Complete In Box Fridays: The Perils of Having Standards

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Axelay, Castlevania Double Pack, and Lords of Thunder were the subjects of the last three Complete In Box Fridays articles. This week, however, I’ll be throwing out a theme instead. The theme is, oh how do I word it, complete in a somewhat crushed box? Yes, I do believe that will do. :D

The examples I have of this crushed box theme are the following three Game Boy Advance titles: Metal Slug Advance, Bruce Lee: Return of the Legend, and Dead to Rights.

My interest in Metal Slug Advance was solely because I didn’t realize the GBA had an entry from the Metal Slug series on it. It also had at least one new character who hasn’t appeared in any of the other games. I ended up purchasing it back in May of 2009 and played/finished it a year ago last January. Currently a complete copy goes for $20.50.

METAL SLUG ADVANCE: (click to enlarge)
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Because it had fairly high scores from those who reviewed it, namely IGN and Nintendo Power, I chose to buy Bruce Lee: Return of the Legend in October 2008. I played and finished the game in December 2010 where I talked at length about how my experience with the game went. Hint: better than expected. It’s difficult to find information on the price of this rare game, but it seems to go for no more than about $15 at the moment.

BRUCE LEE: RETURN OF THE LEGEND: (click to enlarge)
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Dead to Rights is a series I’ve never played despite owning the original game and its sequel on the PlayStation 2. They’re decent playing games from what I’ve read over the years. Of course I didn’t purchase Dead to Rights for the Game Boy Advance expecting anything other than the 33% rating it has received. I think it was more about me feeling sorry for the crushed GBA box I saw in Toys-R-Us in 2010. It was only $3 and I felt a need to rescue it. Needless to say I haven’t played this version yet. It’s current price is $11.

DEAD TO RIGHTS: (click to enlarge)
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Thanks for reading and please look forward to episode 36 of the Hart and Usagi Podcast which should be available sometime this weekend at the earliest.

#CIBfridays

2010 Game of the Year Nominees

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There will be 12 nominees and they will consist of the games that I enjoyed the most for each month. This rule will be the case regardless of whether or not I’ve played the game before. It also doesn’t matter if the game was released in 2010 or not.

THE NOMINEES
Jan. — The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Feb. — Borderlands
Mar. — God of War II
Apr. — Klonoa 2: Lunatea‚Äôs Veil
May — Sly 2: Band of Thieves
Jun. — Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
Jul. — Mirror’s Edge
Aug. — Alien Crush
Sept. — Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
Oct. — Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
Nov. — Metroid: Other M
Dec. — Bruce Lee: Return of the Legend

I’ll reveal the winner soon.

Games Finished In 2010

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The list below shows every game that I finished in 2010. The total number comes to 44 across 12 systems. That’s down three from 2009.

1. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (GBA) – 1/22
2. Borderlands (PS3) – 2/10
3. Space Invaders Extreme (PSP) – 2/28
4. Gekirindan (PS2) via Taito Legends 2 – 3/6
5. God of War II (PS3) via God of War Collection – 3/11
6. Donkey Kong (NES) via Virtual Console – 4/4
7. Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil (PS2) – 4/11
8. Final Fight One (GBA) – 4/12
9. Final Fight (PS3) via Final Fight: Double Impact – 4/17
10. Magic Sword (PS3) via Final Fight: Double Impact – 4/17
11. Gungrave (PS2) – 4/18
12. Twisted Metal III (PS) – 4/22
13. Final Fight (PSP) via Capcom Classic Collection Remixed – 4/26
14. Hammerin’ Hero (PSP) – 5/6
15. Burnout Legends (PSP) – 5/11
16. VR Troopers (GEN) – 5/13
17. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (SNES) – 5/14
18. Sly 2: Band of Thieves (PS2) – 5/30
19. Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight (WII) – 6/10
20. Prince of Persia: The Fallen King (DS) – 6/11
21. Red Faction: Guerrilla (PS3) – 7/10
22. Double Dragon II (GB) – 7/12
23. Mirror’s Edge (PS3) – 7/20
24. Alien Crush (TG-16) via Virtual Console – 7/25
25. Riot Zone (TG-16) via Virtual Console – 8/10
26. Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars – The Director’s Cut (DS) – 8/15
27. God of War III (PS3) – 8/16
28. Mortal Kombat (SNES) – 8/20
29. Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (PS3) – 9/13
30. Mortal Kombat (GEN) – 9/18
31. Sonic Adventure DX (GC) – 10/1
32. Power Blade (NES) – 10/11
33. Splatterhouse (TG-16) via Virtual Console – 10/18
34. Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (NES) – 10/27
35. WWF Smackdown 2: Know Your Role (PS) – 11/6
36. God of War: Ghost of Sparta (PSP) – 11/11
37. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (PS2) – 11/18
38. Metroid: Other M (WII) – 11/23
39. Geometry Wars: Galaxies (DS) – 12/3
40. Bruce Lee: Return of the Legend (GBA) – 12/5
41. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (DS) – 12/12
42. X-Men (PS3) – 12/17
43. Final Fight 3 (SNES) – 12/26
44. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (PS3) – 12/31

The PlayStation 3 saw the most finished games appear on its platform with a total of 10. The runner-up with 6 was the Wii.

