Now Playing: November ’08

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Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (PSN)
Tekken Advance (GBA)
Capcom Classics Reloaded (PSP)
Street Fighter Collection (PS)
Resistance 2 (PS3)
Mortal Kombat (SNES)
Puzzle Quest (DS)
Mercenaries 2 (PS3)
LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

As you can see from the list above, I enjoyed myself, gaming-wise, this last month.

Resistance 2 is definitely my Game of the Month. The single player portion was good, but the co-op multiplayer was the most satisfying. I even had a blast with others like s0njas0n and VixDiesel. As of now my Medic is at level 20, my Special Op is at level 16, and my Soldier is at level 5. I have yet to play any of the competitive part of the online experience and, to be honest, I don’t really plan to. Co-op is just too much fun.

The runner-up for the month is probably something unexpected. I was ready to name LittleBigPlanet or Puzzle Quest for this honor a few days ago. That was until Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix dropped onto the PlayStation Network. I wasn’t even going to bother getting this downloadable game, but now that I’ve played it I’m glad that I did. It’s so much more fun now than before this update that I now prefer it over my previous favorite Street Fighter game, Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting.

LittleBigPlanet was an interesting game with fun platforming. A few user created levels are fun like one based on the eliminator course from American Gladiators and others based on Gradius and Mirror’s Edge.

That about does it for me. Until next time.

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Beyond the Grave

The title of this post is referring to just one game out of the 15 that were added to my collection over this past week. The first stack of games are as follows.

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SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 (PSP)
I bought this over the PS2 version for framerate reasons, if I remember some reviews that I read correctly.

Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded (PSP)
The original three Street Fighter II games along with Eco Fighters, Knights of the Round, and Mercs (aka Commando 2) was worth it for me. However, if you want only one of the two Capcom collections on the PSP (this or Remixed), then I’d have to recommend Remixed for its better game selection.

Sega Genesis Collection (PSP)
Yes, I have had the PlayStation 2 version for a few years now, but the idea of Genesis games on the go was too good to pass up. Sure the Nomad was a cool concept, but obviously it wasn’t reliable enough. I consider this what Sega was trying to do with the Nomad. Mmmm. Shinobi III. :P

Saints Row 2 (PS3)
For a game that only just came out about a month ago, I picked it up pretty quick. I did so by getting a used copy for $30. That was after a few duplicate games that I traded in (TMNT: Hyperstone Heist, Tetris (GB), Mega Man 2, and Mega Man 3). That I’m not going to compare this game to Grand Theft Auto IV for two reasons. The first being that you’re more than likely sick of hearing it and, second, this game has enough differences this time around to warrant a look at both games.

TimeShift (PS3)
It’s been just over a year since the last time I posted anything about this game. Back then I was talking about the demo and how I had some problems remembering to use the time powers. Whenever I get to playing it I’ll see if it was worth the wait for the $20 price tag.

Puzzle Quest: Challange of the Warlords (PS2)
Here’s a game that I’m currently playing on the DS. I wanted this version for something on the bigger screen. It will be interesting to see if it has any game stopping bugs like the PSP version and if I find it a problem with the lack of a stylus.

Goldeneye: Rogue Agent (PS2)
For the longest time I stayed away from this game and I think it was because I once briefly demoed it on the Gamecube, a controller with shoulder buttons that I can’t stand. Speaking of things that I can’t stand. I’m really tired of hearing people compare every Bond game to their beloved N64 game. I heard it once again with the recent release of Quantum of Solace. I could go on, but I already did over two years ago. For those eager to read what I did say, I’ll post it again soon.

Gungrave (PS2)
Here’s another game that I already had…as in the sequel Gungrave: Overdose. Both games are based on the anime of the same name. You control the resurrected character formerly known as Brandon Heat and now known as Beyond the Grave. Pretty cool and so is the crazy third-person action.

Rygar: The Legendary Adventure (PS2)
I figured that since the updated Wii version is due out soon that I should just go for this game. The prequel was an NES game known only as Rygar.

Loaded (PS)
Don’t know what this game is? I have an easy way to explain it to you. It’s a bloody version of Gauntlet.

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Klonoa: Empire of Dreams (GBA)
I wasn’t expected to find nor did I really want to look for another Klonoa game, but credit goes to Usagi704 for noticing that Gamestop didn’t know what they had on their hands.

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA)
Ditto for this game as it usually goes for much more than what they were selling it for. Psst. $6.

Tekken Advance (GBA)
The third GBA game spotted by Usagi704. I played his copy of this game and I must say that Namco did some great work making this game feel and look as much like Tekken as they did.

Mortal Kombat 3 (GB)
Definitely the worst game that bought by a long shot. Why did I knowingly purchase a bad game? Because I simply had it previously. Back in 1995, I was expecting a lot from this game since they did a great job on MKII. Unfortunately, it ended up as an, as the kids like to say these days, epic fail.

Road Rash (GBC)
Not as bad of a port of the Genesis game as you might expect.

Well, that’ll do it for me this time.

Now Playing: July ’08

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I’m going to start off with my Game of the Month this time. It was the short, but oh-so-sweet God of War: Chains of Olympus. It only took me about 2-3 days to complete, but it’s still worth buying if you’re a fan of the series (as I am). As much as I like this game, I can’t recommend it even at $30 because of how short it is. However, at $20 or less it’s a better value.

