Now Playing: February 2017

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Since I checked in last month with you guys it’s only gotten hotter. It’s February and it’s 71°F as I type this. Unbearable! Despite the fact we’re all going to melt and drown in the rising ocean waters, I’ll try to fill you in on what I was playing recently.

Since last time I had continued to play and subsequently finished Bujingai: The Forsaken City. My thoughts are the same in that it’s a fun action title with a few “huh?” moments. Bujingai comes recommended by me despite it’s faults.

Right after I started to play Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas on the original PlayStation. It was unlike the first Die Hard Trilogy in that it’s not fun. The gameplay is more in the style of Tomb Raider and Duke Nukem: Time To Kill. It doesn’t work here. It’s too easy to die and there weren’t any mid-level checkpoints. Unfinished forever is fine by me. Moving on…

Back on the PlayStation 2, I played around ten levels of Manhunt 2. It was satisfying to sneak around and take out all of these “bad dudes.” What was less exciting was to have to use melee or firearms against enemies that noticed you. Manhunt 2 does have mid-level checkpoints and save points which helped me get as far as I did. However, some levels just required a bit too much on engagement with guns leaving me wondering where all the stealth went. The controls don’t lend themselves to being a shooter and these sections proved that. The game does have some merit so I don’t regret my time with it. It’s just doesn’t deserve any more.

I then dusted off and charged up my PSP for the next game, Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow. I didn’t get far into Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror years ago, but Logan’s Shadow looks to be easier to handle. I’m certainly impressed with the quality of the graphics on display here. Other than that there’s not much to say since I’m still only on the first episode. Wish me luck in seeing this one through.

Game on!

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Gifts of X-mas 2008

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Here’s the gifts that I received for Christmas this year!

I got a total of eight games, one downloadable game and seven retail games.

Lightening Force: Quest For the Darkstar (GEN)
Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas (PS)
Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow (PSP)
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3)
Bujingai: The Forsaken City (PS2)
The King of Fighters Collection – The Orochi Saga (PS2)
Manhunt 2 (PS2)
Castlevania Chronicles (PSN)

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Every year my family puts up two trees. Take a look at the pictures of those trees below.

Christmas Tree (Family Room)
Christmas Tree (Living Room)

Have a happy holiday season!

1996 Game of the Year

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There was a number of great games to be released in 1996. I don’t require the games to be played at the time of release to be considered for nomination. However, this time I did play all 11 games that I chose. The final list of five were played quite a bit. Here they are.

NOMINEES
Crash Bandicoot (PS)
Die Hard Trilogy (PS)
Duke Nukem 3D (PC)
Street Fighter Alpha 2 (PS)
Twisted Metal 2 (PS)

1996 Game of the Year: Duke Nukem 3D
Runner-up: Twisted Metal 2

Hail to the king, baby. Duke Nukem 3D kept me gaming on the PC during the mid-1990s. It was the reason for me also playing some other decent PC games like Shadow Warrior, Final Doom, and Strife.

At the time I only rented Twisted Metal 2, but I had lots of fun with it. I even played as the boss Minion with the help of the GameShark. I eventually did buy the game and I still own that copy today.

Other games that could have been nominated: Disruptor, Loaded, Metal Slug, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Resident Evil, and Strife.

Previous entries: 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995

Pick 5: Addicting Games

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Since there hasn’t been a new Pick 5 feature on GameSpot since back in late July, I figured I’d do a new one myself. This one is about games that were so addicting at one point in time that you kept coming back to it and no other game could take you away from it. Here’s my five most addicting games of all time.

1. Burnout 3: Takedown (PS2)
The first game on this list provided the excitement that no other racing game before it had at the time. I played a lot of Need For Speed III, but once I started playing Burnout 3 nothing was better. And I still believe that to this day. Its sequel, Burnout Revenge, didn’t get me playing it nearly as much. For such a series, I feel it’s actually worse off to give more than one direction to drive on a given track. The point is to battle for position and if there’s more than one direction that just splits up the pack and decreases the excitement. At least it did for me. That’s why I choose Burnout 3: Takedown!

