Saving Gaming History

Recently I wanted to tackle some outlier games that have been eluding my collection. I didn’t get ones such as Captain America: Super Soldier or Painkiller: Hell and Damnation, but I did get a few others.

The first two games, you can see in the photo directly below, are actually not apart of those games I was trying to find. Medal of Honor: Vanguard and ICO were unplanned pickups. The former was released around the same time on the PS2 that Medal of Honor: Airborne was on PS3 and X360. The latter, ICO, I already have via The ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection on PS3. I only got it because I felt the need to save it from the unwashed masses. It’s not everyday you come across a complete copy of ICO on PS2 in good condition.

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It’s also not everyday you come across a good conditioned complete copy of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess either. Okay, actually you do. But not the Gamecube version! I’m not much of a fan of The Legend of Zelda as you guys already know, but I still felt a need to save this game as well. It’s another one I didn’t need because I did already have the ubiquitous Wii version.

Here’s the first game which I did go to specifically to find. It’s Sega Arcade Gallery on the Game Boy Advance. It’s a four game compilation of AfterBurner, Space Harrier, Super Hang-On, and (best of all) OutRun! In case you didn’t know these games are all of Sega’s super sweet superscaler arcade lineup. You can never have enough of those!

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I finally found Ray Tracers, but I did have to go to eBay for it. The game is easily summed up as a polygonal version of Chase H.Q. and that’s okay by me. Both games were developed by Taito.

Iron Man / X-O Manowar in Heavy Metal was another game that wasn’t really on my wish list. I can see it as a very mediocre game, but in some ways it reminded me of Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project from 2002 in how it plays even though the game I bought was from 1996.

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Finally, I picked up a new copy of the 2008 Special Edition of Rambo 4. Yes, I do already own the Extended Cut. However, I was disappointed that the commentary track was cut out of that version. This one has exactly what I was missing.

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Warp Zone Trax

Four months ago Usagi704 and I had visited this out of town gaming store called Warp Zone. Once again we had made a trip down to this place where I picked up more games not on my wish list.

First up was a much lesser known Super FX chip game on the Super Nintendo called Dirt Trax FX. It’s a dirt bike racing game developed by Sculptured Software and published by Acclaim. Believe it or not I did remember playing this game at the time it was released in late 1995.

Next up is a Game Boy Advance title that you’d be forgiven for thinking it was on the Genesis. Sega teamed up with THQ for this 2002 edition of The Revenge of Shinobi which clearly didn’t go over as well. It was released the same year as the PlayStation 2 version of Shinobi.

Here’s actually a game I did have on my wish list sometime ago. I removed it because I didn’t ever expect to find it. The Game Boy Advance version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus is more of a 2D stealth game. It seemed to be similar to Splinter Cell’s outing on this same platform (another game I never found and removed from my list).

And finally I picked up an import Japanese Game Boy release of The King of Fighters ’96. This was the same one Usagi704 had received earlier this year.

That do it for this time. Check the photo below and have a good one!

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CLICK FOR LARGER VIEW

Ultra Street Fighter: The Movie

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This is my game purchases for the month of June. I didn’t get any digital titles because, you know, Team Hardcopy. However, it was tempting to get Dungeon Explorer, a TG-16 classic, for $1.20 off of PSN.

What I did get was a spur of the moment purchase of Street Fighter: The Movie for the original PlayStation off of eStarland.com. I was watching this video from Game-Rave. I was reminded of the two other times in high school I bought and then eventually sold this Street Fighter game. This time it’s in my collection for good.

The other game I also bought in the same order as SF: The Movie is Watch Dogs. I know, I know. It’s a bad game, but I’m a sucker for its hacking premise despite it’s basic implementation of it.

I was able to also pick up Ultra Street Fighter IV at Best Buy. It was another unplanned purchase, but not overall as I was going to get it once the price was right. At $20 it was.

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Complete In Box Fridays: Street Fighter II & Mortal Kombat II

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This is Complete In Box Fridays week number seven coming at you. Last week I talked about the DS title by Atlus called Steal Princess. Also check out the full assortment of CIB Fridays articles in its category.

This time around I’m going to talk about a pair of 16-bit fighting games for the Super Nintendo. They are Street Fighter II Turbo and Mortal Kombat II.

When it comes to the genre I played the most, if not exclusively, during my high school days it was certainly was fighting games without a doubt. This was especially the case during the 1990s given that the genre itself had exploded in popularity thanks to Street Fighter II. I, like a lot of people at the time, were hooked. I guess you could compare it to the first-person shooter craze of the last five years. When these games arrived on the home consoles of the time they were rarely, if ever, 100% accurate to the arcade version, but many were close.

While the first outting for Street Fighter II on the SNES was very good, it did have an odd voice pitch difference depending on the strength of the punch or kick button used when performing a special move. Of course, the rest of the limitations were usually the typical cutting of some frames of animation and the like. When the port of Hyper Fighting was released they not only did a better programming job on the SNES version, but they also had more memory alotted to the cartridge. Gone was the difference in voice pitch and overall a great experience. Having the ASCII Pad didn’t hurt either.

