Now Playing: December 2019

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The previous three months has been a trying time to find a game I can get into. I succeeded, but the percentage was low. The racing games of Hydro Thunder (PS), Burnout 2: Point of Impact (PS2), and Flatout 2 (PS2) were more of the usual rubber-banding AI opponents that can make for a frustrating experience.

Flatout 2 had the worst of this issue, but the most annoying problem was the destructible track elements that got in the way on later laps once they were destroyed the debris was laying about. Burnout 2’s deal was solely the issue of the AI being perfect. I was having fun even when not winning, but once a certain mountain area track was what I was currently racing there seemed to be no way to progress regardless of the car I selected. Arcade racer Hydro Thunder was fun, but the bare bones presentation and odd decision to lock tracks behind a currency earning progression system was where I fell off of this one.

I then went to portable side of gaming with my DS Lite and PSP. I was hankering for some Puzzle Quest, but Puzzle Quest: Galactrix was too much of a departure of what made the first game so enjoyable. On top of that they added timed puzzle to complete. This is not what I call a fun Puzzle Quest experience. It was an immediate turn this game off moment.

I had the sequel on hand so I inserted the cartridge for Puzzle Quest 2. It was much more of the traditional fun game with additions that are much more welcome. There isn’t any timed puzzled, thankfully. I didn’t complete the game, but at least I had gotten my fill of Puzzle Quest in a more satisfying way.

Medal of Honor Heroes 2 was a first person shooter, as one would expect, but it’s on the PSP. Because of this everything hinges on how good the controls are. They’re…decent. It’s not a quick reflexes style of the recent Call of Duty titles on home consoles. It’s quite plodding to be very honest. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mainly suffer from AI that can aim accurately. This is bad when you’re under a time limit to get out of a base that’s going to explode! This is precisely the scenario I was in when I hung this game’s boots up and moved on.

The game I moved onto was a 2019 released game, if you can believe it. It was The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors. Not a new game in practice since the original version was from 1994 on the Super Nintendo. I love the original and this is definitely a worthy improvement. I’m not fond of the two new characters or that you can’t grab and throw the level 1 boss, but otherwise it’s excellent. The game didn’t need a two-player mode, but it’s done well enough with both players sharing the life and blaster (battery in the new version) meters.

Finally, I not only bought The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors in the last month or so, but I was also given Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night by Usagi704 for Xmas. My total new games for the year of 2019 is a big ol’ seven.

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Now Playing: June-July 2018

After over three months of playing Yakuza 4 off and on (mostly off), I have finished it. Vets of the series like usagi704 and others will scoff at the fact that I didn’t do any side missions/activities. I enjoyed the main story and I just wanted to focus on that. It took me long enough as it was and I didn’t want it to take any longer.

Of course Kiryu is the best of the bunch simply because he’s had three previous games all to himself. Of the new trio of characters I liked Akiyama the best with Tanimura and Saejima second and third, respectively. All were will written and voice acted. Tanimura’s fighting style was the most divergent from the rest. He used more holds and throws than outright brute strength.

Character progression, I felt, was hampered with the four characters being split up into individual sections of the game, but the story faired much better because of it. You didn’t know how all these guys and their events would tie together, but it was a pleasure in finding out and seeing it through.

I also, during this time frame, played and finished the 2001 arcade game Sengoku 3. I played it via the Wii Virtual Console with the pro controller. It was initially difficult and I did opt for the max of nine lives in the options menu, but eventually I did manage to beat it. Damage dealt to the player is quite high, but it’s doable with the correct battle strategy.

As a birthday gift I received Puzzle Quest: Galactrix from my bro.

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Now Playing: April 2011

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For the month of April I managed to finish three more games: Kamen Rider Dragon Knight for DS, Tetris for PS3, and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. The former two games I talked about here earlier in the month. I also played some of Dragon Knight on Wii with my nephew and Kamen Rider Climax Heroes OOO on PSP which I laid out in this blog post.

The blog post linked to above was also where I first talked about starting Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Since then I’ve played the rest of the way through it. See the full list of my finished games for 2011 here.

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but the pace of Uncharted 2 felt a bit quicker than that of the previous game. I enjoyed both games, but this one was enough improved to where I do like it better.

Being a connoisseur of Nathan Drake’s kind of humor, I particularly liked his character and his interactions with Harry Flynn. My favorite quote of the whole game was in Chapter 24: The Road to Shambhala where Drake says to Flynn “You, asswipe. Gimme your lighter.”

I wasn’t much of a fan of the few stealth sequences from early on in the game where being seen required to restart the area. As long as I could shoot it out with the enemies left it wasn’t bad at all later on.

THIS MONTH’S GAMING STATS:
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – 13h53m; 57/100 Treasures; 23/48 Trophies (48%)
Kamen Rider Climax Heroes OOO – Stage 10 in Ragnarok Mode
Tetris – 3/12 Trophies (25%)
Kamen Rider Dragon Knight (DS) – 650/650 Total Missions

Surviving Uncharted 2

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UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES
I just recently started playing Uncharted 2. I had it on my scheduled to play list on my Backloggery page ever since the date for the third game was announced.

I love the much improved grenade throwing over the Sixaxis way from the first game. Otherwise, it feels like slipping into a pair of old comfortable shoes. My current progress is 25% complete at 2 hours and 28 minutes with 7 treasures found.

