Now Playing: January 2010

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It’s been an interesting first month of gaming for the new year. It has ranged from disappointment to the feeling of victory. With that said, I give you the return of Now Playing for the first time since last September.

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE MINISH CAP
We’ll start off with that feeling of victory as The Minish Cap became the first game I’ve finished for 2010 as of four days ago.

Along with my earlier gripe of some of the “Zelda logic” that exists in this game, I also didn’t like that I had to do a lot of backtracking. Overall I did enjoy the month I played the game, but it certainly didn’t blow my mind like the series seems to do for so many fans each and every game. 3/5 (no half points)

X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE
Just as the movie was fun to watch for me unlike for most people, the game is the same. The only problems that I recently came across was missing the chance to get the “Ultimate Wolverine” trophy (Fought four W.E.N.D.I.G.0 prototypes at the same time and defeated them at Alkali lake.) and an enemy decided to be where I couldn’t get to him. The latter problem is pictured below.

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The former problem came about because somehow one of the W.E.N.D.I.G.0 prototypes either died on their own or were somehow killed by one of the others. Either way I was robbed. Not that I’m upset or anything like that since the game is pretty satisfying.

Trophies: 23 / 51 (45%)

WATCHMEN: THE END IS NIGH
Within the last week I’ve been trying to get the final “Untouchable” trophy (Go unharmed for an entire level, without restarting from a checkpoint.) by playing the second chapter mostly with Rorschach. Time and time again it just doesn’t happen. I think I’ve tried a good 30+ times at this point. Odds say it’ll happen eventually.

Trophies: 11 / 12 (92%)

DAY OF DEFEAT
I reinstalled Steam for the first time in many years and the same hardware that ran those games flawlessly now has some problems doing so under Windows 7. Interestingly enough it also works with Wine on Ubuntu and much better at that. Sound is the only issue here, but that’s been an overall problem for me on Ubuntu.

Even without sound I was eager to play some DoD, but it unfortunately doesn’t have any servers with anything, but bots on it. At least that’s what I got every time.

BORDERLANDS
If you were wondering when the disappointment was going to come in, well look no further than Borderlands. Weren’t expecting that, were you? I honestly wasn’t either when I started playing it just two days ago.

After playing it some and getting my soldier to level 12, I can say for sure that the loot drops that help motivate a number of gamers to continue playing does absolutely nothing for me. When I think back about my time playing Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance on the GBA, I know now that it wasn’t the case then either.

I understand that the selling point of Diablo-style loot drops was the best way for Borderlands to be marketed. It stands out more than that way than if it was known simply as a co-op FPS. However, co-op is what sold me on this game and what I like best in shooters these days. Resistance 2 is a perfect example of this as it was a lot of fun to get back into after about a year of being away from it.

My main problem with the game is its pacing. Because of all of the loot, you’re always picking it up and comparing it with what you already have to see if it’s worth switching out with. Doing this makes progress very slow. Doing this with more players in co-op makes it even slower.

To make matters worse, the fact that the enemies get stronger as you level up kind of null and voids the whole point of leveling up to begin with. The sense of always being a weakling accompanies this and with that aggravation sets in. It just drains all of my energy to want to continue playing the game at that moment as if I had just finished fucking Matt Damon. XD

I don’t have an ending to this joke so I’ll just take a small bow.

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Rorschach Doesn’t Compromise

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That’s what I keep hearing him tell me. Anyways, onto the blog post at hand.

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE MINISH CAP
My progress was slight over the last couple of days. I mainly just tackled the Fortress of Winds. In it I obtained the mole mitts and beat the stupidly easy boss Mazaal.

I’m currently in the middle of trying to find the three library books that are around Hyrule Town. The first one was pretty easy, but the second book is becoming a pain. I can’t get into the scholar’s home to start looking for it. I’m beginning to wonder if I either messed up or missed something along the way to this point that allows me to gain access to the house. Any ideas?