I think everybody knows about the gimped Super Nintendo version of Mortal Kombat at this point. I don’t remember it bothering me all that much, but I’d be lying if I still wasn’t a little disappointed. I was eagerly anticipating the sequel and this became much more so once I saw the screenshots in a GamePro preview which confirmed the inclusion of all of the arcade violence that made Senator Kohl’s blood boil. Sure the names of the fighters weren’t in the life bars and the sound was a bit muffled, but otherwise it was an exceptional follow-up to what had been a disappointing home conversion.

Street Fighter II Turbo goes for a lot less than I would’ve expected for a complete copy. Listed at $12.67 I think most used prices will be more. It is a bit difficult to find, but then again I’ve never had to look for either of these games since I still own the original copies we bought in the early ’90s. Mortal Kombat II is more of the price I’d expect with it currently listed at $20.

Thanks for taking this trip down 16-bit memory lane with me and before you go, check out the gallery below. Click on any photo to double size it. Have a great Friday!

STREET FIGHTER II TURBO:
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MORTAL KOMBAT II:
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#CIBfridays

R-Type Revengance: Tournament Edition

Back in the early 1990s a lot of the games I enjoyed were Midway arcade titles. When it came time to port them to home consoles Acclaim were usually the ones to do it. I had a Super Nintendo and Smash TV became Super Smash TV, Mortal Kombat II surprised us all with its major improvements over the first game’s conversion, and NBA Jam: Tournament Edition had a larger roster and battery saves.

This brings me to the Game Boy and its many ports of Midway games namely NBA Jam. At the time I had the original game for it and the controls were odd with Turbo on the Start button. Not the most comfortable way to play. Sadly my recent purchase of NBA Jam TE didn’t change this or help with using passwords. At least the roster was larger.

R-Type is the notoriously difficult shoot-’em-up from Irem. Upon a port to the Game Boy the original cartridge had both R-Type I and II. A number of “DX” releases of black and white games were colored when put out for the Game Boy Color. R-Type DX was one such title. It had R-Type I and II in color and had a “combined challenge” (as Giant Bomb put it) for R-Type DX.

I’m not much of a shoot-’em-up fan, but I look forward to getting my ass kicked by this cart nonetheless.

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On a side note, I accompanied Usagi704 to GameStop the night he picked up his copy of Metal Gear Rising: Revengence. Here’s some video footage of it.

MKII Hype of 1994

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Back in the early ’90s I was a big fighting game fan. I’m less so these days, but at that time I took note of all of the fighting games I saw: the good, the great, and the definitely not-so-great.

Mortal Kombat was one of those games that came along and while the game wasn’t very good it did make an impact by amazing us gamers with its over-the-top violence. It’s tame by today’s standards, but back then a game with even a fourth of the gore just wasn’t done.

I never played much of the fighters in the arcades themselves. I usually just watched and I have quite a few memories of matches from Mortal Kombat II in 1993. I was much more of a player of these titles once they came to the home consoles.

We had an SNES at the time and, of course, as is with kids, they need to justify the version they had and I remember doing this with MK1 despite knowing that even I was disappointed in the lack of a blood code. The game still played good and looked and sounded the best over the Genesis version.

Because of this I was really excited once I saw that blood was confirmed for the SNES version of MKII in the first preview in the August ’94 issue of GamePro. This was the same issue which has this game on the cover featuring the awesome Raiden arcade cabinet sideart.

In the following month’s issue a second preview was published. This time it showed screenshots with the blood which was promised. I remember pouring over this preview many times getting hyped for the game’s release.

The October issue had reviews for all four versions of the game with the SNES version getting a perfect score.

I had saved up for this game ahead of time and on release day (Sept. 9, 1994) my mother had said she’d take my brother (usagi704, surprise ;)) and I out to get it. I remember being antsy and wanting to go and eventually we left in the van going to Video Game Exchange (now It’s About Games). We bought MKII for the SNES and a copy each of it on Game Boy. The former cost $75 and the latter was $35. And people think games being expensive is a new thing…

Thanks for reading and for more you can check out the very previews and reviews of Mortal Kombat II that I referred to from my old GamePros below.

* First Preview of MKII in GamePro (August ’94)
* Second Preview of MKII in GamePro (September ’94)
* Reviews of MKII in GamePro (October ’94) SNES/GEN pg1 | GEN/GG/GB pg2

Fun With Fighting Games

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Since the release of Street Fighter III 3rd Strike Online Edition and Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection, I’ve been playing them quite a bit, but not because I own them. Thanks to Usagi704 he’s been my competition lately in mainly 3rd Strike and Mortal Kombat II.

On my systems I play the former on the PS2 via the Street Fighter Anniversary Collection where my main character is Ken. His Super Art III is wicked and is very easy to link into from several of his others moves. I haven’t been all that great, but I’m having a great time with a game that I shunned from for far too long.

In the latter game of MKII I still bust out my original copy on the Super Nintendo. My two best characters are Raiden and Kung Lao. They helped me best one of Usagi’s better characters in Kitana. I can’t get her to work as well for me, though. Now he comes at me with Scorpion and I still haven’t worked out how to exactly shut his offense down. Sub-Zero and Liu Kang are my back up characters.

I get more free games. This time it’s thanks to the PlayStation Store itself. Back to the Future – Episode 1: It’s About Time is currently available for free to all until the 27th.