Top 18 Middle-of-the-Road Video Games

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Today’s video game industry doesn’t care much for the modest budgeted titles of just the last generation. The focus is always on the gimmicky no-budget or the all sizzle no steak of the million dollar titles.

What I’m going to focus on here is my favorite eighteen mid-tier games I’ve played. These will be listed without description, but they will have reviews linked for more information. These aren’t usually the best rated games, but if you go in being forgiving of some of the faults you’ll no doubt find, then you may just realize you’re enjoying yourself. But who am I kidding. It’s not like we’d want that to happen. Let’s get to it.

* Batman Begins
* Black
* Guitar Hero
* The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction
* Kill Switch
* Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil
* Mercenaries
* Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
* NightFire
* Stuntman Ignition
* The Warriors

* Bionic Commando
* Conan
* Demon’s Souls
* Lost Planet: Extreme Condition
* Mirror’s Edge
* Viking: Battle for Asgard
* X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Games Finished In 2009

2009-finished

The list below shows every game that I finished in 2009. The total number comes to 47 across 11 systems. That’s up 17 from 2008.

PS3
Burnout Paradise
Conan
Crash Commando
Fracture
God of War
Grand Theft Auto IV
Half-Life 2
Infamous
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
Prince of Persia
Saints Row 2
Street Fighter IV
Streets of Rage 2
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
Uno
Viking: Battle for Asgard
Watchmen: The End Is Nigh
Watchmen: The End Is Nigh Part 2

SNES
Fatal Fury
Final Fight 3
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers
The Ninja Warriors
Street Fighter II

PSP
Captain Commando
Chili Con Carnage
Metal Slug
Metal Slug 3
Sengoku
Tekken: Dark Resurrection

GBA
Super Street Fighter II: Turbo Revival

GEN
OutRun

NES
Contra
Double Dragon II: The Revenge
Shadowgate

PS2
Batman Begins
Burnout Revenge
The King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match
The Punisher
RayStorm
TMNT
Unreal Tournament

DS
Biker Mice From Mars
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
Retro Game Challenge

PS
Crash Bandicoot: Warped

GB
Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors’ Dreams

TG-16
Splatterhouse

I also got my first two platinum trophies within the previous 12 months. The first one came along back in March with Burnout Paradise and the second one was captured more recently in November with God of War.

In some interesting trivia about my game collection (idea from DuncanR2N), the oldest game I own is Dodge ‘Em for the Atari 2600. This is an estimate since it’s extremely hard to find more than just the year of 1980 for a release date. GameSpot has it listed for 1978 so it’s obviously not known for sure.

The newest game I own is a lot easier to look up. It would be Pandemic’s final game The Saboteur which was released a month ago.

On my wish list the oldest game that I’m looking to get is the NES version of Konami’s Gradius which was released on December 1, 1986.

The newest game that I’d like to have (mainly because I’m a big fan of beat-’em-up games) is Revenge of the Wounded Dragons on the PSN. It was released 23 years and 9 days after Gradius on December 10, 2009.

Coming up soon I’ll have my Game of the Year announced. Game on!

Speed Run, Forgotten Games, & More Games

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As I mentioned last time, I’m going to speak on Super C and Splatterhouse 2. But before I do so I’d like to talk about a game that’s been neglected. That game would be Conan.

CONAN
I actually beat the game 10 days ago, but for whatever reason forgot to say anything about it. When I last said that I was near the end of the game, I didn’t realize that I was at the final boss and all I had to do was win that battle. Just as Gigastormz and usagi704 told me, the end boss battle was frustrating. His cheapness was pretty much null and void, however, by the several checkpoints from within the battle itself.

Overall Conan it worth your time if you’ve played the demo and were still interested in the full game ever so slightly. 3/5

SUPER C
Super C is up next and I was only playing it to get another game finished for the year. It unfortunately became an amazingly frustrating experience. More so than fighting the final boss in Conan. How so? Because it was on the small DS screen via Contra 4. Those tiny white dots for bullets can easily be lost track of especially when the game’s display is set to fit the screen.

I know Super C inside and out and if I have trouble on the DS screen I can’t imagine the problems that it’ll give those that don’t know the game as well. A scary thought for sure.

SPLATTERHOUSE 2
I like Splatterhouse 2 for the same reason that I enjoy its prequel and Ninja Gaiden on the NES. It’s a game that’s really difficult, but becomes easy as you play and figure out what, where, and when to do what needs to be done to progress.

A good example of this is the first game’s stage 1 boss. If you just stand in the right-side corner of the room, you don’t have to move. Just attack and you’ll pass it.