WATCHMEN: THE END IS NIGH PART 2
I was looking to go for completion by beating the game in co-op. Since that can only happen locally I asked Usagi to help out. He gladly did so and we were having a great time until the rooftop part of Chapter III, the final level.

The first problem was a glitch where Rorschach, who I was playing as, fell through part of the map. Usagi had to kill off his character, Nite Owl, to restart from the previous checkpoint.

The second problem came from battling Twilight Lady’s “special slaves,” as she put it. They brutally owned Nite Owl every time making it not so much fun. We even switched off controllers and I also got beat badly. Oh, geez, that didn’t sound right. :lol:

I think it had to do with not knowing exactly how the counter system works. Since then I’ve practiced with both characters noticing that it’s a bit different for each. Nite Owl prefers that you follow R1 with Square fairly quickly. Rorschach, on the other hand, is a bit more lenient in that you can tap Square a few times after R1 for the counter to work.

WATCHMEN: THE END IS NIGH
While I had the disc out for Part 2, I figured I’d do some of that aforementioned practicing on Part 1. I also took that time to record a good chunk of gameplay footage from Chapter II of Part 1. In it I play as Rorschach and kick some major ass if I do say so myself. :D

FORGOTTEN PURCHASES
Earlier in the year I had forgot to mention some of the purchases that I’d made. I didn’t even notice this until I was gathering information for my buying stats blog post that will be upcoming.

Back in mid-May I downloaded a free copy of Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic. It was sponsored by, I think, Sprint which was why it was free. This PSN game isn’t all that good and definitely not worth the current price of $10 for such a shallow Smash Bros. type of game.

Near the end of that same month I bought Crash Commando. It was one of the few PSN games that got a discount for about two weeks. It’s like a third-person shooter, but on a 2D plane. It was fantastic at the sale price of $5 and it’s still totally worth it at $10 too.

On October 1st I bought Uno. This was mainly because VixDiesel and s0njas0n were playing it and this is actually one casual game that I don’t mind having. The online portion is kind of flaky at times, but I still played it a bunch with them. It’s was a bit expensive at $10, but if I remember correctly the physical cards cost more. It’s currently $8 on PSN.

Lastly, I bought a second DS Lite. This one is red and black. I like it better for the matte finish that was used on the bottom half of the unit. My original system is white and has the glossy finish everywhere on the outside.

That’ll be it for now. It’s the holiday season so you guys take it easy. :)

Brutally Short

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THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE MINISH CAP
I can’t say that I’ve played this game all that much in the last two to three days, though I have made some progress. It’s not been all that difficult just wasn’t playing it much.

I did wake up the shoemaker and get the Pegasus Boots. I also made my way to the Wind Ruins and obtained the bow. My next task is to clear the Fortress of Winds. It looks like a doozie when checking out the map on page 13 of the GameSpot Game Guide.

TRANSFORMERS
Even less progress has been made in the 2004 PlayStation 2 release of Transformers. That’s to say that I haven’t touched it at all. Instead I played…

WATCHMEN: THE END IS NIGH PART 2
…Part 2 of the Watchmen beat-’em-up.

I was quite shocked to see just how short the game was. Part 1 contained six levels and Part 2 is only half that. On top of that Nite Owl and Rorschach don’t learn any new moves or combos. They’re definitely not recommendable based on those reasons and the crazy asking price.

However, I really like the beat-’em-up genre. You could say that I’m pretty loyal to them even though I won’t blindly buy them. I found the Watchmen games to be brutally satisfying, especially the finishers that Rorschach would pull off.

For great brutal beat-’em-up action that’s not insanely priced and is a good deal longer than Parts 1 and 2 of Watchmen together, check out the Rockstar Toronto 2005 release of The Warriors. It even has a better 2D arcade beat-’em-up unlockable game than the recent Xbox Live release called “Armies of the Night.”