A LION’S TALE
Something I finished this last week surprisingly isn’t a game. Chris Jericho’s first book, A Lion’s Tale, was quite entertaining to read. I especially enjoyed reading about his time wrestling in Japan and WCW.

I’d probably like it about as much as Mick Foley’s first book, Have A Nice Day, if it didn’t have a number of grammar errors. At least it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as Controversy Creates Cash, the horrible book by Eric Bischoff. That one was rife with grammar and spelling errors.

I give it a 3 out of 5. If I gave scores with a tenths place it would be a high 3.

KAMEN RIDER (PSP & WII)
Back to gaming. On my PSP I’ve been playing the Ragnarok mode in Kamen Rider Climax Heroes OOO which helps to unlock other characters to play as. My favorite Riders to play as so far have been Kiva in Emperor form, W in FangJoker form, and PunchHopper.

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Last Sunday on the Wii I popped Kamen Rider Dragon Knight back in for the first time since last June and played against my nephew. He was surprisingly a good sport despite losing every match. I had a small amount of trouble whenever he chose Incisor or Survive Mode Wing Knight unless I had Wrath. He’s a beast and helped me get a perfect every time I used him.

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That’s it for now. Thanks for stopping by!

What’s That? Another Game Beat?

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I started playing the new version of Tetris on the PS3 and I really like it. The multiplayer options are pretty diverse. Usagi704 and I played the Shared variant where the playfields of both players overlaps a little bit. We ended up lasting for a full 30 minutes! It was a lot of fun and playing Tetris again reminded me of why it’s my favorite puzzle game of all time. It’s simple to grasp, but hard to master though fulfilling when you do.

Surprisingly, in this new version most of the variants work well unlike Tetris DS where the Nintendo theme of the game was obviously more important and what the extra modes were based around.

I’m also happy to report that all of Kamen Rider Dragon Knight’s 650 missions on the DS were completed. This gives me a total of nine finished games for 2011.

That is all. Thanks for reading.

Now Playing: March 2011

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For the first half of March I played the remaining amount of the original Yakuza game. My initial, middle, and final thoughts on the game should give you a good idea of my experience with it.

After finishing Yakuza I’ve been mostly playing Kamen Rider Dragon Knight on the DS. It’s nothing spectacular, but my enjoyment of the licensed property has made it more fun for me. Last time I had cleared the game with five of the Riders. Now I’m finished with double that amount giving me only three to go. Onyx is up next.

Lastly I played three games online with stripesonfire. It’s been a long time since I played Street Fighter IV and it made for a not very exciting time. It didn’t help that my MadCatz FightPad didn’t work at all. For some reason SFIV is hard for me to get into.

Next we played Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. It was much more fun since I know the game better. I was expecting my little skills to scare away any challengers as is usually the case despite I hardly play fighting games anymore. Thankfully stripes stepped up and we had a blast.

Magic Sword via Final Fight: Double Impact was the last game of the Capcom blitz. I’ve never been the biggest fan of this game because it’s quite hard to play with any sort of skill. Regardless it was still enjoyable. I hope to play more in the future with or against stripes!

Yakuza – DONE! Kamen Rider Dragon Knight – STARTED!

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ONE GAME FINISHED, ANOTHER STARTED
As predictable as the sun rises and sets each day, the last two fights against Jingu and Nishiki in Yakuza was a pain in the ass. Jingu’s annoyance was his gun and two soldiers who kept respawning. Nishiki would usually get a knockdown as I was getting up or he’d activate some button mashing of X and/or Square a few times in a row. If it wasn’t for health pickups in the immediate area I would’ve been done for. Finishing those two fights was sadly a feeling of relief and not the feeling of accomplishment it should’ve been. Thankfully the story wrapped up nicely with a little bow on top. My score for Yakuza on PS2 is 4/5 (no half-points).

The score doesn’t really get affected by anything other than the annoying boss fights. Everything else becomes second nature once you get used to them and that doesn’t take very long at all. My total time with the game was 20 hours.

With Yakuza finished (#8 for 2011), I’ve moved onto Kamen Rider Dragon Knight for the DS. Unlike the Wii version of the same game, this one isn’t a port of an earlier Japanese PS2 game. The main part of the game is Ventara Mode where you play as one of the 13 Kamen Riders through 50 missions each (650 total) unlocking various content along the way.

So far I’ve completed all missions for Dragon Knight, Wing Knight, Incisor, Torque, and Sting. Thrust is next.

COLLECTION MILESTONE
Something I forgot to mention in my previous blog post. Yakuza 4 officially brought my collection to 800 games! On GameSpot it says 799, but this is because I have the original NBA Jam on SNES twice. Early copies have Charles Barkley, but he was later taken out when Barkley: Shut Up and Jam hit the Genesis. The version with him was the one I had at the time in 1994.

THQ STOCK
You might have heard articles claiming the overall review scores for THQ’s Homefront as a reason their stock quickly dropping about 25% a few days ago. This doesn’t make any sense.

THQ’s stock didn’t drop 25% because of review scores for Homefront. Here’s how I know. Dante’s Inferno was marketed by EA in a similar manner and received the same scores, which weren’t bad at all, and their stock didn’t fall around this time last year. Not only that, but many, many high profile games get released each year to less than stellar scores and no headlines are made about those stock prices. It has to do with something else and we simply don’t have the answers yet.