UNCHARTED: DRAKE’S FORTUNE
After I found all of the treasures in Uncharted I wondered what else I could do with the game besides getting a few more trophies. I decided to try and speed run the game. And speed run it I did. The total run time came to 3 hours and 56 minutes as you can see below.

uncharted-speed-run

A SURPRISE FIND
Before yesterday I didn’t know that a port of Double Dragon was ever available for the Genesis. As it turns out not only is there one, but it’s probably the most accurate to the arcade game. Whether that’s a good thing or not is for you to decide.

I also found two Disney games, QuackShot and World of Illusion, and Resident Evil: Director’s Cut with a Resident Evil 2 demo disc.

woi-dd-qs-redc-tn

Present: Conan. MIA: Rick.

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I was going to wait until the copy of Splatterhouse 2 that I bought last week showed up, but it’s been a frustrating wait to say the least. I’ve decided to go ahead with this blog post for now. Because of this it’ll probably show up tomorrow. With that said let’s get into it.

Two posts ago I mentioned quickly at the end that I was playing Conan and two versions of Tetris. Allow me to elaborate about those games now.

Conan
Along with WWF Super WrestleMania for the Genesis (chosen by jollyroger78), Conan was also one chosen for me to play next by Gigastormz on twitter.

I’m currently near the end of the game. At least that’s what I’m thinking since Conan has retrieved all of this armor.

I can easily recommend this game to anybody that enjoyed the demo. The frustration is minimal and the game has a cool combo mastering system where you can get more experience, health, and magic replenished when killing enemies with mastered combos.

Tetris
I played some of the NES and Game Boy versions of Tetris for Retroware TV’s 7th High Score Challenge. My initial scores were 88,410 (GB) and 59,609 (NES). While the Game Boy score was my only one, I did better my score on the NES side three times with my final score of 134,793 for fourth place!

Because of the last few months of purchasing one game, I was able to take advantage of the 3-for-2 Toys-R-Us video games sale during this week.

I wasn’t able to find a copy of some of the more recent hits like Uncharted 2 and Demon’s Souls, but I did get a few that were released earlier this year.

bc-xmow-pt-tn

Bionic Commando
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Prototype

After I finish Conan and finally receive Splatterhouse 2 in the mail, the latter game along with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune will be the next two games on tap to play.

I hope you’re enjoying the current games you’re playing and see you next time!

Playing Licensed Games

playing-licensed-games

For my next few games that I play I’m going to tackle the licensed games in my collection. If that includes crap, then so be it. Here’s the laundry list of games that I plan on playing that fall into this category.

Batman Begins (PS2)
Biker Mice from Mars (DS)
Conan (PS3)
Crue Ball (GEN)
Disney’s Aladdin in Nasira’s Revenge (PS)
Gungrave: Overdose (PS2)
James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing (PS2)
Justice League Heroes: The Flash (GBA)
Mickey Mania (SNES)
The Punisher (PS2)
The Red Star (PS2)
Rise to Honor (PS2)
RoboCop Versus The Terminator (SNES)
Spider-Man 2 (PS2)
Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run (PS2)
TMNT (PS2)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PS2)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back from the Sewers (GB)
Transformers (PS2)
VR Troopers (GEN)
WCW vs. The World (PS)
WWF Raw (SNES)
The World Is Not Enough (PS)

Of course this list isn’t comprised of every licensed game that I have. Some I have already played (ie: Astro Boy: Omega Factor) or there are too many similar titles (ie: the rest of the WCW/WWE games) to be considered.

Now onto purchases that I made today at Gamestop. I took advantage of a coupon that was printable off of ps3fanboy.com. It’s for 25% off of any three used PS2, PS3, or PSP games. Here’s what I got.

Flatout 2 (PS2)
TMNT (PS2)
Yakuza (PS2)

fo2-tmnt-yakuza

Also from JapanGameStock.com I bought two used Super Famicom controllers and a PS1 memory card.

sfc-ps1mc

On the PS1 memory card were some old saves. Take a look.

japanese-saves

Beggar Prince

As Gigastormz guessed correctly two blogs ago, I indeed bought a copy of Super Fighter Team’s Genesis RPG Beggar Prince. I ordered it just 5 days ago and it was shipped that same day. :) Here’s some extra photos showing off the well made case, manual, and cartridge.

Cartridge | Manual | Inside Case | Outside Case

I also bought three other games at Gamestop and surprisingly the prices were decent.

Beggar Prince (GEN) – new for $46 from superfighter.com
Conan (PS3) – new for $19.99 from Gamestop
Metal Slug Anthology (PSP) – used/complete for $17.99 from Gamestop
River City Ransom EX (GBA) – used/game only for $4.99 at Gamestop

connan-bp-msa

Recent Demos

recent-demos

Clive Barker’s Jericho
I tried Jericho knowing that I wouldn’t really like the horror theme of the game. So I wasn’t going to knock it for that. However, I was interested in the quick switching squad mechanic that was somewhat unique to this game even though it was used in a similar fashion in Battlefield 2: Modern Combat.