Another great PSP game that should be played if you’ve ever liked shoot-’em-ups is Space Invaders Extreme. It’s fairly difficult, but, at the same time, “extremely” fun to play. Taito did an excellent job at reimaging this classic game with boss fights, bonus rounds, power ups, and different types of invaders to fight. $20 is the perfect price for this brand new game. :)

On July 10th, Burnout Paradise received the Cagney update which added more online challenges, new game modes, custom soundtracks, and more. I’d play this game anyway so it’s not surprising that I was excited about this update.

I also played a number of other games which included: Taito Memories 2 Vol. 2, Pinball Hall of Fame – The Williams Collection, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Capcom Classics Collection Remixed.

Kill Switch was a game that I’ve been hearing about from Usagi704 for some time and he was all about saying how good it was. I remember the PC demo from years ago and I didn’t really care for it. However, once I started playing the game on the PS2, it actually was pretty good. I won’t be writing home about the experience, but it still a solid shooter with a really good cover system. The story, though, doesn’t make any sense to me. I guess that’s well enough that I’m not continuing to play this game for that.

See you next time on Now Playing!

Now Playing: June ’08

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Welcome to a mostly retro edition of Now Playing. This will cover a total of seven games. Here we go.

Recapping a few games left over from last month. Orcs & Elves for the DS continued to be as good as before only I got stuck on a boss. I briefly played Ultimate Mortal Kombat for about a day. Finally, I had finished the story in Grand Theft Auto IV and played quite a bit of multiplayer for most of the month.

In the middle of the month I played some PSP games with and against Usagi704. First up was the fantastic Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX. The problems with the d-pad of the older systems are totally remedied with the newer models. Top notch controls as always from Capcom.

The next game we played was Capcom Classics Collection Remixed. This was where we co-oped on four arcade titles: Final Fight, Captain Commando, Mega Twins, and Magic Sword. We finished the former two games.

Over on the NES, once I got it working, I played some of Metal Storm. It’s a difficult game, but I never felt that the deaths came in a cheap way. I always knew that I just wasn’t that good yet.

Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures, on the other hand, felt like many of the deaths were cheap. The gameplay is fine and is of the same great quality of the Super Nintendo Star Wars games, but, just like those games, it was still frustrating.

So with all of that said, what’s my Game of the Month? It would have to go to Orcs & Elves. It’s a casual game in nature because of its origins as a mobile phone game. You’ll enjoy it as long as you can get past the not-so-great visuals. If you ever liked the look of Doom, then you’ll have no problem having a fun experience with this game.

New PS Family Members

A few days ago I decided to see if I could get one of the Game Boy Advance systems with the brighter screen (colors: Pearl Blue, Pearl Pink). Unfortunately, it’s proving to be a difficult item to find. Instead I picked up the following games for the PS2/3/P.

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Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX (PSP) – new
Capcom Classics Collection Remixed (PSP) – new
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas (PS3) – new
Twisted Metal: Head On – Extra Twisted Edition (PS2) – new
Rise to Honor (PS2) – complete; excellent

It’s REALLY About Games

Earlier today I went out to Gamestop and wanted to get another PSP game. I decided to make my decision based on playing against a friend locally. So I decided on Capcom Classics Collection Remixed. It has a larger amount of games that I’d like to play against another person when compared to Reloaded. Eventually, though, I decided against getting it because the difference in price from used to new was $2 and they didn’t have any new copies. Since the difference in price wasn’t enough to justify a used copy, I went to another store.

At that other store, It’s About Games, they did have Remixed, but for $30. I wasn’t looking to spend that much. After asking about a few retro games, I went for the Super NES game Gradius III and two Genesis games Mega Turrican and Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi.

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PSone EX Plus

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More gaming goodness and I bought a total of 10 games and another system. That makes three this year. First to the games.

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I bought a second copy of Super Street Fighter II for the Genesis solely because this copy was complete and in even better condition. I was also happy that I found Tecmo Super NBA Basketball (thanks SonicHomeboy for the heads up) for the Super Nintendo. It’s plays much faster than the sorefest of Bulls vs. Blazers. Here’s the list of games with the usual condition rating.

Forgotten Worlds (GEN) – game only; good
Tecmo Super NBA Basketball (SNES) – game only; great
Dragon Warrior (NES) – game only; great
Duke Nukem: Time To Kill (PS) – complete; fair
Tomb Raider (PS) – complete; good
Crash Bandicoot: Warped (PS) – complete; good
Dragon’s Revenge (GEN) – complete; great
Super Street Fighter II (GEN) – complete; excellent
Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2 (PS2) – new
Spider-Man 2 (PS2) – new

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Details: Closed | Open

The pre-owned system that I bought was the second model PSone. I was surprised several different times by this system. First was the price: $17.95. Next was the size: smaller than I originally thought. And finally the weight: heavier than I expected for the overall size. Now I’d like to get one of those fliptop screens and a car adapter and I’d be set with a truly portable PlayStation!

PSone system with controller, AC adapter, A/V cable – $17.95; excellent

Condition scale: Excellent, Great, Good, Fair, Bad