Oh, and by the way, in case you haven’t guessed it yet, yes, I finished Watchmen: The End is Nigh Part 2 making it the 47th game beat this year.

Thanks for reading and have a great final week before Christmas!

Rainbow of Games

Over the last three weeks I’ve accumulated the following additions to my collection. The totals are 22 games, 2 movies, and 5 albums.

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Batman
It’s my first copy of it and it’s my favorite of the early Batman films. It has a bunch of extras including a 50-page book that’s apart of the case and a director commentary track which I usually look for in movies I buy.

Watchmen
Included with the two End Is Nigh games for the PS3.

Ten Pin Alley
I remember it from a demo disc years ago.

Big Bang Mini
It has interested me for awhile.

Frogger
It was free with the original PlayStation system that Usagi704 got recently and he didn’t want it so he let me have it.

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Space Channel 5 Special Edition
For the PS2, which I originally thought was the first game until I found out that it contains Part 2 as well.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare
I bought these two games based solely on the inclusion of the two original Konami arcade games as unlockables.

Namco Classic Fighter Collection
I’ve been interested in picking up a copy of Tekken Tag Tournament more recently. This three game collection helped out nicely with that as it had that game along with Tekken 4 and Soul Calibur II.

Wario World
It’s one of the few Gamecube specific games that I’ve yet to get that have interested me.

The King of Fighter XII
To play against others online, but mainly Usagi, of course.

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Kid Klown in Crazy Chase
I lead myself to believe that this SNES Kemco game was at least decent for some reason. It’s not.

Deja Vu
Oh here’s why. This NES adventure game, which always had fun box art, was published by Kemco where as the above game was developed by them. Retroware TV episode 12-4 made Deja Vu seem pretty interesting.

Cabal
I remember liking the arcade version back in the day. This version works, but maybe not as well as one would hope.

Mission: Impossible
This was one of those games that we owned growing up so it was on my wish list because of that alone. Decent music I must say.

RoadBlasters
An interesting and mildly fun shooter style racer.

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This next group of three were bought with the idea that since my original plan to buy less has obviously failed that I’d start looking on eBay for the harder to find games that I want. Just once a month with a few exceptions like the upcoming Modern Warfare 2. Hopefully this will work this time.

Doom
This was the game I was going after. It doesn’t have everything, but it does have most of The Ultimate Doom and Doom II games. It’s kind of a compilation of sorts.

Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense & Soul Blade
These two games were simply apart of the three game deal. Neither of which I had and I’ve heard some good things about both.

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Finally, I looked up the prices of Michael Jackson album on Amazon.com and other than HIStory costing about $23, the rest were only $7-9. I looked locally for them first and no place had a good selection or price. So I ended up getting all of the albums expect for HIStory (price) and Invincible (already own).

Now Playing: March ’09

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This last month I played a total of 12 games, but half of them were just the usual fun online play with nothing really of interest to note. However these six games below are the noteworthy ones for the month.

Viking: Battle for Asgard (PS3)
Castlevania (NES)
Rad Racer (NES)
Double Dragon II: The Revenge (NES)
Watchmen: The End Is Nigh (PS3)
Legendary Wings (NES)

The main game and the Game of the Month is Watchmen: The End Is Nigh. I actually had a spur of the moment co-op game going with a friend that stopped by and we ended up getting to Underboss. We rushed instead of taking our time so after a few deaths, we decided to call it quits at that moment. Not to worry, though, as Usagi was able to help me finish about a week or so later.

In staying with the co-op theme, I also played Double Dragon II: The Revenge and beating it for the first time ever. In a similar way I was able to get pretty far in the original Castlevania with Usagi’s direction and beat the fourth boss in the game. My ability to get any farther will likely resemble the killer stage of 6-2 in Ninja Gaiden. That’s to say that it will take quite some time.

A few days ago I started playing Viking: Battle for Asgard again. I did take a break from it for 2+ weeks and I’m glad I did, but I’m also glad that I’ve gone back as well. Speaking of going back to some games, I have to get back to Retro Game Challenge too.