Once I played the demo I was less impressed than I thought I’d be. It wasn’t really that scary and switching characters was a menu-based pain in the ass. If that wasn’t bad enough, the AI controlled characters die way too often. The only really useful character is the guy with the minigun since the enemies rush to your position right away. Oh, and lets not forget the terrible context sensitive parts that are just upsetting and not one bit of fun.

Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
Here’s a game that I thought wouldn’t be much fun because it has been labeled as more of the same. In fact this game does stick to the Ratchet & Clank formula very closely, but the controls are even more refined than in the previous PS2 games that I’ve played. It’s interesting that “more of the same” was just what the doctor ordered. I think that the controls and the beautiful visual design of Ratchet & Clank Future goes a long way to make this series still a blast to play.

Conan
Conan is the game that everybody loves to hate just because it plays very closely to the God of War series. In that sense most people won’t even give it a first chance for a first impression. That’s sad because I was surprised that I enjoyed the demo as much as I have. I’m a big fan of the God of War games, but I can also allow for Conan to be its own game without the needless and endless comparison to Sony’s award winning series. Just because it plays similar doesn’t mean that’s a bad thing. The combat felt really great and the huge amount of different moves that can be pulled off feels like it’s never ending and that’s awesome too. I like games from time to time to be viscerally satisfying and that’s where Conan totally delivers.

The Darkness
It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I hadn’t tried out the demo for The Darkness. I think that had mainly to do with the overall solid scores that the game was receiving at the time of its release.

Upon playing some of the demo I found that the aiming was imprecise and sluggish. Because of that I died frequently during the part in the small graveyard while trying to fight off the mobsters. Once I finally cleared that part I eventually got to a point where I didn’t have a clue what I was supposed to do or where to go. That was where I stopped playing because it was pretty boring.

TimeShift
Unlike the previous four games where I was obviously on one side or another, the same thing can’t be said for TimeShift. This game sounds like fun because of the time powers. Other than that this game would be just another first-person shooter. I liked everything about the game as I expected I would, but the problem here lies more within me than the game itself.

When a game has an interesting mechanic that I’m not used to for the type of game that it’s in, I have a tendency to forget to use it. This happened when I was playing Final Fantasy VI. I forgot to use the Espers in battle most of the time which made for tougher battles than there needed to be. So as you’d probably expect I wasn’t usually thinking about using the time powers to my advantage. Despite this I’m still looking forward to this game.

It’s Called “Inspired By” Not “Ripped Off”

inspired-by

I’ve seen far too many comments as of late about how this game is a rip off of that game. In the comments of NeonNinja’s post it’s Okami/Zelda. On GameTrailers it was Conan/God of War. Sometime ago it was Uncharted/Gears of War and Tomb Raider.

At this point every game is “ripping off” some game mechanic from another title. It doesn’t matter. If you have to label it, then you need to use “inspired by.”

How many games do you think were inspired by Super Mario Bros. and its sequels? I’ll tell you. Lots. Nintendo’s main franchise doesn’t own the rights to the platformer genre. If that was the case, then there simply wouldn’t be any others.

In the same way, Sony’s God of War series doesn’t own the core gameplay. Since there isn’t anything wrong with how God of War plays, then the developers of Conan should be allowed to have similar gameplay.

I played the Conan demo and while some have said that they didn’t enjoy it, others keep chalking it up to just being a God of War rip off. I personally enjoyed the God of War games and will continue to do so while also playing Conan.

Saying that one game is a rip off of another sounds like I’m being told that I’m not allowed to like both similar titles at the same time. Well, guess what? I don’t want to choose one or the other. I’ll take both, suckas. :P

The Best of E3 2007

best-of-e3-2007

Here’s my awards for the huge three days of E3. It’s simple and to the point with links to the corresponding videos.

Best Press Conference: Sony

Day 1
Best Stage Demo: Mercenaries 2: World in Flames
Runner-up: Assassin’s Creed
Most Surprisingly Good Stage Demo: Conan
Honorable Mention: Turok

Day 2
Best Stage Demo: Contra 4
Runner-up: Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
Most Surprisingly Good Stage Demo: Medal of Honor: Airborne
Honorable Mention: Naruto: Rise of a Ninja

Day 3
Best Stage Demo: Dark Sector
Runner-up: Half-Life 2: Episode 2
Most Surprisingly Good Stage Demo: Folklore
Honorable Mention: Rock Band

Game of the Show: Mercenaries 2: World in Flames