots to make it hard for the CPU to reach them, so he always loses eventually. This makes him mad. Fortunately, the worst word he knows is "stupid," which he pronounces without the D.

On the other hand, he's surprisingly good at Sly Cooper 3 which I would have thought would be more challenging. I guess the extra buttons involved aren't as tough for an almost-four-year-old as the more subtle interaction of the buttons and analog stick for VT, after all. Sly 3 ("new fox game" -- yes, I know it's a racoon) is joining We Love Katamari ("ball game") and Burnout Revenge ("car game") in Matthew's favorites. He was really into Ratchet & Clank 3 for a while, too ("ratchet game") but I think his mom banned him from that for a while. (Really into it...) He racked up over $400k doing some of the earlier missions over and over -- I'd beaten the game, so Ratchet was really buff, and Matthew was able to breeze through the early missions, calibrated for a significantly less buff protaganist, with ease. Basically he just wants to blow stuff up and not worry much about dying.

I did let him try Ratchet & Clank 2, but that wasn't as much of a success. In 3, a lot of missions will auto-replenish your ammo when you start them. Those were the missions Matthew liked. In 2, you always have to remember to buy new ammo, and there isn't a "max out all" option to keep things simple. So Matthew was always running out of ammo and getting frustrated.

He's a little better at Guitar Hero ("youtarr [guitar] game") than a few months ago but it's still just a little too hard for him to really get into, past the first couple songs.

I also picked up a copy of Toy Commander for the dreamcast based on some guy's slashdot comment gushing about how great it was. For a game about toys, it's extremely complicated. Each toy controls differently, but the missions also have very narrowly defined objectives barely within a four year old's ability to remember, and far beyond his ability to achieve. Too bad. He wants to like this "plane game" -- one of the first toys you can use is a biplane -- it's just out of he league for now.

Most gameboy advance games are also just a little too hard for him. He can do most of Sonic Advance, with the exception of the bosses. By far the easiest game we have is a Donkey Kong Country (#2? #3? I forget) but he doesn't like that, for some reason. He does like Metal Slug because it has tanks, but it really is too hard for him. His favorite was Metroid Zero Mission -- Rachel had beaten it, so Samus was super buff for the early areas, like Ratchet -- but then he deleted the save with that data on it. We should have made a copy; he does that eventually to pretty much any game he gets to play, since he can't read the prompts when it asks, "Are you sure?" Given this handicap, he actually navigates menus amazingly well. Just keep him out of the Save menu.

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