Legendary Wings and Rad Racer were played as part of the Retroware TV High Score Challenge #1 and #2. My highest scores were 275,000 and 32,700, respectively. It was a fun thing to be apart of and I did better than I expected, but I didn’t do as well as some others.

That’s it from me. Until next time!

Lost Watchmen: Ultimate Condition

Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers (NES)
Double Dribble (NES)
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (PS3)
The King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match (PS2)
Lifeline (PS2)
Ecco the Dolphin (SCD)
Watchmen: The End Is Nigh (PSN)

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Welcome! Above is a total of seven new games that I purchased recently over the last week or so.

I really wanted to get the just released The King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match and I found it at the best price on eStarland.com. That’s normally unusual when compared to Amazon.com. While I was at it I also bought the above two NES games and Lifeline. The latter was pretty cheap and I’ve also had a wired USB headset for about a month, so I figured I’d go for it.

Ecco the Dolphin isn’t actually a recent purchase. It came with the lot of Sega CD games that I bought late last year off of eBay. I only just started getting it to work reliably, which (as I found out) has more to do with the spinner in the disc drive not lining up correctly. It’s only a problem since the Sega CD has it placed on the underside of the lid.

Getting back to the topic of Amazon.com, while I didn’t get KOF ’98 UM there, I did purchase the Austrian Death Machine album that’s talked about in this video that I linked to in my last blog entry. I wanted free shipping so I added Lost Planet to the mix.

Two days after the release of Watchmen: The End Is Nigh I purchased it. This comes from someone that’s never heard of Watchmen before the movie and I’ve also yet to see it. So, with that said, all I had was a viscerally satisfying beat-’em-up to draw me in. Well, it worked. The graphics are superb, combos are fun to master, and the finishing moves are great to watch. My only complaint is that it cost $5 too much for what it is. Online co-op would’ve helped out really well, but I’ve still managed to enjoy myself.

I hope to talk soon about some demos that I’m going to try here soon. Until then, game on!

Now Playing: Feburary ’09

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Street Fighter IV (PS3)
Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection (PS3)
Retro Game Challenge (DS)
Super Street Fighter II: Turbo Revival (GBA)
Burnout Paradise (PS3)
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (PS3)
Viking: Battle for Asgard (PS3)
Skyblazer (SNES)
Chili Con Carnage (PSP)

I finished three games this time around: Chili Con Carnage, Streets of Rage 2, and Street Fighter IV. The former is what I can only describe as a lighthearted take on Max Payne, though not literally. There’s a bunch of challenges that are in between the missions, but I just messed around with the first one and then ignored the rest. I beat the middle game via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection and its save state feature that was carried over from the previous collection. The latter game was beaten to unlock the hidden characters.

Speaking of Street Fighter IV, I’m sure a number of you would like to know what I think of it so far. Obviously it’s great and does live up to the pre-release hype. The only thing that I miss is the rebalanced versions of the characters from Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. From what I heard so too is David Sirlin.

I enjoyed my time with Viking: Battle for Asgard despite not playing it for about two weeks. If I remember correctly I think I’ve cleared about half of the second map. I also haven’t really touched Skyblazer that much either. I’ve beaten the third boss in the game.

I put more time in Burnout Paradise. I gave in and purchased the legendary cars pack. If you’re not in the know the pack consists of cars based on the iconic ones from Dukes of Hazard, Ghostbusters, Knight Rider, and Back to the Future. You can check out videos on these rides here.

Now it’s time to name the Game of the Month. I bet you’re thinking it’s going to be Street Fighter IV. You’d be right normally, but this one game is truly unique. I’m talking about Retro Game Challenge (yeah because the header graphic doesn’t give it away). I love this game’s references to the games I grew up playing. It’s also fantastic in how the games presented give you that nostalgic feeling without them being anything that was actually out at the time.

That’s it from me. Until next time!