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Malik (3/21/11)

Sounder FC lost again this weekend. It's sad to see them start the season at 0-2 (with playing twice in the last week, they own last place exclusively)...but it doesn't mean much when one considers that New York and Los Angeles are favored to both make the playoffs this year. For Seattle to start facing these two teams to begin a season doesn't make the 0-2 record carry much weight.

However, having been outscored 0-2 also doesn't help things. I had a feeling both games so far would be losses, but it would be nice to see some offensive power going on and not just a few shutout losses on the schedule. It probably doesn't help that White is playing the forward position that was expected to belong to Nkufo this season. It's not that White is a bad player, but he's definitely a green player who needs some more time on the field to really get his skills more in line with his potential.

On a final note about the Sounders FC...damn...that penalty shot blocked by Keller against New York was beautiful to behold! This is Keller's final season, and I dread to see how next Season turns out without one of the greatest American goalies of all time keeping the team in line as captain and out of trouble as a powerhouse on defense.

I started to play Okamiden (DS) this weekend. After having been such a fan of the first Okami (on the PS2), I am glad to see the game continue. It's a bit weird to see how the limitations of the DS are taken into account to make Okamiden work, but it definitely is a real Okami sequel and not some bastardized portable version like we've seen with many other PS2 (and later) games ported over to a portable system. I mean the only real differences I'm seeing, so far, are the brush system being a little more responsive due to the touch screen and less camera control due to no second direction pad.

However, I should add that the brush system can still be pretty frustrating from time to time. Just like with Okami, I've had too many brush actions denied due to not being precise enough for what the game wanted. While the brush controls are better with a stylus instead of a PS2 analogue stick, the game seems to make up for the change by being a little more precise in what it requires. I know I've never had a bomb fail to get drawn on Okami (it's a circle with a line through one side, looking like a fuse on a round bomb), but I've failed a few times on Okamiden. In fact, circles seem to be the worst detection movement on Okamiden, and like with Okami, they are some of the most commonly used shapes.

Actually, there is one more difference in Okamiden, but it's well handled. Large maps are now broken into smaller areas. The games take place in the same areas, for the most part, and the first main field of both games (the one with a small river through it) went from one screen on Okami to about four screens on Okamiden. However, with almost no load times, this is not a bad change. If it's what the DS requires to handle the game, then so be it. I'd rather have this change than seeing a DS forced to run more than it was meant to handle.


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