2. Counter-Strike: Condition Zero (PC)
Everybody at this point has at least heard of Counter-Strike. I started playing the Half-Life mod during the Beta 7.0 version. Not long after it was picked up by Valve Software and I’ve since become less of a fan of it. So you can imagine I wasn’t taken in by Counter-Strike: Condition Zero…at first. It took a speed run of the Deleted Scenes portion of the game to get me excited about it. Once I was finished watching that I ordered the game through Steam. I wasn’t hooked on the main part of the game since it was basically the online game with bots and extra objectives. I played the Deleted Scenes missions many times to where I created save points right after the annoyingly long intros to each level.

3. Die Hard Trilogy (PS)
At the time of this game’s release I was really into the Die Hard movies. So when this game came recommended by GamePro (subscribed at the time) I was all about it. The first game on the disc was a third-person shooter, the second game was a light gun game, and the third game was a bomb-finding driving game. The games were fun, but even more so once I was using the cheat codes. The third game is so much more fun if you don’t have a timer consistently nagging you. :P

4. Mercenaries (PS2)
When I first saw Mercenaries in action I knew for the most part that I’d enjoy the game. However, I didn’t realize just how much that would end up being true. Total chaotic destruction is the name of the game and I loved every second of it! Also, cheat codes that would let you stand in the middle of a huge explosion and not die. Now who wouldn’t love that?

5. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (PS2) and Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (PS2)
At first I only bought The Sands of Time to see if I’d like the game enough to purchase its two sequels. Sure enough I did enjoy the first game to the point where I finished it four times in a row. I then bought the next two games and played through both of them twice. I didn’t find the combat in the third game, The Two Thrones, to be as exciting as the previous two games since it expected you to use the speed kill system more often than not. I went back to Warrior Within and finished it two more times. Talk about a series that totally had me enthralled.

Enough Talk. Have At You!

More games were added to my collection two days ago. The total for that day was nine plus a new Game Boy Advance SP. More on the GBA SP in a little bit. First to the games.

I’d like to get the repeats out of the way up front. These games are all new and they are Splinter Cell ($19.99), Midnight Club II ($15.00), and Die Hard Trilogy (x3 @ $7.49 each). The former two are replacements for two used versions and the latter was mainly purchased because I was surprised to find an almost decade old game still on the store shelf and new no less.

Usagi ended up helping me out greatly once again. He spotted the hard to find and one of 2005’s Best Games Nobody Played in Racing Gears Advance. I’d been eying this game for sometime ever since seeing the GameSpot year end awards. Another GBA game that I’ve been excited to get the moment I first read about it was the Castlevania Double Pack (which includes Harmony of Dissonance and Aria of Sorrow).

I added the ever increasingly hard to find Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition ($15.00) to my PlayStation 2 collection. My reasoning for why it’s harder to find than the original version of the game is that more copies of the first version hit the market and then retailers saw little point to stock basically the same game that quickly back to back.

One unexpected purchase was in the form of a new Pearl Blue Game Boy Advance SP. I didn’t go in planning on buying one, but once I saw how much improved the screen was on the demo unit, I was sold. The light is now centered behind the screen instead of in front. Also the light is much brighter and that in turn makes the screen clearer. At $79.99 it’s a ten times better buy than the Micro. It’s a must have for anyone that plays a lot on their GBA.

Now it’s time for the main event.

I mentioned a week ago that I had a good feeling that I was going to own one of the hardest games to find real soon. That game was Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and I purchased an original version of the game off of eBay for $29. That was cheaper than any of the other auctions at the time. One that ended about an hour earlier went for $51. I considered myself lucky that I was able to procure such a sought after title for so little when compared to others.

Those are some pretty good finds if I do say so myself.