April proved to be the best month for beating games with 8 in total with a monthly average of 3.6.

When it comes to earning those fancy trophies, I was able to earn 268 last year. Three of them were platinums from Borderlands (February), God of War II (March), and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (September).

Now Playing: December 2010

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As promised in my holiday update here’s my final Now Playing entry for 2010.

Right off the top I wanted to give a mention to Geometry Wars: Galaxies. I played this game on the DS and even though I included it in my finished games list for this year, I forgot to talk about it. I found the best way to control where I was shooting was to use the four face buttons over using the stylus on the touchscreen. I guess I’m too used to Smash TV on the SNES. I played until I maxed out the levels on the drones and got at least the bronze medal on all levels. My best score was 524,479,400.

I also forgot to quickly mention my final stats on Metroid: Other M. After finishing the main story you are allowed to go back and collect the rest of the items which were unreachable or simply not found before. For my game it added on roughly two hours and during that time you fight another game ending boss and race to get off the ship in traditional Metroid fashion. Check out last month’s Now Playing for more of my thoughts on this game.

Metroid: Other M final gaming stats – 10h27m; 100%; 80 missiles; 9 Energy Tanks

I played a few beat-’em-ups. With the help of Usagi704 we managed to get to the final stage of The Combatribes before all of the credits were used up. I’m sure most of you haven’t heard of this game. It was ported to the SNES from it’s initial showing in the arcade and as such was subjected to being censored at the time by Nintendo.

We also played Final Fight 3 together on the Expert difficulty setting. It didn’t seem as hard as one would expect from such a name. Usagi704 played as the newcomer Lucia and I stuck with series mainstay Haggar. He’s my favorite of the four characters because of his long range and powerful moveset. You could say I cleared it on one credit even though Usagi had to use one on the final boss, Black.

For single player action I went back to X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I hadn’t played it since back in January and finally wanted to get to the end. I’m still not there yet, but it’s as fun as I remember it being. It’s a fairly lengthly game and rewards you with a lot of experience points for finding hidden collectibles. It also has brief nods to World of Warcraft and Portal.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine trophies – 32 / 51 (63%)

You can check out my thoughts on other beat-’em-ups I played in previous blog posts including Bruce Lee: Return of the Legend (from Dec. 6th) and X-Men (from Dec. 21st).

I’ll leave you now with a quote from my complaints with the DS version of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare from December 9th.

The AI, as one review put it, was like it was in the original Doom just without them moving forward. Yes, they literally move into their scripted position and do not move once there.

Happy holidays!

I Played A Good Bruce Lee Game

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On the contrary to probably what most thought about the Game Boy Advance game Bruce Lee: Return of the Legend. It’s actually quite a good beat-’em-up. As you might have expected I do enjoy myself a quality beat-’em-up. The array of moves are somewhat impressive with additions like a block, wall jump, and several weapons at your disposal.

There are some stereotypes that one thinks of when thinking about what a game with Bruce Lee might have. I can confirm that they’re in here, but it’s still quite hilarious at times. The music and sound effects are appropriate and the levels are well designed and fun to traverse.

The stages do have some variety to them. There’s your typical normal beat-’em-up level, stealth, and hostage rescue. The stealth missions are the weakest and were a bit longer than I’d like, but were still very doable.

The game’s not very lengthy, but it does keep you busy with nine total Acts of various numbers of levels. The difficulty levels consist of Easy and Normal. I beat the game on Normal which unlocked a harder mode called Director’s Cut. Finishing that, which I also did, nets you Time Challenge. This mode requires a speed run like approach to each of the game’s levels by moving fast and skipping over killing most enemies. I’m playing this mode currently. Outfits like the iconic one from Game of Death are also available as unlockables.

I put together a gameplay video of Act 1 and the beginning of Act 7 for your viewing pleasure.

Bruce Lee: Return of the Legend brings the number of games finished for 2010 up to 40.

A quick mention of two new GBA game purchases. I found both Golden Sun and Golden Sun: The Lost Age at my local game store It’s About Games a week ago last Monday. They were about $20 for both.

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Thanks for reading and make it a great holiday season!

Next I’ll Play…A GBA Game

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After talking about some of my favorite Game Boy Advance games in my previous blog post, I figured I’d briefly bring back the “Next I’ll Play…” feature. Go ahead and vote on one of the three games below and I’ll play the one which gets the most votes!

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (purchased on 9/9/10)
Doom (purchased on 6/11/10)
Bruce Lee: Return of the Legend (purchased on 10/23/08)